2012 is going to be an exciting year for literature fans everywhere as it marks 200 years since the birth of Charles Dickens.
For me, Dickens is one of the most imaginatively brilliant and clever writers that has ever lived. His characters are fascinating and his stories are both tragic and heart-warming.
Admittedly, his books are not easy to read and many people find the old fashioned language hard to cope with. But if you can get past that and allow yourself to be immersed in his world, the effort is truly worth it.
To mark the special occasion, there are lots of activities planned throughout 2012 -have a look at the website for more details. Sadly I'm not sure I will be able to enjoy any of them as most of them seem to be taking place in London. However, I am looking forward to the season of Dickens on TV and Radio.
The BBC has this year filmed a new version of Great Expectations. It stars Gillian Anderson as Miss Haversham and Ray Winstone as Abel Magwitch and apparently has a new ending. I am looking forward to this greatly as no-one does Dickens like Aunty Beeb.
Top of my Christmas list this year is Claire Tomalin's Charles Dicken's- A Life. I already know that Santa is going to be bringing this to me and I can't wait to get started on it.I am really interested to find out more about the man behind the books although I have a feeling I am going to be surprised by what is revealed about him.
As part of my own celebrations, I have decided to set myself the challenge of reading at least 6 Dickens novels throughout 2012.
I am cheating a little as I have already made a start on the first on my list- Little Dorrit- but I am sure no-one will hold it against me.
The others on my list are
Our Mutual Friend
Dombey and Son
The Old Curiosity Shop
If time allows, I also hope to read some of his short stories, in particular, this collection of Ghost Stories,
If you would like to join me in this challenge, feel free to add a comment to this post. I would love to hear your choices.
To me, Charles Dickens is as much a part of the Christmas tradition as mince pies, carol singing and falling asleep in front of the TV whilst watching The Queen's speech.
A Christmas Carol is one of if not the greatest Christmas story of all time and there have been many excellent versions. However, my favourite ( if not totally accurate) one and the one that is always watched in our house over the festive season is A Muppet Christmas Carol.
I will leave you with one of my favourite songs from the film and would like to wish you all A Very Merry Christmas and A Peaceful and Prosperous New Year
Take it away Kermit