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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Bleak House Read-a-long: My First Post

I remember reading BLEAK HOUSE, by Charles Dickens way back in high school. I don’t remember much about it but I do recall really enjoying it. There was something about a court case, and something about spontaneous combustion (I clearly remember learning that definition and thinking it was pretty cool). I’ve been meaning to revisit it, and now I have the perfect excuse.

Amanda at The Zen Leaf started this read-a-long back in August but since I planned to listen to the audio version I knew I’d be able to catch up even if I started late. There’s still plenty of time to sign up and catch up if you are interested – you can check out the details here.

At this point I’m finished chapter 19 and I have a few thoughts to share.
  • First off, what exactly is Esther’s position in the family? She’s Mr. Jarndyce’s ward, but is she a member of the family, the housekeeper, or something in between?
  • Second, although I do love the many seemingly unconnected threads of the story, it was a lot of fun to see them start to come together in the last few chapters.
  • And finally, I really think that Dickens on audio is the way to go. I love to read his books but they take a lot of time and concentration to get through. It’s worth the effort, but I simply don’t have the time to do it right now. Listening to the audio version of this book is the perfect solution and I’ll definitely listen to more Dickens this way.
I haven't had a chance to browse the other participants posts yet but hopefully I'll be able to do that soon.  Are any of you reading along?  What do you think of this book so far?


Natalie~Coffee and a Book Chick said...

And here I was going to invite you to The Historian Read Along, but good gracious -- Bleak House is a daunting book to experience all on its own!! I love classics, so I might have to pick this one up soon!! I don't believe I've read any Charles Dickens...shame on me, I know...! Good luck, and Happy Reading!!

Amanda said...

I think the next time I read Dickens it will be on audio!

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

Heather I am just starting this book and hoping to catch up on the challenge, I mentioned it today in my post with a pic of my head next to the book.... uh, yeah - the book is HUGE!

Audio is a great idea - I wish I would have thought of that.... now I want to look and see if this is available on audio - how many hours would it be?

Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours said...

Coffee & a Book Chick - When are you doing The Historian read-a-long? I have that book on my shelf and really want to read it ...

Amanda - I highly recommend it!

Sheila - I saw that pic - it was great! The audio is really long as well, 42 hours I think, but it works b/c I can listen in the car and while I'm getting ready for work, etc. It will still take a long time, but that's ok with me.

Natalie~Coffee and a Book Chick said...

Heather -- We're going to start the read along on Sept 20th and go through Oct. 31st -- first "discussion/chat/gushing" is on Sept. 26th! You can either swing by my site for the details and button, or you can hop over to the read alongs site I just got set up called

Yay!! Come join -- it's one of my favorite books *ever*!!!!

Anonymous said...

I love Bleak House. It's also a book I read in college (along with The Color Purple). I was an English major in case you couldn't tell. I still own Bleak House, so I'll check out the read-a-long and see if I wan to join. I have so many books I want to read for the first time though that I'm not sure I'll tackle Dickens right now :)

Kailana said...

I had meant to join in on this, but I haven't even cracked the spine! I like Dickens, but I have never read this book before.

Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours said...

Coffee and a Book Chick - I'll definitely give it some thought! If I can fit it in I'll join - I really want to read that book!

Cyndel - YAY! Someone else who liked this book! It seems like everyone else hated it or is really intimidated by it. :(

Kailana - There's still time ... go ahead, dive on it!

Marcie said...

I like your idea or listening to it on audio. I might try that. I feel like the story is finally coming together. I enjoyed it a lot more this week.
Marcie from To Read or Not To Read

Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours said...

Marcie - Thanks for dropping by! It is definitely coming together more - I'm starting to see connections between all the various plots. I'm really glad to be revisiting this one.

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