Monday, February 1, 2010

Book Review: Southern Highlanders and Animal Farm

Constant snow = alot of reading while stuck inside.

Here is a quickie review of the books I borrowed to read:::

Southern Highlanders ->
I thought at first that this book would not interest me, mainly because I am not a historical reader... but this particular book is written like a story telling journal of the author's experience when he moved into the Appalachian Mountains around the year 1907. Being that I live in these mountains I found the descriptions of the early houses, people, and the natural habitat to be something that sucked me in without expecting it. It also amazed me when he describes which native animals were still abundant, the plants in their thickest tangle, and the trees before they were logged to hell. Another fascinating point for those into wilderness survival, the settlers of the mountains here were extremely isolated and could not rely on outside help or trade for survival so the inventive, almost barbaric, and extreme ways in which they created a code of surivial within their community is something to be in awe of.
On a side note, if you love to read about people taking the law into their own hands, moonshining and family feuds (not the game show but real murderous ones) , then 70% of the book will thrill you.

Animal Farm ->
You might guess that I am like a little kid when picking up a book, if it says "animal" in the title I pretty much will read it whether it has to do with animals or not. This book is all about animals, although with some deeper political meaning that is beyond me cause I don't know dookie about politics. I still really enjoyed the book though - the basic story is that the farm animals decide to have a revolution against the farmer who takes care of them... the animals feel they are working too hard and not getting enough food and become inspired after a sage like pig tells them to revolt. This is the kind of story that pulls itself full circle and is full of little life lessons about community, society, and the nature of... well nature (in a Darwin sort of light). This book is not happy, not uplifting, and does not end good. Whatever the detailed political meaning was that went over my head, the end is very clear. (It also might make you hate humans and pigs, so beware!)
The best part of the book is that one of the characters is a donkey... and of course, the donkey is the smartest one of all the animals. :)

Anyone ever read these too? Ya'll know I love book suggestions, so please keep them coming!



Meg said...

Agh!!!!! No wonder I don't get around to reading blogs anymore, this computer hates me! It just deleted my whole comment several times!

Anyway, I have never read the first, but Animal Farm is one of my favs. I love Satire and "hidden political meanings"! To put it briefly, in case it helps you any, Animal Farm is about Political parties/movements that claim ALL people should be and are equal. Obviously, that is never true, and the pigs represent the leaders of these countries/parties/movements.

Leslie's Gone Oko said...

Hey Meg!

Oh nooooo, that is terrible! WhY BLoGger WHY?

I could tell the message in Animal Farm was leaning towards 'no one ever stays equal, someone always tries to get ahead' ... and the big hard working horse made me soooooo sad. The sheep was something I understood as the accepting masses of people, cause these days i have heard it termed as "sheeple".
I loved the donkey most cause he knew what was up from the start and didn't get involved in believing or not believing - but went about living.

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