If you stop by this blog often, the fact that I’m a huge bookworm certainly isn’t news. Clearly, I’m passionate about the written word!
Since I started this blog in the spring of 2012, I’ve set annual Reading Challenges for myself. My goal: to break out of the bad habits I had picked up once I was out of school and not accountable to anyone for what I was reading.
There was way too much junk food in my literary diet (translation: I was reading a lot of romance, YA novels, and magazines) and I was starting to feel out of shape (translation: I would have been embarrassed if someone I knew caught me reading this stuff at Starbucks).
Last year, I met my goal of reading 13 novels in 2013 … but only just. (You can read about what happened here.) This year, I’m wondering if a little more structure might turn out to be the secret to my success, so I’m trying something different. This year I’m launching:
The Not-Just-Jane Project
My love of Jane Austen is well-documented around here, but it’s a bit one-sided. I re-read my beloved “Pride and Prejudice” every year, but I’ve never even cracked the spine on “Northanger Abbey”. And everything I know about “Emma” I learned from the movie “Clueless”. And, well, you get the idea. Tackling all six of Austen’s novels in 2014 felt like a good place to start this year’s challenge – but where to end it?
One cannot live on manners and matchmaking alone, after all; particularly if one is as plugged in to WordPress and Facebook and everything else on her laptop as a particular pocket-sized blogger may be. So I’m pairing each of Austen’s novels with a modern re-telling of the same story or theme, and aiming to finish all 12 books by the end of the year.
Here are the pairings I’ve picked out so far:
“Emma” and “Jane Fairfax” by Joan Aiken
“Sense & Sensibility” and “Sense & Sensibility” by Joanna Trollope
“Persuasion” and “For Darkness Shows the Stars” by Diana Peterfreund
“Northanger Abbey” and ???
“Pride & Prejudice” and ???
If you have any suggestions for those last two match ups, please let me know! I fear finding a partner for “Northanger Abbey” will haunt me for quite some time. (See what I did there?)
And remember, just because reading is a solo activity doesn’t mean I have to do this alone! You’re more than welcome to join me if you’d like – pull up a chair and let’s get reading!
How many books is too many books? Check out the Comments section of this post to join our chat and get some great reading recommendations of your own!