- member since January 21, 2009
Marie A’s last login was Friday, November 11, 2011.
oh gosh i hate when that happens. i have a rule that i try to stick to where i wont stop in the middle of a book even if i dont like it. i have to finish it but sometimes its so hard. for me it was crime and punishment. it wasnt that i didnt like the book it was that i just couldnt keep my eyes open. then again this was also back in high school which was exhausting and i didnt feel myself capable of reading books as "complicated" as crime and punishment. if i picked it up again now im sure it wouldnt be too bad...but i still kinda cringe when i think about it.
if i was an author id be sure to get on her book list. i'd pull the whole "we are both from chiago" thing on her haha. idk if that'd work but hey if it does props to me :)
another suggestion for books to read is the watchmen. i just finished this and am in love. i cant belive its a comic book...ive read books that arent as good as this one.
i totally know what youmean. the only time i actually do read her stuff is if i have to read it for a class or if i happen upon it by accident and it doesnt have one of the giant book defacing stickers that reads oprahs book club. this is one of those books that make you sad for maybe a chapter but the rest is very uplifting and encouraging. you work thorugh the story with the character. i cried but it wasnt a sad kind of cry, it was a good feeling cry, or a we just accomplished something really big cry. i definitely want to hear what you think. plus this is one of those books that you can read in no time :)
I just read one page at a time! I keep a thin book in my purse, another in my car, a huge one (right now War and Peace) at my bedside. I drag the others around the house in a canvas book tote. Keeping them straight in my mind usually isn't difficult as long as I'm reading different genres with diverse characters. I laid On Beauty aside until I finish Saturday because the main characters of each were too similar. I set aside time for reading, but I do most of my reading when I'm waiting, or there's a lull in activity (commercials, stirring a sauce on the stove, etc). I can identify with the reading in bed. I take Ambien, which is an amnestic, so I've learned NOT to move the bookmark after I've taken it! lol
I did like The Color of Water, I gave it 4 stars. I wish I could hear James McBride speak! And another Shelfari reader said that he is their favorite jazz musician, too.
Here's my review of the book:
James McBride is a journalist, and this is a book of nonfiction. It reads exactly like what it is. It doesn't have the excitement and passion of a work of fiction. But as is often true with books about history, the story of McBride's mother is interesting enough to keep you reading even when told in a dry, factual way.
Ruth McBride (born Ruchel Dwajra Zylska, aka Rachel Deborah Shilsky) was born in Poland to an Orthodox Jewish family, and immigrated to America when she was two. Her father was a rabbi (not a very good one), but a very strange and secretive man who sexually molested her and abused her handicapped mother. No wonder Ruth fled her birthright to find love and happiness in the arms of the African-American community served by her family's grocery store.
This was in the South of the 1940's, a time when a black man who dated a white woman was literally risking his life; and a white woman who dated a black man was shunned even by her own family. When Ruth married Andrew Dennis McBride, her family said Kaddish for her, and as far as they were concerned, she was dead to them. She never saw them again. When once she appealed to an aunt and sister for help during a time of desperation, they slammed the doors in her face.
Ruth's courage and openmindedness are incredible, and she was rewarded for her lack of racism by two happy marriages to fine men. James' father died of cancer early in her pregnancy with James, leaving her with 8 small children to raise. Eventually she remarried a man who raised those children as his own, along with the 4 more that they had together.
The family lived a life of poverty and often experienced harassment from both blacks and whites. But they had much love for one another, and from their extended family on the black side. All 12 children grew up to graduate from college and become professionals such as doctors, lawyers, and teachers. Ruth herself went on to college at the age of 65, becoming a volunteer social worker after earning her degree, and now regularly travels to Paris, London, and New York.
Sadly, Ruth refused to discuss her past with her children, and when they asked her why she didn't look like the other mothers, denied that she was white, saying that she was only light-skinned. It wasn't until he was an adult that James learned the truth. It took six years and a great deal of research on his own, but finally the whole story came out, and Ruth agreed to help James write this book.
The story of Ruth's mother is equally interesting, and heartbreaking.
My only criticism of this book is that I wish it had included photographs. The only ones it has are on the front cover and collages on the front and end pages. All of them are soft-focus, so much so that no details are clear, and some of them are hard to make out. There are no captions, and no way to know who the people are in them. As far as I can tell, there is only one of Ruth McBride - it is on the book jacket cover, but so airbrushed (or something) that I looked at it long and often before I could tell that it might be her.
Quotes by Ruth McBride from The Color of Water:
"This was around 1940 and black and white didn't do what me and Dennis were doing, walking around and such. Some folks did it, but it was all secret, or they were good-time, partying folks."
"The way Tateh treated her, they'd call her an 'abused woman' today. Back then they just called you 'wife.'"
"I was so sorry, deep in my heart I was sorry, but all your 'sorrys' are gone when a person dies. She was gone. Gone. That's why you have to say all your 'sorrys' and 'I love yous' while a person is living, because tomorrow isn't promised."