2013 Unputdownables Read-a-Long Schedule

tumblr_lywfwwTXnk1qcyyiso1_500The 2013 Unputdownables Read-a-Long schedule has been announced!

Here it is, in a nutshell:

January: Persuasion by Jane Austen

February, March, April: Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

May: The Hounds of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle

June, July, August: Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell

September: Agnes Grey by Anne Brontë

October: Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

November, December: Zelda by Nancy Milford

Now, I have a confession. I’m not that into Jane Austen! I read her in college and said, “Meh! Witty but surface-y!” I then didn’t read anything else from her until I got my Sony Reader, and Pride and Prejudice was already on it. I started it and said, “Meh! Witty but surface-y!” and abandoned it for Jane Eyre. I feel that I’m a Bronte gal through and through . . . although I hope not an immature ‘tween who needs to set up a battle like the Rock vs. Disco (or even the Beatles vs. Stones) one I fought in 6th grade . . .  or will it come down to that? Will 2013 be the year I change my mind about Austen (or will it be the year that Austenites all over the internet hate me?)? Join the read-a-long to find out! I also have a teeny tiny grudge against Elizabeth Gaskell because I think she misrepresented Charlotte Bronte in her biography. I’ll keep an open mind and read Wives and Daughters for the work of fiction that it is, but. . .

In slightly more mature musings — I’m especially thrilled about the Dostoyevsky. I didn’t get a chance to read The Brothers Karamazov in November like I wanted to, so am happy to get another chance at a Dostoyevsky title with the encouragement of a read-a-long attached. I’ve had Zelda in my to-read pile since we read The Great Gatsby together, and Doyle — what fun!

I hope you can join us for some or all of the titles in 2013! Happy New Unputdownables Read-a-Long Year!


  1. Ruby Scarlett

    Would have joined but I’ve read all the books except C&P 😦 Jane is my favourite author, but to each their own 🙂

  2. Susan E

    Sounds like there will be some good discussions on Austen :). I’m looking forward to Crime and Punishment, too…I hope a group will help me make it through all those (grim) pages…

  3. Patty

    I’m exactly like you – I find Austen in general too “pink” for my taste, but I’m willing to be convinced. I really look forward to the readalongs this year!

  4. sawcat

    Perhaps the Austen you’ve read aren’t to your taste, but maybe these are different. It be kind of fun to read Mystery of Udolpho, then Northanger Abbey. These are my two favorite Austen novels, so I’m quite content.

    Do you like each Bronte evenly? Seems like most people tend towards either Charlotte or Emily. I’ve not read any of Anne’s writings, but I think I snagged one at a library sale. Will have to look for it before we get there.

    I plan on joining in all but Zelda. Biographies aren’t really my thing

    • jackiemania

      It’s hard because we have so much more published from Charlotte, but I love Charlotte and Emily both, fiercely. I have read the Tenant of Wildfell Hall from Anne, and liked it very, very much, but I didn’t get the gut punch that Charlotte and Emily give me.

      Going to keep an open mind with Austen. From looking at my shelves, I read Emma and P&P in college. I must say, I did love the BBC adaptation of P&P, and I never like adaptations better than books!

      • sawcat

        Sounds like Austen might be for you what Dickens is for me. I never liked the Dickens I read in school. Now I’m to the point that I’ll only try the Dickens novels where I like the movie/miniseries

  5. kheenand

    Northanger Abbey is my least favourite Austen – sorry Sawcat! I understand those of you who think Austen is ‘so what’. It took me a few reads before it clicked with me .

  6. Pingback: Persuasion sign ups for January! « jackiemania
  7. Mabel

    Hey Jackie — I had the EXACT same feelings about Jane Austen, until I read the biography on Austen by Claire Tomalin. Then I re-read Pride and Prejudice. SO MUCH comes to the surface, on a reread. Sense & Sensibility is my favorite by her; it’s quite passionate. 🙂

  8. Mabel

    (My) feeling on Austen is that she is using her novels to speak to women in her day — like Wollstonecraft, only far more subtle. She read Wollstonecraft, I think. The phrase Sense & Sensibility is used throughout A Vindication of the Rights of Women. The women who read novels in Austen’s day wanted silly romance and weddings. She is giving them that because she had no other medium through which to speak. (Because she was a woman.) If you read Pride & Predjudice through Caroline’s perspective, you’ll see a whole story of the state of women in the Regency era humming under the surface of the work.

  9. Mabel

    Likewise Persuasion. Austen’s novels are stories created out of ideas. They are not love stories — though they contain love stories. They are challenges to the women of her era. Will you be persuaded, or will you make up your own mind? She is trying to tap into the free will of women through the medium of fairy tale. That she uses wit to do this is extraordinary to me: she is earnest, she is laughing, she is desperate, she is annoyed — with the fate of women. And she is challenging them to wake up and stand against it. Read Persuasion like that — is my advice.

    • jackiemania

      Thank you — this is great advice! I just put the Tomalin on my wishlist too — and grabbed another bio on Paperback Swap for my “extra” reading 🙂 Much appreciated!!

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