Progressing Past Persuasion

(This post is part of my Onwards and Upwards Blog Event)

This hour I want to talk about something I struggle with at the moment, which I never, ever, thought I’d struggle with in my life.

Reading books.

I love reading. When I was a child I read all the time: while I was eating dinner, with a torch under the bedcovers at night, whenever my mum would let me! I continued reading as a teen and went on to study a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing, where I started writing a children’s novel (which may never be finished since I discovered scrapbooking!). I even taught creative writing workshops to children in the years since university, only winding down the courses about a year ago (see more about that in an old post HERE if you are interested).

The trouble is, I don’t seem to be able to move on from reading children’s books! My ‘How I love to read’ mini-book that I made a few months ago was full of children’s and young adult’s novels. If I try really really hard to think of an adult novel that I love, I can only come up with one – Persuasion by Jane Austen.


I love the anticipation of the drawn-out love affair, and I fall in love with Captain Wentworth every time I read it.

So my question is, how do I progress past Persuasion?

My trouble is I don’t like to read anything too depressing. I really don’t like it when a main character dies – especially at the end of the book. This has happened in a few books that I’ve picked up off the shelf in the Library, and it makes me want to throw the book at the wall. I like happy endings! When I read I want to escape and enjoy it. Plus I’m a worrier and I think too much – when bad things happen in books I can’t stop thinking about it for days, and worrying about it happening to people I know – it even keeps me awake at night.

A friend of mine recommended Lisa Jewell to me, so I recently read The Truth about Melody Browne:

the truth

Which I did enjoy. There were some sad moments in it, and I won’t say whether the ending was entirely happy or not (I don’t want to spoil it if you want to read it), but it was an ending I was satisfied with. I got caught up in Melody’s story and didn’t want to put the book down. The only thing that was missing was a bit more romance – I don’t always need romance but I was in the mood for it at the time!

Another book I want to read, but haven’t got hold of yet, is Austenland by Shannon Hale (not surprising considering Persuasion is my favourite adult book!):


I’ve heard good things about it, and I’m kind of assuming it will have romance and a relatively happy ending, as it is aimed at the same people who would read Austen novels!

So my question for you is what else should I read? I really want to have more choice. Lately I’ve been picking up old Bunty annuals and reading through them, as I’m so desperate to read, but I’d rather have something more grown up – I’m with kids all day long after all, so it would be nice to excape into an adult novel! Please help me progress!

Be Inspired:

Create a mini-book about the books you love

Write a blog post about something you struggle with that you’d like help progressing with

Make a book mark or book journal

Remember that commenting on this post, and any other over this weekend, will count as an entry into the Grand Giveaway, but only if you’ve registered your interest in winning that prize right HERE!

See you again in 60 minutes! x

26 thoughts on “Progressing Past Persuasion”

  1. A superb read and only took me two hours to read The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Albom, Mitch.
    I too am not in “reading mode” but have such a huge pile of books I could open my own library!


  2. Well I’ve just finished reading my current book which was very warped to say the least. I hated one of the main protagonists at the end and I don’t think I’ve ever said that. All my recommendations would be thrillers, ghost stories or crime novels although I do read some romance but usually someone dies at the end.
    Maybe you could read some more Jane Austen, I love Sense and Sensibility and no-one dies at the end yay. Also Mansfield Park is a winner as again no-one dies. You’d find Thomas Hardy way too depressing I think. I could recommend the No1 Ladies Detective Agency which is funny, slightly off kilter and usually no-one dies, there’s not much romance but the books are gr8 fun,
    Jo xxxx


  3. ooh I do love reading but have to make a real effort to fit it in! I have a really eclectic taste in books and loved your post about books you had read as I am also a huge Harry Potter fan and I am trying to reread all the books again. My favourite book is the time travellers wife but not sure if this is a book you will like. It might be worth joining good reads and looking for recommendations on there. Will be interested to see what you end up reading next….. ooh just thought of a really nice book to read ‘a street cat named Bob’ it is a real feel good book and no-one dies.


  4. I’m a fantasy/sci-fi reader for the most part and squeeze in most of my reading time while waiting for my son at his various after-school activities. If you ever wanted to move into the fantasty realm, I’d recommend Tad Williams (The Dragonbone Chair set) or Robin Hobb (The Farseer Trilogy which then ties into a few other amazing trilogies she’s written.)


  5. Love Harry Potter but also Marian Keyes, Sophie Kinsella – similar style to Lisa Jewell and suits me because I often read before sleep so don’t want anything too taxing (or scary!)


  6. I love to read as well, but don’t make enough time for it these days – there are now two towering piles of books next to my side of the bed waiting to be read! Do you have a Kindle or similar? I finally succumbed to one of these at Christmas and I love it now – also it allows you to “sample” a couple of chapters to see if you would like the book or not – and it makes suggestions of books you might like based on previous reads, so it helps you expand your virtual library, so that might work for you.


  7. I like to read but I generally only get time on holiday…or when the sun shines and I can sit in the garden!!! I like novels set in the first half of the 20th century….usually set in the wars….but although you go through the stress of war they usually end up happy ever after!!!


  8. Oh I love reading too Jennifer… am never without one or more books on the go and always have a pile by my bedside! I love books by Elizabeth Berg – she writes from the heart about women… she really understands issues but is not morbid or dramatic. Just very real and everyday, so you can relate and feel a connection. I have never been disappointed in any of her books.
    What have I been struggling with lately? Making slideshows and uploading a video onto my blog! I wrote about it yesterday here: http://itchifingers.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/a-mini-mazi-book-part-1.html


  9. I am another sci-fi/fantasy reader and would definitely recommend Terry Pratchetts Discworld series. His books are funny and quick to read. I read a lot of historical fiction and Phillippa Gregory is brilliant writing about the tudor period through the ladies eyes. I have read the odd contemporary fiction and Tony Parsons comes to mind (man and boy, one for my baby). He writes very well and I think they end happily (tell me if I am wrong anyone as it is a very long time since I read them).
    I love that you are re reading Bunty annuals, by the way. I used to get that every week for years from my Nan and loved it.


  10. Austenland is a very fun read! I loved it! I adore classics myself, Pride and Prejudice…Anne of Green Gables. Uhem. I just read the Hunger Games twice in a row. LOL Grim, but destined to be classics…so well written!


  11. I like reading children’s books! Nothing wrong there! My favourite adult books are The time travelers wife, to serve them all my days, The Island by Victoria Hislop is wonderful as is the “Gurnsey literary and potato peel society”- Odd title but great book!


  12. I definitely have a hard time fitting reading into my life, so I joined a book group. That way I have a chance at reading one book a month.


  13. I have always loved to read but I have always been a late night reader. I struggle now to read at night. I want to do art and scrap and in the spring I want to be in my flower garden and then at night If I read I just fall asleep. So, I just keep adding books to my “books” list. I think its just getting started. Most books catch you and if we just stop long enough to read a chapter or two then we are in it till the end.


  14. I’m probably not a good person to ask…..I read quite a lot…..but nothing of substance….I like blood and gore….mainly crime and thriller novels.I’m afraid…..I’m reading Mark Billingham at the moment.


  15. what’s so wrong with only reading the books you truly love? you feel like it’s wrong because they’re not really “adult” books, but would you feel the same if you were passionate about let’s say thriller books?
    Anyway, one thing that inspires me sometimes are movies, because many of them are based on books!


  16. Nothing wrong in reading “teen” books at all – so many are brilliantly written! Northern Lights, Noughts & Crosses, Harry Potter, The Hunger Games – but they have plenty of unhappy bits just as adult fiction can. It’s been interesting to read other people’s recommendations … Time Traveller’s Wife is perhaps my all time fave, but makes me cry buckets … early Terry Pratchett novels are great – funny and clever – and he does some fun kids’ books too (Bromeliad Trilogy is ace) …

    If you’re worried about not having a happy ending, how about trying travel writing rather than novels e.g. Round Ireland With A Fridge, Bill Bryson’s books etc


  17. Oh Jennifer, start with a book that someone has recommended and you like the sound of. I used to read a wide range of books as I don’t read as much these days, I like books that make me laugh (irritates the rest of the family tho) are not serious and with a little romance. I have always loved Catherine Alliott, her books never fail to make me laugh! At the moment I have been reading the Walking Dead Comic books. These don’t fall into what i’ve said above at all!! H buys them and I picked one up earlier this year to see what he was reading and was hooked!! It’s been on telly so we’ve caught up on the series too – the comics are much much better!! x I hope you find something x


  18. I love reading too and happily passed it on to both my children. In fact my daughter is studying Creative and Professional writing at uni. I love to read children’s books still and also what Pennynis writing. I love a food crime novel and also historical romance. I also love to,read Rough Guides of the places we are going to visit. My all time favourite book is Gone with the Wind, which I read before I saw the film.


  19. Ironically enough I made some bookmarks for my MIL for Mother’s Day today. I love being in a ‘reading’ family


  20. I’m a librarian so there are always books around at my place. I even keep one in the car for traffic jams etc.
    Try the Phryne Fisher series by Kerry Greenwood. Rollicking good fun! She is a liberated lady detective in 1920s Australia.The ABC have made a TV series of her books.
    I also have oodles of bookmarks but hope to concoct one just for this challenge.


  21. I would love to relax into reading a book but haven’t in years because life is way too hectic and full and has been for years. This is one of my dreams – to read and read and read some more. Thanks for the reminder.


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