A Promised Land by Barack Obama is the next book I will read. But first I need to I finish James Baldwin’s Go Tell It on the Mountain.
I started Baldwin’s slim but deep novel a month ago. It’s short; only 225 pages long. Usually, I have my books read and reviewed within a week or two, but Baldwin’s story about a closeted homosexual coming of age in 1930s Harlem is so unsettling and ironically unspiritual that I have to carve out a specific reading time for it. It’s just not the kind of book you pick up and casually read.
To read Baldwin, the house must be still. Gospel music needs to be playing softly in the background and natural light should be streaming in through the windows and glass door. At least one cat will be asleep and gently snoring. I will occasionally look up and notice dust dancing in the sunbeams. I will feel organic and peaceful and that is when I shall give this book the attention it deserves.
I’m not normally this high maintenance* but some books demand a certain reading ambience.
Obama’s book, on the other hand, will be a zippy read even though it weighs three pounds and is more than 700 pages long. In spite of its enormity, it will be fun to read, as long as I can convince my cat to stop sitting on it. Confession: I already snuck in reading Obama’s foreword and first ten pages and it really moves.
So why is Baldwin’s shorter book a more challenging read for me?
Because Obama writes for Americans whereas Baldwin wrote for a literary crowd. That’s my quick opinion.
Both books are excellent for different reasons and I look forward to them. But before I finish Go Tell It on the Mountain and delve into A Promised Land, I need to finish this blog challenge. Only two more to #bloganuary prompts to go!
Just as I peeked ahead into Obama’s book, I peeked at tomorrow’s prompt and it looks like I’ll have to write something “mysterious.” Until then, thank you for stopping by! -Connie
*I am always high maintenance.