We have quite a snowstorm underway here in New England. Outside my window, it’s all blankets of white draped across the landscape, swirling winds and snow. It makes me think of gingerbread houses encased in a snow globe.
In other words, it’s the perfect day to curl up under a cozy blanket with a good book and a steaming mug of hot chocolate. And if that book were to feature a bookish literary character, the kind that feels like spending time with a like-minded friend, well, so much the better. Continue reading “Bookish Literary Characters: A Baker’s Dozen”
Before 2012, “Northanger Abbey” was the only Jane Austen classic I had not read. Upon remedying this shocking lapse (I mean, she only wrote six completed novels – how hard it is to read her whole canon?), I decided it was my favorite Austen novel. Though I’m skeptical that we can trust these judgments…
At any rate, I reread this sparkling classic novel recently for a book group and fell in love with it all over again. What makes it so special, to me at least, is that it’s both a witty send-up of gothic novels and a serious defense of novels as an art form. In the process, Austen reminds us that the issue isn’t form as much as it is substance. It’s what we do with what we have that counts. Continue reading “The Wit and Wisdom of “Northanger Abbey””