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Monday, December 19, 2011

180

What Old Book Do I Read If ... ?

Happy Holidays, Hairpin. How's locking yourself in the hallway bathroom with a mug full of wine going? You'll come out when people RESPECT YOUR BOUNDARIES, that's when you'll come out. Better find a good old book to read in the meantime!

I wish I could just always only suggest old books to you forever, non-stop, for so long that during the time I am suggesting them, new books become old and we have MORE OLD BOOKS, which I would in turn suggest, and we would never die. However, I also want you to be able to meet your own old-book needs when I am not around because I’m out making $$$, raising children, drinking mugwine, whatever. And we’ve touched on a bunch of old books and one old movie that might solve your life-problems already. . . Forthwith, a chart to carry in your wallet.

Glad we have that covered, on to more new old books!

So my sister, she lives far away and I miss her lots!

We're twins but we're not gross and co-dependent or anything ... our relationship is usually equal parts loving and annoying, we've always had different hobbies/interests/groups of friends, but we've also always lived at home together and had lots of time to hang, but now that we're "grown-ups" and living far apart, things are a bit sucky-er :(  I need a good sisterly book to read so that I can tell her to read it too and then we can EMAIL and GCHAT about it like ADULTS!!!

So what's a book about sisters who are not annoying like the Little Women but not terrible to each other like those bitches on Downton Abbey?

Wait, were the girls terrible to each other on Downton Abbey? I couldn't tell because the whole time I was watching I was all "what are these buzzing flies getting in the way of my view of Lady Cora?" Also yes, correct on Little Women. Horrible Person Remix: when I read it and Beth died, I thought, thank god, now this book can stop sucking (and in fact it did, credit where credit is due).

I am jealous that you have a TWIN to talk to about BOOKS. Can I just extract your memories and live them myself like a demon? As an accommodation for your sacrifice, I offer you The Lost Queen of Egypt by Lucile Phillips Morrison. This book is what I would have talked about with my imaginary sister. I inherited my copy from my mom (along with my copy of Little Women, actually!). It was evocative and entertaining and challenging, and I so want it to be part of the collective pre-teen consciousness. Sorry, I know you wanted something to "GCHAT about like ADULTS," but you have to work your way up there by Gchatting like an 11-year-old first.

So anyway, this book, it has sisters in it — it centers on the Egyptian princess Ankhesenpaaten, who eventually married King Tut, but it's all about her growth and the court intrigues of the Amarna period as seen through her eyes. A lot of the story focuses on her relationship with her sisters who all have equally confusing names, but you'll figure it out.  (It is because of this book that Merytaten was my AOL screen name circa 1996, hi sad men of the old internet, how have you been?) There is a ton of running around sunny courtyards and splashing fountains with malevolent priests plotting nearby, then getting married off and separated — all the sister stuff. Also I guess it's all about incest, but what are you gonna do.

It's also pretty good on the actual history, not all Mysteries of the Pyramids, and it's got the cozy about-old-stuff feeling without the fussiness of corsets. On the contrary, my copy has a three-color fronticepiece (?) backispiece (?) illustration, and there's definitely a visible main-character nipple in it. That blithe grown-upness is unsurprising considering the sort of sophisticated, dishy pre-war style to the prose — Googling the author, it seems like she funded a modern dance scholarship at Scripps, collected dolls, and researched "the sex attitude," all of which sounds pretty much right. This is literature for girls who would grow up to be Dames. YD (young Dame) novels, now a thing.

I AM SORRY that this is a pain in the ass recommendation since it's basically an out-of-print YA book from the 1930s, but there are copies around the internet, and you should get one. Or two. Get two and send your sister one for the holidays. Or mail the one back and forth. Then you will both have a lovely, slightly recherche object and a shared experience, and it is like you yourselves are in a book about sisters! "Two Sisters and Their Nice Old Book."

See? B00bz. (From the 1937 J.B. Lippincott Edition, decorations by Franz Geritz.)

In a fit of long-delayed gratification, my man and I are swanning off to Italy in January.

What old book set amidst the grandeur that Rome and/or the twisting canals of Venice do I read to gird myself for such beauty without setting ridiculously high aspirations that of course go unmet, leaving me sulking in the rain and eating crappy American food because we can't find the trattoria that Lonely Planet says is right there?

It's easy to forget, amid all the oldness, that Italy is actually a new country. It was broken up into a jillion different empires and kingdoms and protectorates and whatall until the 1830s, and regions still differ widely in terms of identity and culture and food and language and whatever else people do. If you can somehow find an old person who speaks Venetian dialect when you are there (probably not, it is only tourists, which sounds condescending, but shit, that's not what I mean, it SHOULD be full of tourists because it is BEAUTIFUL, it is just kind of ravaged by economic forces, something Eurozone something something), do it — every other letter is "x," it is crazy.

So, I just finished something that I think is going to be really good for you, too. It gives some perspective on this history and regionalism and both the influence of/isolation from the politics of western Europe, it has a ton of court intrigue, it has rich descriptions of palaces and prisons and beautiful natural settings, it is refreshingly frank and nonjudgemental about some pretty intense sexual politics, and it is really funny! Really funny, not "you will feel smart for understanding an old joke, but the old joke is not that good" funny. This magic book is Charterhouse of Parma, by Stendahl. It's about the various adventures of Fabrizio del Dongo (which is a hilarious name, I am sorry), a Northern Italian nobleman who gets caught up first in the tug of war. . . or, uh, just the actual war between France and Austria, then ends up at Waterloo, then in the court at Parma, then prison, etc. etc. The description of the Battle of Waterloo is supposed to be really famous and realistic and influential, though I thought it was kind of slapstick (also good!), but that might be a function of the translation I was reading — Richard Howard's — which I like a lot! It's got a light, modern feel, without too many moments of weird anachronism: “and then Fabrizio was all, what the FUCK? What the serious fucking FUCK?" (Not an actual quote.) (Though he is, in fact, all like that, a lot, in spirit.)

Another thing I like is that while there's some proclaiming on the Italian National Character, it's usually at the expense of the French, and done playfully, not like "look at this pathetic/glorious confederacy of emotive manchildren and their incredible peasant food HOW DID THIS COME TO PASS," which English-language books about Italy can tend toward. Yes, there are also originally-in-Italian books (really!), but the ones I've read tend to be dark and about junkies, because I was 19 when I was studying Italian, and obsessed with what I thought was authenticity. Haha, "oh yeah, you'll have a great time in Italy! Don't forget to have convulsions on the urine-splashed floor in the bathroom of the Ferrara train station! Must see, four stars!"

Also, just watch The Leopard. Didn't we cover that already? I dunno, check the chart.

Previously: Clarissa!

Do you need an old book? Write Carrie for advice.

Carrie Hill Wilner likes to read.



180 Comments / Post A Comment

emilyo

Sister book recommendation: The Easter Parade by Richard Yates

Although I'm not sure it really hits the lovey-dovey sister mark, it's good! and it gave me something to talk about with my sister who also lives far away and rules.

emilylou

@emilyo I love The Easter Parade. (And the cooler sister's name is Emily! Go us.)

wee_ramekin

@emilyo Though it's neither Old nor Fiction, as one of four sisters, I really enjoyed reading Mary S. Lovell's The Sisters: The Saga of the Mitford Family. The Mitfords are so amazing that it sort of seems like their lives could be fiction, and the author does a really great job of shedding light on the emotional connections between them.

Also, I think I originally heard about this book on The Hairpin! So, life comes full circle, and all that.

propermake

@emilyo in a similar degree of sister relationship doubt, the game by a.s. byatt. the sisters are feuding but it's obvious that they have a very deep connection. and based on the drama between the author and her real-life sister who is also a writer!

not really an old book, 1992, but it feels old in that academic, british way.

Anxiety

@propermake "The Game" feels old because it was originally published in 1967.

propermake

@Anxiety that totally explains it! i got the 1992 from amazon and it didn't feel exactly right.

Decca

@wee_ramekin Yaaay Mitford high-five!

emilyo

@emilylouise go us indeed!

sonambula

@propermake I think I read somewhere that their feud was over a tea-set - Margaret Drabble wrote about it, Byatt had wanted to and resented being beaten to it?

feminazibonerkiller

@Decca Dude. If I ever have a daughter, she's going to be named Decca. Because Decca Mitford is one of my heroes. Doublehighfive?

werewolfbarmitzvah

Not a book, but LW #2 should Netflix Summertime, with Katharine Hepburn.

SuperGogo

@werewolfbarmitzvah I loved that movie. But as someone who's thirtymumble and single and has traveled alone on several occasions, I could barely watch it at times. The complete breakdown in the middle of the day when it's hot and you're lost and the only person around is a little foreign boy--the wistful and kind of sad indulgance of buying something nice for yourself even if you have no idea if you'll ever use or wear it--the camera-as-prop that gets abandoned immediately when there's the prospect of an actual interaction with someone--all of that and more. So. spot. on.

bangs
bangs

I just think everyone should read Call of the Wild. Not that it has anything to do with this post, I just believe strongly in it.

Carrie Hill Wilner

@Xaxa ". . .typed the typing wolf."

Es
Es

@Xaxa Yes! I wonder where my copy is...

Lucienne

@Xaxa Uncle Matthew ... ?

bangs
bangs

@Lucienne No? I have a brother named Matthew, but he is not an uncle.

Lucienne

@Xaxa Oh, sorry, I was making a silly Mitfords joke. In hindsight, I may have got it wrong - Uncle Matthew may have only read White Fang.

bangs
bangs

@Lucienne Ah literaty jokes. No idea. I'm afraid "...typed the typing wolf" is something that's gne over my head as well :/

Verity

@Lucienne I think it was White Fang. But still, that was the first place my mind went when I saw the recommendation as well - you win!

bookbike

Ugh - this is just, like, the Best Column Ever.

bookbike

I am in love with the spreadsheet!

Megasus

I read "The Agony and the Ectasy" when I was in Italy and it was pretty good times.

feartie

@Megan Patterson@facebook I watched the Helena Bonham Carter version of A Room With A View while by myself in a youth hostel in Florence. Come to think of it, I read Daisy Miller there too, which apparently I cannot remember a single word of. Probably a good quick cafe read?

hopelessshade

@Megan Patterson@facebook 7-some years ago, I read a mediocre vampire sex book a friend had brought to Italy and made sure I saved the last chapter so I could nonchalantly read it while sitting in the Vatican.

No one cared, but I felt it was a necessary gesture.

thebestjasmine

The awesome spreadsheet just led me to Amazon to download A Room with a View for free for my Kindle, wheee. Especially awesome because I didn't want to buy/read a new book in the next week for fear that I'll get it for Christmas.

redheaded&crazy

@thebestjasmine you can download books for free on amazon?! probably only if you have a kindle though eh... damn my canada manufactured ereader!

thebestjasmine

@redheadedandcrazy Lots of books are in the public domain and you can download them for free, so if not at Amazon, you can probably do it wherever you get your ebooks. OR you can download from Amazon and then convert to whatever your ereader accepts with Calibre, a free ebook conversion software thingie.

redheaded&crazy

@thebestjasmine Oh man I feel dumb right now. You're so right, lots of classics are available. I think I got really excited and that whole thing slipped my mind. I actually did download a bunch of free classics a while back so it's possible I already have it and forgot about it like a fool!

I do like talking about cute boys, so clearly it should be on my must read list.

cocokins

@thebestjasmine I just downloaded Little Dorrit by Dickens and I am enjoying it. I love free old books.

Inkling

@thebestjasmine I HAVE A KINDLE WHAT ELSE DO YOU LIKE.
I'm searching for more free books, to 'buy' or rent.
I tried to link up to my public library, but the damn thing's got no Terry Pratchett in it! (Also I -have- returned Lonely Werewolf Girl, stop charging me! Also everyone should read Lonely Werewolf Girl, it's just complex and dirty and sexy and underaged and rad.)

MEGA VENUTIAN SPACE SCORPION

@thebestjasmine You have to do a bit of sifting at times, some of them are just text dumps that haven't been proofread, but yay free books!

Dorothea

lady going to italy: the film version of a room with a view, with helena bonham carter, gave me so many swirly feelings about italy and love!

pterodactgirl

@blahstudent I love that movie so much I'm almost afraid reading the book will ruin it. BUT I just read Howard's End and it was just as awesome as the adaptation, so that plus Ms. Wilner's blessing means I think I'm ready to take the plunge now.

Dorothea

@pterodactgirl do it!! though i might actually love the movie more than the book. so much romance, and there's a penis in it too! (it's the liberated, natural kind of nudity that i love best.)

pterodactgirl

@blahstudent Agreed! All of those Merchant-Ivory E.M. Forster adaptations are so lovely and wonderful. I am totally going to get ARWAV now, once I finish the books I am sure to get at Christmas (this may take a while.)

Alice

@pterodactgirl I don't think reading the book will ruin your movie love! It's been a while since I saw it, but I remember thinking that it was one of the most faithful book-to-movie adaptations I've ever seen. It helps that the book is short, so they didn't have to cut anything out or change any plots.

Read it! You won't be disappointed!

PistolPackinMama

There is nothing... NOTHING... I do not love about this column. The sisters! The swanning off to Italy! The spreadsheets! The books! The writer! I love it all. ALL OF IT.

XOXOXOXO A Fan

sheistolerable

Shit, I wish I had thought to write into this earlier. Help me commenters! What old book do I read if I'm going to be on an eight hour flight to visit partner's family, there to spend my first Christmas without my family EVER at 28, and I want to get in the holiday spirit, but I've already read Little Women and A Christmas Carol?

PistolPackinMama

@sheistolerable Where are you going? Would you accept You Are There Reading, even if it is not Christmas reading?

Es
Es

@sheistolerable I don't think you can beat Raymond Chandler for flight-reading. I have no idea why, but it totally works. Old enough? I can't read books that require concentration on planes, which most old books do, what with the language and the beauty of it.

pterodactgirl

@sheistolerable I was once in this situation (except flying home to MY family) and I decided the answer was War and Peace. That's not the answer unless you want to have a conversation with everyone in the airport AND the plane. I have never had so many people just come up to me and start jabbering about the book I was reading. It was kind of cool after awhile, even though I don't like talking to strangers. However War and Peace actually ended up taking several months to read, so maybe it's not the best recommendation? If you like Science Fiction I'd say try The Left Hand of Darkness: it has Travel, Cold Weather, Meeting Strange New People, and Love (sort of) and it is certifiably awesome. If you want an Old Book, maybe Barchester Towers? It's sort of the opposite of TLHOD because it's set in one of those English towns where everyone knows each other so you get a bunch of cozy gossip and small-time machinations. But it's also awesome. Plus there are a bunch of other books in the series in case you read fast and need another one. I hope you enjoy your trip, whatever you read!

pterodactgirl

@Es Raymond Chandler is also so so so awesome. And again there is a whole series, in case you need more than one! Hooray?

Lucienne

@sheistolerable The Dark Is Rising, although it's 1970s so not really old.

Or Emma!

redheaded&crazy

@Lucienne Forget Emma, just watch Clueless!

Did you guys know that Clueless is a parody of Emma? Oh everybody knew that except for me until I rewatched it last week? Okay then!

Dorothea

@sheistolerable i had a good experience reading northanger abbey on a plane--it's light and fun and kind of breezily romantic, i think the most underrated austen. my boyfriend liked it!

miwome

@Lucienne YES YES YES this book is so amazing, I reread it at least once a year, not even at Christmastime. It's Christmasy but in a good old-school Saturnalias kind of way. Plus, wizard mentor and choir singing. And since Susan Cooper is also sort of a poet (I think?) all of the Mystical Prophetic Words are really cool and shivery but in a comfortable sort of way.

It's like the perfect dose of EPIC STRUGGLE AGAINST EVIL FOR THE WORLD to get you worked up and involved but without actually upsetting you, and it's a quick read. And again, it's part of a series, so there are others to read if you need to! But this one is better than all the other ones.

Lucienne

@miwome My favorite is actually Greenwitch, but yeah - it's a great series. The books are really ... relaxing and comforting in that English (not British) way.

miwome

@Lucienne I think I'm biased by having been close to Will's age when I read the whole series. At the time, I think Greenwitch went right over my head. I reread it in the last year or so, and I got a lot more of the point--and I like what she's doing in that book!--but I don't think it, or any of the rest of the series, will ever live in me the way The Dark Is Rising does. Which is still fine, it is a great series, and yes, very comforting.

Lucienne

@miwome Hah, I was also Will's age when I read the books - but! I read Greenwitch first. So that's probably why.

miwome

@Lucienne That would do it, too. I read Over Sea and Under Stone first, which is probably why it holds greater sway over me than most of the others, even though it's the least original (IMO).

propermake

@redheadedandcrazy when i was in high school i tried to write a paper comparing emma and clueless but my english teacher said no. i had to use the gwyneth paltrow version of emma, which is so less interesting.

joie

@pterodactgirl Ursula Le Guin is The Best. Sigh. Would you believe I found out about her through that movie, Jane Austen Book Club? Best book recommendation through a film ever!

pterodactgirl

@heyits She is SUPER AWESOME and I LOVE HER. (Caps Lock necessary.) Maybe some day the Hairpin will have a What Science Fiction Book Should I Read If... column and the answer will always be Ursula LeGuin. Because she is always the answer.

Inkling

@sheistolerable The Hogfather!!! It's all about belief, fantasy, holidays, weird family dynamics, tradition, and eyeballs. And teeth. It's very funny and intense! There's snow in it!
Also there's a low-budget, high-devotion film of it that you can watch on youtube once you arrive at your destination. I watch/read this every holiday season.

Es
Es

@miwome I reread the Dark is Rising sequence about three times a year! The Grey King makes me sniffle every time, and I always dig out the Dark is Rising for Christmas seasonal reading regardless. Lovely books, and stand up well to adult rereading, which a lot of books from my childhood don't.

angelene

@sheistolerable I always find the Moomin books (any Moomin book, inc. the comic strips) by Tove Jansson quite comforting and Christmassy, what with the focus on family and parties, and they are about people kind of getting along even if they're different, which might help with any meeting-boyfriend's-family tensions :-). Tove Jansson is so good.

pterodactgirl

Last weekend I watched The Leopard while making holidaycoupage Christmas postcards. It was awesome. I feel like I should get some sort of Hairpin points for this though?

bookbike

@pterodactgirl Yeah! Hairpin Points! For contributing to comments and for drinking wine from a mug (though that's only a half point, as I'm not locked in the bathroom).

pterodactgirl

@heyad I think you get life points for not having to lock yourself in the bathroom over the holidays.

dtowngirl

"The Years" by Virginia Woolf is a good sibling/family book

feartie

@dtowngirl It's on my to-be-read list this year. Like all of her books, eventually. I tried with Faulkner, but then Absalom, Absalom happened.

dtowngirl

You can't go wrong with "Mrs. Dalloway," and "The Waves" is beautiful and odd. I've never been able to get into Faulkner (hangs head in shame).

Mildred

Should I print multiple copies of that chart and highlight the appropriate columns to note for each recipient, even if it's column two to (not so) subtly hint that I think their boyfriend's a juicebox? Let's consult column 6....okay yes.

Haha but no : (
It's going on the fridge though.

lindybot

VILLETTE!

Such a fantastic book that basically no one has read. WHYY

Decca

@lindybot Because people are IDIOTS.

Hilarity in Shoes@twitter

I have a great sister-book recommendation: The Moonflower Vine. It was released first in the 40s and then re-released last year (ish). I also recommend Emotionally Weird by Kate Atkinson.

feartie

@Hilarity in Shoes@twitter YES Emotionally Weird. It is so fun and fluffy. I don't have a sister, but my dad went to Dundee University in the 70s when Kate Atkinson was there, and he says it takes him back to those days...like Proust, but with more Klingon and yellow dogs?

Cavendish

@Hilarity in Shoes@twitter I love Emotionally Weird! I have never encountered anyone else who knows about it. Have you read Human Croquet? It's dark and funny and strange.

Diana

I'M SO HAPPY THIS WAS POSTED!

On your recommendation I finally read my copy of Villette which kicked off 19th Century Ladies with Pellises Overlooking The Heath MANIA! So then I read The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (I'm going to reread Wuthering Heights by the end of the year so I get the legendary Bronte Triple) and then I started rereading all of my Jane Austen. Persuasion (which is actually the best book, sorry everybody), Sense and Sensibility which I had somehow never sat down and read properly, Pride and Prejudice and then Mansfield Park. I also got my boyfriend to watch Persuasion, the new Jane Eyre, and Sense and Sensibility with me. Sorry but nobody else in my surroundings is reading/watching this stuff and I have nowhere to talk about how delightful it is. PLEASE DISCUSS THESE BOOKS WITH ME. Tell me allllll your feelings about them! Because I have so many feelings!

franceschances

@Diana I looooove Persuasion! It felt truer than Pride and Prejudice somehow. And that note! Swoon!

Lucienne

@Diana Tenant of Wildfell Hall! Even though I thought it was kind of a slog (in a good way, but man, does Anne love her moralizing), I really love it. And it's weird, because reading it ... it sort of seems like nothing happens? I guess because of the distance at which it's told. But I love how human Helen is. Actually, I just checked my Goodreads review of it and apparently I wrote like 1000 words on it? So many feelings, I guess!

Also, you should watch the adaptation! It's crazy histrionic and it has Rupert Graves (!), James Purefoy (!!), and Toby Stephens (!!!) (he cuddles a puppy!!!!). Plus, uh, some good acting.

Diana

@franceschances

Okay so when I read Sense and Sensibility I had this super astounding realization and it feels so treacherous that I dare not speak it aloud but here goes: I think the 1995 movie adaptation is better than the actual book. Because like you said about P&P, S&S just doesn't ring very true to me? Everything is resolved in the last 20 pages, we don't ever get any idea of Edward Ferrars' character at any point, and it all just seems sort of thrown together at the end. The movie version is way more delightful. Anyway P&P feels true to me but I totally get what you're saying. But gahhh! Persuasion is so perfect! THAT NOTE! I was so sad when I realized I was nearing the end because that book could go on for 300 more pages and I wouldn't complain. Everybody is so delightful in it - there are so many delightful jolly people! I loooove the Musgroves. Benwick! The Admiral! The Admiral's Wife! The 1995 Ciaran Hinds/Amanda Root adaptation - can we talk about perfect casting? I kind of wish they would make a 6 hour BBC version which was still starring those two and I could just sort of watch it forever and ever.

Diana

@Lucienne

I watched the movie years ago solely based on the casting. It's been awhile. Helloooooooooo gentlemen.

Also Anne's moralizing was much easier for me to take when I thought about the greatest Hark! A Vagrant strip ever. So true, Anne. You're so right, Anne.

franceschances

@Diana Yes! The unreality of P&P is so delightful that I can just sort of gloss over it. The ending of Sense and Sensibility is weird and sad. Everybody settles! Although the part about Marianne writing lots of unanswered letters definitely translates to our text happy times.

But Persuasion is definitely perfect. I want to go live on a boat with the Admiral and his wife!

pointy

@Diana Re S&S - that's the Emma Thompson movie version, right? I totally agree that the movie version works better in many ways. It's like she picks up on things that are implicit but not emphasized in the book and without being heavy handed brings them out a bit more. Sense and Sensibility was always my least favorite Austen but at some point last year I reread it and watched that movie in quick succession and I felt like I got way more out of both of them.

I would go for North and South over Wives and Daughters if you're just starting with Gaskell. The unpleasant stepmother character in Wives & Daughters is a bit much. And North and South has more political economy! (If that is a selling point.)

I haven't read Villette since high school but the Hairpin is making we wonder if I still have my copy.

Diana

@franceschances

All Marianne really needed was a good dose of Reading Between The Letters.

"I am quite at a loss to discover in what point I could be so unfortunate as to offend you"

M: What does Willoughby mean by this?
E: ARE YOU KIDDING ME. Who does he think he is!
M: Should I reply or - ?
E: BURN COMBE MAGNA TO THE GROUND.

franceschances

@Diana YES YES YES! Let's make a movie adaptation just so we can film this scene.

@pointy Also, the miniseries version of North and South is so much better than Wives and Daughters! Richard Armitage!

Diana

@franceschances

The North and South miniseries is criminally underrated. It's like Jane Austen if she acknowledged the Industrial Revolution at all. It's Pride and Prejudice and Power Looms.

han
han

@Diana YES! I'm on almost the exact same book kick as you. This might be obvious but have you read or re-read Emma? It's one of my favorite Austens, maybe because of Clueless, but also <3 Knightley <3. The more recent PBS miniseries is miles better than the Gwyneth Paltrow movie, too. It's so good.

I followed up my Bronte/Austen reading mania with Vanity Fair, which I'm in the middle of now and it's amazing!

Dorothea

@han but isn't it weird how the lesson she learns is that working class chicks should marry working class dudes, which is fine insofar as there's nothing wrong with working class dudes, but it all feels pretty icky to me. it's almost as bad as mansfield park (which is actually THE WORST ugh i hate it). i prefer clueless to emma, i think because it's more palatable to view things in terms of the preppie/skater divide.

Diana

@han

I have read Emma and I don't think I could ever re-read it because as blahstudent mentioned, its message is super weird, and perhaps more importantly, life is too short to read Miss Bates's prattle voluntarily. Like, I get what you were going for, Jane, but you did it really well and I don't want to read it. Go awaaaay, Miss Bates. But sometimes I just read the scenes with Mr. Knightley in them.

Inconceivable!

@han Someone else who likes Emma! It seems like it is the most hated Austen but I just love Mr Knightley and I find Emma herself to be very entertaining. It's not my favorite of her books, but I enjoy it very much.

han
han

@blahstudent yeah, it can definitely be read as really classist, though I have trouble condemning it on that count because it's also about the main character getting over her classism and seeing other people as more than playthings, learning empathy and self-knowledge and realizing she's flawed and obnoxious.

mansfield park IS the worst. the movie version is even more terrible if that's possible.

han
han

@Inconceivable! Hooray! I can totally understand why people dislike it, but I've always had a soft spot for it.

Verity

@Diana Persuasion! "You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope." MY HEART. And I love S&S also, but I completely agree that we learn practically nothing about Edward as a character. Why, exactly, should Elinor (who is awesome and wonderful) marry him and not Colonel Brandon, who she clearly gets on well with and is also super hot (ahem)?

Hot Doom

@franceschances RIIIIIIIIICH(ard Amitage)!!!!!!

I love North and South, the miniseries. It also has Bates, from Downton Abbey in it as a (strangely sexy?) union leader. The book took me a while to get into, but once I did, I was so hooked. I'm still getting through Villette, which also took a while for me to get interested, but the crazy is slowly turning itself up to 11.

Also, I support any Daphne du Maurier, either for going to Venice (Don't Look Now for getting psyched the fuck out) and Rebecca for the fun of it.

pterodactgirl

@Diana You have to read Wuthering Heights. I love it. LOVE IT. But I also have a lot of friends who HATE IT. So you should read it and then come back and tell us which camp you fall in! And thank you for referencing that Hark! A Vagrant strip because I also think of it every time the Brontes are mentioned now. I also second the Emma recommendation, basically for the reasons @han said above. It's about someone fairly self-absorbed growing up a little--who can't relate to that? I feel like one likes different Jane Austens based on one's relative emotional maturity: first P&P because it's an enjoyable fantasy and Mr. Darcy is hot, second Emma because you see yourself in the character and you cringe a little but also feel some solidarity and Mr. Knightley is hot, and third Persuasion because you're a little bit older and you know what regret is...and Captain Wentworth is hot.

Decca

@LolaLaBalc Daphne du Maurier! What a crazy bitch! There's something about her writing that really gets under my skin and disturbs me (in a pleasurable way, duh). Like, Don't Look Now and Jamaica Inn are the only two books I've ever - literally - flung across the room in terror. And Rebecca is wonderful too, obviously. And I'm just fascinated by her life and her messed-up sexuality and her creepiness and her loneliness. I love her!

Hot Doom

@Decca Yes! Sooooo cray cray! Ahhh, I forgot about Jamaica Inn, and I don't know how that happened because I read it on Christmas 3 years ago and had the most creeped out bedtime on Christmas Eve because of it. Don't Look Now literally made me want to barf with horror. I don't know anything about her though, so I will definitely read up on her! Her books are great for pseudo-olden days classic reading because they walk the line of fantasy and timelessness really well.
P.S. Have you read many of her short stories? I don't remember the name of it, but there was one about a man and woman and they hiked into the Dolomite mountains and the woman disappeared. But the ending. Fuck. I didn't know what to do with myself for two days after reading that.

Alida

I would definitely read a book called "Two Sisters and Their Nice Old Book."

Diana

Okay and if you don't want to talk to me about all those books (you're dead to me) help me with these:

1) What Old Book Do I Read If....I've run out of Jane Austen AND all of the Brontes? It seems like Elizabeth Gaskell would be a good followup so I picked up a copy of Wives and Daughters but I haven't started it yet and if there's something even more similar let me know ASAP because I've got a FEVER and the only cure is MORE PELISSES.

2) What Old Book Do I Read If...I want to transition into delightful 19th century books written by dudes? I feel like I'm running out of ladies pretty quickly here, but almost all of the 19th century dudes I've read were the worst (Dickens, you suck). Henry James looks promising but he's written so much I don't know where to start. What do you guys recommend? Personal tragedy is great, but Dostoyevsky doom 'n gloom is to be avoided.

3) Is there a great Old Book that is super Christmas'y? (Besides A Christmas Carol obviously) I don't think I can handle the treacly Little Women but I really want to get into the holiday spirit.

Lucienne

@Diana 2) How do you feel about Thomas Hardy? Under the Greenwood Tree is medium happy, and pretty funny! I think Tess of the D'urbervilles is flat out sublime, but it's sad and a bit odd, and it sort of disproves its own philosophical standpoint.

redheaded&crazy

@Diana 2) I enjoyed portrait of a lady by henry james. but I don't know, it's really long and kind of mostly boring? portrait of dorian grey was also good! Is oscar wilde 19th century? I'm reading the three musketeers right now which is pretty delightful and only sometimes derogatory towards women. also sherlock holmes is the best but is that 19th century? Probably not I have no idea about centuries.

Once you've run out of Jane Austen though ... you start all over again with the book you read least recently! Clearly.

feartie

@Diana Left field option - Daphne Du Maurier's Rebecca?

I'm only saying that because I'm in Cornwall now.

"Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again."

Diana

@Lucienne

I haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaate Tess of the D'urbervilles but I could be persuaded to give Hardy another chance.

@redheadedandcrazy I loved The Three Musketeers! I was completely surprised by how much I enjoyed it. And I read allllll of Sherlock Holmes when I was working a job with a 2 hour commute. They were the only e-books I could get on my phone for free that interested me at the time. Ceiling Snake Iz Watching U Sleep.

redheaded&crazy

@Diana the three musketeers is incredibly better than my middle school's field trip to see the play could possibly have led me to believe.

what about lady chatterley's lover? don't remember who wrote it off the top of my head (terrible) but it's preeeetty steamy ;D

Dorothea

@Diana
1) last time we were here somebody mentioned fanny burney, who wrote evelina (which is epistolary and readable and not THAT long), and cecilia and camilla (good but VERY LONG)--jane austen was a fan of them! i'm also a huge george eliot fangirl.

2) ugh NOT henry james, unless you want a really articulate explanation of why the world is doomed because we are all so hopelessly bad at understanding each other. personally, i am a fan of trollope and would recommend either the way we live now (it's about a financial crisis, kind of!) or can you forgive her?

3) SPEAKING OF GEORGE ELIOT is there any book sweeter than silas marner? but maybe that's too treacly. but it's a quick, easy read, and has that moral satisfaction that i identify with christmas time.

pointy

@Diana For 19th century English dudes, there's always Wilkie Collins: wacky potboilers such as the Woman in White or the Moonstone.

Tolstoy? Anna Karenina is pretty great.

I've been meaning to try out out some Stendhal or Balzac but can't quite get myself oriented.

feartie

@redheadedandcrazy Noooo, DH Lawrence...it's so weirdly nasty towards the disabled husband because he has to be in a wheelchair so he's more machine than man or something. NGH. Groundbreaking, but horrible.

redheaded&crazy

@feartie ahhhhhhh I believe I had suppressed all memory of that. I haven't read it in a very long time. Maybe I skipped all the terrible bits to get to the good stuff (I blame teenaged hormones I guess? ok done)

thebestjasmine

@feartie OMG love love Rebecca. I first read it when I was way too young, and loved it then, and then reread it and realized everything that I missed. Creepy and gothic and awesome.

Lucienne

@pointy Simone de Beauvoir really liked Stendhal - he is like the only writer she says anything nice about in all 90000000 pages of The Second Sex - if that helps motivate you.

feartie

@redheadedandcrazy I read it for a class, where we talked about the controversial side of it (the obscenity trial) and so other controversial stuff came up in class discussion. Like how anti-radio it is. The radio! Destroying our sense of self! Not to say it isn't worthy of a read, considering how now partly because of it we can read all the smut we like without having our books pulped.

Diana

@redheadedandcrazy I've never come closer to doing actual harm to a book than when I read D.H. Lawrence. The whole time I was going, "HAVE YOU EVER MET A WOMAN? HAVE YOU TALKED TO ONE?" It was so awful.

@blahstudent I will check those out! I saw a copy of Evalina last week but I wasn't sure if it would be readable, thanks for the endorsement.

@pointy I FINALLY found a used copy of The Woman in White a few days ago, I'm bringing it with me when I go home for the holidays. "Wacky potboilers" sounds v. promising.

Acertainromance

@Diana In answer to the first question, you read Middlemarch. It will blow your mind in a really good way, and keep you occupied for a pretty long time, let's be honest. Shit is longggg.
To be honest, the answer to the second question is Middlemarch too- just pretend to yourself that George Eliot was actually a bona fide Dude, and you can throw the Dickens (shudder) away.

redheaded&crazy

@Diana you know, y'all are making me want to re-read it now just so I can properly experience its awfulness!

thebestjasmine

@Acertainromance THANK YOU, Middlemarch also free for Kindle, just downloaded. Have been wanting to read this for a while.

dtowngirl

@pointy The Woman in White is so weird and great!

Cat named Virtute

@Diana For ladies, maybe George Eliot? Also, The Romance of a Shop by Amy Levy is DELIGHTFUL. For dudes that aren't intolerable, I definitely concur re: Wilkie Collins--so good! Both The Woman in White and The Moonstone.

I've also heard EXCELLENT things about Lady Audley's Secret by Braddon.

Oh! And what about The Well of Loneliness?!

You'll be sorry Jo March

@feartie I hated that book! I was like, "If they call this disabled man a baby one more time..." and the sex! So obviously written by a man lacking any real knowledge of how women experience pleasure. :/

joie

@Acertainromance Middlemarch is so amazing! I'm saving my re-read of it for my flight from LAX to New Zealand in a few months.
@pointy - Balzac has some wonderful short stories! Check out A Passion in the Desert. It's weird in that wonderfully old-fashioned way. http://www.classicshorts.com/stories/pitdbalz.html

pterodactgirl

@Diana 1) Middlemarch. Do it now. Don't look back.
2) Trollope. I like the Chronicles of Barset (I already mentioned them up thread somewhere.) Also, Wilkie Collins is fun, and other potboiler-y novels like Dracula and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde are too! Also, is all Dickens out? Because Bleak House rocked my world. I listened to it on tape though, and I think the reader doing the characterizations contributed to the awesomeness. Definitely do not ever read any Thomas Hardy though unless you are prepared to set that shit on fire afterwards. You will want to. (Exception, his poetry is good--because he is not being purposely irritating.) And maybe Vanity Fair? It's got a very strong/bitchy heroine, but was written by a dude! On second thought, definitely Vanity Fair.
3) This was written by Dickens, but A Cricket on the Hearth is explicitly a Victorian Christmas Book. I haven't read it, but it's all I can think of that fits this category. EDIT: upon checking Wikipedia, apparently your favorite Victorian writer actually wrote 5 Christmas-based stories? This smells like irony.

ms. alex

@blahstudent Oh, I love Silas Marner! Such a sweet book, I agree. George Eliot at her snuggliest.

Cavendish

@Lucienne Tess of the D'Urbevilles fills me with rage. BURN ANGEL CLARE TO THE GROUND.

Lucienne

@Cavendish I am with you - burn burn burn - but it is the good rage, I think. Because I legit just love Tess ("How can you dare to use those words!" she cried, turning impetuously upon him, her eyes flashing as the latent spirit (of which he was to see more some day) awoke in her. "My God! I could knock you out of the gig! Did it never strike your mind that what every woman says some women may feel?") and I think Hardy does a really good job of setting up our love for Tess and the alleged love the men in her life offer - how they fail her, how society fails her, how even we are complicit in the failure and abuse. I mean, I think that the whole "intentions are the only thing that matter" argument is ridiculous, and I'm not sure why Hardy thinks anyone who reads his book will buy that . . . but I just love the book.

Can't stand Jude, though.

Decca

@Marika Pea@twitter Lady Audley has like a gazillion secrets, you guys. Braddon is an enjoyable writer, but for the trashiest, scariest, funniest, most thrilling sensation novel, it has to be The Woman in White. It's very long but you will fly through it.

Karla Manzur@facebook

i believe daniel deronda has some very interesting thoughts on motherhood vs having a life....maybe add an x in that column too;)

sandwiches

I love you, Hairpin. I was just sitting here with my grilled cheese (Pepperjack and American AND D'affinois, you guys!!!!) and thinking "today's been nice! It probably can't get better!" AND THEN THERE WAS A CHART. A CHART OF BOOKS. *starry eyed*

Lucienne

A Suitable Boy is contemporary, but it feels older (in the best way!) and has lots of sisters. Also brothers.

Dorothea

@Lucienne YES i LOVED a suitable boy--and there are so many sisters! it's like this really brilliant guy who loved victorian novels wrote one, but set in 1950's india--so it's deliciously plotty and articulate, plus you learn things that are interesting.

Lucienne

@blahstudent Plus it is a great book to read with your sisters, because family is such a big part of the book, and there are so many in-jokes you can steal. My sisters and I are always quoting Kakoli couplets at each other now.

Dorothea

@Lucienne are you excited for the sequel? i'm excited for the sequel!

Lucienne

@Lucienne Oh man, I am insanely excited! I have a Google alert for Vikram Seth, though, and there were a bunch of little articles about him last week (?) and he said he was in the "wool-gathering stage" so then I went :(. No way is it coming out in 2013.

Bittersweet

@Lucienne: Vikram Seth wrote a novel called The Golden Gate before he wrote A Suitable Boy. He wrote it in verse, in the same scheme and structure as Pushkin's Eugene Onegin. How awesome is that?

thebestjasmine

This is a recent book, but The Penderwicks is an awesome sister book. It's a children's book, but is just a delightful read and is super charming and has the feel of an old book -- it's about four sisters, their dad and their dog and you end up loving all of them.

han
han

Cranford! Obsessed with Cranford. Elizabeth Gaskell is a queen. Pleasant and low-key and about lady friendships. Plus Judi Dench if you're into miniseries adaptations (you are)!

Lucienne

ALSO! Georgette Heyer is great for reading with sisters! And mothers. And they're all basically the same (hah! just kidding! except not really - but only in the best way) so you can read any of them. I suggest The Unknown Ajax.

cat1788

@Lucienne Logged in just to say YES to all Georgette Heyer recommendations! My grandpa bought pretty much the whole set, claiming he enjoyed the historical nature of them. I'm pretty sure they are the only evidence that actually he was just an incurable romantic... He also really enjoyed the Hornblower series (so did I).

Robin Rubbermaid

Go stream "Wings of the Dove" on netflix. It's not a great movie but the scenes in Italy are TO DIE.

pterodactgirl

@Robin Rubbermaid And the costumes! First you die once from the beauty of the Italy scenes, then you come back and die again from the beauty of the costumes. Then if you have any life left in you Kate Croy sucks it out. FIN.

Maghrebi

1. Heck yes the sisters were Jack Nasty to each other on Downton Abbey. Did you miss when Edith actually wrote the Turkish Embassy being all "Oh hai my sister totes killed yr friend! You should expose her and ruin her life! Kisses, Lady Edith" And did you not remember ALL of Mary's bitch commentary to Edith? However, I was kinda Team Edith, because it was SO CLEAR that the parents unfairly favored Mary, and it had kind of warped Edith.

2. Perfect book for sisters? Hello Mitfords!!!!! I literally sat my sister Alison down this summer in Maine and was like "Here are The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate. Read and we will discuss." Then you can figure out which of your siblings correspond to which Radlett girl and/or Polly. (Pro tip: No one is Polly.)

3. Carrie's back! I got all doofy at the last Hairpin meetup and was like HI CARRIE I LOVE YOU PLEASE TO BE FRIENDS and she was totally cool about it!

Verity

Have any other Mitford fans here read Don't Tell Alfred? I read it recently and was really disappointed - it was like it was tantalising me with all the familiar Radlett characters, and putting them in a story that was nowhere near as enjoyable as the others.

pterodactgirl

@Maghrebi 1. Team Mary. Because even though she is sometimes awful, she is always SO PRETTY. (Plus I think I relate to her...is that bad? Maybe it's an older sister thing?)

2. The Hairpin has made me want to read about the Mitfords so bad I can hardly wait for Christmas when (hopefully) I shall receive these books.

3. I would totally do that if I ever went to a meet-up with Carrie. She's awesome!

Lucienne

@Verity Yeah, DTA is a huge disappointment.

Verity

@Lucienne oh, thank goodness; I thought I was just being a humourless failure.

Lucienne

@Verity You're not! I think by 1960 she was too miserable to maintain the brio of the other two books, and anyway not including most of the characters from those books was sort of poor judgment? I understand her historical works are good, though, and they're from that period - maybe she just lost her touch with fiction.

Inconceivable!

Oh my god, Carrie, now ALL I WANT is to read this Last Queen of Egypt book because that is so my type of thing, and I will have to scour the internets to find it.

miwome

@Inconceivable! Me too. ME TOO. If only I had known in time to outsource it to a relative in the name of Christmas.

Es
Es

@miwome And another one of us here! Annoyingly I can only find it on Amazon UK for £50...

miwome

@Es There's one on Amazon US for $45, and I want to doooo itttt, but money. Maybe someday I will haunt libraries for this thing and then offer to buy it.

Cavendish

+a million to The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate!

What about I Capture the Castle? Those are interesting sisters. Except one of them is kind of awful. But everyone should read that book, so.

Verity

@Cavendish Oh, I don't think Rose is awful (unless you're actually referring to Cassandra, in which case SHUT YOUR MOUTH HOW DARE YOU, SHE IS WONDERFUL). Slightly too vain and self-interested, but she just wanted her family to have enough money, rather than destroy Simon's heart for amusement. And she runs off with Neil in the end, so it's all fine.

Cavendish

@Verity I was talking about Rose. Thank you for refreshing my memory! Rose was okay, I just had a feeling she was a little bit terrible and didn't want to not mention it.

I have to read that again soon.

cat1788

@Cavendish I found her awful on the first read, but on the second one I had a really sympathetic reaction to her character.

Verity

Wait, if I read Jane Eyre to get clothing ideas am I going to end up having to shave my hair off? MR BROCKLEHURST THINKS RED HAIR IS SINFUL. And am I supposed to go the Jane route of grey merino, or the Mr Rochester route of culturally-insensitive drag?

karrrren

i love old books, yall. but, and i'm going to try to come up with a not-super-crabby way to say this, the "i wish i had a twin" thing is pretty patronizing to those of us who actually are twins. i love my sister very very much, but talking to her about books isn't a dream come true. ask anybody from the one english class we took together in college.

lalaura

I'm LW #2! You used my letter! I have been validated by the Internet!

Charterhouse of Parma and Room with a View are on my Kindle right now. Thank you thank you thank you.

(I know how important translations are, but I'm short on cash, so I went with a public domain - i.e., free - translation of Charterhouse instead of Howard's. Please don't hate me for asking for advice and then not taking it.)

Carrie Hill Wilner

@lalaura Is it Moncrieff? He was crazy-talented, though it might be dense but ahhh let me know.

You'll be sorry Jo March

Even though I'm aware of all its various failings, I still love Little Women like nothing else, and I will read it until I die.

You'll be sorry Jo March

@You'll be sorry Jo March P.S. I just put The Lost Queen of Egypt on hold at the library! So excited.

Ten Thousand Buckets

@You'll be sorry Jo March Curses! My library system only has 2 copies and they're both reference! Reading 400 pages in the library is not my favorite.

Verity

@You'll be sorry Jo March Loving Little Women sounds eminently reasonable to me.

alphabiddycity

VILLETTE IS INDEED THE BEST BOOK EVER. That is all. I took a class on the Brontës in college and I did not expect all the CRAZY and it was wonderful.

carolita

I have to recommend Zola's 'The Beast Within," as a great old book. In french it's even better! "La Bete Humaine." "Nana" is pretty fascinating, too, as well as "Au bonheur des femmes," which I think is "Ladies Paradise" in English, and an amazing story of consumerism gone wild (which is basically what Nana, is, too.

I second any book about the Mitford sisters. They're all incredibly engaging.

Gwdihw

Ladies! May I please recommend the two books by Emily Eden? One is The Semi-Attached Couple and the other is The Semi-Detached House. She admired Jane Austen, and her books are a nice, light stop before plunging forth into something more depressing (I still have a sad because of Vilette's ending). They were written in 1829 and 1859, respectively.

Sorry I do not know how to italicize on The Hairpin!

Dora Wong@facebook

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Decca

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Ten Thousand Buckets

You guys, what do I lock myself in the bathroom with for it's quarter of two and I'm already having a nervous breakdown about my mother ruining Christmas due to a combination of a lifelong bad relationship, her not giving a shit about my wants/feelings, and her insistence on monopolizing my husband at gatherings instead of letting anyone else in my family have a conversation with him ever?

Maybe I'll just take this bottle of gin and sit in the bathtub until dawn. It'll be exactly like I Am Legend but with more crying!

oh well never mind

Oh I know I'm late but I had to register to encourage everyone to read Frenchman's Creek by Daphne du Maurier! It is so well-written and tragic and romantic (with a French pirate!!) - I can't explain it very well. I think I failed one of my university interviews because I said it was my favourite book and the interviewer dismissed it as a "silly romance". I was so angry and spluttery that I couldn't even get it together to defend it :(

First post but long-time lurker guys, glad you share the du Maurier love...

oh well never mind

And I hadn't even scrolled down far enough to see the Georgette Heyer recommendations! Go for it - try Arabella or Devil's Cub or Frederica :)

Decca

Anyone read or have any opinions on Gaskell's bio of Charlotte Bronte? I just bought it.

FamousMortimer

Umm can I get some Italian junkie book recommendations? Old books are great and all but there is only so many times I can reread Trainspotting.

Carrie Hill Wilner

@FamousMortimer I thought you would never ask. No, literally. I really thought you would never ask.

This, but it's not translated EXCEPT ON MY HARDDRIVE BY ME but there is prob. a google workaround somehow, maybe?

But this is by the same guy.

Then there are these goons

Bittersweet

Stendhal. Stendhal! After you've finished Charterhouse of Parma, read The Red and The Black and enjoy the mind-blowing, batshit crazy ending.

"And Stendhal would ruin the plan of attack as there isn't much blue in The Red and The Black." \obligatory Sondheim reference

Decca

@Bittersweet "De Maupassant's candour would cause her dismay / The Brontes are grander, but not very gay!"

Decca

The Irish author Kate O'Brien may be of interest to some folks around here. She's early C20th, but working within the idiom of the C19th a lot of the time. She's morally serious in the same way that George Eliot can be and correspondingly she's as devastating as Eliot.

The Land of Spices is probably her best book, about a girl growing up in an Irish convent school in the early decades of the twentieth-century. It's one of the best books about growing up and sexuality and friendship I can think of. It was banned in Ireland because of one sentence about the heroine's father being gay, and as such O'Brien was a really controversial novelist in Ireland for years. She's come back into vogue in terms of scholarship recently though.

Of Music and Splendour is also brilliant, it's about two young Irish girls who are brought to Rome to be trained as opera singers. It's astonishing in its frank portrayal of lesbianism: one of the girls is gay and her love tribulations are dealt with in the exact same way as her best friend's straight relationships are. Again, it's just a great novel about friendship and being young and female.

I have no idea how well known O'Brien is in the States, but I urge people to check her out. I really think you'd get a lot out of her books!

Lucienne

@Decca I read That Lady and didn't really like it (it was so unrelentingly sad, despite the scandalousness) but I will check out the others!

I think she's not that well-known in the US - but maybe that will change.

Decca

@Lucienne I actually haven't read That Lady, mostly because I've heard dreary things about it. But honestly, the two I mentioned are really brilliant! Sad but also determined and fierce and lively.

Kristy

I know it is a horribly depressing book, but Death in Venice by Thomas Mann has some beautiful descriptions of Venice. I read that book while I was in Venice and it was such a great experience to actually *see* so much of the scenery described in the book. I had no sightings of gorgeous Polish boys, though.

acookieaday

For Venice specifically, Donna Leon, an American ex pat who lives/lived in Venice for ever, writes crime novels that really capture the flavor of modern Venice and Italian politics. My mom and I read them when she came to visit while I was studying abroad there. We both loved them.

Kat05

Why isn't Middlemarch the best book ever? I am confused.

Elaine Tary@facebook

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moomin

ugh, what old book do I read if...I keep going for total losers in the relationship stakes?

Katie Scarlett

Way late on this, but I asked for and got Villette for Christmas! I'm so excited to expand my Bronte repertoire beyond Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights!

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