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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

POLL: #AustenInAugust Group Read!

As I mentioned in yesterday's Austen in August 2018 invite post, this year we're branching out for our Austen group read, and I need your help picking which book we should go with!
Below the poll, you'll find three choices that each bring something different to the table.
Read through the options and decide which is the best fit for this year's Austen in August, and which you'd most like to join in a discussion of!



This one's an obvious choice, since a "Jane Austen book club" is kinda what we'll be this summer.
Bonus: if we read this, the film adaptation can be this year's movie night.

A sublime comedy of contemporary manners, this is the novel Jane Austen might well have written had she lived in twenty-first- century California.
Nothing ever moves in a straight line in Karen Joy Fowler's fiction, and in her latest, the complex dance of modern love has never been so devious or so much fun.
Six Californians join to discuss Jane Austen's novels. Over the six months they meet, marriages are tested, affairs begin, unsuitable arrangements become suitable, and love happens. With her finely sighted eye for the frailties of human behavior and her finely tuned ear for the absurdities of social intercourse, Fowler has never been wittier nor her characters more appealing. The result is a delicious dissection of modern relationships.
Dedicated Austenites will delight in unearthing the echoes of Austen that run through the novel, but most readers will simply enjoy the vision and voice that, despite two centuries of separation, unite two great writers of brilliant social comedy.

SANDITON by Jane Austen and "Another Lady" (aka Marie Dobbs)
Though slightly harder to find than the other two (though it is available), this completion of Austen's unfinished novel is one of my personal favorites, and is the book that convinced me to keep going with JAFF (Jane Austen fan fiction)... and look where we are now.

Sanditon was Jane Austen's last novel, bequeathed unfinished to her niece. This is its completion, praised for its delicacy, wit and discretion.

When Charlotte Heywood, eldest daughter of a family of fourteen, is invited to stay with Mr. and Mrs. Parker of Sanditon, she accepts with alacrity, intrigued to visit the once quiet town being promoted by Mr. Parker as the newly fashionable resort for sea-bathing.

As a guest of the Parkers, Charlotte is introduced to the full range of Sanditon polite society, from Lady Denham to her impoverished ward Clara and from the feckless Sidney Parker to his hypochondriac sisters. A heroine whose clear-sighted common sense is often at war with romance, she cannot help observing around her both folly and romance in many guises, but can she herself resist the attractions of the heart?

This one's been on my shelves for awhile, and gives us a different look at Pride & Prejudice, so maybe this is the way to go?

• Pride and Prejudice was only half the story •

If Elizabeth Bennet had the washing of her own petticoats, Sarah often thought, she’d most likely be a sight more careful with them.

In this irresistibly imagined belowstairs answer to Pride and Prejudice, the servants take center stage. Sarah, the orphaned housemaid, spends her days scrubbing the laundry, polishing the floors, and emptying the chamber pots for the Bennet household. But there is just as much romance, heartbreak, and intrigue downstairs at Longbourn as there is upstairs. When a mysterious new footman arrives, the orderly realm of the servants’ hall threatens to be completely, perhaps irrevocably, upended.

Jo Baker dares to take us beyond the drawing rooms of Jane Austen’s classic—into the often overlooked domain of the stern housekeeper and the starry-eyed kitchen maid, into the gritty daily particulars faced by the lower classes in Regency England during the Napoleonic Wars—and, in doing so, creates a vivid, fascinating, fully realized world that is wholly her own.


  1. This is the first year I’m not in school during AIA so I’ll be excited to actually be able to join in! That said I have no idea which book to vote for 😂 they all sound good!

  2. Those are all great choices. I've only read Sanditon, but not that particular finished version.

  3. I have to catch up on my reading, but if I'm able to join in on this one, my vote is for Longbourn, which has also been sitting on my shelf for a while.

  4. They all sound fantastic. Any one would be great.

  5. Well, I have Longbourn in my TBR pile too, so I should choose that one. But I love that continuation of Sanditon so much that I will vote for that instead :)

  6. Longbourn has been on my list forever!


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