Friday, September 16, 2016
Book Review: Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
This book was amazing, just like everyone said. I read parts aloud to my husband (and bit my tongue at many more I wanted to.) However, it hasn't really stuck with me. I think the reason is that for me, stories resonate more than philosophy or political viewpoints or construction plans. Those are great and necessary, in fact long overdue. However, they don't stick in my Swiss-cheese brain.
This book's conceit is a letter written by Ta-Nehisi Coates to his son, about how to function as a black man, about why American society operates in the crazy unfair way it does, and why and how it needs to change. He does brush on both his personal history and the history of blacks and whites in America, but while it is very accessible and brief (which is just what today's attention span needs), I think personally I was looking for something more substantial. Now, I can get what I'm looking for in books like The Warmth of Other Suns and A Hellhound on His Trail, but this book, while important and passionate, just wasn't the meaty tome I wanted. I did love it, but it was ephemeral personally. I suspect I am looking for something more along the lines of Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward (and I am moving that up on my TBR list.)
All that said, this book is amazing and powerful and everyone should read it, particularly those who aren't big readers. It's a fast, easy read that will have you thinking hard about race in America and how we can get ourselves out of this mess we've dug ourselves into.
I got this book out of the library on my cruise ship, Oceania Regatta.