I’ve read quite a few books in 2018. Below is the list of the best books of 2018, at least from my perspective.
- Becoming by Michelle Obama: Mrs Obama’s autobiography is insightful, down to earth and one of the best autobiographies that I have read in a long time.
- House of Gold by Natasha Solomons: House of Gold was described by another reviewer as a Jewish version of Downton Abbey. I couldn’t think of another description if I made it up myself.
- Pride by Ibi Zoboi: A modern-day Pride and Prejudice set in New York City, this Jane Austen adaptation feels old and new at the same time.
- We Are Going to Be Lucky A World War II Love Story in Letters by Elizabeth L. Fox: The story of a marriage during World War II told in a series of letter that will make you believe in love.
- My Girls: A Lifetime with Carrie and Debbie by Todd Fisher: When Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds departed this world two years ago, no one knew them better than their brother and son. The book is a love letter to them by one of the people who knew and loved them best.
- The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah: A young girl growing up in the wilds of Alaska learns some hard truths about life, love and marriage.
- American Tantrum: The Donald J. Trump Presidential Archives by Anthony Atamanuik and Neil Casey: Based on the character created by Anthony Atamanuik on The President Show, it is a what if story in regards to the fictional Presidential library of you know who.
- Not Out Kind: A Novel by Kitty Zeldis: Just after the end of World War II, two women from vastly different worlds meet in New York City and forever change each other’s lives in the process.
- Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy: The Story of Little Women and Why It Still Matters by Anne Boyd Rioux: 150 years after the publication of Little Women, the book still resonates with readers across the globe and across the cultural landscape.
- The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict: Behind every genius is a supportive and loving spouse. But what happens when the spouse is denied her own genius because she is a woman?
That’s my list, what are your favorite books of 2018?
Filed under Book Review, Books, Downton Abbey, Feminism, History, Jane Austen, Movies, New York City, Politics, Pride and Prejudice, Star Wars, Television
For over 200 years, the unexpected courtship and hate turned to love relationship between Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice has thrilled readers.
Ibi Zoboi is one of the newest writers to update Pride and Prejudice to the modern era. This year, she published Pride, set in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Bushwick.
Zuri Benitez has lived in Bushwick her entire life. The second of five daughters of Afro-Caribbean parents, Zuri is proud of her neighborhood, her family and her heritage. But her neighborhood is changing. The Darcys have just moved across the street from Zuri and her family. They have purchased and renovated what was a rundown building and have two teenage sons. Zuri’s elder sister, Janae starts dating Ainsley Darcy, but Zuri develops an immediate dislike for Darius Darcy. Will they ever get along and find common ground or are they destined to hate each other?
I really and truly enjoyed this book. It still felt like Pride and Prejudice, but felt modern at the same time. Though the book is set in modern-day Bushwick, I could still hear Jane’s voice as a writer. When adapting Pride and Prejudice or any other classic novel for the modern era, some writers are unable to keep of the voice of the original writer while adapting the story and the characters. Ms. Zoboi is able to balance the world of her characters with the narratives and characters that Jane Austen fans know and love.
I absolutely recommend it.
Pride and Prejudice is a beloved and well read classic for a reason. Since it arrived in bookstores and libraries in 1813, many writers have tried to replicate the magic that gives Pride and Prejudice it’s standing. While many have tried, only a few have hit the mark.
In 2014, writer Mary Jane Hathaway threw her hat in the Austen-reboot sub-genre. One of the results is Pride, Prejudice and Cheese Grits, a modern adaptation of Pride and Prejudice set in the modern-day American South. Shelby Roswell is a history professor teaching at a small Southern college, her expertise is The Civil War. Recently publishing a book on the subject, she hopes that this book will lead to being tenured. That tenure is quickly derailed by Ransom Fielding, a historian whose review of Shelby’s book is far from complementary. Adding insult to injury, Ransom has agreed to take on the role of a visiting professor at the same college. After loosing his wife 6 years ago, he has buried his head in the sand when it comes to life and love. Then he meets Shelby and the sparks begin to fly.
Anyone who knows me or follows this blog knows that Pride and Prejudice is one of my all time favorite books. Jane Austen was a master in the art of writing. Some writers are fortunate enough to be able to reproduce her works successfully. While I enjoyed Ms. Hathaway’s modern take on Persuasion, I can’t say the same about her take on Pride and Prejudice. For a reader or an audience to be invested in a romance, they have to see the potential in the coupling of the lead characters, even if at some point in the narrative, the lead characters are not sure themselves. While the romance between Shelby and Ransom was on the page, as a reader I did not feel it.
Do I recommend it? Not really.