I have managed to go through five of the books I received for Christmas in the few days since then. Granted, these books were not terribly long, and in fact, the are some of the few YA novels that I've read in a while. However, I did enjoy them, and the fact that I have been able to read at all is a welcome addition to my daily schedule. Hooray for Winter Break!
The first I read was I Was Jane Austen's Best Friend, by Cora Harrison. To be perfectly honest, I approached this book feeling a little conflicted. After my first perusal of Pride and Prejudice back in the eigth grade for a book report, I found in Jane Austen a voice I loved to read, especially in describing the society of the time in which she lived. That being said, some of the fiction that I have read in the past based around actual people have been neither interesting, nor historically accurate.
However, from the first page, the book was both. Well, mostly interesting, but some of it was accurate :). The author's notes in the back of the book do signify that while the particulars of the story are not exactly true, the overall facts are: Jenny (really also named Jane, like her famous cousin) did send a letter from the boarding school where she and Jane resided, and really is credited with saving the life of her famous cousin by smuggling out a letter to her family, detailing Jane's extreme sickness. Also, the main romance in the story is true, but to give away any more than that would be giving away the book. :)
All in all, even though it was a little slow in parts, and there were a great load of characters in it (some of whom were a little forgettable), I enjoyed the book. (However, if you plan on buying it any time soon, make sure to check out the UK version... the cover art is so much cuter!)
The next four books I read are actually part of the Once Upon a Time series from Simon & Schuster, which feature retellings of classic fairy tales: Golden (Rapunzel), Wild Orchid (The Ballad of Mulan), Before Midnight (Cinderella), and Sunlight & Shadow (Magic Flute), all by Cameron Dokey. Its a series of books that I've been reading ever since middle school, but one that I've only decided that I needed to collect recently. I have always been a sucker for a good fairy tale, and these novels only seem to lend more magic to them. They aren't that thick, only about 180- 200 pages each, but they still manage to pack in a good story, and, of course, a happily-ever-after at the end. Other authors in the series include Tracy Lynn, Debbie Viguie, Nancy Holder, and Suzanne Weyn.
Now I am left to sort through the rest of my Christmas presents. I'm leaving the best - and the thickest - for last, with MFK Fisher's The Art of Eating (the collection of her five best books on food, released for her 50th Anniversary in 2004), and the new Autobiography of Mark Twain, vol. 1. However, first I am going to read Jane, by April Linder, a book I've been looking forward to reading since I heard about it in early November.
Everything I recieved for Christmas was awesome, especially the books (and the Junior Mints :)). Thank you so so very much, to those who know me so well!
(ps. Pictures would have accompanied this post, if not for me screwing up my camera. I accidentaly turned off the flash somehow, and now all of my pictures just turn out sort of sepia-toned).