Friday, December 9, 2011

Read This, Watch That: Jane Austen Edition

Katie brings us our last Read This, Watch That of the year and it's on a subject near and dear to her heart...

Those of you who regularly read this blog have probably noticed that I have an almost obsessive love of a good romance and a happy ending. Unsurprisingly, this translates to a deep adoration of the godmother of all great romances--Jane Austen. So as Nico’s request, I’ve put together a list of All Things Jane. (Speaking of all things Jane, a new biography just hit shelves Jane Austen: A Life Revealed. Check it out.)

Unsurprisingly, the best place to start an All Things Jane list is with Ms. Austen’s books themselves. My two personal favorites are Pride & Prejudice and Emma

For those of you who have been there and done that and wouldn’t mind doing that again, you’re in luck. This year saw the release of two fantastic Pride & Prejudice retellings: Prom & Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg (see earlier review) and Epic Fail by Claire LaZebnik. These two books move the age old story of Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett from England across the ocean to East Coast and West Coast American high schools, respectively. Please don’t make me choose between them, too much wonderfulness. Just read them both. 

While a great retelling of Emma has yet to end up on my bookshelf, we can all thank Hollywood for the movie Clueless, which is one of my all time favorite modernized adaptations of any literary classic. Cher’s ill-fated matchmaking attempts and own quest for happiness are a relatable today as they were in Jane’s time.

If you prefer the Dashwoods to the Bennetts, take heart, you haven’t been forgotten. Sass & Serendipity by Jennifer Ziegler is the story of two sisters--the ever realistic Gabby and the ever romantic Daphne. Following them as they balance the pitfalls of sisterhood, high school, and relationships, isn’t terribly unlike the world of Austen’s 19th-century England.
 Finally, for those of you who would prefer to spend the holidays taking a break from books every once and a while, the BBC has made a name for themselves in putting together epically long and epically awesome Austen miniseries: Pride and Prejudice (the mother of all miniseries classics), Emma (the newest and loveliest), and Sense and Sensibility (I haven’t seen this one yet either, so you’ll have to compete with me on the hold list this season).

I promise to give some love to Northanger Abby and Persuasion in the near future. Maybe the new year will have a few modern retellings of these classics in store for us. Fingers crossed.

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