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January 21, 2017


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I have no need to forgive you, even if Bleak House remains on my Kindle waiting for those moments where I sigh and slog through a few more pages... I just wonder again and again why it is one of your top Dickens novels. have I already told you I recently read a paragraph to my daughter, who sighed at how wonderful it sounded and wondered why I don't love it??? what is wrong with me???

that said, no... I will not be adding another Dickens novel to my to-be-read list, especially while I am still reading Bleak House. I am strong-willed and stubborn and I will overcome...

Jamie, I'm chuckling over the timing of my seeing this post in my Feedly. It's early morning here and I just spent an hour not reading, but rather tapping through the bazillion galleys on my Kindle, trying to decide *what* to read. I have the worst option paralysis when it comes to books.

Then Scott (that angel) brought me a mug of caffeinated hot cocoa and I sat up, sighing, feeling I'd wasted a precious reading hour. The thought in my head was: I'm 48. I can't afford to waste ANY reading hours. I mean, I still haven't gotten through all of Dickens!

Which made me remember that last year I set up Daily Lit to send emails three days a week containing installments of classics I hadn't gotten around to yet. I've tried Daily Lit before, and what always happens is: either I get about a week into a book and then start saving the emails for later, which means never; or I get sucked into the novel and wind up abandoning the installment plan and just plain reading the book. :) I read a lot of Twain that way in 2015. So this morning, about thirty seconds before I opened Feedly, I thought: maybe I should do a Dickens Daily Lit project?

And then boom, this post. :)

I've never read Chuzzlewit. For that matter, I (like Tracy) have never made it through Bleak House, either. I'm going to go see what Dickens is available via Daily Lit because those email chunks really are a good way to get me rolling on a big reading project. (Unless they aren't.) ;)

Your remarks on Dickens's biting observations of American culture reminded me of the story about a very young Kate Douglas Wiggins's biting observations of Dickens's work--to his face. Do you remember that? Very old post on Bonny Glen: http://melissawiley.com/blog/2005/12/23/snuggling-up-to-genius/

“Well, upon my word!” he said. “You do not mean to say that you have read them!”

“Of course I have,” I replied. “Every one of them but the two that we are going to buy in Boston, and some of them six times.”

“Bless my soul!” he ejaculated again. “Those long, thick books, and you such a slip of a thing!”

“Of course,” I explained, conscientiously, “I do skip some of the very dull parts once in a while; not the short dull parts, but the long ones.”

He laughed heartily. “Now, that is something that I hear very little about,” he said. “I distinctly want to learn more about those very dull parts..."

The whole story is so funny. :)

And this comment is so long I should have made it a post!

Love the story, Lissa!

It occurs to me that it would be much more sensible to encourage people to read the Dickens of their choosing in May. I'll read Martin Chuzzlewit and blog about it as I go, but maybe there are folks out there who would prefer to tackle Tale of Two Cities or something instead.

I will join you and Martin C.!

So far so good with Martin Chuzzlewit (I hadn't ever heard of it!) for me ... downloaded it on the kindle and have read the first couple of chapters and am taken so far ... i know you say May, but I never know, with my brain, when I'll be able to do lots of reading, and when I won't, so I figure a head start is a good thing :-)

May is a long way away and I have a bunch of books on my piles. But maybe, maybe I'll have a little space for some Dickens. Though it's tempting to just re-read Bleak House. I was just citing Mrs Jellyby today to a friend. But maybe MC needs to be sampled.

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