I've been on a Jane Austen kick for a week or so now for both professional and personal reasons. Professionally, I'm using Austen as a model to work out a character question, and personally, I just think Jane Austen rocks. Naturally, this meant I had to add to my Jane Austen collection, so I scoured the local bookstores and the library for lit crit I didn't already own. One of the books I snagged was Jane Austen for Dummies. Now I generally avoid the Dummies books for the same reason I avoid the K.I.S.S books and the Complete Idiot's guides--I loathe being insulted by my reading material. But as Caroline Bingley would say, "I am all astonishment." The Dummies book was written by Joan Klingel Ray--a past president of the Jane Austen Society of North America, a very worthy organization. And it's really very informative. It is best suited to someone who has watched a film or read one of the novels and doesn't know much about the Regency period or Austen herself, but any Austen fan could find something there to enjoy. It explains what entailments were and why the Dashwood sisters just couldn't go out and get jobs. (I realize this information is well-known to diehard Austen readers, but if you don't understand the social and political systems of her day, it can dampen your enthusiasm for the books and make Austen just that little bit more unaccessible.) I picked up half a dozen other books and when the weather is nasty and you've just made a pot of tea, immersing yourself in Austen's world is a VERY nice thing to do.