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review 2022-12-14 04:28
Mr. Dickens and His Carol: A Novel - Sam... Mr. Dickens and His Carol: A Novel - Samantha Silva

Charles Dickens is having financial problems. His last book did not sell well. His publishers are threatening to deduct money from his royalties for their loss. They tell him he must write a Christmas story with less than two months before Christmas. He has lost his muse. At home, his wife is having baby number six. She is obsessed with their Christmas party. His children are obsessed with what they want for Christmas. Charles has lost his way and his good cheer for Christmas. He is fighting with everyone. He does not want to write a Christmas story but needs the money. Can he find his muse? Can he find the spirit of Christmas?


I loved this story. I felt like I was in Dickens' London. I love the nods to his other works, words, and characters. The characters of Dickens, his family, his friends, and his rivals were wonderful. I felt like I knew them and loved or hated them. I liked how he had to go back to the beginning to find his story. I enjoyed his interactions with Eleanor who points out what he feels, what he's missing, and what he needs. She is so spot on.


This book resonated with me. I will tell you to keep the tissue handy. You will need it. These people were so real to me. I hated leaving them. This is a keeper. Maybe not one I can read every Christmas season but one that needs a re-read and someone else to discuss it with each reading. There is so much there. So much wisdom, so much delight.

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review 2022-12-05 05:18
A CHRISTMAS CAROL by Charles Dickens
A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens

My annual reading of A Christmas Carol. I always enjoy watching Scrooge change his ways. This time I picked up some new things that Scrooge says and does. Didn't expect that after all these years of reading it. Worth reading. The Christmas season would not be complete without reading this.

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review 2020-06-26 07:35
Storm Glass by Jeff Wheeler

Storm Glass by Jeff Wheeler:

From the Amazon page:

Theirs is a world of opposites. The privileged live in sky manors held aloft by a secretive magic known only as the Mysteries. Below, the earthbound poor are forced into factory work to maintain the engine of commerce. Only the wealthy can afford to learn the Mysteries, and they use their knowledge to further lock their hold on society.
Cettie Pratt is a waif doomed to the world below, until an admiral attempts to adopt her. But in her new home in the clouds, not everyone treats her as one of the family.


Sera Fitzempress is a princess born into power. She yearns to meet the orphan girl she has heard so much about, but her father deems the girl unworthy of his daughter’s curiosity.


Neither girl feels that she belongs. Each seeks to break free of imposed rules. Now, as Cettie dreams of living above and as Sera is drawn to the world below, they will follow the paths of their own choosing.


But both girls will be needed for the coming storm that threatens to overturn both their worlds.


I only just finished reading this book. I didn’t know what to expect. I have all these free books and while the title sounded intriguing I hadn’t read much about it and since it was a while since I downloaded it, I couldn’t remember anything. It turned out to be a pleasant surprise. Freebies are always of varying quality. So many DNF:s, but also a few that are really great. The test of this is whether I would want to buy the book and in this case, I definitely would and continue to buy books in the series, as long as they are as good as this one.


You get to know Cettie very well, and Sera quite well. Also the (former) admiral is someone you get to know well. The others, not so much. Some of them are still quite likable. There are also scary ghosts that you don’t really learn much about. They’re probably ordinary spirits of the dead, but not quite. More like monsters that want to suck your body heat from you. All in all, though, this book wasn’t too terrifying. I would probably have been able to read it at the age of ten and up.


I love the world building. The sky manors are fascinating and they’re not just opulent mansions, but have their own set of rules that Cettie gradually gets to know. I’ll try to keep this spoiler free, so I’m not going to mention one of the coolest aspects of those manor houses but I really loved it.


Poor people participate in lotteries to be allowed to work as servants up in the sky and onyl a few are chosen. The rich use the slums to ’disappear’ undesirables. People can vanish without a trace and children usually don’t live to grow up. People can also ’deed’ away their children for a certain number of years into various positions, some quite prestigious, others backbreaking dull work. Some for so long they’re expected to die in servitude. It’s a sad, dark world inspired by Charles Dickens’ work.


Oh, and the book is well written and fascinating so I can really recommend it to anyone who likes this type of fantasy story.

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review 2020-06-25 14:12
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Great Expectations - Charles Dickens

TITLE:  Great Expectations


AUTHOR:  Charles Dickens


PUBLICATION: Penguin Classics Edition [ISBN: 9780141439563]



 "Dickens's magnificent novel of guilt, desire, and redemption
The orphan Pip’s terrifying encounter with an escaped convict on the Kent marshes, and his mysterious summons to the house of Miss Havisham and her cold, beautiful ward Estella, form the prelude to his “great expectations.” How Pip comes into a fortune, what he does with it, and what he discovers through his secret benefactor are the ingredients of his struggle for moral redemption.




Definitely better than I expected.  Not long winded at all.  The "peasant dialect" is a bit hard to understand though.  A typical coming of age story.  I love Wemmick.  Too bad Dickens didn't write more about Wemmick.

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text 2020-05-07 16:25
Reading progress update: I've read 120 out of 801 pages.
Our Mutual Friend - Charles Dickens,Richard Gaughan

I'm a chapter past "Mr Wegg looks after himself", and damn if now that I look back at that chapter title I don't giggle at how doubly appropriate it is. And on it's own is quite the short tale of the absurd.

So far I find the Boffins a bit naive but lovely, as is Lizzie (on that note, I want a whole volume of episodes starring Miss Abbey, the taproom owner), Bella somewhat shallow and YOUNG, but also (from a cynic point of view) right, and the whole things around the Veneerings as Dickens at his best (name and all).

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