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text 2016-06-11 08:47
Book Haul Part Two
The Real Jane Austen: A Life in Small Things - Paula Byrne
The Name of the Rose - Umberto Eco
A Small Unsigned Painting - Stephen Scheding
A Thousand Days in Tuscany: A Bittersweet Adventure - Marlena De Blasi
Brother Cadfael's Penance - Ellis Peters
At Bertram's Hotel - Agatha Christie
Murder on the Links - Agatha Christie
O Christmas Three: O. Henry, Tolstoy, and Dickens - Leo Tolstoy,Charles Dickens,O. Henry

I forgot when I did my book haul post yesterday, about the book sale one of the local churches was putting on today.  This is the second of their sales I've been to, and I am now a fan - not a big selection, but lots of quality.

 

Books I've never heard of before but looked good:

The Real Jane Austen: A Life in Small Things - Paula Byrne 

A Small Unsigned Painting - Stephen Scheding 

A Thousand Days in Tuscany: A Bittersweet Adventure - Marlena De Blasi 

O Christmas Three: O. Henry, Tolstoy, and Dickens - Leo Tolstoy,Charles Dickens,O. Henry 

 

Books I've seen/heard of before and have been moderately interested in reading:

The Name of the Rose - Umberto Eco 

Brother Cadfael's Penance - Ellis Peters 

At Bertram's Hotel - Agatha Christie 

Murder on the Links - Agatha Christie 

 

That last one, I bought not only because I'm eventually going to read all of Christie's work, but because the pulpy cover just called to me - I love it!

 

I'll admit, I got a bit mercenary this morning.  On one of the tables was a cache of 5 Ian Fleming James Bond paperbacks.  Old 60's editions in good condition, for .50 each.  I've read a few book articles lately about people searching for the old paperback editions, so I grabbed them.  Then, I had a fit of conscience, because I have no desire to read James Bond.  So I put them back and about 10 seconds later, a guy grabbed all of them and walked away, which made me feel both better about myself and like I wanted to kick myself too.  

 

I moved on, and on my last run of the tables (to make sure I hadn't missed anything), I found all 5 of the books again - the guy had changed his mind and put them back.  So this time, I grabbed them.  I'm not sure what the heck I'm going to do with them, but one of them is a first edition.  I am going to try to put my conservation lessons to the test and gently clean them up - then decide what to do from there.

 

Thunderball - Ian Fleming  Dr. No - Ian Fleming  Octopussy - Ian Fleming  Moonraker - Ian Fleming  Casino Royale - Ian Fleming  

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text 2014-06-27 20:30
All finished.
Expectations of Happiness: A Companion Volume to Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility - Rebecca Ann Collins

Well, this was one of those that was less than expected. Longer review to come soon.

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review 2013-07-06 00:00
The Real Jane Austen: A Life in Small Things
The Real Jane Austen: A Life in Small Things - Paula Byrne In my book, Jane, Actually,1 one of the characters writes a biography with the title, The Real Jane Austen, that “examines the personality of Jane Austen with the tools of modern-day medicine, forensic psychiatry and textual analysis.” Fortunately, Paula Byrne’s The Real Jane Austen: A Life in Small Things, takes a far more relaxed and charming approach to telling Austen’s story.Rather than starting with her birth and ending with her death, Byrnes focuses on objects—jewelry, paintings, notebooks, etc.—with which Austen might or might not have been familiar. All the objects were from Austen’s times and some were owned by Austen or her family. Some items are pedestrian: a card of lace similar to the lace Austen’s aunt was accused of stealing; and some are touching: an ad for the auction of household items from the Steventon parsonage; and some are calculating: a royalty check Jane received for sales of Emma.The first item tells us that Jane lived in a world very different from us. Her Aunt Leigh-Perrot might have been executed or transported to Australia if convicted of the crime; and Mrs. Austen offered to send Jane and Cassandra as companions to her aunt while she was being held over for trial (in other words to stay with their aunt in jail).2 The second item hints at how much of a shock it must have been for Jane to leave Steventon for Bath after her father retired as rector. And the third reminds us that Jane was no naif when it came to business. She made some hard-headed business decisions and worked hard at developing her career and reputation (although in this instance, her decision to reprint Mansfield Park at the same time she was publishing Emma backfired).Byrne chooses several illustrations to tell her stories, including a watercolor of Lyme Regis, two paintings of sisters, another of a pair of women also shown on the book cover, and of course the sketch Byrne champions as being a representation of Austen drawn from life. It’s understandable that Byrne should include it—her husband gave it to her as a present, thinking it was an “imaginary portrait” (an idealized portrait). And she concludes the book (the epilogue) with another “portrait” of Austen. This watercolor, painted by Cassandra Austen, shows her sister from behind (seen right). Byrne calls it the only “irrefutably authentic image of the real Jane Austen.”I have to wonder at this last statement because the National Portrait Gallery seems to recognize that the unfinished pencil sketch/watercolor portrait seen left, also created by Cassandra, portrays Jane. I’ve also heard it called the only authentic image of Jane Austen. It doesn’t matter that many people dislike the image it offers of our favorite author.I definitely would have included this portrait were I to write a biography told by objects. I’ve said several times in this blog how affected I was by seeing it in the National Portrait Gallery.This oversight, however, is my only complaint about The Real Jane Austen, and I had to work hard to find it. You will probably not find anything that displeases in this delightful alternative to the traditional biography of Jane Austen, especially if like me you‘ve already read several such biographies. After all, there are few facts about Austen’s life that you don’t already know. The joy of The Real Jane Austen is discovering Jane through the context of time in which she lived, without all the forensic psychiatry and textual analysis.1 Sorry to sneak in a plug for my book.2 Byrne thinks Jane’s wealthy Aunt Leigh-Perrott was guilty of shoplifting.
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review 2013-04-10 00:00
The Real Jane Austen: A Life in Small Things - Paula Byrne A fascinating and well-written book about the life of Jane Austen as seen through a collection of objects that she used. There are writing books, a writing slope, a card of lace, a shawl from India, and the like. I really enjoyed reading this method of writing, and the end result was a deeper look at what and where and who Jane Austen used to create her novels. Along with the narrative, there are drawings and photographs of the objects, along with extensive notes and a bibliography. Five stars overall and a very enthusiastic recommendation from me.

For the longer review, please go here:
http://www.epinions.com/review/Paula_Byrne_The_Real_Jane_Austen_A_Life_in_Small_Things_epi/content_618130935428
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review 2013-01-01 00:00
The Real Jane Austen: A Life in Small Things
The Real Jane Austen: A Life in Small Things - Paula Byrne BOTWWritten by Paula Byrne.Reader - Emma Fieldingblurb: In this new biography, best-selling author Paula Byrne explores the forces that shaped the interior life of Jane Austen, Britain's most beloved novelist: her father's religious faith, her other brothers' naval and military experiences, her relatives in the East and West Indies, her cousin who lived through the trauma of the French Revolution, her residence in Bath, her love of the seaside, her travels around England and her long struggle to become a published author.The woman who emerges in this biography is far tougher, more socially and politically aware, and altogether more modern than the conventional picture of 'dear Aunt Jane' would allow.28th January is the bicentenary of the first publication of Pride and Prejudice.Abridged by Elizabeth Reeder.Produced by Allegra McIlroy
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