Months prior to this summer, I've been looking forward to it for reasons both obvious and not. One of those is that I distinctly remember having a summer of wonderful reading time 3 years ago when Abby was a newborn. I very much wanted to recapture the simplicity and joy of just reading again. Sadly, reading isn't much of a priority for me as of late (meaning as of years now). Other than when I was completing my Masters degree and then the aforementioned summer, reading has always felt like a luxury that was too luxurious, something that I had no time for. Admittedly, I didn't try to make much time for it either, fulfilled enough with my newspaper and magazines.
A few months ago, I decided to re-read Emma (Jane Austen), remembering it as one of her works that I particularly enjoyed and hadn't tasted for several years. But why stop there? My intent to read one of her works turned into the determination to read all of her works in the space of a few weeks. I've never done that before, but this also reminded me that reading a collection of an author's work does truly provide insight and a connection to that author more so than reading the works singularly. Austen is a perfect example of the feasibility of this because she only has a handful of published works. Caveat--I've tried reading Sandition a couple of times, but she died before finishing it, and I've not gotten into it like her others.
Northanger Abbey--Why is this one called Northanger Abbey? Very little of the plot occurs there. It pokes gentle fun at class (which, really, is Austen's main M.O.).
Emma--a delicious treat, gossipy like Parade of the 1700s
Pride and Prejudice--I enjoyed more of the subtle sub-plots happening reading it this time around, elegant, insightful, classic class & gender issues
Sense and Sensibility--more of P & P, excellent
Mansfield Park--It took me a while to get through this one, the most laborious of the three, but still, Austen being Austen. Enjoyable.