by George Orwell
This was the May Blogger Book Club pick, in the Classics genre. I was excited about this pick, because though I’d read 1984 back in high school, it’s been quite awhile and was due for a re-read. I remembered liking it, and thinking that it was apt political commentary even decades after being written. I also remember not liking Julia, the love interest of the main character Winston.
I’m glad to say that, upon re-reading, my overall opinion of the book hasn’t changed. I still find it a good read. Not a light read, mind you – you do have to wade through some of the sections. But it’s just so chock full of Big Ideas. It makes you think about the nature of freedom, of thought, of reality. It’s still relevant political commentary, perhaps even more so than the first time I read it. And I appreciated the detail and ingenuity of the world Orwell built all over again – things like doublethink and Newspeak. You just don’t often see that level of social construction in modern science fiction or dystopias. I still got caught up in the story and intrigue, still liked and felt sorry for Winston. Perhaps what struck me most in this second reading was the palpable sense of atmosphere. You can feel how dirty and wornout, how tense everything is. Orwell is a master of showing rather than telling, and utilizes the full range of sensory reactions in his character to put you in the same shoes. Overall, one of the more satisfying re-read experiences I’ve had.
Though I still don’t like Julia.
I give it 4/5 stars.
Blogger Book Club peeps: let me know if you want to join in the Google Hangout chat tonight at 7pm CST! Also, the book for June is Soulless by Gail Carriger. Link-up and chat for that will be June 27. For July, the category is ‘fairytales’ and you can choose your own book that fits within that (an original, a modern adaptation, a sequel). Link-up and chat for that will be July 25. I hope you’ll join us!
Exciting word-smith related news! I found out last night that I made the 3rd and final round of the NYC Midnight Short Story Challenge I posted about before – wahoo!! My assignment for the 2nd round was science fiction, with the Olympics and a personal trainer, and I had 3 days to write it. I’ll probably post it sometime next week if you want to read. This last round is down to just 25 people, and we have only 24 hours (this Saturday) to write our final story. I’ll find out Friday at midnight what the genre, etc. assignments are. […]
Blogger Book Club time! I’m stepping into Alyx’s shoes for a bit as an organizer, since her little girl arrives any day now. And it’s time to vote for what we’re going to be reading this month. The chosen genre is Classics, and the nominations are: The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, an American classic set in the 20’s and coming soon to the big screen. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, one of the more well-known Sherlock Holmes stories. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, known for its dynamic characters and timeless social commentary. 1984 […]
Legend (Legend #1) by Marie Lu This was the April pick for the Blogger Book Club. It takes place far enough in the future that the United States of America has become nothing more than a legend, and the western part of this continent is under the very strict government control of the Republic. The story alternates between Day (poor boy turned criminal from the wrong side of the plague barrier) and June (the militaristic oligarchy’s bright rising star). It’s pretty standard YA dystopia meets star-crossed lovers. Which is not to say I didn’t enjoy it – I did. But […]
Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin This was the February pick for the Blogger Book Club. I’d already seen the movie and had been ‘meh’ about it, so I hoped when this pick was announced that the book would be better. But it was also a solid ‘meh’. And there are some spoilers below, so quit reading if you don’t want to know how the book goes (though, really, you wouldn’t be hard put to guess any of what I’m revealing). I didn’t have a problem with the writing, or even the general plot. But the characters? Blah. I didn’t like […]
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Steven Chbosky This was the latest pick for the Blogger Book Club, and I was happy with the choice as I’d been meaning to read it anyway. And I’m going to go counter to most of the blogger gals I chatted with about it and say that I really liked it. I thought the quality of writing was excellent – the phrasing and imagery, the voice it was told in, even the setup where the storytelling happens through letters. It’s clear that Charlie (the main character) falls somewhere on the autism spectrum, and […]
Earlier this month, I stumbled upon The Book Club run by MK, Kaylee, and Aubrey. Each month the members vote on a book to read, read the book, and then post up a review about it on the last Friday of the month. I thought this sounded like a fun idea, so I joined up. This month’s book was: The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han I was on the wait-list at the library for this right up until yesterday. Luckily, it’s a fairly short and quick read. Unfortunately, it’s not one I would recommend. It follows the narrator, […]