Brenda Miller's essays always hit home for me, in more ways than one. Not only is this multiple-award-winning writer a local luminary, but she's roughly my age with some similar history as a result. And her prose is always luminous, swift-moving, and honest to the point of gutsy. I'm half way through already and, as ever, rationing the chapters so I can keep her voice, her sensibility in my head as long as possible. Luckily, I hear she's coming out with another collection within the week, so I'll have another volume to look forward to in the near future.
And then there's the ARC of The Night Train by Clyde Edgerton that launches today, and I received on Friday. I'll finish this Southern fiction of two young men united by their passion for music by week's end, so expect reviews of both Blessing of the Animals and The Night Train a.s.a.p.
As soon as I finish those two, I'm on to a pair of GORGEOUS graphic novels I bought to use with my 10th grade class. I'm figuring that these two will inspire us all and can be used by readers who are well below grade level (for whatever reason) as their primary texts:
Even my DH got wide eyed with envy at the artistry in these two! Aren't they fab?! Can't wait to fly through them, relishing every minute...
What's in your mailbox this week?
Do tell, and then stop by Mailbox Monday at A Sea of Books and It's Monday: What are you reading? at BookJourney. Go visit the other bloggers hooked up to the blog hop at A Sea of Books and BookJourney to find out what's hot for book bloggers in the last week of July and which books are helping them speed away the scorching temps. today.
Looking for this week's Roots Read-Along Post?
I now know all I need or want to know about how to raise and train game cocks for the fighting pit. Personally, although the later chapters in this section - in which Kizzy's son George learns this trade - were actually pretty interesting for a naive reader like me, I think I'll stick to raising my hens when it comes to poultry homesteading!
And then there was the moment I growled out loud, "AHHH! Teenagers!!" How could Kizzy have been such an idiot? Even at that age? But then again: no conflict, no plot. And she was brought up to be a sheltered, naively self-confident person, entirely prey for Noah's sort of equally naive ploy.
I wonder if we will ever see Kunta and Bell again, as - after 400+ pages - they've been unceremoniously dropped so we can focus on Kizzy's plotline. Odd, indeed, although perhaps apt, if Haley's attempting to make us readers feel Kizzy's loss. Unfortunately, he hasn't built enough visceral connection for readers to feel in any sense as bereft as a daughter torn from her parents. We just wonder what the heck happened to them.
And I must recant an earlier erroneous notion: Haley was by no means a first time writer when he penned Roots, although perhaps this was his first 'novel'. In fact, he'd already written many articles for Playboy Magazine and penned The Autobiography of Malcolm X. How did I forget that? So any flaws in the writing can't be excused by naivete. The lapses in the narrative, the unmotivated acts, the boring exposition early on can all be legitimately critiqued, however beyond reproach Haley's topic.
Onward to the last three sections: I can feel the homestretch drawing near! Want to see what others thought? Hop over to the Roots Read-Along on Booksnob and check out Laura's always-helpful responses, plus the other linked bloggers' thoughts too.