Sunday, April 19, 2009

Their Eyes Were Watching God

I am currently reading Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. This is what it says on the back cover:

One of the most important works of twentieth-century American Literature, Nora Neal Hurston's beloved 1937 classic, Their Eyes Were Watch God, is an enduring Southern love story sparkling with wit, beauty and heartfelt wisdom. Told in the captivating voice of a woman who refuses to live in sorrow, bitterness, fear, or foolish romantic dreams, it is the story of a fair skinned, fiercely independent Janie Crawford, and her evolving selfhood through three marriages and a life marked by poverty, trials, and purpose. A true literary wonder, Hurston's masterwork remains as relevant and affecting today as when it was first published--perhaps the most widely read and highly regarded novel in the entire canon of African American literature.

About the author: Zora Neal Hurston (1891-1960) was a novelist, folklorist, and anthropologist whose fictional and factual accounts of black heritage remain unparalleled. Her many books include Dust Tracks on a Road; Jonah's Gourd Vine; Mules and Men; Seraph on the Suwanee; Moses, Man of the Mountain; and Every Tongue Got to Confess.

I'm just getting started with the book, but so far I'm enjoying it. It took me a little while to adjust to the phonetic spellings of the southern dialect. For example, when the main character is telling her friend about the day she ran away from slavery she describes it like this:

"She flounced on off and let her wintertime wid me. Ah knowed mah body wasn't healed, but Ah couldn't consider dat. In de black dark Ah wrapped mah baby de best Ah knowed how and made it to de swamp by de river. Ah knowed de place was full uh moccasins and other bitin'snakes, but Ah was more skeered uh whut was behind me. Ah hide in dere day and night and suckled de baby every time she start to cry, for fear somebody might hear her and Ah'd git found. Ah ain't sayin' uh friend or two didn't feel mah care. And den de Good Lawd seen to it dat Ah wasn't taken..."

I'm enjoying getting caught up in the world of these charaters, this time period.
I just wish I had more time to just get lost in my reading instead of having to scramble for stolen pockets of time between so many other things...


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

What I read/what I am reading

My favorite author of all times is Malcome Gladwell. He wrote my favorite book of all time "The Tipping Point, How little things Can Make a Big Difference". He also wrote another good read "Blink, The Power of Thinking Without Thinking". When "Outliers, The Story of Success" came out, it was a no brainer to me. I purchased the book hardback and all.

I am only on pg 98 of this book but once again Malcom Gladwell simply amazes me with his original thoughts, his research, and his writing ability. Malcom Gladwell makes his points by telling a series of stories. In my opinion, his writing is smart, entertaining, and makes you think about things in a way that you never thought before.

So far the item that stuck out the most to me is the age that parents put their children into Kindergarten. This is particularly interesting to me because I entered kindergarten at the age of four; the youngest person in my class. People who graduated a year after I did were older than me. His thoughts on this literally covers two pages so it isn't what the entire book is about, the main point of the book is what factors influence success.

I recommend to everyone to read all three of his books. They are quick reads that will surprise you.


I just completed "Out of Captivity, Surviving 1,967 Days in the Colombian Jungle".

In Feb. 2003 a plane crashed in the Colombian Jungle filled three civilian contractors from America. The minute they landed they were taken captive by the FARC (columbian terrorist organization). They remained in captivity for five years.

I first heard of their story in 2008 when they were all over the news after being rescued. However, their story was overshadowed by the news story of Ingrid Betancourt, a French-Colombian politician, who was also held prisoner and rescued in the same rescue mission. Needless to say when I saw that the three men had written a book I eagerly purchased and dove into the story.

Even though I essentially knew the story, this book was another good read that I highly recommend.