smrc - books 5 & 6 (E & F)

Author: Sara Eames

Date Published: Jul 16th 2018, 9:28am

The fifth book in my reading challenge - letter E - was going to be The End of the World Running Club by Adrian J Walker. This was another author that I had not tried before and, for a change, a different genre to those I have read thus far in this reading challenge. Unfortunately, I could not finish the book. After 100 pages or so of depression and awful characters with whom I have little or no sympathy, I had to give up. I no longer force myself to finish a book that I am not enjoying.

So, as I wanted to continue with my alphabet challenge, I returned to my bookshelves in search of another book beginning with the letter E. Once there, I quickly located Emma by Alexander McCall Smith - The Austen Project #3 - and decided to give this a try - chiefly because if suited the challenge I was pursuing.

I have never read the Jane Austen novel "Emma", but I have seen TV adaptations, so I have no written version to compare Alexander McCall Smith's version. That said, I did find Emma in this novel a lot nicer that she comes across in other media. Although she is spoilt (and a bit of a brat), her intentions seem misguided rather than nasty in this version of the story. You almost feel sorry for her at times, yet at other points in the story, you could quite easily slap her for her interference.

In this version, the characters are well-written and the plot moves at a steady pace. I am quite a fan of some of the books in the Austen Project and this was one of the better ones. I enjoyed reading it and will, probably, go to the original at some point to see how it compares. It is interesting to read Austen in a modern setting, though I still find it disconcerting to have Austen characters talking about email and other modern technology - even more disconcerting is when an Austen character uses modern idioms in speech - but that is something you can get used to (provided you remember that you are reading a modern version). All-in-all, a good read that I would recommend to fans of Jane Austen.

Book 5 (F) could be considered a bit of a cheat - it is a very short book (just over 100 pages) but one of a series that I enjoy reading. The series is Enid Blyton for Grown-Ups and the book is Five Get Gran On-line. Those of us who grew up with the Famous Five should enjoy this series of books. Our four friends (plus, of course, Timmy) are all grown up and facing a number of adult problems. This particular book is one of the better ones and made me smile as I read it. Highly recommended.