Happy January!! … but for real, is it?! Happy, I mean. I read somewhere recently that January is the ‘Monday‘ of the all the months and that seems about right. I sit here writing this during our first January snowstorm which is adorable, but I’m sure will be highly annoying when we hit the 5th or 6th snowstorm of the winter. Oh, and by the way, it’s not a snowstorm anymore, but a BOMB CYLONE, in case you needed some drama in your life. Also, this weekend is supposed to be colder than Mars here. Like Mars the planet. So it’s good to know that, were we to end up on Mars (a la The Martian), we could handle the temps.
Every December, Meredith and I try to find a cute holiday/Christmas book for the book club and, honestly, I’m always surprised at how hard it is! What about you all? Do you know any fantastic Christmas reads? Anything you read this year that put you in the spirit?
We were lucky enough to find our pick this year via my intense scrubbing of the internet with a fine tooth comb (meaning my 3am ‘why am I awake’ research). Actually, I’m finding Instagram to be a book lovers paradise. So many wonderful people posting recommendations and reviews! I could be on there all day (and I am).
So, lo and behold, I found on several sites and a few podcasts, the charming and engaging Mr. Dickens and His Carol by Samantha Silva.
Mr. Dickens and His Carol Book Club Discussion:
I absolutely loved Silva’s gorgeous writing style. It truly transported me into that time period in London (“Fog hovered in the hat brims of cabdrivers, rolled into stairwells to blanket snoring beggars, crept down the Thames bridge by bridge.”) and into Charles Dickens’ fascinating mind. His anxiety and frustration was palpable and I loved how Silva really immersed us in his thoughts, especially during his long late night walks. I particularly enjoyed the scene where he is walking the streets with his children and is asked for his autograph, only to find out that the person, a Jacob Marley (wink, wink), thought he was a different author. Ouch!
I also personally appreciated her description of Dickens’ struggle with the writing process. His time in his office at his desk, frustration teeming from him to the point that he throws a clock out the window. Funny and relatable!
Silva really does make all of this light and fun which, I felt, made it a great holiday read! With the craziness of December, a cute read was just what I needed.
And I adored all the Easter eggs … The Ebenezer Temperance Society, the man who wanted his autograph, Jacob Marley, and Eleanor’s young son, who of course, is named Timothy and has hurt his leg.
My only complaint would be that I did find it a little slow at times. Don’t let this deter you, though, if you haven’t read it yet! It really is a delightful read!
What were your thoughts? Good holiday choice for our Mr. Dickens and His Carol book club? And on the topic of choices, what would you all like to see more of in our picks? Certain genres? Diversity? I’m putting together my New Years resolutions for my reading life (I know, hardcore nerd here!) and we’d love to hear your thoughts on what you’d like to read more of. As always, leave a comment!! We truly love hearing from you!
Next up …
So to make your January a little more interesting, we’ve chosen a real thriller for our next pick! I am so excited to read this!!
The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn
For readers of Gillian Flynn and Tana French comes one of the decade’s most anticipated debuts, to be published in thirty-six languages around the world and already in development as a major film from Fox: a twisty, powerful Hitchcockian thriller about an agoraphobic woman who believes she witnessed a crime in a neighboring house.
It isn’t paranoia if it’s really happening . . .
Anna Fox lives alone—a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times . . . and spying on her neighbors.
Then the Russells move into the house across the way: a father, a mother, their teenage son. The perfect family. But when Anna, gazing out her window one night, sees something she shouldn’t, her world begins to crumble—and its shocking secrets are laid bare.
What is real? What is imagined? Who is in danger? Who is in control? In this diabolically gripping thriller, no one—and nothing—is what it seems.
Twisty and powerful, ingenious and moving, The Woman in the Window is a smart, sophisticated novel of psychological suspense that recalls the best of Hitchcock.
Sounds good, right?!
As always, we are giving away a copy of The Woman in the Window to one of our readers! Enter by leaving a comment before 1/12/18 at 5:30am EST. As long as you are 18 or older and live in the continental United States, you are eligible to win!
Happy Reading!! Thanks for joining us for this Mr. Dickens and His Carol book club discussion. And best of luck with this wicked winter season!!