I'm really loving Librivox, which is allowing me to listen to great works of literature while I'm working including "Emma" and "Pride and Prejudice."
"Emma" was really well read by a Brit whose only flaw was a major emphasis on the "t's" at the ends of words and even a greater emphasis if, heaven help us, there were two t's together. I love the story of Emma Woodhouse and the cast of eccentric characters that surround her. Having children nearly the same ages as Emma and Harriet Smith, I'm surprised to find that not much as changed, since Austen's time, in the way young people view their world. Twenty-year-olds are never as bright as they think they are. Girls still try to hook their friends up with the "right" guy. And young people still think they are more worldly than their elders.
"Pride and Prejudice" on Librivox was something of a disappointment. The reader did a fine job, better as the book went on, but there was a sense that she was reading it in a closet and a bit of a background hum throughout the reading. Fortunately, I love this book and was more than willing to live with this if it meant getting to listen to the story while I was working. The sparring between Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy always brings a smile to my face. And, let's face it, Mr. Darcy is pretty much too good to be true. He's rich, admits when he's wrong, and has no parents, thus no in-law problems for his wife.
Technically, I could now call this challenge completed since the goal was to complete six Austen-related things. But I have yet to crack a book and I'd feel as if I cheated if I didn't read anything. Besides, I have three books lined up to read and I'm always game to reread any of Austen's six completed novels. So, I'm calling this the half way mark.