Monday, September 3, 2012

August in Review

My goal in August was to read all of Jane Austen's books which didn't quite happen. I read five books and four of them were Jane Austen.

1) Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
Rating- 5/5. I love Elenore even though she isn't Lizzie Bennet she is a great character that holds her own and takes care of everyone else in her life before herself. It might not be very romantic but she is a wonderful person and I found I could relate to her quite well. There are a lot of characters in this book to keep track of but most of them stay in the book for long periods of time so once they are there you can store them in your memory and keep moving. Marianne is quite a character as well. Even though she is love sick and obsessed she is also one of my favorites. Everyone knows what its like to be slighted and I think her case is extreme but it also makes her so much more interesting.

2) Northanger Abbey- Jane Austen
Rating 4/5- I liked this book but I had issues with it. I could get past the issues and give it a good rating but  the main character, Catherine, I found really annoying. She is constantly worried about everything she does. Compared to Sense and Sensibility and the strong lively characters in that book, Catherine and her friends are not as interesting. I though the romance was cute and light. Its not a bad story, in fact it is really easy to follow, it just doesn't feel as mature as some of Austen's other books. 

3) Irish Americans - Jay P. Dolen
Rating - 3/5 This book reads a lot like a textbook and I think it was set up to be one rather than a book that someone can pick up and read for pleasure. The book covers the history of the Irish in America extensively. Even though it is a extensive history, and there is a lot of history, I was bored. A lot of the information is repeated several times. It took me quite a long time to read this book. I had trouble really getting into it because it is dry. Even though the author obviously knows a lot about the subject the writing does not draw you into the book. If you are looking for a book to give you a lot of names and information this is the book that you need. It was easy to skim over the information while getting the idea which wasn’t what I wanted to do but the writing just wasn’t very exciting.

4) Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen 
Rating - 5/5 I love this book. I read it a couple of times when I was younger but I did not catch all the humor then. Everyone knows what happens in this story but I don't think everyone knows that there is a lot of humor and wit in this book! Even though I've read it before, I think I never took the time to think about the content or the historical setting. I caught a lot of the hidden meanings and I could empathize with the characters much more this time. It didn't hurt I had also been reading a lot in this style which gave helped me understand the writing as well.

5) Persuasion - Jane Austen 
Rating 5/5 -Persuasion is my favorite Jane Austen novel. This is mostly because I find Captain Wentwoth to be the best of the Austen men. I love him. His motivations and feelings are easy to follow and understand and even when he is resentful toward Anne there are moments when you can still feel his love for her. I love all the characters in this book and I think they are all easy to empathize with (even Lady Russel in my opinion.) Anne is quiet and reserved but she has also learned from the past and with each change of setting also grows and changes. I love this book and I can't wait to read it again.

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