Saturday, 4 March 2017

Planned Reading for March 2017

Well you would be forgiven for thinking that I'd been abducted by aliens lately, for how much I've blogged. I've just been so busy in work that I end up flopping on the sofa of an evening. This month looks similarly busy, but I have to use up some annual leave so I need to make sure that I keep some time for myself rather than doing 'useful' things.

Luscious bookcase, keeper of dreams
We've been sorting out the house and got some new furniture in the last month. Feast your eyes on this bad boy!

I have a bookworm confession... due to space my poor books are all upstairs, squirreled away in cupboards. It's not fitting. This is the first really nice, tidy bookshelf I think I've ever had!

Bookcase livestock
I don't have all my books on it; I have my physical TBR pile, and some favourites, but there are gaps too, maybe too many gaps if you start finding livestock on there!

Pride & Prejudice Play Programme
In February I had the treat of going to see 'Pride & Prejudice' on stage. I really enjoyed it, although I think the story needs a longer piece to do it justice really. Without the gradual unfolding of Darcy falling in love and then, much later, Lizzy falling in love you couldn't quite feel it the same. Darcy came across as quite grumpy in this version too! One thing I hadn't expected was just how funny it was. It played up the comedic potential of Mrs Bennet and Mr Collins wonderfully. In fact, Mrs Bennet was my favourite. My mum favoured Mr Bennet, who was excellent, but not half as funny!

Book cover: Caroline by Sue Barr
Now, onto what March has in store. I am not sure what I plan to read, to be honest, aside from continuing my February reads, but I have a couple of blog tours dropping by, which I hope you'll come back to enjoy. First up is a story focusing on the foil to Elizabeth Bennet. Caroline by Sue Barr looks at what Miss Bingley might've done after her brightest hope for a good match got married to somebody else.

Book cover: The Mistress by Sophie Turner
Also visiting will be the blog tour for Sophie Turner's 'The Mistress'. This takes place after the original setting of P&P. Here, Elizabeth turns down Mr Darcy's offer of marriage and instead marries elsewhere. Some years later a widowed Elizabeth meets Mr Darcy again. She has vowed never to marry again, but can he convince her that to become the mistress of Pemberley would be something?

Book cover: Jane Austen, Her Life and Letters A Family Record
If you'd like to join in a group read this month, the Austenesque TBR Group on Goodreads will be taking on Jane Austen, Her Life and Letters: A Family Record. This book was written by relatives of Austen, so should provide a different perspective (sanitised perhaps, or maybe more personal?). It's a lovely group and they are very welcoming, so join in if you'd like.

What do you plan to read this month? Please let me know in the comments below.


  1. Life definitely has a tendency to get in the way of stuff we really want to do, doesn't it? Like you, I had a night out at the theatre in February. "Mr. Darcy Loses the Plot" by LipService was a hysterically funny twohander which was a kind of mashup between P&P, Rebecca, Mary Barton and Jemima Puddleduck (yes, really!). My cheek and jaw muscles were still aching the next morning from laughing so much. Thye're still touring the UK, so if the production is coming anywhere near where any your UK readers live, I can heartily recommend going to see it. Then tomorrow, I'm off to see "A Celebration of Pride and Prejudice" featuring a talk between Catherine Curzon and Adrian Lukis, a display of Regency era dancing plus tea and cake. Sounds like a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

    Reading-wise, I'm proofing three forthcoming JAFF works - more treats in store for us all! Then I want to check out Shannon Winslow's new books; Leap of Faith and Leap of Hope, which are part of a new series she's writing. They're all linked by a mysterious place called the Crossroads Centre, where people who meet an untimely end get a second chance at life. Only the Hope one is JAFF, which I also had the privilege of a sneak preview as a beta, but the whole concept appeals to the sci-fi geek in me, so I'm really looking forward to reading both together. I'm also taking part in the Group Read you mentioned, Ceri, and I'll be starting that one as soon as I can. I read a book last year called Dear Cassandra, which was a selection of Jane Austen's letters to her sister, so it'll be interesting to see how the Group Read book compares with that.

    After that, it's back to the TBR mountain - my physical stack is now 17 high and you just don't want to know how many are in my virtual pile. I've nearly finished compiling the spreadsheet of my JAFF collection - and it'll be over 500 strong eventually. That does include duplicates though - some I have in three formats (paperback, ebook and audio) and quite a lot in two formats (ebook or paperback plus audio). I've been marking them as read or not read as I go so it'll be interesting to see what proportion of them I still have to read/listen to. Who has time for work or housework?

    1. Sounds like life is very busy for you too, Anji. I have the book you mentioned, Dear Cassandra, but I haven't read it since I was a teenager. I remember it being a real eye-opener, as I had expected a long ago lady writer to be prim and proper rather than have a wicked sense of humour. I should have known from her books really.

      We shouldn't complain about the groaning TBR lists really. Before I got my kindle and found all these new books to read I was really stuck in a rut reading-wise. Every time I tried something new I didn't enjoy it, so I used to mostly just re-read things. Now I have tons to read and no time!

      I am glad you enjoyed the stage show. I need to book for the Lucy Worsley talk, which I believe you're going to as well. Later in the year I have Jane Eyre, which I anticipate will also be too short to do it justice!

      I hope you enjoy your March reading, Anji. It sounds like you have enough of it at any rate!

    2. I really want to go to the Lucy Worsley talk and the only venue practical for me is at the Ryedale Festival. I emailed them about it and they don't open bookings until 21st April, then it's only open to Festival Members for the first two weeks and as the price of being a member ranges between £50 - £250 pounds, I don't think I'll be doing that! The price of the ticket for the talk is on top of that. I've got a sneaky feeling that all of the tickets will be gone by the time bookings are opened to the general public ☹️. I'm keeping my fingers crossed, though.

    3. Good luck getting tickets! They were very easy to get down here. I went for the price which included a copy of the book. The lady at the venue told me that it was proving to be a popular event, which I was pleased to hear, as hopefully they will have more along the same lines.

  2. First off,congrats to Anji and Maria! Enjoy!

    Secondly,that bookcase looks strong and sturdy! Wouldn't mans one myself!! Wishing you many hours of happiness reading from the jewels on its shelves!

    Am kinda gone off JAFF at the moment,but I must admit that Sophie Turner's book sounds introguing! It might be just what I'm looking for to pique my interest in all things Austen again!

    Happy reading Ceri!

    1. Do you have JAFF-fatigue, Mary? I hope you are finding something else to read. I am struggling to find the time to read lately, so I have been enjoying some audio books. I went for a walk at lunchtime today, and had a little swoon at Captain Wentworth's letter while listening to Persuasion!

  3. I don't really lay out anything to read for a month other than the ones for the GR groups I'm in. So at the moment it's Snowdrift and other stories by Georgette Heyer and then on to Jane Austen her life and letters. Last night reading my lateset Regency mag from the Jane Austen centre I came across one Not Just Jane Austen. It's about seven great women writers from before and after Jane's time. So of course that's ordered now!! I have no willpower when it comes to buying books. Good luck with the new bookcase Ceri. Hope it's filled with many great reads.

    1. I know just what you mean Bookworm, I am an enthusiastic buyer of books, but I can't seem to find the time to read them, and then I buy more and forget the ones I already have! Thank you for the compliment on my bookcase. I feel so much happier having one on show. The room feels so much more cosy.

  4. What a great bookcase! Looks sturdy enough to hold lots of books! I am glad you shared the premise behind MISTRESS for from the title I was under the impression that someone (Lizzy?) was going to be a mistress in the 'other' sense of the word. Shocking! Looking forward to all you have lined up in March!

    1. Thanks Brenda, I am so happy with my new bookcase!

      I was wary about featuring 'Mistress', for the reasons that you say. I understand that the premise is what I have shared but I don't know if there are any other mistress connotations. I was reassured by the fact that I have read other books written by Sophie which have been very good.

  5. Carole in Canada4 March 2017 at 16:08

    I am sooo jealous of you and Anji! Oh to have tea with Catherine Curzon and 'Mr. Wickham'!!! Your bookcase looks great and you have found the perfect spot for it! Looks like your cat agrees! I love your line up of books and can't wait to read Sophie's new book 'Mistress'! I also want to read 'Caroline' but not sure if it will happen this month. I'm trying to work through some books on my nightstand (Anne Perry). So I have decided to alternate between JAFF and those to make more room. Plus I always do a book order at the beginning of each month which keeps the piles climbing! I will have to check out the read-a-long book on Jane Austen!

    1. I don't get to meet Mr Wickham, unfortunately (who'd have thought I'd get to say that?!). Good luck reducing your TBR pile Carole!

  6. Well yes! You have been pretty busy, but neat about the play and the shelves. I picked shelves for my house gift this year, but it's utility shelf in the laundry. :)

    The Caroline books looks intriguing and a sequel is always interesting.

    Oh hey, look at that. :) Thanks so much for giving our Group Read a shout out.

    Have a great March, Ceri!

    1. Well I'm sure you can keep overflow books on your utility shelves ;)

      I had good intentions of joining in the group read but only got as far as buying the book! I will have to try to join in at a later date.

  7. I LOVE your empty bookshelf. I'm jealous. I had so many books that my DH nagged and nagged till I ended up giving most of them away.Then, I turned around and bought Kindles. Truthfully, I would rather read books than Kindles. If I only had a spare closet. Problem is I teach music and have oodles of music books and then I like to quilt so I have bins of fabric. Three addictions. Oh well. Happy new shelf!

  8. What a great looking bookcase! And it looks like it fit that space perfectly! Yay! LOL! Your kitty is adorable!

    I understand how you feel at the end of the work day, I'm sometimes only good for just watching tv after those long days...just drained too much by everything else. Hope things become a little lighter for you so can read as much as you'd like to! ;) Looking forward to your author visits! Hope you have a lovely March!

  9. Wonderful book case, Ceri! Have lots of fun filling it and enjoying your collection again and again!

    Hope your working life gets a bit easier soon. Have a lovely spring with your family and lots of lovely books in your new bookcase!

  10. Ceri hi, I think I put my comment onto the wrong post so I'm putting it here :-)
    Lovely bookcase. No chance of keeping furry visitors away as even with full bookshelves they will perch precariously along the edge :-)
    Have read the JEA Leigh Family letters book and loved it. Am at present reading a very amusing book of short essays by Maggie Lane entitled On the Sofa With Jane Austen. These twenty odd short essays first appeared in issues of Jane Austen's Regency World magazine.
    Examples such as the title essay which deals with the significance of sofas in Jane's novels and also mentions sofas in her own life, The Silence of Mr Perry about the apothecary in Emma who is ever present throughout the story due to the many ailments of the residents of Highbury, but never actually speaks himself, and the chapter on November which highlights how many interesting and significant events occur during November in her novels, is both highly entertaining and also shows an author who knows and loves the novels deeply.