12 Years A Slave (#39/50)

For those who don’t know, this book is based on a true story, and as one might expect from the title, it is devastating. It’s clear early on that Solomon will eventually regain his freedom, and that hope was what kept me reading to the end.

Title – 12 Years A Slave

Author – Solomon Northup

Page count – 217

Goodreads rating – 5 stars (This is something new I’m going to include. The ratings are as follows: one star=didn’t like it, two=it was ok, three=liked it, four=really liked it, five=it was awesome! Or, in cases like this where “awesome” doesn’t feel quite appropriate, I think of it as “would highly recommend.”)

As stated before, this book is based on a true story. And keep in mind I haven’t seen the movie, so my commentary/opinion is based solely on the book. Solomon was born a free man in New York State. Continue reading “12 Years A Slave (#39/50)”

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The Underground Railroad (#30/50)

So I mentioned in my Sag Harbor review how I was on a waitlist for this book at the library because it’s Oprah’s latest book pick and thus very popular. Well…it became available! In less than a month! They must have a ton of copies because I was expecting to wait a looong time.

Title – The Underground Railroad

Author – Colson Whitehead

Page count – 306

This book – as you can probably guess from the title – tells a story about the Underground Railroad. But it re-imagines the narrative as if the network for freeing slaves was an actual railroad that ran underground Continue reading “The Underground Railroad (#30/50)”

Sag Harbor (#26/50)

I’m usually pretty good about getting a review up right after I finish the book, but with classes starting, this one’s taken me awhile! I tried to find another book (The Underground Railroad) by this author at the library, but as it’s just been chosen as Oprah’s book club pick, there was a considerable waitlist. This book was available, and I’m glad I chose it.

Title – Sag Harbor

Author – Colson Whitehead

Page count – 329

This was a really interesting book. It’s written from the perspective of a 15-year-old boy, and teenage boys’ minds are kinda weird. The characters follow through the entire thing, but each chapter almost reads like a separate short story. It chronicles Continue reading “Sag Harbor (#26/50)”

The Color Purple (#24/50)

We watched the movie version of this book in a college class about Women Theologians, and it was really good (obviously…it’s got Whoopi Goldberg AND Oprah). Some parts are kind of intense so I’m not sure I want to read this book again, but I’m glad I read it once.

Title – The Color Purple

Author – Alice Walker

Page count – 295

This is another epistolary novel. The main character Celie lives in the Deep South and writes letters to “God.” Later in the book, it alternates between Continue reading “The Color Purple (#24/50)”

The New Jim Crow (#22/50)

This is a must-read book.

I knew I was ignorant about parts of my country’s history (regarding slavery, the Civil Rights movement, Supreme Court legal precedents, etc), but I didn’t how just how much I didn’t know.

Title – The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

Author – Michelle Alexander

Page count – 248

At first I was skeptical and thought this book would give off conspiracy theory vibes. I mean, it seems utterly impossible that we could be using our criminal justice system to oppress an entire group of people in the same way that Jim Crow laws were explicitly racially discriminatory. That, my friends, is where the issue of “colorblindness” comes in Continue reading “The New Jim Crow (#22/50)”

A Northern Light (#21/50)

This is my favorite book.

I don’t say that lightly because there are many, many books I have loved dearly. But if I could only read one book for the rest of my life and enjoy just as much every time I read it, this one would be it.

Title – A Northern Light

Author – Jennifer Donnelly

Page count – 383

The year is 1906. The place is the northern backwoods of New York state. And our narrator-heroine’s name is Mattie Gokey, a sixteen-year-old girl and talented writer who dreams of going to college but is faced with Continue reading “A Northern Light (#21/50)”

The Thing Around Your Neck (#10/50)

I originally went to the library to look for Adichie’s Americanah because it’s been recommended to me by so many people. I’m kind of glad that particular branch’s copy was checked out because I found this collection of short stories instead. I feel like Adichie is going to be my new Toni Morrison: every book of hers I pick up, I enjoy very much; and even though I don’t totally understand the culture about which she is writing (because I am a relatively privileged white American), I can’t help but feel transported and captivated by it. Which is what storytelling is all about, yes?

Title – The Thing Around Your Neck

Author – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Page count – 218

Each of the twelve stories in this collection either takes place in or involves people from Nigeria (which is where Adichie grew up). She uses multiple frames of reference and frequently handles the themes of ethnicity, nationality, and immigration; gender roles, sexuality, and marriage. My favorite stories Continue reading “The Thing Around Your Neck (#10/50)”