I've read all of Dickens' novels except A Tale of Two Cities, Edwin Drood, half of Barnaby Rudge and half of The Old Curiosity Shop. The last two I just couldn't finish as life is too short and they were just too boring. I think you've done really well. If I had my time again I wouldn't bother with Martin Chuzzlewit and Hard Times. However, Great Expectations and Little Dorrit are well worth the effort in me 'umble 'pinion.
A tale of two cities is a really good read. Takes a few pages to get into the style and flow but well worth it.
I'm currently reading Devil's Day by Andrew Michael Hurley, after finishing his debut novel The Loney recently. Both mainly set in rural Lancashire, both modern day atmospheric landscape based folk horror, if you're into that kind of thing.
I used to read ‘The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists’ with my son, while he was adapting to ‘grown-up’ books. He has now gone back, after a few years, to reading it on his own, as he preps for his Highers.
I bought my daughter a copy of her own, but she is working through 1001 Arabian Nights. That might be a transition
Nevertheless, both would rather be on social media or streaming my Spotify account to play music that makes me feel old because I don’t recognise it.
I have just taken on Orlando Figes ‘The Whisperers’. It is an account, as it were, of how ‘ordinary’ people survived and lived in Stalinist Russia. I have a couple of other of his works but the only one I have read is ‘Natasha’s Dance’ which is a narrative of Russia’s cultural history from the mid- nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century.
It is masterful. The title of the book refers to a scene from Tolstoy’s ‘War and Peace’. The author is informed, informative and not afraid to intellectualise.
My favourite bit is towards the end where he desctibes the relationship between Shostakovich and Stravinsky. I am an ardent fan of Shostakovich’s works and if it were a Desert zIsland Discs scenario then he would be the prime candidate, but Stravinsky can claim to have changed music in a way that few others have. Probably only Beethoven, Bach and maybe Monteverdi or Palestrina before him.
There's only one thing better than a Hibs calendar and that's two Hibs calendars
Today at 1pm is Anne Cleeve and Peter May. I imagine Peter will be talking about the book he wrote in 2005,but was only published last month because the idea was too outlandish for people to relate to.