A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens – Audiobook Thoughts (Sound Bytes)

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, narrated by Simon Prebble
Published in audio by Blackstone Audio


Yeah, I’m guessing most of you actually already know the basic idea behind A Christmas Carol.

Thoughts on the story:

I don’t know you guys, I mean, whoa, Dickens sure isn’t subtle about his MORAL. But on the other hand, even in the most fun adaptations, A Christmas Carol has a very obvious MORAL, so I was less bothered than I might otherwise have been, solely because I 100% expected it. That being said, I’m not sure I actually particularly enjoyed A Christmas Carol, I think it is much more entertaining with Muppets or animated Disney characters.

Thoughts on the audio production:

Simon Prebble is great, he gives a solid performance, and I have no qualms about recommending him.


If you’re in the mood for A Christmas Carol, you could do much worse than this version, I think overall it is a bit easier to take in audio than in print.

If you want to hear more of my thoughts about A Christmas Carol, they were the subject of the latest What’s Old is New Classics Rip.

Buy this book from:
Powells: Audio*
Indiebound: Audio*

I will be on hiatus through the end of the year, please feel free to link up any audiobook reviews during that time. Thanks to Pam for creating the button.

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* These links are all affiliate links. If you buy your book here I’ll make a very small amount of money that goes towards hosting, giveaways, etc.

Tale of Two Cities Readalong: The Marrying of Many Projects

As you may know, Nicole and I have about a million projects going on together. We have finally come up with one thing that incorporates all of the big ones: a “A Tale of Two Cities” readalong.

Before you ask, we did NOT get the idea from Oprah. We have been talking for about six months or so about reading Dickens as it would have been read at publication: in installments. So, when we decided to participate in the list swap challenge together, it didn’t take us long to choose “A Tale of Two Cities” as the book we wanted to read together.

“A Tale of Two Cities” is actually a very appropriate choice for Nicole and I, because we are both devoting a fairly significant portion of our reading time right now reading classics and the works they have inspired for our podcast, What’s Old is New. In this case, what is old is still sort of old, since we are reading the original way, but we will still be discussing each installment on the Tumblr as we go. Installments begin on Saturdays, and there will be a discussion post up by Monday or Tuesday for others to join in as they read along.

Then, as a culminating discussion for everyone who reads “A Tale of Two Cities” in the first part of this year, whether they read in installments with us or not, we will be discussing the book on Nicole’s blog as our August edition of BOOK CLUB.

We hope you will consider joining us. If you would like to see the complete schedule at the What’s Old is New Tumblr. Actually, if you think that you might ever want to read “A Tale of Two Cities” in installments, I suggest you check out the post, because it was much more difficult than we would have thought to get a schedule of which chapters belong together, and we are happy to have made it easier for others to figure out.

Dracula in Love by Karen Essex – Book Review

Dracula in Love by Karen Essex
Published by Doubleday, an imprint of Random House

As a maligned and psychologically abused child, Mina Murray has only ever wanted from her adult life is normalcy. She renounced her strange ways after being sent to boarding school and now it seems she may have achieved the normalcy she has always desired; not only has she had success as a teacher at her former boarding school, she is now engaged to the handsome young solicitor, Jonathan Harker. All is not as it seems with Mina, however. She has been dreaming incredibly sensual dreams, all of which involve a handsome, mysterious stranger, who Mina is certain she has seen somewhere before.

“Dracula” is a literary classic, but it is written entirely from the point of view of the men in the story. “Dracula in Love” is Karen Essex’s response to Stoker opus, told entirely from Mina’s point of view. Instead of remaining a cardboard cutout of the apex of Victorian womanhood, Essex’s Mina is a fully fleshed hotblooded woman. She yearns not only for the normalcy of marriage, but for the intimacies that accompany it. And even being engaged doesn’t keep her for lusting after her erotic dreams.

When people think about “Dracula,” they often forget just how much Stoker’s masterpiece is about sex, because it is disguised for Victorian sensibilities. But really, vampire myths are sex central: the penetration, the exchanging of bodily fluids. What I really appreciated about “Dracula in Love” is that Essex acknowledged how much the story was about sex and incorporated it into her story, without being needlessly salacious and graphic. It was really a very fine line to walk and people who are sensitive to sex in their novels may think that she’s taken it slightly too far, but I thought she achieved a very good balance.

A delightful re-imagining of “Dracula” and vampire lore with a strong female perspective. I loved Essex’s take on the vampire mythology as well. Highly recommended.

Buy this book from:
A local independent bookstore via Indiebound.*

This review was done with a book received from the publisher.
* These links are all affiliate links. If you buy your book here I’ll make a very small amount of money that goes towards hosting, giveaways, etc.