Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The Jane Austen Journey Continues....

A modern Austen fan reading my personal favorite Pride & Prejudice

If you have been reading this blog you know by now about my new membership in the Jane Austen fan club (well not officially 'cause there is one, but ya know what I mean...). It began in February, so you can relish the posts there and into March to catch up if needed!

Anyway, since my enthusiasm was unbridled, I was able to hook up with a few lovely ladies from my church who had an interest in reading some Austen and shared a desire to watch the weekly Jane Austen series on PBS on Sunday nights that ran for several months, ending April 6th. Each Sunday Sue, Sharna, and myself (also Sue obviously), met at Marlene's lovely house - free of children, husbands, telephones, and anything "needy" - with the possible exception of Marlene's cats. Our lovely hostess provided us with goodies each week, consisting of popcorn, apple wedges, tea or water, and in a lovely sugar bowl off to the side was nutritional yeast (my favorite popcorn topping)... she was thinking of me especially, I felt so special. These delights could somewhat mirror a snack Dear Jane might enjoy... well at least the tea and apple wedges, popcorn may have not been "lady like" and reserved for festive evening fun solely with family members, when hulls stuck in a lady's pearly whites may go unnoticed. Anyway... it was a relaxing, pleasant time. Mike's Grandma Shirley joined us a guest one night while she was in town visiting and had, in her words, "a grand time"; we enjoyed having her there too.

This group was my first real "girls night" out, just for fun since I moved here, and it was most enjoyable! While we discussed books we read, we also enjoyed seeing Jane's characters come to life on the screen. Since we started late into the series, we were only able to actually watch Emma and Sense & Sensibility (BBC versions - not Hollywood). They were both very good. Some of us also jammed in reading Emma during this time. It was such a delight to get to know these women better, and to stay up chatting wayyy too late in the night!

We had such a great time, we have decided to reconvene as a book club in the fall. Currently we are in "planning mode" where we all are considering what books we want to suggest for the reading list. We also discussed doing additional things like making food to share that goes with the story somehow (thus the reason I was recently reading the Book Club Cookbook), as well as watching film versions of the books for comparison. I think this will be a great group and am looking forward to it; everyone brings a different flavor to the group and it will be exciting for all of us to expand our horizons with different styles of reading selections. We're taking suggestions, so fire away if you have any!
Currently, I have begun Persuasion by Miss Jane, which I have been eager to read for some time... but it was never in at the library. FINALLY, I discovered one of my book club buddies had it, so when she returned it, I was on it like... well, like, really fast...
Over the summer we may try to sneak in a few of the films from the PBS series we missed. One of the ladies emailed me that her mom purchased the DVD set, so we can catch up! Hopefully there will be some sultry summer nights where we can lounge with a fan and enjoy the refreshing tales of romance that are signature Austen.

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