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What Should I Read on My Vacation?

By this time next week, we should be well on our way to Cape Cod (traversing Connecticut on I-84 by then, I hope - we take the scenic route). Of course I always take a little stack of books. This time around, I have already selected the memoir The Color of Water (because of b3nitora's rec). I also thought I should try reading some Jane Austen, because she's constantly cited as a source for some of my favorites (such as Swordspoint and Sorcery and Cecelia). But my stepmom, upon hearing this, gave me four of them to borrow - and I think four is too much Austen for a 10-day vacation ... !

So ... please help me choose which two Austens of the four to take, and suggest other things for me to take along as well. (I can easily read 5 or 6 normal-length novels in the time we'll be there.)

Which two of these four Jane Austen novels should I read?

Mansfield Park
0(0.0%)
Northanger Abbey
0(0.0%)
Persuasion
0(0.0%)
Pride and Prejudice
2(40.0%)

(Here goes nothing ... let's see if I understand the poll code!)

(For the other suggestions, please feel free to check out my user info / profile, which lists most of my favorite authors under Interests, if that would help.)

Thank you thank you!

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( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
fmanalyst
Aug. 2nd, 2007 08:08 pm (UTC)
When I was in my teens, Pride and Prejudice was my favorite, but now Persuasion is. Mansfield Park and Northanger Abbey are weaker, in my opinion. Unlike the other two, I've never felt any desire to reread MP or NA, while P&P and Persuasion have become comfort reading. But certainly, the two main couples of the P's are classics. When I was 14, Elizabeth Bennett certainly shaped the kind of woman I wanted to grow into -- witty and wise.
chomiji
Aug. 3rd, 2007 07:46 pm (UTC)

Thanks for the additional notes on your vote! The only specifics I'd had on any of them from someone I knew was the college friend who was obsessed with Emma, which was enough to put me off. I have had in the past a very strange and not very useful attitude toward most English literary classics. I ended up majoring in English because it was the path of least resistance after I had to abandon the idea of majoring in chemistry, and the whole sad affair made me obstinate on the subject. But now that's finally wearing off, and I'm willing to look into books that I authors I like have cited as influences.

fmanalyst
Aug. 3rd, 2007 08:15 pm (UTC)
I never much liked Emma myself. I felt the main character was a self-centered busybody, always focused on what she thought was best for everyone, instead of what they actually wanted. But the heroines of Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion are among my all-time favorite characters of literature.
b3nitora
Aug. 17th, 2007 08:47 am (UTC)
I read Pride and Prejudice in school, it was pretty good.
chomiji
Aug. 22nd, 2007 06:02 pm (UTC)

Somehow, I managed to avoid it in school! That's kind of odd, because I was an English major in college the first time around, but the one required course (two semesters) used a textbook with short pieces and extracts, and for the rest of the courses, all you had to do was make sure you took courses in at least three areas, or something like that (the areas were things like English pre-Shakespeare, English 16th-17th c, etc.).

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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