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Saturday, August 01, 2009

May I Reccommed...

I have read a few good books lately and wanted to recommend them as summer reading suggestions for anyone that has time to read and is looking for a good book. Since these are summer reading suggestions I meant to post this last month but never got around to it. Oh well. Perhaps some of you will still have time to pick up a book before the summer ends.

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen.

This is one of my favorite Jane Austen books. She only wrote six novels and I've read all except Persuasion. Out of all of those I have to admit that I did find Emma and Mansfield Park rather dull. But those feelings are more than compensated for by my ardent fondness for Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility and now Northanger Abbey making Jane Austen probably my favorite author.

I love the heroine in this novel, Catherine Morland. She is more sweetly naive than some of Austen's other leading females. In the book Cathrine is obsessed with reading gothic novels. She gets into trouble as she begins to interpret her life through the lens of a fiction novel and detects dark gothic mysteries where there are none. The whole thing is so lighthearted and witty. It is like a deliciously fluffy, iced cupcake for your brain. It's a quick read.

Here is one of my favorite excerpts. Catherine (CM) is talking to Henry Tilney (HT). She is puzzled because Henry's brother asked an engaged woman to dance even though he earlier said he hated dancing. CM, being so sweetly naive, suggests it is because he felt sorry for her because her fiancee is away. But Henry knows his intentions are not nearly so honorable: the brother is an incorrigible flirt.

"Henry smiled, and said, 'How very little trouble it can give you to understand the motive of other people's actions.'

CM: 'Why?- What do you mean?'

HT: 'With you, it is not, How is such a one likely to be influenced? What is the inducement most likely to act upon such a person's feelings, age, situation, and probable habits of life considered?- but, how should I be influenced; what would be my inducement in acting so and so?'

CM: 'I do not understand you.'

HT: 'Then we are on very unequal terms, for I understand you perfectly well.'

CM: 'Me?-yes; I cannot speak well enough to be unintelligible.'

This post got kind of long so I will post my other suggestion tomorrow. :o)

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