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Archive for the tag “Downton Abbey”

Library Loot: August 1-7

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Marg from The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library.

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted Library Loot because its been a few weeks since I’ve visited the library for any other reason than to return some items. But this week I needed some fresh material, and some reserves I had ordered came in, so I headed down. Here’s the loot:

Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle by The Countess of Carnarvon

I am actually listening to this one, which tells the story of the family who resided in Highclere Castle, where Julian Fellowes Downton Abbey is set. Its more than anything a biography of Lady Almina, but its interesting, and so far I’ve actually been able to put a couple of historical events in perspective in my mind, which I always enjoy.

Austenland by Shannon Hale was actually one I set my sights on even before I signed up for Austen in August. According to Amazon, “Jane Hayes is a seemingly normal young New Yorker, but she has a secret. Her obsession with Mr. Darcy, as played by Colin Firth in the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, is ruining her love life: no real man can compare. But when a wealthy relative bequeaths her a trip to an English resort catering to Austen-crazed women, Jane’s fantasies of meeting the perfect Regency-era gentleman suddenly become realer than she ever could have imagined.

Decked out in empire-waist gowns, Jane struggles to master Regency etiquette and flirts with gardeners and gentlemen—or maybe even, she suspects, with the actors who are playing them. It’s all a game, Jane knows. And yet the longer she stays, the more her insecurities seem to fall away, and the more she wonders: Is she about to kick the Austen obsession for good, or could all her dreams actually culminate in a Mr. Darcy of her own?” It looks light and fun and totally counts for an Austen in August post.

What about you? What are you reading this week?


Sometimes, you just need to quit a book…

In the past few days, I have found myself reading a book I really wasn’t enjoying. I picked it up because it looked interesting and was readily available from my local public library but I found the content to be rather dry. The book was a memoir, and while those can be intriguing reads, this particular author seemed to be writing about a part of her life she’d sooner forget. It may have been more interesting if it was an expose of life in service, kind of a contrast to the Downton Abbey’esque picture we all see of life in service, but sadly, it wasn’t. It was boring. So, after several days of forcing my self through it, I quit.

I used to have mixed feelings about the idea of quitting a book half way through reading. I felt like in order to really truly evaluate the work, to give the author the full chance to tell the story, I needed to push through to the end. I needed to persevere through. But after 6.5 years of grad school, 4 years of college, a full time job and a full life outside of my day job, I’ve realized something important- my time is valuable. My time is in fact too valuable to spend reading books I don’t like when they have no purpose. And I have had enough required reading over the years that I forced myself through, I don’t need to do it now that I have the option of reading for fun.

The other reason I tend to find myself quitting a book is when I come across something that I find is impacting me negatively or offensively.  Everybody has something they find offensive, or that they just choose not to put in their mind- whether that is language, imagery, or just a harshly negative tone. At times, I have stopped reading things because the content is just not something I want hanging out in my mind, or I notice the content has begun to impact my mood in a negative way. I find for me that there are certain lines I can’t cross with things that are going in me, and I have to stop reading.

Ultimately, I choose to read because to me, reading is fun. So to me, its worth quitting a book if its not teaching me something valuable, making me think, or just plain fun.

What about you? Have you ever found yourself needing to quit a book?

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