Thursday, October 22, 2009

James McBride & "Song Yet Sung"

So right now I'm copy cataloging, working a short weekly shift on the periodical desk, attending meetings (lots and lots of meetings), working on the Special Collection books, and getting ready for next week's discussion about James McBride's "Song Yet Sung."  (Click here to read about the Towson Book Club.)  So in order to get ready for the really short discussion -I don't think we'll have more than 20-30 mins -I've been attending book club discussions at various libraries in the area, and went to hear James McBride speak at the Baltimore Book Festival a few weeks ago.  McBride also wrote "The Color of Water" and "Miracle at St. Anna," the latter which is a major motion picture produced by Spike Lee.  McBride humorously chalked up his success to independent book stores that would carry his first novel and Jewish women that initially read and popularized the book.  He discouraged people from buying his book from the Barnes and Noble vendor located right next to where he was giving his speech and told people to seek out an indie bookseller.  (I got mine at the library.) I couldn't resist waiting in line to meet McBride.  As an author groupie, (I've gone to hear Dave Eggers and Sherman Alexie speak and had them sign my books), I just asked him to write something cooler than Dave Eggers did on a piece of paper that I will eventually paste into my independent book store copy of his book.  He did. 

(Click here to go to James McBride's website.)
I encourage you to read "Song Yet Sung." It's a fast-paced novel about the intricacies of slavery on Maryland's eastern shore right before the civil war broke out with an added reflective commentary on the state of black America today.  It is well worth the read, and contains tons of fodder for discussion. 
Read it and talk about it!  (Click here to read about One Maryland One Book.)

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