Fall Reads

Fall is my most favorite time of the year. With the days getting shorter and the temperature getting cooler, there is nothing better than curling up with a good book. The changing colors of the leaves, pumpkin spice lattes, Halloween and Thanksgiving are things that embody fall. My favorite genre to read during this time is mystery/thriller with a little bit of science fiction. Here are some of my recommendations!

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley Frankenstein – Mary Shelley

Classic monsters are everywhere during Halloween. Frankenstein is a classic monster but what if the image of Frankenstein was different that what you have been told? Published in 1818, Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus follows Victor Frankenstein as he defies the laws of nature and assemble body parts together to make a monster. This is my all time favorite book. At only 200 pages, this is a quick read and is a great start for those who want to read more classics. Mary Shelley’s writing is simplistic and beautiful and she wrote this novel when she was only 18. She is also one of the pioneers of science fiction/horror. Once your finished, watch the 1931 Frankenstein film, starring Boris Karloff and you will be amazed at how many changes there are.

The Mary Shelley Club by Goldy Moldavsky The Mary Shelley Club – Goldy Moldavsky

This was a recent read for me. Being a big fan of Mary Shelley and Frankenstein, I went into this one with pretty high expectations and I was not disappointed. I found this to be a very enjoyable, fast paced read, and I read it in two days. This follows a girl named Rachel Chavez. She loves horror movies and they help her cope with things that she does not wish to remember. She is recruited by the mysterious Mary Shelley Club. This club does very elaborate pranks or what they call “Fear Tests”. Whoever has the scariest prank wins. The pranks escalate into something more deadly.  Think of this one as Gossip Girl meets Scream and I think that this one is perfect for the fall and spooky season.

Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson Truly Devious – Maureen Johnson

I am a sucker for a private school mystery. This story follows a girl named Stevie Bell, who is invited to be apart of Ellingham Academy. The academy was founded by Albert Ellingham, who wanted to make the school a place for bright thinkers, artists and inventors. When his wife and his daughter go missing, the only clue is a letter signed by “Truly Devious”, a mocking riddle that lists different methods of murder. Stevie’s first year at Ellingham starts with one goal in mind, to solve the cold case. This is the first book in this series, the following books continue Stevie’s story. This is a great mystery for Halloween. The other books in the series are The Vanishing Stair, The Hand on the Wall and The Box in the Woods.

 

Jane Austen’s 200th Death Day

One of the pioneers of women’s authorship, Jane Austen’s 200th death day will be celebrated on July 18, 2017. One of the most renown authors of all time, Austen did not gain fame until after her death in 1817, at 41 years of age.

Born on December 16, 1775 in Steventon, Hampshire, England, Jane Austen was the seventh child and second daughter of well-respected Cassandra and George Austen. Jane was close with all of her siblings, but especially her only sister, Cassandra, and grew up in a home where creativity and learning were cherished. Jane and Cassandra were eventually sent to boarding school for a formal education, but were sent home when both of them caught typhus and Jane nearly died. The rest of her education came from her father and reading whatever she could, including books that belonged to the boys her father tutored.

Jane began writing poems and stories for herself and her family when she was around eleven years old. Twenty-nine works written from 1787 to 1793 are referred to as the Juvenelia of Jane Austen. Many of the works are written as parodies and satire of popular novels of the time. Most of the works were accompanied by watercolors done by Cassandra. Jane also attended church regularly and social functions, where she became an excellent dancer.

Jane’s first publication was Sense and Sensibility, which was published in 1811 by “A Lady” and was well-received. Pride and Prejudice was then published in 1813, followed by Mansfield Park in 1814. By now, Jane was earning enough money to support herself as a professional writer although she never revealed herself except to those in her immediate family. Emma was published in 1815 and Jane dedicated the novel to the Prince Regent, George IV, who admired her novels. Jane completed the first draft of Persuasion in July 1816. Jane was also able to repurchase her copyright to an earlier novel, Lady Susan, an epistolary novella that differs greatly from her other work, for publication.

In 1816, Jane’s health began deteriorating slowly and irregularly with which most scholars have determined to be Addison’s disease and Hodgkin’s lymphoma. She continued to write when she could through her decline, finishing the drafts of novels. Jane died on July 18, 1817 at the age of 41 and is buried at Winchester Cathedral.

After her death, Jane’s siblings and publisher arranged for the publication of Persuasion and Northanger Abbey, revealing that she was the author all along. She was known for her critique of novels from the Regency period, often parodying or mocking plots and characters. She is also known for her strong female characters in a time when girls were meant to be meek. It was not until after her death that her novels became popular and appreciated for how progressive they are.

Join the Aurora Public Library District during the week of July 18 as we celebrate Jane Austen and the great contribution she made to literature. Look for a display during the week of July 18! What is your favorite novel by Jane Austen? How has she impacted how you read or write?

Happy Reading!

Coming Up: Jane Austen’s 200th Death Day

Did you know Jane Austen’s 200th death day is coming up? Check the website for a blog about one of the most influential writers of all time, as well as the Library for a special Jane Austen book display. Here a few books by Jane Austen you can check out from the Aurora Public Library District today to celebrate her life and death:

Pride and Prejudice                       Persuasion

Sense and Sensibility                    Lady Susan

      Emma                                             Mansfield Park

Northanger Abbey

We also have several movies based on the novels of Jane Austen that you can check out as well.