Books #4 and #5 of 2014

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101 Things You Didn’t Know About Jane Austen by Patrice Hannon
Published on January 19th, 2007
Borrowed from my local library

While I always enjoy biographies, especially biographies about authors like Jane Austen, I wasn’t super impressed with this one.
I did enjoy the fun format, it was quick and intriguing. I also enjoyed learning about Jane’s family.
I don’t think this book delivered on its title, however. There definitely wasn’t 101 new facts, maybe 101 speculations. I also wish that this biography focused more on Jane than on her characters. I understand that her characters are a part of her but that wasn’t what I was hoping to gain from this book; I wanted more about Jane and more about the little things that aren’t constantly talked about.
All in all, this is a fun and quick read, but not for someone who is looking for an in-depth look into Jane Austen’s life.

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Close Quarters by Amy Monticello
Published on February 2012
Borrowed from the Amazon Kindle Library

Close Quarters is a short nonfiction story about the author’s childhood and the relationship of her parents. It’s complicated and beautiful and felt close to home for me. She has a way of turning her short story into something close to the prose of poetry. It’s a short read but it was so good I devoured it in an hour. I’ve read some of Amy’s other projects, most of which have been published online.
I don’t have a lot to say about this EBook. It’s beautifully written and organized and after you’re done you feel like you know this author and her parents in a very personal way. I found myself looking back on my own childhood and my own parents’ complicated relationship and how it has shaped me.
Seriously, if you have even an hour or two, grab this one. It’s FREE to read if you have a Kindle. It’s worth it. Trust.

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