Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens (published serially from 1838-1839) meets the Dickensian stereotype of a very long book. I began reading it when my daughter was newborn and I finally finished it, now that she’s three and half. Nicholas Nickleby is definitely not my favorite Dickens novel. In some respects it’s obvious that its a early

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The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells (published 1897) is another fascinating science fiction look at the implications of a changing world of acceptance. The titular character in this story, Griffin, is an albino who had once studied medicine. Tired of being marginalized for his strange appearance, he undergoes medical experiments, ultimately succeeding in creating a

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The Time Machine by H.G. Wells (originally published 1895) is a short novella that, on the surface, is about a man who invents and then uses a time machine to travel 800,000 years into the future. More specifically, however, The Time Machine is about class division. In the futuristic world the Time Traveller visits, the evolved

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My first Thomas Hardy novel was simply fantastic. Emotionally poignant but also socially resonant, Tess of the D’Ubervilles (1891) provides an intriguing story about Victorian social and sexual hypocrisy through characters with clear flaws to recognize and appreciate. And yet, although it was clearly a commentary on the social structures and sexual morality in Victorian

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Ah, my Wilkie! It is so nice to come back to your familiar voice! Except no two narrators in Wilkie Collins’ novels have the same voice. It is one of Collins’ masterpieces of talent that he creates unforgettable narrators with personality and voice. His novels are such a delightful comfort read for me because they

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I read Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackery (first published 1848) over the course of four months, and then I’ve been delaying writing my thoughts about it for more than two weeks. My hesitation to post about it now is related to the fact that this master tome of Victorian literature is well deserving of

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Heart of Darkness (1902) by Joseph Conrad is considered by many to be one of the best novels written in the English language, a fact made all the more remarkable to me by the fact that Joseph Conrad wrote in not his first or second language but his third language, a language he learned after

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Regular readers of my blog know that I really enjoy a good Victorian novel. So I have to say I’ve struggled to pull together my thoughts on Erewhon by Samuel Butler (published 1872) simply because it’s not one of the good ones. As a satirical look at Victorian society in the form of a dystopia,

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Bleak House (published serially 1852-1853) is a sweeping saga of epic proportions. Charles Dickens obviously planned the plot carefully, especially by providing introduction and characters for the bulk of the first third of the novel, so that the last third of the novel would swiftly move to a satisfying conclusion that ties all the previously

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Note: this post contains “spoilers” for the first 60% of Bleak House. I have a book club discussion on this book next Wednesday night, so I have been pushing myself to read quickly: this has been my main reading material this week (after I finished 2 Henry VI, that is — more on that tomorrow,

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It has been a little while since I’ve read a Charles Dickens novel, but beginning Bleak House (first published 1853) was a delightful reminder of why I enjoy this author so much: he’s so good at writing. The scene as it is established in the early passages of the novel is simply marvelous. I was

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