The Year of Unfinished Books
Any of you who have been following me for a while will have realized that I clearly have issues with schedules. Even those that are self-imposed. 🙂
But one reason that I haven’t posted much recently, or at least with any type of schedule, is that I haven’t been reading much this year. Or finishing the books I start, anyway. I have started so many more than I finished it’s not even funny. It has definitely been a year of unfinished books. However, I did have a few books that have been standouts so far this year. I wanted to list some for you. Some of these have already been on here but some are new, so this is really just an update on what I have already posted previously. I may do another similar post at the end of the year but I think December will mostly be devoted to Christmas.
As I said I have a few stand-out books so I am just going to make you a little list here of some of my favorites from this year so far and what I am currently reading.
- Daughter of the Moon Goddess – Sue Lynn Tan
- Currently reading the sequel and conclusion of the Duology/series Heart of the Sun Warrior
- The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea – Axie Oh
- The Inheritance Games – Jennifer Lynn Barnes
- I have #2 and #3 in the series but haven’t finished them yet. (See what I wrote above about that. lol) The second book is The Hawthorn Legacy and the third is The Final Gambit.
- Strike the Zither – Joan He
- I really enjoyed this one and look forward to the sequel.
- Wild Sign – Patricia Briggs
- Alpha and Omega #6 – Patricia Briggs is one of my all-time favorite authors and I love these two series. A must-read.
Ok, I think that’s a good list. It doesn’t cover everything, by any means, but it has some of the favorites that I’ve had throughout the year so far. One other addition that I hope to start before the end of the year is North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell published in 1855. I have seen the mini-series a couple of times and really enjoyed it but never read the book. Of course, this can be said about many books but this is one that I have thought about reading for a while.
As I said earlier, I may do another short post later in the month but not unless there are some drastic changes between now and then. Maybe I will get my reading mojo back soon. I hope to have a couple of Christmas posts out this month and so, on that note, I will see everyone later! Thanks for reading! 🙂
Jane Austen: A Life in Books
Jane Austen is a much-loved author. This is a truth that is, as she would say, universally acknowledged. Jane began writing at a young age what would be called her Juvenilia. A compilation she eventually created of her early poems, stories, and plays written for her family. However, she eventually would turn her passion into published works.
Throughout her books, from Pride and Prejudice to Emma, Jane’s narrators offer a good deal of social commentary on the customs of the time. While there is an ongoing debate on whether her books are, in fact, romance novels or just social commentary, I believe that any book can be a multitude of things. Jane was writing, for the most part at least, about the social customs surrounding courtship and marriage. These rules were something that, although she never married herself, all young people would have been familiar with. And so, in reading her books, they would have also been familiar with the woes, heartbreaks, and joys in some cases that the characters go through in each of the books. The marriage plot was expected in books for them to sell. Romance novels were then and are still not exactly looked at in the best light. Usually by those who don’t read them.
By 1815, although Jane had never put her name in her books, she was slowly beginning to be known as their author. Jane enjoyed the fame as her books began to sell out multiple times over. One of her many fans was the Prince Regent who “suggested/ requested” a dedication in her next book. So in her next book, Emma, he got his dedication. Jane was “never, in fact, persuaded that His Highness actually read Emma or had any notion of her “exquisite touch.” Her final finished book was Persuasion (although she did revise Northanger Abbey at this time, too). It was somewhat different from her other books; an older female character than usual and the storyline didn’t follow her normal patterns either. She seemed to be revising her style somewhat but she was also beginning to have failing health at this time. She had started working on Sanditon but it was left unfinished when she died. Persuasion and Northanger Abbey were published after her death.
“Her legacy is not a piece of reportage from the society of a particular past, but a wise and compelling exploration of human nature.” Jane Austen’s books are still read today and her characters are vibrant creatures that are just as interesting today as when she first wrote them. It may take a little more for us to understand today when we read them than it did for contemporary readers who would have been familiar with what she was writing about.
A note to readers: I plan to have more in this later but probably after the new year. if you read the next post you will see partially why this post has had such a delay. Thanks for reading! 🙂
- Jane Austen: A Life – Carol Shields – pages 164-166, 182
- Complete Works of Jane Austen, Books and Juvenilia – https://www.janeausten.org/jane-austen-books.php
- The real reason Jane Austen wrote about romance | Pride & Prejudice analysis & Regency women writers – Ellie Dashwood youtube channel – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QcofuBK58sQ
a little quote…
- The Daily Jane Austen: A Year of Quotes, edited and with a Foreword by Devoney Looser – quote of December 4 – page 180
Top Favorite Reads of 2021 and 2022 Current TBR List
My favorite books of 2021 could probably keep us here all day. However, I’m going to narrow it down to just a few. Most of these deviate from the historical areas that the blog usually leans towards but some are what I will call “history adjacent”. 😄 Some may be repeats to the blog or to you. I hope there are a couple of good suggestions for your shelves.
#1. The Pocket: A Hidden History of Women’s Lives by Barbara Burman and Ariadne Fennetaux
This was a fun book looking back at the history of pockets in women’s clothing and the journey that we have taken together. It was a little trip through time looking at clothing and how it has changed. I have two separate blog posts referencing this book so you can go back if you have time and see some of my thoughts. (Please see the links here.)
#2. Wild Sign: An Alpha and Omega Novel book 6 by Patricia Briggs
This is just a continuation of one of my favorite series. There are two separate but intertwined series and this is book six of the “spin-off” series. The original series that goes along with this (see the timeline on the author’s website for guidance) is the Mercy Thompson series. Coyote Mercy (full name Mercedes) went to school to be a history teacher and decided it wasn’t for her and became a Volkswagen mechanic. These books are full of supernatural friends, usually saving the day from some disaster or other. I would suggest starting at the beginning with these as the stories all intertwine with each other. But if you don’t, you can always go back.
In Wild Sign, Charles and Anna, the two main characters go to investigate when they find out that everyone in a remote mountain village has disappeared. Happy reading. 😊
#3-5 The All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness – A Discovery of Witches, Shadow of Night, and The Book of Life
These three books follow the journey of Diana Bishop, a witch, and Matthew Clairmont, a vampire. They meet in a library. They time walk to the time of Elizabeth and back. They search for the truth of the Book of Life, the thing that brought them together to start with. These books have a lot packed in them from scholarly research, murder, and of course, there is the magical world of the witches, vampires, and daemons living in secret and just trying to stay alive.
Alright, time for the 2022 Current TBR List
#1. Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan
A book 1 of 2 of the Celestial Kingdom Duology – a journey through legends and follows, as the title would suggest, the daughter of the Moon Goddess as she goes on a quest to free her mother.
#2. Elizabeth & Margaret: the Intimate World of the Windsor Sisters by Andrew Morton
#3. Eleanor by David Michaels
#4. ‘Tis Herself by Maureen O’Hara with John Nicoletti
This list will probably be much longer here shortly as new books are always coming out. Some of these may make a return to the blog, so stay tuned!
More history content coming soon! Happy reading! 🙂