Monday Meme: Current Reads

I wasn’t planning on updating this meme again so soon, but as I managed to finish Lady Chatterley’s Lover and decided to NOT finish Franzen’s Freedom (the reasons of which can be found quite handily in this review I came across that, after having read half of the book myself, I could not disagree with any of) there’s new stuff to post.

First, I finished Animal Farm last week and then promptly launched into a fascinating and somewhat disturbing book called The Giver.  The synopsis from Amazon states:

In a world with no poverty, no crime, no sickness and no unemployment, and where every family is happy, 12-year-old Jonas is chosen to be the community’s Receiver of Memories. Under the tutelage of the Elders and an old man known as the Giver, he discovers the disturbing truth about his utopian world and struggles against the weight of its hypocrisy. With echoes of Brave New World, in this 1994 Newbery Medal winner, Lowry examines the idea that people might freely choose to give up their humanity in order to create a more stable society. Gradually Jonas learns just how costly this ordered and pain-free society can be, and boldly decides he cannot pay the price.

In an effort to discuss Socialism and the oft reviled Communism I decided it would be a good idea to read the original theory via Marx.  This wouldn’t be so pressing if not for my upcoming review of Animal Farm which very much requires the discussions of common interpretations of these political ideologies/structures.  Such things need to be discussed, understood and, honestly, it’s about time I read this work to see if my assumptions have thus far been correct.

And lastly, because I’m still working my way through that banned books challenge, is Beloved by Toni Morrison.    The summary, again via Amazon, is as follows:

In the troubled years following the Civil War, the spirit of a murdered child haunts the Ohio home of a former slave. This angry, destructive ghost breaks mirrors, leaves its fingerprints in cake icing, and generally makes life difficult for Sethe and her family; nevertheless, the woman finds the haunting oddly comforting for the spirit is that of her own dead baby, never named, thought of only as Beloved.

I’m reasonably certain my brain is going to melt down sometime soon and that I will want a romance novel before long (or perhaps more Heinlein), in the mean time it’s wonderful to read such impressive works.  What are you reading?


8 responses to “Monday Meme: Current Reads

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  • laurelrainsnow

    Oh, it’s been eons since I read Animal Farm. Bravo for reading the Communist Manifesto. I haven’t, but I think it’s an important read.

    I really want to read the Toni Morrison book.

    Now I’m going to check your review of Freedom…I had been looking forward to it!

    Here’s my Monday:

  • Carol Kilgore

    You tackle such heavy reads. Since I’ve been an adult, I’ve avoided them at all cost when I read for pleasure. For that, I read strictly for entertainment. If I learn something while I read, it’s totally by accident.

  • Hart

    That’s quite an ambitious list, if only because there is NOTHING light and happy there! I keep meaning to read the Giver, but haven’t gotten to it. I HAVE read Beloved, and was glad I read it, though that isn’t to say I enjoyed it–it is powerful, but not pleasant.

  • Jillian

    Ooooh! Beloved is on my list. Can’t wait to hear what you think of it. 🙂

  • Helen Ginger

    You are really doing some heavy reading! Wow.

    Several of those, I’d love to read, especially Beloved and The Giver. They both sound powerful. From your description of The Giver, it’s hard to believe it’s a YA book. Books for kids have sure changed since I was young. (Okay, I’m not quite as old as I sound.)

  • angelafristoe

    The Giver is one of my all time favorites! I haven’t read it a while but it really stayed with me. I’ve been on a YA kick the past couple weeks, so:

    I just read Stargirl by Jerri Spinell, about how peer pressure changes us in ways that we’re not even aware of and how society reacts when someone challenges their beliefs.

    I finished Break by Hannah Moskowitz, intersting take on how a young boy uses self-destructive behavior to deal with the harsh realities of his family life.

    I started reading Tangled by Carol Mackler but it didn’t hold my interest. It was well witten but just didn’t grab me wthin the first few chapters.

  • litlove

    Nothing as brain-taxing as your list! I haven’t heard of The Gift, but hopefully it will prove an interesting comparison to some of the other dystopia reads. And Toni Morrison IS on my list of writers I really, really should get around to. Will look forward to your review!

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