Why I Write (Penguin Great Ideas)$8.95 SRP

Welcome to the first installment of "Portable Feasts", a category highlighting purse-friendly books.  The idea is almost too simple — I keep books in my purse so I tend to look for small, thin tomes that give bang for the buck.  Penguin Books, bless their hearts, have come out with a series of …well…small, thin tomes that are stimulating, yet discreet.  The 2 books from the series that I have are 18 cm. x 11 cm. x1 cm.  Here’s a bit of blurb from the back of my Orwell book:

Now PENGUIN brings you the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals and visionaries whose ideas shook civilization…

Sounds good to me! 

The paperback series has a different design for each book but uses the same colors to identify it as a series — brownish-red, white, black. Very elegant.  There’s 12 books in the series.

Any-hoo, An excellent collection is WHY I WRITE, a collection of essays by George Orwell.  George Orwell would have made a great drinking buddy.  He’s such a keen observer of communication patterns between people and institutions.  Reading his essay "Why I Write" is like looking into a pond of crystal clear, mirror-smooth water. Not only does he see things clearly, but his writing style is blunt and passionate.  Being English, he can’t help a bit of long-windedness, but he maneuvers jargon and vernacular quite deftly.  He’s also a very self-aware writer.  He knows his strengths and weaknesses.  When I read WHY I WRITE, I feel like he’s talking to me person-to-person.  I can picture him throwing up his arms and tearing out his hair, flicking a cigarette away. 

The book also contains the amazing POLITICS AND THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE — one of the most straight-shooting essays ever written about how crap political jargon is.  Every person considering going for public office should read P&TEL and ANIMAL FARM.  If that doesn’t put you off running for office, you can see how you’re going to end up. 

The book is like a shot of vitamin B-12 to the brain.  You can feel blood flowing through your brain.  Realization sparks and bounces.  Ideas like popcorn popping in your head.  Great ideas!



One response to this post.

  1. […] Other posts that mention Orwell: Some books are more bookie-wookie than others. Why I Write — Bonding with Orwell. Rate this: Like this:LikeBe the first to like this […]


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