To Be Read: the Jane Austen Marriage Manual

As part of my New Year’s Resolutions, I am working through my To Be Read shelf and tracking the books I read in an effort to be more mindful about my reading and more critical in my thinking.

I burned through two fluffy Jane Austin genre books while we were camping, as they seemed light enough to be appropriate beach reads…and they were! I also knew that I would have a hard time convincing the book club to read either one. As there are still a good number of Austen-esque books on my TBR list that I judged (by the covers) to be higher quality than these two, and thus more worthy of a Book Club Reading Choice, I felt OK with burning through these two while on vacation.

The Jane Austen Marriage Manual by Kim Izzo was only OK; I didn’t like the heroine and I had a hard time understanding why any of the other characters would like her either. The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen by Syrie James started out promising, but fizzled at the end. Both were good books to read on vacation, but I wouldn’t recommend them. (I bet Glenda feels validated!) On the other hand, I just listened to a fascinating Smart Bitches Trashy Books podcast episode with a Jane Austen scholar who studies things like what her contempories thought of her novels, and how the language changes from when she was writing to present day affect our understanding of the books, and I have read enough takes on Jane Austen to still thoroughly enjoy the genre. Suffice it to say that I will still push Austen books I haven’t read as reading club choices.

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