Sunday, October 9, 2011

Packing for Ft. Worth

I'm almost on my way to visit Ft. Worth, Texas!  I'm a member of the Jane Austen Society of North America (JASNA) and this week I'm going to their Annual General Meeting, also known as the AGM.  I didn't get to go last year to the one in Portland, but I went two years ago to the 2009 AGM in Philadelphia and had a wonderful time.
Last time I went with my mother, who can't attend this year, but this time I have two other Texas friends coming with me from our local chapter, so I'll have two roommates.  I'll be spending five days in downtown Ft. Worth meeting other Jane Austen fans, learning English country dancing, playing whist, and attending lectures and seminars about Jane Austen.  I'm such a literature geek, I can hardly wait!

Last time, I naturally packed waaaay too many books in my carryon -- I don't know how I imagined I'd have time to do much reading!  I did actually read two books last time, so I'm cutting back from six books packed last time, to only four.  Hey, I need to have choices!  Here's what I may be bringing with me:

The Annotated Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen -- I recently finished The Annotated Persuasion, which was wonderful.  The theme for this years' AGM is Sense and Sensibility, in honor of the 200th anniversary of its publication.  So of course I'll need my own copy close at hand.

The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer -- considered by many to be the Queen of Regency Romances, Georgette Heyer wrote more than twenty books set during the Regency period.  One of my book groups is a monthly Jane Austen group, and we have to alternate her works with other related books.  In November we're each going to talk about a different novel by Heyer.

A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin -- I know, it's the complete opposite of Jane Austen!  But I've been dying to read the second volume after loving the first book in the series, A Game of Thrones.  I've been saving this one, since I want to stretch the series out -- book five was just published, so who knows how long it will take before Martin finishes the next volume?  This is a big fat book, perfect for reading on planes, shuttle buses, etc., because it's lots of very short chapters, which make it easy to pick up and read just a little at a time.

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen -- one of my possible reads for the October Classics Circuit -- which will also fulfill my fourth book for the RIP challenge.  

A Warning to the Curious by M. R. James OR The Penguin Book of Gaslight Crime -- a couple more choices for the RIP Challenge.  It's always nice to have a book of short stories on hand, for the airport or for a quick read at bedtime -- though ghost stories might not be ideal right before I go to sleep!

And I'm also packing a few extra books about Jane Austen -- there are quite a few authors attending and they'll hopefully be able to sign my books.  But those don't count since I probably won't be reading them, just getting them signed.

I just recounted and I'm up to seven books which is more than I brought last time to Philadelphia! Am I the only one who packs books first for a vacation -- and packs way too many??  Which ones should I bring, and which ones will I have to save for later?


  1. I hope you and Debye both have an absolutely fantastic time!

  2. I had to laugh when I read this because it sounds so familiar...needing to have a choice, making a pile of "take withs" and having to narrow it down, debating the choices...always packing a few too many. Sounds like a wonderful conference--enjoy! Susan E

  3. Literary conferences are lots of fun. Meeting up with your fellow enthusiasts in person is a cool experience. And the lectures can really get you thinking about the topic in new and exciting ways. Have a great trip and good reading. :-)

  4. I always pack books first, and like you (and I don't think we're alone in this) I take way too many, especially for a flight, so I'm never stranded without a book. Have a good trip and a great meeting!

  5. Sounds like great fun, I look forward to hearing all about it.

  6. Amanda --Thanks!! We'll send updates. And then I can teach everyone English Country Dancing -- apparently it's quite a workout!

    Susan E -- I'm glad I'm not alone. Books are the most important thing to pack on a trip.

    LJR -- Thanks!! This is only my second literary conference. Someday I'm hoping to go to Dickens on the Strand which is held in Corpus Christi, TX. That might be more like a Renaissance Faire, I'm not sure.

    Lisa May -- I live in mortal fear of being trapped on a plane with nothing to read. Or a bad book! I'd much rather have too many books than not enough.

    Jo -- I'll definitely have some posts, probably after I return. Lots of posts!

  7. Country dancing too!? Oh you are going to be smiling from ear to ear...enjoy!

  8. Bring all your books! We're doing a few new things this year at the AGM, including having a UPS shipping service available through Sunday morning.

    Looking forward to seeing all of you here in MY hometown!

  9. BTW, Karen K...Dickens on the Strand is actually in Galveston, not Corpus. I was a 9-1-1 dispatcher for such events for the city of Galveston for four years... It is always the first weekend in December. And yes, I dressed for that, too, when I wasn't sending ambulances or tow trucks here and yon. Guess I was merely revving up for my serious Regency fashion potential. :-)

  10. I love to read Heyer when I'm traveling, so that's the one I'd bring first. I never leave home without my Kindle loaded with new books! Hope you have fun!

  11. How wonderful that you are going to this conference! I have always wanted to be a member of the Jane Austen Society. I will look into how one joins. Have a great time discussing our beloved Jane!

  12. Hope you had a lovely time! Looking forward to hearing all about it!

  13. Have a great time! I 've been thinking of you because I'm reading an 'old' book... Cranford - I presume you have read it, yes? but I'm going to put it aside for a better time when I can concentrate. It's good but I don't have good reading blocks of time and thus I'm afraid my motivations waver.

  14. Oh dear, I forgot that you were going too--I had great time and thoroughly enjoyed the sessions, the camaraderies, and the insights to Austen.

    A Jasna friend convinced me to try Game of Thrones--seems everyone is loving it, so it's on order :)

  15. A literary trip, how wonderful! I have thought about setting up a Jane Austen society in my own town.

    By the way, there is a new biography of Heyer receiving mixed reviews in the UK press.


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