September has come and gone, and this is the rest of what I read in
September. Boom. Go team. I went to a weird place.
So I tried to read some banned books for banned books week, and this is
one of those. I always wanted to read it anyway, but you know. Anyways. The
novel is about Celie and Nettie, two young black women in Georgia in the 30s.
The novel starts with Celie and Nettie being quite young. When she’s about
twenty Celie is given away by her father to a man, to marry. Nettie soon runs
away and stays with Celie for a while, before becoming a missionary. They communicate
through letters, and the story is told in the letters. Celie writes to God, and
Nettie writes to Celie. Celie then eventually starts writing to Nettie instead
of God. It tells the story of Celie’s unhappy marriage, her abusive husband,
and her relationship with her husband’s lover, a blues singer named Shug Avery.
Nettie works as a missionary in Africa, and we see the awesomeness that is
colonialism and the gouging of Africa. It’s really compelling and beautiful and
it was amazing. It’s also really blunt, which I wasn’t expecting. The
descriptions of sex between Shug and Celie were very frank and straightforward,
which was quite surprising. It was so good, and so beautiful, and so
Allen Ginsberg was one of the beat poets in San
Francisco, and he was a huge part of the beat generation, and the movement that
followed. He was gay and spent a lot of his time fighting for gay rights and
against sexual repression. The poem Howl is about his different relationships
with men. He was arrested over the poem and there was a trial. So it’s quite a
poem. Kaddish is a poem where he tries to mourn his mother, and the
estrangement of his born religion, Judaism. They’re so beautiful and amazing,
and I really loved it.
Oh they’re so good. He’s so good. Of Mice and Men is a
very short novel by John Steinbeck. It’s about George and Lennie. They’re sort
of drifters and go around working from farm to farm. George sort of looks after
Lennie, who is big and strong, but simple-minded. He’s sweet, but tends to get
into trouble. They keep talking about this plan they have to get a farm
together and to live there with rabbits and stuff. They start working on a farm
in Salinas. There they meet a bunch of different men, and one woman and
eventually something really bad happens. It’s so beautiful and it’s so
heartbreakingly sad and so far John Steinbeck is still a hit.
This is a classic dystopian novel. It’s about London
at some point in the 50s. Pretty much everyone in the world looked at a meteor
shower and are now struck blind. They’re sort of ambling around and have no
idea how to survive. Some people can still see, like the main character, Bill
Masen. At the same time there are these huge, poisonous, walking plants who now
suddenly have the advantage since they were used to being blind. Bill and the
other still seeing people have to decide who to save and whether they should
save everyone. It was gorgeous, and awesome, and creepy, and oh my GOD it’s so
This is also a sort of classic dystopian novel. It’s
about a society where kids are allowed to run riot. The main character is Alex,
and he’s 15 and spends most of his time running around with his buddies,
robbing places, beating the crap out of people and raping women. So he’s great.
He goes to jail after he accidentally kills an old woman. In jail he volunteers
for a rehab program where he is effectively stripped of his free will. He is
conditioned to feel sick when he sees violence or wants to be violent. It’s
really horrible to read, because it’s told from his perspective, so when he is
violent we get the perspective of this man who really relishes in his
destruction and violence. When he’s gone through the rehab we get the
perspective of someone who is really struggling because he wants to be violent,
but can’t. It’s really cool, and gross, and he’s written it in his own invented
language, nadsat, which took some time getting into, but it flowed when I got
I was in a mood, I wanted to read Harry Potter, and
also when I was home this summer I got all the audiobooks, which we had at home.
So I listened to the first one. It’s as good as it always was. It’s funny, and
it’s weird, and it’s Harry Potter. And I wish I’d counted how many times I read
the books, because I have no clue.