Anyway, what's gotten me into these novels again is that I've been watching dramatizations of them, mainly produced by BBC. The guys here at work tease me about it, but I just totally love those shows. Right now we're doing Dickins's Bleak House and I'm doing Middlemarch, and both are almost thrillingly good. I suppose I love the combination of the setting, the bygone English culture, the accents, the good characterization, and the wonderful performances. I even love the Jane Austen ones, which just makes my male coworkers hoot and holler with derision. But I am what I am.
I recently ordered Vanity Fair—which is perhaps my favorite of them all—and Middlemarch to read again, which is a rare step for me because I practically never reread novels. And I'd really like to get my Dickins on and work my way through him. Though Hard Times didn't particularly impress me, a couple of years ago I was unexpectedly taken with David Copperfield, which I started reading just by random chance and couldn't put down, and I think I'll try to pick up Bleak House this year, though it's dauntingly thick and the first few pages I browsed last night featured rather long, complex sentences that zonked me out pretty quick. (As I get older, I find that reading puts me to sleep disconcertingly fast.)