Monday, Monday and the sun is shining here in my corner of the world. (I love that song by The Mamas and The Papas. Listening to it makes me want to dance.)
I hope all my Texas friends and family have recovered from the horrible storm and deep-freeze that crippled our state. Family members that I’ve heard from are all okay, and that’s what’s most important. Food that spoiled because of the power outages can be replaced, but loved ones can’t.
Now that my life has returned to normal, I’ve gone back to listening to more podcasts, and over the weekend I listened to a couple from NPR that were most interesting. One was Throughline, that had a feature about Octavia E. Butler, a Black writer whose stories, primarily science fiction and speculative fiction, never quite fit the mold of those genres. She was known for pushing against the constraints of a particular genre, and eventually built a stunning career.
She received a MacArthur “Genius” Grant and PEN West Lifetime Achievement Award for her body of work. Among her award-winning novels are PARABLE OF THE SOWER (1993), which was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and PARABLE OF THE TALENTS (1995) winner of the Nebula Award for the best science fiction novel published that year. She was acclaimed for her lean prose, strong protagonists, and social observations in stories that range from the distant past to the far future.
Even though I’m not a fan of science fiction and/or fantasy, I’m about to listen to PARABLE OF THE SOWER. I was intrigued by what I heard about the stories that I borrowed the audio version from my library.
By the way, if you’ve never listened to Throughline, it’s well worth adding to your podcast playlist. The show takes a current item of interest and goes back in history to show how things started, how they have changed, and maybe how they are the same. A lot of the focus is on issues around government, social disparities, and racism, but hey, those are forces that affect us deeply, so why not learn more about the origins of some of the problems?
The other podcast was Fresh Air’s interview with Kerri Greenidge who wrote a book about William Monroe Trotter, a Black newspaper editor who championed Civil Rights causes in Boston in the early 20th century.
It was most interesting to learn about this man, who was very influential at the time of Booker T. Washington, yet his name was never in any history books used in the public school system where I was educated.
Greenidge, an historian and professor at Tufts University has written a book Black Radical: The Life and Times of William Monroe Trotter, another book I’m adding to my reading list.
It’s a shame that it took Black History Month for me to meet these notable people.
Before I go, I want to invite you to enter this great Booksweeps Giveaway.
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The contest starts today, February 22 and ends March 3. That gives you ten days to enter and enter often.
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Leslie Richards, running from her past, moves from New York to a small town near Hot Springs, Arkansas, hoping to find a new beginning. But there’s no peace in Pine Hollow when babies start disappearing. Under the thumb of the mob that ruled Hot Springs in the 60s, Sheriff Bates decides to arrest Leslie, despite thin circumstantial evidence. Better for it to be a stranger taking those babies than one of their own. Can she find the real kidnapper before it’s too late for her?
PRAISE FOR BOXES FOR BEDS
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Good luck and enjoy!