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January 03, 2010


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I'll tell you the truth--I have a BA in English and I love to read. I like the Victorians. However. I don't think I've ever made it through a whole Dickens book. I've tried. But the guy is kind of a downer and I've had a hard time getting past it.

I got the Marcia Williams copy of Dickens and was reading it out to Thomas and realized that this was not a man who was invited to many parties. You've encouraged me to try again. Maybe I'll start with the Pickwick papers. But I don't know that I'll enjoy it! :)

Many years ago, I read an article by a man who had a business coaching kids to raise their SAT scores. He had a student who couldn't afford the classes any more. So the teacher told the student to read all of Dickens, and to look up any word he didn't know. Apparently it worked brilliantly.

I loved reading about your Dickens project. I'll have to give him a try again--it's been a long time since Great Expectations and A Tale of Two Cities. Have you read George Eliot? I love love love her. I went on a binge several years ago of reading all her stuff, and it was sheer delight. Just in case you're looking for a new author for next year ;-)

This is an inspiration to literature-lovers! Please also do a post on your annual Shakespeare reading: I may do a similar project.

Thank you, Jamie. Oh what an inspiration. I've read quite a few Dickens; but I hereby resolve to read at least one of his novels a year until I finish them all. I'm ordering up a copy of Pickwick Papers now. I'm so excited.

Bleak House is one of my favorites. I think I was the only person in my high school honors English class to actually finish the novel. I'm sure I was the only one to fall in love with it. I agree the spontaneous combustion scene is one of my favorite moments ever.

Hurray! Glad to hear this post has sparked some plans to read more Dickens. I have read a few George Eliot novels, Tall Kate, but I didn't love Middlemarch and haven't gone back to her since then. (Isn't everyone supposed to love Middlemarch?) Maybe I'll try again.

Jamie, I loved this. VERY interested to hear about your false starts and eventual love of Pickwick. A few years back, someone online (was it you?? if not then Semicolon) announced she was doing a Year of Dickens, and I thought ooh yes, count me in, but much as I love him (Copperfield, Great Expectations, Tale of Two Cities), Pickwick vanquished me. I tried and tried and wanted to like it and couldn't get past the first few chapters. So I bailed on the Year of Dickens thing, but that was the year I fell in love with Copperfield, so it was a good thing anyway.

But you make me think Pickwick is worth revisiting. Your favorite??!! Really!

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