walkitout (walkitout) wrote,

Monday's Activities Include: double booking, _Between the World and Me_, Ta-Nehisi Coates

R. had bought tickets to Teenage Fan Club last May but never put it on the calendar. People who know me IRL may wonder, did you check the other calendar to see if it didn't get transferred to your new calendar when you did the switch in August/September (I'm a 17 month or 18 month calendar person)? Yes. Yes I did. It wasn't there, either. Nor was it on the electronic calendar that R. and I share (it may have been on his).

So that was tricky, because I also had book group last night. But our sitters came through for us and were willing to juggle their schedules and stay later so that we could both do our Own Things. I'm glad I went to book club; it was a great discussion.

This month's selection was Ta-Nehisi Coates _Between the World and Me_. I read it on Monday during the late morning and afternoon and then we discussed it in the evening so it was quite fresh in my mind. Upon further reflection on the book and the discussion, I have concluded that my quibbles -- and they were quibbles, as I gave it a 5/5 in our rating at the end -- because Coates isn't too positive about police reform, and because I think he may be underestimating how corporal punishment creates an apocalyptic and paranoid worldview are irrelevant to what this book is absolutely incredible at, which is consciousness raising. It is some of the very best consciousness raising I have ever encountered (that became utterly clear in the course of the book group discussion), so if you have already been through some of the process which this book does such an amazing job of evoking in the reader, you might not realize just _how_ good a job it is doing.

Part personal memoir, part intellectual journey, part letter to adolescent son about the hardness of the world, part paean to The Struggle, Coates provides all the narrative momentum anyone could ever need to continue to read something that, for many readers, is probably fairly difficult. If you have some familiarity with the issues, it's like a freight train: there is no stopping reading this book.

What this book isn't: policy suggestions. So don't go looking for them! (That is as much a reminder to me as anything else.)

The cover of my large print edition from the library has a quote from Toni Morrison: "This is required reading." I'm inclined to agree, at least for most people in this country.
Tags: book review, daily activities, politics
  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.