I’m nearing the end of a  two-week vacation to India.  The long flight + free time gave me the opportunity to read a few books.  There are a couple of ones I thought was worth mentioning:

High Fidelity is  a movie I enjoyed thoroughly. I watched it several years ago and finally read the book last week.  The movie closely follows the book, with some changes, for instance, the the story happens in Chicago as opposed to London. Like the movie, it was humorous and authentic.  It’s not often you read a book and laugh out loud on each page.

Then I read Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four.   The story is futuristic and takes place in 1984, when the world is divided mostly into 3 superpowers which are at a permanent state of war.  The protagonist lives in a country called Oceania which consists of the Americas, British Isles and Australia.  The government is totalitarian and controls every single aspect of the citizen’s life.  Even thinking unorthodox thoughts is punishable by torture and death. The government is working on a subset of the English language called *NewSpeak *to make it impossible for people to think unorthodox thoughts. While reading it, I was reminded of the East German Stasi.  My favorite quote from the book:

Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.

It takes amazing foresight to write such a book  in 1949. It’s bitingly sarcastic and haunting.  Go read it if you haven’t already!