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Sunday, Reading Sunday

I haven’t been around here very much lately and now I’m just going to waltz in here with a new post like nothing’s happened. How about them apples?

One Sunday not too long ago, I had one of those magical days where I got up early (thanks to a 75lb German Shepherd jumping on the bed), ran a bunch of errands and got home with plenty of the day left to do nothing with.

It was a pretty typical windy, rainy, dark November day so there really was nothing to do about that except read (such a hardship).

It turned out to be an exceptionally productive day.

My read-a-thon began with the second half of Jane Austen’s Persuasion. This is one of Jane Austen’s books that I hadn’t read more than once (now only Mansfield Park fits that bill) but I recently watched The Jane Austen Book Club and they were all over Persuasion and second chances and I thought that I’d better give it another go too. A lot happens in Persuasion! Lost love, dead fiancees, a very serious head injury, and a little boy is almost paralyzed! Not your typical Austen. I mean, usually there is a serious illness of two but this one was almost gratuitous.

Persuasion is the tale of Anne Eliot, eight years after she is persuaded not to marry the love of her life. He comes back to town after years of making his fortune on the seas, only to appear to fall in love with a friend of hers. When her father sells their house and moves to Bath, Anne follows without any idea of its giving her any joy (because her father and sister are jerks). Well it does. A lifetime’s worth in fact. The first time I read Persuasion I was probably 15 or 16 and Anne seemed OLD. She’s 27. Honestly, the first time I felt like Anne was all but dead. Naturally this time around, Anne didn’t seem old at all. In fact she’s right about the perfect age (until I turn 28 in the Spring and then she will be really young).

When I finished Persuasion, I thought that I’d better get started on the book club selection since we were meeting on the following Friday. The selection was The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. I didn’t think that I would enjoy this book (seems to be a theme this year). I don’t normally like books that are written in diary style (I hated Bridget Jones’ Diary for example [the book, the movie is one of my all-time favourites]). But I loved it. It’s not a long book – just over 200 pages. I read it in a couple of hours – I couldn’t stop. I was so attached to Charlie and needed to find out what happened to Sam and Patrick, even Mary Elizabeth. It’s one of those brilliant coming-of-age stories that’s just non-descript enough to resonate with everyone, no matter when they grew up. It is tragic and heart breaking and completely relevant, touching on bullying, teen pregnancy and mental illness.

Finally, I had time to jump into another P.G. Wodehouse adventure, Ring For Jeeves. Sadly no Bertie Wooster this time (you may remember that I declared him to be one of my new favourite characters) but Wodehouse made up for it by the introduction of the equally absurd William, 9th Early of Rowcester. Jeeves has been leant out while Bertie goes to some school where they teach the aristocracy how to take care of themselves (he gets kicked out for employing an old lady to darn his socks), and ends up at Rowcester Abbey. Here the 9th Earl finds himself completely impoverished and after getting engaged, decides he needs to make some money. Instead of getting a job, he impersonates a bookie and runs off with the winnings. Jeeves is a completely willing accomplice and they’d been getting away with it until one Captain Biggar reads the license plate of the getaway car and finds himself at Rowcester Abbey. There are all sorts of other insane connections and complications that make this another masterpiece of absurd hilarity but I don’t want to ruin all the fun for you. Suffice it to say I’m eagerly anticipating which Jeeves book I’m going to get my hands on next.

What did I tell you? Productive Sunday right?