I'm a GoodReads user testing new waters after the serious website changes. I mostly read fiction, usually Anglophone classics/ modern classics; I like nonfiction (mostly social and cultural history), good fantasy and graphic novels. For guilty pleasure, I read advice and how-to books. I made at least two reading resolutions recently; 1. read less, live more; 2. read books which give me more pleasure. I have poor filters, and books I find stylistically pleasing tend to be depressing, so I need to do something about that; if you think you know a book that is very well written, but won't make me weep, please drop me a line.


Emma - Jane Austen, Fiona Stafford 1. I read this the second time thanks to Kelly's excellent review, and I raised the rating from two stars to three (the previous time, I only finished it because I was really curious about what would happen to Harriet, and was really in a "either this book goes or I do" mode).

2. Emma is very didactic, the subjects in question being (mainly) marriage/ family responsibilities ("unsuitable connexion[s]... [do] not produce much happiness") and class (one should always know one's place; upstarts make fools of themselves; carelessness is a sin, being considerate is one of the highest virtues; it is impossible to obtain the je ne sais quoi of gentility by imitation.

3. Many good quotations. The Eltons and all Maple Grove references were in particular a source of subtle comic relief.

4. I actually considered making a "Mr Knightley disapproves" meme for the purpose of reviewing this book, but my feminist conscience revolted (even if, what do I care?) Still, I love this quotation (Mrs Elton, One Who Does Not Know Her Station in Life, as evidenced by the lack of honorifics in her speech, addresses Mr Knightley):
"That's quite unnecessary; I see Jane every day: -- but as you like. It is to be a morning scheme, you know, Knightley; quite a simple thing. I shall wear a large bonnet, and bring one of my little baskets hanging on my arm. Here, -- probably this basket with pink ribbon. Nothing can be more simple, you see. And Jane will have such another. There is to be no form or parade -- a sort of gipsy party. We are to walk about your gardens, and gather the strawberries ourselves, and sit under trees; and whatever else you may like to provide, it is to be all out of doors; a table spread in the shade, you know. Every thing as natural and simple as possible. Is not that your idea?"

"Not quite. My idea of the simple and the natural will be to have the table spread in the dining-room. The nature and the simplicity of gentlemen and ladies, with their servants and furniture, I think is best observed by meals within doors. When you are tired of eating strawberries in the garden, there shall be cold meat in the house."
I have a feeling this guy would not appreciate scented candles (whereas she would love Pinterest and aspirational decor pages).

Now, off to read [b:Jane Fairfax|262744|Jane Fairfax|Joan Aiken||254685] by [a:Joan Aiken|12075|Joan Aiken|].

Currently reading

Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald
Therese Anne Fowler
Zuleika Dobson
Max Beerbohm
How to Be a Victorian
Ruth Goodman