Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Your Very Own LeVar Burton (w/o the shackles & chains)

It's a well known fact that I teach African American Literature, or at least well known by people who know me. I suppose, in comparison to the amount of people who know basic math, my job isn't really a "well known" fact, but for our purposes here, we'll assume you all know this. I think it's a fair assumption too because people are always suggesting books to me by African American authors. Along those lines, I must admit, I've never read anything by Zane although my students seem to love her. One book I did spend quite a while ignoring after multiple recommendation's is Paul Beatty's The white Boy Shuffle, after which I realized that it's a fantastic book and have since taught it many times. Along those same lines, I always knew I should read Go Tell it on the Mountain at some point, but just never got around to it. Well, I finally got around to it this week just in time to teach it yesterday & holy shit! It's awesome! Michael Ondaatje's little quote on the cover compares Baldwin to Van Gogh, but Joyce & Woolf seem like closer fits. In fact, I need to say how proud I was when a student even noticed the similarities to Ulysses. My student is reading Ulysses for Christ's sake! Anyway, Baldwin's narrative style is amazing. The way he's weaving the multiple stories together w/ the themes of time and redemption is brilliant. Read it!As you may notice on the sidebar, I updated my "Reading Profile" today for the 1st time in ages & included Fever Pitch again. W/ Arsenal perched rather precariously @ the top of the table in the Premier League & preparing for their trip to Milan this afternoon, it seemed like a good book to read this week... before they lose ground on Man U & get knocked out of Europe. I haven't read much else by Hornby other than High Fidelity, but based on what I've seen, he's spent the last 15 years trying to recapture what he did w/ his 1st book. Coincidentally, Go Tell it on the Mountain is Baldwin's 1st book too, but from what I've been hearing, his 3nd book, Geovanni's Room, is just as interesting. I've been meaning to read his 2nd novel, Notes of a Native Son since I was in high school but haven't gotten around to it. I remember my friend loving it & I think Stephanie read it & loved it too. I suppose I'll have to give those a whirl soon. Over all, Go Tell it on the Mountain is great... but don't take my word for it....

4 comments:

jason said...

I know I've told you, and I may have even wrote it on here before, but About A Boy is a really good Nick Hornby book. Not quite as good as High Fidelity, but close. I think I've read all his books, and really High Fidelity, About A Boy, & Fever Pitch (Only if you're into soccer or really into sports in general) are the only ones anyone needs to spend their time reading. The rest are pretty mediocre. I'd even say How To Be Good was awful.

Andre said...

I started A Long Way Down, but things came up and I never finished it. It was interesting and I've always thought I should give it another go.

jason said...

It was disappointing. The idea is good and it seems like he should be able to make that a great story, but he doesn't.

Kunta Kinte (aka Toby) said...

My nipples look just like the Josher's!