Modernity meets historical fiction - and sometimes elevates it. al - and sometimes elevates it.
Attention Austenites! Here is something you might not know…
23,000 words of a novel that has come to be known as ‘Sanditon‘ were left behind by Jane Austen in the months before her death, and it continues to cause controversy!
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The tale follows Mr. Parker and his attempts to turn the town of Sanditon into a popular bathing spot like Brighton, England, and to get the apparently generous Lady Denham to fund this. In true Austen fashion, the goings on are observed through the eyes of Charlotte, an unmarried outsider.
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In a letter written five days after she stopped working on “Sanditon,” Austen said that she felt “very poorly,” noting that “sickness is a dangerous indulgence at my time of life.” So it looks like the novel was abandoned by Austen because of her ill health and not because she didn’t intend to finish it.
Many attempts have been made by authors, both professional and internet-based, to complete the work, with disagreements arising over the tone and direction of the attempts. There are a number of published continuations of “Sanditon” in print, as well as the unfinished version.
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Busy as we are this summer, it can be hard to pack extra reading time into our schedules. Even if you have some time to spare during lengthy road trips, flipping pages becomes somewhat challenging on the go and not to mention it’s extremely laborious for your eyes. Also, if traveling with your family would jeopardize your sanity, our recommendation is to download audiobooks. With enticing voices narrating these addictive stories, the audiobooks will enable avoidance from meaningless conversations. If you intend on traveling alone, these downloads will enhance your journey by distracting you from the solitude.
Even if you don’t plan on traveling anytime soon, these awesome audiobooks will distract you from your monotonous daily chores and help you get through the reading list that you never got through.
1. A Horse Walks into a Bar by David Grossman and Jessica Cohen
Length: 5 hrs and 49 mins
Winner of the 2017 Man Booker International Prize, A Horse Walks into a Bar is written by the Israeli author David Grossman and translated into English by Jessica Cohen. This book goes through one standup comic’s evening performance in stunning details like that of a memoir. Through historical accounts of loss and survival, from touching family ties to the horrors of the holocaust, protagonist Dov Greenstein demonstrates his life journey to the audience in a manner that is humorous and serious at the same time.
2. Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
Length: 8 hrs and 21 mins
Everything is transient in Molly Ayer’s life. As she ages out of the foster care system, she finds comfort from her volunteering position responsible for helping an old woman, except Vivian is moving out of this place as well. While Molly goes through Vivian’s possessions, she learns that their lives are not so different after all. As a young Irish immigrant as well as an orphan in the chaotic New York City, Vivian was placed on a train heading towards the Midwest along with numerous other children. Though their births may vary, the overwhelming uncertainty that lies ahead of them is shared. Nobody knew where they could end up and there was nothing to do except pray for the best. However, these blurry memories are like broken pieces of puzzle, waiting to be pieced up. For her entire life, Vivian has been haunted by unanswered questions and unsolved mysteries. Now Molly must help her, thus save herself at the same time.
3. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Length: 8 hrs and 35 mins
Narrated by Dan Stevens (Downtown Abbey), this is the audiobook that will transform a classic tale into an enticing adventure while blowing your ear-drums away. Victor Frankenstein is forced to face a tremendous battle between man and monster that almost throws him into the interminable abyss of insanity.
4. The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
Length: 11 hrs and 8 mins
Reminiscent of Agatha Christie’s spine-tingling murder mysteries, The Woman in Cabin 10 is an eerie account of journalist Lo Blacklock, a travel magazine writer who has been assigned to spend a week on a luxury cruise called the Aurora. On this ship, there are dazzling dinner parties full of elegant guests. Everything seems perfectly calm until the sky starts to dim down and gray clusters of clouds wrought forceful winds, causing the ship to weaken and signaling an ill-omen. Something strange suddenly occurs, a woman’s body is tossed overboard into the freezing seawaters. Despite Lo’s extreme dismay, other passengers all act as if nothing has happened…
5. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
Length: 16 hrs
Get ready to stay on the edge of your seat for this one because the manipulative plot twists will leave you exhausted yet curious to see what follows. However, that’s not to say this story can’t be light-hearted. While you’re doing your weekly grocery shopping, Big Little Lies can throw you into occasional giggle fits in front of the vegetable sector. From beginning to end, Moriarty leaves seemingly inconsequential clues that will poke fun at your curiosity. As one strange occurrence unfolds another, the story quickly gathers pace and gradually accumulates to reach an astonishingly satisfying ending that will leave you breathless.
6. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Length: 7hrs 47mins
Both written and performed by Neil Gaiman, The Graveyard Book is one filled with thrilling adventures. The central character, Nobody Owens (yes, that’s literally his name), more often referred to by his friends as Bod, seems like an average boy except he lives in a graveyard and was brought up by ghosts. A ghostly entity belonging to neither the living nor the dead acts the role of his guardian and Bod is safe, for now. As long as he does not leave the graveyard, he will be protected from Jack – the man responsible for slaughtering Bod’s family.
7. The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert
Length: 9 hrs and 59 mins
As one of the three recommended books from Stanford for this year, The Sixth Extinction imagines the world undergoing another mass extinction that wipes out half of all living organisms on Earth. With a healthy dose of humor, Kolbert turns this disaster into something bearable for readers who remain unaware of the threats posed by human behavior.
8. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
Length: 6 hrs 1min
Also narrated by Dan Stevens, And Then There Were None is the one of the world’s best-selling murder mystery you are guaranteed to enjoy. Ten strangers are lured onto an isolated island by the same mysterious “U.N. Owen”. At dinner, a recorded audio message accuses every guest member of keeping a dark and guilty secret. By the end of the evening, one out of ten is dead. From then on, one by one, each and everyone one fears for their fate. To survive, they must resolve the hidden connections behind each other and spell out the complete story before one more person falls…
9. Matilda by Ronald Dahl
Length: 4hrs 18mins
Matilda Wormwood is a smart, sweet girl unaware of her true powers and unappreciated by her heartless parents. At home, she suffers from ill-treatment from sluggish and selfish family member; at school, she is attacked by the cruel and ruthless Miss Trunchbull. Fortunately, her timely discovery of her supernatural power reverses the game. Read by Academy Award-winning actress Kate Winslet, this childhood classic will prove to be the most useful and educative way to pacify unsettling children.
10. The Hundred-Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Peter Kenny
Length: 11hrs 3mins
Before his 100th birthday party, Allan Karlsson sits quietly in the old people’s home, wistfully looking out the window and contemplating about what life still has to offer. He cannot reach a conclusive answer but what he does know is that this party simply cannot happen. He takes a leap from his window, steps into the flowerbed and begins his belated adventure. Throughout this spontaneous journey, Allan encounters several deaths and dangerous criminals only to end up with a suitcase loaded with cash. Along these strange happenings, we learn more of Allan’s past and his role in some of the revolutionary moments in the 20th century.
11. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Length: 11hrs 35mins
In this audible version of Austen’s timeless romance, Academy Award nominee Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl, Pride and Prejudice) with her experience in the 2005 film adaptation delivers a satisfying narration and succeeds in bringing the story of the Bennett sisters into vivacity. In Pride and Prejudice, the Bennett Sisters and their tangled relationships with potential marriage partners concoct a thoughtful story that details the importance of first impressions and captures that tingling feeling associated with falling in love.
13. A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
Length: 9hrs 9 mins
Ove is a curmudgeon who is not afraid of pointing out those he dislikes. For his strict principles and stubborn personality, people refer to him as “the bitter neighbor from hell”. However, beneath his surface layer of crankiness and unease, there’s a tragic story that explains his acerbity.
14. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
Length: 2hrs 18mins
This dramatized reading of Mansfield Park could be perfect if your drive is short. Performed by Benedict Cumberbatch, David Tennant and Felicity Jones, the story of young Fanny Price living with her rich aunt and uncle will make you unable to unplug your headphones.
15. Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
Length: 10 hrs and 8 mins
“Are you happy with your life?”
These are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him into an unconscious limbo. As he reopens his eyes, he finds himself tightly strapped to a gurney and surrounded by strange men dressed in hazmat suits. In this unfamiliar world that he has found himself within, his wife is not his wife, his son had never been born and he is not the average physics professor but a mathematical genius who has created something remarkable for mankind. As Jason begins to question reality, he is forced to confront his deepest, darkest terrors while standing up to a formidable enemy.
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Attempting to pay tribute to Jane Austen and her recent commemoration on the £10 note, Conservative Parliament member Andrea Leadsom made an embarrassing gaffe. Leadsom called Austen one of the U.K.’s “greatest living authors”…despite the fact that Austen died 200 years ago this month.
Leadsom quickly corrected herself, stating Austen is one of their “greatest ever writers”, but the damage was already done. All manner of Twitter raconteurs weighed in, milking the slip for all it’s worth:
BREAKING: Andrea Leadsom devastated to learn of Jane Austen’s passing. Cancels today’s photo-op with William Shakespeare as mark of respect
— Dave (@davechannel) July 20, 2017
To be fair, Andrea Leadsom only said that about Jane Austen because she wishes it was still the 19th century
— Dean Tāne (@Maccadaynu) July 20, 2017
You can watch the pivotal moment below.
Featured image courtesy of Irish News.
As words spread from mouth to mouth, sometimes it is inevitable that original sayings will undergo some degree of change. Despite what that friend posted on social media, chances are, Mark Twain or Ghandi probably didn’t say that. Take this quiz to see if you’ve been misquoting or misattributing these famous sayings.
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