One of my life-long goals is to publish a novel, but I've noticed that since having two kids my brain has pretty much gone to the crapper. I don't know if it's because I'm only reading teen books, (I teach 8th grade Reading) but when I go to write, the words do not come to me as easily as they did before my two daughters arrived. I've decided I need to work out my brain and give myself a reading challenge, and I want you to join me! Just like your butt needs challenging lunges to keep it firm and taut, your brain needs material that requires reflection and contemplation. A recent post by one of my friends on Facebook gave me the idea for "The Jane Austen Challenge", because she was revealing how the Austen novel (can't remember which one she was working on) was teaching her a whole new vocabulary. Who wants to join me in entering the world of Austen? Even if you've never read her novels, or had to read them for a college course long ago, most of us can find some sort of enjoyment from her work. That is why I propose we read her seven novels in seven months. The Challenge will go something like this:
1. Sense and Sensibility - start Saturday, August 1st, 2009
2. Pride and Prejudice - start Tuesday, September 1st, 2009
3. Mansfield Park - start Thursday, October 1st, 2009
4. Emma - start Sunday, November 1st, 2009
5. Northanger Abbey - start Tuesday, December 1st, 2009
6. Persuasion - start Friday, January 1st, 2010...probably with a headache!
7. Lady Susan - start Monday, February 1st, 2010
If you want to make it easy on yourself, you can buy this book (click on the picture above) at Barnes & Noble that contains all seven novels and is BEAUTIFUL on any shelf. I own this, and my oldest daughter has already said the book is "hers" someday. "The Jane Austen Challenge" will begin Saturday, August 1st, 2009. That should give everyone plenty of time to purchase or check out the first book on our list. As any good teacher should, I will post discussion questions and reflections over whatever novel we are reading on this blog. It will be fun, challenging, and educational...and who knows, you might find a favorite novel during this process, and everyone will think you are so cultured and smart when you off-handedly mention that you have read seven of Austen's novels. HA!