April 24, 2015

Moments with books: "Where'd You Go, Bernadette?"/"The Jane Austen Book Club"

Ready for round 2?  It's about time I get back to a regularly scheduled blogging series around these parts!

VITALS: "Where'd You Go, Bernadette" by Maria Semple
HOW WE MET: the cover caught my eye when I noticed others reading it.  And I noticed A LOT of others reading it.
A MOMENT'S SUMMARY: the novel works it's storyline from start to finish through published documents, invoices, e-mails, letters and any other manner of communication used by Bernadette and scrounged up by Bea, her daughter.  At it's core, this is a lock-tight example of the mother/daughter bond that can endure through anything... even a continental divide.
HEAD AND HEART: Bea attends a private school in the novel.  My Bear attends- for all intents and purposes- a private school as well.  This has been a new kind of school year for me; with Bear in kindergarten and my only previous experiences being as a public school teacher.  Some of the humor, albeit stereotypical at times, built around Bea's school days made me laugh out loud.
KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR: Microsoft jokes (the setting is Seattle)
FOR MY QUOTEBOARDS:"That's right', she told the girls.  'You are bored.  And I'm going to let you in on a little secret about life.  You think it's boring now?  Well, it only gets more boring.  The sooner you learn it's on you to make life interesting, the better off you'll be." 

VITALS: "The Jane Austen Book Club" by Karen Joy Fowler
HOW WE MET: completely random
A MOMENT'S SUMMARY: six Californians form "the Jane Austen Book Club"; the 5 women and singular male tout their club as "all Jane Austen all the time".  The book's prologue introduces each character in his/her "own private Austen" way, then continues to weave it's story by spotlighting on each member as he/she hosts a club gathering.  The novels covered are: "Emma", "Sense and Sensibility", "Mansfield Park", "Northanger Abby", "Pride and Prejudice" and "Persuasion".  That's the layout- surrounding all that is life!  Sci-fi conventions, dog breeders, death, a Costa Rica trip, lesbians, divorce, fundraisers... 
HEAD AND HEART: Fowler shows her proficiency in all things Austen.  The way the characters are laid out, the relationships, the humor- it all hums along just as Ms. Austen would have prescribed. 
KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR: "Ask Austen" magic 8 ball 
FOR MY QUOTEBOARDS: "The pants were spotted with olive and blue flowers, and now there was a hummus-colored spot as well on the ledge of her stomach.  You could go a long time without noticing the stain, however.  You could go a long time without looking at her pants.  This was because she'd broken her glasses some time after our last meeting and patched them together with a startling great lump of paper clips and masking tape.  It was possible they weren't even broken.  It was possible she'd merely lost the screw."


AS FOR YOU: Have you decided these books are worth the read, or not?  Got an insider scoop on one of these selections?  Carry on the discussion in the comments- using the rating scale is optional ;)


smalltownme said...

I've read and enjoyed The Jane Austen Book Club.

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