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125 Things Meme: Day 19

Another themeless day, trying to finish this up.



91. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess:

A vicious fifteen-year-old "droog" is the central character of this 1963 classic, whose stark terror was captured in Stanley Kubrick's magnificent film of the same title. In Anthony Burgess's nightmare vision of the future, where criminals take over after dark, the story is told by the central character, Alex, who talks in a brutal invented slang that brilliantly renders his and his friends' social pathology. A Clockwork Orange is a frightening fable about good and evil, and the meaning of human freedom. When the state undertakes to reform Alex—to "redeem" him—the novel asks, "At what cost?"

Why you should read it: Absolutely brilliant. Completely terrifying. Clasic everyone should read. End of story.

“Is it better for a man to have chosen evil than to have good imposed upon him?”

“We can destroy what we have written, but we cannot unwrite it.”


92. The Hotel New Hamsphire by John Irving:

The first of my father’s illusions was that bears could survive the life lived by human beings, and the second was that human beings could survive a life led in hotels.” So says John Berry, son of a hapless dreamer, brother to a cadre of eccentric siblings, and chronicler of the lives lived, the loves experienced, the deaths met, and the myriad strange and wonderful times encountered by the family Berry. Hoteliers, pet-bear owners, friends of Freud (the animal trainer and vaudevillian, that is), and playthings of mad fate, they “dream on” in a funny, sad, outrageous, and moving novel by the remarkable author of A Prayer for Owen Meany and Last Night in Twisted River.

Why you should read it: This is the fourth Irving book on the list, and for a good reason. Not so much because it's the fourth, but because the all of Irving's books - his older stuff at least - should be read.

"Keep passing the open windows.” 

“You take every opportunity given you in this world, even if you have too many opportunities. One day, the opportunities stop, you know."


"Human beings are remarkable - at what we can learn to live with. If we couldn't get strong from what we lose, and what we miss, and what we want and can't have, then we couldn't ever get strong enough, could we? What else makes us strong?” 

93. 1984 by George Orwell:

Written in 1948, 1984 was George Orwell's chilling prophecy about the future. And while 1984 has come and gone, Orwell's narrative is timelier than ever. 1984 presents a startling and haunting vision of the world, so powerful that it is completely convincing from start to finish. No one can deny the power of this novel, its hold on the imaginations of multiple generations of readers, or the resiliency of its admonitions a legacy that seems only to grow with the passage of time.

Why you should read it: It has to be read in a Cold War context, but, like A Clockwork Orange, it's an absolutely terrfying but brilliant.

"He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.” 

“War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.”

"Perhaps one did not want to be loved so much as to be understood.” 

"We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness.” 

“Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.” 


94. Candide by Voltaire:

Brought up in the household of a powerful Baron, Candide is an open-minded young man, whose tutor, Pangloss, has instilled in him the belief that 'all is for the best'. But when his love for the Baron's rosy-cheeked daughter is discovered, Candide is cast out to make his own way in the world.

And so he and his various companions begin a breathless tour of Europe, South America and Asia, as an outrageous series of disasters befall them - earthquakes, syphilis, a brush with the Inquisition, murder - sorely testing the young hero's optimism
.

Why you should read it: This was a book that was required reading for my English class junior year and is one that stuck with me. Hillariously wonderful.

“But for what purpose was the earth formed?" asked Candide. "To drive us mad," replied Martin.” 

“If this is the best of possible worlds, what then are the others?” 

"Men must have somewhat altered the course of nature; for they were not born wolves, yet they have become wolves. God did not give them twenty-four-pounders or bayonets, yet they have made themselves bayonets and guns to destroy each other. In the same category I place not only bankruptcies, but the law which carries off the bankrupts’ effects, so as to defraud their creditors."


95. The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama:

The Audacity of Hope is Barack Obama's call for a new kind of politics—a politics that builds upon those shared understandings that pull us together as Americans. Lucid in his vision of America's place in the world, refreshingly candid about his family life and his time in the Senate, Obama here sets out his political convictions and inspires us to trust in the dogged optimism that has long defined us and that is our best hope going forward.

Why you should read it: Because it lays out the idea of a beautiful world - almost a modern version of Utopia - that is almost everything I could hope for in America. And, even if you don't agree with his veiwpoint, you should read it because he's the president and this is what he wants and believes, so that, if you're going to critize him, you might as well know what you're talking about. But it absolutely beautiful.

“I believe in evolution, scientific inquiry, and global warming; I believe in free speech, whether politically correct or politically incorrect, and I am suspicious of using government to impose anybody's religious beliefs -including my own- on nonbelievers.” 

“I wonder, sometimes, whether men and women in fact are capable of learning from history--whether we progress from one stage to the next in an upward course or whether we just ride the cycles of boom and bust, war and peace, ascent and decline.” 



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  • 6 comments
I think I'll add the last two to my "To read" list :D I don't have much interest in politics, but I'd like to give it a go. I like Obama.
Yeah... I'm running of steam on these. I'm getting down to the "just do it" sort of dregs, I think.
I have six books left. I'm counting the other twenty-four as parts of the multiples I posted - series and all that. It still adds up to 125... but my numbering was shoddy.
Eh, that's okay :D You've still rec'd a good many books, enough to keep any person busy for some time. Unless they read really fast...
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