I Read, Therefore I Am

I have compiled a list of books I recently read. In the name of subjectivity, I will not give numerical ratings to these books, or any others that I review. My rating a book “one star” could deter others from reading what could, to them, turn out to be a five-star masterpiece. I’ll simply give my general impressions about the books I’ve read, and leave you to decide whether or not you want to read any of them.

“Abe Lincoln in Illinois” by Robert E. Sherwood

Favorite quote (obviously): “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”

This was a well-written play about Abe Lincoln’s pre-presidential existence. It gave insight into the man himself–his personal demons and triumphs. It was funny and sad, but seemed underdeveloped in some parts. For instance, Lincoln has an epiphany in the woods. However, it happens with only a few lines of dialogue. Maybe I’m just complaining about this because I’m used to reading books. Maybe it looks different on stage.

Maybe you have to read it to find out for yourself.

The Color of Water by James McBride

Favorite Quote: “I felt like a Tinkertoy kid building my own self out of one of those toy building sets; for as she laid her life before me, I reassembled the tableau of her words like a picture puzzle, and as I did, so my own life was rebuilt.”

McBride interweaves his story with that of his mother’s. Although I read this intermittently, I still enjoyed the humor and humanity of their stories. McBride also made me think: if we know each others’ stories, we find that we’re more similar than we may initially believe. I saw fragments of myself in McBride’s story, and I’m sure that other people will glimpse pieces of themselves in this book as well.

Look Homeward, Angel by Thomas Wolfe

One of Many Favorite Quotes: “The laurel, the lizard, and the stone will come no more. The women weeping at the gate have gone and will not come again. And pain and pride and death will pass, and will not come again. And light and dawn will pass, and the star and the cry of a lark will pass, and will not come again. And we shall pass, and shall not come again.”

This book is amazing. It’s one of the best books I’ve read in high school. It’s epic in size and in soul. It’s largely autobiographical, and chronicles the first 20 years of one Eugene Gant, who lives in North Carolina (like the author of the book). It captures America’s humor and tragedy. It extols life, bemoans death, venerates the quintessential American spirit, and makes for rapid reading.

That’s it for now! I hope that you enjoyed my thoughts, and that they inspire you to check out some of these titles. If so, leave your comments below. I’d love to hear what you think!

4 thoughts on “I Read, Therefore I Am

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