The sad truth about ‘Between the World and Me’

This week Ta-Nehisi Coates won the National Book Award for nonfiction for “Between the World and Me,” a heartfelt letter he wrote to his son about being a black man in America today.

coatesI had read reviews of this book and interviews with the author, a national correspondent for The Atlantic where he writes about cultural, social and political issues, usually dealing with race. Earlier this year, he won a MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant for his body of work, which includes this book, a memoir, “The Beautiful Struggle,” and many notable pieces for The Atlantic. Despite this research, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Continue reading “The sad truth about ‘Between the World and Me’”

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On race and making assumptions

Clearly, this is my summer of reading books about the African-American experience. There’s this, and this, and this and even this. Today, another one, this one written by a friend of mine. “Nappy-Headed Negro Syndrome” is unique, funny in a shake-your-head way, insightful and instructional. It creates, then perfectly fills a niche in the national conversation taking place on race relations. Continue reading “On race and making assumptions”

Even the great ones swing and miss

Two new books by authors I love show that, well, you just can’t be great all the time.

Both novels suffer from different faults, but the end result of each was disheartening and left me with the question: “If this had been submitted to a publisher without the great name as author, would they have been published?” Continue reading “Even the great ones swing and miss”

“Push” by Sapphire: A challenge worth taking

For those of you holding your breath, waiting to see what I chose to read and why, go ahead and exhale. I have awoken and am here to provide the answers.

Just to recap, I had finished two books in one day—one on CD and one on paper—and had no idea what I was going to read. Despite my perfectly rational thoughts that I might not wake up if I went to bed when not in the middle of a book, I did awake the next morning and had to face the daunting challenge not only of what to read, but what to read on a long car trip. Continue reading ““Push” by Sapphire: A challenge worth taking”