WWW Wednesdays

WWW Wednesdays—June 15, 2011

WWW WednesdaysTo play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

I am currently reading [amazon_link id=”1401302025″ target=”_blank” ]The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth: Popularity, Quirk Theory, and Why Outsiders Thrive After High School[/amazon_link] by Alexandra Robbins. It’s a really good read, and I think anyone who is a teacher or parent should probably read it for the insight it gives into how painful the teen years can be and what children that age are facing.

I know I said that I would read [amazon_link id=”0743482832″ target=”_blank” ]The Tempest[/amazon_link] next, but I am just not feeling up to it yet. I guess I want lighter fare as the summer begins. I will probably start [amazon_link id=”0345521307″ target=”_blank” ]The Paris Wife[/amazon_link] by Paula McLain next—perhaps not tonight, but tomorrow. It looks pretty good. It’s told from the point of view of Hadley Hemingway, Ernest Hemingway’s first wife.

I recently finished [amazon_link id=”1439191697″ target=”_blank” ]The Kitchen Daughter[/amazon_link] by Jael McHenry (review). Wonderful book! Highly recommended. I also finished [amazon_link id=”1594202885″ target=”_blank” ]A Jane Austen Education: How Six Novels Taught Me About Love, Friendship, and the Things That Really Matter[/amazon_link] by William Deresiewicz (review) since last week. Summer means more time to read!

A side note: I am really enjoying seeing my map fill up for the Where Are You Reading Challenge. I am beginning to have a little bit more diversity in terms of setting than I had a few months ago. You can view my map in progress (you can click on the map and drag it around):
View 2011 Where Are You Reading Challenge in a larger map

A Jane Austen Education, William Deresiewicz

[amazon_image id=”1594202885″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” class=”alignleft”]A Jane Austen Education: How Six Novels Taught Me About Love, Friendship, and the Things That Really Matter[/amazon_image]Part memoir, part literary criticism, William Deresiewicz’s book [amazon_link id=”1594202885″ target=”_blank” ]A Jane Austen Education: How Six Novels Taught Me About Love, Friendship, and the Things That Really Matter[/amazon_link] examines the life lessons Jane Austen’s six major novels had for the author, a former professor at Yale and literary critic. The book is organized around the six novels and different lessons each taught (along with a concluding chapter):

  • Emma Everyday Matters
  • Pride and Prejudice Growing Up
  • Northanger Abbey Learning to Learn
  • Mansfield Park Being Good
  • Persuasion True Friends
  • Sense and Sensibility Falling in Love

Until the very end of the book, I wasn’t sure whether I liked the author. He slowly reveals some of the problems he had and how he became the person he is today through his reading and application of Austen’s lessons. In the process, he is truthful about his character as it was being formed, warts and all. By the end of the book, however, the author emerges as a thoughtful, likeable, and worthy gentleman. His lessons are sometimes hard-won, and Deresiewicz does not stint at telling the truth, even at his own expense. His insights into Austen’s novels, particularly [amazon_link id=”0141439807″ target=”_blank” ]Mansfield Park[/amazon_link] and [amazon_link id=”0141040378″ target=”_blank” ]Sense and Sensibility[/amazon_link], made me think about Austen’s novels in new ways. If you are an Austen fan, Deresiewicz will help you see her novels in a new way, and if you aren’t one, he just might convert you. Most of all, he made me want to pick up Austen’s books again to see if I could see in them what he did. I can’t believe I missed some of this stuff. But that’s what good teachers do—they help you see what you missed.

[rating:4/5]

WWW Wednesdays

WWW Wednesdays—June 8, 2011

WWW WednesdaysTo play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

I am currently reading [amazon_link id=”1594202885″ target=”_blank” ]A Jane Austen Education: How Six Novels Taught Me About Love, Friendship, and the Things That Really Matter[/amazon_link] by William Deresiewicz. He has divided the chapters into life lessons he learned from each of the six major novels by novel title and lesson, and I am currently in the chapter about [amazon_link id=”193659451X” target=”_blank” ]Persuasion[/amazon_link], which might be my favorite Jane Austen book. I really love [amazon_link id=”1936594293″ target=”_blank” ]Pride And Prejudice[/amazon_link] and [amazon_link id=”0141040378″ target=”_blank” ]Sense and Sensibility[/amazon_link]. I’m not sure I like the author all that much. The book is part memoir, part literary criticism, and his descriptions of himself are quite candid.

I recently finished [amazon_link id=”B004R1Q9PI” target=”_blank” ]The Secret Diary of a Princess[/amazon_link] by Melanie Clegg. It is a novel about Marie Antoinette’s later childhood leading up to her marriage with the future Louis XVI—an interesting peek into the Viennese court.

I think the next thing I will read will be [amazon_link id=”1439191697″ target=”_blank” ]The Kitchen Daughter[/amazon_link] by Jael McHenry (my sidebar says I’m already reading it, but I haven’t really started it yet) and perhaps [amazon_link id=”0743482832″ target=”_blank” ]The Tempest[/amazon_link]. I do need to finally read [amazon_link id=”B0048EL84Q” target=”_blank” ]The Dream of Perpetual Motion[/amazon_link] by Dexter Palmer.

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays—June 7, 2011

Teaser TuesdaysTeaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teasers:

[amazon_image id=”1594202885″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” class=”alignleft”]A Jane Austen Education: How Six Novels Taught Me About Love, Friendship, and the Things That Really Matter[/amazon_image]“Her [Jane Austen’s] genius began with the recognition that such lives as hers were very eventful indeed—that every life is eventful, if only you know how to look at it. She did not think that her existence was quiet or trivial or boring; she thought it was delightful and enthralling, and she wanted us to see that our own are, too.”

—location 355 on [amazon_link id=”B002FQJT3Q” target=”_blank” ]Kindle[/amazon_link], [amazon_link id=”1594202885″ target=”_blank” ]A Jane Austen Education: How Six Novels Taught Me About Love, Friendship, and the Things That Really Matter[/amazon_link] by William Deresiewicz.

An answer to those who think Jane Austen writes about trivial matters that appeal only to women.

WWW Wednesdays

WWW Wednesdays—June 1, 2011

WWW WednesdaysTo play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

I am currently reading [amazon_link id=”B004R1Q9PI” target=”_blank” ]The Secret Diary of a Princess[/amazon_link] by Melanie Clegg and [amazon_link id=”1594202885″ target=”_blank” ]A Jane Austen Education: How Six Novels Taught Me About Love, Friendship, and the Things That Really Matter[/amazon_link] by William Deresiewicz. I am thoroughly enjoying Melanie Clegg’s book. Not far enough into the other yet to say, but I love Jane Austen.

I recently finished [amazon_link id=”039332902X” target=”_blank” ]The Story of Britain: From the Romans to the Present: A Narrative History[/amazon_link] by Rebecca Fraser. I was reading it for about six months! You can read my review of it here.

I think after I finish my next book, I might read [amazon_link id=”0743482832″ target=”_blank” ]The Tempest[/amazon_link] by William Shakespeare so that I can more thoroughly enjoy [amazon_link id=”B0048EL84Q” target=”_blank” ]The Dream of Perpetual Motion[/amazon_link] by Dexter Palmer. I am looking forward to trying my first steampunk novel.

Friday Finds

Friday Finds—April 29, 2011

Friday Finds

I heard about or discovered several books lately, but it’s hard to say for sure it was this week. Since this is my first week participating in Friday Finds, I might cheat a little and talk about older books I found.

Here are my finds (none of which I have read, but all of which I have already purchased with the intention of reading):

[amazon_image id=”B004R1Q9PI” link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]The Secret Diary of a Princess[/amazon_image] [amazon_image id=”1594202885″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]Jane Austen Education, A: How Six Novels Taught Me About Love, Friendship, and the Things That Really Matter[/amazon_image] [amazon_image id=”0553807226″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]The Peach Keeper: A Novel[/amazon_image]

What about you? Did you discover any books that look interesting this week?