The August 2017 book is: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
This pick ties in perfectly with #AusteninAugustRBR. I can’t possibly say enough good things about P&P. I first picked up Austen’s sparkling novel when I was eleven. Needless to say, I’ve been a proud Janeite ever since.
My August #6degrees chain includes: a book read by Austen, a Southern novel about friendship, a WWII book, funny novels written in diary form, and a Pride and Prejudice retelling.
This eighteenth-century novel is the perfect place to begin this chain. Jane Austen read and loved Fanny Burney’s works. She even got the idea for the title ‘Pride and Prejudice’ from a line at the end of Cecilia. Burney’s thick novel is a charming read that Janeites may love as much as their beloved author did herself.
A book by another Fannie (although with a different spelling) is Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe. This charming, Southern story focuses on female friendship in the 1930’s and 1980’s. I haven’t read this one, but I did enjoy the film adaptation.
My third book also includes a food item as part of its title. This epistolary novel-told in written correspondence-is set during and just after WWII. It is a heartbreakingly-beautiful book about a literary society on the island of Guernsey, and the hardships its members endured under Nazi occupation. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society celebrates the importance of literature, and the ways in which books can bring people together and provide solace in difficult times.
Keeping with the epistolary novel theme, is this comic 1930’s gem by the English writer E. M. Delafield. Her novel features the fictional diary of a lady/wife/mother/author living in the English countryside before WWII. This is a delightful read full of plenty of laugh-out-loud moments. I’ve never laughed so hard over flower bulbs before (or since) in my life.
Another funny novel written as a diary, is Helen Fielding’s popular Bridget Jones’s Diary. Famously, this book is inspired by Pride and Prejudice-and even includes its own swoon-worthy Mr. Darcy. Helen Fielding was also reportedly inspired by Diary of a Provincial Lady! And who can’t help but love reading about Bridget and her embarrassing but hilarious hijinks?
And finally, yet another modern Pride and Prejudice retelling. Set in Cincinnati, Eligible reimagines Liz as a magazine writer, Jane as a yoga instructor, and Mr. Darcy as a neurosurgeon. Sittenfeld’s version of P & P includes crossFit, a dating reality show, cell phones, and online shopping. I plan to read this fun novel as part of my Austen in August reading.
Have you read any of these books?