Quick post today. I managed to finish Roots! I found it to be a great read. It took me a lot less time to read than I had anticipated it to! I did really look at the book as a work of “faction” ( facts that are embellished by fiction) I found it hard to actually believe that these incidents took place the way that they did simply because Mr Haley was accused of plagiarism. I think that if this story had been marketed as a work of fiction with some actual facts, the literary world, wouldn’t have been in such an uproar! However, this book has sold millions of copies and was even turned into a miniseries staring Levar Burton in 1977. Tough content, but very much needed. You can’t know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve come from!
This week I started ( and have nearly completed) “Tease” by Amanda Maciel. The synopsis of this book is as follows ( as found on amazon.com)
Emma Putnam is dead, and it’s all Sara Wharton’s fault.
At least, that’s what everyone seems to think. Sara, along with her best friend and three other classmates, has been criminally charged for the bullying and harassment that led to Emma’s shocking suicide. Now Sara is the one who’s ostracized, already guilty according to her peers, the community, and the media.
During the summer before her senior year, in between meetings with lawyers and a court-recommended therapist, Sara is forced to reflect on the events that brought her to this moment-and ultimately consider her role in an undeniable tragedy. And she’ll have to find a way to move forward, even when it feels like her own life is over.
So far a really good read! Really relevant content,especially in this social media/cyber bullying age that we live in. Well written! Awesome debut novel by Maciel.
Up next week:
Kinda leaving it up in the air. I have a bunch of library books to get through like:
– Mosquitoland by David Arnold
-All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
-Watch the Sky by Kirsten Hubbard
-The Walls Around Us by Suma Nova Ren
– My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga
So continued on with my reading of the classic novel “Roots”. Sadly, being the busy week that it was, I didn’t make much headway. I did manage to read 50 pages or so, bringing me to page 553 of 888. I have reached the point where Kizzy, ( Kunta Kinte’s daughter ) has grown up and fallen in love with Noah ( another slave boy) Kizzy being able to read and write, helps Noah run away by forging a travelling pass for him. He in turn is caught and rats on Kizzy. Her master, despite the pleas of her parents Bell and Kunta, sells her, inevitably splitting up the only family Kunta has had since coming to America. That’s the part of the story I am at right now. It was pretty hard to read this section and I know the rest of the book will be equally as challenging on my heart.
I deviated from my plan to read only Roots until I finished it because I saw a BookTube vlog on a book that sounded so compelling, that I just had to get my hands on it! The book is called, “Tease” by Amanda Maciel.
The synopsis of this book is as follows:( as found on goodreads.com)
From debut author Amanda Maciel comes a provocative and unforgettable novel, inspired by real-life incidents, about a teenage girl who faces criminal charges for bullying after a classmate commits suicide.
Emma Putnam is dead, and it’s all Sara Wharton’s fault. At least, that’s what everyone seems to think. Sara, along with her best friend and three other classmates, has been criminally charged for the bullying and harassment that led to Emma’s shocking suicide. Now Sara is the one who’s ostracized, already guilty according to her peers, the community, and the media. In the summer before her senior year, in between meetings with lawyers and a court-recommended therapist, Sara is forced to reflect on the events that brought her to this moment—and ultimately consider her own role in an undeniable tragedy. And she’ll have to find a way to move forward, even when it feels like her own life is over.
With its powerful narrative, unconventional point of view, and strong anti-bullying theme, this coming-of-age story offers smart, insightful, and nuanced views on high school society, toxic friendships, and family relationships.
This is a story that is very relatable. As an educator, I see the effects of bullying almost on a daily basis. I do believe this will be an interesting read based on the fact that it shows the criminal aspect and also from the perspective of the bully. does she feel remorse? Is she even the main bully? I’ll have to read and find out. I’m already 40 pages in ( i started today) and I can already see that this bully might not be the only factor in this shocking story.
That’s it for this week! Hopefully I can finish up tease and at least 100 more pages of Roots! Wish me luck!
I’m still working on Roots and I’m really liking it so far.In one week I have managed to reach page 500! This story is so captivating. Very hard to read at some points.
Last Wednesday, I had left off at the part of the story where in The Gambia, the protagonist Kunta Kinte had begun his manhood training. As I continued the story, we see that he has successfully completed his training and has become a prominent member of his village. One day, after a night shift of watching the village, Kunta enters the woods to chop wood. Unfortunately, he does not hear the slave catchers behind him and is captured.
The next chapters detail the gruesome capture and travel on the slave ship to America. Once he reaches America, he tries to run away several times, with the final time ending in a horrible way. ( I don’t want to put in too many spoilers)
The next sections recounts Kunta’s many years and experiences on the plantation. You see him adjust ( but not conform) to life on slave row. He takes a wife and she bears him a child whom he named Kizzy.
Right now, I am at the section of the story where Kizzy is being taught the ropes of being a “house nigger” working alongside her mama. Kunta is also displeased that the masters niece ( who is as young as Kizzy) has taken a special liking to her.
So, that’s where I am right now. I can’t even wait for my lunch hour so I can dive right back in! At this pace, I may finish this sooner than I thought 😛
This week in my devotional we are studying “The mothers of Moses.”
After a two-week reading slump, I can honestly say I’M BACK! I’ve reignited my passion for reading again.( it was a sad two weeks without my books LOL)
Like I had mentioned before,I recently started reading the book “Roots” by Alex Haleyand although I didn’t have an enormous amount of time to read, I did manage to get about 160 pages (of 888) into it! (Yay me!) Man, is it ever a captivating read! I The story has been journeying through the protagonist Kunta Kinte’s childhood. Right now, I have reached the part of the story where Kunta has begun his manhood training. I don’t really want to say too much more, because if anybody has yet to read it, I don’t want to spoil the journey! I will continue with my progress next week. 🙂
I really have no set plans to read anything else right now, except for my “Women of the Bible” devotional. We just finished up “Tamar” and now we are on to “Potiphars Wife”.
Yup…. Once again I barely read anything this week, but you know what… I’m totally okay with that! My teaching partner was away this past week, so that left all of the teaching responsibilities on me which left very little time ( or energy) for leisure reading. Plus, my most recent reading choices aren’t really sparking my interest right now. Those books I think are going to have to take a back seat and be picked up at a later date.
This week I picked up and started a very ambitious read. This is a book that I read as a young teenager but never really took the time to read it in-depth and take in the deep message that it carries. That book is “Roots” by Alex Haley. Here is a brief synopsis: ( as described on enotes.com ( **spoiler alert**)
In the spring of 1750 in Juffure, The Gambia, a son is born to Omoro Kinte and his second wife, Binta. The child is named Kunta. As a member of the old and highly esteemed Kinte family, Kunta is schooled in the customs and traditions befitting a future Mandinka warrior. Throughout his childhood, Kunta is taught to avoid and fear the “toubob,” white men who capture African people for evil purposes.
Despite these tribal caveats, Kunta is captured by white slave traders in 1767 while searching for a tree section to make a drum. Along with 140 Africans of various tribes, Kunta is shipped as cargo on the Lord Ligonier. Pestilence, filth, depravity, and cruelty fill this episode, serving as a controlling metaphor for the inhumanity of the institution of slavery. The captives unsuccessfully stage a revolt, resulting in the deaths of many. Kunta admires the courage of these dead, for they died as warriors. He, as a survivor, dreads what is to come, for he instinctively knows that his eventual fate will be worse than the ocean voyage.
In Annapolis, Maryland, Kunta is sold to John Waller and given the name “Toby.” Appalled by the toubob and their pagan ways, Kunta attempts to escape four times. After his last attempt, he is apprehended by two slave catchers. Given the choice of castration or foot amputation, Kunta chooses the latter. John Waller’s brother William, a physician, is outraged at the mutilation and buys Kunta.
Kunta, through the ministrations of William Waller’s cook, Bell, recovers from this last ordeal. After a lengthy courtship, he “jumps de broom” (the slave equivalent of the marriage ceremony) with Bell. A daughter is born to the couple. Kunta gives her the Mandinka name of “Kizzy,” meaning “you stay put.” Now crippled and unable to run away, Kunta is entrusted with driving Dr. Waller on his calls, which enables him to hear news of the outside world. Of particular interest to Kunta are the accounts of Toussaint Louverture’s revolt in Haiti, which he sees as paralleling his own struggle for freedom, especially when Napoleon Bonaparte captures Toussaint.
Kunta persists in keeping alive his dream of freedom and his pride in his African heritage, both of which he passes on to Kizzy. A clever child, Kizzy is entranced by her father’s African tales and learns many Mandinka words. At the age of sixteen, she is sold to the dissolute Tom Lea as punishment for aiding another slave to escape.
Lea rapes Kizzy repeatedly for several months, eventually fathering a son, George. Kizzy, a devoted mother, regards her son as the descendant of “the African,” not as the son of Tom Lea. She instills in her son both her pride in their African heritage and Kunta Kinte’s dream of freedom.
As George grows to manhood, he exhibits traits of both parents. Like Tom Lea, he loves cockfighting and carousing. The rakish George becomes such an accomplished trainer of gamecocks that he earns the sobriquet of “Chicken George.” From Kizzy he has inherited the desire to be free, and he is determined to buy himself and his family. When Lea loses Chicken George in a bet with an Englishman, he promises Chicken George his manumission papers upon his return.
Years later, Chicken George returns and is grudgingly freed by Lea. Kizzy has died during his absence, but Chicken George seeks to reunite his family, whom Lea had sold to the Murrays. When he finds the family, Chicken George gathers them around and relates the family narrative.
After the Civil War, the family moves to Henning, Tennessee. Upon Chicken George’s death, Tom Murray, his son, asserts his position as patriarch and emphasizes the importance of the family and the oral tradition to his children. Both of these ideas are perpetuated by Tom’s daughter, Cynthia, and other female members of the Murray family. Cynthia’s daughter Bertha, who evinces little interest in the family narrative, goes away to college, where she meets and marries Simon Alexander Haley.
While Haley is a graduate student at Cornell, their first son is born, Alexander Haley. At this point, the novel abruptly shifts to Haley’s first-person narrative, which recounts the death of his mother and the summers he and his brothers spent at Grandma Cynthia’s house listening to the “graying ladies” tell the story of “the African Kin-tay” who called a guitar a “ko” and the river “Kamby Bolongo.” In the final two chapters, Haley details the research and writing of Roots, addressing the fact/fiction elements of the novel.
There is a lot of controversy surrounding this book and Alex Haley’s account of history. Although he says this book is “fiction” he states that it is based on true facts. He actually refers to it as “faction” (aka fact fiction) There have also been claims and settlements that have occurred based on accusations of plagiarism. ( It has been claimed that some parts of the story come from the 1967 book “The African” by Harold Courlander.) Haley claims it was unintentional.
However, I started it this morning on my break and I’m 40 pages ( of 888) in. So this will be what I’ll be reading for the next few weeks at least. I really want to dedicate most of my time to this novel for the next little while. This book is also on my 2015 TBR list so I’d really like to knock it out.
I’ll also be continuing with my “Women of the Bible” devotional. We finished up Leah and now we are working on Tamar. She is an intense women! Lord!
Is anybody else in a slump? What are you reading this week?