Favorite Quotes on Books and Reading

"A book is a gift you can open again and again." Garrison Keillor

Literature is a textually transmitted disease, normally contracted in childhood.” Jane Yolen

"It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it." Oscar Wilde

"Books have furnished, burnished, and enabled my life." Julia Keller

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Books 116-117 Reviewed

I had to escort my parental units to see their gerontologist yesterday and decided to read for pleasure while awaiting the appointments. Since my to-be-read-for-pleasure list is so long, the choices seem to be never ending, but I finally chose to read Jane Bites Back by Michael Thomas Ford and I'm very glad I made this choice.

What can I say that hasn't already been said? Jane Bites Back is a very well-written and well-developed story about Jane Austen as a vampire bookstore owner residing in upstate New York in the 21st century. That alone gets us off to a really good start and then we learn that this Jane has received 116 rejection letters for her latest manuscript (well it was written when she was still alive but still . . . ). Just when she begins to despair that she'll never be able to write again, she receives an email that her manuscript has been accepted and will be published within months. To make things slightly more interesting, she is enamored with a local contractor and is almost ready to move that relationship to the next level when an unfortunate ex appears. This "ex" just happens to be the vampire that turned her and he is Lord Byron. Now lets throw in a slightly deranged Charlotte Bronte (yes another vampire) into the mix, along with devoted Austenites versus Bronteites. I could tell you more but I'll simply say that this book is extremely funny, sometimes laugh-out-loud funny and a delight from beginning to end. After completing Jane Bites Back I wasn't ready to put this Jane Austen away, so I promptly began reading Jane Goes Batty

Jane Goes Batty takes up just where Jane Bites Back left off. Jane is now being followed by a film crew and is in the midst of having her book filmed. She's slightly ticked off because the screenwriter and director have taken liberal creative license and changed her work to the point of being unrecognizable. If that's not bad enough, there's a vampire hunter on the loose and it turns out to be her boyfriend's mother. Oh, and the deranged Charlotte Bronte is still out there somewhere. This book involves a bit more romance in an on-again/off-again nature between Jane and Walter, as well as her store manager Lucy and the rabbi Ben. Byron is still up to his old tricks and is chasing after Jane and trying to make amends, while chasing after and obsessing about men and women. Did I forget to mention that there's also a slightly demented romance blogger in town during the filming and a new book editor on the scene? You wouldn't think these elements could work but they do, and quite well. The humor is still there but this book provides slightly more intrigue along with the paranormal slant. This was just as good as the first book and I'm a little sad to have to put this Jane Austen away for a while and wait for the next in this series, Jane Vows Vengeance

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