Way back when I first started participating in Top Ten Tuesday, I did a post on Books to Read If You Love Jane Austen. So… even though that is still one of my most popular posts, maybe I shouldn’t repeat myself again. But I’m gonna. Because as soon as I saw this week’s topic (Books to Read if Your Book Club Likes _____), that post was the first thing that popped into my head.
I will have some of the books on this list as I had on the previous one… BUT … I’ve read a lot since then (understatement) and I have some new ones to add. Not to mention the books I inadvertently omitted from last year’s post.
Let’s just get Julie Klassen out of the way right now. If your book club loves Jane (Austen or Eyre), then you NEED to be reading Julie Klassen’s books too! She has written many books – and all of them are wonderful. The ones I featured above are my favorites, but you can’t go wrong with anything by her.
Austenland isn’t “Christian fiction” but it IS cute and romantic. And a must-read for anyone who loves Jane Austen and has ever (even momentarily) considered that it might be fun to live in an Austen novel. Lots of great fodder for book club discussions here too!
Kristi Ann Hunter’s Hawthorne House Regency Romance series is just the right blend of humor and history, of delightful heroines and hunky heroes! Keep a fan handy and be prepared to swoon. BUT you’ll giggle a lot too 😀
I love retellings, because I really enjoy seeing how someone else takes a familiar story and gives it their own creative twist. These two collections contain 4 novellas each – Texas-set novellas, to be specific, that are based on Austen’s novels. Emma, Sense & Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Northanger Abbey, Lady Susan, Persuasion, and Mansfield Park all get the Texas treatment across these two collections!
Speaking of retellings, how about an Amish retelling of Austen’s novels? Reviewers have called these retellings by Sarah Price “beautiful, fresh, and engaging” and they appeal both to fans of Amish fiction as well as those who are diehard Austen fans.
The Whispers on the Moor series by Sarah Ladd is simply gorgeous – from the covers to the writing to the romance. Sarah Ladd does a phenomenal job of creating an atmosphere without overdoing the detail, and you’ll feel like you’re right there in the drawing rooms and the gardens with the delightful characters.
While we’re talking about Sarah Ladd, I can’t neglect to mention her newest series, Treasures of Surrey. In fact, Dawn at Emberwilde may be my favorite book by Ladd yet. Many deeper meanings in this series that would make great book club discussions.
I love these books by Beth Pattillo. They’re romantic and fun and contain just enough plausible historical mystery to appeal to the history-geek-Nancy-Drew-wannabe inside me. Plus the heroines are fantastic!!
Melanie Dickerson’s Regency Spies of London books aren’t quite retellings in the purest sense but each one does contain nods and homages to Austen’s novels. A Spy’s Devotion is great and I absolutely love her main characters Nicholas and Julia as romantic leads … but y’all. Her next one? A Viscount’s Proposal? Whew. Goodness gracious. Go ahead and invest in a fainting couch now so you’ll be ready when February comes around 🙂
Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson belongs on Regency reading lists everywhere as well as lists of “best fictional kisses” (Oh wait, i did that!). Philip makes a lovely book boyfriend … and the build-up to THAT KISS is just simply electric. Again, not “Christian fiction” but it’s clean and it’s fabulous.
The Daughters of Bainbridge House series is the first I read by Laurie Alice Eakes, and I was immediately swept away. The characters, the setting, the intrigue, and of course the romance! The third book of the series may be my favorite but they’re all excellent choices!
Even though Reay’s debut novel Dear Mr. Knightley is more similar to Daddy Long Legs than to Emma, it abounds with smart literary references. Including, of course, many things Austen – as well as nods to Jane Eyre, The Count of Monte Cristo, Dickens, Narnia, and more!
Another great choice for Jane Austen-loving book clubs by Katherine Reay! Also a great choice for foodies … and anyone who loves to read books about family and relationships and sisters. Again, not a retelling per se but so many great nods to Austen throughout. As fellow reviewer Rissi said so well, “Reay weaves in references in honorable nods to the great literature and uses all of the good in those stories to an advantage in the breathtaking novels she pens.“
The Drew Farthering Mysteries are not set in the Regency era – far from it. BUT you really can’t pass up the chance to read about yummy Drew decked out in full Regency attire, can you? I think not. *fans*
The Rogue Hearts series by Donna Hatch is another on my list that isn’t Christian fiction but it IS clean and it IS really really good! The romance is top-notch, and the second book particularly will involve all of your emotions. Some great opportunities for book club discussions in these stories as well.
What about you? What are some of your favorite Jane Austen reads?