If You Love Jane Austen, This is THE Book to Own!

IMG_8743“Oh! I am delighted with the book! I should like to spend my whole life reading it.” ~ Northanger Abbey 

There are so many of you out there just like me who love Jane Austen. Recently, I even heard the term “Austeniana” to describe the massive amounts of people that flood to Austen’s work and memorabilia. So when I saw the recently published Jane Austen Cover to Cover on display in so many peoples offices at work, I brought it home to check out over the holidays. On a Thursday evening, with nothing on the go, I ended up spending hours looking at the past 200 years of Jane Austen covers and learning the origins of how her work was originally published.

As the book notes in the introduction,

The covers gathered in this volume represent two hundred years of publication, interpretation, marketing, and misapprehensions of Jane Austen’s works., but underneath the variety of images one thing remains the same: the text that left the pen of a woman in Hampshire, England, two centuries ago.

200 years ago, publishing was much different than it is today. In 1795, authors had a variety of options when it came to getting published. You could choose to publish on commission, meaning that the publisher made all arrangements, design, production, etc. This could be beneficial to the author if their book was a success in terms of compensation, but if the book didn’t perform as expected, many times authors would have to pay their publisher for costs. The other option was selling the copyright of your book to the publisher, which was common for most authors as it guaranteed payment, but it was only that one payment that they author would receive for their work. Nothing more, nothing less.

The only book for which Austen sold the copyright was Pride and Prejudice. Thomas Egerton paid 110 pounds for the copyright. She never received another payment for what would become one of the most popular novels in history.

After having learned her lesson, Austen got much smarter about publishing her work and began self-publishing (in a sense) her work by finding smarter and more cost effective ways to share her writing.

In 1832,o-PRIDEANDPREJUDICE4-570-2

no reciprocal copyright law bound the United Sates and the United Kingdom, copyright was not violated with these publications.

Expired and inapplicable copyright laws  have allowed for all of Austen’s work to now become public domain, allowing for a variety of publishers, covers and interpretations which we get to see in this book. What I found most fascinating is how the covers have changed to fit with the cultural trends and targeted readership throughout the years. For instance, the 1960 – 70’s were a hip time. The boring covers with only a portrait of a woman’t face weren’t going to cut it anymore. Publishers began revamping the covers to become more with the time and resulted in covers like this one from Campus Classics.

There were also many covers that were aimed at reaching a scholarly audience. Pictures of grand houses, and scenes that didn’t focus on the Elizabeth Bennett and Mark Darcy romance, but rather a scene depicting a moment pandp_harper_collins2009w1of departure. As the years passed and we started to see new a variety of films and YouTube channels, publishers had to get creative. For instance, check out how they rebranded Austen’s work to specifically target the Twilight fans . These were published by HarperTeen in 2009. I think my favourite thing about these versions were their tag lines. For instance, the Pride and Prejudice tagline reads “The Love that Started it All”‘. Sure.

Whatever your pleasure, you’ll see the growth and power of Jane Austen’s work in Jane Austen Cover to Cover. Covering the classic to  the modern editions, the movie-tie-in editions and a look at the variety of covers in other languages. This book has it all! I learned so many new and fun facts that I didn’t know before about Jane Austen by opening this collectors item. I also really enjoyed reading about the publishing facts spread throughout the book. Fun, smart and a book that will be on display at my house for a long time, this is one book that will be loved by all Janeites!

A Hands On Demonstration of the Kobo Aura H20

Seeing as how it’s January, the thought of reading on the beach seems like a far away dream. But let’s just pretend for a moment if you will, let’s pretend you’re about 100 pages into your new eBook on your Kobo and your weekend plans include a day at the beach. You pack your towels, your cold drinks and then you hit a road block. Do you bring your eReader? The one you spent $150 on to have it ruined when a dribble of water gets on it? No. Well lucky for you, this dilemma will no longer be an issue thanks to Kobo’s newest member of the family, the Kobo Aura H20.

Kobo Aura H2O is the first premium eReader that truly allows for worry-free eReading because of its waterproof** and dustproof design. It features an impressive extra-large, no-glare 6.8” Carta E Ink touchscreen that reads like print on paper – even in direct sunlight. Eyestrain is minimized in any light with the fully adjustable ComfortLight directing light at the page, not your eyes. Plus, with ClarityScreen+, Kobo Aura H2O provides a high definition reading experience, with crisp, clear text for easy and enjoyable reading.

I was fortunate to be sent a device to try it out and share the experience with all of you! Since I’m not keen on going out in the freezing water to demonstrate this to you and I sure as heck don’t feel comfortable testing this in the tub for all to see, I used my sink to showcase the wonder that is the Kobo Aura H20 and filmed it for you so you could see just how handy and durable the devise is – enjoy!

If you’re interested in purchasing a Kobo Aura H20, they are available for purchase at your local Chapters Indigo and/or you can purchase it online here for only $179.99. 

My thanks to Laura at Edelman for allowing me to try out this fun eReader!

Enter to Win a Gone Girl Prize Pack

Last summer, I finally caved and read Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl. I wanted to read the book before the movie was released and I’m so glad I did, because both were impeccable. I’ll never forget the moment when I turned the page (if you’ve read the book, you know what page I’m talking about) and my mouth hung open. I’ve never been so shocked and haunted by a book before and when the movie was released, I feared that the movie wouldn’t capture that shock factor, but low and behold, it did. I saw the movie with someone that hadn’t read the book before and it was almost more fun watching their reaction then actually experiencing the film. That’s why I’m so excited to have the opportunity to not only give away a copy of the book, but also a copy of Blu-Ray DVD of Gone Girl thanks to my friends at Fox Home Entertainment.

Gone Girl Prize Pack

On the occasion of his fifth wedding anniversary, Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) reports that his beautiful wife, Amy (Rosamund Pike), has gone missing. Under pressure from the police and a growing media frenzy, Nick’s portrait of a blissful union begins t o crumble. Soon his lies, deceits and strange behavior have everyone asking the same dark question: Did Nick Dunne kill his wife? 

Want to enter for your chance to win this AMAZING prize pack, it’s simple; click the image below or this link,

a Rafflecopter giveaway

BEST OF LUCK!

Looking for a Book as Gripping as Gone Girl? Pick up Paula Hawkins’ The Girl on the Train

B6CVd-GIQAAkZQJAsk anyone that knows me and they’ll tell you that I love taking the train. I think I like it for all the same reasons as Rachel, the protagonist in Paula Hawkin’s The Girl on the Train. Getting to have a quick glance into people’s homes/lives while you whisk by on the train allows for you to have a very active imagination. I’ve always been like this, I love getting that sneak peek into someone’s home as the light dims and the lights in peoples homes allow you to see families that have just sat down to dinner. My thoughts always lead me to my own conclusions and they do the same for Rachel who every day passes a loving couple who sit out on their roof terrace sipping their morning cups of coffee. She’s imagined that their names are Jason and Jess and imagines that he’s in the medical field and Jess, well she’s a caregiver of some sort. She always makes a point to look out for them while she’s on her commute home too, while she sips on a gin and tonic. Likely her fourth of the day.

You see, Rachel’s not your ordinary commuter, she’s lost touch with reality and she’s very quickly on her way to hitting rock bottom. She sees the stares from other commuters, she hears their snickers as they watch her crack open yet another can of booze. She wasn’t always like this, she was once a married woman with hopes and aspirations to be a Mother. But after her attempts at making a child with her ex-husband Tom fail, she turns to liquor. And Tom, well Tom turns to Anna. As things start to unravel more and more, she takes solace in knowing that at least other couples are living happily ever after. That is until one day on her commute she spots Jess kissing a man who isn’t Jason! Distraught, frustration, anger lead her to really hit the bottle hard that night. When she wakes up from her bender with a cut face, ripped clothes and no memory of the night before, she flicks on the news to see Jess’, whom she learns is actually named Megan, face all over the news with the words ‘missing’ running across the screen.

What happened on that fateful Saturday night? Where is Megan and did Rachel have anything to do with her disappearance? She remembers getting off at the train stop by their house and that’s where everything goes blank. As the police start their investigation, Rachel starts her own investigation to put all the pieces together. Her curiosity causes her to face the many skeletons in her closet and in other peoples closets too.

Each page was like peeling away another layer of an onion. I couldn’t stop until I read the last page. It’s been awhile since I’ve read a thriller as original as Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, but this took the cake. It was a smart story that you will not be able to predict how it ends. Picture yourself boarding a windy roller coaster where you’re unable to see where you get off, that’s what this book is, a non-stop trip aboard an unpredictable adventure. You’ll gasp, you’ll create a soft spot for Rachel and her demons and you won’t be able to put this book down. AND REMEMBER, the next time you try to predict what’s really going on in the houses you pass by every day on your way to work, just know that you have no idea about what goes on behind closed doors.

When you’re chatting about this book online, be sure to use the hashtag #GirlOnTheTrain and give Paula Hawkins a follow on Twitter @PaulaHWrites and Facebook Paula Hawkins

Feel Like a Good Cry? Pick Up a Copy of All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

9780385755887_0You know how everyone compares every YA book to The Fault in Our Stars and/or Eleanor & Park, well that’s exactly what I’m about to do, but I swear, the comparisons are legit. Before I get into telling you all the reasons you’re going to love Jennifer Niven’s All the Bright Places, let me tell you that they movie rights for this book  were purchased back in July 2014. That seems like legit proof that this book is going to be something special, right? Okay, now it’s time to tell you all about all the way that this book made me look like a cry-baby on the TTC.

This is the story of Theodore Finch and Violet Markey. Two teenagers that meet in an unlikely circumstance. Both climb the bell tower of their school to “figure things out” and to weigh their options. Instead of doing the unthinkable act that you do when you climb up on top of a tower in the late evening, the two hit it off and decide to form an unlikely friendship that proves to benefit them both.

Finch has been suffering with depression for quite some time. He can’t seem to shake the darkness that he feels. He constantly thinks up ways in which he can take his own life and finally put an end to the misery he’s feeling. Violet is suffering a different darkness. After her sister’s death, she’s grieving in a way that others don’t seem to understand. Nothing makes sense and everything seems disconnected. That’s why their meeting has a profound importance to both of them. Rather than getting swallowed by their darkness, the two decide to work on discovering the “natural wonders” of their state in order to expand their horizons. This attempt at focusing on the good things and the small things that surround them have different effects on both of their mental states and what ultimately ends up happening leaves the reader sitting with the book open on the last page, scared to close it, because they don’t want it to be over.

I read this book back in September 2014, which is right around the time that Robin Williams, the brilliant actor and Father to three children, took his own life. I think the thing about his death that left me so shaken up is that when I read about his suicide, I was in shock. No one that happy, that full of life would take their own life… would they?  This had to be a different Robin Williams I was reading about in the papers!? But no, it was the blue genie, the hilarious Mrs. Doubtfire and the man that appeared so vibrant, so full of himself. I learned in that moment that people decide what you see, how they act and hope to be perceived by others is sometimes all an act. Depression and anxiety are mental disorders, they rob people of their ability to see things clearly and claim the lives of one in five Canadians. This is not something to take lightly and it is not something that can be cured overnight. Jennifer Niven tackles this topic with grace, dignity and knowledge. She writes with a knowing confidence that really taps into those real life situations, just as John Green and Rainbow Rowell have done in their brilliant novels.

I strongly urge each and every one of you to pick up this novel, because it’s one that matters and it’s one that you won’t soon forget.

If you suffer from any type of mental disorder, please know that you are not alone and you can find help by visiting Canadian Mental Health Association OR if you’re in the United States, you can receive help by visiting the National Institute of Mental Health.