ABM Book Club: April Selection

LongbournMany of you asked if we could announce the ABM Book Club selection a little bit earlier in the month, so everyone could order a hard copy or put the book on hold at their local library. Great suggestion! Hopefully this is is early enough, but I can always announce a little earlier next month.

In April, I'm excited to read Longbourn by Jo Baker with you. I got excited about this book when I read that the book revolves around the fictional lives of Elizabeth Bennet's servants. Yes, you read that right, Elizabeth Bennet. As in, you know, Pride and Prejudice. I don't know if I am among any Jane Austen fans here, but I just had to look into this book. I sort of love reading books set in this era and society. It's very different from any of our ABM Book Club selections so far, and, well, variety is the spice of life, no? So get your copy before the end of the month.

Also we will be discussing The Lowland on Monday, March 31st, so hurry up and finish reading if you haven't already. xo. Emma

  • OH. MY. GOODNESS. nothing but excitement is in my bones right now! I love Pride and Prejudice (as many do) but I am keenly interested in the lives of those “downstairs” as well. As a fan of the oooold show Upstairs Downstairs and the newer Downton Abbey I am absolutely in for this one!

  • I almost bought this the other day (sounded like an interesting POV of P&P!) but definitely will now!

  • Awesome, I will definitely be joining in on this one. I’m a huge Austen fan and looking forward to reading Jo Baker’s take on life amongst the servants 🙂

  • Check out the new upstairs downstairs…it’s on netflix and it’s amazing!

  • Emma you should definitely watch Downton, it’s pretty easy to catch up on because the series are quite short. Set a little later than Pride and Prejudice of course. I will certainly be joining this book club, I am in love with Mr Darcy so I will happily read anything remotely related to him. Thanks Emma. Zoe

  • Kudos to the person that took the picture of Longbourn for the blog. It’s very intriguing.

  • I love pride and prejudice so this sounds something I would like.I even love the movie with Keira Knightley.

  • I read this recently and it’s such a good book! Looking forward to seeing what people think of it.

  • I am a huge Jane Austen & Bronte sisters fan! Their books are what finally got me excited about reading. I don’t know what it is, but I just love getting lost in their stories (which is probably why I loved the mini series Lost In Austen so much – if you haven’t seen it, check it out!).

    I don’t know why I haven’t heard of this book, because Pride & Prejudice is probably my 2nd favorite book of all time (Jane Eyre being the first). I finish a little proofreading gig next week, so I may have to pick this book up & join along. Perfect timing!

  • I have been reading Jane Austen quite a bit lately. I’m actually in the middle of Persuasion right now. Her style is growing on me. I don’t think I’ll be able to read it in time, but thanks for the suggestion! I’m excited to read it!


  • OMG! I am soooo excited! I love Pride and Prejudice, am watching Downton Abbey and have just finished Below Stairs – this so sounds like my kinda book!

    I just ordered it and Amazon says it’ll arrive on Saturday. I hope I can bear the suspense a little longer and finish Lowlands first 😉

  • I’d like to say that the blog has been so much better lately…for a while there the content was 85% selfies of Elsie and Emma and it was getting out of control.

  • It was me, so thank you. It snowed one day earlier this week so I quickly took my book outside to snap a photo. I just thought it might be sort of interesting. I was also really windy and cold, so I’m sure if they neighbors saw me they probably thought I was nuts. Ha!


  • This was on my “to read” list so I’m super excited for this! And thanks for announcing the book earlier! I put a library hold on The Lowland right when you announced it and I’m still 160th in line! But I’m number 14 for Longbourn so hopefully I’ll get it soon.

  • This is a great book, but readers who idolize P&P may need to let go of their expectations for this riff on the classic. I think the author did an amazing job creating her OWN novel based around the Austen classic, but in order to do that, she shakes things up a bit. But this is a great book club book, because most people either love it or hate it!

  • I wrote my undergrad thesis on Jane Austen! My brother got me this book for Christmas and I really enjoyed it. It kind of reads like Jane Austen fanfiction, almost–obviously nothing like the genius of Austen herself, but it’s still a good read! If you are into fantasy, and want to read a cool fantasy series set in an Austen-like universe, I recommend the “Glamourist Histories” by Mary Robinette Kowal. The first one is called “Shades of Milk and Honey” and is so, so good!

  • Oh I need to hurry up with Lowland, haven’t even started it yet! Oops! It’s ok though, I commute to work by train now and am getting through several books a week.

    P x

  • Elizabeth Bennet?! ZOMG. Why are you telling me this? Now I’m going to have to try and remember how to read.

  • Just finished this lovely book. I thought it was a little slow out of the gates, but it captured me eventually and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Love the idea of ABM book club:-)

  • Thank you!!! Just reserved my copy, and it looks like I’ll get it in time to join in this month! Woot!

  • I’ve just finished this, I was given it as a gift and have already recommended it to others and passed on my copy to others to spread the pride and prejudice love! Great choice, you’ll love it!

  • I just read a book called Below Stairs by Margaret Powell about the real life adventures of a Kitchen-maid in early 1900’s England, plus I love Jane Austen so this is right up my alley!

  • I read this book earlier this year and it is a searing piece of work that has stayed with me. So eager to hear what you & others think of it!

  • Great read I’m halfway through got in on audio. And Dowton abbey is perfection my library has that too ! Great choice

  • I just checked out the first few pages on Amazon and I cannot wait to read this book! The first page completely sucked me in! I’m really excited 🙂

  • Have you guys listened to The Jane Austen episode on Stuff You Missed in History Class? It’s excellent! Really the entire podcast is excellent and make for fun, insightful and educational company while working with your hands. Or at least for me. Looking forward to the book!

  • Ooooooh ! Can’t wait to try all the books from the book club!
    These past two-three years my reading of fiction books have suffered under the boredom from studying and having hundreds of pages to read every semester, so I’m trying to read around Christmas and summer, but somehow I never quite find the time….
    So this summer I’m going to make a list of possible books to read, inspired by you guys 🙂 Right now I’m on vacation in Brazil (I’m from and studying in Norway) and have read two fiction books while tanning, a really good “vacation” from schoolbooks 😉 I’ve read The Still Point by Amy Sackville and Bridesmaids by Jane Costello, have you read any of them? 🙂

  • I LOVE PRIDE AND PREJUDICE type of books! Buying it for my kindle…NOW!

  • I am so excited about this book…I love Jane Austen, love pride and prejudice and Sense and Sensibility. Love this time period too…and gotta love the British. Cant wait to read it. Struggling getting through the Lowlands…hope I can get motivated to finish it.


  • I’ve already read this a month or so ago. You’re in for a treat. A bit darker than P&P, a lot less frivolity and giggling girls, and a great story in its own right. I look forward to the discussion.

  • Just started reading it. Fun to read, but it also shows that to match the gift of wit and character that Jane Austen had is not something that can be easily copied.

  • I’m sure it’s been suggested – so I apologize if you’ve already answered but have you considered making a goodreads group for the ABM book club? I would definitely join in and it would be a cool place to connect with other ABM book lovers.

  • I read this book last month: it’s excellent but you’ll never read Austen the same way again, having read “Longbourn.” After a few weeks with the servants you’ll view Lizzie and her whole social class as a bunch of thoughtless parasites. It’s a great book and will likely win many literary prizes.

  • You should look into “Dora: A Headcase” by Lidia Yuknavitch for a possible future book club read. I’ve loved the past few books and am excited to have a little no-obligations book club of enjoyable novels!

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