“Atlantis: Model 1924” belongs among the most important fiction in Samuel R. Delany’s vast bibliography, precisely because it distills so much of what makes this black, gay Harlemite science fiction writer such a unique figure in American letters—including his family’s history, his thinking on race, sexuality, and gender, his artistic methods as a writer, and his creative approach to literary criticism. “Atlantis: Model 1924” follows the life of a 17-year-old black kid named Sam on his journey from North Carolina to Harlem in the fall of 1923. The character is based on the author’s father, and the storyline is based on Delany’s family history. Two of the fictional Sam’s siblings — Elsie and Corey in the novella — are based upon the famous Delany sisters, Sarah (Sadie) Delany and A. Elizabeth (Bessie) Delany, who became internationally known centenarians with their bestselling book Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years (1993).
Category Archives: books
Natural Born Heroes — Christopher McDougall
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The Bookman’s Wake – John Dunning
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Notches (The Montana Mysteries Featuring Gabriel Du Pré Book 4)
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Working alongside a Blackfoot FBI agent and his feisty female partner, Du Pré, a father and grandfather with two daughters of his own, gives his all to the manhunt. But as more victims are found, and a young woman he cares about disappears, he will come to the grim realization that he must learn to think like this monster in order to catch him.
“Like the most memorable creations in detective fiction, [Du Pré’s] moral center is unshakeable” (Booklist).
Notches is the 4th book in The Montana Mysteries Featuring Gabriel Du Pré series, but you may enjoy reading the series in any order.
Indian Killer by Sherman Alexie
First published in 1996, this book’s insight into race and relationships is just as true today as it was then. It’s about colonization and what it does to the colonized. A great book, although it was a slow start for me.
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A national best seller, Indian Killer is arguably Sherman Alexie’s most controversial book to date—a gritty, racially charged literary thriller that, over a decade after its first publication, remains an electrifying tale of alienation and justice. A serial murderer called the Indian Killer is terrorizing Seattle, hunting, scalping, and slaughtering white men. Motivated by rage and seeking retribution for his people’s violent history, his grizzly MO and skillful elusiveness both paralyze the city with fear and prompt an uprising of racial brutality. Out of the chaos emerges John Smith. Born to Indians but raised by white parents, Smith yearns for his lost heritage. As his embitterment with his dual life increases, Smith falls deeper into vengeful madness and quickly surfaces as the prime suspect. Tensions mount, and while Smith battles to allay the anger that engulfs him, the Indian Killer claims another life. With acerbic wit and chilling page-turning intensity, Alexie takes an unflinching look at what nurtures rage within a race both colonized and marginalized by a society that neither values nor understands it.(US) (UK)
Matinicus – Darcy Scott
This was a great mystery story, set on Matinicus, an island off the coast of Maine. Some nice plot twists, a mixed in ghost story, and more made this fine reading. I was impressed. Picked this up used at a local bookstore.
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If Gil’s hoping for some peace and quiet, he’s clearly come to the wrong place. Generations of infighting among loose-knit lobstering clans have left them openly hostile to outsiders. When a beautiful, bed-hopping stranger sails into the harbor, old resentments re-ignite and people begin to die—murders linked, through centuries of violence, to a diary whose secrets threaten to tear the island apart.(US) (UK)
Mongrels — Stephen Graham Jones
Great book. An interesting take on werewolves. A genre that I don’t normally read, but this book kept me turning pages.
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He was born an outsider, like the rest of his family. Poor yet resilient, he lives in the shadows with his aunt Libby and uncle Darren, folk who stubbornly make their way in a society that does not understand or want them. They are mongrels, mixed blood, neither this nor that. The boy at the center of Mongrels must decide if he belongs on the road with his aunt and uncle, or if he fits with the people on the other side of the tracks.
For ten years, he and his family have lived a life of late-night exits and narrow escapes—always on the move across the South to stay one step ahead of the law. But the time is drawing near when Darren and Libby will finally know if their nephew is like them or not. And the close calls they’ve been running from for so long are catching up fast now. Everything is about to change.
A compelling and fascinating journey, Mongrels alternates between past and present to create an unforgettable portrait of a boy trying to understand his family and his place in a complex and unforgiving world. A smart and innovative story— funny, bloody, raw, and real—told in a rhythmic voice full of heart, Mongrels is a deeply moving, sometimes grisly, novel that illuminates the challenges and tender joys of a life beyond the ordinary in a bold and imaginative new way. (US) (UK)
Letters To A Young Poet
I was told that this translation (by M. D. Herter Norton) is the best, and I couldn’t tell you different, as I quite liked it, and haven’t read any others. I will say, that I think I got more from the Chronicles section, which explained what Rilke was doing during this period, and a bit on his relationship with Rodin. For instance Rodin’s advice “il faut toujours travailler” (you should always be working), which is good advice for any artist.
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Today in history, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer was copyrighted by Mark Twain.
I haven’t read this since I was a kid, but a lot of it stuck with me.
This is part of my People Who Made America Great series.
The novel has elements of humor, satire and social criticism; features that later made Mark Twain one of the most important authors of American literature. Mark Twain describes some autobiographical events in the book. The novel is set around Twain’s actual boyhood home of Hannibal, near St. Louis, and many of the places in it are real and today support a tourist industry as a result.
Great SF book. Quick read.
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Before she escaped in a bloody coup, MEPHISTO transformed Mariam Xi into a deadly voidwitch. Their training left her with terrifying capabilities, a fierce sense of independence, a deficit of trust, and an experimental pet named Seven. She’s spent her life on the run, but the boogeymen from her past are catching up with her. An encounter with a bounty hunter has left her hanging helpless in a dying spaceship, dependent on the mercy of strangers.
Penned in on all sides, Mariam chases rumors to find the one who sold her out. To discover the truth and defeat her pursuers, she’ll have to stare into the abyss and find the secrets of her past, her future, and her terrifying potential.