Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens

I grew up watching the 1968 film Oliver! but for some reason only bought a copy of the book last year. The magic of the film has stayed with me throughout my life. When I was little I loved the fact that it was both frightening and funny, and I still can’t get enough of the wonderful songs!

Perhaps because of the music and singing, I was always under the impression that Oliver Twist was a children’s book. However it’s much grittier and at times downright gruesome. There’s also less laugh-out-loud humour, which is replaced by sharp and dark satire. In fact, the book is simply dripping with sarcasm, showing Dickens’ total disgust of the workhouse and justice systems of the time. Continue reading

My Bookish Highlights from 2017

It seems like only a minute ago that I was writing up my 2016 end of year post! 2017 has been a reasonably eventful year for me. I started a new job, turned 30, and got married. I’ve also enjoyed getting to know the Czech Republic a bit better, travelling further afield than my local hangouts in Prague, which means I’ve done quite a lot of reading on trains and buses!

Most importantly, I’ve read some really fantastic books, even if I haven’t managed to review them all. Here are just a few of my favourites in no particular order: Continue reading

Happily Ever After? My Favourite Weddings and Proposals in Literature

I’m getting married in less than a month, which has got me thinking about my favourite weddings in literature. It turns out that authors don’t usually write about perfect weddings and marriages. After all, that would just be boring! So this post won’t be brimming with romance. Also, please read with caution, as there will be spoilers…

*** Spoilers Alert ***

 

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Six Books to Curl Up with on a Winter’s Evening

We’ve had a dusting of snow here in Prague, which makes everything look very pretty. But it’s a reminder that winter is here to stay, at least for a while. Christmas is over, it’s cold outside and there’s a general feeling of deflation. The long wait for springtime starts now and it can be the most miserable time of year. However, there are some advantages, such as grabbing a blanket and a hot drink and curling up with a good book for hours on end (preferably by a crackling fire). So put on your woolly socks and take a look at some of my favourite winter reads…

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Top Ten Tuesday – Characters I Wish Had Their Own Book

This Tuesday The Broke and the Bookish would like to talk about characters that they wish had their own book. There is often a side character with an interesting back story that I would like to learn more about. Here are just a few of them…

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Top Ten Tuesday – Halloween

This week’s theme for Top Ten Tuesday brought to you by The Broke and the Bookish is all about Halloween. I’m not really a huge fan of scary books, so I’ll be splitting this week’s Top Ten into two Top Fives.

Today’s theme is: Books to Read to get into the Halloween Spirit and Characters I Would Want to be for Halloween.
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Our Mutual Friend – Charles Dickens

our-mutual-friendOur Mutual Friend opens in true Dickens’ fashion with a grizzled man and a young woman rowing on the murky waters of the Thames. A repulsed Lizzie Hexam and her father have just found a corpse in the river.

In a sudden change of environment in the next chapter, we head over to Mr and Mrs Veneerings’ ‘bran-new house in a bran-new quarter of London’. I’m not sure what’s more horrifying, the grimy scene we just left or the shiny, well polished world of the Veneerings with their extravagant dinner parties and ‘bran-new’ artificial friends.

What brings these characters together in one book is an old miser’s will, and the body of his son John Harmon, found in the Thames. As always, Dickens’ mix of characters is a delight and his settings range from the gaudy dinner table of the Veneerings to my favourite, the dark and peculiar taxidermy shop owned by the gloomy Mr Venus. Continue reading