Tag Archives: Ilyasha Shabazz

Book Club Reflection: X by Ilyasha Shabazz (2)

5 Apr

As promised, here’s another post about Ilyasha Shabazz’s novel X. This title was the Great Michigan Read selection and I believe I’ve missed all the author appearances so this may be my last post on the book. You can read my first book club discussion and book review as well.

I wondered if the discussions between these two groups would be different but they were surprisingly similar. In both, we admitted some ignorance about Malcolm X overall. Some had read the Biography of Malcolm X or seen the movie, but to many, this was new information.

There was agreement that the time jumps started to have more impact on the plot as the book went on. The farther he was from Lansing and his childhood, the more those memories seemed to guide his decisions and actions, especially upon his return to Boston and his time in jail. Malcolm’s criminal actions were a way of rebelling against what he’d been told when he felt pushed down.

We felt Malcolm was a lot like his father. Both were not afraid to speak up and be strong and loud. Sometimes, what they had to say upset people and unfortunately, we see the way that was punished in both cases. They recognized that they may run a risk but it was the best way to advance the cause they were fighting for.

We continually reminded ourselves how young Malcolm had been when he left home. We thought it would be hard to leave at any age, especially a young 15. It was probably easier to leave because he had been in a foster home and separated from his siblings. If he’d been with his mother or with more family, he would probably have stayed. He didn’t feel great times to his foster family or the system he was living in and it was easy to pick up and leave.

One of the hardest character changes for us to see was Laura. She had been dreaming so high and her aspirations were ripped right out from under her, the way Malcolm’s had been. She was also not able to land on her feet.

We had a lot of questions about Malcolm’s mother. Was Mrs. Little really mentally insane? There were things that pointed to yes and others that were a resounding no. We wondered if she was suffering from depression. The way she let her garden grow and seemed to buckle when she lost her job seemed like she’d lost hope and was no longer the vocal woman we get an impression of in Malcolm’s earlier years. She was a victim of circumstances during the depression so it’s easy to see why she could be in such a difficult position. Her decision to try to ‘pass’ as white when she was so proud of being black seems very planned and we felt that pointed to her not being mentally unstable. It was purposeful for her to act that way as a way of working and providing for her children. She was capable of that so she could be capable of caring for them.

Our next book is one many of you have commented about: The Nightingale by Kristen Hannah! I’m enjoying it so far.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

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WWW Wednesday, 28-February-2018

28 Feb

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


Currently reading: I’m back to reading Harry Potter y las Reliquias de la Muerte by J.K. Rowling. I bought a White Noise song to listen to on repeat so I could read this book on the airplane I’m over half way through it now! I’m not sure how long I’ll stick with it before another book interrupts but I’m being hopeful that this will be finished before summer rolls around.
Still holding with The Circle by Dave Eggers. Sad day.
Since I was on vacation for a few days, I didn’t get a chance to listen to Son of a Witch by Gregory Maguire much. I have a few drives starting today that will give me some more time with it.
It’s a slow go with Pigs in Heaven by Barbara Kingsolver as well but I got at least one long run in where I could listen to it. Again, being with family all the time isn’t ideal for audiobook listening so I was a bit slow here this week.
I got through a fair chunk of The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp on the plane when I finished X (see below). The narrator’s voice is really strong and I’m still adjusting to that but enjoying it all the same.

Recently finished: I finished X by Ilyasah Shabazz on the plane! It was a good read and really informative. I’m looking forward to hearing the author speak later this year. I’m sure it will be a little emotionally charged, but reading her bio, she’s a pro at these types of presentations. She’ll probably speak this summer.

No reviews this week because of my vacation. I’ve got a huge list of posts to write and I’ll be getting around to it soon, I promise! Its going to be my main focus this weekend (besides laundry).

Reading Next: Still no plans! I’ve got too much going to think about that just yet. I’m sure something will come along in a week or so and I’ll put it here then.


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 21-February-2018

21 Feb

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


Currently reading: Unfortunately, I’ve had to put Harry Potter y las Reliquias de la Muerte by J.K. Rowling on hold for a short while for a book club selection. I’m hoping I fly through it and can get back to this soon!
I have the saddest news. I lost the hold on The Circle by Dave Eggers! I went to read it at lunch yesterday and it had returned and when I went to check it out again, I couldn’t! I’m so sad that I’ll have to wait to get back to this story.
FINALLY! I’ve just started Son of a Witch by Gregory Maguire this week! It’s great to get on to a new audiobook. I’m still getting into it so not much to report here. Trying to remember the first book is taking a lot of my concentration now, haha.
I also started Pigs in Heaven by Barbara Kingsolver. I remember Taylor and Turtle better than I thought I would. It’s  the side characters I don’t remember well but I’m sure I’ll pick it up quickly.
I started a book club selection as well, X by Ilyasah Shabazz. This is a fictionalized account of the story of Malcolm X as written by his third daughter. Shabazz will be speaking in my area later this year (or maybe early next year) so look for quite a few more posts about this book going forward!
Because I lost the hold on The Circle, I started another ebook. This time I picked The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp. Yes, I realize that means I have six books going right now! This is a lot for me and I’m feeling more than a bit overwhelmed but I will press on!

Recently finished: I finished a book! I’m so excited to be able to say that after a long time of nothing making its way to this list. I wrapped up A Widow for One Year by John Irving. I adore Irving and this book was ‘classic Irving’ and it was great to read something of his. The last Irving book I read was very different from his normal style and topics so it feels like returning to an old friend.
I wrapped up My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante yesterday during my run. Woo! It ended a bit abruptly and I’m unsure if I want to keep reading the series and find out more about what happens to these characters. Let’s call it TBD at the moment.

No reviews this week! I’ll have ones for Irving and Ferrante soon.

Reading Next: I’m going to say I have no plans. I really hope to finish some of my six going on right now before I start worrying about what comes next. I think I have too much on my plate already, haha.


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!