The Martian Chronicles
Author: Ray Bradbury
Published: June 1, 1984
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars
The strange and wonderful tale of man’s experiences on Mars, filled with intense images and astonishing visions. Now part of the Voyager Classics collection.
The Martian Chronicles tells the story of humanity’s repeated attempts to colonize the red planet. The first men were few. Most succumbed to a disease they called the Great Loneliness when they saw their home planet dwindle to the size of a fist. They felt they had never been born. Those few that survived found no welcome on Mars. The shape-changing Martians thought they were native lunatics and duly locked them up.
But more rockets arrived from Earth, and more, piercing the hallucinations projected by the Martians. People brought their old prejudices with them – and their desires and fantasies, tainted dreams. These were soon inhabited by the strange native beings, with their caged flowers and birds of flame.
This is my first Bradbury book and it was brilliant!! Pretty sure ole Bradbury understands humanity to the same extent that Orwell did. The Martian Chronicles is a look at humanity as a whole and its effect on everything. Humans ruin Earth, so they go to Mars. Humans ruin Mars, so they start to miss Earth. Humans go back to Earth and they abandon Mars. And all of this is told in an anthology of stories, starting with early, unsuccessful expeditions to Mars. Oh and he definitely starts with Martians who in some ways, have the same problems as humans. It’s just a fascinating read from start to finish! And for being on the philosophical side, it’s surprisingly easy to read as well. Even those who don’t really like sci-fi, would like this book. This is one that I would require for high school students to read; there is much they could learn and use to make themselves better people. I loved it!
To Be Published: See review
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: December 10-13, 2020
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars
Alex Bryant is pissed at her mother, but what else is new? She’s spent most of her life picking up after her charismatic but scatterbrained mom, Cassie, who is always on some new get-cash-quick scheme. This latest one—a scientific study in memory implantation, with Alex as a fellow test subject—is sure to be a total flop. That is, unless the memory study answers Alex’s questions: who is her father, and where is he now?
When the experiment actually works and flashes of Cassie’s memories while pregnant with Alex appear in her mind, Alex thinks it just might have been worth it. But soon, calamity strikes when the memories reveal a decades-old murder that present-Cassie swears never happened. Discovering the truth someone tried to keep buried in the past sends Alex and Cassie on the run from a threat they never saw coming: their own minds.
Please Note: I am not even sure how many pages Memory Lane is as it is a kindle copy and doesn’t list the page numbers; Amazon and Goodreads also do not have the number of pages listed. There is also some confusion as to the publication date. Both Netgalley (where I received my arc) and Goodreads have the publication date as January 13, 2021 while Amazon shows the publication date of December 21, 2021. Personally, I am more inclined to go with the release date on Amazon, so I received a very advanced copy of Memory Lane. Needless to say, my thoughts reflect the current arc I read and not any future versions which might have changes. There are also two covers showing, and I know which one I prefer!
Memory Lane is a serialized novel of 8 episodes/chapters in one short novel. It centers around mother and daughter Cassie and Alex. They are at odds, but Cassie convinces Alex to go on this latest experiment to earn money. Alex accepts and it is actually a memory transfer. Cassie’s chosen memories are implanted in Alex and then they go on a road trip which triggers Cassie’s memories in Alex’s head. But soon other memories begin to flash for Alex, including ones that Cassie has no memory of. Soon Alex does not know who to trust.
This is a very quick read that keeps going the whole time! The ending was quite unexpected, and I hope there is a continuation of this serialized novel. I really enjoyed reading this one.
Many thanks to the publisher Serial Box for granting me an arc to read and review via NetGalley.[Top]
The Illustrated Animal Farm
Author: George Orwell
Novel was originally published August 17, 1945
Illustrated Edition published January 1, 2015
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars
A farm is taken over by its overworked, mistreated animals. With flaming idealism and stirring slogans, they set out to create a paradise of progress, justice, and equality. Thus the stage is set for one of the most telling satiric fables ever penned –a razor-edged fairy tale for grown-ups that records the evolution from revolution against tyranny to a totalitarianism just as terrible.
Halas & Batchelor studio’s classic and controversial 1954 animation of Animal Farm, George Orwell’s chilling fable of idealism betrayed, was the first ever British animated feature film. This landmark illustrated edition of Orwell’s novel was first published alongside it, and features the original line drawings by the film’s animators, Joy Batchelor and John Halas.
This is easily one of my all-time favorite books. I was a senior in high school when I first read it. I was taking Economics and it was assigned reading. I was a little skeptical, but once I started reading, I was hooked. I remember that I was at a basketball game, but I tuned it all out and finished Animal Farm before the game ended. It blew my mind! We also had to do a project along with the reading and I chose to draw a picture of Boxer dragging rocks up to the windmill . . . and I drew it! Ok I traced Boxer, but I drew everything else and made an A! I was devastated to learn that it was not required reading in my Economics class that I taught during my first year in Hawaii. Why is Orwell not require reading anywhere?
Part of why I decided to re-read it is because of the current political climate here in America. I know that we’re adamant about keeping politics out of Jessica’s Reading Room, so obviously I won’t go into anything specific. But I will make the statement that I believe everyone, every single person, should be required to read Animal Farm and 1984 in high school and in college. The story is simple and reminds me more of a fairy tale than anything else. The metaphors are relatively clear, at least they should be if the reader paid attention in history class. The lessons are also easily understood. I find it amazing that Orwell was able to create such a story with these characters and get his message across so well. It’s a great book and if you haven’t read it, then you should!