#1Tale2Cities: A Tale of Two Cities Read-Along (Hosted by @LauraTFrey)


Today is April 21st, the day that the read-along for Charles Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities is to begin. Naturally, I’m signing up the day the reading is to start, having just picked up my copy of the book about three hours ago.

I’m sure I should be thanking Laura, over at Reading In Bed, for convincing me to sign up for this with her many plugs via social networking, but let’s wait until we finish the first week, shall we?

1398112635784My Copy

There had once been a time where I’m SURE I had a copy of this book. I remember wanting to really get back into the classics, since I had studied many of them in university, so I hit up the used bookstore and stocked up.

Of course, when I get completely over-excited about something like that, it’s bound to be a failure, so those books were donated to the local library after collecting dust on my shelf.

But still I persevere!

I thought I had a copy of this book, but I’m pretty sure the only Dickens I have on my shelf (albeit unread) is Great Expectations. And that one is this tiny little cloth-bound copy with the smallest print known to mankind, that I’m sure I will never ever read from. Not wanting to repeat that mistake, I had to be sure to get a better copy that I can actually read.

Like I said, I picked up this copy, the Penguin edition published in 2012, a mere few hours ago. They had three copies in the bookstore: this one, a cheaper Penguin edition, and a hardcover copy. Wanting to go more middle-of-the-road, I opted for this one. Plus, I remember always going cheapest when I was in university, so I’m kind of sick of that same ol’ Penguin spine. This one is much prettier. It’s also a plus that the font is readable and the whole thing doesn’t look too daunting.

Now that I’m writing this, it occurs to me that I never thought to check if this version was abridged or not. Since I can’t find anything anywhere about whether it is or not, I’m assuming it’s the full text. It’s 461 pages, so I’m assuming it is, right? RIGHT?!?! #downwithunabridged

What I Know About This Novel & Why I’m Reading It

Nothing. I know absolutely nothing about the story. I’m assuming there are two cities. And this is the story about them. Right?

OK, I read the back and it has to do with Paris, which definitely intrigues me because, I mean, PARIS.

I’m kind of nervous about signing up for this whole read-along and the reason I signed up in the first place is two-fold:

1. Laura is a master at advertising things. If I see it enough, I’m bound to participate.
2. My 2014 Book Bingo Challenge calls for a classic. This would fulfill that requirement.

Now, why didn’t I want to sign up? Let’s just say that April hasn’t found me in too much of a reading mood. That and I’m a new mom. I don’t want to sound like I’m an invalid or anything, but this is classic literature. I feel like in order to read something right now it needs to be exciting. So Dickens, you better not do me wrong, man!

What I’d Like to Get Out of this Read-Along

Obviously I’d like to enlighten myself with the work of Charles Dickens. They must call him a great for something, right? Plus I’ve heard awesome thing about this book in particular. That first line sticks out! In fact, as I write this, it’s the only part of the book I’ve read thus far. Progress!

Also, since Laura was one of the people to “talk me off the ledge” (so to speak) when it comes to my book blogging personal drama and anxieties, I feel like I owe it to myself to try and become the reader I want to be, which means reading more classics. Not because I feel forced to, but because I want to. They don’t call them the classics for nothing, amirite??

Plus, if and when my little one goes to university, I’d like to have some kind of knowledge of some of the books he might read (if they’re even reading by then. They could be uploading things into brains by then, you never know.) — and not just a high-school knowledge, since if you know me at all, you’ll know I completely failed at high school book reading.

Reading Schedule

  • April 21: Start reading
  • April 28: Book the First ch. 1-6 and Book the Second ch. 1-5
  • May 5: Book the Second ch. 6-16
  • May 12: Book the Second ch. 17-24 and Book the Third ch. 1-3
  • May 19: Read to the end
  • May 26: Wrap up

Alright, so here I go! Off into the great abyss … let’s see if it really is the best of times and the worst of times.



4 thoughts on “#1Tale2Cities: A Tale of Two Cities Read-Along (Hosted by @LauraTFrey)

  1. Glad Laura helped talk you off the ledge 🙂 I hope you like the Dickens’ out this novel (chuckle snort), or that you at least enjoy disliking it as sometimes that can be fun as a blogger. -Tania

    • Ha ha … thanks, Tania! So far I’m not liking it that much … I read the first part and then put it aside last Monday and haven’t picked it up since. Oops. I’ve heard the ending is really good, so I want to read it, but it’s just soooooo confusing!

  2. I don’t think there are many abridged versions of this one, as it’s not actually that long – my edition is 390 pages.

    Are you still thanking me ? 🙂 I agree with Tania, even if we don’t like this, hopefully we can enjoy writing about it. I think there’s always some value to get out of a classic, even if it’s just understanding the context and influence of a book, and I’d say this one has some major influence today, even if it is mostly the title and first line that people like to quote!

    I am so glad I talked you off the ledge. Here’s hoping this doesn’t push you right back over 🙂

    • I am NOT thanking you. Actually, it’s been over a week since I finished the first part and I keep meaning to pick it up again, but haven’t … I’m going to try, though, since I’ve heard the second half and ending are really good!

My home is where my books are. - Ellen Thompson

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