SarahMichigan (sarahmichigan) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

Books #23-24

Book #23 was "Nappy Edges," poems by Ntozake Shange. I read her first volume of poetry, "For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf" a year or two ago and enjoyed it, so when I ran across this second book of poetry on a "free stuff" table at a convention, I snapped it up. I've been reading it three or four poems a day for a few weeks, often reading them out loud to myself. I admit that I found the first section hard going. She's calling it poetry but they're really more essays about poetry and writing, and happen to be written in poetic stanzas. After that, though, I really liked many of the poems in the collection. Some of my favorites were "wow... yr just like a man!", "night letter #3", "the old men", "who is setting these priorities?", "on becoming successful", "serious lessons learned", "with no immediate cause", "the suspect is black & in his early 20's", "cross oceans into my heart", and "my father is a retired magician". Her best poems make me flinch or laugh out loud. There are a few techniques she uses really well, and my favorite two were a sort of repetition of phrases like in a blues song or a hymn, and another is taking you through a poem in one sort of mood or feeling and then turning it on its head a little bit in the very last line or two, suprising the reader with the ending. I'm glad I read this and mean to include more poetry in my yearly reading lists.

Book #24 was "Childhood's End" by Arthur C. Clarke. I finished it in two days and liked it a lot. It's somewhat flawed, in my opinion, but I enjoy Clarke's writing. I generally like character-driven sci fi more than "idea" stories, and Clarke tends to be an idea man. But he created some sympathetic characters to help propel you through his stories. The story starts with "Overlords" coming to earth and forcing mankind to become more peaceful and evolved. Humans worry that this supervision will put an end to human development and creativity. While I found the whole plotline with mankind "evolving" psychic powers to be a little silly, I did like the repeated thematic elements around man's insatiable curiosity. This is a classic for a reason!

1. Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace ... One School at a Time" [nonfiction]- David Oliver Relin and Greg Mortenson (unabridged audiobook)
2. The Detroit Electric Scheme [fiction]- D.E. Johnson
3. Classic Philip Jose Farmer 1964-1973 (Volume 5  in the Classics of Modern Science Fiction series) [fiction/short stories]- PJ Farmer
4. "The Aspern Papers" and "The Turn of the Screw" (omnibus volume with notes and commentary) [fiction]- Henry James
5. Ever After (11th in "The Hollows" series) [fiction]- Kim Harrison (unabridged audiobook)
6. On Gold Mountain: The One-Hundred-Year Odyssey of My Chinese-American Family [nonfiction]- Lisa See
7. Are You My Mother?: A Comic Drama [nonfiction/ graphic memoir]- written and illustrated by Alison Bechdel
8. My Year with Eleanor: A Memoir [nonfiction/memoir]- Noelle Hancock
9. House of Leaves [fiction]- Mark Z. Danielewski
10. Ready Player One [fiction]- Ernest Cline (unabridged audiobook)
11. Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America [nonfiction]- Barbara Ehrenreich
12. Too Late to Die Young: Nearly True Tales from a Life [nonfiction/memoir]- Harriet McBryde Johnson
13. The Blood of Olympus (Heroes of Olympus series) [fiction]- Rick Riordan (unabridged audiobook)
14. Ivanhoe [fiction]- Sir Walter Scott
15. Ancillary Justice [fiction]- Ann Leckie
16. Beauty Queens [fiction]- Libba Bray (unabridged audiobook)
17. Burnt Mountain [fiction]- Anne Rivers Siddons
18. Midnight in Siberia: A Train Journey into the Heart of Russia [nonfiction]- David Greene
19. Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex [nonfiction]- Mary Roach (unabridged audiobook)
20. The Likeness [fiction]- Tana French
21. Atonement [fiction]- Ian McEwan
22. The Westing Game [fiction]- Ellen Raskin(unabridged audiobook)

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