B is for Books: The Alchemist

In A Few of My Faaaavorite Things, B is for Books on July 30, 2011 at 9:32 pm

the undeniable.

so before i begin let me say, don’t be fooled by the title of this post, this book is def ‘one of my favorite things’ no less so than the other books i’ve just blogged about. i just decided not to include that tag here cause ive been overusing it a bit. thats not the purpose of the “A few of My Favorite Things” tag- i will only blog about my favorite books…or the ones i really really hate i suppose…tho i cant imagine wasting any more time on them than the time i spent reading them.

anyway, i’ve been on a reading binge lately (as my last couple of posts prove). glad to have some time to read fiction and glad to have the freedom to read what i choose (tho i must admit and give thanks for being blessed with many professors who have assigned fantastic reads both fictional and not).

anyway, a couple of weeks ago, before i’d read Parable of the Sower, and before I’d reread The Bluest Eye, I’d read: The Alchemist.

as i shared in my post about the bluest eye, i’d been meaning to read the alchemist forever. I’d heard that it was one of those undeniable amazing books, the kind that everyone must read because it appeals to something human inside all of us and in so doing becomes necessary.

well i read it and i agreed. I’d been following the author, paulo Cohelo, on twitter for some time and having read many of his blog posts and the quick “2 minute reads” that he regularly posts (his way of not only keeping people, his fans the world over, reading but also thinking and living critically and attentively with all of themselves), so i was already a fan. i knew i loved how he thinks and writes so it was really just about waiting for the right time, for my life to bring me to my own copy of it.

anyway, my posts are getting uncharacteristically long and personal- which im enjoying and appreciating actually- but i dont particularly feel like overwriting right now and i KNOW there’s nothing profound i could say to encourage anyone to read this book except for that you must. even i, having already read it, must read it again. and many more times in my life.

instead i offer the promise of eventual Alchemist quotables and the promise that Coelho’s writing will pull at your heart strings as forcefully and achingly wonderfully as your favorite lyric sung by your favorite singer in gut-wrenchingest part of your favorite song.




a Dreamer and a WASP: Charlie Rose interviews Octavia Butler

In B is for Books on July 30, 2011 at 9:30 pm

it’s so funny watching charlie rose fumble over himself,  interrupting her, trying so hard to, and to appear to, connect with and really understand her: ignorantly leaping into so many assumptions and misunderstandings despite his still young, white, male benevolent good intentions. i’ve seen him do this a number of times in his early career interviews.

and octavia butler all the more amazing and just uniquely dope as she is for being SoOoOoO patient, calm, quiet, sweet and never, ever ever making him feel as stupid or awkward as she could have. probably because she could see he already knew how much he was embarrassing himself.

something about her, the little i know about her rough unfairly unglamorous life and unfortunate and untimely death, the fact that she seems to retreat into herself and that as dope and unique as she was i can imagine all the flack she received for being so different- beautiful, historically pained peoples can be very harsh sometimes-makes me a little sad when i watch and think about her. but still she was very resilient and however ridiculous and maybe even audacious of me, i feel pride for her.

back to rose for a second tho. make no mistake, having seen a number of his other interviews, im a fan. he’s become quite great. but as for this charlie rose: some trick of the trade, or stage make-up i suspect, was the only thing keeping his face from turning beet red as it should have. how interesting to see how much he has grown, and learned, in his years of good journalism.

we’ve gotta have patience with the privilege- rather the ignorance born of it- of others, as we hope other will have patience with our own.

many thanks and blessings to Octavia Butler, may her soul rest forever in so much peace.


B is for Books x A Few of My Favorite Things: Octavia Butler

In A Few of My Faaaavorite Things, B is for Books on July 30, 2011 at 9:27 pm

Octavia E. ButlerThe Dreamer


May your heavenly dreams be as fanciful- and far more peaceful and rested- as your earthly ones. amen. 

just finished reading my fourth Octavia E. Butler novel. the first, and my favorite of her’s that i’ve read is Wild Seed. my cousin Buchu (Daniel the great) not only suggested that me and my cousin Elizabeth read it, he immediately went to Barnes & Noble and purchased it for us. like that. and, as all things Buchu promotes, Perhaps one of the most creative stories I have ever encountered. After Wildseed I read Mind of My Mind (the next in that series),  Kindred (a stand-alone novel, and Butler’s most popular) and, as of about an hour ago, Parable of the Sower (the first in a separate two part series). Like all of her books, it was not only an incredibly easy-breezy read, I couldn’t put it down: read it in 3 days. Considering that I work 8 hour days, that’s not a testimony to my reading but a testimony to the pure goodness of her writing.

Wild Seed is still my favorite, i think because it was my first and you never forget the first time. i dont know what else to say except that, even without that having been the first science-fiction novel I’ve read (OH YEAH, DID I FORGET TO MENTION SHE’S A BLACK, FEMALE SCIENCE FICTION WRITER???? YOU.BETTA.WEEEERRRRRRKKKKK), i had not, and still have not, ever read or come across anything that creative, inventive and wonderful.

that said, Parable of the Sower is a different kind of favorite of her’s for me.

because it’s the first one that could be real.

because i think it will be real someday.

because despite that it was written decades ago and set in, what is for us a not so distant future (2024-2027), it is the only thing i have read that has actually thoroughly conceptualized and expanded upon a future that I, and many over-the-edge environmentalist, fear is in store for this planet in the future. i’ve come to accept that anything that drastic and terrible and frigtening will not happen for another 100 years, earliest, but i’m still pretty sure, and frightened that it will happen. like the main character, im pretty sure the destiny of the human race lies in the stars. dead serious.

that said, i intend to keep this book forever. to make my kids read it, and every one i love. and pray all the dirty greedy capitalists read it too so they can see the future they’re ensuring for our progeny by destroying the planet.

too intense???? i ain’t sorry doeeeeeee

fun fact!: the novel’s main character creates, rather “observes”, a religion called “Earthseed” and writes a bible-type book called “Earthseed: the Book of the Living” (amazing dope qouteables soon to come!!) which later, years after the book was published, some turnt-up enviornmentalists turned into an actual religion calledSolSeed. (lmfaoooo! on the real though, why can’t people just come across goodness and accept it, fold it into their lives, put it to practice and keep it pushing??? wwwwhhhhhyyyyy a whole new faith???? wwwhhhyyyy??? lmfao. what.and.ever.)

anyway, read Octavia E. Butler and enjoy her.