I just finished reading Kindred, by Octavia Butler. I know- that's not what the sidebar says I'm reading. I'm reading The Rational Optimist, too. I can read a fiction and a non-fiction book at the same time. Kindred is the book my book club is reading this month. I've read it before- I picked it up at random during a visit to City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco many, many years ago, and read it then. I remember liking it, and recommending it to other people then. But now I have a blog, and can recommend it to more people! It is the sort of book that sticks with you, so I remembered the basic outline of the plot- a modern black woman finds herself repeatedly transported back to a Maryland plantation during slavery, and realizes that she is there to save her ancestor, who is the white son of the plantation owner- but the details were lost. So I figured I should read it again.
Once I picked it up again, I had a hard time putting it down. It is an absorbing, fascinating, disturbing story. I think every American should read this book to better understand the horror of slavery. But leaving that aside, you should read it because it is a well-told story that will teach you something about being human.
I think my book club picked it because it was on some list of top sci-fi books (I wasn't at that meeting, so I'm not sure). That classification surprises me, not because the book isn't wonderful, but because I wouldn't call it sci-fi. I'm not sure what I would call it- maybe magic realism. But why bother classifying it? Just read it. The Kindle version is only $4.95- that is an absolute bargain.
You may or may not have noticed that I've switched back to Amazon links. They reinstated their associates program in California after coming to a deal about the tax issue. It is a short term deal and I may get booted out again if they don't sort out a long term solution, so I considered not going back. I briefly felt guilty about leaving Powell's, whose program is pretty awesome- except no one bought anything from them using one of my links. So me staying with them wasn't going to do either of us any good. If I read the rules of the two programs right, I can stay a member of both, so I'll leave the Powell's link up in the corner, but switch back to Amazon for the in text links.