I’ve always been a big reader, but I haven’t kept up with my reading in over a year. It really makes me sad because I love reading books. I’m making it a point this spring to read more books, even if it’s just one book a month.
Do you like to read your books on an electronic device or do you like to read the hard copy? I prefer to hold a book in my hand and read than read a book on the tablet. The reading experience isn’t the same to me if I have to read a novel on an electronic device. Plus, after awhile the lighting from the tablet hurts my eyes.
A few weeks ago, we bought a few books from the store and Vault of Midnight (comic book store in Downtown Detroit). Here’s what we got:
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
I love this book! It is really good so far. The novel is about two half-sisters who are born in different villages in Africa. Both sisters are not aware of the other, though. The novel chronicles their life and their descendants through eight generations from the beginning of the slave trade in Africa to the Jazz Age Harlem.
Yaa Gyasi, the author of Homegoing, was born in Ghana and raised in Huntsville, Alabama. Huntsville is actually about 3 hours from my hometown in Tennessee. If I ever had the opportunity to speak with Yaa Gyasi, I would love to interview her to learn about her novel and how she came to write it.
I haven’t finished reading the book yet, but I can say it is a very enjoyable read. The details of slavery are sad and really opens my eyes to the history of slavery. This side of history I was never taught in public school. I am looking forward to reading more of the storylines of the sisters Effia and Esi.
Side note: I checked to see if Homegoing is still sold at Target.com, but I couldn’t find it. I did find it at Barnes and Noble so you can order it here if you want.
Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
Michala picked out this book because she saw the previews for the movie. She wanted to read the book before watching the movie. She said Everything, Everything is a page turner and she couldn’t put the book down. She finished reading it in a week! Michala told me it’s hard to pick just one thing she liked about Everything, Everything because “there are a lot of things I like about the book.”
“My most favorite thing about the book is how the main character (Maddie) stays positive even though she doesn’t have a good situation.” The situation Michala is referring to is the character Maddie is “allergic to the world” and she can’t leave her house because she will get really sick. Maddie hasn’t left her home in 17 years. The only people she has contact with are her mom and her nurse.
Written by African American author Nicola Yoon, Everything Everything is a novel for young adults. The novel is about main character Madeline “Maddie” Whittier whose life changes when a new family moves next door and she meets Olly. Maddie and Olly fall in love. “It’s basically about star-crossed lovers jumping over obstacles to get to each other,” Michala says.
“I recommend Everything, Everything because it’s a love story about new beginnings and it’s a book that will teach you even if you’re in a bad situation to look at the bright side. That’s what Maddie did and she taught Olly to be that (optimistic and positive) – to look on the bright side of life.”
Midnight Sun by Trish Cook
Michala also picked out this book and finished reading it within a week. She actually read both books at the same time. I have no idea how she does that. Midnight Sun is written by Trish Cook and the novel is also for young adults. The novel is a little similar to Everything, Everything because the main character Katie Price also has a rare disease and is confined to her house. “The rare disease is called XP (xeroderma pigmentosum) which means that she can’t go out during the daytime because she could die,” Michala told me.
“And she’s been watching this boy Charlie Reed for most of her life, like out her window. One day when she goes to play her guitar at the subway station, she gets the chance to meet him. It was a very sweet and a heartbreaking story. Honestly, when I got to the end of it, it made me wanna cry. I read it because I knew it was a love story, and I kept reading it because it was about a girl who was not in a good situation but she was still able to live her life and make her dreams come true. I liked it because it had a happy ending.”
Abbott by Saladin Ahmed
Elijah is a big comic book fan so he regularly reads comic books and graphic novels. He had been waiting for Saladin Ahmed’s new comic from the Abbott series and he was excited when we got the call from Vault of Midnight that they had a copy on hold for him.
“I wanted to read Abbott because it was written by a Detroit author who is a man of color,” Elijah told me. “I also liked that the main character is a woman of color, as well. And then on top of that, any story that involves supernatural activity intrigues me.”
Elijah said, “Abbott is about a woman named Elena Abbott and she reports for the Detroit Daily on events going on in the black community. While Elena is struggling to have the truth be accepted by her white superiors, she also has to deal with occult forces from her past.” If you’d like to order Abbott, you can contact your local comic book store or get it from Amazon’s comiXology.
5-Minute Star Wars Stories by Lucasfilm Press
5-Minute Star Wars Stories is about different events in Star Wars movies such as iconic battles that were featured in the first seven movies. Eleven short stories are featured in this kid-friendly storybook. The book gives a narration of particular encounters between good guys and bad guys including some dialogue from the movie. Elijah, the biggest Star Wars fan in the family, said he thinks the illustrations give an accurate depiction of what it was like in the movie.
What I love about the illustrations in the book is there are pictures featured on every page. This is a great way to keep young children engaged with the story. Zhen and Zechariah love books with pictures so they really liked this one. Elijah likes to read stories to the toddlers from time to time and he read a few short stories to the toddlers.
He told me one time he read a Star Wars story to Zechariah when he was crying and feeling frustrated because he was really tired. Elijah grabbed the Star Wars book and immediately started reading a story to Zechariah. He stopped crying and “by the time the story was over, he was asleep.”
What books are you reading right now?
Feature image: The two Abbott comic books I bought for Elijah at Vault of Midnight in Downtown Detroit.