SarahMichigan (sarahmichigan) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

Books #17 and #18

Book #17 was "Dawn" by Octavia Butler, the first in the "Lilith's Brood" trilogy. My husband and I are reading this out loud from an omnibus edition, but I'm counting each book separately. I believe I read them as separate books closer to when they first came out - this is a re-read, but the last time I read them was almost 20 years ago, so my memory of them is fairly fuzzy. I did remember the sense of creeping dread and utter alien-ness that Butler evokes in these books. The book is simply written but it was amazing again, second time through.

Book #18 was "Things Fall Apart" by Chinua Achebe. I'd had this on my "to read" list for a while and decided to read it when I heard of Achebe's recent death. This book is quite simply told, and it's short, at about 200 pages in paperback, but very powerful. The book is about Okonkwo, a strong man in his African village who has land and wives and many children, but yet he runs his life based on fear - particularly the fear of being seen as weak and lazy like his father. It's also the story of European colonization destroying African village culture. I think the book is masterful in the way that you kind of dislike Okonkwo because of something violent he does early in the book, and yet you do end up feeling sorry for him by the end of the book. It's fully of African folk tales and though the overall story is somewhat grim, there are moments of laugh-out-loud comedy as well. Highly recommended, and I'll be reading more by this author.

1. The Battle of the Labyrinth [fiction] - Rick Riordan (unabridged audiobook)
2. Ice Cold [fiction] - Tess Gerritsen
3. Snow Crash [fiction]- Neal Stephenson
4. The Collected Stories of Vernor Vinge [fiction]
5. The Brontes - Juliet Barker [non-fiction/group biography]
6. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks [non-fiction]- Rebecca Skloot (unabridged audiobook)
7. The Moon in Our Hands [fiction]- Thomas Dyja
8. The Algebraist [fiction]- Iain M. Banks
9. Moab is my Washpot [non-fiction/memoir]- Stephen Fry
10. The Last Olympian (Book Five in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series) [fiction]- Rick Riordan (unabridged audiobook)
11. Swimming to Antarctica: Tales of a Long-Distance Swimmer [non-fiction/memoir]- Lynne Cox
12. A Year in Provence [non-fiction/memoir/travel]- Peter Mayle
13. A Plague of Doves [fiction]- Louise Erdrich
14. Jarhead: A Marine's Chronicle of the Gulf War and Other Battles [non-fiction/memoir]- Anthony Swofford
15. White Witch, Black Curse [fiction]- Kim Harrison (unabridged audiobook)
16. The Witches of Karres [fiction]- James H. Schmitz

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