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Orwell's Roses
Orwell's Roses | Rebecca Solnit
21 posts | 8 read | 2 reading | 16 to read
A lush exploration of roses, pleasure, and politics, and a fresh take on George Orwell as an avid gardener whose political writing was grounded in his passion for the natural world In the year 1936 a writer planted roses. So begins Rebecca Solnits new book, a reflection on George Orwells passionate gardening and the way that his involvement with plants, particularly flowers, and the natural world illuminates his other commitments as a writer and antifascist, and the intertwined politics of nature and power. Sparked by her unexpected encounter with the surviving roses he planted in 1936, Solnits account of this understudied aspect of Orwells life explores his writing and his actionsfrom going deep into the coal mines of England, fighting in the Spanish Civil War, critiquing Stalin when much of the international left still supported him (and then critiquing that left), to his analysis of the relationship between lies and authoritarianism. Through Solnits celebrated ability to draw unexpected connections, readers encounter the photographer Tina Modottis roses and her Stalinism, Stalins obsession with forcing lemons to grow in impossibly cold conditions, Orwells slave-owning ancestors in Jamaica, Jamaica Kincaids critique of colonialism and imperialism in the flower garden, and the brutal rose industry in Colombia that supplies the American market. The book draws to a close with a rereading of Nineteen Eighty-Four that completes her portrait of a more hopeful Orwell, as well as a reflection on pleasure, beauty, and joy as acts of resistance.
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Cazxxx
Orwell's Roses | Rebecca Solnit
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I meant to read this before the Orwell prizes were announced but health hasn‘t been great so it‘s been lying beside my bed for many weeks. Started the first couple of chapters and so far really enjoying it! Nature and memoir together is a huge love of mine 🌹

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CounterfeitNickel
Orwell's Roses | Rebecca Solnit
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Pickpick

A lovely book! A amalgamation of biography, horticultural history, political genealogy, and a celebration of beauty. This is a book that nourishes the soul.

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RobinGustafson
Orwell's Roses | Rebecca Solnit
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I like to have an audiobook going at all times. Started this one today and it‘s great so far. After all, it is Rebecca Solnit!

6 likes1 stack add
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kspenmoll
Orwell's Roses | Rebecca Solnit
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Two books are buddy reads by week- Lost Among the Living and This Life. The others I plan to read/listen as I can. Full weeks at work until we end in June- parent meetings, graduation activities, exams.

Cinfhen Can‘t believe the school year is winding down 3mo
45 likes1 comment
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kspenmoll
Orwell's Roses | Rebecca Solnit
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#weeklyreport

Finished the 3 books in the top row this past week. In various stages with the books in the bottom row.

Cinfhen Gorgeous flowers 😍how‘s the tagged book??? 3mo
kspenmoll @Cinfhen I am not very far but I am fascinated- RS went to find the site of Orwell‘s roses- one bush was left. 3mo
Cinfhen That‘s so cool!!! 3mo
54 likes3 comments
blurb
kspenmoll
Orwell's Roses | Rebecca Solnit
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Spanish white made from Godello grapes, & two other local varieties.Perfect with a book & Yankees/Toronto game tonight. #dominiodobibeilapolariberiasacra #Spanishwine #Galicia

KathyWheeler Toronto was my mom‘s favorite team, so I always cheer for them. 😊 4mo
BarbaraBB Great wine 😀 4mo
kspenmoll @KathyWheeler So sorry for Guerrero! 4mo
kspenmoll @BarbaraBB Delicious! We pared it with a scollop risotto. 4mo
BarbaraBB That sounds delicious! 4mo
72 likes5 comments
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kspenmoll
Orwell's Roses | Rebecca Solnit
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Taking this book slowly; so much to digest. Looking up vocab words as well! Loving it so far, especially the roses.🌷 🌷

Lindy I loved this too. Definitely a book to savour slowly. 4mo
kspenmoll @Lindy 🌷🌷💕 4mo
60 likes1 stack add2 comments
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kspenmoll
Orwell's Roses | Rebecca Solnit
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kspenmoll
Orwell's Roses | Rebecca Solnit
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#deadphilosopherssociety #MartinHaagund #ThisLife #trees

Apologies for being a.w.o.l this month. I hope to rejoin Sunday. This passage is so #ThisLife

ravenlee I‘m working on catching up, too. The past month or so has been really busy! I really like this passage. (edited) 4mo
TheBookHippie This is lovely. I think we‘re all in catch up mode. I hope you feel better now! 4mo
LiteraryinLawrence Just wanted to check, but did the #lmpbc arrive? 4mo
kspenmoll @LiteraryinLawrence Sorry, it did just before I left for the Cape. 4mo
46 likes4 comments
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kspenmoll
Orwell's Roses | Rebecca Solnit
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#bookreport
Finished The Dead Shall Not Rest, The Midnight Hour. At various stages with the others. #sundaybuddyread

Cinfhen I‘ve heard good things about tagged book & this one 👉🏽 4mo
66 likes1 stack add1 comment
review
Lindy
Orwell's Roses | Rebecca Solnit
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Pickpick

Rebecca Solnit kept me enthralled with ideas & interesting facts in this far-reaching, contemplative examination of Orwell‘s writings, integrity & passion for gardening. From Tina Modotti‘s famous photo of roses to her later revolutionary activism, to bread & roses, to Stalin‘s lemon trees, to the current appalling working conditions in the rose-growing industry… appreciation of nature is complicated by politics, class & social justice issues.

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Lindy
Orwell's Roses | Rebecca Solnit
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Clarity, honesty, accuracy and truth are beautiful because in them representation is true to its subject, knowledge is democratized, people are empowered, doors are opened, information moves freely, contracts are honoured. That is, such writing is beautiful in itself and beautiful in what flows from it.

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Lindy
Orwell's Roses | Rebecca Solnit
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Orwell‘s signal achievement was to name and describe, as no one else had, the way that totalitarianism was a threat, not just to liberty and human rights, but to language and consciousness. And he did it in such a compelling way that his last book casts a shadow, or a beacon‘s light, into the present.

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Lindy
Orwell's Roses | Rebecca Solnit
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Rereading a significant book is like revisiting an old friend. You find out how you‘ve changed when you encounter them again. You see differently because you‘re different. Some books grow, some wither on reacquaintance. Or, because you‘re asking different questions, you find different answers.

Cathythoughts Very true 👍❤️ 6mo
Lindy @Cathythoughts 😊🌻 6mo
31 likes2 comments
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Lindy
Orwell's Roses | Rebecca Solnit
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“February,” Orwell admitted, “Is a particularly detestable month, with no virtue except its shortness.”

marleed I love this! 6mo
Lindy @marleed Orwell had positive things to say about every other month. 😜 6mo
Cathythoughts Poor February! I like Feb , we have some family birthdays ( and January is over 😁 (edited) 6mo
Lindy @Cathythoughts In general, I think November is the month that gets more complaints than February (in the northern hemisphere). (edited) 6mo
Cathythoughts Yes ! Definitely there is something about November that doesn‘t work 🤷🏼‍♀️ ( now I feel bad for November… it‘s like a middle child.. 6mo
36 likes1 stack add5 comments
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Librarybelle
Orwell's Roses | Rebecca Solnit
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Pickpick

Solnit examines Orwell, his writings, and the influence gardening (especially roses) and nature in general had on his writings. She also takes her examination a step further by generally viewing current and historical politics and situations through the lens of nature and roses. Very interesting read! #19822022 #2021

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SaraBeagle
Orwell's Roses | Rebecca Solnit
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If war has an opposite, gardens might sometimes be it…

11 likes1 stack add
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Thndrstd
Orwell's Roses | Rebecca Solnit
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Pickpick

The term Orwellian has became pervasive in our lives, reflecting one writer's fears and warnings about fascism and power. In this extremely well-researched, timely, & smart book, she looks for what George Orwell loved, what drove him to write so powerfully, and ultimately his optimism. In the midst of horror, Orwell always sought beauty & hope. A great examination one of the greatest writers in the English language. Highly recommended.

35 likes1 stack add
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WanderingBookaneer
Orwell's Roses | Rebecca Solnit
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Pickpick

Musings on Orwell, his life, his roses, other roses, the themes he tackled in his writings, and what feels like related marginalia. Each essay is fascinating in its own right. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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Mitch
Orwell's Roses | Rebecca Solnit
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I love Rebecca Solnits writing - she pulls diverse threads together and challenges the brain in a very gentle way! Her new one - she‘s used George Orwell‘s love of roses to talk about nature, power, politics and Stalin‘s obsession with growing lemons! Can wait to dive into this one and go on this journey with her #newbookday

67 likes3 stack adds
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Megabooks
Orwell's Roses | Rebecca Solnit
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Pickpick

Solnit is an amazing essayist, and this doesn‘t disappoint. I‘ve nominated her for next year‘s #AuthorAMonth 👍🏻

Orwell was a plant lover, and Solnit draws on parts of his life and shows how they tie back to his gardening pursuits. While several essays are devoted to him, she also broadened it to commercial rose farming, Scottish peat and the climate crisis, and other bits of nature writing. A great mix of science and biography. #CoverLove

Megabooks Caught up on reviews and it feels great!! 😁😁😁 9mo
Cinfhen Great review🙌🏻well done 🥰 9mo
Kayla.Adriena I just read a review of this in an email, I want to read it now! 9mo
See All 11 Comments
TrishB I was interested in this for the Orwell connection but have no interest in gardening! 9mo
Megabooks @Cinfhen thank friend! #1 review booster! 😁💕💕 (edited) 9mo
Megabooks @Kayla.Adriena it was very well done! 9mo
Megabooks @TrishB this probably isn‘t for you then. 9mo
Centique This sounds fabulous. I have a weird relationship to gardening. My parents were great at it so I‘ve absorbed a lot of information over the years and I love flowers and trees and visiting gardens - but I have done very little myself and feel guilty! 9mo
Megabooks @Centique I hope you enjoy it! My mother is an excellent gardener, but I can kill anything. 😂 I, too, love being around plants, but I don‘t have that knack. 9mo
Chelsea.Poole Stacked! 🌹 9mo
Megabooks @Chelsea.Poole enjoy! 9mo
71 likes2 stack adds11 comments