This collection of eight essays explains Coates’ evolving view of the Obama presidency — the distrust of his “pull up your pants” rhetoric, the dismayThis collection of eight essays explains Coates’ evolving view of the Obama presidency — the distrust of his “pull up your pants” rhetoric, the dismay over how the President’s natural reaction to racism became dog whistles for anti-Obama sentiment to rise, the disillusionment when little changes at the end of eight years given the election of Trump — and traces his evolution as a writer and a thought leader on race in America.
I’ve previously read half of the eight essays included in this collection, and I enjoyed the opportunity to re-examine Coates’ arguments (and scribble down the titles of books he cites). The other half were new to me and provided context to some of his later essays. Reading them now, though, I started to pick up on the fact that Coates’ uses many of the same examples to support his arguments, which did make me wonder by he couldn’t find more. Perhaps because they were the most well-known? Or, maybe the most egregious examples? I’m not sure which, but I do look forward to furthering my own education by reading his citations. ...more
Before I started this book, I was leery that a self-help book about living your best life would be the exact opposite of what I needed to read at thisBefore I started this book, I was leery that a self-help book about living your best life would be the exact opposite of what I needed to read at this moment in my life. I was assured, however, that the book is more about Rhimes' life and her journey to find happiness. I was willing to give the audiobook a go because she does write and/or produce some of the most popular shows on television right now and I was curious why that still didn't make her happy.
The more I listened to this book, the more I began to dislike Rhimes as a person. She, at least, admits that she is a self-absorbed narcissist, but the constant complaining about her life and how her family doesn't constantly praise her or live in awe of her is beyond obnoxious. Her stories are rambling and repetitive; she constantly lost focus on what the chapter proclaimed to be about. (Now I understand why her shows are constantly plagued by dropped storylines.)
Is there a good message here? Yes. Do not confine yourself to a proverbial pantry to the point where you stop interacting with people. Do not fall for the belief that a hashtag on Twitter or Instagram is contributing to change in the world. (Ok, that's a smaller message, but one that particularly stood out to me.)
But, also, do not expect that you will be able to relate to someone like Rhimes because your problems aren't being unable (or unwilling) to say yes to glamorous party invites or interviews with Jimmy Kimmel or juggling three successful television shows at once. And do not expect that a woman known for writing monologues will be able to write a memoir without defaulting to the style she's given Olivia Pope or Papa Pope or Cristina Yang.
(I'm still trying to process that Shonda identifies best with one of my favorite characters. Having read her memoir, I don't see it.)...more