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Oprah’s Dickens and a Free eBook

December 16, 2010

Oprah is in her last season, but I wonder if that means her book club will be ending. It could live on through her magazine or any other media that she chooses to use.

Today I saw this extremely snarky article about Oprah’s latest book club picks: A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. Here is an excerpt:

Her current choices, A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations, are perfect examples of this phenomenon. Surely both belong to the realm of classics and should, no must be read—and Oprah’s fans will inevitably dive in, not only because Winfrey has told them to but also out of a desire to assuage old guilt about required reading in high school that was left untouched. But what can Oprah really bring to the table with these books? Oprah has said that, together, the novels will “double your reading pleasure.” But is that even true? And do the novels even complement each other? Can you connect Miss Havisham’s treatment of time to Carton’s misuse of his “youthful promise”? Well, don’t ask Oprah herself, as she “shamefully” admits she has “never read Dickens.

While I agree that many people probably read Oprah’s book picks just because Oprah tells them to, is that really so bad? More reading is always better than less reading. It is not a very cleverly hidden way to sell books, but again, promoting reading is always good, and book publishers and authors are the sort of people who deserve to sell their products.

Add to that:

“Oprah’s approach to her Book Club is all about herself. Her recent announcement contained not a word of reasoning or insightfulness about Dickens’s work; instead, she explained her reason for picking two of his novels by shouting, in a lame attempt at literary humor, “Cause it’s the best of times!” Just as she deems her “favorite things” worthy of an annual consumer-fest, she happily pushes to her audience of millions whatever books she herself wants to read.”

That might be a bit harsh. If I were running a book club I certainly wouldn’t recommend books that I didn’t want to read.

But this is all really just an excuse for me to give you a free ebook download of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Today is December 15th so we’re only ten days away from Christmas. As Oprah says, it might be nice to curl up and read a classic Christmas-related story with a cup of tea.

Free PDF Download

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens – Free PDF Download

Click the link above to view in your browser. Or, right-click it, select Save Target As / Save Link As, and save to your computer. It’s a PDF file and can be read on any computer or ebook reader. Don’t say I didn’t get you anything for Christmas.

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From → Classics, Free eBooks

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