The Pacific Northwest likes to read, and what better way to get book suggestions than to ask around? In this monthly feature, we ask prominent Northwest residents what books they’re reading, rereading and recommending — and why.

This month: Kristina Clark, the curator, creator and owner of Loving Room: diaspora books + salon, a new Black-owned bookstore and community reading room in Seattle’s Central District.

New Black-owned Central District bookstore celebrates Black love

What are you reading now? 

It’s mostly children’s books with my kids and that’s just the reality of me being a single parent with two children with no co-parent and trying to launch a full-time business and work on the side. I’ve been a very avid reader in other times of my life, but mostly the books I’m reading right now would be kids books. If you want a specific title, there are two that we just got into: “Dream Street,” which is a collaboration between Tricia Elam Walker and Ekua Holmes, and “I’m Growing Great” by Mechal Renee Roe. As far as reading for adults, a book called “Ezili’s Mirrors: Imagining Black Queer Genders” by Omise’eke Natasha Tinsley.  

What book have you reread the most?  

Either bell hooks’ “All About Love” or Audre Lorde’s “Sister Outsider.”  

What book do you recommend others read and why?  

I would recommend Octavia E. Butler’s “Parable of the Sower.” It feels incredibly prescient and very much attuned to the times that we’re in. She wrote it back in the early ’90s and actually very accurately predicted certain things that are unfolding now in terms of the political landscape and also the environment in just the social panorama of where we’re at in the United States. It’s a little post-apocalyptic, but a lot of really salient messages and themes and I would encourage people not familiar with Octavia Butler’s work to get into it.  

(Jennifer Luxton / The Seattle Times)