Jane Austen Runs My Life Holiday Gift Guide: Jane Austen Books

So I don’t usually write one of these, but thought why not do a holiday guide this year? A few days ago I posted on Jane Austen products, but I thought I would I also share some books that would make the perfect gift for the holidays.

I do not receive any money from any of these books for promoting them, I am just honestly sharing books I have enjoyed and I think you, or your loved ones will. I have attached links to all the items if any of you are interested in purchasing any of these products. If you do choose to purchase an item from Amazon, by going through these links, I will receive a small percentage through the affiliate program.

So enough business:

It’s time for Christmas!

This list of books are the perfect gift for Janeites in your life OR you could always share this list with your loved one that may be struggling to find you the perfect gift.

The books are all listed in alphabetical order and it was SO HARD to choose just 10 books. I really tried to create a variety of books and genre types in order to ensure I have something for everyone.

Just as difficult as choosing 10

Babylit Jane Austen by Jennifer Adams and Allison Oliver

Do you have a little one on your Christmas list? Why not start their love of Jane Austen early with these Babylit board books? Babylit has taken three Jane Austen novels and turned them into board books that cover topics important in children’s development from birth to 5 years old. Each one has lovely illustrations and are the perfect addition to the young child in your life’s bookcase. Sense and Sensibility covers opposites, Pride and Prejudice is on numbers, and Emma is on emotions.

I absolutely LOVE these books and they are always a constant on my gift list. Every time I gain a new niece, cousin, or a friend has a baby, these three becomes a birthday or Christmas gift.

To order, click here

Quill Ink Anthologies edited by Christina Boyd

The Quill Ink had published several anthologies on Jane Austen variations: some are set in different time periods, some answer “what if” questions, are told from secondary characters’ points of view, etc. There are so many great stories in these anthologies that I just couldn’t pick one, I had to include them all. If interested in more detailed reviews, just click on the titles.

Does the person you love, LOVE Mr. Darcy? Buy The Darcy Monologues. Is Elizabeth their favorite character? Buy Elizabeth: Obstinate Headstrong Girl! Are they a fan of Jane Austen’s bad boys? Get Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes and Gentlemen Rogues! Are you searching for a Jane Austen Christmas combo? Then Yuletide is perfect for you. Do they like all the Jane Austen main characters? Rational Creatures is the book to fulfill your shopping list.

These books are available in print, as ebooks, and in audiobook format; so however they like to read, there is an option for them! I personally don’t feel like Christmas is coming until I listen to my audiobook of Yuletide (over and over and over again).

To order, click here

Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors (The Rajes #1) by Sonali Dev

Is the person on your shopping list looking for a more contemporary Jane Austen novel? Maybe they would like to see diverse characters? Then Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors is a great choice for them. In this Darcy is Trish Raje, Indian royalty and a doctor; with Elizabeth having become D.J. Caine, multiracial chef (Anglo-Indian and Rwandan). After a series of misunderstanding in their first meeting, Trish and DJ end up being thrown together when Trish has to take over the planning of an event for her sister. There are a series of missteps and mistakes, but in the end romance will always triumph.

As a biracial person I really enjoyed seeing that represented, along with this not only be a story of falling in love, but the love and comfort food and family can bring to us.

To order, click here

Praying With Jane: 31 Days Through the Prayers of Jane Austen by Rachel Dodge

Do you have a friend that loves Jane Austen and devotionals? Then this is the one that you need to get them. There are 31 chapters to read, for every day of an average month, that take you section by section through Jane Austen’s prayers. This is a great way to refocus your life, learn about Jane Austen, and increase your prayer time.

I really enjoy this devotional and read it at least once a year (typically in the days that lead up to Christmas). Plus Rachel Dodge has great customer service. I ordered autographed bookplates for her books for Christmas last year and they never arrived. I contacted her about it and she sent new ones immediately.

To order from her website, click here

Definitely Not Mr. Darcy by Karen Doornebos

This is an older book, as it was published in 2011, but it is such a wonderful and funny book and perfect for fans of dating shows (and a great way to pass the time while we wait to see if Peacock will really make their Pride and Prejudice/Regency inspired dating show.) in this Chloe Parker is a single mom in need of money to keep her business afloat so she applies to be on a Jane Austen TV show. However, when she gets there she finds out that the network felt they needed a change and now it has become a “The Bachleor-esque”competition. Chloe is convinced to stay and try to win her own “Mr. Darcy”…but what if she doesn’t fall for the “Mr. Darcy” but for another man on the show? Will Chloe get her Jane Austen ending? Or go home with no money and no man?

A hilarious book that any Janite will love.

To order, click here

Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale

I LOVE THIS BOOK! This is the sequel to Austenland, although both books are independent stories and do not have to be read in order. This book has romance, mystery, comedy, and more. It’s the perfect book for anyone who loves Agatha Christie and Jane Austen.

After Charlotte’s husband cheats on her, leaves her, and remarries she finds herself at a loss of what to do. She ends up finding a teenage list of things she wanted to do before 30, one of which is to read all the Jane Austen novels. She does and of course becomes a fan, deciding to take a vacation to Austenland in England. While the Regency activities are fun, something mysterious is going on. Will Charlotte be able to figure out this whodunnit, or will she become the next victim?

This is a fantastic book and I strongly recommend it.

To order, click here

Emma: Manga Classics adapted by Stacy King and illustrated by Tse

Do you have a teenager you want to introduce to Jane Austen? Do you know someone who loves Manga and Jane Austen? Then this reimagined classic is perfect for your holiday shopping list! This Emma manga has beautiful illustrations that bring the classic tale to life.

I bought this for my teenage niece, of course had to read it first, and loved it! It is definitely a great addition to a Janeite’s shelf.

To order, click here

Just Jane by Nancy Moser

Are you looking for a biographical fiction book on Jane Austen for someone on your list? This is a wonderful book and fits that slot! This book is part of a series on famous women, but do not have to be read in order and all the books are independent of each other.

This book is on Jane Austen’s life and was extremely well done. Not only was it a fun story, but brought up little real life anecdotes that I just had to learn more about, and would often fall down a research rabbit hole. As there are parts of Austen’s life that we know little about, the author does take some liberties in telling the story. However, I felt the author tried to tell a story that does its best to represent Jane Austen.

I really enjoyed it and I think that if you have a friend who loves Jane Austen and wants to know more about her, but doesn’t care for typical biographies, this is a great route to take.

To order, click here

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfruend

Do you know someone who loves Jane Austen but is also into science fiction? Then this is the perfect book as this adaption of Persuasion has a SciFi twist. Set in the not too distant future, the author has welded Austen’s classic take of love lost, love returned, and misunderstandings with cyborg-like accruements. Elliot’s (Anne) old love has returned with a new name and new enhancements. But can the bitterness and hurt be laid to rest, or will this couple face even more odds at romance.

I enjoyed this book a lot and felt that the fusion of genres was extremely well done.

To order, click here

The Sense and Sensibility Screenplay and Diaries by Emma Thompson

Do you have a friend/family member that loves Jane Austen and their favorite film is Sense and Sensibility (1995)? Then this would be perfect for them. The book has an intro by producer Lindsay Doran, the screenplay to the film, and the notes Emma Thompson made while filming. It is a great behind the scenes look that is perfect for the Janiete on your list.

I personally loved reading about how they had to work together to overcome cultural and at times language barriers-being an American producer, British screenwriter/actress, and a Taiwanese filmmaker.

To order, click here

So of course this is just a small sampling of all the Jane Austen adaptations out there, but I hope that this has helped some of you who might be searching for that perfect Jane Austen gift for your friend or loved one! If none of these strike your fancy, I will post links to my posts that list all the Jane Austen adaptions I have reviewed.

I wish you all a happy holiday and happy holiday shopping!

Sense and Sensibility Adaption Reviews

Pride and Prejudice Adaption Reviews: Part I

Pride and Prejudice Adaption Reviews: Part II

Pride and Prejudice Adaption Reviews: Part III

Mansfield Park Adaption Reviews

Emma Adaption Reviews

Northanger Abbey Adaption Reviews

Persuasion Adaption Reviews

Jane Austen Runs My Life Holiday Gift Guide: Jane Austen Products

So I don’t usually write one of these, but thought why not do a holiday guide this year? All the items I have put on here are items I have used in the past and enjoyed, and recommend to others.

I do not receive any money from any of these stores for promoting them, I am just honestly sharing items that I have enjoyed and think make perfect gifts. I have attached links to all the items if any of you are interested in purchasing any of these products. If you do choose to purchase an item from Amazon, by going through these links I will receive a small percentage through the affiliate program. Any item you purchase through MadsenCreations, if you use the coupon code Janeaustenrunsmylife you’ll receive 10% off your whole order!

So enough business:

It’s time for Christmas!

Yes, Christmas is coming and I thought I would put together a list of some of the best Jane Austen products I have personally come across. These items are perfect gifts for Janeites in your life OR you could always share this list with your loved one that may be struggling to find you the perfect gift. You know what I always say:

All the items are not in any particular order, although I did try to break up the apparel, that way there are not clothes one after the other.

Litographs Jane Austen Shirts

Back when I first came across this company I did a post on them. Litographs is a company that prints the words of classic books onto clothing and other items, but they don’t just reprint words-they also create beautiful designs. You can currently get products in all of Jane Austen’s completed novels, although as I have only ever ordered the shirts from them, those are the only items I recommend. (Although the Northanger Abbey products are lacking and boring, if you are a Northanger Abbey fan keep reading). I would say women’s clothes fit true to size, while unisex does run a little large.

The items came fairly quickly and they have excellent customer service. I ordered a Pride and Prejudice shirt and it arrived in the wrong size, color, and design. I emailed the company, sent them screenshots of my invoice and the item, and it was replaced immediately. If you have a Janeite who loves wearing the words of her books, this is a great place to shop.

To order from Litographs, click here.

NovelTea Tins Jane Austen Tea

NovelTea Tins is a company that makes tea and gives it a punny literature twist. I have also reviewed them in the past. Featured above is their Sense and Senchability Tea, but they make a Pride and Peppermint as well.

This tea is delicious and comes in cute containers or tins with an adorable matching bookmark. This is perfect for Jane Austen friends and family, along with any tea lovers you know. You can purchase the two Jane Austen teas individually, or get a Romantic Reads sampler that will have the two of them, The Picture of Earl Grey Tea, and three corresponding bookmarks.

They have also just added a third Jane Austen tea, Pemberley Pu-erh, but I have not tried that yet, I cannot recommend it.

To order from NovelTea Tins, click here.

MadsenCreations Henry Tilney Fanny Pack

So MadsenCreations and I have collaborated on a few things, (more below), but I’m not the only one who has been searching for an item and MadsenCreations has delivered. A while back Austen Therapy remarked about how she wanted a Jane Austen Fanny pack, I recommend she reach out to MadsenCreations, and now you too can have one. These are adorable and great for someone on the go who doesn’t want a full size purse or backpack; but does want to show off their love of Mr. Tilney.

As I have worked personally with this shop I felt they were a great person to work with. I also have not had any issues in speed of service as everything came within a week of my order. And don’t forget, if you use the coupon code Janeaustenrunsmylife you’ll receive 10% off your whole order!

To order from MadsenCreations, click here

Marrying Mr. Darcy: Pride and Prejudice the Card Game

I received this game for my birthday last year and really enjoy it. When you play you are trying to accomplish two goals at once. On one hand you want to gain cards with the attributes that will help you gain your suitor; along with trying to collect high numbered cards as those points matter in the end. This game is a lot of fun as some characters have special abilities or advantages, and even though you may acquire a lot-you also won’t know if you have won your man until the final roll-too low and he’ll say no.

This definitely is made for fans of the book or movie, although I have played it with my nieces and friends who have never seen or read Jane Austen, and they still had a lot of fun.

To order the game, click here

MadsenCreations Jane Austen T-Shirts

I wrote a post on the making of these two items, but I they came to be as I wanted the crop top from Selena: The TV Series and couldn’t find it, so MadsenCreations and I made our own! I also thought it would be cute to have a “Jane Austen Runs My Life” shirt available for any one out there who wants to declare their love of Jane Austen. Both of these shirts are comfortable, and for those not a fan of crop tops, the Jane Austen tee also comes in full size.

And don’t forget any item you purchase through MadsenCreations, if you use the coupon code Janeaustenrunsmylife you’ll receive 10% off your whole order!

For the Crop Top, click here.

For the full tee, click here.

For the Jane Austen Runs My Life tee, click here.

Six0Six Jane Austen Pencils

I wouldn’t normally be interested in purchasing custom pencils, but I won these in a giveaway. These pencils are cute and perfect for any of your Austenite friends or family members who love office supplies, writing, or would appreciate the artistry and design of these. The creator lives in Ireland, so if you are interested in purchasing them for the holidays, I would put your order in sooner rather than later.

To order, click here

MadsenCreations Northanger Abbey Sweatshirt or T-Shirt

Is Northanger Abbey one of your favorite books and are you disappointed at the lack of Northanger Abbey products out there? Well I sure was! I contacted MadsenCreations and we designed this Northanger Abbey sweatshirt and long sleeve shirt. And guess what? It also comes in children’s sizes!

This sweater is warm, cute, and perfect for any Northanger Abbey fan (or any future fan).

Also again, don’t forget that if you use the coupon code Janeaustenrunsmylife you’ll receive 10% off your whole order!

To order the sweatshirt, click here

To order the long sleeve, click here

To order the children’s hoodie, click here

Northanger Soapworks

So I am very allergic to scents and a lot of skin products and that means everything I have has to be scent-free, hypoallergenic, and boring. I thought that’s how my life would be, until I tried some Northanger Soapworks. This soap is inspired by Jane Austen works and comes in a variety of different scents. I’ve never had any skin related issues with them and the scents also don’t affect my allergies.

Every item comes wrapped in cloth with a beautiful little note card that makes this perfect for Jane Austen fans and any one on your Christmas list. I’ve ordered soaps, bath salts, and candles from her and been happy with all of them.

She also offers wonderful customer service. Once I even put the wrong address in for my order, I contacted her, and she immediately resolved it.

To order from this shop, click here

Socksmith Womens Jane Austen Socks

A friend of mine gave me these socks for Christmas a few years ago and I love them. They are comfy, cute, and the perfect Jane Austen stocking stuffer (pun intended). I don’t think the lavender is still available, but you can order these in dark blue.

To order the socks, click here

Quill Ink Magazine Cover Cards

Christina Boyd, editor of the Quill Ink anthologies, makes these faux-regency inspired notecards. They are hilarious and such fun to send to friends. If you have a Jane Austen friend or family member who loves to write and mail letters (or who loves a good laugh) you should definitely purchase these for them.

To order these, click here

I hope this helped some of you who might be searching for that perfect Jane Austen gift for your friend or loved one! I wish you all a happy holidays and I hope to have a part two with my top 10 books perfect for Jane Austen holiday gift giving.

Happy Holidays!

For more Jane Austen products, go to Jane Austen Runs My Life Spooky Collaboration with Madsen Creations!

Praying With Jane: 31 Days Through the Prayers of Jane Austen

Praying With Jane: 31 Days Through the Prayers if Jane Austen by Rachel Dodge

So two years ago in October, my book club and I went to an author Meet & Greet to meet Paula Scott, the author of the California Rising series. There were other authors there, but we spent almost all the time talking to her and picking up the last book of the series, Chasing the Wind, which we were going to read in January 2019.

My friend, and fellow book club member, saw the Praying with Jane booth and pointed it out to me as she knows I love Jane Austen.

I had just seen it on instagram, and put it on my to-read shelf and was very excited about it. Unfortunately, I couldn’t buy it as I had no extra money, besides buying the Chasing the Wind, as I had a lot of things I had to take care of from my ex-husband.

I was bummed, and just stopped by quickly saying hello to Ms. Dodge, and then taking a bookmark to hold on to. I was planning on buying it after my finances cleared. But…it turned out that I didn’t need to. My friend bought me this book and Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe.  

She knows me very well.

I resolved to read it, February 1st-March 3rd 2019. I started off strong, but fell behind in the middle of it.

I tried a few more times and each time failed:

Uh oh

So in October, I resolved to try in November. This time I would just keep going, even if I failed to read one day-I would just keep moving forward.

I started off badly-beginning on November 3rd-and ended on December 23rd. Yes, as you can see it took me longer to read this.

But it was worth it. This book was fantastic! You can read it anytime, but I found it perfect in the holiday season as it allowed me time to pause, focus on God, and prepare my heart.

So some people are not religious and will not be interested in going through the prayers, but no matter your beliefs, all will appreciate the value and research that Dodge went through in writing this book. Not only did she study Jane Austen’s family, life, and background; but she has read and researched the novels of Jane Austen-highlighting moments from her popular books to the ones that aren’t always mentioned or talked about-Mansfield Park, Persuasion, and Northanger Abbey.

So if you go on my instagram, you can see day by day the parts of each passage that I liked, but on here I am going to mention the ones that really touched me.

Or years.

Day 7

“…Jane had much for which to be thankful. Thus, the last few words of this line reveal an important truth: Discontentment and indifference are two prime enemies of thankfulness. Discontentment is wishing things were different. It’s common when we face trials, compare our lives to the lives of others, or start to think what we have isn’t enough. Indifference is the state of being unmoved by blessings that surround us…Discontentment and indifference are both founded in a lack of thankfulness because when we grumble about out ‘lot’, we’re really grumbling against God.”

“Jane’s prayer reminds us to make thanksgiving an integral part of our prayers lives as a powerful antidote against discontentment and indifference. When you fill your mouth with praise, it has less room for grumbling. Thanking God for what He has done and has promised to do shifts your focus from what you don’t have to what you do.”

I love holidays and celebrating, but when the holiday season comes it can also bring some discontent with bills, holiday celebrations, seeing how others seem happy and together-comparing it to yourself. Reading this in November was perfect as this book helped redirect me from any of those pratfalls and help prepare my heart on thankfulness and being grateful for all I had.

Day 9

“Jane’s prayer reminds us that though we cannot comfort every widow, orphan, and prisoner, we can reach out to one lonely man, woman, or child with the love of Christ. And no matter our age, health, or financial circumstances, we can pray for those in need.”

This chapter was perfect with the holiday season as that is the perfect time to think about others-

And I love how Dodge says that we can help others not just financially-but by spending time with them or praying for them.

Day 13

“Jane’s prayer reminds us to ask God if anything is ‘amiss’ in our lives and priorities. Many of us try to fit God into our lives, instead of making God the centerpiece of our lives. Giving our first fruit to God isn’t just about money; it’s also about our time. One beneficial daily habit is to begin each day with prayer and Bible reading…Ask you seek God first, you will experience steady growth in your relationship with him.”

Ouch, I think we all fall victim to this and Dodge is right. The best way to correct and fix our lives is focus on the one who made us.

Day 14

“Guarding our hearts is essential in the face of temptation. Just as Jane prayed for God’s mercy on ‘Creatures so formed’, we can ask for God’s help in our weak spots.”

This always makes me think of the Johnny Cash song, as we need to keep a close eye on our heart and not allow it to lead is down the wrong path. There is nothing wrong with passion, but unbridled can cause one to make not the best choices, i.e.:

I love Wuthering Heights but let’s be honest-there are no good relationships in there. We have passionate people consumed by passion and not caring who is hurt or damaged.

Day 17

“Yet Fanny Price closely embodies the kind of patience under affliction Jane writes about in her prayer. Despite her troubles, Fanny has an inner strength and fortitude that never lags. Though she is mistreated and suffers in mind, body, and soul at times, she finds solace in her little attic room and in quiet reflection. She doesn’t lash out or become bitter. Even in the face of disappointment and anxiety, she quietly waits and hopes.”

“In this broken world we face illness, danger, grief, but in everything, God is with us.”

So first of all I love that Rachel Dodge discusses every heroine of the Jane Austen novels in this book and that Fanny Dashwood has gotten some love as she deserves it. She may not be as witty as Elizabeth, as self-assured as Emma, or as passionate as Marianne-but would we love Jane Austen’s books if every character was exactly the same? Fanny has a lot of great qualities-patience, kindness, perseverance, courage-I mean she is brave enough to stick to her guns. Fanny has qualities that we should all strive for.

I also loved her part about living in a broken world. Unfortunately bad things will always happen, but at least we have someone we can lean on who understands pain and loss.

Chapter 26

“Mrs. Bennet’s problem is two-fold: She’s dissatisfied with her current situation and worried about her future. She’s done nothing to deserve the life she has, and yet she is unhappy. She lives in a comfortable home, has five daughters, plenty of friends, and dines with ‘four and twenty families,’ but it’s not enough. As long as she thinks she might someday have to live on a small income with five daughters, that none of her five girls will ever marry, and that her husband might die before she does, she’s insufferable.”

“In Jane’s prayer, she prays ‘for a continuance of all these Mercies,’ asking for God’s provision and protection; however, her words also express an underlying sense of contentment. As children of God, we’ve already been ‘blessed far beyond any thing we have deserved.’ Our inheritance, our reward, is kept for us in heaven.”

I liked this chapter as often we get caught up in the worries if the day and future. I know I do.

Chapter 28

“You, too, preach a sermon with your life. What you do with your time, talent, and treasure says a lot about you. The things that make you angry and the things you work the hardest to get reveal what you value most. What values are you preaching to your family, friends, children, and colleagues?”

Growing up as a pastor’s kid, I knew what it was like to be in the “fishbowl”-people watching you and what you do. I thought I would eventually leave that behind, but the truth is people are always watching you. Your friends, relatives, coworkers-all see how you act and react, what you strive for and desire, etc-and what you do and the way you act tells a lot about who you are.

I thought this was an amazing book, and just like Jane Austen’s works you can read it over and over again.

It’s great when you have a writer who loves Jane Austen’s work and really tries to capture it.

“However, her [Jane Austen’s] gift could not, would not be hidden. Her writing outlasts her now by over 200 years, and yet it remains as remarkable today as it was when it was first printed.

We too can live extraordinary lives. Though we may not ever be famous, we all leave behind us a legacy. We will be remembered for who we are more than for what we do. Our friends and family will speak of us based on what they saw of our lives, the way we treated people, and the way we loved.”

If you love Jane Austen, you’ll love this book.

If you want to improve your spiritual life or are looking for a new devotional, you’ll love this book.

Please, oh please!

And if you are a fan of both, you need to check it out.

Its not a want, it’s a need!

For more on Jane Austen, go to Jane Austen: Her Heart Did Whisper

For more Jane Austen adaptions, go to Holiday Mix Tape

For more Bible Verses, go to Book Club Picks: Chasing the Wind

I Won’t Let You Get Away: Holiday Inn (1942)

Most Romantic Moment #10

Holiday Inn (1942)

My mom grew up seeing this movie at Christmastime and one year she found it on DVD and bout it for the family. Now my Christmas is not complete unless I watch it. I love the music, the actors, and the story.

Jim Hardy (Bing Crosby) plays a burnt out singer and moves to Connecticut to buy a country home and live a simple life.

It soon becomes too much for him and he turns it into a hotel, open only on holidays. (Sounds like my type of place).

Wannabe star Linda Mason starts to work for him and the two fall in love.

Unfortunately, Crosby’s old partner and womanizer, Ted Hanover (Fred Astaire), comes back into the picture and tries to break up the two. It involves a lot of zany romance and comical moments.

Most Romantic Moment: I Won’t Let You Get Away

**Spoiler Alert**

So Jim tried to outsmart Ted and be sure that Linda wouldn’t fall for his charms, but it backfires and Linda is angry with him, taking off with Ted to make a movie in Hollywood about the Inn.

Jim knows that Ted is quite the charmer and it won’t be long until he dances his way into her heart. It’s all over.

Until Mamie, Jim’s housekeeper, convinces tells him he shouldn’t give up. That’s the kick in the pants that Jim needs and he flies out to Hollywood to get his girl. Despite her having been hurt and currently engaged to Ted.

Even though chances are slim, Jim goes after his girl-determined for her to know and see how much he cares. And that he’s not letting her get away. And in the end her gets his girl, as that was all she wanted.

To start Romance is in the Air: Part V, go to Who Says I Have to Stop: Fireproof (2008)

For the previous post, go to I Made You A Bummed Out Box: Gone Glitter Part I, Barbie Life in the Dreamhouse (2012)

For more Holiday Inn, go to 25 Films of Christmas

For more Bing Crosby, go to Trek the Halls with Bones and Scotty

For more Fred Astaire, go to Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town

For more Jane Austen quotes, go to The Power of Love: Romance is in the Air, Part VI

A New Hope

40 years ago a film came out in May that changed the culture and the history of movie making. It had amazing characters and figures, and as I honored Star Trek last year, I decided this year will be all about that film. And what film?

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Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope

Yes I am a humongous fan and I could not let the year go by without talking about it.

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As we have also lost Carrie Fisher last year, I also want to honor her in this post. Her performance as Princess Leia impacted me in so many ways as I just wanted to be her.

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So this is a time to reflect on what the past year held for us, the big posts, what’s new, and what you all seemed to like the most.

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This post will only cover a few things, you really should check out the year for yourself. To start at the beginning go here.

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The Views

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This year I had over 52,000 views!

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The most viewed day of the year was October 24th, in which I posted We’ve Seen Dracula, the Wolf Man, and Frankenstein’s Monster: Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948).

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The Top Five Posts

Here are the top five most viewed posts of the year, although strangely non were posted this year.

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I mean you like what you like. I’m just happy people are reading my blog.

5) A Monster Race: Scooby-Doo and the Reluctant Werewolf (1988) part of Horrorfest’s 31 Days of Horror films (2012)

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4) Being Friends is Good Enough: Catching Fire (2013) from Romance is in the Air: Part II‘s 14 days of my favorite romantic moments (2014)

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3) A Real Man, quotable post on what it means to be a real man (2014)

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2) I Saw Goody Osburn With the Devil: The Crucible (1996), part of Horrorfest II’s 31 Days of Horror films (2013)

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1) Fulfilling the List: A Walk to Remember (2002), from Romance is in the Air‘s 14 days of my favorite romantic moments (2013)

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The Followers!

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So this community has really grown in numbers and I can not describe how pleased I am about that. We have gone from 14 followers in 2012 to 42 followers in 2013, 169 followers in 2014, to 439 in 2015, and now 616

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So enough about the statistics and numbers! Let’s move on to what was covered this year and what changes I have made to the blog

1) Star Trek

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So as Star Trek turned fifty last year I tried to have it influence the posts. I didn’t do as much as I did the year before with Back to the Future, but I tried.

For Star Trek we have my taste in fashion, A Fashion Statement; my Saint Patrick’s Day post, Wearing of the Green: 17 More Irish Heroes; my Horrorfest V post, “Charlie X” from Star Trek (1966); and ending with my Christmas post Trek the Halls with Bones and Scotty

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2) Story of My Life

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So every year I like to incorporate posts on just scenes or experiences from my everyday life. This year I shared how I hated traffic court in Runaround Suesanvillehow I almost killed myself with my alarm clock in Death By an Alarming Ratewhen I heard a strange bumping noise while being home alone in A Bump in the Nightmy totally awesome ’80s party in Back to the ’80sfleeing the stress of finals by my Escape to Alcatrazdying my hands green in My Favorite Martianrunning into the ex in When You Least Expect Itmy trip to Nerd Con in Revenge of the Nerdsmy bad eye-perience at the eye doctor in Eye Guess I Won’t Be Seeing You

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3) Honoring Special People

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So every year I try to honor special people who have made an impact in my life, passed away, or are celebrating a birthday. I never get to do everyone I care about, but here are the ones I did: David Bowie with Changes, Turn and Face the StrangeAlan Rickman with A Man of Great Worth and RespectabilityMichael Ende and his novel The Neverending Story in A Book Only a Reader Could WriteRoald Dahl’s 100th birthday in Come With Me and You’ll Be in a World of Pure Imagination;

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4) You Can’t Keep a Fangirl Down

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So these fangirl posts just keep coming. I’m trying to finish them, but we still have a few more things I’m obsessed with to finish.

Last year I reviewed the ABBA, Alias, Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons, Gossip Girl, Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, Ned and Stacey, One Tree Hill, The Patridge Family, Queen, Ringer, The Rocky Series, Sarah Dessen, Saved by the Bell, Scooby-Doo, 7th Heaven, A Series of Unfortunate Events, Sherlock, Sherlock Holmes, Sleeping Beauty, Spider-man, Star Wars, Star Trek, Step by Step, Sweet Valley High, Supernatural, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Thorn Birds, Touched by an Angel, Twin Peaks, Xena: Warrior Princess

To read, go to Fan-do or Fan-don’t. There is No Fan-tryThe Fan, The GirlThe FANtom MenanceA Study in Fandoms, To Kill a Fangirl, Return of the Fandom, The Strange Case of a Fangirl and Her Fandoms, We Will Fandom You

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5) My Marvelous Music

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I reviewed less this year than the previous ones, but still took some time out to about some tunes I love. We had: Back in Black by AC/DC; Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen; Crocodile Rock by Elton John; December, 1963 (Oh What A Night) by Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons; Hail to the King by Avenged Sevenfold; Old Time Rock & Roll by Bob Seger; Summertime by My Chemical Romance;  T.N.T by AC/DC; You Shook Me All Night Long by AC/DC

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6) Jane, Jane, Jane, Janey, Janey, Janey, Janey, Janey Book Reviews

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I love Jane Austen, after all its is in the name! This year I reviewed a number of books that were related to or a retelling of her books.

I reviewed a collection of essays in The Cambridge Companion to Jane Austen compiled by editors Edward Copeland and Juliet McMaster; then the baby versions of Emma, Pride & Prejudice, and Sense and Sensibility by Jennifer Adams

I then went over the following retellings: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies #1) by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith, The Butterfly and the Violin by Kristy Cambron, Captain Wentworth’s Diary (Jane Austen’s Heroes #3) by Amanda Grange; Austenland and Midnight in Austenland (Austenland #2) by Shannon Hale, Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James; The Dashwood Sisters Tell All: A Modern Day Novel of Jane Austen by Beth Pattillo, Amanda (The Austen Series) by Debra White Smith Daring Chloe (Getaway Girls #1) by Laura Jensen Walker,

I also reviewed the Emma film starring Kate Beckinsale in Emma (1996) AKA the Kate Beckinsale VersionEpisode One” from Death Comes to Pemberley (2013), and Love at the Thanksgiving Day Parade (2012)

And of course continuing to talk about the book Emma; in When You Shockingly Relate to Mr. Woodhouse

And my Jane Austen mashup in Candy Girls

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7) Now Gimme That Good Good Lovin’

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So we brought back Romance is in the Air, the fourth countdown to Valentine’s Day I’ve done on this blog. Every day I posted a different romantic moment.

The moments I choose this year came from the films: Psycho (1960), How to Steal a Million (1966)Grease (1978), The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Casual Sex (1988)Pocahontas (1995), Sense and Sensibility (1995), Borrowed Hearts (1997), and War Room (2015).

I also added in TV show romantic moments this year with “Episode Four” from North & South (2004), “A Trip to the Dentist” from Veronica Mars (2005), “Fateful” from Awkward (2011)The Bikini in the Soup” from Bones (2011), and Playing Heart to Get” from Barbie Life in the Dreamhouse (2013).

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8) May the Calendar Keep Bringing Happy Holidays to You

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So I like holidays…I really, really do. But I can’t always do huge countdowns to honor them, sometimes I have to do one day posts. So here we go.

This year I celebrated Superbowl 50 with a mashup of what teams Jane Austen’s characters would be a fan of. To read, go to Clear Eyes. Full Hearts. Can’t Lose: Superbowl 50.

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I also celebrated the Chinese New Year’s Year of the Monkey by listing off nine of my favorite primates or primate moments from The Jungle Book, to Aladdin, to JumanjiThe Wizard of Oz, and more. To read, go to A Little Monkey Business: Chinese New Year.

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In honor of Saint Patrick’s Day I listed off 17 more Irish heroes in The Wearing of the Green

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For Easter I reviewed the following art featuring Jesus and his path to the cross; Entry into Jerusalem by Duccio di Buoninsegna or Duccio, The Last Supper by Freddy Fabris, The Betrayal of Jesus by Albrecht Dürer, and Pietá by Michelangelo.

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Honoring Star Wars on May the Fourth with This Day in History

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9) Happy Anniversary to You!

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This year I celebrated many anniversaries of films or books. This year my blog turned four in Here’s to Another Year; Star Trek turned 50 in Live Long and Prosper; the Grinch turned 60 in Maybe Christmas, He Thought, Doesn’t Come from a Store. Maybe Christmas…Perhaps…Means a Little Bit More: How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and The Ten Commandments turned 60 in Oh, Moses, Moses

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10) It’s Always Tea Time

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I love tea, I really, really, really do. I’ve talked about it in the past, but really focused on the topic this year. First my mistake in being extra-caffeinated tea in The Dark, Dark, Dark Side; how I can’t stop drinking in My Teaddiction (Tea Addiction); how tea always makes me feel better in Better Than Asprinwhere I became a loose-leaf tea drinker in My Trip to Teavanamy tea trip around the world in A World of Teas; and my tea party decorations in It’s Always Tea Time.

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11) Way to a Person’s Heart is Through their Stomach

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We all like to eat right? Well this year I partnered with my sister blog MysteriousEats.wordpress.com and shared some tea time treats, or ones best paired with Jane Austen’s work.

I included the recipe for Crasins SconesHarlem Tea Room Baking Powder SconesHarlem Tea Room Cheddar-Thyme SconesHarvest Pumpkin Scones, and Lemon Scones.

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12) Horrors of Horrors, Monsters and Ghouls

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This year’s Horrorfest covered movies, TV shows, and more.

I reviewed Blackmail (1929)White Zombie (1932)Night on Bald Mountain (1940)Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)Backfire (1950)Dial 1119 (1950)House on Haunted Hill (1959)Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter (1966)When a Stranger Calls (1979)Thriller (1983)Ghostbusters (1984)Clue (1985), Once Bitten (1985)Teen Wolf (1985)Cat’s Eye (1987)Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: Secret of the Ooze (1991)Let Me Call You Sweetheart (1997)Sleepy Hollow (1999)Dracula 2000 (2000)Jeepers Creepers (2001)Corpse Bride (2005)TMNT (2007)Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)The Cheerleader Murders (2016)The Girl On the Train (2016)

And the TV episodes: “Charlie X” from Star Trek (1966); “A Matter of Loaf and Death” from Wallace and Gromit (2008); “The Death of the Queen Bee” from Bones (2010); Episode One” from Death Comes to Pemberley (2013)

I also did 31 tips on how to survive a horror film.

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13) 30 Day Challenge: Literature Loves

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So let’s just get it out there, I failed.

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I didn’t finish the 30 day challenge. I only did 21 posts.

Aw, man.

Aw, man.

But I’m going to keep going until I do finish it. And until it is finished, I won’t be posting anything else on this blog.

But so far, I have reviewed the following books: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies #1) by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, O Pioneers! (Great Plains Trilogy #1) by Willa Cather, The Secret of Chimneys (Superindendent Battle#1) by Agatha Christie, The Overnight Socialite by Bridie Clark, Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen, A Christmas Carol: Being a Ghost Story of Christmas by Charles Dickens, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Five Were Missing by Lois Duncan, Beastly (Kendra Chronicles #1) by Alex Flinn, Book of a Thousand Days and Midnight in Austenland (Austenland #2) by Shannon Hale, Real Murders (Aurora Teagarden Mysteries #1) by Charlaine Harris, Faking Grace by Tamara Leigh, Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine, Moby-Dick by Herman Melville, Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell, Anne of Green Gables (Anne of Green Gables #1)  by L. M. Montgomery, Princess Nevermore by Dian Curtis Regan, How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss, Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne

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So what will this year hold? I don’t know. I guess you will have to join follow me to find out.

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And remember:

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StarWarsJaneAustenJedi

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For 2015 in review, go to To Boldy Go Where No Man Has Gone Before

For 2014 in review, go to Where We’re Going, We Don’t Need Roads

For 2013 in review, go to Looking at the Past, Focusing on the Future

For 2012 in review, go to Looking Back, Moving Forward

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For more on Star Wars, go to Black is Best