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Dickens 2012: The Biggest Literary Celebration

abstract:Next year will mark the 200 anniversary of the birth of English author Charles Dickens, and all kinds of things are planned to mark the occasion. Check out I just downloaded a cool App for my iPad. It's a narrated and illustrated copy of Dickens: Dark London by the Museum of London that is interactive, and takes users on a journey through the darker side of Charles Dickensí London in a unique series of interactive graphic novels narrated by Tinker Tailor Solder Spy actor Mark Strong. It's compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 4.2.1 or later.

Since it is "that festive time of year" let us focus on Dickens' classic short novel A Christmas Carol. The book has remarkably been in print continuously for 167 years. The novella was first published by Chapman & Hall on 19 December 1843 during the Victorian era when people were experiencing a nostalgia for traditions - the Christmas carol and the German tradition of decorating evergreen trees. In fact, Dickens is credited with changing the way Great Britain, the rest of the Commonwealth and western Christian society now celebrates this holiday, which before the runaway success of A Christmas Carol wasn't even a bank holiday. This Penguin copy, Classics Christmas Carol And Other Christmas Writings has a wonderful combination of stories you can read aloud in your family to start your own family aural tradition.

Each year our local library puts on a collective reading of A Christmas Carol for the public. And each year our family watches the black and white remastered film version starring Alister Sims on Christmas Eve, all of us huddle together on our old couch at the ski cabin with a fire blazing, hot rum toddies and various savory treats along with Nana's traditional Christmas fruitcake with a large chunk of aged cheddar on the side, and Purdy chocolate balls wrapped in green or red tin foil being tossed around the room along with Mandarin oranges that we compete to remove the skins in one intact piece. Get the new Blu-ray version.


December 17, 2011
— Christmas morning will have us all together this year. Last year our daughter was in London completing her Masters at SOAS, and so she joined us virtually, "sitting" at the end of the table via SKYPE video on our laptop screen at her own place setting with her happy-sad face surveying the rest of us and the table's bounty, and offering the appropriate "cheers" with her own glass of champaign.

Here is wishing you and yours a very happy holidays where ever you may be, enjoying your own holiday traditions among family and friends, eating all the good foods and drinks you love.



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