26 Sep Something Old, Something New
Can you tell it’s been getting darker just a smidge earlier everyday? The time change in a few weeks seals the deal. As soon as the clock strikes four it suddenly feels like 8 o’clock. How does one hour make everything feel off-kilter? It’s kind of strange. Daylight savings just needs to be done away with. Stop messing with everyone’s internal clock.
Since I’m not in charge of making those kind of life changes, let’s move on.
For this installment of SOSN, my something old is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Don’t throw me over the coals though, because I haven’t finished reading it yet. It’s the one book I keep on my phone and read when I don’t have a regular book or my Kindle with me. That is also the reason I haven’t finished P&P, because it’s a rare occasion when I don’t have one of the others with me.
Most of you have probably read P&P, as well as others by Austen. I have been collecting her books in my home library over the last several years. I didn’t grow up loving the classics, I think because they were forced upon me in school. It’s only been in the last ten years or so that I have developed an interest in reading some of them.
(And-just because something is labeled, “classic” doesn’t mean it’s going to be good, some really do suck. Remember that. Don’t allow yourself or someone else to guilt you in to reading something you have zero interest in).
To me, part of the interest in classics are the authors and the time in which they lived. When you are forced to read something it becomes work, the joy is lost and it becomes a tedious task. Take it a step further. If you think a school-aged child is going to care about an author’s life from the 1800s when they are already irritated by being forced to read something, you are mistaken. Whereas reading and comprehension are profoundly important skills, a disservice is done not only to the child but also to the entire classic genre.
I understand why the classics are part of a curriculum, but that doesn’t mean they are included at the most opportune times. Also, times are changing, ‘new’ classics are being written. Books like Wonder and of course Harry Potter. Hook children with subjects and characters that feel a little more relevant, build skill with those. Then introduce the classics at an age when a child most likely will have more books “under their belt” and will be a little older and more mature. The maturity in this case being a necessity to appreciate the author’s background (which ultimately sets the stage for how and why these books were written) rather than a maturity for subject matter purposes.
Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld came out two years ago. It’s a modern retelling of P&P. When I first came across this book, I wasn’t interested, which stemmed from not being obsessed with P&P.
As I began reading P&P, my interest in reading Eligible grew. I didn’t realize this until I recently came upon a copy. I read the back again and thought, yes, I do want to read this book. Funny how things change without even realizing they are changing. Another factor that added to my newfound interest was the author.
I am a long time fan of Curtis Sittenfeld. I first read Prep many years ago, followed by American Wife (a Roman à clef of the life of former First Lady Laura Bush) and loved them both.
Below is Eligible synopsis from Amazon:
• This version of the Bennet family—and Mr. Darcy—is one that you have and haven’t met before: Liz is a magazine writer in her late thirties who, like her yoga instructor older sister, Jane, lives in New York City. When their father has a health scare, they return to their childhood home in Cincinnati to help—and discover that the sprawling Tudor they grew up in is crumbling and the family is in disarray.
Youngest sisters Kitty and Lydia are too busy with their CrossFit workouts and Paleo diets to get jobs. Mary, the middle sister, is earning her third online master’s degree and barely leaves her room, except for those mysterious Tuesday-night outings she won’t discuss. And Mrs. Bennet has one thing on her mind: how to marry off her daughters, especially as Jane’s fortieth birthday fast approaches.
Enter Chip Bingley, a handsome new-in-town doctor who recently appeared on the juggernaut reality TV dating show Eligible. At a Fourth of July barbecue, Chip takes an immediate interest in Jane, but Chip’s friend neurosurgeon Fitzwilliam Darcy reveals himself to Liz to be much less charming. . . .
And yet, first impressions can be deceiving •
I think it sounds like a fun, light-hearted read.
That’s all I’ve got tonight, talk to you all tomorrow 📚
“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.” -Jane Austen
& I think that quote perfectly sums it up.