Thursday, August 27, 2009

book clubbing in August

I'd been looking forward to this month's book club discussion for quite some time. Pride and Prejudice was our August selection, but we also decided to allow any of the many P&P spin-offs to add to our discussion.

Those who've read my recent posts will know that I read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith and First Impressions by Marilyn Sachs in preparation for our meeting. Other spin-offs read by members included The Man Who Loved Jane Austen by Sally Smith O'Rourke,1 Pamela Aidan's Darcy novels,2 the new P&P comics (art by Hugo Petrus).3 Additionally most of us had read Austenland for our discussion last fall (see post).

We had a great discussion about Pride and Prejudice itself (one of our members had never read Austen before, assuming he wouldn't like it, and his reaction to it was wonderful), societal differences and entail,4 the collective obsession with P&P (or is it Mr. Darcy?), the inanity of certain spin-offs,4 why we think other spin-offs like Bride and Prejudice work so well, what Austen novels the newly converted should read next,5 class issues, whether Elizabeth is typical of a woman of her station (she has a modern sensibility for sure, but were many of her contemporaries more like Charlotte), and the reason for the recent obsession with zombies, among other things.

All in all it was an absolutely fantastic meeting with a varied and engaging discussion.
  1. I've read this one, but it looks like I never posted about it on the blog. I'll pull together some thoughts and write a post soonish.
  2. An Assembly Such As This, Duty and Desire, and These Three Remain. They come highly recommended by the reader.
  3. I only flipped through a few issues, but they look fantastic (isn't the image I included in this post compelling?). I can't wait until they are collected in book form.
  4. What a perfect word to feature. entail, in the context of Austen's writing, refers to the settlement of the succession of a landed estate, so that it cannot be bequeathed at pleasure by any one possessor. Mr. Bennet as entail of Longbourn (presumably the entail was set up in an ancestor's will) has free use of the estate during his life, but no control over what happens to the estate upon his death.
  5. Sense and Sensbility or Emma depending on mood and inclination.


  1. I like how you included spin-offs in your discussion. Are there many men in your bookclub? I always wondered how it would be to have a man in my bookclub. Guess it would depend on the man, but I tend to think men will dominate the conversation.

    Sounds like it was an especially good evening.

  2. Booklogged, none of our core group are men, but the club is open to anyone who works in our library and we read lots of different genres so we do have a few men who come occasionally (mostly if we are reading a book they're interested in). The guy who came this month is our semi-regular guy. It's nice to have another perspective.

  3. sounds like a great book club discussion.