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The Salt Roads > TSR: February 2017 Pick: The Salt Roads by Nalo Hopkinson

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message 1: by Rob, Roberator (new) - rated it 3 stars

Rob (robzak) | 6784 comments Mod
The Salt Roads by Nalo Hopkinson is February's pick (via Twitter)


message 2: by Tassie Dave, S&L Historian (new) - rated it 3 stars

Tassie Dave | 3538 comments Mod
I can honestly say I've never heard of this book or the author.

But the main reason I joined S&L and stayed was to introduce myself to authors and styles I would never have picked up in the past.

This is a book I would have picked up, looked at the cover, read the description and put straight back down.

That is my honest first reaction. But I trust Veronica and I hope to be amazed.


Mel (booksandsundry) (booksandsundry) | 137 comments Coincidence! My other bookclub is reading a different book by the same author for February. If I enjoy that I'll probably try this one too. :)


message 4: by Tassie Dave, S&L Historian (new) - rated it 3 stars

Tassie Dave | 3538 comments Mod
The Kindle book cover art is way better than the other cover.


description


Brendan (mistershine) | 930 comments Tassie Dave wrote: "The Kindle book cover art is way better than the other cover.


"


Oh thank goodness.


Silvana (silvaubrey) | 1627 comments I just read the sample and it is quite refreshing from all the sword-wielding stuff I've been reading lately. I think I will join this one.


message 7: by Matthew (new)

Matthew (matthewdl) | 341 comments I've heard good things about the author. Haven't heard of this particular book but I am excited to check it out.


message 8: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Morgan (elzbethmrgn) | 275 comments I am glad the Kindle version is a reasonable price because it's kind of insane (AU$150, new) in print right now.


message 9: by terpkristin (new)

terpkristin | 4142 comments I ditto what Tassie Dave said about never hearing if the book or author, and that's part of why I joined S&L.

The original cover kind of freaked me out. I thought this was going to be a graphic novel. I look forward to giving it a go!


Joanna Chaplin | 1175 comments Oh, that's been on my to-read list for some time! To be fair, practically everything has.


Stephen Richter (stephenofllongbeach) | 1327 comments Nalo Hopkinson will be one of the Keynote speakers at WorldCon 2017 at Helsinki which I will be going to. Helsinki is an underrated party town.


Silvana (silvaubrey) | 1627 comments ^
I envy you so much!


message 13: by AndrewP (new) - added it

AndrewP (andrewca) | 2481 comments Both of those covers are so hideous I wouldn't want to be seen reading this in public.


message 14: by Rick (new)

Rick | 2792 comments 1) The cover's hideous but I do ebooks, so....
2) I can't WAIT for the discussions. (buy popcorn)


message 15: by William (new) - added it

William | 405 comments Tassie Dave wrote: "The Kindle book cover art is way better than the other cover."

I agree, thank goodness.

AndrewP wrote: "Both of those covers are so hideous I wouldn't want to be seen reading this in public."

Perhaps, once some of us have got started, we could start a thread sharing alternative designs. Let's see if any of us can do better.


message 16: by Michele (new) - added it

Michele | 1154 comments Aww, I love that cover - it's so awesomely not literary and snooty and abstract.

I will say, the book description on Amazon's Kindle page for the book makes a lot more sense than that Goodreads version, and makes it sound much more appealing - https://www.amazon.com/Salt-Roads-Nal...

I've been wanted to read something of hers for a while now but wasn't sure which book to tackle, so this is a good pick for me.


message 17: by Mark (last edited Jan 28, 2017 07:10PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mark (markmtz) | 2354 comments I like the first edition cover too. A fellow named Christian Clayton painted the distinctive cover that some don't want to be seen with. Here are a couple of links to his work.

http://www.christianclayton.com/1990-...
http://www.harnerhouse.com

and an article about the artist, who works with his brother

http://articles.latimes.com/2011/may/...

I couldn't find links to his book and album cover art, but in addition to The Salt Roads he seems to have done covers for Go Gator and Muddy the Water and Soul City.


Brendan (mistershine) | 930 comments Mark wrote: "I like the first edition cover too. A fellow named Christian Clayton painted the distinctive cover that some don't want to be seen with. Here are a couple of links to his work.

http://www.christia..."


That Go Gator cover is great. He's got a hat!


Adelaide Blair I read Brown Girl in the Ring by the same author a while back and really enjoyed it. I'm looking forward to this one.


message 20: by Tassie Dave, S&L Historian (new) - rated it 3 stars

Tassie Dave | 3538 comments Mod
Mark wrote: "I like the first edition cover too. A fellow named Christian Clayton painted the distinctive cover that some don't want to be seen with. Here are a couple of links to his work."

Some of their other art is quite good. I just don't think it works for this novel cover.
I am surprised they haven't tried Graphic Novels. Their style does seem suited to that.

I found this short animation of theirs.

https://vimeo.com/2429243


message 21: by Troy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Troy | 85 comments This is one that I wouldn't even have considered. I'm going to try it but I'm an audiobook person so we'll see how it goes. I've downloaded the sample of the e-book since the audiobook doesn't seem to be readily available. I have reservations:(


message 22: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8479 comments Michele wrote: "I will say, the book description on Amazon's Kindle page for the book makes a lot more sense than that Goodreads version, and makes it sound much more appealing -"

"Wildly comic" is one of those red flag phrases, like "hysterically funny" or "full of wit," because it's usually the exact opposite. (The Rook, forex.)


message 23: by Tassie Dave, S&L Historian (new) - rated it 3 stars

Tassie Dave | 3538 comments Mod
I'm early on into reading this book. I think this could have done with some footnotes. Some of my google searches for words used, have ended up with some not so politically correct racial explanations.
I would have preferred Nalo gave a brief meaning of her use of the terms.

The words in particular that I had to look up were in this sentence:
Not spoilery, they are on the 2nd page.

(view spoiler)


message 24: by Nathan (new)

Nathan (tenebrous) | 377 comments No Audiobook unfortunately.


message 25: by Rick (new)

Rick | 2792 comments Tassie Dave wrote: "I'm early on into reading this book. I think this could have done with some footnotes. Some of my google searches for words used, have ended up with some not so politically correct racial explanati..."


It will be very interesting to see how many people insist on judging this book by 21st century, liberal democratic standards. Those terms were descriptive in the time and place. That they're not "PC" for the US/EU/Oz now isn't really relevant, is it?


message 26: by Tassie Dave, S&L Historian (last edited Jan 30, 2017 04:24PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Tassie Dave | 3538 comments Mod
Rick wrote: "Those terms were descriptive in the time and place.That they're not "PC" for the US/EU/Oz now isn't really relevant, is it?."

I only pointed out the non-PC nature of the terms, as some of the websites I ended up on were extremely racist in their use of the terms. Granted some of the sources quoted by them were over 200 years old.

Rick wrote: "It will be very interesting to see how many people insist on judging this book by 21st century, liberal democratic standards."

As someone who leans heavily to the left politically. Why would you think it would be judged unfairly by this crowd? So far it is portraying the black women in a mostly positive light and the white slave owners as bad.
I would think conservatives would have more problems with it and it's liberal use of swear words and sex, and it's negative portrayal of rich white dudes ;-)

I am judging it as historical fiction, Written by a black woman who is not sugar coating how bad life was for her ancestors.
I have no problem with the terms being used. I still wish Nola had included footnotes and/or a glossary of terms.


message 27: by Ivy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ivy | 45 comments Michele wrote: "Aww, I love that cover - it's so awesomely not literary and snooty and abstract.

I will say, the book description on Amazon's Kindle page for the book makes a lot more sense than that Goodreads ve..."


I absolutely agree...the Goodreads summary makes this sound like nothing really special. The Kindle summary makes me excited to pick this up!


message 28: by Rick (new)

Rick | 2792 comments Tassie Dave -

Ah I see about the PC issue now.

"As someone who leans heavily to the left politically. Why would you think it would be judged unfairly by this crowd? "

Oh, I don't think it will be judged unfairly necessarily, but in the past when we've done older books with outdated notions people have evaluated those works based on 21st century US (usually) mores rather than acknowledging that different attitudes prevailed in other times . It's HARD to not do that - I had it drummed out of me (mostly) by my grad school history profs. But that's why I said it will be interesting... this ISN'T an older book and it's different.


message 29: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (johntaloni) | 3952 comments I would think this book would be judged no more harshly than American Gods, which covered similar subject matter in its beginning.


message 30: by Ivy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ivy | 45 comments Tassie Dave wrote: "The Kindle book cover art is way better than the other cover.

I LOVE this cover! It reminds me of works by Jacob Lawrence, one of the great Harlem Renaissance artists. The colors remind me of a work by Archibald Motley hanging up in the Art Institute of Chicago. I think the designer did a great job. If only I was computer literate enough to share an image, but alas, I don't do HTML.



message 31: by Richard (last edited Jan 30, 2017 07:05PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Richard | 4 comments Rick wrote: "It will be very interesting to see how many people insist on judging this book by 21st century, liberal democratic standards."

In the podcast linked below Sarah Perry made the point that all historical fiction is about the standards of the time it was written. It is always a view from the time it was written and speaks to current society. I think this is very true about science fiction set in the future too.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/aud...

I think it is to agree with some of the comments already made here to say that a book about 18th century Haiti that does not contain terms that are now considered racist would be euphemism. It is about a society that was dripping in brutal racism.

I am 91 pages into the book, and I am really enjoying it.


message 32: by Tassie Dave, S&L Historian (new) - rated it 3 stars

Tassie Dave | 3538 comments Mod
Ivy wrote: "Tassie Dave wrote: "The Kindle book cover art is way better than the other cover.

I LOVE this cover! It reminds me of works by Jacob Lawrence, one of the great Harlem Renaissance artists. The colo..."


I don't dislike the art style and even the piece used would probably look better as a poster. I just don't think it works as a book cover. I prefer the minimalist nature of the Kindle cover

It is all about the medium. I grew up in the era of large vinyl LP cover art. What worked well on an LP didn't always work on a CD or cassette tape cover.

Ivy wrote: "The colors remind me of a work by Archibald Motley hanging up in the Art Institute of Chicago.."

Is this the piece you were referring to?:

description


message 33: by Veronica, Supreme Sword (last edited Feb 01, 2017 09:46PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Veronica Belmont (veronicabelmont) | 1680 comments Mod
Maybe we can LITERALLY not judge a book by its cover(s)?


message 34: by Tassie Dave, S&L Historian (new) - rated it 3 stars

Tassie Dave | 3538 comments Mod
Veronica wrote: "Maybe we can LITERALLY not judge a book by its cover(s)?"

I don't think we are judging the book by it's cover.
We are judging the cover as a cover and/or it's artistic merit.

My view: Good as art, possibly in a larger format. Not so good as a book cover.

BTW I am enjoying the book.


Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 2859 comments I've read a bunch of Nalo and usually enjoy her. She often combines fantasy with island folklore and folkways. She is one of the Caribbean speculative fiction triumvirate! (Do you know the others?)


Joanna Chaplin | 1175 comments Jenny (Reading Envy) wrote: "She is one of the Caribbean speculative fiction triumvirate! (Do you know the others?)"

Tobias Bucknell?


Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 2859 comments Joanna wrote: "Jenny (Reading Envy) wrote: "She is one of the Caribbean speculative fiction triumvirate! (Do you know the others?)"

Tobias Bucknell?"


There's one!


message 38: by David H. (new)

David H. (farrakut) Karen Lord.


Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 2859 comments David wrote: "Karen Lord."

Ding ding. :)


message 40: by Ammi (new)

Ammi Bui | 22 comments Gotta admit, kind of panicked when I googled "Salt Roads" (which I'd never heard of) and got back all these articles about salting icy roads instead of links to the book, for some reason. Both library systems I'm part of don't have it, either. Fortunately, Amazon has the Kindle edition for $6.15(?). From the summary, this is very different from anything I've read, but I've been trying to read new/different things for the past year, so I'm excited!


message 41: by Jon (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jon | 13 comments Just went to Nalo Hopkinson's website and she says that her name is pronounced "NAH-lo" not "NAY-lo". Pointing it out in case others are interested. I know that I've been saying it wrong in my head the whole time.


message 42: by Veronica, Supreme Sword (new) - rated it 5 stars

Veronica Belmont (veronicabelmont) | 1680 comments Mod
Jon wrote: "Just went to Nalo Hopkinson's website and she says that her name is pronounced "NAH-lo" not "NAY-lo". Pointing it out in case others are interested. I know that I've been saying it wrong in my head..."

Thank you!


message 43: by Ivy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ivy | 45 comments Tassie Dave wrote: "Ivy wrote: "Tassie Dave wrote: "The Kindle book cover art is way better than the other cover.

I LOVE this cover! It reminds me of works by Jacob Lawrence, one of the great Harlem Renaissance artis..."


YES!!!! Thanks for posting!!!


message 44: by Ivy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ivy | 45 comments Tassie Dave wrote: "Veronica wrote: "Maybe we can LITERALLY not judge a book by its cover(s)?"

I don't think we are judging the book by it's cover.
We are judging the cover as a cover and/or it's artistic merit.

My ..."


Veronica wrote: "Maybe we can LITERALLY not judge a book by its cover(s)?"

I totally agree that certain images don't translate well from one format to another, scaling up or down can screw up an image as well.

I'm fascinated with how visual images can convey information; here's a cool article that deals with book cover design in particular.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/enterta...


Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 2859 comments Tassie Dave wrote: "I'm early on into reading this book. I think this could have done with some footnotes. Some of my google searches for words used, have ended up with some not so politically correct racial explanati..."

I'm not sure if your references mentioned this, but I think these labels and the self-awareness of your place in the order, had quite a lot to do with your perceived value. At least in SC so I'm assuming the country not yet known as Haiti too, the closer you were to white, the more likely you would be to win an indoor position. And I'm sure it created hierarchies within the slave community .. it's hard not to notice "privilege" or the lack of it (in sarcastic quotation marks because being a slave indoors is still being a slave.)


Robert Lee (harlock415) | 259 comments Man, this book needs footnotes or appendixes just for the historical context.


message 47: by Phil (last edited Feb 08, 2017 10:20AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Phil | 1140 comments I was thinking I could use a Patois/English dictionary. (I'm not sure if patois is the proper term to use here but it's what came to mind).


message 48: by Troy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Troy | 85 comments I've finished and rated the book but I'm not sure how I feel about it. There is a lot going on in the book and in my head about it


message 49: by Yasmin (new) - added it

Yasmin (jessyz) | 1 comments I finished the book. I hated it and but respected the overall premise. The writing itself was great, but I disliked all of the characters except Thais. I felt like I did need footnotes or some explanation, maybe if I understood more of it I would have enjoyed it more or at least I wouldn't have needed to continually google terms, words or events.


message 50: by Kay (last edited Feb 11, 2017 01:33PM) (new)

Kay (darlinbooks) | 9 comments So, I was going to pass on this book (just because I have too much on my TBR pile). But then reading that it was set around the Haitian revolution, I am 1000% on board. That was such a fascinating revolution and it is criminal that it isn't a staple of elementary/high school education in the West.

Anyhow, really looking forward to it!


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