Skip to main content

Book 36 of 52: Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance

Hey-o! Out of the book funk...at least for now.

I've meant to read Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance since the election. I wanted to know more about the man who was to then-become President, but I'd also read reviews of the books that pegged it as a different kind of book than those typically written by candidates for higher office.

And there's a good reason why: Obama wrote this book in 1992, before he was even in politics. Instead of smarmy "this is why you should vote for me" books put out by every candidate (on both sides of the aisle), it's a book by a man of mixed race with an absent father. The fact that he then went on to become President is a footnote -- not even mentioned in the book (though it does have a 2004 epilogue).

I don't want to jump into politics too much, so this review will be short. As a memoir, it's good. Does it give you a better picture of where the President came from? Absolutely. But even if you don't like him, it's still a great read and well written book about one man's journey through the choppy racial waters of American and Africa (though I'd agree with Obama when he says in the 2004 introduction that he was a little verbose).

Why did I pick it up now? I don't know. It could have to do with the book funk, wide praise of the book, and the 20% off sticker at Target. Whatever it was, I'm glad I picked it up.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Book 23 of 52: Because of Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn

More romance? Of course! The world is on fire, and I can't ingest all the fires all the time. Sometimes I want to turn to genre fiction as an escape, even if an escape is into a patriarchal society where it's SCANDAL that a woman sometimes, when riding a horse, wears pants. Because of Miss Bridgerton is the first book in Julia Quinn's Rokesbys Series , which are prequels to her enormously popular  Bridgerton Series  (and now a  Netflix show ). These books are similar, of course, but instead being set in the Recency era of the 1810s, these books take place at the same time as the American Revolution (though still in England).  Here we meet Sybilla "Bille" Bridergton, who is stuck on the roof of a building because she chased a cat up there. She climbed up herself (scandalous woman!) but also twisted her ankle in the process, which is why she needs help to get down.  That help comes from George Rokesby. Their families are neighbors, and they've known each other

Book 26 of 52: The Palace Papers: Inside the House of Windsor — the Truth and the Turmoil by Tina Brown

I'm not going to write a long review of Tina Brown's The Palace Papers: Inside the House of Windsor — the Truth and the Turmoil  for two reasons. First, it's been hashed to death already, as anything about the royals is, by people who are far more invested in this whole thing than I am. And second, I'm in the frantic "do I really need a jean jacket AND a windbreaker" level of packing before a long trip. I can say that I didn't mind listening to this nearly 18 hour audiobook while the rest of the world is on fire, although of course they are not insulated. We can pretend that the Royal Family lives in a bubble, but they are enormously influential; touched by the same issues of race, class and gender; and Queen Elizabeth II is one of most influential politicians of modern times — and she is a politician, no matter what anyone says. Her death will be a global, cultural moment. Same thing with the Pope, on both fronts. I listened to Brown's  The Diana Chro

Book 12 of 52: Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi

Marjane Satrapi is an author and graphic novelist who grew up in Iran and, as a tween and teen, lived in the country through  the Iranian Revolution before her parents sent her to Europe for school, and for her safety.  As an adult, she wrote Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood ,  a nonfiction graphic novel, originally in French. I read the English translation, which was published in 2003, three years after the original. It was a critical success, won a slew of awards, and became a movie . I haven't read the sequel, Persepolis 2 , but I hope to (you can also  buy them in a set . I found Persepolis  in a Little Free Library, or I'd have bought them combined).  In the tradition of Art Spiegelman's  Maus , which is about the author's father talking to him about the Holocaust,  Persepolis  is a memoir of trauma told through a mix of images and words that when combined, combust into powerful, beautiful and soul cracking art.  For example, Satrapi portrays the 1978 Cinema R