Category: BookTube

Jane Austen July

Jane Austen July is a month-long readathon hosted by Katie from Books and Things and Marissa from Blatantly Bookish, all about reading Jane Austen and related works. 

The Challenges

1. Read one of Jane Austen’s six novels 
2. Read something by Jane Austen that is not one of her main six novels 
3. Read a non-fiction work about Jane Austen or her time 
4. Read a retelling of a Jane Austen book 
5. Read a book by a contemporary of Jane Austen 
6. Watch a direct screen adaptation of a Jane Austen book
7. Watch a modern screen adaptation of a Jane Austen book

Readalongs

Sense and Sensibility: 1st-14th July 
Northanger Abbey: 15th-28th July

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I am so excited for this readathon! My plan is to focus on Pride and Prejudice since this will be my first reading of it. I will watch one of the adaptations and read some retellings of it as well. Very excited for a month of Mr Darcy!

I may join in the readalong of Northanger Abbey since I have it and it’s a pretty short book.

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Reading Plan

🌺 One of Jane Austen’s Six Novels

Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice, which opens with one of the most famous sentences in English Literature, is an ironic novel of manners. In it the garrulous and empty-headed Mrs Bennet has only one aim – that of finding a good match for each of her five daughters. In this she is mocked by her cynical and indolent husband.

With its wit, its social precision and, above all, its irresistible heroine, Pride and Prejudice has proved one of the most enduringly popular novels in the English language.

🌺 Something by Jane Austen That is Not a Novel

For this one I’m thinking of reading some of her letters to her sister Cassandra. There are a bunch of them on this website.

🌺 Non-Fiction Work

Jane Austen at Home by Lucy Worsley

Jane Austen at Home

On the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s death, historian Lucy Worsley leads us into the rooms from which our best-loved novelist quietly changed the world.

This new telling of the story of Jane’s life shows us how and why she lived as she did, examining the places and spaces that mattered to her. It wasn’t all country houses and ballrooms, but a life that was often a painful struggle. Jane famously lived a ‘life without incident’, but with new research and insights, Lucy Worsley reveals a passionate woman who fought for her freedom. A woman who far from being a lonely spinster, in fact, had at least five marriage prospects, but who in the end refused to settle for anything less than Mr Darcy.

🌺 Retelling

Unequal Affections by Lara S. Ormiston

Unequal Affections: A Pride and Prejudice Retelling

When Elizabeth Bennet first knew Mr. Darcy, she despised him and was sure he felt the same. Angered by his pride and reserve, influenced by the lies of the charming Mr. Wickham, she never troubled herself to believe he was anything other than the worst of men—until, one day, he unexpectedly proposed.

Mr. Darcy’s passionate avowal of love causes Elizabeth to reevaluate everything she thought she knew about him. What she knows is that he is rich, handsome, clever, and very much in love with her. She, on the other hand, is poor, and can expect a future of increasing poverty if she does not marry. The incentives for her to accept him are strong, but she is honest enough to tell him that she does not return his affections. He says he can accept that—but will either of them ever be truly happy in a relationship of unequal affection?

Diverging from Jane Austen’s classic novel Pride and Prejudice at the proposal in the Hunsford parsonage, this story explores the kind of man Darcy is, even before his “proper humbling,” and how such a man, so full of pride, so much in love, might have behaved had Elizabeth chosen to accept his original proposal.

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🌺 Contemporary

Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld

Eligible (The Austen Project, #4)

This version of the Bennet family and Mr. Darcy is one that you have and haven’t met before: Liz is a magazine writer in her late thirties who, like her yoga instructor older sister, Jane, lives in New York City. When their father has a health scare, they return to their childhood home in Cincinnati to help and discover that the sprawling Tudor they grew up in is crumbling and the family is in disarray. 

Youngest sisters Kitty and Lydia are too busy with their CrossFit workouts and Paleo diets to get jobs. Mary, the middle sister, is earning her third online master’s degree and barely leaves her room, except for those mysterious Tuesday-night outings she won’t discuss. And Mrs. Bennet has one thing on her mind: how to marry off her daughters, especially as Jane’s fortieth birthday fast approaches. 

Enter Chip Bingley, a handsome new-in-town doctor who recently appeared on the juggernaut reality TV dating show Eligible. At a Fourth of July barbecue, Chip takes an immediate interest in Jane, but Chip’s friend, neurosurgeon Fitzwilliam Darcy, reveals himself to Liz to be much less charming. . . . And yet, first impressions can be deceiving.

🌺 Direct Screen Adaptation

For this I will watch either the 2005 movie of Pride and Prejudice with Kiera Knightly or the BBC mini series with Colin Firth. I might even watch both… It would be fun to watch Mr Firth as the original Mr Darcy since I plan on watching Bridget Jones’s Diary for my modern adaptation.

🌺 Modern Screen Adaptation

Sticking with the Pride and Prejudice theme and watching Bridget Jones’s Diary. It’s such a fun movie! I’m not a fan of any of the sequels sadly.

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What’s your favourite Jane Austen adaptation?

Smutathon Vlog

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Smutathon is a week-long readathon hosted by Riley Marie and Ginger Reads Lainey running from Monday, June 3rd to Monday, June 10th. I didn’t find out about this readathon until Tuesday so I just jumped right in.

Reading Plan

Usually the most I would read in a week is about two books, three at a push. So I picked out a few that I’d like to read and then just went with what I felt like at the time.

I was already reading The Kiss Quotient prior to the readathon so I’m not really counting that but I did finish it during Smutathon and it is the perfect book for this type of readathon. I ended up reading two books for the readathon which I’m pretty with 🙂

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Fate’s Edge by Ilona Andrews

Audrey Callahan left behind her life in the Edge, and she’s determined to stay on the straight and narrow. But when her brother gets into hot water, the former thief takes on one last heist and finds herself matching wits with a jack of all trades… 

Kaldar Mar-a gambler, lawyer, thief, and spy-expects his latest assignment tracking down a stolen item to be a piece of cake, until Audrey shows up. But when the item falls into the hands of a lethal criminal, Kaldar realizes that in order to finish the job, he’s going to need Audrey’s help…

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

A heartwarming and refreshing debut novel that proves one thing: there’s not enough data in the world to predict what will make your heart tick.

Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases — a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.

It doesn’t help that Stella has Asperger’s and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice — with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can’t afford to turn down Stella’s offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan — from foreplay to more-than-missionary position…

Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but to crave all the other things he’s making her feel. Soon, their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic…

The Kiss Quotient is available on Kindle Unlimited

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The Ice Princess by Elizabeth Hoyt

SEVEN NIGHTS OF SIN 
As the madam of Aphrodite’s Grotto, the most infamous brothel in London, Coral Smythe knows everything possible about men’s needs and desires. Yet she’s never experienced the love of a single man-not even that of Captain Isaac Wargate whose hawk-like eyes stare at her with both condemnation…and lust.

SEVEN NIGHTS OF ECSTASY 
Captain Wargate heartily disapproves of the sensuous madam who always wears a golden mask. She lures his officers from both his ship and their duty. But when Coral herself is offered up as the prize in a game of chance, Wargate impulsively enters…and wins.

SEVEN NIGHTS OF LOVE 
Now the puritanical navy captain has just seven nights to learn everything he can about the mysterious madam and what she knows of a man’s desires. But when Coral is threatened by the new owner of Aphrodite’s Grotto, will Wargate take a chance on the woman beneath the mask…and on love?

Summerathon TBR 2019

I am so happy it is summer! Time to lounge outside in the sunshine with a book, lots of sunscreen, and an ice cold drink. Heaven.

Summerathon runs from June 21-27 and is hosted on YouTube by Melanie, Jen, Heather, Aimee, and Amy.

–The Challenges–

  • 1: Read a “beachy” read
  • 2: Read a book with sunrise colors on the cover
  • 3: Read a book featuring a road trip/traveling or summer vacation
  • 4: Read a book set in summer
  • 5: Read a book with food on the cover
  • 6: Drink your favorite summery drink while reading

The readathon is only a week long so I will probably only get one book maybe two read but I’m going to pick out a book for each challenge and then I will just read whichever one I feel like. Some of them will actually work for more than one challenge.

🌅 Beachy Read

NetGalley has a tonne of beachy reads at the moment so I might request one of those. I’ve never really read what I would consider to be a beachy book before so I’m interested to try one. If I don’t get a book from NetGalley I will read a cosy mystery by Charlaine Harris. I think that genre is perfect for taking it easy while reading but is still interesting enough to keep you reading.

Shakespeare’s Landlord (Lily Bard #1) by Charlaine Harris

Shakespeare's Landlord (Lily Bard, #1)

Welcome to Shakespeare, Arkansas. Lily Bard came to the small town of Shakespeare to escape her dark and violent past. Other than the day-to-day workings of her cleaning and errand-running service, she pays little attention to the town around her. So when she spots a dead body being dumped in the town green, she’s inclined to stay well away. But she was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and despite her best efforts, she’s dragged into the murder case. Lily doesn’t care who did it, but when the police and local community start pointing fingers in her direction, she realizes that proving her innocence will depend on finding the real killer in quiet, secretive Shakespeare.

🌅 Sunrise Colours on the Cover

Riveted (Iron Seas #3) by Meljean Brook

Riveted (Iron Seas, #3)

A century after a devastating volcanic eruption forced Iceland’s inhabitants to abandon its shores, the island has become enshrouded in legend. Fishermen tell tales of giant trolls guarding the land and of seductive witches who steal men’s hearts. But the truth behind the legends is mechanical, not magic—and the mystery of the island a matter of life and death for a community of women who once spilled noble blood to secure their freedom.

Five years ago, Annika unwittingly endangered that secret, but her sister Källa took the blame and was exiled. Now Annika serves on the airship Phatéon, flying from port to port in search of her sister and longing to return home . . . but that home is threatened when expedition leader David Kentewess comes aboard.

Determined to solve the mystery of his own origin, David will stop at nothing to expose Annika’s secrets. But when disaster strikes, leaving David and Annika stranded on a glacier and pursued by a madman, their very survival depends on keeping the heat rising between them—and generating lots of steam . . .

🌅 Traveling/ Summer Vacation

One of those summery/beachy reads on NetGalley would probably suit this one too. If now I might read The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough which begins with a family traveling to Australia.

The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough

The Thorn Birds

The Thorn Birds is a robust, romantic saga of a singular family, the Clearys. It begins in the early part of this century, when Paddy Cleary moves his wife, Fiona, and their seven children to Drogheda, the vast Australian sheep station owned by his autocratic and childless older sister; and it ends more than half a century later, when the only survivor of the third generation, the brilliant actress Justine O’Neill, sets a course of life and love halfway around the world from her roots.

The central figures in this enthralling story are the indomitable Meggie, the only Cleary daughter, and the one man she truly loves, the stunningly handsome and ambitious priest Ralph de Bricassart. Ralph’s course moves him a long way indeed, from a remote Outback parish to the halls of the Vatican; and Meggie’s except for a brief and miserable marriage elsewhere, is fixed to the Drogheda that is part of her bones – but distance does not dim their feelings though it shapes their lives.

Wonderful characters people this book; strong and gentle, Paddy, hiding a private memory; dutiful Fiona, holding back love because it once betrayed her, violent, tormented Frank, and the other hardworking Cleary sons who give the boundless lands of Drogheda the energy and devotion most men save for women; Meggie; Ralph; and Meggie’s children, Justine and Dane. And the land itself; stark, relentless in its demands, brilliant in its flowering, prey to gigantic cycles of drought and flood, rich when nature is bountiful, surreal like no other place on earth.

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🌅 Summer Setting

I have no idea what seasons my books are set! I had to look up a Goodreads list for some ideas for this. The only book I currently own and have yet to read from the list is Atonement by Ian McEwan.

Atonement by Ian McEwan

Atonement

Ian McEwan’s symphonic novel of love and war, childhood and class, guilt and forgiveness provides all the satisfaction of a brilliant narrative and the provocation we have come to expect from this master of English prose.

On a hot summer day in 1935, thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis witnesses the flirtation between her older sister, Cecilia, and Robbie Turner, the son of a servant. But Briony’s incomplete grasp of adult motives and her precocious imagination bring about a crime that will change all their lives, a crime whose repercussions Atonement follows through the chaos and carnage of World War II and into the close of the twentieth century.

🌅 Food on the Cover

I could only think of cosy mysteries for this one! Why is it that cosy mysteries often have food on the cover???

Tea, Tiramisu, and Tough Guys by Harper Lin

Tea, Tiramisu, and Tough Guys (Cape Bay Cafe Mystery, #2)

When Francesca’s old high school crush, Todd, is accused of murder, she is convinced he is innocent. The police don’t believe Todd’s story, and neither does Matty. 

During the busy summer tourist season at Cape Bay, Francesca sets out to prove Todd’s innocence. Matty, however, investigates to prove Todd is guilty. Why does Matty detest Todd so much? But what if he’s right—what if Todd is a murderer? 

Includes two special recipes! This is Book 2 in The Cape Bay Cafe Mysteries. The books don’t have to be read in order.

🍹 My Favourite Summer Drink

My favourite drink to have in summer is definitely prosecco. Although, to be fair, I drink it for all seasons 😉 One of my favourite ways to have it during the summer is with a dash of elderflower cordial. If you have some gin and mint you could throw those in too to make a hugo cocktail. Perfect refreshing drink for summer.

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Synopsis and book covers from Goodreads

What’s your favourite summer drink?

Weekend Reading Vlog

One weekend each month my Goodreads group has a four-day readathon where we set a personal reading goal. I usually go for about 300 pages but I decided to challenge myself a bit this month and go for 600 pages.

Books

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare
Real Murders by Charlaine Harris
A Bone to Pick by Charlaine Harris
Three Bedrooms, One Corpse by Charlaine Harris

24 Hours of Reading

I was trying to decide what book to read next when I noticed I have a nice collection of books under 200 pages so I decided to have an impromptu readathon. I didn’t realise that reading for 24 hours in 48 hours is already a thing but that’s what I decided to try here.
I was very tired at the end of attempting this but it was a lot of fun and really helped me catch up with my reading goal.

The Books

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby

THE GREAT GATSBY, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s third book, stands as the supreme achievement of his career. This exemplary novel of the Jazz Age has been acclaimed by generations of readers. The story is of the fabulously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his new love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan, of lavish parties on Long Island at a time when The New York Times noted “gin was the national drink and sex the national obsession,” it is an exquisitely crafted tale of America in the 1920s.

The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter

The Bloody Chamber

Angela Carter was a storytelling sorceress, the literary godmother of such contemporary masters of supernatural fiction as Neil Gaiman, David Mitchell, Audrey Niffenegger, J. K. Rowling, and Kelly Link, who introduces this edition of Carter’s most celebrated book, published for the seventy-fifth anniversary of her birth.

In The Bloody Chamber – which includes the story that is the basis of Neil Jordan’s 1984 movie The Company of Wolves – Carter spins subversively dark and sensual versions of familiar fairy tales and legends like “Little Red Riding Hood,” “Bluebeard,” “Puss in Boots,” and “Beauty and the Beast,” giving them exhilarating new life in a style steeped in the romantic trappings of the gothic tradition.

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The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

The Notebook (The Notebook, #1)

How far can love endure?

Noah Calhoun has just returned from World War Two. Attempting to escape the ghosts of battle, he tries to concentrate on restoring an old plantation home to its former glory. And yet he is haunted by images of the beautiful girl he met there fourteen years before, a girl who captured his heart like no other.

But when these distant memories begin to slide into reality, the passion that had lain still is ignited once more. Though so much is in their way, the miraculous force of their love refuses to fade.

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

Northanger Abbey

‘Northanger Abbey’ tells the story of a young girl, Catherine Morland who leaves her sheltered, rural home to enter the busy, sophisticated world of Bath in the late 1790s. Austen observes with insight and humour the interaction between Catherine and the various characters whom she meets there, and tracks her growing understanding of the world about her.

In this, her first full-length novel, Austen also fixes her sharp, ironic gaze on other kinds of contemporary novel, especially the Gothic school made famous by Ann Radcliffe. Catherine’s reading becomes intertwined with her social and romantic adventures, adding to the uncertainties and embarrassments she must undergo before finding happiness.

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne Elaine Howlin Literary Blog

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Scarlet Letter

This is a troubling story of crime, sin, guilt, punishment and expiation, set in the rigid moral climate of 17th-century New England. The young mother of an illegitimate child confronts her Puritan judges.

However, it is not so much her harsh sentence, but the cruelties of slowly exposed guilt as her lover is revealed, that hold the reader enthralled all the way to the book’s poignant climax.

The Girls of Slender Means by Muriel Spark

The Girls Of Slender Means

Like the May of Teck Club itself, “three times window shattered since 1940 but never directly hit,” the young women of London after WWII do their best to act as if the world were back to normal: practicing elocution, jostling over suitors and a single Schiaparelli gown. Chosen by Anthony Burgess as one of the Best Modern Novels in the Sunday Times of London, The Girls of Slender Means is a taut and eerily perfect novel by an author The New York Times has called “one of this century’s finest creators of comic-metaphysical entertainment.”

Venus in Furs by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch

Venus in Furs

Severin von Kusiemski is obsessed with the Greek goddess of love, and is consumed by the desire to be dominated. When he meets his voluptuous neighbour, Wanda von Dunajew, he is enthralled, and convinces her to enter into a contract: she is to be his Mistress, he will be her slave. So they travel from the harsh Carpathian slopes to verdant Italy, where Severin’s once-reluctant Mistress embraces her power with an icy fervour, testing her slave’s devotion to breaking point. This otherworldly study of dominance, lust and submission broke new ground in literature and continues to challenge our conventions of love and sexuality.

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