5×5 Reading Challenge

A few months ago I joined the online membership with Scholé Sisters. Each year they promote the 5×5 reading challenge. The idea is to choose five categories (read widely) and five books in each category (read deeply). I’ve never been good at completing reading challenges in the past (a year is SUCH a long time), but that is not stopping me from trying again.

My first category is “Classic Dystopian Fiction.” I chose this for a couple of reasons. First of all, my book club recently read C.S. Lewis’s Space Trilogy. The third installment, That Hideous Strength, is set in a dystopian world. George Orwell had an interesting response to THS, saying he wished it did not contain supernatural elements. I have heard that Orwell wrote 1984 as an answer to THS, although a quick internet search did not verify the fact.

Another book I read last year (with the Scholé Sisters!) is Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman. It was written in 1985 about the dangers of our means of communication shifting from text-based to image-based. In the introduction to this book, Postman talks about how everyone was worried about Big Brother in 1984, based on Orwell’s book. But what he saw coming true at that time was the scenario described by Huxley in Brave New World. That is people are so distracted and entertained by technology, that they cease to care about tyranny.

All this to say, I have never read 1984 or Brave New World, and it’s time to change that fact! Hence my “Classic Dystopian Fiction” category in the 5×5 Reading Challenge.

To start the category, I actually chose a different book, The Time Machine by H.G. Wells. Lewis cites Wells as an inspiration for his Space Trilogy, so it seemed like a good place to start.

Scroll the pdf below to see my progress on the challenge so far!

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