The Charles Dickens Challenge

So I have a bit of a confession to make - I've never read any Charles Dickens novels. The closest I've come was a Ladybird version of Oliver Twist back when I was a kid, and I've watched plenty of TV and film adaptations of various books (which goes against my normal 'read the book before you see the movie' philosophy) but I haven't actually ever got round to reading any of them.

I go to a regular writers' group meeting and recently one of the other members mentioned in passing that she was reading all of Dickens’ novels in order of publication. I thought that would be a really interesting reading challenge in terms of things like seeing how Dickens’ writing style evolved, as well as giving me an excuse to read his books at long last! Plus the fact that they’re all free for Kindle makes this a nice cheap challenge :)

So, in order, these are the books (not counting the Christmas Books as they're more like short stories and I read A Christmas Carol every winter anyway):
  1. The Pickwick Papers
  2. Oliver Twist
  3. Nicholas Nickleby
  4. The Old Curiosity Shop
  5. Barnaby Rudge
  6. Martin Chuzzlewit
  7. Dombey and Son
  8. David Copperfield
  9. Bleak House
  10. Hard Times
  11. Little Dorrit
  12. A Tale of Two Cities
  13. Great Expectations
  14. Our Mutual Friend
  15. The Mystery of Edwin Drood
Ideally I'd like to read one a month, which means that if I start the challenge in January I should hopefully complete it by March next year. It’s a big undertaking, but I’m excited about doing it. And of course I will be posting reviews for you in the event you want to attempt the challenge yourselves (or just read some Dickens). Wish me luck!

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