Monday, July 13, 2009

Sunday Salon (on Monday): Everything Austen

My reading has really slowed down over the last week as I spend my days either working or unpacking, sorting and cleaning. By the time I get to bed at night I'm tired and either try to sneak a few minutes on the computer or read a few pages while struggling to keep my eyes open. But I did finish reading The Fat Woman Next Door is Pregnant last week, and am now a few chapters into Best Intentions by Emily Listfield, which I'm quite enjoying so far.

At last I've been unpacking my books over the last couple of days and it's got me thinking about how to organize them. For the moment I'm mainly just getting them out of their boxes and onto the shelves, and in our old place there wasn't much of a system beyond fitting as many as possible into the limited space available. You may remember this picture of a couple of my crammed bookshelves. Space is still an issue but this time I think I'd like to keep my unread books together instead of mixed in with the others. I figure that will make it easier to see at a glance my massive TBR, and hopefully easier to find a particular book when I want to. But then that means separating books by the same author if I've read some but not others. Plus I also think it would be nice to have all of my Japanese lit together which would mean combining the read with the unread. Decisions, decisions. How do you organize your books?

Meanwhile, I've decided to join Stephanie's Everything Austen challenge. I love me some Austen so how could I resist? The goal is simply to read or watch six Austen-themed things between July 1st, 2009 and January 1st, 2010. It's a fun idea letting us choose among books, movies and whatnot. I had an Austen phase quite a few years ago and have read all of her published novels at least once, and others, like Pride and Prejudice, I've read several times. And I rarely go a year without watching a few of the movies or tv series based on her books. I've actually already had a few Austen fixes this year as well. A couple of weeks ago, I caught the BBC mini-series of Sense and Sensibility on tv, and earlier in the year I read Austenland by Shannon Hale and watched the movie, The Jane Austen Book Club, which was predictable but amusing all the same. Plus late last year I read the Hesperus Press edition of The Watsons, an unfinished story by Jane Austen.

I'm not really sure what I'll read or watch during the remainder of the year, but I do have a few ideas. I'd like to finally read Jane Austen by Carol Shields as it's been waiting to be read for far too long. I also have Lost in Austen: Create Your Own Jane Austen Adventure by Emma Campbell Webster which looks like a lot of fun, and I'm tempted to reread Northanger Abbey this autumn. Mr. Darcy, Vampyre by Amanda Grange also sounds deliciously fun. Then it might be amusing to watch Bridget Jones's Diary again, as it's been ages since I saw it. Or Becoming Jane, or any of the Austen dramatizations that I never get tired of watching. Also, Lost in Austen has started to air on tv here and I just watched part 2 this afternoon. Whatever I end up choosing though, I'm certainly looking forward to spending some quality time with Jane and her characters.

A little personal side note: This past Tuesday, July 7th, was Tanabata. It's not an official holiday (so not a day off) here but it is widely celebrated. It's based on an old Chinese folk tale (click on the link above to read more about it at wikipedia) and is considered quite a romantic day. In Japan, people write their wishes on strips of paper which are then hung on bamboo, and which kind of looks like a summer version of a Christmas tree. I've mentioned this before in 2006 and in 2007, but a recent comment by Trish made me realize it's been a while, so if you've ever wondered why I adopted 'tanabata' as my online screen name it's because July 7th, the festival of tanabata, is our wedding anniversary. So H and I have now been married for 9 years! My how the time flies!

Sorry I still haven't had much time to stop by your blogs. I'm barely even managing to post on mine, but an end to the unpacking is in sight. I hope you're all enjoying the summer so far and reading lots of wonderful books. Have a great week!


  1. I don't know why, but I am fascinated with everything Japanese. I read any book I can find about Japan. I bet you can recommend some good ones.

  2. Thanks so much for joining my challenge - it looks like we both have some of the same items on our challenge list!

  3. Congratulations on your anniversary! Moving is so draining isn't it? Glad to hear there is an end in sight and hopefully more free time for reading :)

    Good luck with the Austen challenge. I think I'm going to have to join in too!

  4. Happy Anniversary (a little belatedly)! Thanks for the Wikipedia link. I did kind of wonder if Tanabata meant something and never got around to asking :o)

  5. I really enjoyed Best Intentions too!! I'm glad that you've been able to think about organizing your books and that you have more space in your new place!! I'm doing the Austen Challenge everything that you listed for it!! The background on Tanabata is very cool and I can see why you use that for your online screen name. Happy Anniversary too!!

  6. Good luck with the Everything Austen challenge! I'd like to reread Northanger Abbey in the fall, too, and have just started watching Lost in Austen on DVD. Happy Anniversary!

  7. I'm glad you're joining the challenge too! there is so much to read and watch! I had a hard time choosing, and ended up leaving the list open too. I have to see Lost in Austen, I keep missing part one and I want to see all 4 in order! lol

  8. Congrats on your anniversary!

    Everything Austen sounds lovely. Someone had sent me a link to a Bridget Jones sequel, it was a fun read.

  9. Oooh organizing books is fun! I have to admit, though, I'm really bad about it, just laziness I guess. My husband is the organizer. He organizes them vaguely by subject, and then I cram in books here and there.

    Everything Austen sounds like a lot of fun! It's been a while since I've reread P&P. Might be time to try some more of that!

  10. You've been so busy lately, Nat. Unpacking is quite a chore--although I do find it more pleasant than the actual packing. My friend says I'm crazy. :-)

    Good luck with the Everything Austen Challenge. It's so tempting, but I think I'll skip it this time around.

    A belated congratulations on your anniversary, Nat! My husband and I just celebrated out 11th this past Sunday.

    I hope you are enjoying your week!

  11. A belated "HAPPY ANNIVERSARY", Nat and H.

    I am off my blog for a little while longer. this whole year seems to be spend in court for me...yes my ex messed up again and well it has all been said before so I will again go through the motions only this time the consequences will be harsh for him, according to the Judge.

    I'll try this week-end and next week to come back and blog especially review 3 great books I finished reading.

    I won a $159.00 white jeans from one blog giveaway J Brand jeans and 4 books from Hachette giveaway :
    Julie & Julia which I wanted, The Night Gardner,looks good, The Imposter's Daughter, which also looks good and one more I can't think about right now. I am trying on several blogs to win Shakespeare and......I really would like this one.

    Hoping you are super happy in your new apartment


  12. I was going to put all my unread books together at the new house, but honestly, it was just too depressing :P

    I never knew where the name "tanabata" came from! Thanks for sharing, and happy belated anniversary!

  13. debnance - I'm fascinated with everything Japanese too! :P
    I'm planning to showcase some Japanese books next month, in conjunction with Bellezza's Japanese Literature challenge, but in the meantime, if you're interested, you can see all the Japan-related books I've read since starting my blog by clicking on the Reading Japan tab at the top.

    Stephanie - Well, I simply couldn't resist! Thanks for hosting! :)

    Iliana - Thanks! It really is draining but things are starting to look more organized. I see you've joined the Austen challenge too, have fun with your book and movie choices.

    Terri B. - Thank you! And now you know. :)

    Staci - I'm about halfway through Best Intentions now and am really enjoying it. I still haven't quite decided how I want to organize my books yet, and I still need to get another bookshelf so I can get the rest of them out of their boxes. It's fun though, thinking about it and reacquainting myself with my books. Thanks for the anniversary wishes!

    JoAnn - Thanks! I was so glad I found out that Lost in Austen would be on TV this month. It's been fun to watch so far, I'm looking forward to seeing the remaining episodes. Enjoy your choices for the challenge!

  14. Susan - We certainly are spoiled for choice when it comes to Austen related books and movies, aren't we? I never seem able to stick with a set list so flexibility seems to work best for me. :P

    A Writer from India - Thank you! Bridget Jones is always entertaining. :)

    Kim L - LOL. I do a lot of cramming in here and there too. Although if I had more space I'd love to organize them properly. I'm still going to try to sort them out a bit more this time though. Plus you're right, it's fun! :P

    Wendy - Thank you! And belated congratulations on your anniversary! :)
    I think I probably agree with you. Even though unpacking can be quite a chore, it is still kind of fun figuring out where to put everything.

    Sylvie - Thank you! We're settling in and our new apartment is starting to feel like home.

    I can't believe you're back in court... actually, after all you've told me about your ex, I suppose I can. I hope things will finally be sorted out this time. At least you've been enjoying some good books in the meantime. I'm looking forward to hearing about them.

    Nymeth - LOL. There is that. I'm hoping that seeing them all together might encourage me to actually read more of them. We'll see how it goes. :P
    And thank you for the anniversary wishes!

  15. LOL--well, my dear, I wasn't around in 2006 to see your original post. Glad you gave an updated note. :) I love that your anniversary falls on a holiday of a romantic nature.

    Another movie that is loosely based on Pride and Prejudice is You've Got Mail with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. But, love Bridget...absolutely.

  16. Trish - I suppose you can guess that we picked the day on purpose. :)
    I've been watching Lost in Austen on TV (the last episode is next week) and it's very cute. I'm now very much in the mood for more so I'm going to have to watch something else Austen-related soon too.


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