I know, I know. You’ve blown through all of Austen’s novels. You lament the death of handwritten letters. No proposal will ever measure up to Mr. Darcy’s. I’m right there with you. Here are ten books to nurse that Jane Austen hangover.
Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding: Loosely based on Pride and Prejudice, Fielding’s 1996 novel follows thirty-something Bridget Jones and the two men in her life: Daniel Cleaver (a Mr. Wickham stand in) and Mark – you guessed it – Darcy. Hooked on Fielding’s Austen parallels? The book’s sequel – Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason – is loosely based on Persuasion.
Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James: Elizabeth and Darcy have been married for six years and things seem to be going well at Pemberley. Jane and Mr. Bingley live nearby, Georgiana Darcy’s marriage prospects are looking great, and everything is on schedule in the planning of the annual autumn ball. But chaos descends on the estate when Lydia Wickham – Elizabeth’s shamed sister – arrives at Pemberley in hysterics. Wickham has been murdered.
Being a teenager is not easy. Balancing school and work, along with the expectations and demands of parents, teachers, friends, and potential love interests, can so often create a stressful and messy situation. And sadly, it’s even harder for LGBTQ teenagers. LGBTQ teens are more likely to attempt suicide than their straight peers, and the statistics become far worse when their families are not supportive of them. It’s reasons like this that make depictions of LGBTQ characters in YA literature so important.
I think I speak for all bookworms when I say that, growing up, books were the primary way I learned about the world. The fantastical stories and worlds I was introduced to were necessarily much bigger and grander than my own life (though I have no complaints on that score), and I spent a lot of time exploring them by the dozen. There were, however, a handful of stories that have stayed with me, that taught me something lasting, and in the spirit of giving thanks, I’ve compiled them here.
In a Jane Austen mood, but would rather relax on the couch with some popcorn? I know exactly how you feel. Here are some recommendations from a fellow Janeite on movies that’ll scratch that Austen itch.
The Forsyte Saga, by John Galsworthy. This colossal tome is my touchstone.
I read it first in high school, and I still go back to particular passages from time to time. This was the first book that utterly floored me, that I filled with colored tags and notes in the margins. Whenever I reread it, I'm in high school again, melodramatically in love with a story.
The Force choke. It’s a classic move from everyone’s favorite Sith lord, the infamous Darth Vader. But how can you, and everyday human use this move? The trick is selling it like you really mean it. Here’s how.
Choose Who: Find the person you want to Force choke, and wait for the opportune moment. Vader’s first choke in A New Hope is startling because it is sudden and dramatically escalates the situation. Before the choke, it seemed that the other guy (Admiral Motti, he’s got a name) was in control. But he clearly didn’t have the power, Vader did.