Announcing. . . a summer read-along

A few weeks ago after reading how Isabel Wilkerson’s The Warmth of Other Suns didn’t win the Pulitzer Prize for non-fiction, Doret (The Happy Nappy Bookseller) and I decided that it was time to host a read-along for this sweeping work of non-fiction.

The publisher’s description:

In this epic, beautifully written masterwork, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Isabel Wilkerson chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities, in search of a better life. From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America. Wilkerson compares this epic migration to the migrations of other peoples in history. She interviewed more than a thousand people, and gained access to new data and official records, to write this definitive and vividly dramatic account of how these American journeys unfolded, altering our cities, our country, and ourselves.

With stunning historical detail, Wilkerson tells this story through the lives of three unique individuals: Ida Mae Gladney, who in 1937 left sharecropping and prejudice in Mississippi for Chicago, where she achieved quiet blue-collar success and, in old age, voted for Barack Obama when he ran for an Illinois Senate seat; sharp and quick-tempered George Starling, who in 1945 fled Florida for Harlem, where he endangered his job fighting for civil rights, saw his family fall, and finally found peace in God; and Robert Foster, who left Louisiana in 1953 to pursue a medical career, the personal physician to Ray Charles as part of a glitteringly successful medical career, which allowed him to purchase a grand home where he often threw exuberant parties.

Wilkerson brilliantly captures their first treacherous and exhausting cross-country trips by car and train and their new lives in colonies that grew into ghettos, as well as how they changed these cities with southern food, faith, and culture and improved them with discipline, drive, and hard work. Both a riveting microcosm and a major assessment, The Warmth of Other Suns is a bold, remarkable, and riveting work, a superb account of an “unrecognized immigration” within our own land.

The book has also been named New York Times Book Review’s 10 Best Books of the Year, won the Indie Lit Awards non-fiction award, and the National Book Critics Award for non-fiction.

Since The Warmth of Other Suns is more than 600 pages long, we decided that we’ll host the read-along in the summer. The book is huge but unlike most non-fiction it reads like a novel.

The schedule:

  • The read-along starts Wednesday, June 1st
  • Halfway-mark post on Wednesday, June 15th
  • Wrap-up on Thursday, June 30th

So what do you think? Would you like to join us for this summer read-along? If you’re in, let me know in the comments below.

About Vasilly

Mother, daughter, sister, college student, bookworm, lover of chocolate and coffee.
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30 Responses to Announcing. . . a summer read-along

  1. I am in. I have wanted to read this anyway! Great opportunity to do so.

  2. I’ve heard about this book, and it looks fascinating! I may have a lot on my plate by June, but I’ll check in just before to see if I can fit it in. Either way, can’t wait to read your thoughts about this!

  3. Carrie K. says:

    I just put it on hold at the library – if it comes in in time for the read-along, I’m in!

  4. This book is fabulous — great choice for a read-a-long. It reads a lot faster than you might expect a 600 page book to read, too.

  5. Laura says:

    I’m very interested, although I’m not sure I can commit quite yet– I need to think about other June plans. I’ll keep my eye on the discussion either way.

  6. zibilee says:

    What a cool idea! I am not sure yet if I will be participating, but I love the sound of this book!

  7. Oh, yes! I’m so in. I’ve so wanted to read this. Lovely!

  8. Marie says:

    It sounds like a great book for a readalong. Best of luck!🙂

  9. Aarti says:

    I’ve never heard of this book but it sounds STUNNING and brilliant. Won’t be able to participate in the read-along but it’s not firmly on my wish list. Thanks for bringing it to my attention!

  10. Edi says:

    I have it in my TBR pile…this sounds like a good reason to move it forward! I’m in! Vasilly, have you considered a Twitter discussion? We’ve got to get Doret on Twitter!

  11. Vasilly says:

    That’s a great idea, Edi! I didn’t think about Twitter. We can definitely have a discussion about the book on it. I wonder if we can get Doret on Twitter?🙂

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  13. Frances says:

    I would like to join but will have to wait until I see my schedule before I can commit. School not out until third week of June. Great idea!

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  15. I have this book and really want to read it, so I’m going to try to keep up with you.

  16. “Warmth of Other Suns” is GREAT, it’s a long-haul page-count wise, but it’s such wonderfully human book, everyone you are in for a supes-delish reading treat!

  17. I need to be writing but I have this on my kindle and I’m so ready to read it. So I’m in🙂

  18. lisa says:

    ooh, i’m in! i’ve been looking for a book club of some sort and this book looks great.

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  20. Christy says:

    I would join as I’m very interested in this book, but June may not be very accommodating for me to read a tome of its size. We’ll see . . .

  21. I’d like to join in but will have to see. I’m currently reading Doris Kearns Goodwin’s A Team of Rivals (fascinating!), which clocks in at 944 pages, and I have two more “doorstoppers” waiting on the shelves (and finished another before this one), so I might be too exhausted to contemplate another long book.

    But I do want to read this one and it would be great to join in a readalong, so maybe I’ll be able to fit it in somehow and make it work!

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