Okay, Winston is getting really tired of all this Big Brother nonsense. His rebelliousness is getting ready to boil over, like a teenager who's on house arrest for the weekend. Winston is starting to sneak out of his normal routine. He went down to the prole district, which is highly unusual for a party member. I liked the part when he visited the antique store, because I'm an antique-er myself and if I were living in this world, that antique shop would be where I would like to spend my time. Winston has also noticed this girl who has been watching him for quite some time. He thought she was a part of the Thought Police and was going to be the death of him, but it turns out that she was simply a secret admirer. Love is in the air! More specifically, love is in a remote grassy knoll secluded by trees and far out of earshot of Big Brother, because that's the only place the pair can go without raising suspicion.
This book is so good! It's taking me a very long time to get through it because I really really don't want to miss anything. Winston is getting progressively apprehensive about Big Brother and the society in which he lives. He's had his doubts about the rigid regime of BB and now he's starting to perform little acts of rebellion, like right where I'm at in the book, he's wandering through the proles district which could be very dangerous for him. The life and society of the proles really intrigue Winston.
Winston is also becoming more and more aware of the people around him. He predicts who he thinks will be vaporized in the near future and who are brainless enough to stick around. In this part, he reminds me of Holden Caulfield calling everyone phonies.
Right now I'm reading 1984 by George Orwell. I started reading this last October, but then Amy Poehler's book came out and I didn't finish. I've been meaning to actually read 1984 for years, and this time I'm going to get through it all! I'm not very far, chapter four to be exact, but I'm really really enjoying it. I love George Orwell's writing style and what I've read up until this point has been so good. Right now Winston is beginning to question his life as a part of Big Brother's rigid tyrannical routine. However, he must be incredibly careful with his every thought and action as Big Brother is always watching and searching for the slightest trace of rebellion within his people. Winston thinks he might have a connection with O'Brien, a mysterious and powerful high-ranking party member. This hasn't developed much yet but I'm looking forward to see where it goes. My favorite parts so far are Winston's flashbacks and memories from his past. They're especially interesting to me because, being so young, I can't imagine what it must be like to barely remember anything from your youth. I'm just really liking this book and I can't wait to finish it!
Since the last book blog we were assigned, I've read three books. The first was queen Amy Poehler's book Yes Please, and the title coincidentally describes how I felt toward the novel. It's a collection of narratives and short essays of Poehler's life and is as quick-witted and real as the author is. She shares experiences of living in Chicago, founding UCB Theatre in New York, her time spent on SNL, and her life as a single mother. I really liked her writing style because it was very honest. She didn't beat around the bush at all, which I really appreciate from authors. Yes Please is now out on audiobook and I can't wait to listen to it because as a listener, you can hear exactly how Amy Poehler intended every line to be delivered. Overall feelings on this book: Yes Please!
The second book I read was also an autobiography from one of my favorite comedians. I read Paddle Your Own Canoe by Nick Offerman, who famously plays the stone-faced Ron Swanson on Parks and Recreation. Much like his character, Offerman values hard work, honesty, and general human decency above all else. In his book, he frequently teaches the readers lessons on, pardon my French, how not to be a complete asshole in daily interaction. Offerman also expresses his passion for woodworking, and encourages everyone to find a true passion in life and practice it as often as possible, even if it's not a career. He also talked a lot about his wife, fellow actor Megan Mullaly, and I'm convinced they have the most beautiful of all relationships. It was a very inspiring read.
Thirdly, I read Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut. It was my first book by Vonnegut and I've been wanting to read his work for a while. I just wish I had read the book in a shorter amount of time, because I unfortunately didn't have a chance to read much outside of class and I didn't really get the flow of the novel. I'll read some more by the author and try Cat's Cradle again down the road because I honestly really liked the book, I just didn't totally comprehend it.
1984 by George Orwell
After starting a couple of books that I didn't continue, I started reading 1984. It's promising so far. I've only read the first couple of pages and the Newspeak guide in the back. I'm really excited to read this book. I've been wanting to read it for a really long time. Animal Farm was one of my favorites last year so reading another George Orwell is exciting. Although I'm struggling to understand it, Newspeak is an interesting concept. I"m hoping this book is doupleplusgood!
Wild by Cheryl Strayed/ Bossypants by Tina Fey
I finished reading Wild over the past weekend. I experienced a little post-book depression when it was over. Wild was such a good book. Cheryl made it all the way to Bridge of the Gods by Portland, Oregon from the Sierra Nevadas in California by herself. As much as I didn't want the book to end, I felt genuinely happy for Cheryl when she finished her trek because she had worked so, so hard every single day to get to that point and she really deserved something to be proud of. Cheryl definitely wrote herself a bittersweet ending.
(Excuse me as I fangirl over Tina Fey for a while)
This weekend I also drove back and forth from Bozeman so I had some time in the car. I decided to use that time to listen to Bossypants by Tina Fey on audiobook. I've already read the business autobiography by Ms. Fey but it was better to listen to it because Tina herself read the book so I was able to hear the countless jokes and anecdotes exactly how she intended to have them sound. Tina Fey had the dream career path which she outlines in her book. She was a member of a touring troupe of Second City improvers out of Chicago, wrote for SNL, performed in Weekend Update on SNL, created and starred in her own television show, and guest starred in writing rooms, movies, and tv shows. I can relate to Tina Fey in almost every aspect of my life. She's the queen. And her book is fantastic.
Since I last blogged about Wild, Cheryl has pretty much kept on hiking. She's had more setbacks. For starters. her hiking shoes turned out to be a size too small and the constant pressure put on her feet caused them to become sore, calloused, and most of her toenails have fallen off. Cheryl had to bypass a large section of the PCT in California because of heavy snowfall and instead she's going to hike throughout Oregon. When she reached a town called Ashland in Oregon, she decided to stay and enjoy city life for a couple of days. Cheryl partied for a while in Ashland with a guy named Johnathon who I thought was cool because he was described wearing a Wilco t-shirt, and I like Wilco. Where I'm at right now, it's her dead mother's birthday so she's reliving all of the pain and anger that goes along with her mother's death. It's devastating to read and it makes me appreciate my own mother more. (Side note, my mom is the coolest).
I am currently reading Wild by Cheryl Strayed. It's an autobiography about a woman who hikes alone on the Pacific Coast Trail for three months after she faces incredible hardships in her life. It was recommended to me by many friends, blogs, and family members. I'm only about half way through it, but I love it. Strayed writes with humor and heart, which is impressive considering the things that had happened in her life prior to hiking the PCT. When she sets out, she's inexperienced and untrained for an extended hike all by herself, but she figures it out as she goes. I find Wild incredibly interesting and even though it paints a scary picture of solo hiking, I can't help but want to follow in her footsteps.