Boz and The Bard: January in Review

I decided to join in both Allie’s Shakespeare Month and Amanda at Fig and Thistle’s Charles Dickens month, since I knew I would be reading Bleak House for my book club. It was a great month, and I must admit I’m not quite finished yet with the Bard at least (I’m taking a break from Dickens for a month or so).

At the very beginning of the month, I picked up Jane Smiley’s biography of Charles Dickens and read this gem of a quote in her preface:

Among English writers, Dickens’s only peer, in terms of general fame, worldwide literary stature, and essential Englishness, is William Shakespeare, and the two authors are alike in several ways.”

I loved that my month just happened to be focused around the two most famous, literary, and “English” of writers. More than two centuries separate them. Yet they each wrote for their time in a way that is lasting. The themes speak to us today, the writing is superior, and they seriously impacted their contemporaries.

For my Dickens month, I wrote three posts on Bleak House as I read it and review of a brief biography of Dickens. I wanted to read something else by Dickens as well, but let’s face it, Bleak House was about 1000 pages long and I’m more than 8 months pregnant and trying to get a nursery painted and ready. It was enough.

For the Bard, here’s what I read/posted this month:

I mentioned I’m not done yet: Allie graciously extended her month of fun until the end of next week so I thought I’d throw in some more Shakespeare. I’ve finished reading Bill Bryson’s biography (of which I have mixed thoughts) and hope to get a post up later this week. I also want to shift to comedies since I haven’t read any Shakespeare comedies since I began this blog. My collection of Shakespeare comes with two volumes of comedies, and the first in volume one is Love’s Labour’s Lost. I know nothing about it but I’m excited to give it a try! It’s also quite short, so I think I’ll be successful at fitting it in.

Other books read in January:

Reviewed in January/Read in December

Did you join either of these reading month projects?

About the author 

Rebecca Reid

Rebecca Reid is a homeschooling, stay-at-home mother seeking to make the journey of life-long learning fun by reading lots of good books. Rebecca Reads provides reviews of children's literature she has enjoyed with her children; nonfiction that enhances understanding of educational philosophies, history and more; and classical literature that Rebecca enjoys reading.

  1. I so wanted to join the Dickens Month but had no time to organize myself. I have not read any Dickens and frankly even my mother is appalled and has urged me to plug dark holes in my reading this year. So I will read a Dickens or two this year.

    Your Shakespeare posts make me feel like revisiting the Bard. So thank you! Enjoy your reading in February. I remember being extra restless in the last months of my pregnancy. Do remember to take it easy :).

    1. Kinna » no need to be appalled by not reading Dickens, just give him a try, start with something small(er), like A CHRISTMAS CAROL or GREAT EXPECTATIONS or OLIVER TWIST 🙂

  2. That is so fantastic that you read that quote that pulled them both together like that! I’m glad you enjoyed your month and your focus on the two authors. I didn’t join either of those challenges – I bet you’re surprised, given my reading preferences 😉

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