Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Writer Jessie Burton shares the books that shaped her on GoodHousekeeping.
The book that got you through a hard time...
Jane Eyre is probably my major comfort read, which might seem odd, given that it’s a story of a young woman who basically has a hard time through four-hundred-odd pages. Maybe that’s why, though! I have been reading and re-reading Jane Eyre since I was eleven. I used to have extremely bad anxiety and intrusive thoughts when I was younger, which I had not yet learned how to identify and manage. I would sit up late, reading this novel, trying to avoid my racing mind, plunging my imagination into its magnetic voice, its imagery and propulsive plot. Obviously, it’s a classic and a masterpiece, but the personhood inside it, the intimacy of it, of Jane’s unfolding story as she tells it to us, is tremendously comforting. She survives, despite great adversity. She is a person who knows herself, when the rest of the world keeps seeking to diminish and even destroy her. She is not perfect and she knows that.
A novel has the power to comfort because as human beings we need stories to make sense of the chaos in which we live. Books offer us an order to that chaos, sometimes a mirror to it, and sometimes even a sense of solution to it – and we can digest all that at our own pace. We can find our own stories in other stories, and that fact makes us feel less alone. Novels provide escape, but also the flexing of the imaginative muscle, which is important for empathy, for lower blood pressure, and for seeing the world anew. (Joanne Finney)
Stuff  (New Zealand) looks at 'The great life lessons from the Harry Potter books'.
While everyone else was riding the Hogwarts Express I was wandering around with a copy of Wuthering Heights hoping someone might be impressed by me. In short, I denied myself the pleasure of something great in order to prove an imaginary point to no-one. (Nicky Deww And Kelly Bertrand)
Both Poetry Foundation and Fine Books & Collections report the news of the £20,000 donation from the TS Eliot estate to the Brontë Parsonage Museum. Please remember that you can still contribute towards keeping the Brontë Parsonage Museum open.

The Secret Victorianist (aka Finola Austin, author of Brontë's Mistress) posts about Sarah Shoemaker's Mr Rochester. The Eyre Guide reviews A Marble Column: Jane Eyre in India by Cicely Havely.

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