Group Read: Bleak House

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Group Read: Bleak House

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1alcottacre
Jun 1, 2009, 1:17am

At the beginning of the year, several 75ers made plans to start a group read of Bleak House mid-June. I am just trying to see if anyone is still interested or whether I will be a group of 1.

If you are interested, I plan on beginning June 15th!

2billiejean
Jun 1, 2009, 1:21am

I read Bleak House last fall. It is a terrific read. You always find the great titles! I will follow your group read, but I won't read again. Still need to catch up on the others.
--BJ

3alcottacre
Jun 1, 2009, 1:34am

I can certainly relate to having to catch up, BJ. I am sorry you will not be joining in, but understand completely :)

4PiyushC
Jun 1, 2009, 3:23am

Count++

5alcottacre
Jun 1, 2009, 3:26am

Hello, Piyush! Glad to see you in the group - I was not sure with everything else you have going on that you would be able to join.

6PiyushC
Jun 1, 2009, 4:28am

I have reserved this year for a few tomes, it might cut into my other readings, but I WILL finish War and Peace, Don Quixote, The Stand and now Bleak House. This btw will be my first Dickens!

7alcottacre
Jun 1, 2009, 4:42am

Cool beans! Be prepared for lots of words with Mr. Dickens. If one word would work, he thought 2 or 3 would be better :)

8PiyushC
Jun 1, 2009, 4:56am

lol, didn't know that!

9alcottacre
Jun 1, 2009, 5:08am

Most, if not all, of Dickens' works were originally released as serials, and in a lot of cases, he was paid by the word.

10catherinestead
Jun 1, 2009, 7:30am

I will give Dickens another try and join in with this one. It'll be a bit of a break from wallowing in Trollope.

I've heard several people say that the best way to read Dickens is to read a few chapters, then put the book down and leave it for a few days, then read a few more chapters, then put it down, and repeat until finished. This way, it reads like the serial it originally was, and it's easier to stay interested in it.

However, all the putting to one side of Dickens books that I have done in the past has been strictly involuntary. I might try this technique this time.

11alcottacre
Jun 1, 2009, 8:24am

#10: Caty, since we will be reading in 100 page increments, I would think that technique would work well. You have a full month to read 100 pages, so that is only a little over 3 pages a day.

Glad you will be joining us!

12BritAnnia
Jun 1, 2009, 8:55am

Incentive, incentive! I've been meaning to read Bleak House for such a long time and always manage to put it off further.
I'd love to join you!

#10, For me reading any slow paced, wordy, or heavy prose text is best done in small bites with lots of down time in between. It might take a long time to get through a book but I often find those reads become some of my favourites. Also, dailylit is great for slow reads because I don't see how many pages are left everytime I read just one page or two... and consequently I don't feel myself giving up so easily.

13alcottacre
Jun 1, 2009, 9:50am

#12: Glad to have you with us!

14missylc
Jun 1, 2009, 12:14pm

I *may* try and join. I'm also in the Anna Karenina group read and am trying to read several other things on the side. We'll see...

15BookAngel_a
Jun 1, 2009, 2:17pm

I WANT to join. I HOPE I will be able to keep up with Don Quixote, War and Peace as well as Bleak House. I'm going to try. :D

16alcottacre
Jun 1, 2009, 6:25pm

I hope you both decide to join. The more, the merrier!

17arubabookwoman
Jun 1, 2009, 6:39pm

I'll be following along with the discussion, since I read Bleak House in January. I have to read Little Dorritt over the summer for a discussion I'll be leading in September, so that will be two Dickens books I'll be focusing on.

18legxleg
Jun 1, 2009, 7:01pm

hmm I might join in. I'm a little embarrassed that I've never read any Dickens. Maybe the little-at-a-time plan will work for me.

19AMaykut
Jun 1, 2009, 7:48pm

Hey!

I was wondering if I could read Bleak House. I love to read, I think a book talk/group would be fun.

Please message me back!!!!
Thanks! =

20BookAngel_a
Jun 1, 2009, 9:36pm

I'm definitely joining, Stasia - I just hope I can keep up. I had to say no to Anna Karenina for now, so I should be able to manage.

21alcottacre
Jun 2, 2009, 2:49pm

#18: We would love to have you!

#19: Anyone is welome to join in, so feel free!

#20: Glad to hear you are joining!

22AMaykut
Jun 2, 2009, 6:05pm

Ok!!!!!
So we are starting the book when?

23alcottacre
Jun 2, 2009, 11:39pm

#22: We will be starting June 15th. I generally put up the reading 'assignment' at least 1 day ahead of time.

24AMaykut
Jun 3, 2009, 10:21am

okay thank you

25PiyushC
Jun 3, 2009, 11:36am

Angela: I have all those group reads you mentioned and The Stand, Anna Karenina I read last year, so thankfully one group read less this year

AMaykut: Glad to have you :)

legxleg: Join the club! I haven't read any Dicken either and yeah, I am embarassed too :P

26BookAngel_a
Jun 3, 2009, 12:24pm

Glad to know I'm not alone then, Piyush!

27alcottacre
Jun 12, 2009, 12:19pm

For those planning to read Bleak House, we begin Monday. For reference purposes, I will let you know that I am using the Nonesuch Press edition and it has 874 pages. I would like to try to get the book completed in the next 6 months and will divide the reading up that way if everyone is amenable. Thoughts?

28BookAngel_a
Jun 12, 2009, 3:18pm

Fine with me! I think I figured out a way to keep up with this group read as well as my others...there's always more reading time somewhere...

29BritAnnia
Jun 12, 2009, 5:10pm

My copy is a Penguin Classics (2003 edition). It has 989 pages.

30alcottacre
Jun 12, 2009, 5:14pm

#29: For the reading 'assignments', I will use chapter numbers to avoid confusion, although I will also include the page numbers from my edition in case someone else might also be using it.

31edrandrew
Jun 13, 2009, 3:07am

Everyman's 880 page version for me.

32alcottacre
Jun 14, 2009, 5:47pm

OK, everyone, tomorrow is lift off! I thought for our first reading assignment, we would read chapters 1-11. In my edition, that is pages 1-151.

33catherinestead
Editado: Jun 14, 2009, 6:21pm

I'm reading the Wordsworth Classics edition (760 pages) and, having picked it up this evening to read the introduction, I'm irrationally gleeful at having discovered that it has a list of the chapters which constituted each original monthly instalment. I'm going to aim for one instalment a week, which is roughly the planned pace.

34alcottacre
Jun 15, 2009, 1:15am

Great, Caty!

35AMaykut
Jun 15, 2009, 6:20pm

I just got Bleak House yesterday!
I already started it and cant wait to read more.
Chapters 1-11
Got It!

36BookAngel_a
Jun 15, 2009, 6:49pm

I agree, I'm really enjoying this book. I actually started a few days early because I couldn't wait!
I enjoy the mystery behind the story. Apparently when I don't quite understand everything that's going on, it only makes me more intrigued by the book, lol...

37catherinestead
Jun 16, 2009, 4:13am

I just have to say, I loved the first two or three paragraphs. So atmospheric.

38neverlistless
Jun 16, 2009, 7:33am

Oooh... I think I'm going to join you guys! I just found this discussion and I don't have a copy yet, so I will probably just be playing catch up. I've wanted to read this for a while but have lacked the moral support!

Like some of you have mentioned, I haven't read a lot of Dickens. I've only finished Great Expectations, but that was years ago and I've been unable to successfully complete any other Dickens since!

39alcottacre
Jun 16, 2009, 8:23am

#37: You can just feel the fog, can't you Caty?

40alcottacre
Jun 16, 2009, 8:24am

#38: We would love to have you with us, Katie!

41neverlistless
Jun 16, 2009, 9:08am

Thanks Stasia! I'm going to order a copy this afternoon!

42alcottacre
Jun 16, 2009, 9:11am

#41: Great! Surely you will have your copy by next week, so you will not be that far behind at all. We have a month to do the reading, so you will be in good shape.

43neverlistless
Jun 25, 2009, 7:37am

I got my copy! I went with the Oxford edition and I think I'm going to start it tonight :)

44alcottacre
Jun 25, 2009, 12:54pm

#43: Cool beans! Glad to see you will be joining us.

45Fourpawz2
Jun 25, 2009, 2:01pm

I wish I'd waited a year to conclude my 30 year attempt to finally read Bleak House through to the end - then I could turn to you guys for support while I slogged through it. But alas, that project has been done since last summer/fall. Enjoy your reading!

46alcottacre
Jul 14, 2009, 12:32am

I am leaving tomorrow to go out of town again, so I am posting a little early. I admit that I am behind after traveling intermittently over the past 3 weeks, but I should be able to catch up before next month. Anyway, this month's reading assignment (for July 15-August 15) is chapters 12-21. In my edition, that is pages 152-302.

How is everyone else doing with their reading?

47catherinestead
Jul 14, 2009, 5:31am

I'm a bit behind schedule - I'm on chapter 8 - and I'm finding that while I can't read much in one sitting I am enjoying what I'm reading.

48alcottacre
Jul 14, 2009, 6:30am

I am finding it easier to read 1 or 2 chapters at a time, too, Caty. I am up to Chapter 9 and hope to get a couple more in today before we leave.

49missylc
Jul 14, 2009, 8:11am

I need to bow out of this reading of Bleak House -- I found it to be too much to tackle on top of Anna Karenina and my other pursuits. I hope you all enjoy and I'll try again the next round!

50legxleg
Editado: Jul 14, 2009, 8:39am

I'm sorry you had to bow out, missylc, but I hope you enjoy Anna Karenina.

I've just finished chapter 13, so I feel on schedule; I'm trying to read a chapter a night. If I let it go too long between chapters I wind up forgetting characters. I've had to refresh at cliffs notes type websites already, and I'm not very far along at all; how embarrassing!

51BritAnnia
Jul 14, 2009, 5:18pm

I'm a little behind at the moment as I try to finish up multiple other books already started, and summer life getting in the way of reading time.

Loved the chapters I've read so far and looking forward to focusing more specifically on the book in the coming weeks.

52alcottacre
Ago 17, 2009, 7:41pm

OK, I know I am behind (I hate when the 15th falls on weekends I am working), but this months assignment is chapters 22 "Mr. Bucket"- 32 "The Appointed Time". In my edition, that is pages 303-454.

I will try and not get behind on handing out the assignments next month, lol.

53BookAngel_a
Ago 17, 2009, 8:55pm

Thanks, Stasia! I'm loving this book so far.

54alcottacre
Sep 15, 2009, 2:36pm

It is the 15th, so I made it on time this month!

The reading assignment for September 15-October 15 is chapters 33 "Interlopers"-39 "Attorney and Client". In my edition, that is pages 455-560.

I am finding that the book works very well read a chapter a day. How are the rest of you doing on it?

55catherinestead
Sep 15, 2009, 2:57pm

Having previously raced ahead of schedule, I've been neglecting it in the last few weeks - I'm still only on chapter 27. I expect I shall catch up.

56BookAngel_a
Sep 15, 2009, 7:42pm

I'm with Caty - I was previously ahead of schedule because I was enjoying it SO much, and lately I've been neglecting it. Once I start reading it, though, I want to keep on reading and reading - I'm enjoying it very much.

57alcottacre
Oct 9, 2009, 4:16am

I am going to be out of town the majority of next week, so the reading assignment is going to be a few days behind, I am afraid. Sorry, but I refuse to cart Tolstoy and Dickens with me on the trip!

58alcottacre
Oct 16, 2009, 12:52am

Not too late - it is still 11 minutes until midnight on the 15th, so squeaked in!

The reading assignment for October 15-November 15 is chapters 40 "National and Domestic"-48 "Closing In". In my edition, that is pages 561-662.

59BookAngel_a
Oct 16, 2009, 7:43pm

Thank you Stasia!

60alcottacre
Nov 17, 2009, 1:18pm

The reading assignment for November 15-December 15 is to complete the book for those of you (like me) who have not done so already. Happy reading!