Rideau's story is one that needs to be told. It was long, dense, painful, and heart wrenching, but I'm so glad I read it. Rideau touches on so much in...moreRideau's story is one that needs to be told. It was long, dense, painful, and heart wrenching, but I'm so glad I read it. Rideau touches on so much in the books hundreds of pages. Whether it be the racism of the 60s, the inequity in our judicial system, the censorship of our mainstream media, depression, or the prison system, there is so much to soak up, and Rideau does a great job laying it all out for the readers. I had some issues with some of the things he said, as expected when you read a story with the complexities of this one, but it didn't deter from appreciating the story. (less)
I watched Anderson's coverage of the Trayvon Martin case and it made me want to learn a little more about him. He has this natural way of pushing the...moreI watched Anderson's coverage of the Trayvon Martin case and it made me want to learn a little more about him. He has this natural way of pushing the viewer to think differently about a topic while simultaneously building a connection with the person he is interviewing which allows for a much deeper and relevant conversation. This was totally relevant throughout his book. I learned that it is so deeply necessary as a human being to feel for other human begins no matter how far the suffering may be happening. I learned that the reporters admist war and terror are bringing me the stories of fellow human beings not as distant as I thought they were. I will never watch the news quite the same again. I gave it a three simply because I thought the book was choppy, I appreciated the way he moved from telling his own story to the story of others, but I didnt always see the connection and sometimes didnt even know the setting of a particular paragraph or so. Id recommend reading it twice to get through that, and maybe some of the connections between his reporting stories and his personal stories will become clearer, because I also missed some of those. None the less an amazing book that makes me adore Anderson more and I hope he will keep writing and keeping pushing the boundaries of journalism.(less)
So I currently work and live in the same geographical area that the book takes place in. I wouldn't say I live in the same neighborhood since essentia...moreSo I currently work and live in the same geographical area that the book takes place in. I wouldn't say I live in the same neighborhood since essentially none of the landmarks Sudhir talks about still exist. I picked the book up in hopes to learn a little history and context. It was well written and for the most part extremely enthralling. It definitely was a close encounter with a side of life most people will never get a glimpse of, and for that I think its valuable. I had two concerns at the pit of my stomach when reading, however. The first was the amount Sudhir judges the moral compass of the various characters in the book. Dont get me wrong, Im not condoning any of the behaviors of the various crooked cops, gangsters, etc but I also have never walked a mile in their shoes, and neither has Sudhir - which is made clear throughout the book when he is excluded from certain parts of the lifestyle and some of the decisions he makes based on their ignorance. Second, I was a little put off by the lies Sudhir admits to telling various characters in the book. I felt like they were being used just as much as the people Sudhir paints a negative picture of that go around and survey residents with prewritten bias questions. The final note I'll make is that this book is practically irrelevant if you are trying to learn anything about current affairs of gangs or streetlife in Chicago. Times have changed pretty drastically.(less)
So, I finally finished all three of these rather pointless but none the less enjoyable books. I'm glad that I will be able to get back to my regular r...moreSo, I finally finished all three of these rather pointless but none the less enjoyable books. I'm glad that I will be able to get back to my regular reading. I enjoyed the third book more than the first, but not as much as the second. I will thank James for sparing me some of the repetitive sex scenes that were overwhelming in the first book and slowed almost to a stop by the end. The plot twisted in ways I never thought it would and I was impressed by that because it didn't live up it's straight erotica/porn reputation. James touches upon some real issues, to make the books more valuable I would have liked to see her delve into the adoption, abuse, etc a bit more... but they were a captivating decent read overall.(less)
No doubt that Canada has found a viable solution to the biggest issue of our time, starting with the violence he addresses directly but also covering...moreNo doubt that Canada has found a viable solution to the biggest issue of our time, starting with the violence he addresses directly but also covering the general issue of urban poverty. For that reason alone I think this and his other books are a worthy read for anyone interested in learning about the "other side" of things and how we got ourselves in the predicament we are in.
Having said that, I wish Canada had either wrote an autobiography or a textbook, not both. The book skips around a bit too much for my liking and thus doesn't seem to address either the theory or the story efficiently.(less)
Is this your typical romance novel? No. Is it unnecessarily sexual? Yes. The catch with 50 Shades is that the book is not really about sex, it's centra...moreIs this your typical romance novel? No. Is it unnecessarily sexual? Yes. The catch with 50 Shades is that the book is not really about sex, it's central to the plot but it's about so much more and when you get beyond the nitty gritty sex you witness the development of a relationship. You witness and explore the possible effects of childhood trauma on adult sexual health, power dynamics as they play out in companionship, addiction as it relates to physicality and so much more. So, because of the complexity I'd say it's a worthy read, but if your just looking to read some erotica the actual plot will probably bday cumbersome to get through.(less)
I read this book because an excerpt of Giffin's latest book was offered for free on Amazon as a teaser. I thought it was decent so I figured it wouldn...moreI read this book because an excerpt of Giffin's latest book was offered for free on Amazon as a teaser. I thought it was decent so I figured it wouldn't hurt to read the books in order. I was mistaken, it hurt. There is no real plot to this book. The entire book is one situation that I won't spoil but isn't worth the time of reading because it's rather boring, repetitive, and predictable.(less)
I think Sapphire is a great writer, but (and this is in response to some of the reviews before) you have to be prepared to really get into the charact...moreI think Sapphire is a great writer, but (and this is in response to some of the reviews before) you have to be prepared to really get into the character (Precious) through her good times and bad. Yes, she talks about enjoying being raped (in the moment, and then hating it after), and yes reactions to stimulation are sometimes out of our control, so we feel the contradiction happening as we read. I would say that makes Sapphire a better writer. Now, did it leave me feeling like Sapphire must have been through some tough stuff as a child, yes. Did I sometimes need to take a step back, look up from the book, and think about rainbows and butterflies, yes. Do I think anyone who reads this book and blames the author, instead of the society we live in that creates stories like the one told in Push, needs their horizons broadened? Absolutely yes.
I loved the language that the story was told in. I give Sapphire credit for each and every word she slaved over in order to make it genuinely Precious. Anyone who overlooks the overwhelming positive parts of the book needs to take a second read. Through Precious we learn all that determination can do, how one positive person can change the trajectory of another life, and how we can get help from the place we least expect it.(less)
Sag Harbor took a lot longer for me to read than most books, and its not particularly long. There were times when I really really liked it, and other...moreSag Harbor took a lot longer for me to read than most books, and its not particularly long. There were times when I really really liked it, and other times when I was lost and had to go back and figure out what Whitehead was talking about or how he got to the conclusion he was making. I blame it on the fact that the book is essentially split between commentary on a variety of racially prevalent issues and the story of the main character Benji. Throw in the coming of age stories, a touch on alcoholism, family dynamics and a slew of other smaller subplots and of course I was left confused a bit. On the other hand, I thought that Whitehead's style of making the political/racial commentary through the plot line of a teenage boy spending his summers at an all African-American summer community was ingenious. While many of the points I'm familiar with, a reader feels more connected to what could be text book learning because it always relates back to the character, Benji, that we begin to care about throughout the book.
I would recommend the book to anyone who is getting their feet wet when it comes to the racial sensitivity, it'd be a great book to assign high school or college readers to begin the conversation of racism. I only wish that there was a version that takes place later than the 1980s. Props to Whitehead for bridging the larger society issues with a personal touch, its the perfect combination for real learning. (less)
Lamb does a superb job covering the main character's entire life, from childhood to mid 30s without huge gaps. He writes in a way that makes the reade...moreLamb does a superb job covering the main character's entire life, from childhood to mid 30s without huge gaps. He writes in a way that makes the reader feel like no detail is left out and all of it seems so smoothly intertwined. Given this, reading it can be particularly sad. The narrator struggles through challenge after challenge and every time it seems like she might be on the upswing, something else seems to come up. I think Lamb exaggerates some of the narrator's obstacles and I'm not sure if that was purposeful or not, but when things started to get unrealistic I easily slipped out of any connection to the character. Overall, a great read, relatively long... but you can't skip or skim around or you'll lose the connections. Without spoiling it, I didn't particularly like the ending but was sort of finished reading anyway so I won't complain too much. (less)
I understand why folks dislike Prep... honestly, I do. But I was deffinitley enthralled the entire way through. Yes, I thought the narrator was whinin...moreI understand why folks dislike Prep... honestly, I do. But I was deffinitley enthralled the entire way through. Yes, I thought the narrator was whining a lot, but that didn't make me feel any less connected to her or the story. Its tottally realistic that a highschool student felt this way through four years of boarding school, high school, or life in general. I actually appreciated Lee's straight up, no chaser or sugar coating, character. I thought Sittenfield did a remarkable job of making the book a page turner with a developed plot while still making racial and economic commentary relevant. I'm not sure how true to prep school it is, but if only for the raw emotion and societal issues it addresses its worth the read. (less)