Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Sense and Sensibility Bicentenary Challenge 2011

I had already decided to participate in the Being a Jane Austen Mystery Challenge when I saw the information about the Sense and Sensibility Bicentenary Challenge. So, what the heck, I'll do that one too. Sense and Sensibility is my second favorite novel by Jane Austen. My copy is falling apart and I need to buy a new one anyway, so I'll begin the challenge by reading it again.  
I'll try for the Aficionada level. I haven't heard of most of the recommended titles, but I've found about half of them at my public library. I'm not sure of my selections yet, but I'll edit my post when I've decided.

A tentative selection, in no particular order, based on my library:
S&S 2008
S&S 1995
S&S 1981
I Have Found It 2000
Colonel Brandon's Diary
Eliza's Daughter
S&S Screenplay and Diaries

The Cookbook Collector
The Dashwood Sisters' Secrets of Love
Reason and Romance
S&S and Sea Monsters

Unfortunately, a few of the ones I'd really like to read or watch are not available at my library, so I'll have to find them elsewhere.

Here is all the information about the challenge from Austenprose Sense and Sensibility Bicentenary Challenge

Challenge Details

Time-line: The Sense and Sensibility Bicentenary Challenge 2011 runs January 1, through December 31, 2011.
Levels of participation: Neophyte: 1 – 4 selections, Disciple: 5 – 8 selections, Aficionada: 9 – 12 selections.
Your Participation: Once the challenge starts you will see a tab included at the top of Austenprose called Reading Challenges. Click on the tab and select the Sense and Sensibility Bicentenary Challenge 2011. Leave a comment including the name of the book or movie read or viewed and a link to your blog review. If you do not have a blog, just leave a comment about your selection that you finished with a brief reaction or remark. It’s that easy.

The Prizes

Oh, of course there are prizes! There will be giveaways each month of the book or movie that I review in the challenge here on Austenprose to be drawn from comments left with each post, and one lucky Grand Prize Winner of all 12 titles tucked into a Jane Austen tote bag ($200.00 value) to be drawn from comments left at any and all of the reviews left on this blog or yours. Yes, that means that your readers who comment on your challenge reviews have a chance to win too. Winners will be announced monthly two weeks after each blog post, and the Grand Prize winner will be announced on January 01, 2012. Shipment to US or Canadian addresses only.
So, make haste and join the challenge today. I am so looking forward to revisiting Jane Austen’s classic tale through her eyes and others. Here is a list of possibilities for your reading and viewing selections:



Friday, February 4, 2011

Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor

Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor
by Stephanie Barron

Although I've read all of the series published to date, and know how everything turns out, it's wonderful to reread and catch things I never noticed before.  When I first read the book many years ago I had no idea how it would turn out and coming back after a period and reading up to the most recent, I find that I'd forgotten some plot points or clues to the murderer's identity.

Stephanie Barron gives the reader such a clear picture of each person, even minor ones, that they seem almost real. Each one has such a deeply developed character that makes me long for just a bit more information about them. In particular, I'd like to know more about the histories of Jenny Barlow or Mr. Cranley.

Everyone is a suspect until the end, which makes for a really great mystery. The ending builds up to the eleventh hour revelation of the murderer. I can see Jane getting into all the situations and scrapes that she does, and even though her suspicions are not always correct, she finally figures it out in the end.

Going back and reading how Jane meets Lord Harold Trowbridge is a great treat. The "dark angel" is the perfect man to match wits with Jane Austen. As one of my favorite characters in the series (how can he not be?), I can't wait until they meet again.

I like the way the book wraps up the loose ends as Jane Austen would have at the end of any of her novels. 'This person did so and so, this person married this one, etc.'

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Being a Jane Austen Mystery Reading Challenge 2011

In my email inbox this morning I found the Jane Austen Centre Newsletter for January, which is always filled with fun and wonderful things all about my favorite author, Jane Austen. This month there is a link to which details the Being a Jane Austen Mystery Reading Challenge 2011. The challenge is to read the Jane Austen Mysteries by Stephanie Barron. Lucky for me I have already read all of the ten published books and love them. I'm so excited that there is a new one coming out this year. These are the only other novels worthy enough in my eyes to be included on my Jane Austen shelf at home.

I will be entering the challenge at the Aficionada level, which is the challenge to read 9-11 of the novels and create a blog review of each. As much as I already love the series, it won't be difficult for me to read them all again. The difficult part for me will be the reviews. I'm not very good at expressing my thoughts on things, so I'm hoping this blog with help with that.

Stephanie Barron will also be posting her own thoughts and experiences on researching and writing the series on her blog: Stephanie Barron Books

The novels in the series and the order in which I will read them:
  • Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor (1996)
  • Jane and the Man of the Cloth (1997)
  • Jane and the Wandering Eye (1998)
  • Jane and the Genius of the Place (1999)
  • Jane and the Stillroom Maid (2000)
  • Jane and the Prisoner of Wool House (2001)
  • Jane and the Ghosts of Netley (2003)
  • Jane and His Lordship's Legacy (2005)
  • Jane and the Barque of Frailty (2006)
  • Jane and the Madness of Lord Byron (2010)
  • Jane and the Canterbury Tale (2011)

For more information about the challenge and prizes, please visit: Austenprose
For more information about the Jane Austen Mysteries series, please visit Stephanie's blog (above) or website: Stephanie Barron