Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Read the Classics

I've just finished reading 'Animal Farm' by George Orwell.

What an absolutely brilliant book! I loved every single word of it and it effected me in a way that very few books ever have. If you have read it, you will no doubt know why it had such a profound effect on me without me having to spell it out and if you haven't read it, all I need to say is... go and read it! 

Now I'm somewhat of a lazy reader - it's much less effort to watch or listen to something - but I do love a good book and they are particularly useful when travelling - even if it's just to work on the tube. The thing is I'm just not someone who will stick with a book or much else to tell the truth. If something doesn't grab my imagination in the first few pages or first few minutes, I find it hard to keep going with it, I'm more likely to simply find a new book to read or programme to watch.

It's not always been the case but recently I also lead a fairly busy life, filled with working long hours, watching football, reading about football, writing poetry and short film scripts, swimming, swimming, swimming and climbing amongst other things and so I don't always have time for reading - or at least I don't always make enough time available to read. But that is going to change... a little. I doubt I'll start reading at home but it will be great to have a good book in my bag while I'm on the tube, bus etc.

So because I'm normally too busy with other things like watching films, browsing the internet and writing a swimming based blog. To date I haven't read enough books. But I want to put that right. Also within the books I have read, I haven't read too many "classics" - something that reading Animal Farm has inspired me to put right. Not least because it can only help improve and inform my own writing. 

Other than Animal Farm, I can't really think of too many highly acclaimed books that I have read. I've read 'The Lord of the Rings' and 'The Hobbit' as well as everything Roald Dahl ever wrote - surely that counts for something? - and I've read 'On the Road' and 'To Kill A Mocking Bird' amongst one or two others but I do feel as though I haven't read all the books that maybe I should.

I'm starting to put that right however. I've download some books including: 'The War of the Worlds' and 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland'. My friends Marita and Panos bought me 'The Last Temptation' for my birthday and I've just joined the local library with the sole purpose of taking out '1984'. After reading 'Animal Farm' and loving it so much I can't wait to start reading '1984'!

I've also just bought 'The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy' because although some might not necessarily except my definition of it as a literary classic, I think that Douglas Adams is a genius! And so slightly surprisingly, although I have seen the film, tv-series (untold times) and played the radio series so many times the cd's no longer work properly. I have never read the book!

Looking for books to read, there are so many that we all know "everything" about even if we haven't read them, like 'Oliver Twist' or 'Frankenstein'. Maybe this knowing all about them has put me off reading them in the past? But I'm looking forward to reading them now, to finding out about the way they were written and how the actual books differ from what I think I know about them

So there it is, the Year31Project challenge to read as many of the books that I "should" have already read. I've named a few that I'm planning on reading above, but please get in touch with your suggestions for other books that I should try and read. 

ps. I had to read 'Wuthering Heights' for uni a few years ago and I'm really sorry to all the Wuthering Heights fans out there, I know you are many, but I found it to be the most mind numbingly boring book I have ever had the misfortune to read. So please don't suggest that or other books that you think might be similar and therefore I probably won't like. However, of course suggestions for books that I am otherwise unlikely to read for one reason or another is critical to this "challenge" and so maybe ignore that and suggest away. 

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