On December 16, 1775, 246 years ago, Jane Austen first graced the world with her presence. While she died at the young age of 41, Austen left behind a centuries-long legacy to readers and fans all over the world in her contributions of six novels: Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Sense and Sensibility, Persuasion, Northanger Abbey, and Mansfield Park. Her witty plots, memorable characters, and clever commentary has inspired generations to write and create art of their own which has led to a happy abundance of Jane Austen-themed content for you to delight in all year long. Celebrate this beloved author by checking out these Jane Austen-inspired staff picks!
Jane Austen

Jane Was Here: An Illustrated Guide to Jane Austen’s England

By Nicole Jacobsen and Devynn Dayton
Illustrations by Lexi K. Nilson
Adult Nonfiction

Jane Austen-philes will drool over this two-week itinerary to all places Jane Austen, the ones where she lived and the ones where her characters lived! This short illustrated book is full of tips about where to eat, where to stay, what fun attractions to see, and so on. It includes fun little anecdotes and even instructions on how to play whist, should you be inclined. Fun fact for local Utahns—the authors and illustrator “acknowledge Brigham Young University for being the catalyst for both this book and our lifelong friendship.”

This was such a fun book to read to awaken your traveling taste buds in the hopeful case that when the pandemic is over, you can scrape enough money to get yourself over to Jane’s England and follow the authors’ travel and gustatory footsteps!

Review by Nathalie, Circulation Library Assistant


Jane Austen

Written in the Stars

By Alexandria Bellefleur
Adult Fiction

I love this book to the stars and back. I didn’t even realize it was based on Pride and Prejudice until I started reading it. And this retelling was perfection! Even though Darcy is now a girl (Mr. Darcy is one of my top book boyfriends), I loved seeing little traits of him quietly shine through Darcy Lowell. The only thing I didn’t quite care for was how Elle and Darcy’s fake dating came to be. It wasn’t entirely believable, but hey, in a rom-com, not everything has to be believable to make the story beautiful and hopeful. And as I read, that didn’t matter to me, because Elle and Darcy were so dang cute together! Watching them fall in love was breathtaking and special. I loved how the theme of stars and the moon was strung throughout the novel. It made it seem more magical and ethereal and made the romance more all-consuming and infinite. I loved how well-crafted the characters were, and I can’t wait for Brendon’s story in the next book!

I just loved this book. It made me smile and hopeful and sigh in contented bliss. Can we please get a rom-com movie of this? It would be amazing! Note: there are a couple of spicy scenes, so if you are looking for a more straight-laced, strictly Jane Austen-approved romance, this may not be the one for you.

Review by Erica, Circulation Library Assistant  


Jane Austen

The Other Bennet Sister

By Janice Hadlow
Adult Fiction

It would not have been easy to grow up as Mary Bennet sandwiched in between beautiful Jane and lively, Dad-favorite Lizzie, and Lydia-devotee Kitty and Mom-favorite spoiled Lydia! The moment Mary realized as a child that she was not “pretty” and not likely to ever be was crushing, especially with such a beauty-over-brains-type mother such as Mrs. Bennet. We are also used to praising Lizzie and Jane, and yet they do not realize or try to really inquire as to why little Mary suddenly becomes retiring and uninvolved. All easily dismiss Mary as the awkward one that makes you uncomfortable and turns to her beloved books and music in her loneliness and quest for acceptance. Although this may seem like a depressing story, it is actually a fascinating book which focuses on the background stories of what it was like to be “old maid” Charlotte and even silly Mr. Collins. Fortunately, Mary eventually finds a safe haven in the Gardiner’s home and learns what a loving and supportive family is. It was fascinating to read the usual Pride and Prejudice tale but with the behind-the-scene stories.

Review by Nathalie, Circulation Library Assistant