Summer for a lot of us signals a return to times less stressful, and nothing says calm like reading the classics. But what happens when you reboot a classic like Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice?" Well, here are two reboots that even the most beloved Austen fan would love.
The first is “Eligible” (by Curtis Sittenfeld), a modern retelling of “Pride and Prejudice” commissioned by the Austen Project, which has been pairing contemporary authors with various Austen works. The novel is largely set in Cincinnati and stars Liz Bennet, her four sisters, their social-climbing mother and self-absorbed father, and the sisters’ assorted suitors. Classic Austen with a twist.
The second is “Longbourn” (by Jo Baker) that takes us beyond the drawing rooms of "Pride and Prejudice" into the below-stairs domain of the stern housekeeper and the starry-eyed kitchen maid, into the gritty daily events faced by the lower classes in Regency England and in doing so, creates a vivid, fascinating, fully realized world that is wholly her own.
For the Sci-Fi fans out there, Neil Gaiman's newest, “Norse Mythology,” is seen as his best yet. Most people are familiar with Greek mythology with all of its self-reflective nuances, but the Nordic myths show the daily lives of beer-drinking, overly-talkative gods who share the same problems as modern day folks. Gaiman's knowledge of northern mythology is extensive and refreshing. This would be a great introduction to the novice reader of Norse mythology.
One last series would be great for the mystery readers among you. “The British Library Crime Classics Series” is a compilation of about 24 crime stories written within the last century and refashioned for a more modern audience. Perfect beach reads!
And, of course, these books are at Ernest & Hadley Booksellers. Happy reading!