Archive for January, 2012

Title page from the first edition of Jane Aust...

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I have finally finished reading “Sense and Sensibility” by Jane Austen, having spent the last 9 days trying to get through it.

I discovered that my mum has the complete collection of Jane Austen’s works so i decided, because i have only read “Pride and Prejudice” (and that was a while ago and i know it better from seeing the Keira Knightley film version), that i would attempt to read all her books, starting with “Sense and Sensibility”.

I wasn’t sure whether i could write a book review on Jane Austen’s works as it’s a classic and you can’t say much more about it that people don’t already know, so i thought i would just share my thoughts on reading it (a warning for those of you who haven’t read it, there are spoilers!):

1) I wanted to shake Marianne at times because she is just so young and foolish, and not refine and controlled like her sister Elinor.

2) Willoughby? What a plonker!

3) The whole Edward-is-engaged-to-one-woman-and-is-disowned-by-everyone-and-then-suddenly-is-no-longer-supposedly-married-to-her-and-is-now-free-to-marry-Elinor thing just seems a little ridiculous: i was convinced that Edward was off the market for good and that Elinor was going to end up alone or with someone else as it was only in the penultimate chapter that everything suddenly changed. It’s like Austen decided to give Elinor a second chance and killed off Edward’s seemingly concrete prior engagement to someone he seemed to love for someone he didn’t seem to love. Very confusing.

4) I thought Elinor would end up with Colonel Brandon, not her sister.

5) Having not read a novel with this sort of old-language and grammar for a good few years, it was difficult to get my head back into reading it, but it was oddly refreshing to read something so different to modern novels, proof of its status as a classic.

6) It makes you think just how different today’s society is to that in the book, with the women being all elegant, prim, and proper, and how the things they consider immoral are almost commonplace and widely acceptable in our own society. Maybe the world would be a better place if we had the threat of being disinherited and ostracised by the rest of society if we committed these “crimes”?

7) After literally forcing myself to read it (and having little else to do while my internet was playing up this afternoon), i am glad i can say i read it, but i doubt i would read it again because it really isn’t my thing at all!

That said, i’m still going to read the rest of Austen’s novels, although maybe not in quick succession as this one took so much effort to focus on it!

Can i give it a mark out of 10? Because its a classic, i can’t, although it is well written and it has some unexpected twists in the plot, it did my head in a bit because its not really my genre of book!

Everyone has books they want to read. I am no different.

Lately i’ve been more intrigued by books which suddenly seem to be getting more airtime, or that i’m interested in.

Examples of such books:

1) The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins- Everyone is going on about this series, and i hear there is to be a film as well, so i better get myself a copy of this series as soon as possible because it does sound pretty awesome!

2) The Etymologicon by Mark Forsyth – This seems to be big at the moment, and it’s about the English language too, which i did half my degree in and have always been interested in, so that should be a good read.

3) Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles) by Marissa Meyer – I’ve seen a few people talking about this on blogs and i’m curious about it. It sounds a little bit in the Twilight genre but nonetheless i want to see what’s like. (and not just because the author shares the same surname as me, as does Stephenie Meyer … we’re not related as  far as i know!)

4) The Book of Lost Souls (The Ivy MacTavish Novels) by Michelle Muto – Seen this appear on blogs and Twitter (and i actually follow the author on Twitter), so i downloaded it. Amazon had it on offer for free the other day so i downloaded it, but i haven’t started it yet as i’m trying to finish my current book first!

I use all sorts of things to bookmark my page in a book i’m reading, depending where i am.

On trains, when i have bought a new book before starting on a journey, i will use my train ticket, like this one which is now living in a book i started back in 2010 despite having finished it!:

Train ticket bookmark

In the days when i was away at university and came home for a weekend, i would start reading a book i had left at home and, having no bookmarks at home, would use a scrap of paper.

The books i used for my English Literature degree were very quickly filled with Post-it notes (and later on, ripped up Post-it notes when i started to run out!)

Post-It notes as book marks!

Kindle makes it easy by saving my page when i turn it off, so that when i turn on and click on the title i’m reading, it opens at the page i last finished on.

Upon sorting all my books out and re-arranging them into alphabetical order, i discovered that i have many books with bookmarks in them. These are books which i started on a weekend home from uni and didn’t finish reading and forgot to take back with me, or i started them but got bored partway through and started on something else.

Through my sort out, I discovered where all my bookmarks had disappeared to! I have collected a fair few over the years and was glad to rediscover them!

Examples of my bookmarks

I got this World Book Night 2012 bookmark at the WBN stand at the London Book Fair 2011, along with a load of their books!:

World Book Night 2012 bookmark

The following bookmark came with an order from a seller on Amazon (i believe it was for books!) back when i was at uni:

Pineapplefrog.co.uk bookmark

I picked up this Finnish literature bookmark from their stand while i was at the London Book Fair 2011, and it is my current bookmark! I like the reading Moomin on it!:

Finnish Literature Exchange (FILI) bookmark

I have this Readathon bookmark, which i think i got at school. Not sure i actually did the readathon or not, but it was a long time ago when i go this!:

Readathon bookmark

And finally, this cute cat bookmark was given to me by an old housemate!:

Cat bookmark

So there you go! A few of my many bookmarks!

Do you have any interesting bookmarks?