Monday, July 3, 2017

July Book Club Pick

Image from Goodreads
June's book club pick was from C and she chose The Color of Water by James McBride. I was pretty surprised that this book isn't more popular. It was a fantastic read. The Color of Water is the story of the author, James McBride, and his mother, Ruth McBride-Jordan. Ruth was a Jew, born in Poland, the daughter of a rabbi, and raised in the American South. She married her first husband, a black man, in the early 1940's and spent her life raising 12 children in the projects of Brooklyn, and managed to get all her children through college. While Ruth's story is one of overcoming her past of abuse and dealing with prejudice (or not dealing with it), James story is one of self-discovery. He grows up confused, as a black child in a black neighborhood, with a white mother and attending a predominately white school, in the midst of the civil rights movement.  What comes out of their stories in amazing journey in to Ruth's past. Everyone in the group was enthralled with this book, most of us reading it in just a couple of days. Most people said it reminded them of The Glass Castle, but not having read that one I can't say anything about it. However, it did remind me of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, mostly just in the way James talked about growing up poor and, obviously, being set in Brooklyn. We were also surprised at the way Ruth was able to just ignore talking about the issue of race in her house. She refuses to answer questions when James is growing up, and changes the subject whenever it's brought up. However, we were all in agreement that Ruth was an amazingly strong woman, in her own way, and managed to raise 12 children and send all of them to college. I gave this one 5 out of 5 stars and I highly recommend it to everyone.

July was my turn to pick. I went back and forth between several books for a week before I made my final decision. Snobs by Julian Fellowes, The 13th Tale by Diane Setterfield, and Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, were all on the table at one point but I ended up choosing my initial pick.

Image from Goodreads
This book is amazing! I'm excited to share it with the book club even though it's a little outside of what most members would usually read. I look at it as expanding their horizons, but I'm also going into this pick knowing that not everyone is going to like it. With my last pick (The Other Boleyn Girl) I think I would have been heartbroken if someone had hated my favorite book in all of existence, but this one I think I can handle it.

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