Doesn't she look sad? Yeah, she does. (...)
This morning.  I had been looking forward to  today for the last long month since the local library phoned  to propose me something I immediately accepted. I got up early in order to have a shower and get presentable, to leave the house tidied up and be back for lunch with part of the housework done, had breakfast while reading some notes. While I was preparing a couple of books to take with me ... it started snowing. "What shall I do?"  I thought "Nah, it rained before ,  it won't snow for long , it won't be dangerous to drive in this weather. I'm going  , anyway. I have to be there in half an hour and do not want to be late. I have to look for a car park and there may be some traffic..." . I got to the local library just on time . I was so enthusiastic to start my own  JANE AUSTEN BOOK CLUB that I didn't want to realize it was   SNOWING!  Once inside I met a couple of  young people (boys, former students of mine) and I talked with them for a while, they were studying for their university exams. I hurried to the offices where I found the librarian, the lady who organized the reading club, waiting for me with a smiling-sorry face. It was snowing so some of the participants had called to say they couldn't come today but wanted to take part in the club. We waited for a while chatting about the reading schedule and the dates, she showed me the room and the bookshelves and the tables and the chairs for our meetings, I told her about  the activities I had thought to propose, asked about the possibility to use movies and get home-made cakes ...  at last , after 20 minutes, only one very brave (she defied bad weather!)  kind  middle-aged lady arrived. We warmly welcomed her, communicating the title of the first book to be read by the end of the month and other details about the reading group. We wondered if she had any questions to ask. "Yes, only one. Why Jane Austen?" Honestly I was stunned and speechless... if she had joined the Jane Austen Book Club reading group, what did she expect? To read Alessandro Manzoni , Gustave Flaubert or Charles Dickens? Since we didn't answer she went on asking "How did you come to choose just THAT writer?" The lady librarian decided she had to distract the lady guest with another question :

"So, since we start reading Sense and Sensibility, do you have a copy of this book? Otherwise you can borrow one of ours. Do you know, I saw a film titled the Jane Austen Book Club and I liked it and bla...bla...bla" . They moved back to the office talking and I had some time to recover from my disappointment : I had a look at the list of names of the people who had accepted the invitation. All female names, some familiar to me, aged from 16 to 75. Not a big group, but the perfect number for a reading group. "Ok" I thought "I'll meet them at the end of the month, after reading Sense and Sensibility".

I said goodbye to the ladies and drove back home. Not very happy as you can imagine.  I glanced at the mailbox approaching the main door and looking for the right key to open it. A parcel! So, maybe Aunt Jane (Austen) from up there has just seen my sad mood and arranged a surprise for me!

What is it? My secret Santa in the Book Blogger Holiday Swap  decided I had not been that naughty and though a bit after Christmas  I deserved a Christmas gift! ( My parcel had got to Denmark on 10th December, Do you remember? HERE) I winked up there at Auntie Jane, she really knows how to make me happy. As soon as I was inside I started opening the parcel ... I just had the time to read that it came from the Usa, Jenison, MI ... then , I saw a monster and an aggressive young woman with a sward which peeped from the torn paper: it was a book! John Ringo, Princess of Wands. I felt rather a disappointed Princess,  without any wand nor crown. I remained there looking at that disquieting cover picture, still and silent.

I have to face facts. Today is NOT one of my best days. Let's forget about it and wait for tomorrow. ( ...)

But, maybe this present was by someone like Grigg (Hugh Dancy) in the movie Jane Austen Book Club, someone who wanted me to widen my horizons and start reading science fiction? Thank you my Secret Santa, you are right, I desperately need to widen my horizons. I'll try to read your gift book. For now , I can't even read your name in your hand written paper.And you didn't give me any link or url to find you on line either! But , anyway, I'll thank you from here, hoping you had the url to my blog with my address. Thanks for the chocolate, too.


Mary Gray said...

hahaha! Grig totally sent it! Girl, I'll help you with the eclectic tastes. I'm extreme in my diversity. :) Just blogged about that today too! I'll read about farmers, convicts, zombies, gentlemen and ladies, or even kung fu masters. Bring it all!

Mary Gray said...

Oh, by the way, sorry about the old lady. Did she really say that???!

Maria Grazia said...

Yes, she did! And, my Grigg was nice, wasn't he? Straight ahead to your blog, now. I must read your post! Thank you, MG.

Christy B said...

Hi! I have an award for you here: http://christysbooks.blogspot.com/2010/01/our-lovely-blog-award.html :)

Meredith said...

Maria, I want to be in your book club, it sounds like it will be a lot of fun!!! I wish we lived closer together!

Maria Grazia said...

@Thank you, Christy! You've made my day less ... disappointing! Let's see my award! Coming straight to your blog.
Thank you! And I'd love to have YOU in my reading group. I know we live "a bit" far from one another but ... who knows, you might be my guest for the final meeting in June? Fancy a summer holiday in Rome?

Meredith said...

Haha! I wish I could travel to Rome, that would be so wonderful!! I hope the book meetings get better for you and I look forward to hearing what you read and discuss!

Phylly3 said...

Sorry you had such a disapointing day, Maria. I can see how a comment like that would leave a person speechless. That's always what happens to me when someone says something I find completely stunning!
Interesting that you are having so much snow. It sounds as if its rather unusual for your climate. The weather seems wacky all over the world lately so you never know!
As for the gift book. Wow! That really is something completely different than your usual choice of reading material! If you do choose to read it, we can all read along online with you because I found this link to the online version of the novel!
Just from skimming the first page, I can tell you probably won't appreciate kind of language the characters are using! (It's not up my alley either, but I would read it for fun if we get to discuss it together!)
But I would certainly prefer to be in your Jane Austen Book Club! That sounds so wonderful! I've never actually participated in a Book Club before! I would certainly enjoy rereading JA books. And even if I didn't get around to reading all the way, I could still remember them from the last time I read them, which was only a couple of years ago.
I hope things go better for you tomorrow!

BurtonReview said...

Silly gal~ you should've said WHY NOT??!!

And as far as the eclectic.. ermm.. different tastes go.. if they make it to my bookshelf for some secret-santa-type reason, they languish for a month or so before I give them away.

I'll stick to what I like and broaden my horizons when Aunt Austen tells me to, thankyouverymuch.

Kathryn said...

What a day you had!! At least you can laugh about it which always helps!! I hope today is better and I hope the book club gets better!!! Have a lovely 2010!!!

Maria Grazia said...

@Meredith,Phylly, Marie, Kathryn
I've just woken up and I think today it must be a better day! Look at all your kindness and sympathy. Thanks you so much! I've also got an award! Tahnk you again, Christy!
And, btw, Kathryn, a very good 2010 to you, too! I'm so glad to hear from you. To be honest I was a bit worried because I couldn't find your blog or profile any longer. But here you are!Is everything ok? I do hope so.

lunarossa said...

Hi MG, A lot a snow again here. Sorry you've been disappointed about the book claub and the book you got. To tell the truth a lot of people would react like that to Jane Austen in my Italian town and most of them wouldn't even problely know who J.A. is! It's the current trush culture effect! Maybe it will be better next time. Sorry about the book you got. I was very lucky with my Santa, as I received not one but two books from her and although they wouldn't normally be my first reading choice, I have already read and enjoy them both. Just give it a try. Unfortunately I haven't heard anything from my Santee...All the best. Ciao. A.

Maria Grazia said...

Of course I'll five it a try! Thank you, Antonella. Take care. Ciao.

Luciana said...

I'm so sorry for your day MG! Sometimes it's just like that... I hope the rest of January will be better...

Maria Grazia said...

Today has been better... As you said, some days are just like that! Thank you!

Heather G. said...

Sorry you had a crummy day...I hope today was better! I'd happily be in your book club if I lived in Rome, Italy! Sense and Sensibility is one of my favorites! And the Jane Austen Book Club is a great novel and movie too!

Maria Grazia said...

Thank you, Heather! I'll wait for you on January 30th, then. You should just ... fly up here! Mind you I don't exactly live in Rome, but nearby, in a small old town in the mountains. That's why it can snow in winter, very rarely, but it happens :-(

Table Talk said...

I had the same problem. It wasn't snowing or raining when I went out and half an hour later I was in the middle of a blizzard. It's stopped for the moment, but we have about eight inches of lying snow at the moment and they've just said that we have another fortnight at least. What fun!!!!!

Maria Grazia said...

@Table Talk
I know, Ann. We've just seen how much snow you have on TV. Incredible! I like snow only if I can watch it falling down from behind the window and I don't have to go out!

Mango said...

How great!!! For me reading Jane Austen is kind of expanding my horizons, since I like more action filled novels. But I am having a lot of fun with it. Feel like after my book club is done, I'll read the Leguin books Grigg loves!