Wednesday, 8 June 2011
Reading A Little ... June
I didn't like 1984. I've read it a number of times and every time I manage to forget it. It's only about halfway through when I think everything is a little too predictable when I remember I've read it before. For this reason, I approached Animal Farm with slight trepidation: I thought it was Orwell's writing that I didn't like. I was pleasantly surprised. While I wouldn't put this in my list of favourite books, I also should have read this much earlier. Animal Farm recalls how the animals of Manor Farm stage a revolution and take over from the humans. A thinly disguised satire of Stalinist communism, this is an effective novel with some fairly hard-hitting themes. I really felt for some of the characters and my disgust at the short-sighted leaders increased as the book progressed. I would recommend it as one of those books you 'should' read.
Water for Elephants - Sara Gruen
I read Water for Elephants as one of my book group reads on Shelfari and after a number of recommendations. It is an absolutely fantastic read and I now know why I had so many people say I should read it. While essentially it is a love story, it captures the mood of the Great Depression and prohibition brilliantly. A number of themes are dealt with brilliantly- love, loyalty, bravery, kindness, cruelty... the list could go on. Jacob Jankowski is the son of Jewish Polish settlers. After a tragic accident, Jacob joins a circus and we get a brilliant description of what life with a travelling circus during the 1930s would have been like. The portrayal of characters is deep and well-rounded and you feel total sympathy for their feelings and moods. I loved this book and it's now one of my favourites! If you'd like to see my shelfari review click here: http://www.shelfari.com/books/10021/Water-for-Elephants/readers-reviews
To Kill A Mockingbird - Harper Lee
I read this years and years ago while still at school. But it's one of those books that I HAD to read, and therefore I disliked, and promptly forgot. It probably didn't help that we had about 3 teachers that term so we didn't get a 'whole' picture. In fact I'm not even sure we finished it. Anyway, I decided after reading lots of people raving about it, that I had to re-read it. And I'm very glad I did. It is written from the viewpoint of Scout Finch, the daughter of a lawyer living in Alabama in 1936. I don't think it needs much explaining here as it is incredibly well-known for it's themes of racism, tolerance, prejudice and community-spirit. It is brilliantly written, has lively characters and dialogue and I can absolutely see now why it has influenced so many people so profoundly. An excellent read.