Brave New World – Aldous Huxley/The Scarlet Pimpernel – Barroness Orczy/The Chocolate War – Robert Cormier/The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
1. Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World (10/10)
A beautiful political commentary. In particular, I laughed at the name Lenina and cried at the exploits of ‘The Savage’. Wonderfully told. I especially admire Huxley’s tendency to mix Shakespeare quotes in with descriptions of a world so inherently unappreciative of the arts.
2. Baroness Orczy’s The Scarlet Pimpernel (9/10)
I think that, particularly when you read something for the third or fourth time, whatever it is tends to wear on you a bit. I raced through his book, partly because I knew everything that would happen. But it receives a nine because, although it was a few years ago, it did manage to capture my fourteen year old heart.
3. Robert Cormier’s The Chocolate War (10/10)
Don’t think that I’m just rating a lot of books ten because I’m a soft rater (but I am), because these books have been WONDERFUL! I really enjoyed the Chocolate War most likely because it was similar to my novel in the way that the students are partially controlled by the teachers. But the suspense was fabulous, many of the ideas were wonderful and the characters intriguing.
4. Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day (9/10)
I enjoyed this one mostly for the descriptions of the quiet, beautiful English countryside. This book and Never Let Me Go have almost solely responsible for my desire to go to England. It was beautifully written and a wonderful piece reflecting on human nature. Human nature in the English countryside. One of those relax books, not for people who like drama and action. But the sort of thing you want to read to put you in a nice frame of mind before you go to sleep. It was nice to read.