The end of January, and my first task for the year is complete; well not quite, for I didn’t read thirty books. Only twenty-eight. But wouldn’t you say reading Dickens is like reading two books? Here are the titles listed below. I leave you to form your own opinion as to whether I could have done more. But whatever the number, it has again been an agreeable experience and one I recommend. As I often say to the Silent Companion, ‘If only I was at the beach for a month with no interruptions.’ And he replies, ‘But you live at the beach.’ And it is true we live about twenty paces from the sea. But the interruptions of daily life also surround us.