Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Happy Birthday Mr. Dickens!

Well, I had good intentions and hoped to finish The Old Curiosity Shop in time to post about it today, but alas, I'm not quite finished. So instead, in honor of Charles Dickens' 200th birthday, I'll write about why I love Dickens! This is my last post in celebration of Amanda's Charles Dickens Month!

20 (not 200!) reasons why I love Dickens!
  1. The lovable characters
  2. The wretched characters
  3. Spontaneous combustion
  4. Crazy coincidences
  5. Sprawling plots that tie up nicely
  6. His passion for caring for the poor
  7. Victorian London
  8. His sense of humor
  9. His bigger than life life
  10. I'm pretty sure he's the first true literary superstar
  11. People waited at the docks to hear what happened to poor Nell!
  12. Mrs. Jellyby even though I hate her
  13. The sense of hope his novels usually have, even in bleak circumstances
  14. He wrote way more books that most of my favorite classic writers
  15. He's still relevant today
  16. Our Mutual Friend will forever remind me of Desmond from Lost
  17. He reinvigorated Christmas
  18. He wrote about a range of classes - from the poor to the rich
  19. He helped invent the detective novel
  20. Bleak House Bleak House Bleak House!
That's not a comprehensive or well organized list - I just listed the first 20 things that popped in my head. :) As for the books, here are my favorites of the ones I've read so far:
  1. Bleak House
  2. A Christmas Carol
  3. David Copperfield
  4. Great Expectations
  5. Oliver Twist
  6. Nicholas Nickleby
  7. Little Dorrit
  8. The other Christmas stories
Still need to read:
  1. The Old Curiosity Shop (currently reading)
  2. Hard Times
  3. The Pickwick Papers (I've read excerpts, but not the whole thing)
  4. Our Mutual Friend (I'll probably save this for last!)
  5. A Tale of Two Cities (I'm hoping to have a French-themed month in July and read this...maybe I should have a reading month for French works/history/books about France?)
  6. Barnaby Rudge
  7. Martin Chuzzlewit
  8. Dombey and Son
  9. The Mystery of Edwin Drood (not sure if I can make myself read this unfinished work)
  10. The short stories, outside of the Christmas ones
Hmmm....I felt like I read a lot of Dickens until I made this list! I'm less than halfway there! Yikes! Although I have read most of the biggies at least. Maybe when I finish them all I can treat myself to a return trip to London and actually get to go in the Charles Dickens Museum this time! :) I hope you're having a lovely day celebrating Dickens!


  1. Ah, Victorian London. A good reason to read Dickens :)

    I read Edwin Drood and glad I did. I would imagine, though, that an unfinished book (especially a mystery) isn't for everyone. For me it added to the mystery.

  2. I LOVE the idea of a French-themed month! Also, A Tale of Two Cities is incredible. Can't wait until you read it. :D