June 17, 2012

Summer Reading Club - June Link-Up!


I'm so excited! The first link up for the Summer Reading Club has arrived. If you missed the first post, go check out the details. And if you want to participate later - there'll be link-ups in July and August as well! Keep reading to see my take on the two June books -- The Grand Sophy and The Eyre Affair -- and to link up your reviews to share!

The Grand Sophy

I think this is my favorite Georgette Heyer of all time. It has all the best Heyer tropes - a witty, independent heroine, annoyingly Austenesque side characters, a detailed look at Regency life. Miss Sophy Stanton-Lacy isn't necessarily beautiful, but she's determined, funny, indomitable, and a hero to the people whose lives she sets right. She can't help but meddle when she sees unhappy people around her. Unafraid to set up elaborate schemes to break engagements, foster romance, and make everyone happy, Sophy's exploits make me giggle. I also love the large Rivenhall family (her cousins) with whom she is staying. The antics of a household of high-spirited children are hilarious, even if Charles Rivenhall's uptight fiancee Miss Eugenia Wraxton doesn't approve of them!

And you just can't beat Heyer's gifted dialogue. I laughed out loud at several scenes, including towards the end of Charles and Sophy's big fight in Chapter Four.
Charles, "Let me tell you, my dear cousin, that I should be better pleased if you would refrain from meddling in the affairs of my family!"
"Now, that," said Sophy, "I am very glad to know because if ever I should desire to please you I shall know just how to set about it. I daresay I shan't, but one likes to be prepared for any event, however unlikely."

Or, in the next chapter, when the ridiculously punctilious Miss Wraxton says,
"I am persuaded that you must find our London ways strange at first."
"Why, I imagine they cannot differ greatly from those of Paris, or Vienna, or even Lisbon!" said Sophy.

"I have never visited those cities, but I believe -- indeed I am sure! -- that the tone of London is vastly superior," said Miss Wraxton.
Rating: 4.8 out of 5
Should I recommend this to my grandma? Absolutely!

Questions:

  1. Did any scenes make you laugh out loud?
  2. Did you learn any new vocabulary? Did you find the Regency slang terms hard to follow?
  3. Would you prefer to have a suitor like the impractical Augustus Fawnhope or the boring Lord Bromford?
  4. Did you figure out Sophy's master plan ahead of time?
  5. Who was your favorite minor character? I like the Marquesa a lot!

The Eyre Affair

I first read this book in 2006, and really loved it. It was fun to go back and read it again, knowing what to expect more this time. I love so much about the book - the fanciful details like everyone having pet dodos, and Jasper Fforde's twists on history. I love that literature is wildly popular, and that everyone cares passionately about the provenance of Shakespeare's work. I also enjoy the puns - what's not to love about characters named Thursday Next and Landen Parke-Laine? The concept of being able to travel into books is fantastic. As a kid I daydreamed all the time about visiting my favorite fictional characters, and I bet that Fforde did too. I'm not sure that I'd pick to visit Jane Eyre, but... hey, I'd take a job as a SpecOps LiteraTec any day!

Rating: 4 out of 5
Should I recommend this to my grandma? Yeah, there's a little language, but it's so fun!

Questions:

  1. At what point did you realize that this book was set in an alternate version of history?
  2. What was your favorite aspect of Fforde's version of 1985?
  3. Are you a Baconian? Marlovian? Shakespearean?
  4. Did you prefer Jane Eyre pre- or post- Thursday's interference?
  5. How does Acheron Hades compare to other literary villains?
 If you read one, or both, of the books, go ahead and link up your post(s) in the linky widget. Please make sure you link to the permalink of your review of the books, not just to your blog home page. If you don't have a blog, answer the questions I ask about each book. (Please leave a separate comment for each book's questions). You have till Friday (6/22) to link up your post or answer the questions. Then Friday night I'll use random.org to pick a winner, and email you to get your address so I can send you your $10 Amazon gift certificate!



UPDATE 6/23: The winner is Amanda Junkel! Congrats Amanda!

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