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:
- Henry VI part 1
- Henry VI part 2
- Henry VI part 3
- The Shakespeare Thefts by Eric Rasmussen
- Shakespeare and His Contemporaries by Charles Nicholl
- Shakespeare: The World as a Stage by Bill Bryson
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:
- Show and Tell by Dilys Evans (a book about children’s books)
- It’s Hard to Be Hip Over Thirty by Judith Viorst (poetry/Persephone Book)
- Sleepwalking Land by Mia Couto (African fiction from Mozambique)
Reviewed in January/Read in December
- Enchanted Hunters by Maria Tatar (a book about children’s books)
- Birth Day by Mark Sloan (a book about newborn babies!)
Did you join either of these reading month projects?