Are you easily persuaded? That should give you a hint of one of the books on my bookshelf this month.
Another month has flown and again, it is time for What’s On Your Bookshelf? Over the last month, I’ve been busy and that has eaten into time spent enjoying one of my pleasures in life – reading – and I’ve missed it!
Life has been hectic and a bit of a roller coaster ride personally. I’ve wanted to escape into books which is where I usually go when I’m stressed, however, as I mentioned above I’ve not been able to escape as often as I wanted too.
So what have I been reading (when time permits)?
We have finished our adventures with the Brontë Sisters and are now reading the works of Jane Austen. Persuasion was our first choice although it was actually the last completed novel written by Jane (yes I’m on first-name basis) in August 1816 and published by her brother after her death in 1817 at the age of 41. I am interested to see how her earlier works will compare to this last book she wrote. I haven’t read all of her works so I’m looking forward to this next chapter (oh that’s a pun!) in our Online Book Club reading.
If you’ve read the book, did you know there was an alternative ending?
Do you know how many times the word ‘Persuasian’ occurs in the book? On the surface readers can see how Anne Elliot was persuaded not to marry Captain Wentworth, however there are many examples of how other characters in the book ‘persuade’ or are ‘persuaded’. You can read all the incidences here in this article I found: https://www.pemberley.com/janeinfo/persuasn.html
Again, we see a woman author who wrote anonymously so she could have her books published. If you recall, the Brontë sisters used pseudonyms when they first started writing, because society would not have entertained books written by a woman! Thankfully times have changed.
I enjoy Jane’s writing (I rated Persuasian 5 stars) and Persuasion has many themes –
Status & Social class – Birth and also how moving through the ranks such as Captain Wentworth can bring wealth and social standing. The social climbers such as Mr Elliot and Mrs Clay, the snobbery of Sir Walter and Anne’s sister Elizabeth.
Marriage – the heady impulses of youth compared to love in later stages of life ‘second spring’. Austen affirms the more mature marriage of compatability and mutual appreciation is superior to one based merely on passion. We see this not only in Anne and Captain Wentworth’s but also in the marriage of Admiral & Mrs Croft who appear to actually like and love each other!
Gender Inequality – marriage was really the only viable option for women
Persuasian – whether it is wise to be influenced by others to to remain fixed on our own convictions and impulses – Anne experiences both.
Our Bookclub has taught me not only to read the books, but to explore the author and learn more about them as it adds a further dimension to understanding their works. Here are some suggested readings for Jane Austen (although some might have spolier alerts for her books you haven’t read).
The Little Book of Mindfulness
This little gem is part of a series written by Dr Patrizia Collard. The Little Book of Mindfulness – 10 minutes a day to Less stress, more Peace was just what I needed in my life. It also fits nicely with my WOTY (Word of the Year) ‘BE’ and contains simple daily practices of 5 – 10 minutes which helps us to let go of the anxiety, procrastination and stress which prevents us from living a healthy and happy lifestyle.
I also purchased The Little Book of Meditation which I will work through after I finish the Mindfulness practices.
I wasn’t sure how I felt about Miss Benson’s Beetle by Rachel Joyce and The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley. I think they are the type of books where I needed to process my thoughts later. Both interesting storylines but at times I felt they were both a little slow, yet I wanted to find out what happens. I rated both of these 3 stars on Goodreads because although I enjoyed them I didn’t feel that spark. Perhaps you have read them and if you have I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Linda’s Midlife Crisis by Toni Pike (who I actually went to High school with). I was lucky enough to be asked by Toni to read an ARC of her latest book Linda’s Midlife Crisis. This is a delight to read and shows that we don’t have to put up with a life that is making us unhappy and unhealthy. After a ‘breakdown’, Linda decides it is time to make some changes in her life and with the encouragement and support of friends and family, she finds the courage to make the changes to live life her way. I gave this book 4 stars and it was the perfect read on a rainy Sunday afternoon.
I love a good crime/thriller especially if it is set in the U.K. I’m enjoying Ann Cleeves ‘Shetland series’ set in the Shetland Islands of Scotland and also Val McDermid’s ‘The Allie Burns’ series.
What have you been reading lately? Why not join us at What’s On Your Bookshelf and share it with us? You can link up your post below.
Donna, Jo, Debbie and I are delighted to co-host What’s On Your Bookshelf? Link Up. To join us and share what you have been reading, you can share in the comments, pingback with your own post, or use the handy InLInkz bar below. Please be sure to tag #whatsonyourbookshelfchallenge. We look forward to hearing your thoughts as well as your book suggestions!