After Pride and Prejudice, it was very difficult to motivate myself to read Oliver Twist – just too much sadness and unfairness and mind-blowing coincidences. I like believable stories and while I believe Victorian London really was as bad as described in this book, I just have a hard time with the coincidences.
But the idea of reading Charles Dickens, one of the greatest novelists in the English language, motivated me in the end. Anything in the name of literature!
On the other hand, I came up with this idea that, of the entire novel list from The Well-Educated Mind, I should allow myself to skip two if I felt like it. I know one of them will be Moby Dick. I refuse to read this book simply because Susan Wise Bauer herself says she has not finished it, even though she started it 17 times. And yet, she wrote a long paper about it in graduate school and passed her exam with flying colors. Which says a lot about graduate school in the US, but also about the dedication needed to finish this grueling novel. Continue reading