Austen in August: Sign-Up Post! (#AustenInAugustRBR)


Welcome to the sign-up post for AUSTEN IN AUGUST, an annual reading event celebrating one of literature’s greatest writers! This event was inspired by a Twitter conversation that took place between three founders of The Classics Club.  Last year was a huge success, and I am hopeful that this year will be another knock-out!

Why is Jane Austen so interesting?  Pemberely explains:

Jane Austen is very resistant to being classified as part of a literary “school”, or being placed in any customarily-defined literary period — partly because none of the obvious available terms, “18th-century, “Romantic”, or “Victorian”, would appropriately describe her. Almost all of the major figures who were literarily active in the period 1800-1837, and who are currently deemed worthy of remembering (i.e. are “canonized”), fall into one of a few categories — either they launched their literary careers before 1800 (Burney, Edgeworth); or they were part of the Romantic movement (or were more or less strongly influenced by romanticism, or wrote in self-conscious reaction to romanticism); or they did most of their writing and publishing after 1837 (e.g. Dickens). Jane Austen is the conspicuous exception who does not fit into any of these categories.”

The Goal: To read as many of Jane Austen’s works (finished or unfinished) as you want or are able to, during the month of August.  Biographies, audiobooks, spin-offs, and re-reads also count.  I will post throughout the month on different subjects, as well as with my own reviews of the Austen books I finish.  We will be offering giveaways, guest posts, and other shenanigans, all of which are meant to inspire a great, interactive event.

If you are going to participate, you can read any of Jane Austen’s novels, a biography about her, or any contemporary re-imaginings (such as Austenland or The Jane Austen Book Club, for example). All posts will help you qualify for prizes, which I’ll explain in a later post!

And if you want to sign-up for Austen in August, simply leave a comment stating such!  Maybe include some of the books you hope to read, too.  I plan to read Emma and Persuasion, at the very least.  🙂

Please also post the button somewhere on your blog (maybe in an announcement post or on your blog’s side-bar) so that we can spread the word, gather excitement, and encourage participation.  The more of us reading Austen together, the better!

Sign-ups are open throughout the month of July.  If you sign-up after July 31st, you can still participate, but may not be eligible for some of the early giveaway prizes.

To Share/Discuss on Twitter and Facebook, Use Hashatag #AustenInAugustRBR (I added the RBR to distinguish our event from a couple of others with the same name which coincidentally popped-up in our first year. ;P)

174 thoughts on “Austen in August: Sign-Up Post! (#AustenInAugustRBR)

  1. Hi, signing up. It’s been a while since I read EMMA, so definitely to be read first. Then NORTHANGER ABBEY I’d say.

  2. I’m in. Thanks for hosting! I don’t know yet what I’ll read. I need to check my book shelf and see what I’ve not read from her works.

  3. I’m in. I read Persuasion last year for this event, and am hoping for a re-read of Northanger Abbey this time around. Thanks for hosting this again, Adam.

    1. ahh Persuasion, my fave! thinking I’ll choose Emma this time round. Just picked up the 1996 A&E movie of it and was totally impressed [over the more readily available version] – so it’s piqued my interest to read the book!

    1. I enjoyed Sense & Sensibility, and it is also Jillian’s favorite. My personal favorites are Northanger Abbey and Pride and Prejudice, though. I can’t speak to Emma as that one and Persuasion are the two I have left to read… so, I’ll be done with Austen’s complete works as of this year! Unfinished titles, juvenilia, and all! You’re welcome to read Emma with me and whomever else chooses it, but my heart is with Northanger Abbey (and if Jill sees this she will champion Sense and Sensibility). 😉

  4. Okay, I’m into confession these days so I must say I have never read Austen or even watched the movies. I am Austen-clueless; other than hearsay. So in conjunction with my short works challenge and to add to my Classics Club reads, I’m going to read Lady Susan. If that goes okay I think the short Northanger Abbey (179 pages) might be something I’d enjoy and it’s short. I’d probably enjoy reading The Real Jane Austen but even the the Kindle version is pretty pricey at this stage. Not sure I want to go that far. However, I might be inclined to read A Jane Austen Education. 🙂 Do I sound a wee bit contorted?

    1. I think this event is the right place for you to get a healthy (fun and lively) dose of Jane. 😉 Northanger Abbey is not her “best” work, but it’s my favorite. It’s funny, edgy – a bit more gutsy than her later stuff, though not as well-written. Also, Lady Susan is hilarious.

    2. Vikk, you are an INFP. I strongly suggest you put down whatever you are doing, go to the library, and pick up the 1995 Sense & Sensibility with Emma Thompson. Love, a fellow INFP sister. 🙂

    3. Hi Vikk, it’s great that you’re venturing into Austen territory. I wouldn’t recommend Lady Susan as your first experience, though. It’s really for already avid fans and best appreciated after you got to know her wry sense of humor. Most people enjoy Pride and Prejudice or Persuasion the most.

  5. I plan on joining! I definitely want to finish Pride and Prejudice. That’s my goal for the month. If I wind up doing more, then great. But I feel confident that I can at least do this. (SO MANY great books I want to read this summer; not enough time!)

      1. I would love to have a reading vacation–I take off of work, I go away for a bit, and I read. That would be great! I am still really impressed about you reading Don Quixote so quickly. It would definitely take me longer than a month.

  6. I was planning on reading Emma this summer… I’m in! Also, might be nice to read it at the same time as other people. I may read another of Austen’s books, but I was also thinking about reading Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict.

    Thanks for hosting.

    1. I think the derivatives/remakes/etc. are an interesting addition to this event – adds another layer of conversation! I’m reading Emma, too… will be glad to finally get to this one. I want to see how much the movie Clueless really resembles the book it was based on. 😉

      1. I’ve always loved Clueless, it might be the reason I’m both excited and nervous about reading Emma. Maybe I’ll watch and post about Clueless during August too.

        No guarantee I’ll read Rude Awakenings, it was just a thought. I read the first Addict book and liked it, so I’m hoping this one would be good too… and also light summer fare.

  7. I love all things Austen. I still haven’t read Persuasion, Mansfield Park or Lady Susan yet, so those will be what I read! Can’t wait!

    1. I haven’t read Persuasion, either, so it’s up for me this year. Mansfield Park was a tough read, but it’s probably her most accomplished work (though not my favorite). Lady Susan is hilarious.

    1. A good choice, though, even if it’s all you get to! I hope to read the last two novels, which will make me an official reader of the ‘complete works.’ But, at some point, I would really love to read a biography or two.

  8. I would love to join, I really love Austen. And this will give me the opportunity to finally read Emma! I also have a biography by Claire Tomalin that I will reread.

    Thanks for hosting, Adam.

    Kind regards,

  9. I’m in! I read the Tomalin Biography last year which was great but this year I think I am going to read my new edition of Sense and Sensibility and possibly Mansfield Park too as they are the two Austen’s I haven’t read in a while! Can’t wait!

  10. I’m in. Haven’t read Austen since university. I loved Emma and Pride & Prejudice, but could never get through Mansfield Park. I think I’ll try Northanger Abbey since many comments above recommend it.

  11. Sign me up! I’ll probably reread S&S and P&P since those were the only two I didn’t read last time. I’ll pick a couple more, but I’m not sure which ones yet. I need to organize my bookshelves again and find all Austen-related content I’ve added since my last sorting. It’s such a problem. I know you understand. 🙂

    1. Fantastic! I hope all of you who plan to read Mansfield Park do get through it – it’s probably the most difficult Austen, but also probably the greatest. It wasn’t my favorite (that’s Northanger Abbey!), but, well, I can only point back to my review for guidance. 🙂

  12. I’m in! I’ve already read all the major works multiple times, so I might make August a month of ‘unfinished’ and try for Sanditon, The Watsons and the Juvenilia. . . . .

    1. Yeah! I just read Mansfield Park last year so it will be a while before I re-read, but it’s definitely worth a second look, at least. Also, Sanditon* (think “Sandy Town”) is really good, for what there is of it. It was so different… could have been a favorite, if only she had managed to finish it. Sad. 😦

  13. Yay ! I’ll joining again, last year I finally finished Pride & Prejudice and Mansfield Park. Love the first choice, hate it the second attempt, hopefully my third book choice “Northanger Abbey” on August will suitable with me. Thanks for hosting this event again Adam, something like this gave me direction on which book I will read it from my big books pile (^_^)

  14. Just learned that Northanger Alibi (The Jane Austen Diaries) by Jenni James is on sale for Kindle today. I personally just barely heard of it, but in case anyone was interested in reading this, I thought I would pass it along

  15. Hi Adam! I’m going to join in, too. I’m really embarrassed to say I have not yet read anything by Jane Austen. I can’t believe I confessed this out loud on the internet… yikes! But I can’t think of better company in which to lose my Austen-virginity! I have one of those tomes on my bookshelf that holds an entire collection of Austen works–seven of her books, so I have several from which to choose. I bought that book for myself years ago for Christmas.. can’t believe I never cracked it open!

    1. Oh, but that’s very exciting! An Austen Newbie! I’m sure you’re not the only one, so don’ worry about that. And, yes, I think this will be a great way for you to break-in… lots of discussions, lots of folks reviewing/talking about each of the books, the movies, etc. Which book do you think you’ll start with? A lot of people seem to like to start with Sense and Sensibility. I think that’s a pretty good way to go. 🙂

      1. Thanks, Adam. I really hadn’t given much thought yet on which book to start first. I was actually thinking Emma after seeing so many people in the comments wanting to read that one this summer, but I’m really open to suggestion. Maybe I’ll poll people for suggestions on twitter! 😉

  16. I will read Northanger Abbey. I’ve read P&P and S&S – at least, I think I have. They are the type of books where you feel like you’ve read them, because you’ve seen the movie(s) so many times, but did I really read them? I think this is part of getting old… also, years spent reading before Goodreads was a thing… anyways. I read Persuasion this year and really enjoyed it. Also need a break from the relentlessly male-oriented Moby Dick, so this will be perfect 🙂

  17. I’ve got Sense and Sensibility on my CC list so I think I’ll start with that. I might also treat myself to a cheeky re-read of Persuasion. Looking forward to it!

  18. Hi, Adam. I’m signing for the event because I really need to read more about Jane Austen. I did not choose any title yet. But Northanger Abbey and Sense and Sensibility are at the top of my list.

    1. I’m glad you’re joining us! It should be great fun. S&S is, I think, a great place to start with Austen. Northanger Abbey is my personal favorite, but it’s not her best in terms of craft – it’s much more blatant parody, though, which is fun.

  19. I’ve never read anything by her. So, I’m in. I’ll see what I can get done in August. (I have like 5 story challenges due in that month, but we’ll see.)

  20. I have been thinking about this since i first saw this post pop into my reader a couple of days ago. I may read some Austen in August – I had been going to re-read Emma next month but I think I might save it for August, also I have Catherine and other writings (her juvenalia) sitting here which I may try for the first time. I’ll see how I get on, as I have another reading project in August too.

  21. Oh! I think I’ll sign up too. I still have Mansfield Park of her six major works, to read….and there’s her lesser known works…of which I’ll likely try Lady Susan should time premit. 🙂

      1. If you like to read the retellings and enjoyed Lady Susan, you should try Lady Vernon and Her Daughter by Jane Rubino and Caitlen Rubino-Bradway. I think they did a really great job of turning that short work into a full length novel.

  22. Definitely signing up for this one. I bought a huge book with all Jane Austen’s novels, and this is the perfect time to read as many as I can. Pride & Prejudice was my first “classic” book ever and I enjoyed it very much!

  23. hey Adam! i wouldn’t miss this for the world and i’m looking forward again to this event. i’m still not sure whether i’ll read any of Austen’s works or Austen-inspired ones. i’ll set up a post as well.and hopefully come up with a list 🙂

  24. I can’t believe August is almost here! I wouldn’t miss this for anything 🙂 I have Pride and Prejudice and Northanger Abbey on my list to finish. Can’t wait!!!!

    And you’ll LOVE Persuasion 🙂

  25. I have not read Northanger Abbey and have been saving it for August. I will be joining this challenge and will have my own blog post up soon.

  26. Awesome idea — Austen in August. I’ve been wanting to reread Mansfield Park for some time. And I haven’t yet read Lady Susan. Maybe I’ll try and read both.

  27. Of course I want to be a part! SO many challenges going on but I will at least get one more Austen book in! I just finished Sense and Sensibility. I read Emma last year for Austen in August. This year it will be Pride and Prejudice. My boss gave me a lovely bound version and simply can’t wait to get it off the shelf! Thanks for hosting!

  28. count me in.
    I have never read/finished any book of hers. I always stop in the first few chapter of Pride and Prejudice >.<
    I am also curious about Emma

  29. I have read P&P and Persuasion so many times, I feel I should pull out one of my not-so-favourite books during August – maybe Mansfield Park? I also have a non-fiction book by the President of the Australian Austen society called Happily Ever After: Celebrating Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice by Susannah Fullerton to finish.

    Looks like you’ll have lots of interested parties to join in 🙂

  30. Hello..this sounds great and I am glad I landed on this page. I plan to read Persuasion. I think that is one Austen book I have not read.

    I do not have any older editions like some of you. I will be downloading the books off the Kindle site.

  31. I am already in! Planned to reread all Jane Austen novels this summer in order of publication. Just started Sense & S this past week

  32. joined and can’t wait. I have several to read for the classics club blog; persuasion, sense and sensibility, Northanger Abbey. Also I have recently gotten Mansfield Park and Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen. should be fun!

  33. Hey RBR! Sign me up! I will most likely read Northanger Abbey. I started that one a couple of years ago and I don’t remember why I put it down. I liked it well enough. So I pick that one or Pride and Prejudice. They are all new to me, I’ve never read any Austen except the one I started. She’s been on my radar and my TBR list for a while now. This is great motivation to get on it. I can only read one though. I’m a slow reader and have my other 2013 reading challenges that I am always working on. Thanks for hosting this!!

  34. I’m signing up! Haven’t touched my Classics list in months. So this should be a good kick-start to getting back into it. I hope to read Mansfield Park, Pride and Prejudice (a re-read) and Emma. I love Jane Austen and can’t wait to really devote time to her works. 🙂

    1. Great! I know there’s going to be a read-along of Mansfield Park during this event (hosted by Melissa of Avid Reader’s Musings). A lot of people hope to read this one, and it is probably her most diffuclt, so I’m glad people will be doing it together! 🙂

  35. I’m excited about this, I’ve been wanting to re
    Persuasion again as I have an annotated version
    This really inspires me to do it now!

  36. SO EXCITING!!! I just re-read Emma, and I’m on to Persuasion. Left a message about guest posting. Whooo-hoooo!

  37. I’m in! I’m a writer who is also a teacher, trying to get as much writing done before school starts again in the fall. But I can’t pass up a Jane Austen event! I’m thinking maybe Northanger Abbey…then Northanger Abbey and Angels and Dragons 😉

  38. Oh I just found this! Looking forward to seeing all the posts and taking part when I can! I just started a novel yesterday called The Mysterious Death of Jane Austen by Lindsay Ashford. I hope to read that and The Memory Series by Linda Wells this month.

  39. That sounds lovely. I recently saw Emma on TV with Gweneth Paltrow and remembered how very exciting it was to read Pride and Prejudice. Of course I’m going to participate! I’ll read Emma for sure and I’ll go to the library today to check out other books of or about Ms Austen.

  40. I’m on board! This will actually be my first time reading anything by Jane Austen, so I’m excited to be doing it alongside a group of people. 🙂 I’ll be reading Northanger Abbey and Sense & Sensibility.

  41. I’ll be joining in, too. I love Jane Austen and I am really looking forward to this. I plan on re-reading Mansfield Park and Emma and reading Northanger Abbey for the first time.

  42. I hope it’s not too late to sign up! I’d love to participate and cross Northanger Abbey off my to read list.

  43. I am definitely going to participate! I am launching my blog this weekend which makes perfect timing! I don’t need to be signed up for giveaways, so not to worry there! Do I save your badge and upload it on my blog w/ a link to this page to show that I am participating!? I like the freedom of this, because I just found a Jane Eyre Reading Challenge a few hours ago, and I was thinking to myself, “When am I going to get to Jane Austen?” Problem solved! Excited!

  44. What fun! It’s been a while since I’ve read Emma, so I think I’ll reread it. And maybe a good Jane biography if I can find the time.

  45. I had a great time reading along with you and everyone else last year 🙂 This year, I’m tackling Pride and Prejudice at the least and perhaps finally write up that review on Sanditon/The Watsons/Lady Susan. Thanks for hosting this event once again!

  46. I have read Pride and Prejudice this month so far, I have them all in a pile to read plus the ‘completed’ versions of Sandition, Lady Susan and the Watsons, plus a couple others

  47. I am sooo late to sign up but I have been reading Austen this month, just completely forgot to come here and officially sign up. I’ve read 2 spinoffs “All Roads Lead to Austen” and “Austenland” and I am rereading “Persuasion” (the annotated version) because I think it was best one she wrote.

    Can’t wait to catch up with you all.

  48. I’m a little late, but I’ve started reading Pride & Prejudice to my daughter. She’s really in to it so far, and after we are finished reading it, we’ll watch the movie! 🙂 I love being able to share her talents with yet another generation!

  49. I am so in!!! I will be reading Pride and Prejudice and possibly Emma, though I only have a week before fall semester begins….college life and such lol.

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