Happy New Year Janeites! 2012 promises to be a glorious Jane-packed reading extravaganza for Austenesque and Regency fans.
In the next few months we are looking forward to several novels: the debut of Austentatious, by Alyssa Goodnight (January 31), a new mystery, Midnight in Austenland, by Shannon Hale (Jan 31), and Jane Vows Vengeance: A Novel, by Michael Thomas Ford (February 28), the third novel in the hilarious Jane Bites series. This summer we can look forward to no less than two novels from the venerable Amanda Grange: Pride and Pyramids: Mr. Darcy in Egypt, co-authored with Jacqueline Webb (July 01), and Dear Mr. Darcy: A Retelling of Pride and Prejudice (August 01). Such a bounty!
There are also quite a few new nonfiction titles in the coming year focusing on insights into why we love our dear Jane so much: Everybody’s Jane: Austen in the Popular Imagination, by Juliette Wells (Mar 29) and Jane Austen’s Cults and Cultures, by Claudia L. Johnson (June 01), should put Janeites under a microscope; The Jane Austen Guide to Happily Ever After, by Elizabeth Kantor (April 02), intrigues us to find out how Jane can help in the “fix your life department,” and All Roads Lead to Austen: A Year-long Journey with Jane, by Amy Smith (June 01) is an curious title that may take us on a Jane Austen road trip!
In the queue on the Regency front: Pistols for Two, by Georgette Heyer (Feb 7), the long awaited re-print of Heyer’s short story anthology that has not been in print in North America for several years; The Garden Intrigue, by Lauren Willig (Feb 16), the ninth, and highly anticipated installment in the popular Pink Carnation series (Woohoo); and Glamour in Glass, by Mary Robinette Kowal (April 10), the second in her Regency magic series. Huzzah all around!
2011 was another stellar year for Jane Austen inspired sequels, et all. There was a plethora of “Mr. Darcy does something” to choose from. Dear publishers, we do dearly love Mr. Darcy, but please, we really would read other Austen-inspired books that did not include the most popular romantic icon ever, or the greatest novel ever written! We hope you will take this gentle nudge in the spirit in which it was offered from those who are quite passionate about their Austenesque fare.
There were literally dozens of new Jane Austen inspired novels and nonfiction books published in 2011. One of them, *blush,* was my own Austen-inspired short story anthology, Jane Austen Made Me Do It. Our top choices of the year represent selections first published in 2011 and reviewed here on Austenprose. So, if your favorites are not represented, please don’t be miffed. Amazingly, we did not read everything Janeish that was published this past year, but we gave it our best try.
Top 10 sequels, prequels, retellings or contemporary inspired (alphabetical order):
♥ The Ballad of Gregoire Darcy: Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice Continues, by Marsha Altman (5 Stars)
♥ Henry Tilney’s Diary, by Amanda Grange (5 Stars)
♥ Jane Austen Made Me Do It, edited by Laurel Ann Nattress (5 Stars)
♥ Only Mr. Darcy Will Do, by Kara Louise (5 Stars)
♥ Persuade Me, by Juliette Archer (5 Stars)
♥ The Trouble with Mr. Darcy, by Sharon Lathan (5 Stars)
♥ The Truth About Mr. Darcy, by Susan Adriani (5 Stars)
♥ The Unexpected Miss Bennet, by Patrice Sarath (5 Stars)
♥ A Weekend with Mr. Darcy, by Victoria Connelly (5 Stars)
♥ A Wife for Mr. Darcy, by Mary Lydon Simonsen (5 Stars)
The best of the rest…
♥ The Orchid Affair, by Lauren Willig (5 Stars)
♥ Venetia, by Georgette Heyer (5 Stars)
♥ Jane and the Canterbury Tale, by Stephanie Barron (5 Stars)
♥ The Mysterious Death of Miss Austen, Lindsey Ashford (5 Stars)
♥ Jane Goes Batty: A Novel, by Michael Thomas Ford (5 Stars)
♥ Mr. Darcy Bites, by Mary Simonsen (5 Stars)
♥ A Jane Austen Education: How Six Novels Taught Me About Love, Friendship, and the Things That Really Matter, by William Deresiewicz (5 Stars)
♥ An Arranged Marriage, by Jan Hahn (5 Stars)
Best Young Adult:
♥ Sass and Serendipity, by Jennifer Ziegler (4 Stars)
Debut Author: (tie)
♥ My Jane Austen Summer: A Season in Mansfield Park, by Cindy S. Jones (4 Stars)
♥ Definitely Not Mr. Darcy, by Karen Doornebos (4 Stars)
Many thanks to the authors for offering up another great year of reading. 2012 already promises to be quite engaging.
Austenprose review staff
2007 – 2012 Laurel Ann Nattress, Austenprose