Starting Sense and Sensibility

Both Summer of Austen and Project Ukulele took a back seat to another exciting adventure as I traveled to Boston last week to attend and celebrate my friend’s successful defense of his dissertation. Congratulations, Dr. Dan!

Necessary champagne celebration! 
(Photo by Kristen P. via Facebook, as I managed to leave Boston without any pictures… again.)

While a flight is surely a perfect time for reading Austen, I needed to finish Lisa Randall’s Knocking on Heaven’s Door, in the hopes of establishing some sort of very basic understanding of physics. And it worked! On a very superficial level, I understood what Dan’s research is about and was able to more fully appreciate his contribution to science. (So very proud of my friend.)

I found a little time for reading in Boston, while I was forcing myself to stay awake until dawn in sheer terror of a bird-size insect that had made its way into the house. That kind of free time demanded lighter reading and I dived into yet another Sookie Stackhouse novel (a series which I’m not even a little embarrassed to say I love).

And when my next chunk of free time popped up – five hours in Boston’s Logan International Airport, it seemed much more pressing to re-watch some season six episodes of
Doctor Who (“The Curse of the Black Spot,” “The Impossible Astronaut,” and “A Good Man Goes to War”), and then the first two episodes from season one of Bored to Death. (Note: that show makes me want to live in New York City, but not Manhattan – Brooklyn is so pretty.)

Okay – I boarded the flight (thank you, pre-boarding because of the boot) and finally resigned myself to starting
Sense and Sensibility. Why was I fighting it? Maybe I knew how slow it was going to start. I’m only 15% or so in (oh Kindle, already shaping how I talk about books) and I’m so annoyed. Too many Dashwoods to keep track of. 

However, interspersed in this (I’m sure very important) novel set-up text are some moments of the Jane Austen I met in
Northanger Abbey.

On every formal visit a child ought to be of the party, by way of provision for discourse. In the present case it took up ten minutes to determine whether the boy were most like his father or mother, and in what particular he resembled either, for of course every body differed, and every body was astonished at the opinion of others. (Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility)

Oh, Jane Austen – speaking universal and persistent truths. How little social interactions have changed!

I’m pushing to finish this by Friday night so Anna and I can watch the Emma Thompson adaptation before it leaves Netflix Instant. 

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