One of the best things about this 100 book challenge is rediscovering books that I read years ago. Books like 1984 were on the mandatory reading list at high school, and for me they were always a struggle to get through. I never liked reading, and this dislike continued well into my adult life. At high school, I remember reading the first few pages, getting distracted, then going to the library to read the Spark Reading Notes summaries instead. This was generally enough to get me through class discussions and tests.
Orwell’s 1984 comments on society, politics and human nature are topics that your average teenager couldn’t care less about. But now that I’ve lived more of my life, and know more about the world, these things are at the forefront of my mind. As an adult, I’ve enjoyed being absorbed into this story and experiencing this totally bizarre, yet totally familiar, world that Orwell had created.
To finish it off, I particularly liked the appendix entitled ‘The Principles of Newspeak. I’ve always been interested in the structure and development of language, and Orwell’s theory behind this altered version of English was a surprising bonus. It reminded me of the structures that fantasy writers put in place to support the worlds they create.
This book certainly deserves to be on the 100 classics list.
In July 2014 I set myself the challenge to finish 100 must-read books before I die. For my ongoing tally click here.Follow @jessieansons