Monday, June 21, 2010

Sorry Jane

So, one of my 101 in 1001 tasks was to actually finish any of Jane Austen's books. For me, Jane Austen is the same as cilantro. They are something that I would love to love, but just can't stand the taste no matter how hard I try to make myself.

I would love to love Jane Austen. I like the ideas behind most of her novels. And I love the movie Jane Austen Book club, but I just have never been able to really get in to any of her books...going all the way back to high school. I think that Pride & Prejudice was the only book I ever used Sparknotes for instead of actually reading the book.

Right now, I've been attempting to read Emma. I haven't ever seen the movie, but I am familiar with the story line...and still, I just CANNOT get into it. I have so many other books that I'd much rather be reading right now!

{PS- We were talking about this at my parent's house yesterday, and my dad looked at me totally straightfaced and said, "Who is Jane Austen?" Teehee!}

So convince me people--what's your favorite Jane Austen book, and why should I read it?


  1. I'm not going to lie. I can tolerate Jane, but there's better things to read, in my opinion.

    But cilantro? Now that I love! (Give it a try in a cheesy biscuit! It will rock your world!)

  2. IMO, the normal 'favorite Jane Austen' novels were really boring and hard to read. I've read all her books, and the only 2 I really liked were Mansfield Park and Northanger Abbey. I can't put my finger on exactly why I liked those two so much better, but they were both like 100x better than Pride and Prejudice or Sense and Sensibility.

    PS - Life is too short to read sucky books. :)

  3. Okay, I ADORE Jane Austen, but I do find her more difficult to read than lots of other things I like. For some reason, even though I love her novels, they're always slow going for me.

    That said, my favorite is "Persuasion." I find it to be more "grown up" than most of her other novels, in that the heroine has a bit more depth and much more complex emotions than simply wanting to find a husband. Another good option for you might be "Lady Susan," a shorter, epistolary novel. I found it to me funny and snarky, and an easier Austen read.

    Good luck!

  4. I love this post. 1- CILANTRO!? I <3 cilantro and John hates it- I can never understand when people don't like it.

    2- Same boat w/Jane Austen... Emma is the only book I ever watched the movie for a book report.. Got an A+ though... whatevs :)

  5. My favorite is P&P- it is a funny read, though, and that is the only way I could get through it. It's kind of like Shakespeare to me- I love the stories, but have a hard time with the reading...

  6. I'm the same as you. I've tried reading Jane, but I can never get into it. I downloaded all the Jane Austen books for my Kindle (they were free!) and have decided not to buy another book until I read all the Jane Austen books.

  7. Forget Jane.. you don't like Cilantro??? How? Why?


  8. This is really funny because I'm an avid reader and I'm NOT a fan of Jane Austen. I actually wrote about my experience on reading Pride & Prejudice for a book club last year:

    Basically, I'm no help, but I totally understand how you feel!

  9. While living in England I became obsessed with Jane Austen and especially "Pride and Prejudice". But I had only seen the movies. I just finished reading the book, and dang it anyway, if I didn't have to force myself to read it. Love the movies surrounding Jane and the story lines, but I just can't do the books. You're not alone!!

  10. Wow, I totally feel like I could have written this post! I have it on my "bucket list" to read Jane Austen novels, and I've started more than I care to think about. I just can't get into them! And I LOVED the Jane Austen Book Club movie, but it still didn't help. :)

  11. I have read all the Jane Austen books and really enjoyed them, but I think the trick is to force yourself through the first one. The language is difficult, so reading Austen at first is more like reading for a high school English class than just enjoyment reading. But once you get the cadence and phrasing down, then it stops being so difficult and you can immerse yourself in the story. My first time though Pride and Prejudice was hard, but then I breezed through the others.

  12. i totally agree with you. can't stand her work or others like her. couldn't in h.s. either. so you're not alone! but good of you for trying!

  13. I hate Jane Austen. In fact, I hate most English literature written before World War I. The horrors of trench warfare imparted upon a whole generation of writers (Hemingway's "Lost Generation") the belief that all the frilly and euphemistic language that had been so popular in English writing till then was incapable of accurately explaining the horrors they'd experienced, and by extension, the world at large. It purged English writing of its aristocratic floweriness and gave way to truly brilliant writers like Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, etc. WWI was the best thing that ever happened to the English language.

    So what I'm saying is, don't bother with Jane Austen. I've no idea why so many people feel compelled to read her stuff. (As long as I'm at it, I hate the Brontë sisters too.) Read something better instead.

    I'm also with you in the cilantro boat. Why is it so gross?

  14. I read them all as part of my 101 as well. I had to take breaks in between reading them, but got through them all. It's been so long I can't remember my favorite of them all. I love the movies though if that helps! I just read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Sense and Sensibility and Sea Serpents, maybe try them. They're kind of funny.

  15. I'm right there with you for both the books and the cilantro! I want to love both and I keep trying but no luck yet.


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