Saturday, 28 December 2013

10 reason I am thankful for the Austenprose Pride and Prejudice Bicentenary reading challenge!!

My Christmas books

This reading challenge has truly changed my life and I am so thankful to Laurel Ann for doing the Austenprose Pride and Prejudice Bicentenary reading challenge!! Since signing up in March I have had a most wonderful year!

Ten reasons this challenge has changed my life!!!!

1. I finally got my sister in law to read P&P, she absolutely loved it and has followed me in this reading challenge reading all the books that I have read. We now have a another common Interest, we both have each other to talk to about Austen and this has brought us closer together. I also bought her one of these bags for Christmas and she loved it. She said "only people in the know, will know what this bags about!!"

My Christmas bag

2. It has rekindled my love of reading, as a mother of three I never have the time but now I make time (being selfish is really hard, but worth it, if the end result is more Austen & JAFF!!), it is my escape from the stresses of life and has brought me real joy.

3. It has improved my English, although my lectures at university think I need to transfer to the English literature course. I am pretty sure I run the risk of being kicked off of the course if they read one more "pray do tell" in one of my assignments lol!!

4. My husband to be and I now have another shared Interest, Downtown Abbey. We had seen it on BBC1 but because we missed the first series we did not watch it. I saw it advertised on Austenprose and bought the box set, we watched one episode a night and finished in time to watch the forth series.

5. I started to purchase old furniture, I even went as far as restoring pieces and painting them in the shabby chic style, purchasing chalk paint and finishing with wax.

6. I Invested in some replica 18th century playing cards and started to learn the card games that feature in Austen's books.

7. As a result of seeing a Pride and Prejudice theatre production at Chatsworth house for the reading challenge, it is now one of my favourite retreats and  I have been three times this year!!!!

8. I have had the biggest Christmas list ever this year, usually when my partner asks what I want I say "nothing it's about the kids." Well this year I handed him a long list of Austen related items, including an "I'd rather be reading Pride & Prejudice" cooking apron but the majority were books. All the books I read for the reading challenge were on my kindle so I narrowed down some of my favourites as I wanted hard copies. (I did not get the Fitzwilliam trilogy by Pamela Aiden much to my chagrin, so will have to get it myself).

My Christmas t-shirt

9. Reading the JAFF stories has really made me evaluate how I live my own life, my morals, my values and what I really want in life. Most of all a determination to be happy everyday!

10. Finally I have been inspired to write my own What if . It will probably take me years! Especially as I am studying, but my sister in law says I have a good idea for a story and is encouraging me to pursue it, just for fun mind you! My biggest challenge I feel will be writing in regency dialogue.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart Laurel Ann for letting me take part in this challenge. I have enjoyed it more than you could comprehend and I have really enjoyed reading everyone's comments and reviews. Thank you again and happy New Year to Austenprose and all its wonderful members.


  1. Wow, Tamara. You just blew off my bonnet. I do not think I have ever received a bigger complement. I am so glad you enjoyed the challenge that that it changed your life. Thank you for sharing your story!

    Happy New Year of reading!

    Cheers, LA

    1. Happy New Year! I look forward to a second delightful year of following Austenprose!

  2. What a great post, Tamara! :) Your joy and delight in Austen shines through -- it's just *wonderful*!!

    1. Thanks Marilyn, as it was a short blog I wasn't sure the true impact it's had on my life would come through, but I guess it has, thanks for your comment. Happy New Year!

  3. Hi, Tamara! Teresa here, from Northern California. I have been an Austen fan for many years. I "hear you" when you say that reading helps to keep you sane. The last few months have been the most stressful I've had for MANY years as my dad has been very ill and near death several times. I wasn't reading for a while [these last few months] because of the demand on my time but decided one evening that I NEEDED to read, OR consider drinking HEAVILY ;) to deal with the stress. I opted for reading. :) The distraction and escape from reality was just what I needed and it has really made a difference in keeping the stress manageable. I have also read several Austen biographies and find a sisterhood connection to Jane because her life was full of stress, too, at different times and yet she managed to hone her creative craft and keep her wit. I definitely feel a kindred soul connection to Austen, as a woman in the center of family and needs. I have always related to Elinor in Sense and Sensibility and Anne in Persuasion, as the daughters who try to hold everything together for the family (this has been my role since Nov. 6th). I had the privilege of visiting Chatsworth in August 2006 with my husband and four children, then ages 10 to 20, we toured the mansion and walked and ran all over the lovely and large garden. It was a magical place! I envy you being able to visit often. I will be following your blog! Happy reading!

    1. Hi Teresa, so sorry to hear your dad is unwell but I'm happy that you felt you could share. If you've read my bio then you know I can fully relate to the stress your feeling. Yes the need to hold everything together is very stressful yet ironically it's what gives you a focus but once your finished holding it together for everyone else you can be left vunerable. I went from reading one book a year (excluding for study) to over forty for this challenge, reading to the point of obsession :) but I didn't care for once I put my self first (occasionally), although still felt guilty, it's not natural for me. I can totally relate, Chatsworth feels magical, I love nature anyway and the last visit was the first time in over a hundred years they opened it at night the garden was all lit up and the house was open too. Funny as 2005 P&P isn't my favourite but I like to think Austen was thinking of Chatsworth when revising P&P at the inn in Bakewell. Reading Laurel Ann's tour of England made me appreciative of what I have on my door step. I only created this blog for the reading challenge and was going to finish here but you've inspired me to keep it going, not sure what I will write but will definitely keep writing the reviews and maybe some snippets on the book I'm working on (if I ever get round to it)Thank you again for taking the time to write, keep reading and I hope the New Year brings more joy and less stress x


Thank you! Your comments are always welcome