Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Quickie Book Review (2)

The Giver by Lois Lowry
An inciting tale of a seemingly Utopian society in which everything seems perfect. Then the main character begins to notice what is wrong and feels he needs to do something about it. Overall it keeps the reader at the edge of his seat during the entire book as it begins to pick up speed. A rather slow start that serves its purpose to explain and describe the world that the main protagonist lives in. The climax and twists are gradually revealed to the protagonist at the same time it is revealed to the reader. It gives the sense that you are right there beside the hero when he discovers and feels everything he does.
Overall I give this novel a 7/10(3.5 stars our of 5), given its simplicity of statement and that it is understandable by many ages and is easy enough for a pre-teen to understand and comprehend the great undertones and messages that are explored and presented within the novel. Though not without some flaws and errors that the editor probably missed they are almost passed by without noticing till you read it a fifth time. I recommend it for those interested in possible futures and how a Utopian society does or does not work, it can also serve as great inspiration for a literature or writing project. Also if you are interesting in thought provoking novels this is greatly interest you. A modern classic.
A movie version starring Dustin Hoffman and Jeff Bridges is in production at the moment.
It is predicted that the movie adaption will stay true to the novel and will entice audiences. It is sure to be a good film considering the origin material of the novel.

The Giver by Lois Lowry

Friday, June 29, 2012

What the URL of this blog stands for

Readthisyn directly means Read this, Yes, or No.

What to Read Double book Bonus!

Konichiwa! こんにちは

If you are planning a trip to Japan, moving to Japan, interested in a Japanese girl or Boy, or just want to learn a bit of Japanese here are two books for you!
Baron's Japanese Grammar 2nd edition and Japanese At A Glance 4th Edition

These two books present a well thought out illustration and summary of the Japanese language that help you to better understand the language than most books. It also presents a brief history of the language. These two books together should help in your trip and/or communication with the Japanese as the lessons are easy to understand and not only have the katakana and kanji but also the romaji or romanazation of the language so that you can understand what each character sounds like and how it is pronounced.

A great read to help your Japanese class or just by themselves. Enjoy!

What to Read (2)

Area 51: An Uncensored History of America’s Top Secret Military Base by Annie Jacobsen

If you were ever interested in the secrets behind Area 51 this is the book for you.
It is a non-fiction book based directly on pure, hard, cold facts and journalism.

Whether you were interested in Area 51 from watching movies such as
Independence Day (1996),

 the Indiana Jones films,

 the Television series Seven Days,

the Television series X-Files,

the video game Area 51

or just have been interested in the history of the US AIR Force

              or the CIA

this book explores the controversies and the realities behind those conspiracies and exposes truths held to be self evident.  Multiple reliable interviews and investigations documented that are very hard to discredit. A highly recommended read for people interested in the history of the USAF, CIA, and development of Aerial  craft and combat.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Bonus: What to Read (Fiction)

Bonus Fiction What to Read!
Ayn Rand’s Anthem

An exciting and very thought provoking novel that makes you re-think what it means to be an individual and live in the modern world with free thought.
The original title of the novel was what the entire story was about EGO!
The setting and description in the novel makes you visualize the place that the main character is in and the types of emotions he begins to realize. With little back story it leaves you to imagine what could have happened and then immediately thrusts you into the story.
An overall good short read of less than 120 pages that can be read in less than a day.

Sadly the play and animated movie by Walt Disney that were planned was never brought to realization.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

How both 1984 and Brave New World have become Reality

A study of 1984 and Brave New World
And our modern society
Both of these Novels Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell and Aldus Huxley’s Brave New World convey a highly plausible future. However many people argue about which is the better representation or which will be the one that is most likely to come true. How about I present a new theory, what if both are right and we are living the type of society today presented by each, just not in the way we imagine it.
Social critic Neil Postman contrasts the worlds of Nineteen Eighty-Four and Brave New World in the foreword of his 1985 book Amusing Ourselves to Death. He writes:

What Orwell feared were those who would ban books.
What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one.
Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information.
Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egotism.
Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us.
Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance.
Orwell feared we would become a captive culture.
Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy.
As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny "failed to take into account man's almost infinite appetite for distractions."
In 1984, Orwell added, people are controlled by inflicting pain.
In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure.
In short, Orwell feared that what we fear will ruin us.
Huxley feared that our desire will ruin us.

“Stuart McMillen’s webcomic does a marvelous job of adapting (and updating!) Neil Postman’s famous book-length essay, Amusing Ourselves to Death, which argues that Aldous Huxley’s vision of the future in Brave New World was ultimately more accurate than the one proposed by George Orwell in 1984.”
View the simplified web comic below

We live in a society that exemplifies both of these predictions are correct. We live in a modern world that contains both of these predictions separately yet together. Countries such as The United States of America, England, Australia, Japan and France currently exemplify almost exactly (only some technologies are not yet created) the world depicted by Huxley in that these societies of these countries are run by our love of desires and hedonistic leanings. The Entertainment industry along with most of the news industries revolve around the fact that people do not want to see what is really happening and only want pleasure and happiness. This gives way for shows that praise stupidity, egotism, cruelty, and greed in a good light. The news has also become desensitizing due to a blasting of advertisements and quick successions of various types of news stories such as switching from a story of genocide to a new type of baby formula for better brain growth to then switching to a cure for cancer and again switching to a long and unnecessary news report about a celebrity fashion gaff. There is so much blasting of information and at such a large disposal that the people do not even need to try to remember facts or figures to advance in life. This has led to an uncaring society in which the people no longer care to read books leading to not needing to ban certain books as a large majority of the populace has no more interest. Huxley would have surely seen his vision of the future become true almost perfectly exemplified by the satirical and sadly true web comic above.
Then there are countries of which exemplify the world that Orwell feared would come to pass, countries such as Burma (now Myanmar), North Korea, North Vietnam, to an extent China, Iran, Somalia, Uganda and Syria. These countries almost perfectly resemble the totalitarian rule of power demonstrated by Orwell’s vision. They each have banned many books and have the media censored to where everything is mis-information to mislead the people into believing that their nation is doing great and nothing is wrong when the exact opposite is happening. There is all out oppression and great distinction of classes, sexism, racism, and little to no freedom of religion. The people have turned to a state of fear of which they even are careful of what they think in order to avoid being taken or killed for even thoughts of the need for change.

Though very sad both visions of the future presented independently by Huxley and Orwell have come to pass each in their own way in various parts of the modern world, influencing the societies around it. The modern world in which we live in is truly a “Brave New 1984” in which we are both being ruined by what we fear and what we desire. Our world is run by our fears and our desires.

"Biblioklept." Biblioklept. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 June 2012. <http://biblioklept.org/2010/12/14/huxley-vs-orwell-the-webcomic/>.
Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business (1985) by Neil Postman
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley published in 1931
Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell published in 1949

Quickie Book Review

Jules Verne’s The Mysterious Island is an exciting novel of varying qualities and multiple genres. I will omit any spoilers concerning the novel.

What the story lacks in substance it makes up for in description and visual and sensory details. It has a slow rising action but when it picks up it really does pick up and is able to successfully connect two previous novels of Verne(20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and In Search of Castaways) together and give some background to them. The revelation and the sensory details are very much worth the wait of reading. Though throughout the beginning you could easily get bored with the dragging situations. You can most definitely see the big influence this novel had on the creators of shows such as LOST. A very interesting read that is not for those who bore easily, I give this book a 6.2/10.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Read This! Not That

Instead of The Body Snatchers by Jack Finney read The Puppet Masters by Robert A. Heinlein

Both of these novels were very commercially successful and each has had their own movie adaptations.
However The Body Snatchers boasted many more than The Puppet Masters with 4 adaptations: 1956(Kevin McCarthy), 

1978(Donald Sutherland), 
1993(Gabrielle Anwar) 

and a recent one in 2007(with Nicole Kidman). 

The Puppet Masters only boasts a semi-successful adaptation (1994) starring someone who came out in both Donald Sutherland.
With equally chilling stories of an invasion of an almost undetectable enemy whose purpose is hardly known and gives a sense of paranoia that had a different type of emotion for those living in that time. The Puppet Masters by Robert A. Heinlein(1951) and The Body Snatchers by Jack Finney(1955) were both written during the Cold War. Though the stories and theme are quite similar it is the complete sense of storytelling in which they differ and the superior book prevails. In the Body Snatchers the duplicates live only a half a decade of years and cannot reproduce. The Puppet Masters however have the aliens actually being much more symbiotic in nature and their presence is much more like that of the scare of the Communist Russian of which heavily analogy is used. The struggle presented by the character is much more of a mental one. The Puppet Master aliens also eventually become more difficult to spot and remove from the body of whom they are controlling. It also gives a sense that eventually the entire human race will become mindless slaves to these extra-terrestrial beings unlike The Body Snatchers in which the human race would just be wiped out. The Puppet Masters overall gives a better sense of the paranoia and fear the people were facing with dealing with the issues of how a regular person would react to such an invasion. The Aliens themselves are quite realistic in the sense they are more like sentient symbiotic beings than intelligent bacteria that completely duplicates a being. I would highly recommend reading The Puppet Masters by Robert A. Heinlein and overall would prefer it over the also well regarded novel by Jack Finney, The Body Snatchers.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

What To Read

Finding George Orwell in Burma by Emma Larkin
If you like the novels by George Orwell specifically “Burmese Days”, “Animal Farm” and “1984” you will enjoy finding about the origins of these books and how the story was developed. “Finding George Orwell in Burma” explores the link between these three books and how they predicted the present situation of Burma (now Myanmar). Also explored, is the current situation of which the Burmese live in and the type of environment they are faced with. Another element that is shown and explored is the decline of the people in terms of wealth, literary ability, mathematical reasoning, and how the country is collapsing on itself due to its tyrannical dictatorship.
A novel that truly upholds the name of Orwell by explaining and exploring the possible emotions of how he must have felt and what inspired the images that he wrote about in what is considered the “Burmese Prophecy” which consists of Burmese Days, Animal Farm and 1984.
This book is a must read if you are interested in what inspired Orwell to create the memorable images of Big Brother, the Thought Police and the system of government that is presented in 1984, and also what inspired him to write about the pigs that took over in Animal Farm and who they were based on.