#ReadSoulLit Photo Challenge Day 12 – Favorite Fantasy/Sci-fi

Day 12Favorite Fantasy/Sci-fi:  Well the only thing I’ve read that could fit this category is Kindred. However, technically I don’t feel it really fits, even though I enjoyed it. I don’t usually gravitate towards Fantasy/Sci-fi novels.  They just seem to be so complicated that I can’t get into them.  So, I’ve decided to put up Lilith’s Brood (Xenogenesis #1-3)since a little birdie 😉 Danielle @onesmallpaw has been raving about it.  I’ve only heard excellent img_2491things about Butler so I’m going to give Lilith’s Brood a good try this year.  That might be my only real announced reading goal for 2016. 🙂

“Lilith Iyapo is in the Andes, mourning the death of her family, when war destroys Earth. Centuries later, she is resurrected — by miraculously powerful unearthly beings, the Oankali. Driven by an irresistible need to heal others, the Oankali are rescuing our dying planet by merging genetically with mankind. But Lilith and all humanity must now share the world with uncanny, unimaginably alien creatures: their own children. This is their story…”(Lilith’s Brood, back cover)

Octavia E. Butler was born in 1947 and died at the early age of 58 in 2006.  She was an African-American sic-fi/Fantasy writer that received the Nebula and Hugo Awards several octaviabutlertimes.  Kindred and Fledgling are her only two standalone novels, however she is most know for the Patternist series, the Xenogenesis series, and the Parable series which is also referred to as the Earthseed.  She’s also written essays, speeches and two short story collections.  Butler’s speculative fiction held important themes of community, race, hierarchies in society, feminism, and afrofuturism.  She has long been regarded a must for those looking for Fantasy/Sci-fi with challenging twists and non-stereotypical storylines.

My copy:  Lilith’s Brood Xenogenesis #1-3 series, paperback 746 pages

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#ReadSoulLit Photo Challenge Day 6 Make it into a Movie!

Day 6 – Make it into a Movie! – I absolutely could not decide on one.  Impossible! There are so many good ones that could be turned into fantastic films.  So went with the following img_2443five:

  1.  The Supreme’s at Earl’s All-You-Can-Eat “Earl’s All-You-Can-Eat diner in Plainview, Indiana is home away from home for Odette, Clarice, and Barbara Jean. Dubbed “The Supremes” by high school pals in the tumultuous 1960s, they’ve weathered life’s storms for over four decades and counseled one another through marriage and children, happiness and the blues.
    Now, however, they’re about to face their most challenging year yet. Proud, talented Clarice is struggling to keep up appearances as she deals with her husband’s humiliating infidelities; beautiful Barbara Jean is rocked by the tragic reverberations of a youthful love affair; and fearless Odette is about to embark on the most terrifying battle of her life. With wit, style and sublime talent, Edward Kelsey Moore brings together three devoted allies in a warmhearted novel that celebrates female friendship and second chances.”(The Supreme’s All-You-Can-Eat cover description)
  2. Buck – “MK Asante was born in Zimbabwe to American parents: a mother who led the new nation’s dance company and a father who would soon become a revered pioneer in black studies. But things fell apart, and a decade later MK was in America, a teenager lost in a fog of drugs, sex, and violence on the streets of North Philadelphia. Now he was alone—his mother in a mental hospital, his father gone, his older brother locked up in a prison on the other side of the country—and forced to find his own way to survive physically, mentally, and spiritually, by any means necessary. Buck is a powerful memoir of how a precocious kid educated himself through the most unconventional teachers—outlaws and eccentrics, rappers and mystic strangers, ghetto philosophers and strippers, and, eventually, an alternative school that transformed his life with a single blank sheet of paper. It’s a one-of-a-kind story about finding your purpose in life, and an inspiring tribute to the power of education, art, and love to heal and redeem us.”(Buck, inside flap description)
  3. Forty Acres – “What if overcoming the legacy of American slavery meant bringing back that very institution? A young black attorney is thrown headlong into controversial issues of race and power in this page-turning and provocative new novel. Martin Grey, a smart, talented black lawyer working out of a storefront in Queens, becomes friendly with a group of some of the most powerful, wealthy, and esteemed black men in America. He’s dazzled by what they’ve accomplished, and they seem to think he has the potential to be as successful as they are. They invite him for a weekend away from it all—no wives, no cell phones, no talk of business. But far from home and cut off from everyone he loves, he discovers a disturbing secret that challenges some of his deepest convictions…Martin finds out that his glittering new friends are part of a secret society dedicated to the preservation of the institution of slavery—but this time around, the black men are called “Master.” Joining them seems to guarantee a future without limits; rebuking them almost certainly guarantees his death. Trapped inside a picture-perfect, make-believe world that is home to a frightening reality, Martin must find a way out that will allow him to stay alive without becoming the very thing he hates.A novel of rage and compassion, good and evil, trust and betrayal, Forty Acres is the thought-provoking story of one man’s desperate attempt to escape the clutches of a terrifying new moral order.”(Forty Acres inside flap description)
  4. Kindred – “The first science fiction written by a black woman, Kindred has become a cornerstone of black American literature. This combination of slave memoir, fantasy, and historical fiction is a novel of rich literary complexity. Having just celebrated her 26th birthday in 1976 California, Dana, an African-American woman, is suddenly and inexplicably wrenched through time into antebellum Maryland. After saving a drowning white boy there, she finds herself staring into the barrel of a shotgun and is transported back to the present just in time to save her life. During numerous such time-defying episodes with the same young man, she realizes the challenge she’s been given: to protect this young slaveholder until he can father her own great-grandmother.”(Goodreads description)
  5. One Crazy Summer – “In the summer of 1968, after travelling from Brooklyn to Oakland, California, to spend a month with the mother they barely know, eleven-year-old Delphine and her two younger sisters arrive to a cold welcome as they discover that their mother, a dedicated poet and printer, is resentful of the intrusion of their visit and wants them to attend a nearby Black Panther summer camp.In a humorous and breakout book by Williams-Garcia, the Penderwicks meet the Black Panthers.”(One Crazy Summer back cover description)

My copies:

The Supreme’s at Earl’s All-you-Can-Eat, paperback 407 pages

Buck, hardcover 249 pages

Forty Acres, hardcover 369 pages

Kindred, papberback 264 pages

One Crazy Summer, paperback 218 pages

 

I’m an affiliate for The Book Depository. It would be much appreciated to click the link below if you’re interested in picking up any of my recommendations. It will help fund my incessant book buying.

http://www.bookdepository.com/?a_aid=browngirlreading

 

#ReadSoulLit Photo Challenge – Day 1

Day 1 – Strong female character:  IMG_1315

I thought a lot of about this one.  It’s not easy to choose since there are so many good ones.  In the end, I decided on Dana from Kindred.  She really was strong and went through so much, mentally and physically.  I know if it were me, I wouldn’t have survived it.  In spite of being thrown back into slavery when she is a black modern independent woman from 1976, with a white husband, she manages to survive some pretty horrific things.  Not only does she survive but she learns about her family, about slavery, and most of all about herself.  Those strong female characters go through all kinds of things and come out changed women and for the better.  Those novels with strong female characters make the most interesting reads as well.  So, who did you choose for your strong female character from an African-American novel?

Kindred

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Kindred takes place in 1976 and in 1815.  Dana a young African-American woman periodically experiences dizziness and black outs which enable her to go back in time to 1815.  The experience of going back to the slave days is shocking and terrible for her in the beginning.  She is extremely distressed since she has no idea how this happens.  Divided between the fear of having to live life as a slave and helping Rufus, who she saves from drowning on her first trip, she is driven down a perilous journey of truth about her family and herself that will change her and her husband Kevin forever.

Kindred reads as a historical fiction novel with a twist of science-fictional time traveling.  I never thought these two could work so well in a novel but they do.  The novel is written in a simple style, and reads very quickly.  However, Butler delves deeply into themes like race, violence, family, and home in a manner that is quite intense .  In addition, she explores the theme of power and how it can become a  corrupt tool of  influence and cruel manipulation.

The first quarter of the book we are trying to understand like Dana, how and why this is happening.  Unfortunately, that is never really addressed, so quickly what will happen to Dana and how she relates to all the different people on the plantation becomes the primary plot of the novel.  Things get messier when Kevin, her white husband grabs on to her and winds up back in slavery times with her.  The awkwardness of the situation is frightening.  There Butler makes Dana and Kevin face this difficulty head on like a slap in the face.  The mounting tension and horrific violence from whippings, rapes, hangings, and dog attacks, Butler is forcing the reader to see the reality of the time period along with Dana.  Many times I kept putting myself in Dana’s shoes and wondering how I’d react.

Dana was a trooper in the beginning trying to think of everything and to prepare for things, but what she didn’t realise is that she fell slowly but surely into the role of a sort of modern-day Mamie.  She is bound to the past not only physically but mentally since she seems unable to break the link between herself and Rufus.  We see Rufus grow from and innocent boy into an unsparing, conniving man.  A man who is meant to run a plantation although he does it through being cruel and by making people fear him.  Dana finally grows at the end with much difficulty and mostly because she feels she understands what she sees happening in 1815 more than she really does.  The trap is there.  The psychological manipulation that Rufus uses on her his criminal.

If you haven’t read this story you should definitely check it out.  Octavia E. Butler really knew how to turn a story and this one has many twists and turns that will make every reader think.  Butler began writing at 10 and writing science-fiction at 12.  Her love for writing came out of her boredom for she was an only child.  It was the science-fiction movie Devil Girl from Mars which made her attempt to write science-fiction.  She was quoted as saying she knew she could write a better story and that she did.  Happily for us, Butler overcame dyslexia and went on to write many novels and short stories, such as Fledgling, Lilith’s Brood, and Parable Seed.  She won the Hugo Award twice, once in 1984 for best short story with Speech Sounds and in 1985 for best novelette with Bloodchild.  She also won the Nebula award twice for best novel, once for best short story, and best novelette.  In 2010, she was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame.  Does it sound like I’m pushing Butler?  Yes, I am.  Well the next Butler book I’ll be picking up will be Fledgling.  I’m dying to see how she wrote about vampires and I’m not that keen on vampire stories either.  To be continued…..  Check out the link below to hear more about Octavia E. Butler.  Brilliant!