29 April 2011

Book Group

For Book Group this month our theme was Utopia/Dystopia. There was a Hunger Games Contingent, and one person read just the first one and didn't want to read the rest. I really loved them, and you can read my Mockingjay review HERE.

Someone read The Handmaid's Tale, which was about a society which supposedly eliminated sexual violence against women, but from the review, it sounded like the society had made the problem horrifyingly worse. I wasn't excited to read it based on the review.

I read Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley. The book detailed a society where technology and industry have taken over even the human race, with people grown in bottles and pre-conditioned to enjoy and do the work they are assigned by their caste. Everyone belongs to everyone else, so there is rampant society-endorsed promiscuity. I was assigned to read this book in high school, but I had NO IDEA what was going on with sexuality in the book. It reminded me of when I got married and it opened a whole new world of radio to Alex and me. This reassures me that if I disagree with the local high school English teacher, that my innocently raised children may still miss what I hope they will miss.

BNW left me disgusted that Huxley predicted a few things about our society, but totally missed the feminist movement. I'm pretty sure there were no female Alphas, and there were no females in the book who did anything exceptional or non-flat. I found it very infuriating.

The last review was Justice, by Michael J. Sandel, a Harvard professor. This one sounded absolutely fascinating, and I would like to read it. The professor details fascinating law cases and asks very thought-provoking questions. This is on my to-read list for sure.

For next month, we are looking at a feminist theme. I was thinking

The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath  (or anything our library has by her?)
Or perhaps some Virginia Woolf? A Room of Ones' Own or Night and Day.

Has anyone read any of those? Do you have any more suggestions for me? We like to have a list to choose from.


Marie Says Yes said...

it's funny how once you are married suddenly all those innuendos make so much... horrifying sense!
i didn't like the hunger games series until i finished book three, and then i thought... yes. i like this. it is important. i am glad it is on my shelf.
brave new world. haha. i don't know why you having that reading experience makes me laugh, yet it does. it is quite a piece of work.

and honestly, i really do think that 'the scarlet letter' is a very interesting work of early feminism. amen.

msjvd said...

I don't recall "The Bell Jar" being about feminism. I recall it being about depression and mental illness. The result of which was a person feeling so isolated and suffocating in her own life as if a bell jar descended on her.

But feminism? No. Perhaps I'm wrong. The other one sounded more upbeat.

Mary said...

I think you should read Handmaid's Tale. I read it about 14 years ago and still think about it and/or reference it at least once a month. It is like she predicted the Taliban -- freaky! We just discussed the three hunger games books for our last book club and used the word dystopia. I like that word for some reason. Have you read Uglies?