Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Quick Takes: In an effort to finally review some books I’ve read in the past year, I’m gonna throw these posts up on the blog in a shorter form.
I feel silly even writing a short review of this book because in a way it feels absolutely unnecessary. Do you really need convincing to read this book considering the state of our world?
If you somehow are under the impression that there is no existing conflict in race relations and we all get along and sing Kumbaya on a global scale (if only), this book will hit you like an anvil coming down from the top of a skyscraper. If you study race relations like it’s your job, you will still find unrivaled narration of it within these pages. To both I say read it. It won’t be pleasant, but it’ll be good for you, I promise. Think of it as that cold medicine you took as a child.
Anyways, chances are any reader will have a zillion emotions going through this. As I listened to the audiobook in my car, I constantly had my jaw dropping, my eyes widening, my head shaking. The author himself reads it, so I do recommend the audiobook, but I wish I had a paper copy to underline to death. I would particularly make note of all the ways Coates marries to binaries of an idea in such a masterful way:
- The racism both individual and institutional
- The writing both poetic/lyrical and factual
- The philosophical and personal
- The bodies and the disembodiment
- The scientific and the spiritual
I was about to call this required reading, and then remembered I got that notion from Toni Morrison, who said it herself about this book (like it’s literally right there on the cover). So yeah screw my recommendation of it–listen to Toni Morrison!