25 March 2010


'Animal Farm' by George Orwell
March 22 - 24, 95 pages

Yes, I am one of those people who has not read 'Animal Farm.' Well, I was. Now I am a changed person. I now feel like there is not something fundamental missing from my 'books I've read' list.

An excellent book, as you probably know because you have most likely read it already. Very clever. His concept and execution is so simple and done so well. We need books like these. Books that say something; commentaries on society; powerful, and yet so accessible. A book that makes you believe and makes you see.

'Weak or strong, clever or simple, we are all brothers.'

A nice, quick read. My favourite quote from this novel is 'All animals are equal. But some animals are more equal than others.'

I also found it quite entertaining picturing pigs walking only on their hind legs.

20 March 2010


'A Clockwork Orange' by Anthony Burgess
March 15 - 20, 149 pages

'What's it going to be then, eh?' I like the way that each of the three parts of this novel begin with that line. I generally like things like that.

Anyway, moving along. What an interesting novel. I don't really know what to think, but it definitely made me think. It's an interesting question that Burgess asks, is it better to be bad at your free will, or to be forced to be good? It's a tricky one.

Although somewhat confusing at first, I enjoyed the 'nadsat' slang that Burgess created. It was very clever, especially the way that the reader can understand what Alex is saying, despite being unfamiliar with many of the words he uses. I think I might start using 'gulliver', 'vecks' and 'malenky'. 

Yeah. I'm glad I read this. It has got me thinking. And the slang is awesome.

14 March 2010


'Cloudstreet' by Tim Winton
March 8 - 13, 431 pages

I've been wanting to read a book by Winton for a while and, I'll be honest, I probably wouldn't have gotten around to it yet if it wasn't for this book's extremely awesome cover. Love it. Anyway, after reading a few pages of this I was kicking myself for not reading it earlier. I love the way it is written. So... refreshing. It was great reading something Australian. I haven't read anything Australian for a while and I forgot about that warm, fuzzy, comfortable feeling you get from 'our' literature.
'It was like they were electric with all knowledge, all places, all people.'
I love the way this book just happens; no quotation marks, written just how the words are said. 
Beautiful. Here's one book that you can definitely judge by its cover.

I'm so disappointed that I have finished this book. I just want it to keep on going. Here are some other quotes that I liked:

'After a time the shop was Cloud Street, the people said it, Cloudstreet, in one word. Bought the cauli at Cloudstreet. Slip over to Cloudstreet, willya love, and buy us a tin of Bushells and a few slices of ham. Cloudstreet.'

'You didn't always know what they meant, but you did know how they felt.'

'You shouldn't break a place.'

07 March 2010


'Hamlet' by William Shakespeare
March 1 - 6, 174 pages

Shakespeare is one of those people who fascinates me. I love reading biographies and looking up lists of words and phrases that he coined. I mean, he's a genius, and reading this play just confirmed that to me once again. He does so much with his words; there are so many double meaning, play on words that go on in his plays that it is very hard to keep up. I'll be honest, reading lines like, 'To be or not to be: that is the question' and 'to thine own self be true' gave me shivers. Imagine being in the audience in 1601 listening to those words for the first time! I really want to read more Shakespeare. I didn't find it too hard - reading the notes at the bottom of each page certainly helped. All in all a wonderful play 'Of carnal, bloody, and unnatural acts, / Of accidental judgements, casual slaughters, / Of deaths put on by cunning and forced cause, / And, in this upshot, purposes mistook / fall'n on th' inventors' heads.'

You know what else got me really excited? Milton Glaser illustrated the cover of this edition. How extremely awesome. I was just reading an article about how he was the first ever graphic designer to win the National Medal of Arts. And the sticker on the front of this book (it's a 'Signet Classic' from 1963) says it costs 75c. Seventy-five cents for one of the best plays of all time with a cover illustration by one of the biggest design icons of all time?! Outrageous.