New Year, New Plans

I did a lot of thinking during the last month of the year and I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m writing this blog about the wrong subject.  Or, I should say, writing about the books I read isn’t enough.  While I am always reading something, what I read does not always inspire me to write a full-blown blog entry.  Therefore I’ve made too few entries this past year.  And my heart wasn’t always in those I did post.  So I feel that I either must end this blog altogether or expand the subject matter beyond my bookshelves.

Now, I have many, many interests but I am an expert at none.  My first instinct was to expand my entries to books and movies.  Then I thought I might add TV shows and music to the list of subjects about which I write.  But like with reading, I feel that one’s taste in movies, shows, and especially music is very personal.  And maybe it’s the trauma of middle school talking but I don’t trust that I won’t be judged harshly for my tastes.  Nothing personal, but the internet hasn’t shown itself to be the safest place to pour one’s heart out.

I’ve also considered posting snippets of my own fiction writing.  Again my trusts issues come into play.  Even though the writing is probably mostly crap, I can’t trust that my ideas won’t be stolen.  I have issues.  We all do.  I know that but I’m only now beginning to realize that these trust issues of mine are holding me back not only in my blog but with my fiction.  Maybe, instead of the usual resolution to get fit or be more responsible with money, my 2017 resolution should be to work on my trust issues.  And not just my trust of strangers on the internet but also I need to learn to trust myself.  This, I believe, would greatly benefit my writing as well as other areas of my life.  Which I don’t trust you enough to talk about.  Still, if I’ve actually posted this, it is a step in the right direction.  Right?

Now, before the trust exercises begin I must post my annual Year in Review of the books I read in 2016.  I went well over my goal of 30 books with 46 but that’s because I didn’t do very well at my other resolution to focus more on my fiction writing.  I could blame a particularly tough year but the truth is I’m just really good at believing my own excuses.  Neither did I succeed in completing Reading Challenge I attempted.

2016 Reading Challenge from modernmrsdarcy.com

I thought it would be simple with only 12 books but I’m still working on the book that intimidates me – James Michener’s Alaska – and I never got around to the book I should’ve read in school or the one I’d previously abandoned.  That’s not surprising considering that I didn’t want to read them the first time around.  Here are the books I read to complete the other challenges:

A Book Published This Year:

(Goodreads.com giveaways were quite helpful in completing this one)

A Book You Can Finish in a Day:

(I should write an entry on what this local children’s author has meant to me)

A Book You’ve Been Meaning to Read:

A Book Recommended by your Local Librarian:

A Book Chosen for You by Your BFF:

A Book Published Before You Were Born:

A Book that Has Been Banned at Some Point: 

A Book You Own But Have Never Read:

(To be fair this category is true of most of the books I read.)

A Book You’ve Read at Least Once:

And now for my top read of the year:

I chose Girl Waits with Gun by Amy Stewart.

Amy Stewart’s wonderful Kopp Sisters series is based on the experiences of real-life sisters Constance, Norma, and Fleurette Kopp in the 1910s.

I know I didn’t give it a full 5-star rating but it was just such a fun surprise and I think many people would enjoy the tale based on actual events.  Don’t believe me?  Go to the author’s page dedicated to these three brave women.  I think it just proves that librarians really do know the best books.  Plus there’s a fantastic sequel for when you finish long before you want it to end.

Chick-Lit, Reviews

Review: Eligible: A modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice

Eligible: A modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice
Eligible: A modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice by Curtis Sittenfeld

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was so excited when I learned that I’d won an advanced copy of Eligible through Goodreads.com. With this book, Curtis Sittenfeld was tasked with the unenviable challenge of writing a modernized version of Pride and Prejudice. Others have attempted it with varying degrees of success. Sittenfeld is one of the most successful I’ve read. Still, I had found that I had to remind myself that while it is a modernization of Pride and Prejudice, it is not the beloved classic. If I didn’t remind myself of that I would have gotten upset about certain things and would have been unable to enjoy the trials of the Bennett family. Like the original though, Eligible captures what life is like for modern women in the 21st century. They deal with work, parents getting older, lovers, friends, and modern technology. With fewer social constraints that in Austen’s day, it must have been difficult coming up with behaviors and relationships that our modern world would see as improper or even scandalous. But only at one point did it really seemed forced.
I kept wondering as I was reading what scandal Lydia would cause that would send Liz running back home and possibly doom all hope for her relationship with Darcy. I understand why she felt that she needed to be with her mother (even though Mrs. Bennett isn’t very deserving of it!) but why Liz couldn’t get to the airport after her breakfast with Darcy. I mean, they were already at the restaurant. If I were him, I’d have been angry too. The only other part I’m not sure I like is the very last chapter that talks about Mary but it continues the exploration of all of the options women have in our society.

Reading Challenge - Eligible
Eligible is set to be released on April 19, 2016

Overall Eligible is an enjoyable, wickedly funny, and observant read. There were several passages about adulthood, being a single woman in her thirties, and caring for her family that really spoke to me. It is also a very quick read with some of the shortest chapters I have ever seen.

View all my reviews