SarahMichigan (sarahmichigan) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

Books #33-34

Book #33 was "Imago," the third in the "Lilith's Brood" trilogy by Octavia Butler. I read this before in my early 20s but have been re-reading the series with my husband over the last few months. While book one was from a female human's viewpoint and book two was from a male "construct" - or alien/human hybrid - the third book is told from the viewpoint of a construct who is "ooloi" or bi-gendered/no gender. They are the third sex of the Oankali who specialize in storing and manipulating genetic material. The main character goes through adolescence and mating and watches its mate struggle to find mates as well. It's weird to feel yourself on the side of such unhuman protagonists but you do end up hoping the best for them. I like that the book and the trilogy end with some tantalizing hints that the Oankali might not have done as good a job of suppressing human nature as they thought they did. Highly recommended, but then, I recommend anything by Butler. She is definitely a favorite author.

Book #34 was "Escaping into the Open: The Art of Writing True" by Elizabeth Berg. My mother gave this to me as a gift, and said she thought it might be too much of a "beginner" book on writing. It is, in some ways, a book for a less experienced writer than I am. She's assuming the average reader is brand new to writing, has never been in a writing class (in fact I majored in creative writing in college and have taken many classes) or to a writing group (I've been part of three or four) or attempted publication (I've been published several times). However, I also find that *any* book on the craft of writing is a good read if it gives me at least a little inspiration, and this did provide that, along with lots of practical hands-on "homework" and writing prompts. It even includes some recipes for nourishing yourself or members of your writing group! I thought some of her writing prompts were inane, but she says you don't have to do all of them, just the ones that catch your interest. Though I've finished the book, I imagine I will keep coming back to it for a few weeks, using the prompts to get my creative juices flowing. I would recommend this to those interested in writing who aren't very far along the path or a refresher for someone who is coming back to creative writing after some time away.

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
17. Dawn (Lilith's Brood: Book 1) [fiction]- Octavia Butler
18. Things Fall Apart [fiction]- Chinua Achebe
19. The Bacchae and Other Plays [fiction/dramatic script]- Euripides
20. Meditations from a Moveable Chair [non-fiction/essays/memoir]- Andre Dubus
21. Trumpet [fiction]- by Jackie Kay
22. Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea [non-fiction]- Charles Siefe
23. Fat: The Owner’s Manual – Navigating a Thin-Obsessed World with Your Health, Happiness, and Sense of Humor Intact [non-fiction]- Ragen Chastain
24. Alif the Unseen [fiction]- G. Willow Wilson
25. Black Magic Sanction [fiction- Kim Harrison (unabridged audiobook)
26. George Sand: A Woman's Life Writ Large [non-fiction/biography]- Belinda Jack
27. Adulthood Rites (2nd book in the "Lilith's Brood" trilogy) [fiction]- Octavia Butler
28. Isadore's Secret: Sin, Murder, and Confession in a Northern Michigan Town [non-fiction]- Mardi Link
29. A Canticle for Leibowitz [fiction]- Walter M. Miller Jr. (unabridged audiobook)
30. The Barbary Plague: The Black Death in Victorian San Francisco [non-fiction]- Marilyn Chase
31. The Book of Sarahs: A Family in Parts [non-fiction/memoir]- Catherine E. McKinley
32. The Three Christs of Ypsilanti [non-fiction]- Milton Rokeach


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