Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Dickens and Eliot and Bronte, Oh My!

Our Mutual Friend (Everyman's Library)I'm still in the process of reading Our Mutual Friend.  The one I swore I was going to finish in 2010 for my Fall Into Reading Challenge.  It is just so easy to set down and put away, so easy to ignore.  Why is that?  I enjoy reading it, but then I set it down and forget about it.  I'm now reading it through Daily Lit installments, which is actually going quite well.  Dickens in installments is rather enjoyable.  Who knew?  (Apart from simply everyone in the 19th century of course.)  This might be the only way I will end up being able to cross the scores of Dicken's novels off my list. (currently on page 315 of 822)

Daniel Deronda (Modern Library Classics)As if one big classic at a time wasn't enough, I threw George Eliot into the mix.  I have Daniel Deronda listed on my Back to the Classics challenge since I enjoyed the film adaptation and have been wanting to read it for quite a while, and figured that there was no way I'd be disciplined enough to finish it by June if I didn't do something about it now.  So I'm reading that through Daily Lit installments as well.  It isn't quite as great in installment form as Dickens is, but at least I'm making headway.  I figure that by the time I'm really able to pick it up in March or so, I'll already be halfway into it. (currently on page 163 of 737)

Villette (Everyman's Library (Cloth))As if TWO big classics at a time weren't enough, I jumped all over the Villette read-along at Unputdownables.  I own Villette and have been wanting to read it for quite some time as well.  My short burst of reasoning before committing myself went something like this:  I've been wanting to read Villette, challenges don't create enough motivation for me, perhaps a read-long will.  I've never joined a read-along before, so I'm looking forward to it.  It sounds almost like a weekly book club meeting instead of a monthly one, what's not to like? There is a great group of readers that will be reading and posting on Villette during February and March, and I think there's still time to join!

And so I find myself in the middle of a rather chaotic conglomeration of classics.  Not my first choice in methods of reading books, but my first choice didn't work for me so well.  We'll see how this goes, and move on from there.


  1. I've never heard of Daily Lit before. What a fascinating idea! I have a huge pile of classics that I need to get to as well, and I've been dawdling, so the propect of reading several at a time makes me feel sick. After I finally finish Emma (which is my least favorite Austen so far), I'm going to read Gaskell's Wives and Daughters and also Dicken's Our Mutual Friend (I just finished Dan simmon's Drood and it discusses this novel a lot!) as well as Wilkie Collins "The WOman in White." In addition to that, I'm also participating in the Villette read-a-long, so I hope I make it to the end of this month, sane.

  2. A.) I'm so glad you're doing the read-a-long. I hope we all make it through the book, it's a chuncker (but I read 2 chapters quite easily before bed last night, so that's a good sign).

    B.) George Eliot read Villette and made some interesting comments (I'll bring them up later in the read-a-long). Kismet that you are reading them at the same time!

    C.) I've never heard of Daily Lit, how cool! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Oh my goodness that's a lot of heavy reading!! I read Our Mutual Friend in college and really loved it but haven't heard many other people's opinions so I'll look forward to hearing yours when you finally finish. I forgot all about Daily Lit but might sign up--I laughed out loud at what you wrote about reading Dickens in installments. Seems funny now that people had to wait for their next installment, but I guess we do the same with series books.

    Good luck with all these!

  4. Wow, Jenny, you aren't planning on doing all of those at once, are you? Craziness! Emma was my least favorite Austen too, not because of the characters or the story (which I liked) but because there were some pretty boring stretches. I enjoyed Wives and Daughters (have you seen the adaptation?) and The Woman in White.

    Wallace, I had no idea there was an Eliot/Bronte connection--very cool! I'm really looking forward to reading Villette with everyone. I've never really done updates in the middle of a book, so I'm curious to see how that goes.

    Daily Lit has more than just literature too, you can subscribe to Wikipedia Tours, where they send you a different link each day to learn about a certain subject (like wine). I might try one of those after I get some of these chunksters out of the way.

    Trish, that's true, I didn't even think about how similar series books are! I wish I knew how long and how far between the Dickens installments were.

    This is one of those times when I'm thinking it might all get done a lot quicker if I could just hunker down and get some concentrated reading done instead of stretching it out forever...oh well. I'll take your good luck wishes, I feel like I'll need them! :)

  5. Just wanted to say that this was a great title for a blog post :-) - and to thank you for making me aware of the existence of daily lit. I am going to have to look into using that.


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