Mini-reviews: The Annotated Persuasion by Jane Austen and David M. Shapard; The Most Dangerous Thing by Laura Lippman; Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool

Title: The Annotated Persuasion
Author: Jane Austen and David M. Shapard
Genre: Classic
Publisher: Anchor
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Source: Print copy from my personal library
First line: Sir Walter Elliot, of Kellynch-hall, in Somersetshire, was a man who, for his own amusement, never took up any book but the Baronetage; there he found occupation for an idle hour, and consolation in a distressed one; there his faculties were roused into admiration and respect, by contemplating the limited remnant of the earliest patents; there any unwelcome sensations, arising from domestic affairs, changed naturally into pity and contempt, as he turned over the almost endless creations of the last century – and there, if every other leaf were powerless, he could read his own history with an interest which never failed – this was the page at which the favourite volume always opened: “ELLIOT OF KELLYNCH-HALL.”…

This was the most perfect way to re-read my favorite Austen. I love annotations, but when reading a classic that has all the notes at the end of the book, or the ends of the chapters, it can be frustrating to flip back and forth. This is the perfect answer: a page of text and a facing page full of annotations. And not just your typical footnotes – there are drawings of items of historical significance (carriages, clothing, furniture, etc.), maps, quotes from Austen’s letters regarding places or events in the novel, detailed historical explanations, as well as the typical explanations of outdated language and antiquated word usage. I can’t wait to get my hands on The Annotated Sense and Sensibility and The Annotated Pride and Prejudice!

Title: The Most Dangerous Thing
Author: Laura Lippman
Genre: Mystery
Publisher: William Morrow
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Source: Audiobook from the public library
Audiobook reader: Linda Emond
First line: They throw him out when he falls off the barstool.

I really enjoyed Lippman’s I’d Know You Anywhere, and was hoping this stand-alone mystery would keep me as enthralled. It didn’t. At first, I thought it was the reader, because her performance was just okay – but she also narrated I’d Know You Anywhere, and I listened to it on audio and was engrossed. There seemed to be an emotional distance to this one – I couldn’t relate to any of the characters. The big reveal at the end wasn’t really a surprise, either. I did, however, like the cameo appearance by Lippman’s character Tess Monaghan, a private investigator. I think I would enjoy that series, and definitely need to get my hands on the first one.

Title: Moon Over Manifest
Author: Clare Vanderpool
Genre: Middle grade fiction, historical fiction
Publisher: Yearling
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Source: Audiobook from the public library
Audiobook reader: Justine Eyre, Cassandra Campbell, Kirby Heyborne
First line: The movement of the train rocked me like a lullaby.

Books like Moon Over Manifest remind me why I still read children’s fiction. This is fiction that transcends age. Abilene Tucker is a young heroine reminiscent of Scout Finch, and her summer in Manifest, Kansas, reveals her father’s history – and her future. Along the way, she tries to solve the mystery of The Rattler, finds the letters of a young soldier fighting in the trenches of World War I, does yard work for a diviner, makes two new friends, and lives with a pastor named Shady whose church is in a speakeasy. I can’t say enough about this book – it really deserves its own review, but I allowed myself to fall behind again. Just read it. And if you like audiobooks, that is definitely the way to go with this one, as the narrators are all pitch-perfect.

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19 Responses to Mini-reviews: The Annotated Persuasion by Jane Austen and David M. Shapard; The Most Dangerous Thing by Laura Lippman; Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool

  1. Sandy
    Twitter: youvegottaread
    says:

    I’m sitting here banging my head and wondering where I heard about Moon Over Manifest. That cover really rings a bell. Well, wherever it was, it was a good review. Obviously, if you gave it five stars! And I love Persuasion. How much fun to read an annotated version!!

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Sandy – I know I checked Moon Over Manifest out from the library because I heard about it on a blog, but can’t remember which one, either. I wish I was better about keeping track of recommendations.

  2. bermudaonion (Kathy)
    Twitter: bermudaonion
    says:

    Oh, I bet that annotated book is great! I used to own annotated Shakespeare books like that and they were wonderful. I need to read Moon Over Manifest soon.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Kathy – I really like the way he did this annotated version – it made the reading experience all the more enjoyable.

  3. Kailana says:

    I want to read Moon Over Manifest one of these days. I had it out from the library once, but then didn’t have time to actually read it. Story of my reading life!

  4. carol
    Twitter: carolsnotebook
    says:

    Moon Over Manifest sounds like a good read. Maybe I’ll put it on the list to read with my daughter over the summer.

  5. So glad to hear you liked Moon Over Manifest, I really want to read that one. :)

  6. Melissa
    Twitter: avidreader12
    says:

    I may have to get a copy of the annotated Persuasion. That one has been calling my name for a re-read lately.

  7. Kathleen says:

    Persuasion is one of Austen’s works that I haven’t yet had a chance to read. I think I have that Lippman book on my shelves at home.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Kathleen – you should definitely read Persuasion – I think it’s her best!

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  9. stacybuckeye says:

    I’ve never read an annotation, but I love Persuasion so it may be a great way to experience it again.

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