If you Googled anything today, you will already know that today is the 200th birthday of Charles Dickens. I know I'm a bit late to the party, but if you've never read any of his works, I encourage you to give him a shot.
I will be bluntly honest. Literature that pre-dated the twentieth century by much had never really been my thing. I'd love to claim that I had a childhood love affair with "Huck Finn" or "Treasure Island," but I didn't. I guess when I was younger, I had a hard time getting accustomed to earlier writing styles. The references would throw me. And I just liked it to be easy.
I gave Dickens a try after reading the Jasper Fforde books. Miss Havisham features prominently in them, as does David Copperfield and Uriah Heep. If you feel as I used to about older books, Dickens will help dispel your prejudices. He writes in a warm, emotive style, and employs memorable characters and lots of humor. I do plan to read all of his books. I haven't gotten very far, just "Great Expectations," "A Tale of Two Cities," and "David Copperfield," but I certainly plan to keep the project alive. If you've been meaning to read one of his books, now is an excellent time!