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Friday, September 4, 2009

Don't judge a book by it's cover

Love the colors of this George Orwell book.
And how the circles just float around. Any one read this book? I love it!
It’s George Orwell's first book.
It’s a Fascinating account of one’s working life in such shitty conditions with hardly any sleep and hardly any food. George Orwell's semi-autobiographical account of living in poverty in London and Paris tells a tale of endless woes while living at the bottom of the scrap heap. This was self imposed as George Orwell wanted to experience firsthand what it would be like to live in wretched dirt poor conditions. Slumming and working in the kitchens of Paris he encapsulates his situation with good humor in the most descriptive way, it was like watching a movie in my head and I could even smell the food he was serving the most bourgeois of society.
Oh don’t read this book if you worry about what restaurants do to your food or is a little squeamish about foul smells.
He then returns to London as a hobo, ragged, homeless and penniless and continues his account in such a detailed detached way. This book is full of vagabond characters with lots of little quirks. I like Valenti, who prays to a picture of St. Eloise for money. By some miracle or coincidence he receives some money and is torn between buying cigarettes and buying St Eloise a candle in gratitude. Then he realizes that the picture he prayed to was of the owner of the boarding house he's been staying in.

It is altogether curious, your first contact with poverty. You have thought so much about poverty - it is the thing you've feared all your life, the thing you knew would happen to you sooner or later; and it is all so utterly and prosaically different. You thought it would be quite simple; it is extraordinarily complicated. You thought it would be terrible; it is merely squalid and boring. It is the particular lowness of poverty that you discover first; the shifts that it puts you to, the complicated meanness, the crust-wiping."
- George Orwell.

He ends by suggesting the governments employ the homeless to work outside of the city in gardens, where they could grow food, which they could then eat and sell, and eventually find some stability.
What a wonderful idea, I wonder if any country in the world has this idea in place.

Here are some beautiful book covers.
I love the two chairs, they make a sweet couple don't you think?
I try not to judge a book by its cover.
What are you reading right now?
I'm not reading anything at the moment.
I would love to read the Wild things by Dave Eggers.
Any one read it?

Masashi Kawamura
Wanna have your very own instant rainbow maker,then check this out.

Why not organize your books by colors.

Have you ever left a book in public on purpose ? hmmm let me know.
I'm planning to leave a book behind somewhere...


  1. Love the book covers. Especially arranging books by sleeve covers.

    George Orwell fantastic writer but I'm afraid his skill was brutalized for me when studying Animal Farm at school. A bad English Lit teacher has so much to answer for. Does one ever really suffer poverty when they are voyeuristically participating? I mean if they can pack up and leave when they get bored have they truly experienced it? I think not. They have merely heard an echo.

  2. That book sounds really really good. I will try to read it in the near future...

  3. Hi Jasmine,
    I agree that although, he could not fully appreciate the magnitude of desperation and helplessness, associated with the experiences of one who has been condemned to live a life of poverty, he has at least gained enough firsthand knowledge, to offer up a valid interpretation based upon his own incisive perceptiveness.

  4. Velvet Woods - you are right. A ragged trousered philanthropist is another excellent example of this. I have another book written by a woman who was street homeless for decades. Alcoholic and violent but by some miracle she turned her life around and is now an English Lit lecturer at a university. It is called a pavement for my pillow. I will try George Orwell's book if I come across it :)

  5. some time ago i thought about organizing my books by colours but i just organized half of them.. hehe :)

  6. Wow, the new design of your blog is beautiful and so professional.

    I think that Orwell was a brave writer and even if authors are said to live in ivory towers, at least they have the opportunity to write and imagine how it must be like to live a life of poverty. If we were only to write about what we had actually experienced, the content of novels would be pretty limited, I think. Still, it is of course rewarding to read books that are based on lived experiences.

  7. What a great post! I've never read that book. It's funny there is sort of a modern day take on that book, but no where near as gritty. It's called Nickel and DImed, and it's based on one woman's journey to attempt to live off of minimum wage in America. The characters in the Orwell book sound very interesting. I've always enjoyed reading stories that reveal the subterranean struggle of the destitute. A lot of Russian authors touch on that subject, for obvious reasons, and I really like Tolstoy and Dostoevsky. I love the book covers, especially the horses. I adore horses! Oh and the rainbow bookshelf is awesome! Lately I am feeling like if it isn't bold and colorful, it's not for me :) Your new layout here is quite the antidote!

  8. What a magnificent post! The book covers idea is so great that I might have to snag it myself in the future. This is one Orwell I haven't read, but I'll give it a go. Thanks, Velvet.

  9. thanks for the great suggestions!
    and what a cool idea leaving a book behind for someone! :)

  10. I love Down and Out! Also, I'm reading Dave Egger's What is the What right now, it's AMAZING. Can't wait to dive into his others as well.

  11. I LOVE this post! Books are so wonderful, and I am always very drawn to interesting covers such as the ones you posted. History Lesson for Girls immediately caught my eye, and so did Black Lab.

    I am dead set on reading George Orwell's first book now that I have seen the awesome review you wrote on it. I think the characters sound so interesting! You did a great job on this, and I love the rainbow book photo! My books aren't organized at all, but I eventually plan to group them by topic. Now I'm not sure though, a rainbow of books would be pretty amazing to have...

  12. I want to read the first book. It sounds very interesting. Thanks for sharing!

  13. I think Orwell was a very brave writer.
    Not many authors I know dare challenge the readers in this way (not even at the time he wrote). It makes me think of how shallow and money oriented the world is today (at least in Sweden).

  14. Oh wow, look at those shelves! I organize lots of thing by colours but never though about doing it with books!


Thank you for making me smile tonight.