January 2017 Book of the Month
When I was in fourth grade I asked my mom how many other black presidents have we had.
She looked at me funny and said that we’ve never had a black president.
And I looked at her funny and asked what about Monroe?
When I was five I went to kindergarten two days a week at the Christ United Methodist Church. This was before there was public school kindergarten. We had a janitor who was a big black man and his name was Monroe.
From kindergarten to fourth grade I thought that president Monroe was a black man as well. This story makes logical sense that a five-year-old would come to this conclusion. At the same time, this story is amazing that my mom had raised me in the 60’s and 70’s in the south to assume that we could possibly have had a black man as a president. She raised me to believe that black people are not “black” people, they are “people”.
It’s been a while since I’ve posted a book recommendation. Not that I haven’t been reading (and writing; working on my novel). I’ve read “The Color of Water” and “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn”. Both great books. Both memoirs of survivors of life. I recommend these books.
The pick for the January 2017 book of the month I found on Michelle Obama’s recommended book list. Her list includes “Life of Pi” (which is also on Barack Obama’s list), “Goodnight Moon”, “Where the Wild Things Are”, “Song of Soloman” and the book that we will be reading “The Light of the World”.
Clearly, I’m on a memoir kick. This book is written by a poet and it reads like poetry. Precision with every word, no fluff or unnecessary adverbs. A poetic memoir of a woman, her husband, and two children. No spoiler’s in that description. Take my word for it, I haven’t let you down yet and if both Michelle Obama and I recommend a book, you can’t go wrong.
If you recall, our August book of the month was actually two books, one from Hillary Clinton’s recommended book list and one from Donald Trump’s recommended book list. Books that we read at the same time, or in close proximity. I was hoping to do the same thing this month. A book from First Lady Michelle Obama’s recommended reading list and a book from the new First Lady Melania Trump’s recommended reading list. I searched and searched for a Melania Trump list and all I could find were books about Melania, but none recommended by Melania. I tried to research what hobbies she has and the only thing I could find listed under hobbies was raising her and Donald Trump’s son.
It’s ok, we will read Michelle’s book only. Michelle Obama; a beautiful, smart, funny, loving, caring person. I don’t think we could have asked for a more perfect first lady. I was proud to have her as a representative of our country.
The lunch ladies at my school were not too happy with Michelle Obama and her input and changes in our school foods program. They called her bad names and said our kids were starving with the newly imposed chicken nugget limits. Now, our school foods program offers quinoa, kale, winter squash, and lintels. No one complains. And they eat it. The menu includes new healthy items and cooking from scratch, all while creating something tasty for the kids and staff. Thank you, Michelle. We will miss you.
I went to the Darby Community Public Library yesterday. I was looking for books to help me with the transition taking place today January 20, 2017, inauguration day. I am reading the book of the month along with these three books that I checked out from the library. “The Righteous Mind Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion” by Jonathon Haidt, “Letter to a Christian Nation” by Sam Harris and “Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates. I’m reading them simultaneously. I didn’t go into the library looking for these books, they found me. All three have great reviews. Look into them if you are in need of something to help you through the day.
For more great book recommendations and to see the blog that includes my letter to President Obama and my letter from President Obama check out the Wild About Books .