Winter Break Reading

I had to read up on Madame Defarge for an essay I'm writing about my mother, a master knitter who loved "A Tale of Two Cities" and quoted Defarge and Sydney Carton whenever the opportunity presented itself. I've read Dickens's amazing first paragraph many times, but I've never been as struck as I was by how aptly he described the times we're living in. I know what book I'll be reading over my winter break -- once I've gotten through the couple hundred pages of student writing on my laptop. 
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us . . . "

Lisa Knopp