Several writers, including myself, explored this question in honor of Jane Austen's birthday yesterday. Head on over to My Jane Austen Book Club to check out our answers and to enter a HUGE giveaway.
Several writers, including myself, explored this question in honor of Jane Austen's birthday yesterday. Head on over to My Jane Austen Book Club to check out our answers and to enter a HUGE giveaway.
UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to the winner: Michelle of The True Book Addict! Thanks to everyone who entered, and happy holidays to all.
At this time of year, it is easy to get caught up in stress. At this time of year, it is easy to forget that this time of year is really all about love. To help me remember, I turn to my favorite books and films. They melt away my stress and affirm my faith in love.
During the holidays, what is your go-to book or film for affirming your faith in love?
Your answer could win you signed copies of both of my Austen Addict novels.
Leave your answer in the comments below.
Tweet your answer @austen_addict for an extra chance to win.
Here are just of a few of my go-to's for affirming my faith in love:
What are yours? Enter your answer below, tweet for another chance, and good luck!
(If anyone encounters a glitch while posting a comment, please contact me at laurieATjaneaustenaddict.com)
Can you believe it's that time again? The annual Holiday Readathon, hosted by WhoRuBlog, is all about celebrating the joy of reading and sharing that happiness with others. Plus there are tons of prizes you can win.
Sign up for the fun at WhoRublog. Be inspired. Answer the mini-challenges of participating guest authors and bloggers. I'll be participating and doing a giveaway, too, so stay tuned...
My first clue should have been the fact that "The Winslow Boy" was one of those films I never seem to tire of watching. Then again, so were many other Mamet films, e.g. "The Spanish Prisoner" and "Glengarry Glen Ross." (I remember shopping for a sofa once and bonding with the salesman over the latter, which we were almost compulsively quoting to one another).
I always just assumed what made "The Winslow Boy"stand out somehow was the period setting. But that wasn't true. I'd seen "Boston Marriage," after all. No, it was the way I felt at the end of it. Uplifted. I couldn't say that about "Glengarry Glen Ross," that's for sure.
There were many things about "the Winslow Boy" that I found uplifting. But the most intriguing aspect was the romance. Subtle, subtextual, but romance nonetheless. Between a reserved man of great power and a woman who has some very strong opinions against him.
Sound familiar? That's right, "Pride and Prejudice." It hit me tonight, after watching the film for perhaps the fifth time. There are other similarities between "The Winslow Boy" and "Pride and Prejudice," but I won't spoil it for you.
Do see it for yourself. It stars the incomparable Jeremy Northam (can we ever forget his Mr Knightley in the Douglas McGrath"Emma"?), Rebecca Pidgeon, Nigel Hawthorne, and Gemma Jones (she played Mrs Dashwood in the Ang Lee "Sense and Sensibility.")
"The Winslow Boy" is based on real events, adapted by David Mamet from the play by Terence Ratigan, and directed by Mamet as well.
What are your favorite Austen moments? Here are mine from the novels and the films. Enjoy my guest post, and enter the giveaway!
Whether you hate it or you love it, it's fun to read in a group of Austen-crazy folk! Go ahead, talk amongst yourselves, discuss!! And sign up at Austen in August headquarters.
There's another great social media site for book lovers, and it's called Riffle. One of the most delightful things about Riffle is the ability to create curated book lists of any kind, which you can share with other readers. Creating and reading these lists is delightful in and of itself, but even better is that it is an exciting way to discover new reads and share your enthusiasm for your own favorites.
Here is my very first list:
It's that time of year again: Austen in August! Giveaways, chats, best-of lists, read-alongs, movie-viewing parties, and more! It's like a two-week slumber party where it's all-Austen-all-the-time, and you don't even have to leave your computer.
Want to join the fun? Head on over to The Book Rat to see the official invitation. You can sign up now if you want to contribute a guest post, giveaway, or other fun stuff. Or you can just visit The Book Rat from August 18-31 for daily Austen activities and freebies. I'll be posting and giving away books, along with lots of other Austen lovers.
See you at Austen in August!
Been thinking about Shakespeare a lot lately, thanks to rewatching for the third or fourth time the entire three-season series "Slings and Arrows." If you have not seen it, make haste to Netflix or iTunes, because you are in for a treat.
Slings and Arrows is set in a fictional Canadian Shakespeare festival and is all about the alchemy of storytelling and theatre and the best and worst of human behavior. It's hilarious, touching, brilliantly written, and makes the language of Shakespeare, the subtext, the structure, all of it, come to life in a way I have never seen before. Here's a little taste:
Jane Austen (and all roads lead to Austen), whose deep and often comic insights into the highs and lows of human behavior led George Henry Lewes (and, according to him, Thomas Macaulay) to call her "a prose Shakespeare," clearly had an intimate knowledge of the Bard; even seemingly passing references to his works in her novels are fraught with subtext.
Consider Mrs. Dashwood's mentioning to Marianne that the family will defer finishing its reading of Hamlet till Willoughby's return, a return that will not come, and which will lead Marianne into an Ophelia-like attempt at self-destruction.
Or the teasing way in which Catherine Morland of Northanger Abbey is introduced as a girl of little learning but who has amassed a store of useful information from her reading. For example:...from Shakespeare she gained a great store of information - amongst the rest, that
---------"Trifles light as air,That
"Are, to the jealous, confirmation strong,
"As proofs of Holy Writ."
"The poor beetle, which we tread upon,And that a young woman in love always looks
"In corporal sufferance feels a pang as great
"As when a giant dies."
"like Patience on a monument
"Smiling at Grief."
Although Northanger Abbey is a comedy, none of these quotes is lightly chosen. Catherine will be both the object of jealousy and see her brother suffer from it, is deeply compassionate towards those who are suffering, and will be forced to find reserves of patience to endure the wait for the object of her own affections.
Did I ever say Northanger Abbey is Austen's most underrated novel?
From a beautiful piece in the Washington Post by Zofia Smardz:
"Well, that’s how it goes on a Jane Austen pilgrimage. You think, if I can only see where she lived and worked and danced and played, I’ll get inside her head. Capture her genius.
Hah. That’s not so easy, is it, old girl? After 200 years, there’s not that much to see. And you’re so good at hiding.
But it won’t stop me from looking for you."
I can relate. Which is why I'll be going back to keep looking, too. Do read the whole piece. It's really lovely.
Aside from their lovely post about this site and my Austen Addict books, The Daily Basics is "a lifestyle directory," a fabulous place to spend some quality time. Lots of tips and recommendations on books,
food, fashion, home, travel, good works, you name it, The Daily Basics has it all!
Musings of a Book Lover posted their Top Ten Books For Those Who Love Jane Austen. And Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict is on the list! Check it out for ten great book recommendations and more in the comments!
It's a list for people who have stuff like this:
Technorati Tags: Austen-inspired books, Austenesque books, Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict, Journeys of John and Julia, Musings of a Book Lover, Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict, The Bookworm blog
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Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict and Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict by me,
and The Journeys of John and Julia: Genesis (book one of a series) by Aurelia
Today's must-read: A fascinating piece by Alice Villaseñor in The Journal of Victorian Culture drawing textual and cinematic connections between two of my most favorite things, Jane Austen and Downton Abbey.
From a really wonderful interview in the Goodreads Young Adult Book Club with Aurelia Haslboeck, author of THE JOURNEYS OF JOHN AND JULIA: GENESIS (book 1 of the series):
The most difficult part for me [about writing] is having the discipline to sit down and do it. There is really nothing romantic about the process of writing itself.
I'd like to think that my characters all speak for themselves and I only take dictation.
Talk about getting yourself out of the way! Seriously the best advice ever. I am definitely going to remember this.
Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice . . . Timeless.
Get ready to celebrate the 200th anniversary of one of the most famous, beloved, and adapted novels in the English language at a new site dedicated to news about bicentenary events all over the world.
The holidays may be over, but you can just feel that January let-down in the air. The wonderful Esther Lombardi of About.com's Classic Literature blog has the cure: Reading. So read away all those expectations that weren't met, the wish to do it better next time, that pressure to make the resolutions stick. Read, read, and be happy!
It’s that time of year again, the Holiday Readathon hosted by Whorublog, from Dec. 7-9th and featuring lots of cool prizes!
But that would mean that your favorite characters are real. (And who said they aren’t? You did read the Velveteen Rabbit, didn’t you?)
Imagine how cool it would be to merge your world with theirs and have some serious friend time together…
So, tell me:
Which of your favorite characters would you love to have as a friend, and how would you spend your time together?
THE PRIZE PACK:
Two winners will receive this prize pack: a signed two-book set of my Austen Addict novels, CONFESSIONS OF A JANE AUSTEN ADDICT and RUDE AWAKENINGS OF A JANE AUSTEN ADDICT, PLUS a signed copy of JANE AUSTEN MADE ME DO IT, which includes my short story INTOLERABLE STUPIDITY, in which fictional characters are not only real, they will see you in court! :)
FOR MORE CHANCES TO WIN :
Tweet this post @austen_addict.
Share this post on Facebook and let me know.
Reblog this post.
AND DON'T FORGET TO SIGN UP FOR THE HOLIDAY READATHON FOR A CHANCE AT MORE PRIZES:
EVERYONE who signs up for the Holiday Readathon on Mr. Linky at Whorublog, no matter how much or how little they read, will be automatically entered to choose two signed books from BOOKS OF WONDER or a $40 gift certificate from THE BOOK DEPOSITORY, if out of the US.
#Readathon. Sunday night, Dec. 9th, from 9-10 PM EST.
Posted at 08:00 AM in Austen-inspired books, Blogs, Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict, Contests/giveaways, Jane Austen Made Me Do It, Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict | Permalink | Comments (29) | TrackBack (0)
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Make haste to Austenprose, answer some fun questions, and you could win one of three books by authors who contributed to the Austen-inspired anthology "Jane Austen Made Me Do It":
"The Darcy Connection" by Elizabeth Aston
"Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict" by Laurie Viera Rigler
"The Matters at Mansfield" by Carrie Bebris
Books will be shipped internationally. Contest ends 11:59 Pacific, Sept. 30, 2012. Enter at Austenprose!
By Corrie GoldmanThe Humanities at Stanford
Fascinating article. Seems that reading makes us smart. And reading Austen makes us smarter (I can take liberties with the findings if I want to.)
But what's really fascinating to this reader is that the folks conducting the study chose "Mansfield Park" for t their test subjects. "Mansfield Park," with which many Janeites have a love-hate relationship, and which has caused many a flame war on Austen forums.
Personally, I've grown to admire it, but I cannot help but wonder why they didn't choose a more popular read, such as "Pride and Prejudice" or "Persuasion."
Another thought: Has anyone ever tried to think, let alone read, for pleasure or study, inside an MRI? It's sort of like having a jackhammer next to your head. A jackhammer that laughs at noise-cancelling headphones and says, "As if."
2 winners will receive signed copies of both Austen Addict books, Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict and Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addictopen to US/CAN/UK Ends September 5thFill out the Rafflecopter to enter!Make sure to leave your answers to Laurie's quiz in the comments (or whether you answered mostly A/B)
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I just found my new favorite dessert! Thanks to Shelf Awareness for the link.
"The love for Jane Austen related entertainment may not always appear to be in vogue but as they say,it never dies,it only multiples. To that end,let us look at a few of the latest displays of Austenmania that possess a decidedly modern twist..."
The whole post is a must-read if you'd like to sample the latest treats in the Janeiverse, including The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, The Jane Austen Academy, The Jane Austen Guide to Life, the LOL Jane Austen is My Homegirl Rap, and a fab shout-out for our very own Sex and the Austen Girl.
Definitely satisfied this Austen addict. Thanks, Living Read Girl!!!
Technorati Tags: Jane Austen, Jane Austen Is My Homegirl, Jane Austen pop culture, Living Read Girl, Sex and the Austen Girl, The Jane Austen Academy, The Jane Austen Guide to Life, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries
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"The world of Regency romantic historical fiction has undergone quite a change in the last few years. While the traditional regency, which I consider that I write, continues to occupy (mainly in e-book form) a corner of the market, the large, sexy, duke-ridden romances have taken over the print market."--Lesley-Anne McCloud
Click the link above to read the whole post in The Regency World of Author Lesley-Anne McCloud, including a shout-out for CONFESSIONS OF A JANE AUSTEN ADDICT and RUDE AWAKENINGS OF A JANE AUSTEN ADDICT (thank you, Lesley-Anne!), and an intriguing list of reading recommendations.
[The Assembly Rooms in Bath, taken in 2002 (not 1802; I wish!)]
Posted at 08:32 PM in Austen Addiction, Austen-inspired books, Blogs, Books, Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict, Regency England, Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)
Technorati Tags: Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict, Laurie Viera Rigler, Lesley-Anne McCloud, Regency England, Regency fiction, Regency novel, Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict, time-travel fiction, time-travel novel
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Lately I've been looking through some of my posts tagged "Writing Life," and found a few favorites. Welcome reminders as I write my next two novels.
May these pieces help support you on your own writing journey!
It takes me about three minutes of cocktail party chat to sell The Jane Austen Guide to Happily Ever After as the perfect graduation present to any father of a young woman in her teens or early twenties. Why? Well, they're men, and they love their daughters. They know male psychology from the inside, and they're terrified that the young women they care about -- educated and polished, extraordinarily competent in so many ways -- will lose in the battle of the sexes. Not in education, or sports, or the world of work, but in the bedroom.
Good to see this in a prominent place. Echoes much of what I've been thinking for a long time about the relationship wisdom of Austen's novels. And gave me new things to think about:
For example, I would not have thought it an advantage that the large parties and lack of one-on-one contact of Austen's day was an advantage in getting to know a man. But Kantor brings up a very valid point: "Keep enough distance so you can see the guy in perspective...without getting so close that they became prematurely "attached."
My interpretation? Instead of falling into bed on the first or the fifth date, you get to see him in action at a large, public event, such as a picnic (Mr. Knightley at the Box Hill fiasco), or a dance (Mr. Knightley gallantly asking Harriet to dance), or at a party (Willoughby acting as if he hardly knows you and paying his attention to another woman).
Anyhow, THE JANE AUSTEN GUIDE TO HAPPILY EVER AFTER sounds great, and I'm happy that someone wrote it!
The author of THE PRIDE AND PREJUDICE MOVIE COOKBOOK sent me a copy, and though I haven't tried any of the recipes yet, it looks like so much fun that I just had to share.
Playfully riffing off text from the novel and scenes from the movie versions of Austen's most beloved novel --and adding teensy dashes of culinary history just for fun--author Anne Derry has concocted a host of P&P-inspired recipes that evoke the Regency but are nevertheless fashioned for a 21st-century palate.
Just to give you a taste:
There's The White Menu (in honor of the white soup need for the Netherfield ball).
There's an entire series of recipes with the key ingredient being Guinness stout, inspired by the banter between Lizzy and Darcy on whether poetry is indeed the food of love and Lizzie's declaring that it is only so if the love is "fine, stout, [and] healthy."
There's even a zombie cocktail. And of course as Charlotte was wanted about the mince pies, there's a recipe for that as well.
Bon appetit, and please don't invite Mr. Collins to dinner. You may just get stuck sitting next to him.
Talk about making the classics accessible. I defy anyone who has ever resisted Jane Austen to not want to crack open Pride and Prejudice after watching this.
Totally cute. Looking forward to episode 2!
From the producers of Sonic and Sensibility and Pizza and Prejudice comes the LOL parody of the latest period drama addiction sweeping the nation. If you haven't seen it, you're in for a treat. If you have, it gets even better with age. Unleash the dastardly drive-through duo! And break out the horsey sauce!
Reading for your book club and socializing with your group members is a lot of fun, but sometimes it can be tricky to find a book that no one has read yet and everyone will enjoy. Maybe you’ve already read The Help, The Lovely Bones, Water for Elephants, Cutting for Stone, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society . . . and you’re looking for books that go beyond the obvious picks (as much as we love those tried-and-true book club favorites).
Very proud to see one of my novels on a list with books by Haruki Murakami (reading his 1Q84 and completely entranced), Jonathan Tropper (loved his HOW TO TALK TO A WIDOWER), and many other excellent storytellers. I have just increased my to-be-read list considerably, thanks to Book Page.
Like millions on both sides of the pond, I've been glued to the entail*-that-launched-a-thousand-soap-opera-moments known as DOWNTON ABBEY. It's like having the same case of Stockholm Syndrome that all the downstairs folk (except maybe the evil Thomas) have.
No matter how badly the characters treat one another, no matter how silly they are, I care about them. I care about Lady Mary, despite her dissing Carson when he rightfully turns down a job with her nasty fiance. I love Anna, even though she feels guilty for not going to America with Lady Mary (hello! Your husband just had his sentence commmuted!) And I care about Lord Grantham even though he seems to be more loyal to his dog than to his wife.
And I adore Maggie Smith as the Dowager Countess.
I love this show so much that I just about turned a cartwheel when I realized my PBS app on my iPad can stream the show to my big flatscreen. Thank you, PBS Masterpiece. I'm definitely gonna buy the DVDs or download the whole thing from iTunes so I can watch it again. And again.
But no episode of DOWNTON ABBEY is complete without Sarah Ball's brilliantly funny weekly recaps of every episode in VANITY FAIR. It reminds me that I do have Stockholm Syndrome. And how ridiculously funny it all is. (Either that, or we are all collectively, certifiably mad.)
*Another example of an entail is to be found in PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. (See, there's always a connection to Jane Austen!)
It's that time of year again, when women feel like total losers for being single or wait for their men to pass or fail the big Valentine's Day test. Will he screw up and totally forget, buy a cheap trinket instead of the one thing he knows you want, or, even more stressful and high stakes, will he finally pop the question?
Could there be anything more insane than this holiday that's supposed to be all about love?
I was watching the GREY'S ANATOMY Valentine's Day episode today, and one of the characters was a florist who was so exhausted and stressed from the V-Day rush that he accidentally crashed his delivery van into the ER.
Almost dying in service to Valentine's Day madness was a big wake-up call to this florist, who said he would never stress himself out over this holiday again:
"People call you up you know, they ask you, make something beautiful. Yeah, so some sorry schlep can forget they've been treated like crap every day of the year…Like my flowers are magic or something. But I bought it. Nearly killed myself trying to make sure everyone got their little miracle. What a joke. People oughta just stop being so awful to each other, you know? Leave me out of it."
My biggest takeaway from that speech? "People oughta just stop being so awful to each other."
Not bad advice. If we were good to the people we supposedly love every day, we wouldn't have to prove our love on that one day of the year. We could be more like Jane Bennet of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, or Catherine Morland of NORTHANGER ABBEY, or Anne Elliot of PERSUASION. In Austen, kindness is always rewarded, and often with love. Could there be a better recipe for happiness than that?
[Gazing at photos of gorgeous actors playing Austen heroes can also be quite helpful.]
One thing's for sure. Feeling entitled to love, or a certain type of bouquet, or a necklace, or a diamond ring, is a sure recipe for misery.
Just ask that lady in GREY'S ANATOMY who was furious at her admittedly clueless boyfriend for once again giving her a velvet jewelry box on V-Day without a ring inside. I won't spoil it for you if you haven't seen it. It's worth watching.
And so is almost every Jane Austen adaptation ever made for the big or small screen. So if you don't expect to get that perfect bouquet, piece of jewelry, or declaration of love today, be kind. To others. To yourself. Fire up the Blu-ray or the Netflix queue and watch BRIDE AND PREJUDICE or the Colin Firth P&P or the Gwyneth Paltrow EMMA (just a few of my faves) or PERSUASION with Amanda Root and Ciaran Hinds. Even better, read PERSUASION (my favorite Austen novel) or PRIDE AND PREJUDICE or NORTHANGER ABBEY or, let's face it, any of the six. You'll feel much better, I promise.
Be happy. And wish yourself a very happy Valentine's Day.
Posted at 02:35 AM in Austen movies, Austen Wisdom, Emma, Film, Good Works, Jane Austen, Literature, Love and Marriage, Men, Northanger Abbey, Persuasion, Pride and Prejudice, Relationships, TV | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)
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It's always exciting to see one of my novels on a best-of list at this time of year. This year, CONFESSIONS OF A JANE AUSTEN ADDICT appears on Amused by Book's Favorite Books of 2011 list.
I love the scope and diversity of this list, which includes JANE EYRE and BOSSYPANTS. Who wouldn't want to be in the company of Charlotte Brontë AND Tina Fey?
(Can you just picture the cocktail party conversation?)
Thank you, Amused by Books.
Cannot wait to watch Downton Abbey, Series Two on PBS Masterpiece. Until then...enjoy, and happy new year, everyone!
And, just in case you missed part one:
We all like to escape into a good novel and enter the lives of our favorite characters, especially during the holiday season.
But did you ever wonder what your favorite characters read when they feel like entering another world? (There are no limits of time period.)
For example, in Book One of THE JOURNEYS OF JOHN AND JULIA, a brilliant new fantasy series by debut novelist Aurelia, one of the characters curls up with my novel RUDE AWAKENINGS OF A JANE AUSTEN ADDICT.
From this comes my 2011 Holiday Readathon challenge:
Choose a character from one of your favorite books, and ask yourself which novel he or she would turn to for the perfect getaway read. (Remember: Time period is no limit--let your imagination go wild.)
Post your answer to enter my Holiday Readathon Giveaway.
Two lucky winners will each win two novels: THE JOURNEYS OF JOHN AND JULIA IN CHAPTER ONE: GENESIS by Aurelia, and RUDE AWAKENINGS OF A JANE AUSTEN ADDICT by me.
THE JOURNEYS OF JOHN AND JULIA IN CHAPTER ONE: GENESIS is sure to become one of your absolute favorite novels. It is is a must-read, whether or not you win this giveaway.
Secretly guided by a magical collective of superbeings called The Twenty-Two, a pair of teens crack open the door to another reality—and unwittingly awaken the sleeping beast of their nemesis-to-be, the beyond evil Niem Vidalgo Oten.
“Cool new series…Anyone who is a fan of 'Heroes' will definitely enjoy Genesis.”—Tim Kring, creator of the NBC TV series "Heroes"
TO ENTER, YOU CAN:
Post your answer here in the form of a comment.
Post your answer on my Facebook page.
Post your answer on my Twitter feed with the hashtag #Readathon.
Post all three, and you'll have three chances to win THE JOURNEYS OF JOHN AND JULIA IN CHAPTER ONE: GENESIS and RUDE AWAKENINGS OF A JANE AUSTEN ADDICT.
This giveaway is open to the US, UK, and Europe. Ends Sunday, Dec. 4 at midnight PST.
Good luck, happy holidays, and don't forget to sign up for the Holiday Readathon at WhoRuBlog, aka Holiday Readathon Central!
Technorati Tags: Aurelia, Aurelia author, Holiday Readathon, Jane Austen, Jane Austen Addict, Laurie Viera Rigler, Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict, The Journeys of John and Julia, The Journeys of John and Julia in Chapter One: Genesis, The Journeys of John and Julia: Genesis
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