This month I have something exciting coming up; my very first participation in a blog tour! The blog tour in question is being run by Leatherbound Reviews, and the book is Haunting Mr Darcy by Karalynne Mackrory. I haven’t read this yet, though I hope to get to it soon because it looks excellent. I loved Bluebells in the Mourning by this author; it’s such a beautiful, romantic read that I have high hopes that Haunting Mr Darcy will be a wonderful book too.
2014 is the bicentenary of the publication of Mansfield Park by my favourite author, Jane Austen. I read Mansfield Park in a group read as part of The Book Rat’s Austen in August event last year, which was of huge benefit to me, because other people’s reactions and thoughts about the book gave me additional perspectives. I’d only read MP once before, but I interpreted it very differently than I had on my first read, so I’ll share my review of it here with you. I saw via My Jane Austen Book Club that Radio 4 will be rerunning a recording of Mansfield Park featuring David Tennant and Benedict Cumberbatch this month, so I am going to try and catch that if I can.
I thought that to mark the 200th anniversary of Mansfield Park that I should try and build some more Mansfield Park-inspired reads in. This is not as easy as it sounds, as there are so few to choose from! A good resource for finding such books is Austenesque Reviews, where Meredith has drawn up some really comprehensive lists. You can see the one for Mansfield Park here. A raid on my mother’s books a while ago unearthed a copy of Mansfield Revisited by Joan Aiken, which I understand is a continuation of MP so this month I’ll try and read that. If you have any suggestions for good MP-inspired reads please let me know!
For my Austenesque read of the month, I will aim to read A Perfect Bride for Mr Darcy by Mary Lydon Simonsen which I’m sure I’ll enjoy. This one is a Pride and Prejudice variation, and I believe the variation is that Anne de Bourgh decides to do some matchmaking between her cousin Darcy and Miss Bennet.
When I planned my reading for this year I hoped to read some Shakespeare – there are so many references to his plays in books, particularly the comedies, and I’m only familiar with the ones I studied in school which are all more on the tragic side (Hamlet, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet). I’ve never read any Shakespeare outside a school setting, so who knows how I’ll get on! The play I plan to read is Much Ado About Nothing and the version I have has notes alongside the text, so hopefully I won’t get too lost.
For my contemporary planned read I have a book I picked up a while ago via my smartphone while waiting for some photocopying in work (smartphones are very enabling for impulse purchases!). This one is Frigid by J Lynn (who I believe also writes under the name Jennifer L Armentrout). I’ve never read any of her work before. This is a new adult read, with two long term friends getting stuck in a cabin in a winter storm. It seems a bit odd to be reading it when the weather is warming up but there we go!
I hope you have some good reads lined up for May. It’s the beginning of reading outdoors season here so I can hopefully get some lunchtime reading done. Happy reading!