ReadSoulLit Photo Challenge – Day 13 & 14

Day 13 – Biography or Memoir

img_2118I chose the memoir by Michaela De Prince called Taking Flight: From War Orphan to Star Ballerina.  After hearing her story on television many years ago, I was motivated to read her story.  I haven’t yet read this one but I have a feeling it’s going to be very interesting.  After living in an orphanage in Sierre Leone where she was badly treated because she suffers from vitiligo and was called the devil’s child because she was the least favorite, she was motivated by a picture she saw in a magazine of a ballerina en pointe that she found outside the orphanage.  That picture gave her something positive to focus on.  She was eventually adopted by the De Prince family and she’s become an excellent dance with hard work and dedication.  She currently dances in a Dutch company.

I’ve always loved ballet and did ballet from age 5 to 17 years old.  Back in the day thereimg_3574 weren’t any black ballerina’s.  I would have liked to be inspired by a black ballerina, so it’s nice to see there are more of them today.  It would be nice to have even more of them, especially in the States.  The picture on the right is me in my ballet class.  I must have been about 12 years old there.  Click on the video below to see Michaela De Prince dancing.  It’s absolutely beautiful!


Day 14 – Black Love

Today is Valentine’s Day!  So I went rummaging for a title of a black love story that maybe wouldn’t come up on the Instagram feed.  Something different.  I found quite a few obvious ones like An American Marriage and Loving Donovan, but in the end I decided to go with another TBR book, a romance called Zachary’s Wings by Rosemarie Robotham.  This is the story of Zachary and Korie who have a passionate love affair despite their different upbringings.  Zachary is a social worker from a working-class family and Korie is an Ivy-league-educated reporter and Jamaican born.  Clearly there relationship will be tested but hopefully it will survive.  The story covers themes of race, class, and sexuality, so it sounds right up my alley.  This book was published in 1998 and was Robotham’s debut novel.  So let me know down below if you’ve read this one or anything else by her and what you thought of it.  It would be nice to read this one after a heavy read.


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24 Books to Christmas – Day 13

baublesMy love for graphic novels began when I moved to France 29 years ago.  I have always been a fan of comic strips left over from my young days of scrambling for the the comic section every Sunday morning.  But, graphic novels have added something else a little special to my reading.  Today’s recommendation is The Arab of the Future:  A Childhood in the Middle East, 1978-1984: A Graphic Memoir by Riad Sattouf.

So what’s a graphic novel?  It’s a story that is presented in comic-strip format and published as a book.  It’s usually lengthy in size.  The Arab of the Future is a graphic memoir, which is a comic or sequential art that tell an autobiographical story. Graphic memoirs are sub-genres of graphic novels and comics.  Examples of comics would be Black Panther and Saga.  The Arab of the Future consists of 4 volumes originally written in French, and they are translated into 21 languages.  Surprisingly, it has not been translated into Arabic because only the first volume was ordered by publishers.  Sattouf refused to accept that his graphic memoir wouldn’t be integrally published in Arabic, so it hasn’t happened.

Riad Sattouf has taken the time to recount his coming of age and family life while moving between Libya, Syria, and France.  He’s blatantly honest about his experiences and at times it can be painful to read.  This being said humor is what he does best.  Through his simplistic, but expressive drawings with colorful backgrounds each color representing a country; he takes us on an emotional rollercoaster we are not ready to forget.  It’s interesting to see culture in Syria and Libya in the late 1970s to mid 1980s.  If you start reading volume 1 make sure you have all the others so that you don’t have to stop reading.

I recommend this series of graphic novels to readers who like reading them (because this one is easy to follow), are interested in learning about culture in Syria and Libya, and enjoy graphic novels in series.  I can’t wait for the release of volume 5 (in French) which is slotted for October-November 2020!  You my have to wait a year or so for the translation into English.  Check out the video below where Riad Sattouf speaks about The Arab of the Future. 🙂


“In striking, virtuoso graphic style that captures both the immediacy of childhood and the fervor of political idealism, Riad Sattouf recounts his nomadic childhood growing up in rural France, Gaddafi’s Libya, and Assad’s Syria–but always under the roof of his father, a Syrian Pan-Arabist who drags his family along in his pursuit of grandiose dreams for the Arab nation.” (The Arab of the Future, book cover)



The Arab of the Future: A Childhood in the Middle East, 1978-1984: A graphic Memoir – Riad Sattouf

Publisher:  Metropolitan Books

Pages:  288

My rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

If you’d like to pick up a copy of any of my recommendations please consider clicking my affiliate link for The Book Depository.  It would be much appreciated. It will help fund my incessant book buying, reading, and reviewing. Thank you!