Skip to main content

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

Hey-o! Out of the book 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.


Popular posts from this blog

Welcome Back to Book a Week with Jen!

Hello hello! Yes, the rumors (that I started) are true. On New Year's Day, I fired up the old Book a Week with Jen blog, gave it a new domain, and I'm going to be writing about my reading habits once again. If you don't know me, my name is Jen A. Miller , and I'm a freelance writer and author. I've been freelancing now for 17 years, and in that time, have written hundreds of articles, three books ( two about the Jersey Shore and one about running ), and two ebooks ( both about freelance writing ). If you're not new around here, wow a lot has changed. I wrote a memoir , picked up a regular running column for the New York Times , and put that back down again. I ran a lot of marathons, and got into ultra marathoning, which lead me to run my first 24 hour race on New Year's Eve/New Year's Day 2020/2021 . My first dog, Emily, died in 2017 . I sold my first home, lived out of my car for a year traveling the country , scooped up a scruffy cattle dog mix in Ida

Book 5 of 52: Stormy Weather by Carl Hiaasen

I don't always try to match my reading to what I'm doing, but when I go to Florida, I try to pack at least one Florida weird book. There was no better novel to bring with me to read on a ferry from Key West to Dry Tortugas National Park , than Carl Hiaasen's Stormy Weather . Hiaasen was writing about #floridaman before #floridaman was a thing (and when this - # - was the pound sign).  Stormy Weather is set in 1992 in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew, which is still the most destructive hurricane to have ever hit Florida, and only one of four hurricanes to make landfall in the U.S. still at Category 5 strength. According to the Miami Herald , Hurricane Andrew destroyed 63,000 homes and damaged another 101,241. Such disasters bring out the best in humanity but also the worst. F raud flowed into South Florida in Andrew's wake . That's where  Stormy Weather comes in. From an advertising executive who yanks his new wife away from their Walt Disney World honeymoon to r

Book 11 of 52: The World Without Us by Alan Weisman

In my travels, I've accumulated photos in what I call the "Plants Where They Shouldn't Be" series. They're of weeds, flowers and trees growing in places that look uncomfortable: poking out of lava that's OK to walk on but warm enough to generate steam, growing around a mile marker on the road, sprouting on the back of a parking sign - that kind of thing. On the cheesy side, they're reminders that we can flourish in the most unlikely circumstances. On a more realistic end, they show that humans are constantly battling back nature, and that someday we'll probably lose the fight. I thought about those photos when I read  book 8 of 52 Station Eleven  (and watched  the HBO Max adaptation ), which show a world without 99.99 percent of our current human population. The story focuses on people, of course, but set them in a world where the things humans have created - electricity, internet, buildings, bridges, roads - are being taken back by nature. A Jersey Sh