Weekly Wrap Up May 7 – My Least Favorite Austen

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This week has actually been a really great reading week for me, which I’m extra happy about since I didn’t read anything at all last week. I finished a grand total of three books this week, and have made decent progress on another two. And while I say this was a great reading week, I’m definitely referring to the fact that I got so much reading done. Because, unfortunately, two of the books I read this week were among my lowest-rated books of the year…

The first book I read (and rated four stars) is Beartown by Fredrik Backman. I really loved Backman’s book A Man Called Ove earlier this year, and while I did enjoy this one, I just think the story wasn’t the right one for me. I liked it, but it wasn’t a favorite. Still, Backman’s writing is fantastic, and even though I didn’t connect with this book in particular, it made me more excited to explore his other novels. If you want more information on Beartown, check out my review!

Then I finally finished Jane Austen’s Emma, which is definitely my least favorite Austen novel, and I’ve read almost all of them. I’m just really not a fan of Emma, and I couldn’t connect with this book at all. Which was a little disappointing, since I love every other Austen novel I’ve read. I’ll have a full review up tomorrow for those of you who are interested.

Last, but not least, I read A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas. And let me just say: I am not a fan of Maas, but I did enjoy the first two books in this series, and wanted to find out what happened next. And while the story was pretty good, I absolutely HATED the writing. I honestly don’t think Maas is a good writer, and it felt like her editor really slacked off here. I also didn’t feel like a lot of the story elements were all that great; it felt like a lot of filler and there are so many threads left open at the end that either shouldn’t have been brought up at all, or at least concluded somehow. Overall, it was pretty disappointing. I’m not sure if I want to do a full review of this book, but I’m considering doing a post on what I thought about the series as a whole (because I don’t plan on continuing with the spin-off novels). Let me know if that’s something you might be interested in!

Now, onto the books I’m currently reading! The first is a book that was sent to me by the publisher: Katherine of Aragon: The True Queen by Alison Weir. I read a lot of Alison Weir back when I pretty much only read Tudor historical fiction (sometime between high school and the first few years of college), and I’ve been meaning to pick up another one of her books but just hadn’t yet for whatever reason. And then I found out about the Six Tudor Queens series – the second book, Anne Boleyn: A King’s Obsession is out the 16th (I have a copy already and can’t wait to read it!) – and thought it was the perfect opportunity to jump back in. And I am so glad I did! I am loving this book! I didn’t realize just how much I missed this time period, but it’s still one of my favorites. I will be reviewing the first two books in this series (separately) sometime in the next few weeks, so keep an eye out for that!

Finally, I’ve been slowly making my way through a history book by Marilyn Yalom called A History of the Wife. I picked this up on a total whim, and it is already one of my favorite history books (not historical fiction – this is nonfiction). It’s comprehensive and interesting and feminist and somehow, magically, not dry at all. If you’re at all interested in women’s history, I would highly recommend this book! I’m finding it especially fascinating in relation to literature, and honestly kind of wish I’d read it while studying feminism in literature in grad school (it would have been a great resource for my paper on Jane Austen and Mary Wollstonecraft). I’ve highlighted so many passages (don’t worry, I have an ebook). I do plan on reviewing it eventually, but, for now, I’m taking my time and really trying to absorb all the information – because it covers everything from pre-Biblical times to the present.

That’s it for this week! I hope you’re all having a great weekend! What have you been reading so far this month?

4 thoughts on “Weekly Wrap Up May 7 – My Least Favorite Austen

  1. I really liked Emma, but I do agree, it’s also not my favourite Jane Austen. I’ve only read a few though, but I loooved Pride and Prejudice! 😀

  2. I think Emma works better on screen, somehow. It’s not my favorite of hers either (reading) but I loved the adaptation of it with Romola Garai. Emma is a problematic character. She is incredibly flawed — self-centered, meddlesome, short-sighted — but she is still supposed to be the heroine. It’s a rough balancing act but I think that version found it. And it helped me like Emma better.

    1. I agree – I love the Romola Garai adaptation, too! I can appreciate Emma for what she is, and (I think) I understand what Austen was trying to convey, I just didn’t enjoy this book. It’s too long for what it is. Maybe one of the reasons Emma works better on screen is because a lot of the filler is cut out?

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