Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

Have you read this book? Are you familiar with Maya Angelou?

I’m not going to write a book report or an author profile for fear of doing the book and the author in injustice, but I will highly recommend it as a classic American autobiography.

I thought I’d read the entire book when I was in college, but after reading it last month, I realized that I didn’t. Seeing the televised movie probably made me think I knew the whole story. Having the opportunity to read it again gave me a deeper understanding.

Mary Catherine, one of my book club girls, chose this book, and we discussed it at her home. That night, there were only four of us, but we represented three racial groups. We talked about Maya Angelou’s life as a human being who endured a horrible crime and its repercussions, as a woman who dealt with insecurities, and as a black person struggling to get beyond the walls of bigotry. The discussion of the book prompted us to talk about our own similarities and differences, our cultures, and the beliefs we had while growing up.

There are so many books that I would like to read. Maya Angelou’s story continues in her book, Gather Together In My Name. After reading I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, which tells her story to age sixteen, I had many questions about the rest of her life and the path to her current highly honored and respected status. Maybe I’ll browse the second book the next time I’m in the library or book store and consider reading it; which leads me to switching gears…

I borrowed the book from the library! As much as I am in favor of feeding the economy, I resisted buying a nice, shiny, fresh smelling, new book at the local Barnes and Noble. My collector/packrat tendencies are getting some added attention in the form of purging and NOT buying (see “post” dated April 24, 2009).

Our current book club selection is Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See, and, “Guess what? I borrowed it from the library!” (The yellow "thing" in the picture is my library card.)

In addition to the Lisa See book, I am currently reading Rise and Shine by Anna Quindlen.

What are you reading?


Hilary said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hilary said...

I was having technical difficulties with the first post. I have read both of those books and have to admit, was disappointed. I read "Caged Bird" in college while I was deep in the throes of wanting to be a poet and not liking Maya Angelou was akin to wearing the scarlet letter on your chest. Maybe I'll try it again.

As for "Snow Flower", I read that more recently and felt that the story was good, but I wanted more. I enjoy fiction set in Asian culture and really like books from Amy Tan, Anchee Min,Donna Jo Napoli, and Susan Fromberg Schaeffer.

Right now, I'm reading "The Ten Year Nap" by Meg Wolitzer and I just finished "I was told there would be cake" by Sloane Crosley. The Crosley book was meh, and I'm still forming my opinion on the other. Here's a link to what I've been reading --

Sorry for the epic comment, but I love books!

Anita said...

HILARY,I liked "Caged Bird" because it depicts another real piece of the American fabric. Hope you didn't get beat up too badly in college for not walking around with the book in your hand!

Joining book club has been my introduction to books with an Asian theme. I've read "The Love Wife" by Gish Jen, and "Digging to America" by Anne Tyler. Enjoyed reading both. I am one of the few women readers left that has not read an Amy Tan book; I am way behind in reading fiction.

I browsed your online bookshelf a while back and saw some books that I've also read. I'll check it out again and let you know which ones. I'm thinking about adding that shelf to my blog - hmmm...

Ps. When will you revive your poet life? I can tell that it's in you from your writings in your blog.