Currently reading

Paul Hanley
A Month in the Country
Michael Holroyd, J.L. Carr
A Tale of the Dispossessed: A Novel
Laura Restrepo, Dolores M. Koch
Mesabi Pioneers
Jeffrey Smith, Russell Hill
The Crusades Through Arab Eyes
Jon Rothschild, Amin Maalouf
Island of a Thousand Mirrors
Nayomi Munaweera

Waking Up White: And Finding Myself in the Story of Race

Waking Up White: And Finding Myself in the Story of Race - Debby Irving I got this from FirstReads, and when I won, I wasn't sure whether to be excited or not. This is one of those kinds of books that could easily be terrible, but I wanted to take the risk because it could also be super interesting.

It ended up being super interesting. There are a lot of things about this author's experience that are extremely different from mine. In fact, there are several things she describes having done that I recognize as things that make me avoid women like that. They drive me crazy. There's a good chance that several years ago I wouldn't have been able to stand her.

But the book works because of how brutally honest it is. Yes, she did and/or does these things. But she has been through some profound changes and has a number of good insights into people who are different from her in many ways. The book is accessibly introspective and self-aware. Her voice does have a little of the flatness of someone who gives workhops (yes, this is an intensely personal story, but I've already told it to thousands of other people many times over and over, so I'll tell it to you now). But on the whole I like her voice and she maintained my interest and my respect.

In the end, of course, when it comes to race and class and relating to each other, listening is one of the most important things we can do. And she is sharing what she has learned since she began to truly listen to those around her. That's a gift worth sharing. I highly recommend this book to anyone even a little bit interested in the topic -- it's definitely one of the good ones.