***Book ring*** The Jane Austen Book Club
14 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1
from not specified, not specified not specified on Friday, December 24, 2004
Vorige week heb ik "The Jane Austen Book club" gekocht, nadat ik de recensie in de New York Times had gelezen:
(met dank aan Twinfather; even gratis inschrijven en je kunt erbij.)
Ik kan niet wachten om erin te beginnen, straks in de kerstvakantie.
Wie heeft zin om mee te ringen? Je hoeft geen doorgewinterde Austen-fan te zijn om er plezier aan te beleven, wordt gezegd.
-violoncellix <--nu hier
Meer mederingers blijven welkom.
Journal Entry 2
from not specified, not specified not specified on Monday, January 03, 2005
I just devoured this book (on the jacket, Alice Sebold enthuses "If I could eat this novel, I would") - and this was very welcome at a time when I couldn't devour anything edible in the everyday sense.
The book follows a book club centered around Jane Austen's novels. In every chapter, one member hosts an evening about her/his favourite Austen book, and the focus of that chapter is on that person's life as well as on the book club meeting and the novel. The characters are very different and through Fowler's benign but honest look at them, I was quite drawn to them.
A great idea, and excellently done, with a lot of humour. There are many clever illusions to Austen's novels spread around, but I found the chapters linked to novels of which I don't remember much (such as Sense and Sensibility) just as moving as the ones linked to old favourites like Emma or Pride and Prejudice.
In the end, one of the main characters makes a beautiful present for another member of the book club: a ball to which one can ask a Big Question, tarot style, and draw Jane Austen's answer (say "South or North, I know a black cloud when I see it", or "A single woman, of good fortune, is always respectable", or "The mere habit of learning to love is the thing".) If I join the BX Sinterklaas surprise action next year, I have some vague idea what to do...
The Jane Austen Book Club arose from cellotapes bag this morning. 'Look what I got,' cellotape said. Ah, very nice! I've just finished all my bookrings.
The book looks lovely. Beautiful card! And what a beautiful handwriting, violoncellix!
From the first sentence this book is like a hot, sweet-scented bath (depending on the chapter the scent is tea rose, lemon, peach, something earthy, vanilla, lavender etc). I just sank into it and let the story wash over me. Very warm, very comforting. No complicated things, just a bit of lovely relaxation. The world doesn't exist outside the bath tub. After a while I started noticing things you notice in a bath you're in for over half an hour or so: the water is cooling, parts of my body sticking out of the water are getting cold, I want to move my limbs, but they are confined by the bath... When I have that feeling in a bath the trouble is I still have to get washed up. The Jane Austen Book Club got luke-warm before I finished it. For me it started to stretch at a certain point, probably there where the life stories took over completely from the booktalk. I wanted things from the story I didn't get. I got the feeling I missed out on a lot of things in the life stories because it is long ago that I read Austen. However, washing up was nice. The book is the right length. The ending is nice and open. It left a clean and relaxed feeling. I'm completely fit to paint the baby room now.
There are, however, two things I really missed. I like the beginning of the book with the descriptions of the different Austens and I missed the depth it suggested to me that would come into the bookdiscussions. The second thing is that the beginning suggests a storyteller, because of the "we"-perspective. But the book doesn't make clear who the storyteller is. I'm not sure why this bothers me, but I think it has to do with wanting to know how to interpret the stories told. When for example Prudie would have been the storyteller it would give a completely different interpretation of the book as a whole than when Bernadette would have been. I guess I miss a clear voice.
Oh, and there is a third thing I miss: I miss having a book club in real life.
I will give this book to Poweerhouse next sunday.
Oo, I've been looking forward to this one. I could only just restrain myself from buying it last week (in London). I bought 'The time travellers wife' instead, so if anyone of you listeners would be interested in that one I will start a ring. But now The Jane Austen BC first, yummie!
I will finally start reading this book within the next few minutes. Excuse me violoncellix, for keeping up the ring. I trust it won't be a slow read, for what I heard about it.
I'm a bit saddened, I guess I expected too much of this beautifully designed book. It's just not my thing. I'll bring it to fellow Culemborger Qimp, maybe this very afternoon (if she is in).
I found this book in the mailbox this morning. Thanks Powerhouse. It looks beautiful. I'll take it with me today as I will be spending close to four hours on the train! What a great way to start the weekend.
Althought this was a pleasant book to read, it didn't quite live up to my expectations. But then perhaps I should have read some of Austen's books before this one...
The characters were interesting enough, but somehow they remain distant from the reader. I think this is because the entire book is written from the 'we' perspective, without a first person narrator. At the beginning I thought she (or maybe he) would be revealed eventually, but it didn't happen. Or I missed it.
Still, there's plenty of nice things in the book, like the way the writer shows that often our reactions to other people are coloured by prejudice (women vs men, Austen lovers vs those who read science fiction). Sometimes this book made me laugh out loud.
Thanks for ringing this book violoncellix! I sent it to Digimike this afternoon. Enjoy!
The book arrived safely in Enschede. Thanks for sending it, Qimp, also for the nice postcard.
Het spijt me, ik kom gewoon niet door dit boek heen. Ik heb het heel vaak geprobeerd en ik ben nu halverwege, maar het trekt me gewoon niet. Ik ga het daarom niet verder lezen. Het is gewoon niet mijn soort boek. De karakters spreken me niet aan en de schrijfwijze al helemaal niet. Ik stuur dit boek ongelezen door naar EmEli. Violoncellix, desondanks bedankt voor het ringen.
Found it on the doormat this morning. :-)
I liked this book a lot. It encourages me to read Austen's books again (as if I don't have enough on my TBR-pile already... ;-)). I realized I have forgotten quite a lot of what happens in her books. I suppose a good knowledge of the content of Austen's book will make it easier to make the link with the life stories of the characters in 'The Jane Austen Book Club'.
Violoncellix, thank you for ringing this book, I enjoyed reading it. :-)
I will start reading it as soon as I finish my next book!
Bedankt voor het opsturen EmEli!
I was a bit disappointed by this book. I thought some of the storylines were a bit flat and unexciting. There was also less of a connection to the Jane Austin books than I thought there would be. It all seemed a bit unconnected to me. Also I did not sympathise with any of the main characters much (except maybe Bernadette).
I hope the next reader will enjoy it more!
just arrived. thank you, Mumtotwins!
I liked this novel, but it's not a book for a deep and lasting impression. It's a good summer read. I enjoy some parallels even when they are very general, e.g. :
She carried the letter about, reading and rereading, watching her feelings rearrange about it, sentence by sentence, like a kaleidoscope. The image is beautiful.
Well, reading all the entries I should say this is the perfect book for a Jane Austen fan who can't read more than upgraded chicklit on the moment...
Well, in fact it was not such a perfect book. To be honest, I found it a bit tedious and waffling. And, indeed, who was the secret member of the club who told the story? I missed the real Austen things, f.e. the fact that in one of her books she uses all the different names for coaches and carriages. It irritated me a bit that the bookclub merely spoke about liking or not liking Austen's main characters. Well, I didn't particularly like the main characters of the bookclub. Not one of them had something I thought 'sympa'. Good thing about the book: I ordered the dvd of the lovely television series of Sense and Sensibility (yes, the one with Colin Firth). And I go home to find my Austen novels to reread. This book goes to Janna2.
Got it from the postman today. It has to wait a liitle while, for there are other ringbooks waiting and you know: first in, first out.
Just a nice story, nothing more. I expected a lot more of this book. It is, however, a long time ago I read my Jane Austen novels, so maybe I missed a few links between real life and the books. What did the book to me?? I now want to reread the novels, as if I have not enough to read!
I will ask iiwi if I can send the book to him, otherwise it will go to Hellehond one of these days.
Thanks to Violoncellix for starting this ring.
In a few moments I'm going to the postoffice and will send this book on its way to Hellehond.
Er ging van alles mis met het versturen. Eerst kreeg ik het onbestelbaar terug, had 164 erop gezet i.p.v. 64. Daarna in de bubbeltjes-envelop, paste het niet door de brievenbus (in pakpapier wel!). Dus nu weer over-inpakken en opnieuw op weg!
Vandaag ontvangen. Dank, Janna2, voor de volharding bij het versturen en Violoncellix, voor het ringen.
I agree with Jann2: a nice story. Anyway, I enjoyed it. It rolled and rolled and I lived for a while with these women.
I'll send the book back to Violoncellix.
Journal Entry 26
from not specified, not specified not specified on Wednesday, November 23, 2005
...and the book club has returned for a meeting at my house again.
Interesting to read all your reviews. If I would reread the book now (but will not do so -- more than enough rings waiting already!), I might also have a bit different opinion than last year. It was just the perfect book to while away the time when being ill.
Journal Entry 27
from not specified, not specified not specified on Friday, December 16, 2005
...en het boek reist nog even door naar AnnevO en daarna naar Fifna.
Het boek ligt bij mij te wachten tot een ontmoeting met AnnevO heeft plaatsgevonden.
This book arrived at my door today, personally delivered by 1972Galadriel. Thanks! I will try to start in it quite soon.
I did like this book. I hadn't heard or read that much about it, so my expectations weren't that high. I must admit I've only read Pride and Predjudice and Persuasion, both over ten years ago, so most of Jane Austen is still new to me. Thus, for me, the characters in this book were mainly themselves and not that much like Jane's creations. I didn't like the "we" narrator that much, it made me feel there was a seventh person around. But overall, it was a pleasant read.
This book has made my mount TBR higher: I do have all Jane Austen books (yes, in one volume *shame on me*), and will try to (re)read them, starting with Northanger Abbey.
This book will be mailed to Fifna later today.
The book arrived in the mail today, thanks AnnevO!
I can't help it, I just loved this book. There was something about it that made it so easy to get right into, and before I knew it, I was at the end. It made me laugh out loud several times. OK, so it's not all deep and meaningful, but then it's not an academic essay on Austen.
Fowler's type of humour appeals to me, a little dry, with a dose of irony.
violoncellix, many thanks for sharing this book. I sent it on its way home to you today.
Journal Entry 33
from not specified, not specified not specified on Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Jane Austen is terug van haar tweede ringetje. Fijn dat je ervan genoten hebt, Fifna, en dank je voor je prachtige kaart met de Taj Mahal!