Jane, Jane, Jane: A Jane Austen Biography

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Jane Austen by Carol Shields

As this book lacked an interesting title in which to title my post, I had to pull lyrics from Jefferson Starship‘s song Jane. 

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About three years ago I was in the library. While I was roaming through the stacks, I came upon this book and was intrigued by such a slender biography. I had been disappointed by another Jane Austen nonfiction, published by Cambridge, which seemed to tear apart her books quite horribly. I hoped this one would be better.

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When I read the introduction, Shields confessed to being more of an Austen fan, then a researcher. In that moment I began to have high hopes for this book.

Or book

Or book

A fellow Austenite/Janeite?

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And then I started reading the book

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And I really enjoyed it.

Shields presents all the facts of Jane’s life very directly and resolutely, not over-dramatizing or romanticizing it, but presenting the truth.

Shields focuses on Austen as a writer, how her life influenced her works, it being one of the few avenues an unmarried women could try, etc.

Hmm

Not only was it informative, but Shields analyzation of her family, friends, and possible romantic interests was also very illuminating.

Good job

Good job

I highly recommend it for any Jane Austen fan wanting to know more about the women behind the books.

The Lovely Jane

The Lovely Jane

I do have one criticism. At times the book can be a bit dry. I love history and read such books all the time, so that wasn’t why I had issue. I just felt that at times it needed a boost as it became a little boring.

Otherwise, it was a great biography and you should check it out.

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For more on Jane Austen, go to One of a Kind

For more book filled posts, go to It’s a Fan World After All

 

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Musical Madness

Function-of-Music

Day 1: Put Your Music Player on Shuffle and Write the First 10 Songs that Play

I thought this would be a great thing to start off the 30 days of getting to know me. You all know I love music, and have gotten a glimpse of some of the songs I love. But like all people, there is way more in my iTunes. So here we go! Remember these are random.

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10) Something We Can’t Be by Project 86

I first listened to this song when I won a free CD sampler at this three day music festival I went to. Loved the music and the lyrics. Great song.

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9) Just Can’t Wait by the J. Geils Band

So everyone has heard of their song Love Stinks. (In fact I wrote a post on it last year.) That one is unbelievably fantastic, but their other songs are also really good. This one is about how the guy just can’t wait to be with his girlfriend, although other things (her father, work/school, etc) are keeping them apart. It has a great beat to it.

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8) Is She Really Going Out With Him? by Joe Jackson

The best song you will ever hear about unrequited love. Ah, this song reminds me so much of my childhood. Not that I grew up in the ’70s, my parents did, but I just loved listening to this song over and over, starting at age 7 to still playing it today.

It written as more of a story then a straight out song. The guy is getting ready for a party, when he sees the girl he is in love with. Only problem is, she’s dating another guy, a real loser. He sings about the event, how much he hates the guy, and how he wishes she was with him. A truly amazing piece. My favorite lyric is, “if looks could kill there is a man who is as good as dead”. Every line is just pure gold and extremely enjoyable. Check it out.

musicnotesa7x_deathbat_animation_by_xxdarksoraxx-d3eogbz7) Dear God by Avenged Sevenfold

This is my favorite Avenged Sevenfold song off my favorite album. This is the “experimental” album as each song is vastly different from each other and any prior works they has created. Dear God is an extremely sad song about being apart from the one you love and hoping to get back to them. I love it so much, I guarantee there will be a longer post on it in the future.

For more on Avenged Sevenfold, go to Fantastic Fantasies

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6)  I’m Thru With Love by Marilyn Monroe (Some Like It Hot! soundtrack)

Marilyn Monroe sings this song in the film Some Like It Hot! For those of you who haven’t seen it, Joe (Tony Curtis) and Jerry (Jack Lemmon) are two out of work muscians. When they unluckily witness the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre, they find themselves being hunted down and have to disguise themselves. They had heard earlier that a women’s band going to Florida was in need of the instruments that Joe and Jerry play, the two then deciding the best way to hide out is to dress in drag and join the group. There they meet the very attractive Sugar Kane, Marilyn Monroe. Joe befriends her, and when they arrive in Florida attempts to play not only the part of “Joesephine”, but also pretend to be millionaire and Sugar’s perfect man. Jerry has his own romantic complexities as a rich millionaire, with a weakness for marrying women in show business, is attracted to Jerry’s character “Daphne”. Hilarity ensues.

The song comes at the end of the film when Joe and Jerry discover that the mobsters who are hunting them down, have a yearly retreat at the same hotel. They decide to run off, with Joe’s millionaire character having to break up with Sugar (he doesn’t want to but knows it is better to do that than just drop off the face of the earth and leave Sugar wondering what happened), Sugar is so heartbroken that she sings this song. (Now that isn’t how the movie ends, but I won’t say anymore as I don’t want to ruin the ending.

I love this song as I feel it is something anyone who has suffered from heartbreak can relate to. I almost included it in my songs for getting over a heartbreak series, to read go to If It Means a Lot to You, but had a hard time finding its perfect fit in the series. Even though I couldn’t get it to flow with that group, it still is an amazing song and worth a listen.

For more Marilyn Monroe, go to What a Girl Wants

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5) Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now by Starship

I love Jefforson Airplane. And when it became Jefferson Starship after members left, I still loved it. And when more people left and it became Starship I loved it even more.

This song is most famous for being in the film Mannequin, a weird, silly ’80s film in which a man hired to be a window dresser discovers a mannequin who comes alive, but only when the two are alone. It was funny, strange, and has a great performance of James Spader as a nerd.

Anyways, the song is about how these two people have found each other and fallen in love, and with them together; nothing will stop them in whatever they are trying to achieve. I just love the song and music video, Mickey’s face (male lead singer) is so expressive.

For more Starship, go to She’s Still Preoccupied with 1985

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Highway Star

4) Highway Star by Deep Purple

So I have already written a post on how much I freakin’ adore this song. Words cannot describe it. (Although I did try). It is one of my favorite songs and a true masterpiece of rock. Everytime I hear those opening bars I go nuts!

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To read more of my thoughts, go to Highway Star.

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3) Good Lovin’ by The Young Rascals

This is a song that anyone alive during 1966-2000 has heard. It has been in countless commercials, TV shows, movies, etc. It is just a great song with amazing lyrics and an incredible beat that makes you want to dance, shake, twist, and bop along. (I’m telling you that guitar is amazing!)

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9) Maniac by Michael Sembello

Ah, this song. Most famous for being in the movie Flashdance. A film about a woman who is a welder by day, stripper by night, but most of all wishes to be a real dancer, a ballerina.

It’s a great song that gets you pumped up (I always listen to it when I work out), and makes you want to mimic her dance moves from the film.

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And our last random pick is:

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10) Stab My Back by The All-American Rejects

No band can transport me back to the days of my tweendom better than All-American Rejects. They were everywhere and in everything. And I didn’t mind as they were awesome (and still are).

This song is another great that anyone can relate to as it is all about a betrayal from someone we love and trust. (This too almost made it into the Getting Over a Heartbreak series, but also had to be culled). I love, love, love it as I do all their music.

For more on The All-American Rejects, go to Move Along

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So those are my 10 random musical picks. As you can see I have a wide range of musical loves, and believe me, this was just the tip of the iceberg.

Go here to see what you are.

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For more 30 day challenges, go to 30 Day Challenge: Disney Edition

For more music, go to The Fans and the Furious

She’s Still Preoccupied With 1985

So I love the ’80s!

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I’m not even from that decade but love it as much as one who is.

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And one song that describes my feelings is 1985.

Come on kids, I can think of worse things then to be stuck in 1985. The ’80s rule!

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And as this year marks the 30th anniversary of 1985, let’s review just how awesome a year it was.

And I truly mean it

80s rule!

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On January 8th, Journey rereleased Only the Young which bounced to the top of the charts.

For more Journey, go to Any Way You Want It

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On February 4th, Bug Hall was born. Bug Hall became a huge star for us girls living in the ’90s. He was extremely cute, and still looks good today. He starred in The Little Rascals as Alfalfa, as Adam Szalinski in Honey We Shrunk Ourselves. Where he really became famous to tweens was in the show Bug Juice, then going on to be Jack Downey in Disney’s DCOM Get a Clue. From there I kind of lost track of him, but no doubt he was very influential to my childhood.

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On February 9th,  David Gallagher was born. He was in Richie Rich’s Christmas Wish and tons of TV shows from CSI: Miami, Criminal Minds, to even Bones. But what he is most famous for and in where he most affected my childhood? As Simon Camden in 7th Heaven. When I was growing up watching this show I had the hugest crush on him and just loved him. I have yet to review it for my Life as a Fangirl posts, but it is definitely coming soon.

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On February 15th, The Breakfast Club was released into theaters and finds a place in our hearts. I already wrote a long post on it in Don’t You Forget About Me.

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For even more on The Breakfast Club, go to I Can See Your Beauty: The Breakfast Club (1985)

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On February 20th, Simple Minds released Don’t You Forget About Me. 

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On February 25th, Tears for Fears releases Shout.

For more on Tears for Fears, go to In Love With the ’80s (Pink Tux to the Prom)

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In April, Take on Me by a-ha was released in the U.S. It became one of their most famous songs.

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On April 12th, Girls Just Want to Have Fun starring Sarah Jessica Parker, was released. Parker plays an army brat who loves to dance and competes for a spot on TV as part of a Chicago dance crew. In this fun film she has to work with a partner that is her total opposite, and against a wealthy manipulative girl.

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On May 30th, Huey Lewis & the News recorded The Power of Love, the song they wrote for the film Back to the Future.

For more on Huey Lewis & the News, go to But It’s Alright

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In June, Guns ‘N Roses debuted as a band. I love, love, love them. My favorite songs from this group are Sweet Child o’ Mine, Welcome to the Jungle, and Paradise City.

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On June 6th, Good Enough by Cyndi Lauper is released as a marketing tool for the film The Goonies, of which Lauper was musical director and head of the soundtrack.

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On June 7th, The Goonies was released in theaters. This film follows a ragtag group, “the Goonies” as they hope to find hidden treasure in order to save their families’ homes.

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On June 28th, Pale Rider directed by and starring Clint Eastwood premiered in theaters. Aw Clint! He’s so dreamy!

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On July 3rd; Back to the Future opens in theaters and ends up being the highest grossing film of 1985 in the United States and the first film in the successful franchise. Of course I had to write a post on it, Back in Time: Happy 30th Anniversary Back to the Future.

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For even more on Back to the Future, go to Fanning All Over the Place

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On July 20th, John Francis Daly was born. He has starred in quite a few things, but to me will always be Dr. Sweets from Bones.

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On July 24th, The Black Cauldron, the film based on Lloyd Alexander’s The Chronicles of Prydain series, makes its theatrical debut.

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For more on The Black Cauldron, go to A Hidden Wonder 

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On August 1st, Jefferson Starship changes their name to Starship and releases their hit We Built This City.

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On August 9th, Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure is released and is easily one of the funniest movies of my childhood.

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On September 3rd, the wreck of the RMS Titanic is located by a joint American-French expedition.

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On September 7th, St. Elmo’s Fire (Man in Motion) by John Parr is released.

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On September 24th Growing Pains premiered. I’ve already written about my love for it in a previous post, Fandom Love, but this was one of my all-time favorite shows growing up.

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On October 19th the first Blockbuster opened. I don’t care if this is the age of Netflix and streaming. I miss going to the store and picking out films from the really old to new releases.

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In November of 1985, for the first time Big Bird’s thought to be imaginary friend, Aloysius Snuffleupagus was shown. Snuffleupagus was always one of my favs.

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On November 13th, one of Foreigner’s greatest songs was released, I Want to Know What Love Is. This is my song.

For more on Foreigner, go to Old Fandoms and New Fancies

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On November 18th, the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes debuts in 35 newspapers in the United States.

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On December 1st, Anne of Green Gables film, based on the beloved children’s book, was released. I love the book and this film as it was a perfect adaption. Miss you Jonathan Crombie and your perfect depiction of Gilbert Blythe.

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For more on Anne of Green Gables, go to Imagination

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On December 13th, Clue was released in theaters, with its three different endings. I haven’t reviewed as of yet for Horrorfest, but it is definitely on my list.

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Let’s take it away with 1985!

Debbie just hit the wall
She never had it all
One Prozac a day
Husband’s a CPA
Her dreams went out the door
When she turned twenty four
Only been with one man
What happened to her plan?

She was gonna be an actress
She was gonna be a star
She was gonna shake her ass
On the hood of Whitesnake’s car
Her yellow SUV is now the enemy
Looks at her average life
And nothing has been alright since

Bruce Springsteen, Madonna
Way before Nirvana
There was U2 and Blondie
And music still on MTV
Her two kids in high school
They tell her that she’s uncool
Cause she’s still preoccupied
With 19, 19, 1985

Woohoohoo
(1985)
Woohoohoo

She’s seen all the classics
She knows every line
Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink
Even Saint Elmo’s Fire
She rocked out to Wham
Not a big Limp Bizkit fan
Thought she’d get a hand
On a member of Duran Duran

Where’s the mini-skirt made of snake skin
And who’s the other guy that’s singing in Van Halen
When did reality become T.V.
Whatever happened to sitcoms, game shows
(on the radio was)

Springsteen, Madonna
Way before Nirvana
There was U2 and Blondie
And music still on MTV
Her two kids in high school
They tell her that she’s uncool
Cause she’s still preoccupied
With 19, 19, 1985

Woohoohoo

She hates time make it stop
When did Mötley Crüe become classic rock?
And when did Ozzy become an actor?
Please make this stop, stop
Stop!
And bring back

Springsteen, Madonna
Way before Nirvana
There was U2 and Blondie
And music still on MTV
Her two kids in high school
They tell her that she’s uncool
Cause she’s still preoccupied
With 1985

Woohoohoo

Bruce Springsteen, Madonna
Way before Nirvana
There was U2 and Blondie
And music still on MTV (woohoohoo)
Her two kids in high school
They tell her that she’s uncool
Cause she’s still preoccupied
With 19, 19, 1985

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For more ’80s music, go to Rock You Like a Hurricane 

For more ’80s films, go to I’m Going Down the Tubes: Making the Grade (1984)

For more on anniversaries, go to Year of the Anniversaries