I have been working at Barnes and Noble for about half of year now, and my absolute favorite part of the job is seeing what books customers are interested in, and seeing that one hidden title multiplies into forty copies that gradually find their way to the best seller bay. It is so satisfying to find the one perfect book for a customer out of the thousands presented, despite the sometimes highly offensive genres. And I have yet to go a day without stumbling upon a new book that contains information previously unknown to me. Who knew there was an acid wash diet or a kids book written by Jimmy Fallon? I didn’t until working in a bookstore.
The only real problem that I have run into is the constantly accumulating list of books that I find myself needing to read. And after finally finishing the Harry Potter series this month, I have begun to chip away at the intimidating list. Let me just tell you, I am everything but disappointed with what I have come across so far.
After finishing “Between The World And Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates, I feel as though I have perhaps been living in a state of hypocrisy. I live by the idea of not being able to appropriately speak upon something that you have not personally experienced, yet I speak very strongly about racism. After reading this book, I fear that I have done a lot of talking, without having the developed rational to back my words.
This book is so powerful, that it has made me question the foundation on which I have built my beliefs about racism. I have always been against it, but never quite understood the false pretenses that we as a country have been using to justify our racism.
One of my favorite parts of the book is when Ta-Nehisi Coates uses our history as evidence for these false justifications. He beautifully wrote, “America understands itself a god's handiwork, but the black body is the clearest evidence that America is that work of men.”
This is history I have been taught for my whole life, yet it is so completely different. I have never seen the flaws in black history month, nor understood the why it isn’t correct to say “first black president, lawyer, ext.”
It is absolutely refreshing get a different perspective, especially one this powerful.
And if none of this interests you at all, then I would highly recommend reading this book for none other than the beautiful writing of Ta-Nehisi Coates. Every sentence he wrote was crucial to his message, and his words were meticulously placed. There are some paragraphs that I read over and over again, simply because they were so beautify written.
So for the month of march, my bookseller recommendation would be “Between The World And Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates, because there is nothing like an incredible piece that thrives off of creativity and truth.