Thursday, October 15, 2009

JASNA 2009

I am a weak, weak person.  Did my last blog not mention how many books I was taking to the JASNA meeting?  Five? Six?  Not including a copy of Persuasions (Vol. 30), the annual association journal.  I'm embarassed to admit that I came home with no less than SIX new books.  Gentle readers, how could I stop myself?  Honestly, how could I resist Jane Austen and Crime ??  I am not making this up, this is a real book. That I bought.  Seriously, folks, you would not believe how many books there are out there about Jane Austen -- and a whole lot of them were for sale at the AGM, courtesy of Barnes & Noble and Jane Austen Books.

Other irresistable purchases:  Jane Grigson's Food with the Famous (out of print); Can Jane Eyre Be Happy? More Puzzles in Classic Fiction  by John Sutherland (also out of print); and a signed copy of The Making of Pride and Prejudice -- signed by Andrew Davies! Clearly, all excellent purchases.

But the best books, naturally, were the free ones:  first, I scored an adorable pocket/reticule-sized copy of Northanger Abbey as a door prize at the closing brunch; second, I got this really interesting book called So Odd a Mixture: Along the Autistic Spectrum in 'Pride and Prejudice'  -- from the author herself, no less! She is a lovely lady from Vancouver named Phyllis Ferguson Bottomer and we started chatting at the end of the ball.  One thing led to another and we ended up talking for almost two hours about her book, which is fascinating.  Ms. Ferguson Bottomer is a speech language pathologist and has worked for years with children on the autistic spectrum, and while during a viewing of the 1995 BBC adaptation, she was struck by how many of the characters show autistic tendencies.  So she's published an entire book about it, analyzing eight characters from the novel. And she was kind enough to give me a signed copy.  I started it on the plane ride home and can't wait to finish it.

So that's why my luggage was nine pounds heavier on the return flight.  And in my defense, I did resist lots of other really interesting books, like Jane Austen and Marriage; the complete Jane Austen's Letters; Jane Austen: A Life; Becoming Jane; The Jane Austen Cookbook. . . basically, the contents of my Barnes & Noble wish list.  Well, Christmas is coming, right?

Oh, and as for the rest of the conference. . . let's see, four breakout seminars (I particularly enjoyed Marginal Siblings Stir the Plot -- member of my JA book club can expect a summary next month), plus at least four or five other speakers; a banquet, the ball -- I tried English Country Dancing, and I'm really, really, bad at it, I must be from the Mr. Collins school of dancing -- I learned how to play whist, which is both easy AND fun -- plus I had a great, great time talking to lots of fascinating people.  What a great time.  I am so hoping to go to the next AGM, which is in Portland in 2010.  And Ft. Worth in 2011!!! Yee haw! 

And I did actually get some reading done!  Nearly 300 pages of The Woman in White, and nearly all of A Girl of the Limberlost.  Reviews to follow soon.

Update, 10/18/09:  Somehow I conveniently forgot about the other Jane Austen book that I ordered online. . . during the conference.  Because the book vendors didn't have it.  Jane Austen and Food, by Maggie Lane.  Does that count as #7, since it didn't arrive until today?


  1. Wait - did you change your background color again? Or am I just remembering wrong?

    It was good to see you today. These books sound like a lot of fun. Maybe I'll borrow the autism one from you after I've read NA (I'd like to read all 6 books first).

  2. I changed the background color a few weeks ago because none of the links showed up very well. Lunch was fun! And the JA autism book is really only about P&P, though the author did write an essay about Mr. Woodhouse from Emma, which I'm trying to track down. So if you've read (or watched) P&P it'll make sense.

  3. I knew you'd changed it a few weeks back, but it looked different for some reason. Maybe I was just remembering the old one.

    I'll definitly have to borrow that book, but will probably wait a couple months first. October's pretty filled up and I don't plan to read much in November. December might be busy, too.

  4. How fun! I just stared a biography of Jane Austen by Carol Shields -- she says she's an "Amateur" Jane Austen fan and she talks about how she loves the JASNA too.

    I haven't read much Jane Austen, but I've loved PRide & Predjudice on every rereading. I'm hoping to read Sense and Sensibility this fall too.

  5. Karen-

    First, you have an awesome blog, I've decided to add you to my blog roll ;)

    Second, I know exactly what you's a good thing they gave us a huge bag when we registered at the AGM, because I would not have had sufficient room for all my purchases in my suitcase!

  6. Hi Amanda! Thanks for adding me. I'm just getting started with blogging, who knows how this will turn out? But it's really fun so far. I look forward to reading your blog too.

  7. Hey Karen!

    It sounds like wonderful conference and I wish I had been able to go, I can't wait for the blow-by-blow account! I'm sorry I missed lunch--damned tooth, Hope to see you soon and I adore following your blog!


  8. Aauugghhz1 I wanted to go! (rolin on the floor having a tantrum), I'm glad you had a reat time, and I can't wait to hear all about ut!!

  9. I also think your blog is amazing! You're really doing a great job! I loved to hear about all of your book purchases and the ones you scored for free! I'm googling that mini Northanger Abby one. I'll bet it would be so fun to carry around. It sounds like you had a really great time too. You've inspired me to look into going to JASNA someday. :)

  10. Julie, don't forget the 2011 JASNA AGM is in Ft. Worth, just a short drive from here! And I'm really trying to organize a San Antonio chapter. I'll bring lots of stuff to our next JA book club meeting, can't wait to tell everyone all about it.

  11. Wow! That's exciting! I'd love to know more or be a part of the SA chapter. I felt bad for missing out on the last JA book group this last time. I plan to be there in Nov. I can't wait either. :)


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