Lost Books and Twelve Tribes — My February Reads

For the past two weeks, I’ve been slowly reading a book I borrowed from my local library via Overdrive—The Lost Book of Adana Moreau by Michael Zapata. I’m only about halfway through (63.3% according to the app’s progress meter) because I neglected my reading on several occasions last week, and the story has so many twists and turns that I’m trying to make sure I’m keeping up with the characters and where they are.

Currently, Saul and his friend Javier are (maybe) about to meet Maxwell Moreau, the son of Adana Moreau—an author whose family and publisher believe destroyed the sequel to her popular sci-fi novel before her death—in order to give him what is likely the only copy of his mother’s sequel novel that Saul obtained from his grandfather (after his death) with instructions to get it to Maxwell. Saul attempted to mail the book to the address he had, but the address he had was one Maxwell no longer belonged to, so he and Javier go on an adventure to find him and wind up at the door of a hotel in the midst of Katrina-ruined New Orleans behind which Maxwell is said to be dwelling after his home was destroyed.

Of course, I’ve started in the middle of the book. The beginning is about Adana and the murder of her parents, her marriage to The Last Pirate of the New World, the birth of her son, the writing of her first novel, the writing of her second novel, and the (supposed) destruction of said second novel before her death. Also, an unlimited number of other Earths with parallel and perpendicular timelines and portals through which to visit each or none.

There are so many freaking narratives throughout this book! I can’t help but chuckle because there are so many things to keep track of. According to the summary I read that prompted my interest, I believe we’re (at some point) supposed to find Adana alive and well on an alternate Earth and she’s tasked with deciding whether to stay there or return to her own Earth and resume her life. I can’t say for sure if that’s what will actually happen, but I’d be happy to update you once I get through the remaining 36.7% of the book and find out how all these stories converge.

Next on my list is The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis. I’m hoping to finish with Adana and begin with Hattie before the end of next week. I’ll let you know how that goes.

Until then,

Happy Reading!

Thoughts on Parable of the Sower

I finished Parable of the Sower about a week ago, but haven’t yet started on Parable of the Talents. There’s a lot going on in my head and in my life and I just haven’t been able to pick up another book this past week. I’m not going to recap what Parable of the Sower is about, you can find that here. Instead, I’m going to give you my thoughts. Simple thoughts at that.

As much as I love Octavia Butler’s writing, this series isn’t a favorite. I wanted to dust off my literary theory hat for this, but I’m honestly not that invested. Something about reading Lauren’s story and “watching” her create (or discover, as she says) this new religion as she travels north, collecting people as she goes along, just doesn’t connect for me. The way her father disappears, her relationships with her brothers…maybe it’s because the story is told through her journal entries. Maybe if I were reading about Lauren Olamina and the things that happened to her and those around her instead of reading her perspective of herself and those around her, I would’ve been more invested.

You see, I want to know what happened to everyone from the beginning, and we only get the pieces and parts that Lauren is told. I want to know the other characters’ stories from the creator’s perspective. The all-knowing, the complete story. I want to know what happened to Lauren’s brother outside the wall, I want to know what happened to her dad, I want to know what happened to her stepmother and her other two brothers. I want to know what they saw and heard and experienced. Even the group she amasses on the road going north…I want to know what they’ve experienced and what they really think of Lauren. I want to know things Lauren can’t possibly know, and I think that’s why I’m frustrated.

I’m just as confused about Earthseed as every new person who enters her group, and although they come to a basic understanding enough to accept it, I haven’t. And not that it’s for me to accept, but I want to understand it better. I want to be part of the conversations she talks about having with the group. I want to know what questions they asked and how she answered them. I want more knowledge.

I don’t remember book 2. I will get to it soon, though, and I’m hoping that it will bring about more understanding for me. Book 1 is a teenager’s story. Maybe I enjoyed it more when I first read it because I was closer to her age at that time. I want to see her grow, and I’m pretty sure she grows up in book 2, but, like I said, I don’t remember book 2. Suddenly, I also have the desire to read Fledgling again. I haven’t talked about that book here yet, but I read it a long time ago. I still have it, so we’ll get to it sooner or later. Maybe sooner, though I haven’t even cracked open the books I bought in September for my birthday.

I’ll let you know if I end up liking Parable of the Talents more or less this time around. It looks like I didn’t write about book 2 previously, so I’ll make sure to let you know how the story goes.

Until then…

Happy Reading!

Reading Outside of Your Comfort Zone

Happy Monday all!

Answer me this: what is your favorite genre to read?

I asked myself this question the other day, and I couldn’t really answer it definitively. I really enjoy Science Fiction, but I mostly just like reading multicultural literature regardless of the specific genre.

This started in college. All throughout middle school and high school my reading habits were very…umm…pale? mainstream? Let’s be real here. My reading habits were very White for a large portion of my childhood and teenage years. Access to minority books wasn’t nearly as great as it is now, and I read what was available to me. But that’s not to say I felt deprived, or that it was a bad thing. It wasn’t.

I loved to read, I still love to read, and if what I picked up looked like a good book I didn’t care about the race of the author. It wasn’t until college, however, that I was exposed to a broad range of multicultural literature. It broadened my scope and led me to my favorite author—Octavia Butler.

I still read a lot of books by non-minority writers, but this year I wanted my entire reading list to consist of books by Black authors, preferably Black female authors, and so far I have really enjoyed the perspectives in what’s I’ve been reading. Maybe next year I’ll read only Latino authors, or only Graphic Novels, or only Memoirs. The possibilities….

Have you decided on your favorite genre yet? What was the last piece of writing you read that was in a genre other than your favorite? Did you like it?

Now, I can’t say I’ll ever be into Westerns, and I certainly don’t do Horror, but reading outside of my comfort zone has extended my love for reading beyond most boundaries. Just like I will watch almost any movie (including really bad, cheaply made movies that my cousins will hate), I will read almost anything as long as it looks and sounds interesting. Of course, if I hate it, I hate it, and if it’s really bad I won’t finish it, but that rarely happens.

I want to challenge you this week to pick up something outside of your reading comfort zone and give it a go. Who knows, you may find something entirely fantastic.

Happy Reading!