Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Challenge Complete (3M)

Finished the challenge today--in the nick of time! If you can call this a "genre", it is one of my favorites. I ended up reading We as an alternate to A Scanner Darkly. Thanks for a wonderful idea for a challenge!

I had chosen:
A Scanner Darkly by Philip K. Dick
Messenger by Lois Lowry FINISHED
Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry FINISHED
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood FINISHED
Never Let Me Go by K. Ishiguro FINISHED

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
Children of Men by P.D. James
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
We by Yevgeny Zamyatin FINISHED

Never Let Me Go - 3M's Review

neverletmego.JPGThis review will contain spoilers, so don't read on if you want to read this book in the future!




This book started off very strong for me. I really enjoyed Ishiguro's writing style, but then the story bogged down in the middle, and by the ending, I was really mad. I didn't like how it ended AT ALL. So they do nothing? They just coolly accept their fate? That, to me, proves to me that the "students" were soulless. They never truly loved each other from my perspective, and they couldn't see that they could at least TRY to get out of their situation? I'm wondering what Ishiguro's point here was. Is he saying they had a soul or not? If you've read the book, please give me your take!

(Oh, and another thing. . . is disorientated a word? I always thought it was disoriented. Just another thing that irked me.)

2005, 288 pp.
Rating: 3

We - 3M's Review

I read this a few weeks months?! ago, and I'm not sure why I haven't written the review yet. I want to talk about it intelligently because I really loved it. Unfortunately, intelligent writing has eluded me lately. Had to write the review today, though, as it was one of my Dystopian Challenge books.

This book preceded and heavily influenced both 1984 and Brave New World. People have no names, just letters and numbers. They plan on going on to other planets to compel others to adopt their mathematically-minded happiness. Emotions aren't allowed. They live in glass apartments. Everything 'human' is discouraged. But. . . a rebel faction is present in and outside 'the wall.' Will those inside the wall learn to be truly human?

Side note: A few weeks ago I saw the movie Equilibrium starring Christian Bale, and it surely had to be influenced by this novel. If you're interested in the dystopian genre, it's a must-see. See my review here.

1922, 232 pp.
Rating: 4.5

The Handmaid's Tale - Wendy's Review

It was after the catastrophe, when they shot the president and machine-gunned the Congress and the army declared a state of emergency. They blamed it on the Islamic fanatics, at the time. Keep calm, they said on television. Everything is under control. - From The Handmaid's Tale, page 174-

Margaret Atwood's futuristic novel - The Handmaid's Tale - is timeless and relevant. Set in the fictional Republic of Gilead and spanning the Eastern seaboard of the United States after the collapse of the American government, the novel is narrated by Offred...a young Handmaid whose sole purpose in life now is to be the vessel for producing a baby for the upper classes. Atwood creates a terrifying hierarchy with men being "on top" and women being relegated to a variety of freedom-less classes such as Wives (top ranked married women who are unable to conceive), Daughters (the adopted offspring of wives), Marthas (infertile, single, older women whose skills at domesticity keep them from being shipped off to the Colonies), Econowives (low-ranked married women who must "do it all"), Handmaids (fertile women whose sole function is to provide babies for the upper echelon), Aunts (the only women who have any autonomy and are used to train and monitor the Handmaids), and Jezebels (the prostitutes who are hidden away in hotels and used for men's pleasure). Atwood uses irony effectively with Biblical references and play on words to craft a compelling story.

The novel questions how much freedom we are willing to give up in the guise of safety. Viewed in respect to our current world and political environment of red alerts, government lies to enact war, terrorism, airline security, phone tapping and the whittling away of individual freedoms...The Handmaid's tale is a thought-provoking expose on what could happen when we willingly give up our freedoms to supposedly ensure our safety. Are we on a slippery slope? Atwood also questions our sources of information (ie: the news media).

The anchorman comes on now. His manner is kindly, fatherly; white hair and candid eyes, wise wrinkles around them, like everybody's ideal grandfather. What he's telling us, his level smile implies, is for our own good. Everything will be all right soon. I promise. There will be peace. you must trust. you must go to sleep, like good children. He tells us what we long to believe. He's very convincing. -From The Handmaid's Tale, page 83-

Atwood is a genius at creating character. Offred's voice is pitch perfect, taking the reader step by step through her horrible story. Even Serena Joy, the Commander Fred's wretched wife, elicits sympathy from the reader. Atwood's skill with language has never been more spot on then in this novel where she twists words and phrases, showing the reader that all is not as it seems.

But all of that was pertinent only in the night, and had nothing to do with the man you loved, at least in daylight. With that man you wanted it to work, to work out. Working out was also something you did to keep you body in shape, for the man. If you worked out enough, maybe the man would too. Maybe you would be able to work it out together, as if the two of you were a puzzle that could be solved; otherwise, one of you, most likely the man, would go wandering off on a trajectory of his own, taking his addictive body with him and leaving you with bad withdrawal, which you could counteract by exercise. If you didn't work it out, it was because one of you had the wrong attitude. Everything that went on in your life was thought to be due to some positive or negative power emanating from inside your head. -From The Handmaid's Tale, pages 226-227-

I was hooked by the story from page one and read it straight through in two days.

The Handmaid's Tale
is on the ALA's list of 100 most banned books. It was short listed for the Booker Prize in 1986, won the Governor General's Award in Canada in 1985, and made the Orange Prize list of 50 Essential Reads. Brilliant, chilling, suspenseful, and masterly written - this novel is a modern classic.

Highly recommended; rated 5/5.

To read more about this novel, check out Wikipedia. Also here.

Wendy's Challenge List

November 5, 2007 - I COMPLETED THIS CHALLENGE!!! To read my challenge wrap up, go here. THANK YOU, Lisa for sponsoring this wonderful challenge.


Here are my books for this challenge:

1. Cloud Atlas, by David Mitchell (Completed 4/18/2007; read a review here.)
2. The Road, by Cormac McCarthy (Completed 5/17/2007; read a review here.)
3. The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood (Completed 11/5/2007; read a review here.)
4. In the Country of Last Things, by Paul Auster (Completed 9/23/2007; read a review here.)

I can't wait to see what the rest of you are reading and to read your reviews. Dystopian literature is new to me, and so far I'm really enjoying it!

Time's up, Readers!

Today is the end of the challenge. How'd you do? Did you read everything on your list? Did you discover any new authors you love? Authors you'd never read again? Did you read more than you planned because it was just that interesting?

I know a couple of you have already posted wrap-ups, thanks! Any final thoughts?

As for me, I did not finish my own challenge. I still plan to read most of what was on my list, it's just going to have to wait for a better time.

Thanks to everyone who participated, even though I did not finish, it was a lot of fun.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Road, reviewed by raidergirl3 and CompletedWrap Up

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

The Road finishes up the dystopian challenge for me. It was a bleak book, but a good read. The prose was perfect for this post apocaolypse tale, of a father and son walking across America. It was dark, and bleak, and depressing and how could a person survive this life? And would you want to? And it is also a book about surviving and hope and love, because those will always be there in life as well.

My full review is at my blog: here

To finish up this challenge, and with only a few weeks to go, here is the list I originally committed to:

Books I plan to read:
1. The Giver by Lois Lowry (banned book challenge as well)
2. Never Let Me Go by Kazou Ishiguro
3. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
4. Brave New World by Huxley
5. either The Road by Cormac McCarthy or Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell (recced by laura)

I read all five, but not Cloud Atlas, plus I also read We by Yvengy Zamyatin and Uglies by Scott Westerfield.
Favorite Book: Never Let Me Go, The Giver and The Road

I really enjoyed this challenge, and the books I found. This is a genre I would not have thought I would like, but I have had to revise this opinion, because I have a stack of new books I still want to read, including Pretties, Specials, Oryx and Cake, Children of Men.
Thanks for the challenge.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Pamela - Dystopian Challenge Completed

I have successfully completed my 3rd challenge. I really enjoyed this challenge as 4 out of the 5 books I read I rated with an 8 or higher.

1984 by George Orwell [completed May 18th, 2007]
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley [completed August 26th, 2007]
The Giver by Lois Lowry [completed April 28th, 2007]
The Road by Cormac McCarthy [completed July 4th, 2007]
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood [completed September 17th, 2007]

Sunday, September 23, 2007

In The Country of Last Things - Wendy's Book Review

You would think that sooner or later it would all come to an end. Things fall apart and vanish, and nothing new is made. People die, and babies refuse to be born. In all the years I have been here, I can't remember seeing a single newborn child. And yet, there are always new people to replace the ones who have vanished. -From In the Country of Last Things, page 7-

Anna Blume arrives in an unnamed city to search for her brother - a journalist who has vanished without a trace. The city is one of unspeakable destruction and horror, where dead people lie in the street (either by their own hand, or from hired assassins, or from starvation or violence). Things disappear daily along with memories. To survive, Anna becomes an object scavenger, gathering up things from the past to sell for food and shelter. Who and what can survive in this bleak and desolate city?
Paul Auster's novel is written from Anna's point of view - and presented in a letter she writes to someone in her past. For Anna, there is no going back "home."

In spite of what you would suppose, the facts are not reversible. Just because you are able to get in, that does not mean you will be able to get out. Entrances do not become exits, and there is nothing to guarantee that the door you walked through a moment ago will still be there when you turn around to look for it again. That is how it works in the city. Every time you think you know the answer to a question, you discover that the question makes no sense.
- From In The Country of Last Things, page 85-

Unable to go back, and uncertain about going forward, the reader learns how Anna survives and what she finds in a place where everything seems to be lost. The novel is not particularly hopeful - the characters not only lose the past, but also their faith.

"I don't believe in God anymore, if that's what you mean," I said. "I gave all that up when I was a little girl."
"It's difficult not to," the Rabbi said. "When you consider the evidence, there's a good reason why so many think as you do."
"You're not going to tell me that you believe in God," I said.

"We talk to him. But whether or not he hears us is another matter."

-From In the Country of Last Things, page 96-

The novel is well written and I found myself turning the pages seeking the same answers that Anna seeks. Auster offers a glimmer of promise - but, ultimately I finished the book with a feeling of disappointment.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Mercy's Maid's Book List

Here is my list of books I would like to complete for this challenge:

1. 1984 by George Orwell * Completed
2. The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin
3. Animal Farm by George Orwell * Completed
4. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
5. Pretties by Scott Westerfeld * Completed
6. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld * Completed
7. Specials by Scott Westerfeld * Completed

**I keep adding to my list, but I don't seem to be speeding up my reading of this genre.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

raidergirl3 update

Never Let Me Go by Kazou Ishiguro

Awesome book, suspenseful, best dystopian novel I've read. His prose is wonderful and the way he weaves the memoirish story, kept me reading continuously. Not as over the top dystopian as the others I've read, which is why this world was so possible.

full review here

One of the first dystopian novels, written in the early 1920s and translated from Russian, We by Yevgeny Zamyatin is pretty good. This is a creepy preview of Stalinist Russian, where logic and mathematics rule the society, and the group (we) is more important than the individual. Our main character, D-503, loves his world, but an encounter with I-330, a rebel female, turns his thoughts and world around.

I loved how he used math references for everything, to make sense of what was hapening to him. full review here

I just have The Road left to read, and I'm waiting in line at the library for it now.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood

I finished reading Oryx and Crake maybe a month ago. It was the only title on my challenge list that I'd been dying to read, but I'd picked this book up a few months ago and just couldn't continue to read it. But I tried again, and the timing was right. I've only read this and The Handmaid's Tale by Atwood, but she has quickly become one of my favourite authors in the way her stories develop, the character's voices, her style of writing - it's all very beautiful and I am in awe of her.

I find it very difficult to summarize the plot, so I leave amazon to do that for me:

In the beginning, there was chaos..." Margaret Atwood's chilling new novel Oryx and Crake moves beyond the futuristic fantasy of her 1985 bestseller The Handmaid’s Tale to an even more dystopian world, a world where language--and with it anything beyond the merest semblance of humanity--has almost entirely vanished.
Snowman may be the last man on earth, the only survivor of an unnamed apocalypse. Once he was Jimmy, a member of a scientific elite; now he lives in bitter isolation and loneliness, his only pleasure the watching of old films on DVD. His mind moves backwards and forwards through time, from an agonising trawl through memory to relive the events that led up to sudden catastrophe (most significantly the disappearance of his mother and the arrival of his mysterious childhood companions Oryx and Crake, symbols of the fractured society in which Snowman now finds himself, to the horrifying present of genetic engineering run amok. His only witnesses, eager to lap up his testimony, are "Crakers", laboratory creatures of varying strengths and abilities, who can offer little comfort. Gradually the reasons behind the disaster begin to unfold as Snowman undertakes a perilous journey to the remains of the bubble-dome complex where the sinister Paradice Project collapsed and near-global devastation began.

This is a very chilling and upsetting story about the uses and abuses of science in regards to genetics, which isn't a subject I'm very familiar with (and Atwood doesn't, thankfully, spend a lot of time on the actual science-y bits) but the disasterous outcome of the novel seems entirely within our reach.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Uglies reviewed by raidergirl3

I knew this book was popular because there are 6 or 7 copies of each part of this trilogy in our high school library. At the last minute, I grabbed a copy for the summer and I'm glad I did. It wasn't on my list for the Dystopian challenge, but it certainly counts. I'll be getting Pretties and Specials before the summer ends.

It's several centuries after our world, the Rusties, has died out. In this future world, to ensure everyone is treated equally, sixteen year olds are given an operation to become pretty. Tally can't wait for her operation, to become pretty and join the parties and fun life in New Pretty Town and leave the Ugly Town she's been living in. Then, just before her birthday, Tally's new friend Shay, tells Tally that she is running away and doesn't want to be pretty. Tally is conflicted, but the authorities find out and give her few options. I won't tell anymore than that, but I haven't put this book down since I picked it up for a *short* diversion from the very intense book The Bone People. So much for a short diversion.

Uglies is a young adult book, and quite an easy read and somewhat predictable, but I was needing some brain candy. Just like I enjoy Captain Crunch every few months for breakfast, I was needing some easy reading. Uglies was a big old bowl of Captain Crunch.

previously posted at my blog

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Gathering Blue & Messenger - 3M's Review

Here are my reviews for Gathering Blue and Messenger by Lois Lowry:

Gathering Blue
by Lois Lowry

2000, 215 pp.

Rating: 4.5

This book is the second in the trilogy which also includes The Giver and Messenger. I read The Giver, a Newbery book, earlier this year and absolutely loved it. This book doesn't really continue where The Giver left off, but Messenger takes place after both stories and with characters from each.

Kira is a girl who has just lost her mother to sickness. She is very distraught as it has been her mother who has protected her from the community. Kira has a bad leg, and everyone in the village with any kind of defect or deformity must leave the protected area and contend with "the beasts" outside of it.

As she goes back to her small house, the women around her make it known that they want her property as a place for their own children and animals. A legal proceeding takes place which decides the matter. Will she have to leave the community and contend with "the beasts", or will an exception be made?

Recommended highly, but make sure you read The Giver before you read Messenger.

by Lois Lowry

2004, 167 pp.

Rating: 4

It's very hard to describe Messenger without giving away parts of The Giver and Gathering Blue. This is the third book in that trilogy. So I'm not going to say anything about the book, other than I enjoyed it very much but consider it to be the weakest of the three. It was nice to have a sequel that wrapped up (somewhat) the other two titles.

Friday, July 6, 2007

The Road - Pamela's Review

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Finished July 4th, 2007

Rating: 9/10

My review for The Road can be found here.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Brave New World

I finished my latest book for the Dystopian challenge, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. Very good. My review is found here on my blog.

I've finished The Giver, Fahrenheit 451, and Brave New World.
Still to read: Never Let Me Go, either The Road or Cloud Atlas, and I borrowed Uglies, so that will be read as well.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Michelle's List updated

1. Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
2. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
3. 1984 by George Orwell
4. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
5. Uglies by Scott Westerfield
6. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
7. Jennifer Government by Max Barry
8. We by Yevgeny Zamyatin

I think this challenge came about just at the right time for me. As you can see from my list, I'm in the mood for dystopian literature! Apart from the three books on my list I haven't yet gotten around to reading (I own 1984 which is why I keep putting it off, I've just renewed Oryx and Crake from the library, and I'm having a hard time getting a copy of Uglies) I've also taken out from the library The Day of the Triffids and Feed. Based on earlier reviews, I'm trying to get copies of the Lois Lowry books as well as possibly giving Cloud Atlas another chance. Will I finish all these books before November? Possibly. I hope so. I'll keep you posted.

We by Yevgeny Zamyatin

On a whim, I took out We from the library the other day. I wasn't sure I'd read it. I had this idea in my head because it's originally written in Russian and because I'd found it in the classics section, that it'd be difficult and dense read. I was mistaken. I finished this book in maybe three sittings and quite enjoyed it. It makes for a good precursor to reading 1984 which is still on my challenge list. I think the back cover says more about it than I can...

Set in the twenty-sixth century AD, Zamyatin's masterpiece describes life under the regimented totalitarian society of OneState, ruled over by the all-powerful "Benefactor." Recognized as the inspiration for George Orwell's 1984, We is the archetype of the modern dystopia, or anti-Utopia: a great prose poem detailing the fate that might befall us all if we surrender our individual selves to some collective dream of technology and fail in the vigilance that is the price of freedom.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Jennifer Government by Max Barry

I finished Jennifer Government last weekend. I wanted a title on my list that was sort of light-hearted and fun. My husband had read this book previously and he'd said it was funny and even though I know his reading style and mine are very different, I gave this book a chance.

I do like the premise of it... it's set in a near-future where America has taken over half the world and consumerism and marketing campaigns have gone wild. People take on their employer's company name as their surname and nearly everyone is employed and tax has been abolished which means public institutions like schools and the police have become corporate and reliant on funding either from a big business or on an individual basis.

It all begins rather grimly with a Nike marketing campaign for a new brand of trainers which sets off a complicated and sad group of events which really illustrate how little value is placed on human lives, on relationships and how greedy and self-obsessed this future has become.

Though I did find some parts disturbing in its accuracy, I found that the novel was a bit over-the-top, that none of the characters were likeable and the whole feeling of the book was that it was written by a man, for a man. I found there to be lots of unnessary violence and I wasn't too impressed with the dialogue. I struggled to finish the book but I don't regret the time I did spend with it.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

1984 - Pamela's Review

1984 by George Orwell

Finished May 18th, 2007

Rating: 8/10

Dystopian Challenge Book #2

My review for 1984 can be found here.

The Giver - Pamela's Review

The Giver by Lois Lowry

Finished April 28th, 2007

Rating: 9/10

Dystopian Challenge Book #1

My review for The Giver can be found here.

Pamela's List

It has taken me awhile to post on this blog so apologies for the delay. My name is Pamela and I recently started blogging in February and have been broadening my reading by joining all the great challenges. My book list for the Dystopian Challenge is:

1984 by George Orwell [completed May 18th, 2007]

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

The Giver by Lois Lowry [completed April 28th, 2007]

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood

I have finished 2 of the 5 books and will post my reviews shortly.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Dystopian Completion

So I already knew I might not read Children of Men right now and now I definitely know in my gut that it's not my time to read The Road. That's the hard part about challenges. Reading is an organic process, I think, for most people, and often I can't just plan out what I will read ahead of time and stick with it. I never know what I really want to read next until I finish the current book. Anyway, this challenge goes until November 6 so I'll probably pick up my last two books this fall.

Dewey kindly pointed me toward an extremely interesting article about Ray Bradbury's intentions with Fahrenheit 451. (Thanks so much, Dewey!) It's not about banned books or government censorship as so many people seem to think. And, if you read the book, you will see that there are pages of explanation by one of the characters telling how the book burning came about. It was society's choice. Books began to be shortened little by little and anything contentious was eliminated until the point where books were little more than footnotes. By "anything contentious" I mean anything that could possibly offend anyone. And that brings me back to my fascination with Ray Bradbury's insights into the society of the future. Not only did he foresee the prevalence of television and the disconnect between nature and human society, but he also predicted hyper-political correctness.

"You must understand that our civilization is so vast that we can't have our minorities upset and stirred. Ask yourself, What do we want in this country, above all? People want to be happy, isn't that right? Haven't you heard it all your life? I want to be happy, people say. Well, aren't they? Don't we keep them moving, don't we give them fun? That's all we live for, isn't it? For pleasure, for titillation? And you must admit our culture provides plenty of these."

"Colored people don't like Little Black Sambo. Burn it. White people don't feel good about Uncle Tom's Cabin. Burn it. Someone's written a book on tobacco and cancer of the lungs? The cigarette people are weeping? Burn the book. "

"Let him forget there is such a thing as war. If the government is inefficient, topheavy, and tax-mad, better it be all those than that people worry over it. Peace, Montag. Give the people contests they win by remembering the words to more popular songs or the names of state capitals . . . Cram them full of noncombustible data, chock them so damned full of 'facts' they feel stuffed, but absolutely 'brilliant' with information. Then they'll feel they're thinking, they'll get a sense of motion without moving. . . . Don't give them any slippery stuff like philosophy or sociology to tie things up with. That way lies melancholy."

I just finished this book and already I want to read it again.

Here is Ray Bradbury's website. There are video clips of him explaining, among other things, how he feels about television, censorship, and Fahrenheit 451.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Camille's List and Plans

Here's my list to date:

1. A Canticle for Leibowitz
2. The Postman
3. The Handmaid's Tale (in progress, can't put it down)
4. The Road
5. Fahrenheit 451
6. maybe Children of Men because I didn't like the movie and figure the book must be better

So Children of Men was a maybe and I'm taking that off the list. And now, I'm just not so sure about The Road. I might have to bail on that, too, and call it a day on the Dystopian Challenge. The thing is, I don't trust Cormac McCarthy. I know he can be extremely disturbing and I know there are elements of this in The Road. But so many people have read it and loved it. And it's an Oprah book! I feel silly not being able to read an Oprah book.

But if I say I like dystopians and post-apocalyptic books so much, I should be able to read the hardcore ones, too, no? I have a plan to read, well, all of the Pulitzers. As of now, this is the last on the list. Maybe I'll read it when I get to it chronologically on the Pulitzer list? That would give me a lot of time before I got to it and by then I'd be in a different state of mind, different stage in life, etc., and maybe more ready for it then. I did buy it the other day. But the more I think about it, the more I'm leaning toward not jumping on the bandwagon and reading this book along with everyone else.

Fourth Book: Fahrenheit 451: Camille's Review

I know I had read this book before, but I didn't remember a thing about it. Also, I had it mixed up in my head with a short story from The Martian Chronicles. (The one where the last person in the town hears the phone ring and tries to figure out where it's coming from. That's all I remember.)

So Fahrenheit 451 is about a fireman named Montag. You can't call him the politically correct firefighter because he does exactly the opposite. He starts fires. Firemen, in Bradbury's "future" society, set fire to homes for which they've gotten the alarm or a tip-off that there are books on the premises. Montag, at first, enjoys his job. His wife stays home, drugs herself, and watches TV all day, except that the TV is huge and takes up whole walls and you can interact with it. After Montag meets a strange and different teenager on his block, he begins to see things in a different light and realizes that there is more to life than what his society has become.

I agree that this book has earned its status as a classic. But what truly amazes me is Ray Bradbury's extremely insightful portrayal of the future. For instance, the book was published in 1953. TV had only really gotten off the ground 5 or 6 years before. I think only about half of the American population even had TVs in 1953, and 1953 was also the first year that color television was available. I think it's just amazing how he was able to foresee the power and influence that TV would gain over the years. Of course, we don't have TVs on all four walls in a room BUT-- we do have ever-increasingly larger screens available, some people do spend all day with it, some people are obsessed with certain shows or actors. It's a big part of almost everyone's lives.

The people in the book are so out of touch with the natural world, human emotion, art, or any kind of deep thought. Everything is supposed to be vacuous and fun. In a conversation between two of Montag's wife's friends about how their children are, one of them says she has no children and the other says she had two by Cesarean even though her doctor told her she didn't need to. She said something along of the lines of it being easier to have had the surgery. (Then she puts the kids in front of the TV when they're not at school.) Again, in light of the current issue of unnecessary C-sections, Ray Bradbury was spot on.

Our society is not like the one in Fahrenheit (although the book takes place sometime in the 90s.) But it could be. So everyone, keep reading! Love your books and keep them alive.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Finished the Challenge

This is my final book for the Dystopian Challenge.

From Amazon:
"Kira, newly orphaned and lame from birth, is taken from the turmoil of the village to live in the grand Council Edifice because of her skill at embroidery. There she is given the task of restoring the historical pictures sewn on the robe worn at the annual Ruin Song Gathering, a solemn day-long performance of the story of their world's past. Down the hall lives Thomas the Carver, a young boy who works on the intricate symbols carved on the Singer's staff, and a tiny girl who is being trained as the next Singer. Over the three artists hovers the menace of authority, seemingly kind but suffocating to their creativity, and the dark secret at the heart of the Ruin Song."

My Thoughts:
A few years ago I read "The Giver." Since "Gathering Blue" is labeled as a companion to that one and my daughter loved it, I decided to read it. I ended up enjoying it even more .

I think that what made me like this one more was that I can relate to the society in which Kira lives where the more futuristic setting of "The Giver" was harder to envision.

My favorite character was Kira's friend Matt. He was so endearing and sweet with his mischievousness and he proves himself to be such a good friend that he is impossible not to like. I cracked up at the way he talked. I also love the ending but I won't spoil that for anyone. (4/5)

Monday, May 21, 2007

DNF- The House of the Scorpion

I just couldn't get into this book so I have decided to set it aside and move on to Gathering Blue which will be my last title for this challenge.

I made a few more comments on this book which you can see here if you are interested.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Third Book: The Handmaid's Tale

I feel like I'm cheating on the Dystopian Challenge because I would have been reading all these books anyway. It's like it's too easy. I really think I might finish this challenge, and that means it'll be the first challenge I EVER completed.

So, the Handmaid's Tale. Wow. I loved this book. I'm now a huge Margaret Atwood fan. Well, I guess I should read a few more before declaring that. I did read Oryx and Crake a few years ago and really liked that. I'm not going to summarize the book anymore than to say that it's the story of a new society built on top of an old one, one we know very well. For more info, see 3M's and Jen Robinson's reviews.

The book is written very anthropologically, as the main character describes her life in the new society as compared with her old, normal life. And by this method, she describes the way the society works as well. The language is beautiful in its simplicity. The writing style is very appealing to me. It was a treat to read this book after The Postman which I read just for plot. With The Handmaid's Tale, I enjoyed the riveting, fascinating story and the intriguing characters, as well as the literary qualities of the writing. It was also fun to guess the setting by reading for clues. In the beginning, there are a few subtle clues that led me to believe I knew where it took place and then towards the end there are more direct clues that affirmed my guess was correct.

Super highly recommended, whether you're into dystopians or not.

Friday, May 18, 2007

The Road - Wendy's Review

He woke before dawn and watched the gray day break. Slow and half opaque. He rose while the boy slept and pulled on his shoes and wrapped in his blanket he walked out through the trees. He descended into a gryke in the stone and there he crouched coughing and he coughed for a long time. Then he just knelt in the ashes. he raisedhis face to the paling day. Are you there? he whispered. Will I see you at the last? Have you a neck by which to throttle you? Have you a heart? Damn you eternally have you a soul? Oh God, he whispered. Oh God. -From The Road, page 10-

Cormac McCarthy just won The Pulitzer Prize for The Road, a novel of profound bleakness and beauty which almost defies definition. I was worried about reading this book, which has garnered praise but has also been described as dark and depressing. It is dystopian literature which I usually avoid because the genre always struck me as so pessimistic. That being said, The Road blew me away and will make my list for one of the best books I've read in 2007.

The story appears to be a simple one: a father and his young son are traveling along a road somewhere in America after a devastating event which has killed almost every living thing and left the world in a gray haze of floating ash and weird weather. There are "bad guys" and there are horrors; there are moments of sheer terror which seem to be nightmares instead of actual life. Layered beneath this story is a larger story - one about a boy and his father and the love they share, one about faith and hope and the will to survive. It is heartbreaking and beautiful and written in an unembellished language which somehow makes it that much more powerful.

I found myself compulsively turning the pages, unable to stop reading the story. I would lay the book down, and then pick it up only moment later. Just a few more pages. McCarthy carries the reader along on this journey, looking for the hope around every curve in the road, holding their breath, wondering if God has survived the devastation after all.

McCarthy uses metaphor and symbolism throughout the novel - the fire which the boy carries inside him (is this spiritualism? hope? humanity?), and the road itself - to just name two. This is a deep book, one that deserves to be discussed and thought about. It is certainly worthy of the Pulitzer.

There are some wonderful reviews of this book out in the blogosphere. You can go here to read several in one place, and to take part in some interesting discussions of the book. Ariel at Sycorax Pine has written a stunning review of this novel.

Highly recommended. Rated 5/5.

**Read my original review of this book on my blog here.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Status Update and Mini Reviews

I've enjoyed reading all of your comments. I've completed 2 of my 5 books (as discussed below).
  • Among the Free by Margaret Peterson Haddix
  • The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (a re-read)
  • Feed by M. T. Anderson
  • Dies the Fire by S. M. Stirling
  • Z is for Zachariah by Robert C. O'Brien
I thought that The Handmaid's Tale held up very well, after having first read it nearly 20 years ago. I found it utterly compelling, and read it in less than a day (a day when I certainly had other things that I should have been doing). Margaret Atwood is a talented writer, and in The Handmaid's Tale she explores a dark future in which individual rights, especially those of women, shrink down to almost nothing. I found this prospective future chilling, especially in light of recent legal challenges to women's rights. But The Handmaid's Tale is hopeful, too. The main character, nameless except for her demeaning moniker Offred (property of Fred), resists in whatever small ways that she can, and in the end finds glimmers of hope.

Among the Free
is a satisfying finale to the Shadow Children series. This seven-book series is about a future world in which, after a time of famine, third children have been declared illegal by a draconian government. Each book showcases a slightly different, overlapping, set of brave third children, fighting for their own freedom to exist. In this final installment (as is evident from the title), the government is overthrown. But challenges still exist, and the fate of the third children ends up resting in the hand of Luke, the main character from the first book. I teared up a little bit at the end of Among the Free, but in a good way. All of the books in the series are quick, enjoyable reads. I'd like to see the series issued in a single volume, for older readers.

I hope to move on the the other books on my list soon. Please keep up all of your updates. I'm enjoying the wonderful, speculative diversity of this genre.

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Wednesdays are the days that Elliot goes to his grandma's house for the day, and I usually spend my freetime catching up on housework or laundry, but today was different. Today, I had The Road by Cormac McCarthy to keep me company. I stayed in bed all morning reading this haunting yet beautiful book. I could have wept, but I didn't. I almost couldn't. Here's what the front flap has to say:

A father and his young son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. Their destination is the coast, although they don't know what, if anything, awaits them there. They have nothing but a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food - and each other.

I couldn't believe this heartbreaking world, set in a time after an unexplained catastrophe. With many forced to abandon their humanity to survive in this new world, a father and son try to get by and be 'the good guys'. Amongst all hopelessness and the surrounding devastation, this father and son cling to each other and their love for one another keeps them alive. Honestly, I can't recommend this book enough. Though incredibly disturbing in parts, this book had me gripped from the very first page.
Originally this wasn't a book I had intended to read for this challenge, but I saw it at the library yesterday and decided to pick it up, just in case. I'm so glad I did.
Michelle's List:
1. Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
2. 1984 by George Orwell
5. Uglies by Scott Westerfield
6. Jennifer Government by Max Barry

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Handmaid's Tale - 3M's Review

The Handmaid's Tale
by Margaret Atwood

1986, 311 pages

Rating: 4.5

What a thought-provoking book!

Offred (Of Fred) is a woman who had her child and all her money taken away from her by the government. Her money was taken away just because she was female. Her daughter was taken away because her marriage was declared invalid. Why? Because it was the second marriage for her husband. The government has "religious" motivations for these acts. (Something I was a little uncomfortable with because I am a Christian, yet I realize there are always extremists. I took this as a cautionary tale.)

Spoiler alert! (Don't read if you like to be in suspense during a book.)
Things only get worse from there. She is forced to become a handmaid, or surrogate mother, for a man of high position in the government. However, the conception is to occur in the normal way--with the wife present! This was a little shocking to me! Somehow Atwood pulls this off without offending my prudish sensibilities. The life of Offred is certainly not enviable.

I found this book to be a jolt to my system. Atwood is a gifted writer, and I definitely plan on reading more of her works.

The original review may be found here.

3M's List

My list for the Dystopian Challenge:

A Scanner Darkly by Philip K. Dick
Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry
The Messenger by Lois Lowry
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
Never Let Me Go by K. Ishiguro

Bonus/Alternates that I probably won't find time for but would like to read are:

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
Children of Men by P.D. James
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

Monday, May 14, 2007

Among the Enemy & Among the Free

I finished two more for the Challenge today. They were really quick reads for me but I have really enjoyed reading this series with my kids.

You can find my review here.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

I finished another one. This time, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. I'd been meaning to read this book for awhile, but I'd never gotten around to it until now. It's a fantastic book! And really powerful. It made me reconsider the amount of time I spend watching TV, it had me wondering if I really listen to the people I care about, it made me more aware of how little I am aware of current events. If ever a book made me really stop and think about my, then this book was it.

It's set in a future where books are banned and no one thinks for themselves in order to achieve happiness. No one listens to what other people have to say, everyone's lives are very superficial and based around silly nonsensical TV programmes. Life is very fastpaced and surrounded by noise and chatter and materialism.

The protaganist, Guy Montag is a fireman whose main responsibilites are to burn books and to burn the houses of people who still own books. He meets a strange girl who asks him unusual questions and helps him to realise that he isn't happy, he isn't in love with his wife, and this kicks off a very quick moving, scary novel.

I zipped through it really quickly, partly because of how interesting the subject was to me, and partly because of the style in which Bradbury writes which just forces the reader to continue. This is a very short novel, but I assure you, Fahrenheit 451 is one of those books that will stay with you long after you've read the last page!

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K Dick

This marks my first book read for the Dystopian Challenge, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick. I'm not entirely sure why I chose to read it, I've never really been interested in robot-type science fiction.
It was OK. I didn't love it, I didn't hate it. It's the book that Blade Runner was based on, and while I know I have seen the film, I don't remember the details so I went into reading this book without much of an idea of what it was about apart from the fact that it was set in a dystopia. I hadn't read anything by Philip K. Dick before, and possibly this wasn't the best book to jump in from?

It's about a bounty hunter in a future covered in radiactive dust where having a live pet is the ultimate symbol of prestige and all animals are sacred, even spiders. People are encouraged to emigrate to Mars where they would be given an android servant. Some androids escape and try to live amongst humans on (what's left of) Earth. Rick Deckard is set the task of 'retiring' 4 such androids but questions the moral implications.
To be honest, here's where I get quite confused with the story. I understand that Deckard questions his humanity in killing the androids, especially after his encounter with a beautiful android, Rachel. But I didn't get the significance of Deckard's depressed wife, Mercerism, the 'chickenhead' character. Maybe I wasn't as involved in the storyline or the characters as I could have been, but it all just baffled me. The writing was easy enough to read, and I sped through the book quickly, but I didn't take in much of it unfortunately.

Camille's List and Reviews

Over the past few months, I've been developing this interest in dystopian and post-apocalyptic fiction. I can't remember what triggered it, but as I think about it, I think it was watching the movie Waterworld and realizing that I had liked the movie The Postman as well, and that maybe I'd like to see more movies or read more books in this vein. And then I read The Giver and I was hooked. I read the next two books that go along with it and then someone recommended Z for Zachariah which I absolutely loved. Now I'm really hooked. Dystopians and post-apocalyptics are not necessarily of the same genre, but often they go hand-in-hand because the dystopia results from some kind of war-like upheaval, whether almost completely decimated like in The Postman or a violent and extreme government takeover like in The Handmaid's Tale. So that's why I'm reading both.

Here is my review of The Postman.

Here is my review of A Canticle for Leibowitz.

Here's my list:

1. A Canticle for Leibowitz
2. The Postman
3. The Handmaid's Tale (in progress, can't put it down)
4. The Road
5. Fahrenheit 451
6. maybe Children of Men because I didn't like the movie and figure the book must be better

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Finished another Dystopian read

M.T. Anderson
Library Book
237 pgs

Read for the Dystopian Challenge, recommended by my son.

Titus and his friends are happy in their world of fun and games. They are comfortable with the feed that plays constantly in their heads and advertises everything under the sun and makes life oh-so-easy for them. But Titus meets a girl named Violet and things start to change for him.

My son really enjoyed this book and heartily recommended it to me. I enjoyed reading it too but it took me a little bit of time to become accustomed to the way the characters talk(both their language and manner of speaking take some getting used to). Other than that, I thought it was an excellent and funny commentary on consumerism and selfishness.

This was an interesting and fun read. (4/5)

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Amy's List

I haven't been able to visit the blogs as much as usual lately so please forgive me for being a bit behind. My list is chosen from YA lit. because my kids have recommended several dystopian titles to me.

1. The House of the Scorpion - Farmer
2. Feed- Anderson
3. The City of Ember - DuPrau
4. Gathering Blue - Lowry
5. Among the Enemy - Haddix
6. Among the Free - Haddix

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Dystopian Books Up For Grabs

I'm willing to share any of the books on my list after I'm done reading them. The only catch is that these are Bookcrossing books, and I would appreciate it if you would make a brief journal entry (on bookcrossing.com) for the book once you receive it and that you would pass the book on to someone else when you are finished reading it. If more than one person wants one of the books, we can set up a waiting list and when the first person is finished with the book, they can send it to the next on the list.

I'll pay to ship the book to the first person on the list. Media mail to ship these books would cost $1.59 inside of the US (price will go up slightly with the postage increase this year). Paying to ship the book on to the next person would be much cheaper than buying the book.

Just an idea. Post a comment if you're interested or if you have questions.

Available Books:
1984 by George Orwell

Monday, May 7, 2007

raidergirl3's list

This was not a genre I've read a lot of, so it was a real challenge for me. So far, I've enjoyed what I've read; my reviews are linked to the titles for The Giver and Fahrenheit 451, which are probably part of Dystopia 101: Intro course to the genre.

Books I plan to read:

1. The Giver by Lois Lowry (banned book challenge as well)
2. Never Let Me Go by Kazou Ishiguro
3. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
4. Brave New World by Huxlet
5. either The Road by Cormac McCarthy or Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell (recced by laura)

maybes: Children of Men PD James; Uglies, Pretties, etc, by Scott Westerfield; something by Margaret Atwood
And I found this list on wikipedia. Wow, who knew there were this many dystopian books. I didn't look up utopian either.
Great idea to start this blog for the challenge.

Lisa's Review for The Giver by Lois Lowry

Today I had an unexpected afternoon off, and decided I would spend it catching up on my reading. I was closest to finishing The Giver and so I started with that. Wow. I knew from about the halfway point that this book would make an emotional impact on me, but did not expect it to be so powerful.

Here's the summary from Amazon.com:
In a world with no poverty, no crime, no sickness and no unemployment, and where every family is happy, 12-year-old Jonas is chosen to be the community's Receiver of Memories. Under the tutelage of the Elders and an old man known as the Giver, he discovers the disturbing truth about his utopian world and struggles against the weight of its hypocrisy. With echoes of Brave New World, in this 1994 Newbery Medal winner, Lowry examines the idea that people might freely choose to give up their humanity in order to create a more stable society. Gradually Jonas learns just how costly this ordered and pain-free society can be, and boldly decides he cannot pay the price.

I read this book as part of my own Dystopian Challenge. (heh, I was putting it off cause I thought I'd chosen it for the Newbery Challenge. I'm getting my lists confused!) For the first half of the book or so, Jonas' world seems perfect, very rule driven, very orderly. The people are happy. There aren't any secrets. At his 12th December, he is assigned his career, and from then the book takes a turn. The truth of the happiness is revealed, but only to Jonas.

I can't say much more without giving away plot points, so I'm going to jump over here with a some spoiler points that I need to say outloud. If you have not read the book, and plan to, I would not read these.

This is my first finished book for the Dystopian Challenge.

Jen's Challenge List

Here are the books that I'll be reading (or re-reading) for the Dystopian Challenge.
  • Among the Free by Margaret Peterson Haddix
  • The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (a re-read)
  • Feed by M. T. Anderson
  • Dies the Fire by S. M. Stirling
  • Z is for Zachariah by Robert C. O'Brien
I have no reviews yet, but I love dystopian fiction, and look forward to reading all of your reviews. Thanks for setting this up, Lisa, and for including me.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Cloud Atlas - A review by Wendy

If we believe that humanity may transcend tooth & claw, if we believe divers races & creeds can share this world as peaceably as the orphans share their candlenut tree, if we believe leaders must be just, violence muzzled, power accountable & the rices of the Earth & its Oceans shared equitably, such a wold will come to pass. -From Cloud Atlas, page 508-

David Mitchell's novel, Cloud Atlas, is at once brilliant, far reaching in scope and immensely creative. I read this book like an addict - hanging on the words, seeking the answers, caught up in the worlds Mitchell flawlessly creates. I feel like I could re-read this book several times and continue to find new meanings each time. David Mitchell is a newly discovered author for me - and I am in awe of his talent. I will most certainly be reading his other two novels -Ghostwritten AND Number9Dream - in the very near future.

Cloud Atlas appears to be six seemingly disparate stories, but they are woven together and connected as the novel progresses. Tucked into the stories, Mitchell alludes to the novel's structure at least twice.

Spent the fortnight gone in the music room, reworking my year's fragments into a "sextet for overlapping soloist": piano, clarinet, 'cello, flute, oboe, and violin, each in its own language of key, scale, and color. In the first set, each solo is interrupted by its successor: in the second, each interruption is recontinued, in order. -From Cloud Atlas, page 445-

One model of time: an infinite matroyoshka doll of painted moments, each "shell" (the present) encased inside a nest of "shells" (previous presents) I call the actual past but which we perceive as the virtual past. The doll of "now" likewise encases a nest of presents yet to be, which I call the actual future but which we perceive as the virtual future. -From Cloud Atlas, page 393-

Confused? Don't be. Mitchell brings it all together in an incredible symphony of writing brilliance. Not only does he create memorable characters, he weaves his words like a painter - fabricating beautiful descriptions of setting.

The tropic sun fattens & fills the noon sky. The men work seminaked with sun-blacked torsos & straw hats. The planking oozes scorching tar that sticks to one's soles. Rain squalls blow up from nowhere & vanish with the same rapidity & the deck hisses itself dry in a minute. Portuguese man-o'-wars pulsate in the quick-silver sea, flying fish bewitch the beholder & ocher shadows of hammerheads circle the Prophetess. -From Cloud Atlas, page 37-

I was excited to see Eva van Outryvede Crommelynck (a wonderful character from Mitchell's latest novel, Black Swan Green) make an appearance in this one as a young girl. It gives me some cautious hope that in a future novel we might seen the dynamic and lovable Jason Taylor again!

A common theme in Cloud Atlas is that of power as a destructive force. Mitchell writes:

'What drives some to accrue power where the majority of their compatriots lose, mishandle, or eschew power? Is it addiction? Wealth? Survival? Natural selection? I propose these are all pretexts and results, not the root cause. The only answer can be 'There is no "Why." This is our nature.' 'Who' and 'What' run deeper than 'Why.' -page 129-


The will to power, the backbone of human nature. The threat of violence, the fear of violence, or actual violence is the instrument of this dreadful will. You can see the will to power in bedrooms, kitchens, factories, unions, and the borders of states. Listen to this and remember it. The nation-state is merely human nature inflated to monstrous proportions. -page 444-

Ultimately, Mitchell evokes a world where all humans are connected - like souls which 'cross ages like clouds cross skies.' This is truly a beautifully written novel which will stay with the reader long after the final page has been turned.

Highly recommended.

Read the original post of this review here.

The City of Ember

Here is my review for The City of Ember.

FYI,I reviewed this book late at night when I was tired. I made some revisions to my review the next day. I didn't really change what I said...just tried to make my thoughts clearer.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

We (direct translations is My) is an amazing dystopic novel without any historical context.  I think it is possible that understanding Stalin's Russia might distract from the story  We had to tell.  Where the combination of unity and mathematics unite in a utopic bliss.  You are blissful because it has been mathematically equated.  Like The Matrix, the result of many dystopic explorations are "ignorance is bliss." 

Review by Mercy's Maid: 1984 by George Orwell

My Review for 1984


If you want this done differently, feel free to edit it or let me know what you want me to do.

Dystopian Challenge Rules

Ok, I have no creativity for these things, so I have named my challenge the ever-inspiring: Dystopian Challenge. Like it?

In case you missed the first post, the rules were as follows:

  1. Pick any number of books you wish to read that fall into the Utopia/Dystopia genre.
  2. They do not have to be books you've never read, but hopefully they aren't books you last week.
  3. Challenge is open now, and will last until November 6th.

I followed that up with post #2, which has some lists of books and links to lists.

A couple of brave souls actually agreed to play along with me! Ok, so there aren't many, but at least I'm not alone. I plan to convince my husband to join in too. I had a hard time narrowing down my list, without it being the first 5 books listed. I think I have it now though.

  1. The Giver by Lois Lowry. (I really want to read Lowry's Number the Stars too, but it doesn't fit the challenge. Or really, any of her books. )
  2. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. (I read this in 10th grade and loved it so much. It was the first books that really made me *think*. Then I had to do a presentation to my class, much of which revolved around sex and drugs, and I was mortified.)
  3. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood. (I've also read this before, but I'd like to read it again as an adult and mother.)
  4. Where Late The Sweet Birds Sang by Kate Wilhelm. (Susan at West of Mars keeps recommending it, so I chose it.)
  5. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. (This one was on the list at wikipedia and looks interesting.)
  6. Either Animal Farm or 1984 by Orwell. I have not decided which.

Those of you who are gamely playing along, post your list in comments and I'll edit it into my post here.

Gina's List:

  1. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  2. The Giver by Lois Lowry
  3. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
  4. Animal Farm by George Orwell
  5. Brave New World and
  6. The Island by Aldous Huxley
Michelle's List:

  1. Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
  2. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  3. 1984 by George Orwell
  4. (and possibly) Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip Dick
  5. Jennifer Government by Max Barry
  6. Uglies by Scott Westerfield
Maggie at Maggie Reads is playing, she's starting with The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood.

Mercy's Maid over at Random Musings is only unoffically playing. If she WERE playing, she'd start with:

  1. 1984
  2. The Handmaid's Tale
  3. Animal Farm
Raidergirl3 at an adventure in reading is planning to tackle:

  1. The Giver
  2. Never Let Me Go
  3. The Road by Cormac McCarthy or Cloud Atlas
  4. Brave New World
  5. Fahrenheit 451

Paige is planning to read:

  1. 1984
  2. Brave New World
  3. The Giver
  4. The Road
  5. Oryz and Crate

Amy at The Sleepy Reader's list comes from the YA field:

  1. The House of the Scorpion by Farmer
  2. Feed by Anderson
  3. Gathering Blue by Lowry
  4. The City of Ember by DuPrau
  5. Among the Enemy by Haddix
  6. Among the Free by Haddix
Wendy at Caribousmom is reading:

  1. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
  2. The Road
  3. The Handmaid's Tale
  4. In the Country of Las Things by Paul Auster ( I can't find a link for this?)
Camille at Dabbling Dilettante has signed up for:

  1. The Handmaid's Tale
  2. The Postman by David Brin
  3. A Canticle for Lebowitz by Walter M Miller Jr.
  4. Fahrenheit 451 (re-read)
  5. The Road
  6. Children of Men by P.D. James

Nattie at Nattie Writes! is planning to join.

Dana at Think Pink is going to read:

  1. Fahrenheit 451
  2. A Brave New World
  3. Oryx and Crake
  4. Shade's Children by Garth Nix
  5. The Road

Denise W at not-so-deep thoughts posted her list:

  1. Brave New World
  2. When Late the Sweet Birds Sang
  3. The Road
  4. The Giver

Chris at book-a-rama is joining with:

  1. Oryx & Crake
  2. Brave New World
  3. and maybe more!

Teabird at Tea Reads will be back with her list!
And here it is:

  1. Children of Men
  2. Oryz and Crake
  3. Cat's Cradle by Vonnegut
  4. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Michelle at 3M's Booklist will read:

  1. A Scanner Darkly by Philip K Dick
  2. The Messenger by Lois Lowry
  3. Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry
  4. The Handmaid's Tale
  5. Never Let Me Go
And possibly:
6. Oryx and Crake
7. Children of Men
8. Cloud Atlas

a.book.in.the.life's list:

  1. The Road
  2. Animal Farm
  3. Brave New World
  4. The Handmaid's Tale
Stephanie at Stephanie's Confessions of a Book-a-holic:

  1. The Giver
  2. Uglies
  3. Brave New World
  4. Fahrenheit 451
  5. The Road
  6. Cloud Atlas

  1. 1984
  2. Animal Farm
  3. The Giver

  1. We - Yevgeny Zamyatin
  2. Utopia - Thomas More
  3. Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury
  4. The Hideous Strength - C.S. Lewis
  5. The Time Machine - H.G. Wells
  6. The Island - Aldus Huxley
  7. Herland - Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Becky at Becky's Book Reviews has quite an extensive list. You can find it here.

Katrina is reading:

  1. Cloud Atlas
  2. Z for Zachaiah
  3. The Road
  4. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep (extra)
  5. Naked Lunch (extra)