Sunday, January 1, 2012

Starting the New Year Out Right

With my favorite short story, "To Build a Fire" by Jack London.

I first read this when I was a wee little lad, and it captivated me like few others have since.  I usually reread it around this time of the year and did so again last night before drifting off to sleep and into the new year.  I love the mood of this story, the grittiness, and the location--the frozen Klondike.  I'm sure you've all read it, but go ahead and read it again and be reminded what a consummate craftsman can do with words.  This one leaves you feeling cold in a good way, and happy to be near a fire.  At least heat of some kind.

I'm reading another of my favorite Jack London tales, another I first read as a lad:  MARTIN EDEN.  For winter reading, you can't go wrong with Jack...


  1. "To Build a Fire" is one of my favorite short stories, too. I reread it at least once a year.

    It always leaves me feeling guilty about, but grateful for, modern conveniences.

    Happy new year!

  2. There are those stories which were required reading in school (or at least they used to be) that are priceless. Those for me were Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men," Borland's "When the Legends Die," Steinbeck's "The Pearl" and London's "To Build Fire." (Somehow I never had to read Golding's "Lord of the Flies" for school.)
    Anyway, it is years after the fact, when these stories are still grinding away in the back of your mind that one begins to appreciate why these work are deemed required reading for influential youth. They open your mind and expand your consciousness, making you look at topics and think about situations beyond your youthful and ignorant self-absorption.

    Tom Roberts
    Black Dog Books