I’m not Surprised

I told y’all last week that 1984 had catapulted to the top of Amazon’s bookstore. Well it’s still there. And it’s been followed by a number of dystopian classics that people feel may give them some insight into what’s happening today.

It Can’t Happen Here. The Origins of Totalitarianism. Brave New World. Fahrenheit 451. Animal Farm.

One might say these books are always selling fairly well. Sure. But not thousands of copies that are required to stay in the top 10 on the website for several days.

Have you had any thoughts to read any of these books once more? I have. I own two of the titles mentioned and read 4 of them.

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27 thoughts on “I’m not Surprised

  1. I usually read in bed at night, so I’d rather steer clear of Big Brother and book burning as I’m about to drift off to sleep. I’ll engage in what’s happening during daylight, then head towards escapism as the sun sets 🙂

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    • Understandable. Also, I’ve never once in 25 years hoped for a president’s official state visit to any country be canceled. But I find myself hoping somehow that the UK says he’s not welcome. I’ve seen video of MPs speaking out against him and protesters outside Parliament.

      Liked by 1 person

      • There’s a petition against his visit too – one that a million and a half people have signed. I’m not sure it will work – no prime minister wants to be responsible for jeopardising the special relationship. And he does own property here after all – well, a golf course anyway. But it’s good to show that not all of us here agree with his attitudes.

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      • I’ve seen it. Is it true that there has to be a response to the petition now? Even if it doesn’t work, seeing people stand with the tens of millions over here is what we need. It’s what the entire world needs. I think the “give him a chance” group has already shut up completely after less than two weeks.

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      • Well, at 10,000 signatures on an official petition you get a response from the government. At 100,000 it will be considered for debate in the Commons. They tend to be pretty picky about which ones they debate, though they are going to debate this later this month. https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/jan/31/parliament-debate-donald-trump-state-visit-16m-sign-petition
        Our Prime Minister, however, says that if the Queen can meet dictators such as Robert Mugabe, then what’s stopping her meeting Trump? Though I would argue, she shouldn’t have met him either! Yes, you’re right though – we recognise what he’s doing is wrong and we all need to say so. We can’t let it slide because he needs to know he can’t just do anything he thinks and feels is right

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  2. I’ve had every history teacher I’ve ever had recommend Animal Farm. So have a couple of my friends, so it’s on my list.

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    • I’m surprised it wasn’t assigned to you in high school. We read it freshman year.

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      • No, we had to read the Communist Manifesto instead 😭

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      • Oh boy. I was never assigned it. In college we definitely discussed Marx during several of my sociology courses, though we never had to read his work.

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      • Lucky 😭 I personally hated it…I wasn’t interested in the content and it’s already a hard read as it is…but I am glad I can say I’ve read it. Most people haven’t, so it makes me sound more intellectual than I am 😂

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      • Ha! I’d say every book you read pushes your intellectual ability forward. Whether it’s for school or entertainment. Because even if you don’t feel like there’s any underlying message, you’re still reading perfect writing. When it comes time for you to write something or read something with a critical eye your that much sharper. My favorite professor in college (took him four times) said if you read 50 books a year you can write anything. Because you’re exposing yourself to perfect writing so much that you’re learning how to do it yourself as you go.

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      • I agree. I always write better when I’ve been reading a lot, and I always feel better about my writing when I’ve been exposing myself to lots of different genres and styles. Still, reading Marx gives me a lot of school cred 😂 (not really)

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      • I thought you said it gives you street cred. 😂 I really feel like I was selling myself short for a long time by sticking to one genre. I’ve found recently that some authors simply lack the ability or desire to craft solid stories. So now I’ll always say to diversify one’s reading as much as possible. Whether it’s characters, genres, styles, authors…doing so will always give you greater perspective.

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  3. I read Animal Farm, Brave New World and 1984 in high school (it was on our reading list) but didn’t really appreciate them as much as I do now. Rereading them, nearly 20 years on, I realised how much detail just flew over my head. Or maybe I’m paying more attention now given what’s happening around the world.

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    • I imagine if I reread the two I read in high school I’ll experience something similar. 14 and 18 year old me likely didn’t appreciate the message quite as much as I cold have. I read 1984 in 2014.

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  4. Brave New World, Fahrenheit 451, Animal Farm and 1984 have always been favorites of mine. The dystopian subgenre is one I never can seem to get enough of. So re-reading is possible. Although, currently Fahrenheit and Brave New World have been the only two I have contemplated. Not necessarily in an correlation to recent circumstances, but simply because it has been too long.

    I am in absolute agreement though, that our sad and current situation does bring these titles and the messages contained within to the forefront.

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    • I’ve also read all four, though I wouldn’t call them favorites. I’m actually glad people are rereading them. Books can hold enormous power. I’m sure plenty of people are just curious, but I’d rather have someone be curious than blindly support something.

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      • That is exactly what I was speaking with my children about. I tell them always to educate and explore, even in areas and topics they do not necessarily accept or agree with. Informed decisions and support are the best and only true kind 😉

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  5. I own none of them. heard of them all, but cannot remember reading them. Looks like my job is to get on Amazon and see how many I can get on my Kindle.
    Thanks for the list.

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  6. I recently read It Can’t Happen Here, as Philip Roth’s The Plot Against America. Roth’s novel is more of an alternate history, and being more recent, is written in an easier style for modern readers to grasp.

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  7. I rediscovered Dystopian novels about a year ago
    I read Fahrenheit 451 in school and I’ve read Brave New World a while back, then last year I read the Divergent trilogy, and I’ve read several others.
    There’s nothing quite like Dystopia to make you appreciate the government you’ve got, is there?

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