April 25, 2015

Huge Book Order for April

Yes, I know that I really should be used to this by now.  However I was not technically on a book buying ban - wouldn't even delude myself by trying to attempt one - so I can take some comfort in that.

I have ordered more than a few books from my favourite online retailers (my local chain store bookshop has a poor range) and I had two discount vouchers to use as well which made the damage done to my wallet slightly less.

My spending has been reasonable so far this month, but today I went a tad overboard.  I couldn't go down to celebrate ANZAC Day as I'm sick, and I didn't want to either a) give it to anyone else, or b) catch something that will make me feel worse, so naturally I ended up online.  Today wasn't supposed to be about buying books.  I just wanted to catch up on some YouTube and do a few other bits and pieces.  But did that happen?  NO!  Last night my mother asked me to get a book for her so it all started from that request. 

Today I managed to order...

The Hobbit - Tolkien
The Return on the King - Tolkien {both these Tolkien books are beautiful cloth-bound editions!}
A Darker Shade of Magic - V. E. Schwab
The Winter Sea - Susanna Kearsley
Heraclix & Pomp - Forrest Aguirre
MOAB is my Washpot - Stephen Fry *
The Virgin Suicides - Jeffrey Eugenides *
Lady Audley's Secret - Mary Elizabeth Braddon *
Cut Throat - Sharon Sala {this was mum's request!} *

On Thursday I went a little mad and ordered,
A Blight of Mages - Karen Miller
Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle {Barnes & Noble leather editions!}
The Arabian Nights
The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas

and earlier in the month I ordered - and am still waiting for mind you - these titles;

The Shining - Stephen King *
Tennant of Wildfell Hall - Emily Bronte
Shirley - Charlotte Bronte
Hounded - Kevin Hearne
Wolfsbane - Patricia Briggs
Air Bound - Christine Feehan

And I am still waiting for The Dragon of Despair* by Jane Lindskold to find it's way into my post box as I ordered it over 4 weeks ago!

* AbeBooks {I can now finally find my OOP editions, God bless them!}

Amongst this rather large amount of books that will be winging their way to me during May I have tried a few new editions.  There are some Penguin English Library books.  I just love the spines and the lovely almost suede feeling of the covers!  As mentioned, the Sherlock Holmes volume is one of those gorgeous B&N leather bound editions with the gilding.  Today I seemed to have a thing for hardcovers, so I hope that they have that they have dust jackets, and there is also a smattering of my usual mass market paperbacks.  Yes, I know that they're quite delicate as the spines almost always break, but they are reasonably priced which matters a hell of a lot when books cost so much in Australia! 

I could tally up all the money I've spent on books this month, but I think I'd keel over in shock.  Thankfully I was able to use some 10% off vouchers - thank you Book Depository! -  and Booktopia always has some amazing bargains.  Even op shops have some great titles.  I found my The Fry Chronicles - hardcover! - at a local thrift shop for $4 last year! 

Speaking of thrift shops, I nearly forgot to mention the great books I found yesterday when I went looking for some cheap bowls {I use them for plant saucers - they look nicer and are easier to keep clean inside!}.  As soon as I walked in the door I was sidetracked by the books.  I haven't been to my local St. Vinnie's in months, and I'm so glad I went because I found a couple of books that I've been meaning to get - as well as one that I'd just put in my wishlist!

As per usual, I spent more time and money on the books than I did on the items I actually went for.

Well, I think I've spent enough.  Have to leave you all as I'll just want to start compiling another cart full of books if I keep thinking about them for much longer ;-D 

Okay, must go watch a DVD to take my mind off this dead tree purchasing ...

Until next time,

April 21, 2015

Mrs. Bennet - a realist and successful mother

After watching some of RonLit's YouTube videos about Jane Austen, I found myself longing to revisit the world of Miss Bennet and Mr. Darcy.  It's been about three years since I've picked up P&P, and I'd forgotten just how much I love this book.  

{Side note: Jane Austen must have been a most interesting person as the witty remarks her characters make, and her personal observations of their behaviour, are just as apt and amusing today as they must have been to her readers buying P&P hot off the press.}

Now, after watching these YouTube videos where the books are critically reviewed and picked apart on every underlying meaning, I feel a new regard for Mrs Bennet.  She has always been a character that I didn't really think much of - apart from the overwhelming relief that my mother is in no way like her! - and yet after thinking about it, out of all the characters who flitter across the pages it is she who is most sensible in her doggedly obsessive hunt to secure her daughters futures.

Just think in Austen's time a mother, daughter, wife or widow had no legal rights to remain in the family home after the death of the man of the house, especially if said estate was entailed to another distantly related male.  He has the power.  This unpalatable truth is brought home by the determination of Mrs Bennet to see her daughters married come hell or high water.  Why else would you consider forcing your daughter to marry the obnoxious Mr. Collins, or to blindly look the other way in regards to Wickham's deeds?  The fact that Mrs Bennet does shows you just how far a Regency mother will go to see her daughters futures secured.  I bet that if all her daughters were to have married men of Wickham's ilk she would not have thought of anything else but an overwhelming relief that her daughters were now married and she had done her job of seeing them all wed.

It is she, instead of her husband, who has the financial security of her daughters in mind.  Why didn't Mr Bennet put aside money for their futures?  Yes, he planned on having a son, but that's still no excuse as to why once it became clear that there was no son to inherit he didn't simply not set aside some amount annually.  Especially since he would have known to whom the estate would have been entailed to.  It speaks of a lack of understanding, and a selfishness in a way, that he just didn't think about their futures once he was gone.  He retreats to his library, escaping his reality and ignoring what he doesn't want to be true.  Yet, for all this Mr Bennet is a much loved character while his wife is not.

Thanks to RonLit and BooksandPieces videos, I now read Pride and Prejudice with a better understanding of Mrs Bennet, and although I think that she is still an annoying character of the highest order ... well, behind Lydia that is, I don't think I'll ever be able to read it without the understanding that out of all the characters, she is the only one that accomplishes her goals - to see your daughters wed.

Okay, that was way too deep and thought provoking for a sunny Tuesday afternoon.  I'm off to watch something lighthearted ;-D

So until next time my lovelies,