Monday, November 11, 2013

What I'm reading--Hard Times

Whenever it starts to cool off, I get the urge to read Dickens.  There is nothing in this world I love more than opening up one of my Nonesuch Dickens Copies (check them out here: ) by a roaring fire with a cup of hot Earl Grey Tea and some Chopin Nocturnes on the record player.  I know, I know...I sound all fancy. 

There is something about the heaviness of these Nonesuch Dickens volumes and the grittiness of these stories that remind me of winter.  

So this year I decided to read Hard Times.  It's not quite as long as many of Dickens' famous works, and though it is not my favorite and doesn't have the best of those great Dicken's characters, it is still a great book and a poignant read.

Stephen Blackpool is our saddest tale of the story--dear Lord, his starlight prayer after being pulled from the pit is the reason why I love Dickens.  It's like Jo's prayer in Bleak House.  If you don't cry, you need to go talk to Ebeneezer Scrooge for a moment or two...

Louisa's story is heartbreaking as well, but at least with Louisa she can find rest and resurgence back in her home with her family, her father and dear Sissy Jupe.

Ultimately, Hard Times is a story about why we need more than facts, figures and work in our lives.  Important all these things are, yes, but if left alone, they suck life out of people.  Love, affection, sympathy, charity and imagination: all these make up the life that is worth living.

A few business matters: I've had some trouble lately keeping up with the blog being weekly and with keeping the blog theme into the week it's supposed to go with.  So I'm going to do away with the weekly themes.  I'll still try to mix it up with food, nature, stuff I've done/want to do, and things I'm reading but without the limitations of having to do these themes in a certain week and without the pressure of having to produce a blog post weekly.  I just don't have that much time--and going into the holiday season (and my work busy season) I do not need that kind of pressure!

'Til next time!

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