2016 Reading Challenge - July!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

As it is the last day of July (can. you. believe. it.), I wanted to share the book I chose for July for the 2016 Reading Challenge.

I read a blue million books in the month of July, indeed all summer long, and I plan a post or two in the next week or so about all the books I read, quotes I enjoyed, and what I learned.

But, officially, my pick for July's reading challenge theme was "A book published before you were born." I chose Persuasion by Jane Austen.

I read this book in a different manner than I have all the other months' books, in that I listened to it as an audio book. I am not an auditory learner; thus, I realized that it's easy for me to listen to an audiobook only if I've read the book before. I had read Persuasion before, obviously, and I enjoyed the experience of listening to it read to me.

Now is a great time for me to tell you about a really cool app called Overdrive. It allows you to "check out" audiobooks from your local library, download them to your phone, and listen to them. I used this app to get Persuasion and Emma. I'm currently waiting on my turn for Pride and Prejudice now.

Listening to Persuasion gave me good motivation to walk in the park as well as drive distances in my car that I might not have otherwise enjoyed. I listened to Persuasion as I drove to Charleston to the airport on my way to visit my friend Colleen, I listened in little bits as I drove around town, I listened on my drive from the Charleston airport to Morgantown to visit my family, and I listened as I walked around the park.

If you are a frequent walker in Ritter Park and also happen to be reading this blog post, then everything probably makes sense in your life now. By that I mean, I react to what I read, and I just can't help it. I LOVE Persuasion, I've read it and watched it so many times, that I found myself talking back to the novel in the car as well as reacting to various scenes with my face as I walked in the park. I am absolutely sure I looked like a crazy person, especially on the day I happened to be in the park as Anne Elliot opened her letter from Captain Wentworth:

"I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach. You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight years and a half ago. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant. You alone have brought me to Bath. For you alone, I think and plan. Have you not seen this? Can you fail to have understood my wishes? I had not waited even these ten days, could I have read your feelings, as I think you must have penetrated mine. I can hardly write. I am every instant hearing something which overpowers me. You sink your voice, but I can distinguish the tones of that voice when they would be lost on others. Too good, too excellent creature! You do us justice, indeed. You do believe that there is true attachment and constancy among men. Believe it to be most fervent, most undeviating, in F. W.

I must go, uncertain of my fate; but I shall return hither, or follow your party, as soon as possible. A word, a look, will be enough to decide whether I enter your father's house this evening or never."

You guys. Seriously. How are you NOT going to react to that. I know what my face must have looked like in the park that day, multiple times, actually, as I swiped the status bar left a couple times to hear it again and again.

I mean, this letter has its own page on Facebook.

I can only say, if you have not read Persuasion, please do so. And when you're done, read Captain Wentworth's Diary because it's also wonderful. If you have read Persuasion, read it again. And again. And again.

"I have loved none but you."


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