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A Jane Austen Education
A Jane Austen Education: How Six Novels Taught Me About Love, Friendship, and the Things That Really Matter | William Deresiewicz
23 posts | 24 read | 41 to read
An eloquent memoir of a young man's life transformed by literature. In A Jane Austen Education, Austen scholar William Deresiewicz turns to the author's novels to reveal the remarkable life lessons hidden within. With humor and candor, Deresiewicz employs his own experiences to demonstrate the enduring power of Austen's teachings. Progressing from his days as an immature student to a happily married man, Deresiewicz's A Jane Austen Education is the story of one man's discovery of the world outside himself. A self-styled intellectual rebel dedicated to writers such as James Joyce and Joseph Conrad, Deresiewicz never thought Austen's novels would have anything to offer him. But when he was assigned to read Emma as a graduate student at Columbia, something extraordinary happened. Austen's devotion to the everyday, and her belief in the value of ordinary lives, ignited something in Deresiewicz. He began viewing the world through Austen's eyes and treating those around him as generously as Austen treated her characters. Along the way, Deresiewicz was amazed to discover that the people in his life developed the depth and richness of literary characters-that his own life had suddenly acquired all the fascination of a novel. His real education had finally begun. Weaving his own story-and Austen's-around the ones her novels tell, Deresiewicz shows how her books are both about education and themselves an education. Her heroines learn about friendship and feeling, staying young and being good, and, of course, love. As they grow up, they learn lessons that are imparted to Austen's reader, who learns and grows by their sides. A Jane Austen Education is a testament to the transformative power of literature, a celebration of Austen's mastery, and a joy to read. Whether for a newcomer to Austen or a lifelong devotee, Deresiewicz brings fresh insights to the novelist and her beloved works. Ultimately, Austen's world becomes indelibly entwined with our own, showing the relevance of her message and the triumph of her vision. Watch a Video
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review
Crinoline_Laphroaig
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Pickpick

Calendar changes from Aug to Sep and suddenly I'm super busy. This book was my constant companion this week. Took a break to enjoy Ricotta Pancakes w/ Banana Pecan syrup and a London Fog. Last of my #austeninaugust2019 reads. I'm actually glad I was so busy because it forced me to slow down & savor book. The most insightful book on Austen I have ever read. Glad I bought a Print copy because it's definitely a keeper. 📚🍌🤓
#austeninaugustextras

Crinoline_Laphroaig I love how it's divided into Chapters about Austen novels and how that particular book affected the Author's life. Writing style is readable and relatable. Ending will give you all the feels.
3mo
Andrea313 I looooove this book! So glad you enjoyed it. ❤️📚 3mo
Crinoline_Laphroaig @Andrea313 I now want to reread Austen in order how books are mentioned in this book. 3mo
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Andrea313 @Crinoline_Laphroaig Ooh, that'd be fun! And then also read the corresponding chapter...I'd probably do that. 3mo
ValerieAndBooks This was a pick for me — and after reading it, said I wanted to re-read Jane. Scrolling down to this book profile and finding my review, was shocked that it was 3 years ago and I still haven‘t re-read any 😱 3mo
Crinoline_Laphroaig @ValerieAndBooks Just not enough reading time! 3mo
ValerieAndBooks @Crinoline_Laphroaig yes exactly 📚📚📚! 3mo
60 likes3 stack adds7 comments
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Crinoline_Laphroaig
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Thank you all for indulging me in my love of Jane Austen.
While officially #austeninaugust2019 is over; I'm not quite ready to let go. Finishing tagged book this Holiday Weekend. It's quite delightful. "Her genius began with the recognition that such lives as hers were very eventful indeed—that every life is eventful, if only you know how to look at it." ?
#austeninaugustextras

48 likes1 stack add
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Crinoline_Laphroaig
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2. Chillin By the Pool w/ Book and Umbrella drink. 🍹
3. Bluebell Strawberries and Homemade Vanilla. 🍦
4. I might still remember Middle C from long ago lessons. 🎹
5. #friyayintro 🙋‍♀️
@howjessreads

Andrea313 Are you a Betsy-Tacy fan? Those characters always start piano lessons with middle C. ❤️🎶 3mo
Crinoline_Laphroaig @Andrea313 I've been Betsy- Tacy fan since I was 16 years old. Visiting Museum in Mankato Mn was a dream come true 3mo
Andrea313 @Crinoline_Laphroaig ❤️❤️❤️ Same on visiting Mankato and all the BT sites! 3mo
39 likes3 comments
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Crinoline_Laphroaig
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Willoughby or Wickham??? Which is the worst? 🤔
#yousirareacad #whichisworst
#willoughby #wickham
#austeninaugust2019

Sarah83 For me definitely Wickham 🙋 4mo
QuietlyLaura Wickham! 😡 4mo
Jas16 Wickham 4mo
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MellieAntoinette Love these narrations by Rosamund Pike! 4mo
Crinoline_Laphroaig @MellieAntoinette She's awesome! Juliet Stevenson is my favorite Auten narrator but Rosamund is close 2nd. 4mo
43 likes6 comments
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caitlin.reads.books
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Pickpick

May‘s #bookclub pick from my favorite local bookstore. I wasn‘t so sure of this book for the first few chapters, even though they were about the two Jane Austen books I‘ve read. It was a bit pretentious, but as it progressed I thought it got better. Less pretension, more honesty. I liked the last two chapters the best. Overall 3.5 ⭐️

Eyelit I agree with your assessment! Good review 😃 7mo
caitlin.reads.books @Eyelit Glad it wasn‘t just me! Thank you!! 7mo
6 likes2 comments
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Eyelit
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Welp. I got comfy and so did the kittehs - only to realize that my book is on the other end of the sofa. 🤦🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️😂 at least I can read on my phone for a bit thanks to the kindle app (silver lining it) 😄 #catsoflitsy

Bookzombie They look so comfortable! 💕🐱🐱 11mo
MaGoose 😂 Good thing you had your phone nearby. 11mo
Chrissyreadit 😻😻😻 11mo
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CouronneDhiver Do not awaken the mini-lions 😂 11mo
Julsmarshall You can‘t possibly move those babies! 11mo
LauraJ It‘s all part of the feline plan to rule the universe. 11mo
sprainedbrain I hate it when that happens! 😂 11mo
Texreader Awwww!! 11mo
CoverToCoverGirl Been there manny, many times! 🤣 Must not disturb the fur babies! 11mo
emilyhaldi Lol, that‘s the worst!! My legs fell asleep last night bc I refused to disturb my sweet sleeping kitty 😹 11mo
Dragon 😻😻 11mo
105 likes11 comments
review
Andrea313
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Pickpick

I love this account of an arrogant, self-important young man discovering Jane Austen. In examining her work and sometimes asking himself #whatwouldjanedo, he begins to see his life transform. #austeninaugust

Crinoline_Laphroaig I love the cover! 🎩 1y
14 likes1 comment
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TommieMarie74
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2. Deciding on a favorite JA character was hard. I think I have to go with Mr. Knightley. His kindness, sharp wit, and down-to-earth nature make him a great character. And he could somehow see the goodness deep within Emma despite her silly, spoiled exterior.

#JaneAustenGiveaway

GypsyKat 💗💗💗 2y
70 likes1 comment
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TommieMarie74
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1. Emma is my favorite Jane Austen novel. I‘ve always loved the hilarity of Emma‘s matchmaking skills, or lack thereof, and the constant switching of mismatched couples when one doesn‘t work out.

#JaneAustenGiveaway

GypsyKat 💗💗💗 2y
66 likes1 comment
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Eyelit
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I‘m starting the year off right and devoting my January #tbr to Jane Austen in both nonfictional and fictional terms (not pictured are some of the ‘continuations‘ of her novels I‘ve amassed over the years). I will also reread a few of her novels as I received or purchased new editions last year. This should cover a good chunk of my #mounttbr goals, to be sure. 😄

Happy New Year!

rubyslippersreads What a wonderful stack! 😍📚😍 2y
DrexEdit Austen stack for the win! 😊 🙌 2y
AceOnRoam That's a nice start ! 2y
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DebinHawaii Excellent stack! I can't wait to hear about some of these! 📚💜 2y
MaureenMc 🙌😍 2y
LeahBergen This is a stack after my own heart. ❤️ 2y
rustoryhuf My goal this year is to reread her novels. Love Jane! 2y
Librarybelle Nice idea! ❤️ 2y
107 likes1 stack add8 comments
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Colleenma
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Austen did not see that growing up had anything to do with knowledge or skills but everything to do with character

BarbaraTheBibliophage Welcome to Litsy!! Look for the #Litsytips hashtag - there are a lot of great ideas there. 📚👏🏻📚👏🏻 2y
9 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Sharpeipup
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rubyslippersreads
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I've gotten very lucky with my thrift shop and cheap Amazon used book finds lately! 😀 Paired with a nice glass of Chardonnay. (Can't use a conventional wine glass—the kitties would knock it over! 😹)

#signedcopies #booksandbooze #booksacrossoceans #backtoreading

#booksacrossoceans #backtoreading

pri_bibliophile There are used books on Amazon?? That is awesome!! How do you find them?! 2y
rubyslippersreads @pri_bibliophile There are tons of them! Just search for the title you want, and Amazon will show you "More buying choices." Then you can look through the used copies and filter them by condition, price, etc. 2y
LeahBergen Ooo! You ARE lucky! 💗 2y
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LauraBrook 😍😍😍 2y
batsy Nice! The Susan Hill book sounds wonderful. 2y
pri_bibliophile Oh! I am gonna go surf through Amazon now! 2y
114 likes1 stack add6 comments
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HappilyEverKrafter
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"You don't 'fix' your mistakes, Austen was telling me, as if they somehow existed outside you, and you can't prevent them from happening, either. You aren't born perfect and only need to develop the self-confidence and self-esteem with which to express your wondrous perfection. You are born with a whole novel's worth of errors ahead of you."

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Graciouswarriorprincess
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More #bookmail today!

LeahBergen This looks good! 2y
ValerieAndBooks I enjoyed this one! 2y
Graciouswarriorprincess @LeahBergen it's been on my wishlist and I ordered it from #Thriftbooks. 2y
57 likes1 stack add4 comments
review
ValerieAndBooks
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Pickpick

The author in his 20s and 30s was kind of a pompous ass -- but he knew it, and he admits to it here. He begins reading Jane Austen as part of his college education and becomes endeared towards her works and realizes Austen is informing him of his shortcomings and how to overcome them. An enjoyable read with interesting insights. Now I want to re-read my Austens!

CrowCAH Such a pretty pretty JA arrangement! 😍 3y
ValerieAndBooks @CrowCAH thanks 😊!! 3y
76 likes4 stack adds2 comments
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ValerieAndBooks
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Stepping away from my favorite inside reading spot in order to show you all our #outside weather today. Rain. All our non-Pennsylvania friends/family envision us in a state of constant snow. Not true for this area...it's actually milder in these parts. #riotgrams

LeahBergen Pretty! 3y
KarenUK What a lovely spot 💕 3y
LauraBeth This looks lovely! 3y
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RadicalReader @ValerieAndBooks what a beautiful location so gorgeous and simply stunning so jealous 3y
QuintusMarcus I want that chair... 3y
Susanita Beautiful throw. 3y
ValerieAndBooks @LeahBergen @KarenUK @LauraBeth @RadicalReader thanks all 😊😘@QuintusMarcus it's kind of beat up nowadays but the arms are perfect for stacking books on them 📚📚. Only one today 🤔! @Susanita thanks, my mom made it -- I sit under it almost everyday, even in warmer weather 😊 3y
ValerieAndBooks @QuintusMarcus 👆not sure it properly tagged you 👆 3y
BekahPat The trees outside the window are beautiful. Such a beautiful view. 3y
ValerieAndBooks @BekahPat thank you! The house is a fixer-upper (we bought it almost 2 yrs ago) but the location/property helps make up for it 😊. 3y
88 likes10 comments
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ValerieAndBooks
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I'm already several pages into this book, but wanted to share with you all the beginning of Deresiewicz's first chapter. Emma is the book that wins him over 😊

LeahBergen This sounds like I need it. 👍🏼 3y
elkeo_TheBookDragon I think I have this on a shelf somewhere...must try to find it and move up the TBR... 👍 3y
BookishJess I've only read P&P and I didn't fall in love with it. Maybe I'll try Emma next 😊 3y
ValerieAndBooks @LeahBergen @elkeo I'm liking the author 's insights so far! @jessreadsbooks I think Emma is definitely worth a try 👍! 3y
62 likes1 stack add4 comments
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ValerieAndBooks
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Okay I know I'm supposed to be sticking to a book-buying budget! But I bought just one! Today went over to Staples and found out that the neighboring former bookstore had re-opened under the same name, but as a discount-type bookstore (with bare-bones decor). This book was 60% off. The premise seems to be that what the author learned in life, he also relates to the Austen novels. Next to my Austens that don't show up clearly here, apparently.

Desha Such a good book! I just read it a couple of weeks ago and really enjoyed it! ☺️ 3y
ValerieAndBooks @Desha I have a feeling that reading this will inspire me to re-read her books. 😊 It's been a long time since I've done that! 3y
saresmoore Very cool! I wouldn't have been able to resist this either! 3y
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DebinHawaii Yes! I totally would have bought it too! 😆👍 3y
LeahBergen Sale books don't count for book budgets. 😉 3y
ValerieAndBooks @saresmoore @DebinHawaii I admit I took it with me (even though I have other current reads) during wait time for son's district band concert today, and I'm liking it very much so far. So it may be worth it! @LeahBergen I like your rationale! Proud of myself for buying just one book though 😊. 3y
70 likes3 stack adds6 comments
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BarbaraJean
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My #lastbookstacked on Litsy is courtesy of @Imagineannie -I'm a sucker for books about reading, and throw in Jane Austen? Stacked. 👍My Litsy TBR is out of control... books that catch my interest get stacked, and maybe, just maybe, I'll go back through later and sort them into other ongoing lists (Goodreads for library picks, Amazon wishlist for ones I know I want to buy). #seasonsreadings2016

Imagineannie Nice! I hope you enjoy it (and learn as much) as I did. 📖 3y
21 likes1 comment
review
Imagineannie
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Pickpick

This book is written by a man who, while working on a doctorate in literature, went from dismissing Austen's work to using her books as a template for his life. I loved the parts about Austen and her novels, which would probably interest any hardcore fan - I think you'd have to have read at least half of her work to enjoy this. I found the parts about his own life less enjoyable because I wanted to smack him a lot. Overall? A really good read.

31 likes1 stack add
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Imagineannie
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After reading a lot of Christmas fiction, I felt a little like I'd eaten a whole platter of Russian Tea Cakes and needed something a little healthier. Not naked celery, but a good cheese omelette or some ratatouille.

So far, this book hits the spot. He looks at (most of) the Austen canon book by book, applying each to his own personal growth and providing literary and historical background. It's definitely more fun than plain celery.

28 likes5 stack adds