Oprah's Book Club producer Jill reading Charles Dickens
 Photo: Jennifer Troyer
If you're just starting to read Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities and/or Great Expectations or are looking for conversation starters for your own book club discussion, take a look at Oprah's Book Club producer Jill's reading posts.
It's official—our new book selections are A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations by Charles Dickens!

As the first winter snowflakes flutter to the ground and the holiday mania starts to mount in earnest, I think there's no better gift to yourself than to take the next few weeks and curl up with some hot cocoa and Mr. Dickens.

We wanted to double your reading pleasure and create a keepsake edition of two of Dickens' best-known classics. I think this deluxe trade paperback from Penguin is the best of what a beautiful book can offer. And when you actually hold it in your hands, you will truly appreciate all of the care that went into its design. We think it's the perfect holiday gift for yourself and any reader. Why, who doesn't want two of the greatest novels of Western literature bound in such timeless perfection on their bookshelf for years to come? (And there's also an eBook edition that's handy for those of us traveling over the holidays.)

For this selection, Oprah bravely announced on the show that she has not read Dickens. Now I have, but I admit it was a long time ago and I did it quite begrudgingly. Dickens was required reading in high school, and since they were always the longest books assigned I never looked forward to his titles. Of course, today I am grateful I read Dickens (and for being introduced to one of the most unforgettable female characters of all time, Miss Havisham from Great Expectations), but somehow I completely missed A Tale of Two Cities and could never quite tackle it on my own. So I'm happy to be able to finally correct this major literary oversight, meet Madame Dafarge on her home turf and experience the best and worst of times with all of you.

So, what do you think of our new selection? Is this a Dickens "blind date" (haven't read him) or perhaps a "second date" with either title? When was the last time you read a Dickens classic? If you have read him, what do you think Dickens might have to share and teach those of us who live in this digital age?

Let me know what you think of our latest double selection! I'll give you some time to start reading and post again in the new year.

Happy holidays!
Oprah's Book Club producer Jill

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Read Jill's next post about A Tale of Two Cities

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