Friday Reads, or Project “Read My Own Damn Books”

Like I mentioned earlier, my goal this year is to read some of the books I already own. I have a bad book-buying habit that is not matched by my book-reading habit—I always manage to find a book at the library that must be read right now or an e-book on sale that I can’t pass up. Not this year. I’ve got books already, and I’m going to read them.

Right now, I’m reading Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai, but first here’s what I’ve finished this year so far:

  1. The Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler
  2. Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn
  3. Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man: A Memoir by Bill Clegg

I’ve already started and set aside one book that I just wasn’t feeling, but let’s not dwell on that. Here’s the thing: I’m not a professional reviewer. I only finish the books I enjoy, and if I don’t enjoy one, I’m not going to waste the oxygen talking about it. Critical reviews have their place; this isn’t one of them.

Even if it were, I couldn’t say a negative thing about Parable of the Sower, which I started in December over the holidays and finished this month. If you haven’t read anything by the late Octavia Butler and you enjoy science fiction, dystopia, and/or YA, pick up this book:

When unattended environmental and economic crises lead to social chaos, not even gated communities are safe. In a night of fire and death Lauren Olamina, a minister’s young daughter, loses her family and home and ventures out into the unprotected American landscape. But what begins as a flight for survival soon leads to something much more: a startling vision of human destiny… and the birth of a new faith.

I’ll confess, I’m going to make an exception to my “read my own damn books” rule when the sequel, Parable of the Talents, is available at the library. I only wish Ms. Butler were still with us to write more fantastic stories like this.