Agree on both issues. Let's begin the Palliser series next year. What about "Martin Chuzzlewit" as our next Dickens?
No, Joffre is not reading the Trollopes, but he didn't comment on Herzog either. His choice, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, is coming up next. I hope he participates in that discussion.
I have not read Sense and Sensibility. I have read several of Austen's major novels, but the two I have never read are S&S and Northanger Abbey. Your comparison to TSHaA has encouraged me to pick up S&S. I'm now interested in making the comparison.
I have not read the Dickens novels that you have not read. (I also have not read Nicholas Nickleby. Having finished Hard Times, I have now read all the others.) Would you be interested in reading one of the Dickens that neither us have read sometime soon? If so, pick one.
Maybe next year we should start the Palliser series.
I think Joffre is not reading the Trollope novels...
By coincidence, before reading "The Small House...", I read "Sense and Sensibility", by Jane Austen. Then I found uncanny similarities between both books, basically the difference in character between the two sets of sisters. If, in S&S, Elinor represents "sense" (which serves her best), and Marianne represents "sensiblity" (which causes her a lot of trouble, embarrassment, and heartbreak, something very similar happens with Bell, whose sense renders her both rich and married to the man she deserves, while Lily's sensibility leaves her embarrassed, alone, and in delusional love to an underseving man, the same fate that seemed to have awaited Marianne.
The difference, of course, is that Austen gives in to a happy ending for Marianne, while Trollope avoids the temptation and leaves Lily alone and infatuated.
As for "Hard Times", I read it twice, first in Spanish when I was a boy, and then in English. I like it well enough, but certainly is not one of my favorite Dickens's novels. I have read all except "The Old Curiosity Shop", "Barnaby Rudge", and "Martin Chuzzlewit". I've found that all his novels are worth reading.
I will also read "The last Chronicle" beofre the end of the year, and I would certainly like to read the Palliser series.