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What I’ve read...

Updated: Sep 18, 2020

In no particular order, here are a few recent titles:

In Book Club we read The Souls of Black Folk, W.E.B. Du Bois, originally published in 1903. The flowery somewhat stilted language did not agree with some Book Club members and few knew the name but there was lively discussion around the man and the era. Du Bois came up with the terms "the color line" and "the #Veil" which have had lasting resonance in the field of American #sociology.

“Haven't we, students of American history, missed out on #Reconstruction and #blackhistory in the curriculum of our growing up? It is a glaring omission. The topic simply was not brought up and it has left the 50s, 60s and 70s generations unprepared and unknowing.”

The book is a collection of essays on #race tied together by Du Bois' own experiences as a black man getting an #education and trying to be taken seriously in a white world. He argues for the right to a good education, the vote, and equality in treatment which themes are driven home by the personal tone of the writing.

I like memoir and it's my turn to host so our next book is the #memoir Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed. Midway through the book I found out where the author's name came from; she considers herself as a stray, a person who has #strayed from the path, which was exactly how she was self-destructing. It was a sudden stream of light that shined on the author's search for herself. Until that point I had marveled at her use of prose and imagery, had endured her over-the-top grieving, but did not have quite the personal understanding of her fall from grace. It was a wonderful revelation.

"Quite an #achievement."

Talk about achievement: Ocean Vuong's lovely, edgy On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous. It gives new meaning to a boy's search for masculinity. It is in the form of a letter written by a young man raised in Hartford by an illiterate #immigrant mother and grandmother whose lives in #Vietnam he cannot know just as his life in America they cannot know. Nor, ironically, can they read about it, either.

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