*Disclaimer* The preceding title was brought to you by my reading George Orwell’s Animal Farm two weeks ago. I do not actually hate pigs. I love them, both alive and walking around, and dead on a plate. (Me, vegan? No. I like bacon too much for that) Anyway, I really enjoyed the book. Orwell’s depiction of a revolution gone horribly wrong was brilliant. Of course, everyone is on the side of the animals. They’re being mistreated and used by those awful humans/royals! All the animals needed was an intelligent and charismatic leader, his faithful sidekick, and an ideology they all agreed on. They overthrow the rule of the farmer/king, drive out (and kill) the rest of the humans/monarchs, and then they make a list of seven rules that will become the seven statutes of animalism/communism.
We all know what happens next, (disaster) and Orwell, in his prophetic way, wrote about the end of communism (at least in the Soviet Union) before it actually ended.
The pigs were the worst of all the animals because they used their knowledge to subjugate those who were under them. They spread propaganda, so the animals no longer trusted their own memories, and they got rid of anyone who presented an opposing view. Near the end of the book, the faithful sidekick was labeled a traitor and driven out of the farm. The animals were forced to live on rations under unbearable working conditions while the pigs lived in luxury. And all seven statutes of animalism were either revised, or broken. Advice columnist Ann Landers once said that the true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good.
Those pigs were scum.
I have also been reading The Souls Of Black Folk by W.E.B. Du Bois. It’s a book of essays (I love essays) on race. It was written in 1903, but I’ve been nodding in agreement through the entire book. Du Bois was a visionary in every sense of the word.
It took me one day to read Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding. I liked Bridget because she was smart, funny, self-deprecating, and kind of awkward. I should have read it sooner.
The Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut was highly recommended by several of my coworkers. I’m close to finishing it, and I really like the book. It’s laugh out loud funny, and the writing is clear, simple, and excellent.
Emma by Jane Austen. I didn’t like Emma until the last few chapters of the book. It was okay, but not my favourite.
Twelve Who Don’t Agree Valery Panyushtin. I’m one of a long line of activists, so I really enjoyed this book. Any regime that would suppress an opinion contrary to the one that is held by the government is always a concern. (See also: Scary!)
The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka An allegorical novel about the effect that one person’s sickness has on a family. Mind you, the illness involves the eldest son and breadwinner turning into a giant bug, but the impact isn’t any less devastating. First book that made me cry this year.
Thus far, I’m seven books in, with 93 books left to go. Reading is fun!