Between The World And Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates | Audiobook Review

Between The World And Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates | Audiobook ReviewBetween the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Narrator: Ta-Nehisi Coates
Length: 3 Hours 35 Minutes
Published by Random House Publishing Group on July 14th 2015
Genres: Biography & Autobiography, Personal Memoirs, Social Science, Discrimination & Race Relations, History, United States
Pages: 176
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon
ISBN: 9780679645986
Goodreads
five-stars

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER | NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER | NAACP IMAGE AWARD WINNER | PULITZER PRIZE FINALIST | NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST | NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review • O: The Oprah Magazine • The Washington Post • People • Entertainment Weekly • Vogue • Los Angeles Times • San Francisco Chronicle • Chicago Tribune • New York • Newsday • Library Journal • Publishers WeeklyHailed by Toni Morrison as “required reading,” a bold and personal literary exploration of America’s racial history by “the single best writer on the subject of race in the United States” (The New York Observer)
“This is your country, this is your world, this is your body, and you must find some way to live within the all of it.”
In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men—bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden?
Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates’s attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son—and readers—the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children’s lives were taken as American plunder. Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward.
Praise for Between the World and Me
“I’ve been wondering who might fill the intellectual void that plagued me after James Baldwin died. Clearly it is Ta-Nehisi Coates. The language of Between the World and Me, like Coates’s journey, is visceral, eloquent, and beautifully redemptive. And its examination of the hazards and hopes of black male life is as profound as it is revelatory.”—Toni Morrison
“Powerful and passionate . . . profoundly moving . . . a searing meditation on what it means to be black in America today.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
“Really powerful and emotional.”—John Legend, The Wall Street Journal
“Extraordinary.”—David Remnick, The New Yorker
“Brilliant . . . a mature writer entirely consumed by a momentous subject and working at the extreme of his considerable powers.”The Washington Post
“An eloquent blend of history, reportage, and memoir.”The Boston Globe
“[Coates] speaks resolutely and vividly to all of black America.”Los Angeles Times
“A work that’s both titanic and timely . . . the latest essential reading in America’s social canon.”Entertainment Weekly

Why Did I Listen To Between The World And Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates?

Between The World And Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates got a whole lot of attention after 2016 presidential election in the US. I think it was part of this NPR article where it recommended different books to understand your political opposites. While I am actually politically on the same side as this book, I still decided I wanted to read it anyways. Also, because then when I recommend people read this book to better understand the Black Lives Matter movement, I will actually have legitimacy. Plus, this book seems to garner almost universally positive reviews. So, actually the harder question would be why WOULDN’T I want to read Between The World And Me?

What’s It All About?

Essentially, Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between The World And Me is this book of letters written by Coates to his son. But, really, it serves as a meditation on the state of race relations in the United States. It lyrically explores police brutality, affirmative action, historically Black colleges like Howard, and much more. I am not sure I can get more specific than that, as this is a very short book, but wow does it pack a whole lot on race in there. And after reading it, well, there’s a lot to unpack and think about.

What Did I Think Of Between The World And Me?

Frankly, after I finished this book I could not stop recommending it. I think this is one of those books that is incredibly illuminating about an experience that I will never live or understand. After all, it is about a Black man’s experience in America and I am a white woman. There’s a lot of times where I did have to check my privilege while reading this book. Still, the experience of it is just well worth it, especially how much it really got my brain turning and thinking. Actually, I think this would be a really great book to pair with The Hate U Give to just better understand Black Lives Matter.

How’s The Narration?

The audiobook of Between The World And Me is narrated by the author, Ta-Nehisi Coates. Normally I HATE when authors narrate their own books. However, it seems that Coates is the exception to this opinion. His voice is very well suited for audiobook narration. There’s this cadence that he has that just draws you right in so that you really can’t stop listening and you do truly absorb the words. I would say that this book is really wonderful via audiobook.

Other reviews of Between The World And Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates:

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five-stars
About April (Books&Wine)

April is 28 years old and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. In her free time she can be found reading, working out, or eating junk food. She often wears her sunglasses at night.

Comments

  1. My book club read this last year and so I listened to the audio version. I prefer it when an author narrates their own book because it makes it more personal. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to make it to my book club’s discussion and wish I had because this he addresses so many issues at hand for the black man in America.

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