Hi! It’s Pub Day, here again! There are some INTRIGUING new books being released into the world today, everybody. Shall we take a look? Fiction The Bell in the Lake: A Novel, by Lars Mytting Just Like You: A Novel, by Nick Hornby …
Hi! Tuesday is Publication Day in Book World. It’s the most exciting day for an author: new books are released by their publishers, we get to read them, and all are happy. Because I know many of you like to read as much as I …
I looked it up on a map. I lived two miles from where the author Ta-Nehisi Coates grew up.
I was twenty-five and living in a loft apartment on the corner of Eutaw and Centre Streets in Baltimore. That apartment had security cameras and gates and a sentry at the front desk. Camden Yards was a mile south, Lexington Market a couple of blocks away, and West Baltimore, where Coates had lived, lay just past Seton Hill to my left. When I went running every morning before work, I ran right, always right, out of the alley next to my building, then through the beautiful stretch of Mt. Vernon and down around Inner Harbor.
I never went left.
I loved where I lived. I loved my tiny spiral staircase and my view of Johns Hopkins and the drive through Roland Park to get to my classes at Notre Dame of Maryland. I loved the restuarants I couldn’t afford and the buildings and my walks along Charles Street. I felt alive there.
At this time, I was working full-time for my uncle downtown so I could pay for my grad school full-time uptown. Like all white women living in a city, my biggest fears were rats and rapists. My worries were making tuition and new friends. I saw my first drawn gun in Baltimore, and witnessed my first mugging. Every Friday night in the warm months shots would ring out beyond my tall windows. I’d vaguely worry about a stray bullet making its way inside, then would turn back to whatever movie I was watching and just turn up the volume. When David and I moved out of the city it was because we wanted an affordable house, green space, a place without smog laying like a blanket over the horizon. But it was a car chase that did it, with a crash and police sirens and lots of guns drawn and us crouching behind our cars for safety. But I was never in it. I was around it, beyond it. Some could say I was above it.
BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME is heartbreaking. It’s raw and beautiful and hard. It’s really hard. Ta-Nehisi Coates narrates the audio version as letters to his fifteen-year-old son. He describes the experience of a young Black man growing up in this country with honest sharpness and beauty. His voice, with the accent of his Baltimore roots, is a message to us. It’s both a mirror and a lens.
He only lived two miles away.
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The compelling, inspiring, and comically sublime story of one man’s coming-of-age, set during the twilight of apartheid and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
Michiko Kakutani, New York Times • Newsday • Esquire • NPR • Booklist
Trevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents’ indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa’s tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle.
Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man’s relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother—his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life.
The stories collected here are by turns hilarious, dramatic, and deeply affecting. Whether subsisting on caterpillars for dinner during hard times, being thrown from a moving car during an attempted kidnapping, or just trying to survive the life-and-death pitfalls of dating in high school, Trevor illuminates his curious world with an incisive wit and unflinching honesty. His stories weave together to form a moving and searingly funny portrait of a boy making his way through a damaged world in a dangerous time, armed only with a keen sense of humor and a mother’s unconventional, unconditional love.
Praise for Born a Crime
“[A] compelling new memoir . . . By turns alarming, sad and funny, [Trevor Noah’s] book provides a harrowing look, through the prism of Mr. Noah’s family, at life in South Africa under apartheid. . . . Born a Crime is not just an unnerving account of growing up in South Africa under apartheid, but a love letter to the author’s remarkable mother.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
“[An] unforgettable memoir.”—Parade
“What makes Born a Crime such a soul-nourishing pleasure, even with all its darker edges and perilous turns, is reading Noah recount in brisk, warmly conversational prose how he learned to negotiate his way through the bullying and ostracism. . . . What also helped was having a mother like Patricia Nombuyiselo Noah. . . . Consider Born a Crime another such gift to her—and an enormous gift to the rest of us.”—USA Today
“[Noah] thrives with the help of his astonishingly fearless mother. . . . Their fierce bond makes this story soar.”—People
“[Noah’s] electrifying memoir sparkles with funny stories . . . and his candid and compassionate essays deepen our perception of the complexities of race, gender, and class.”—Booklist (starred review)
“A gritty memoir . . . studded with insight and provocative social criticism . . . with flashes of brilliant storytelling and acute observations.”—Kirkus Reviews