Home Feed
Home
Search
Search
Add Review, Blurb, Quote
Add
Activity
Activity
Profile
Profile
The Color of Water
The Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother | James McBride
47 posts | 119 read | 53 to read
As a boy in Brooklyn, James McBride knew his mother was different. But when he asked her about it, she'd simply say, 'I'm light-skinned.' Later he wondered if he was different too and asked his mother if he was black or white. 'You're a human being,' she snapped. 'Educate yourself or you'll be a nobody!' And when James asked what colour God was, she said, 'God is the color of water'... As an adult, McBride finally persuaded his mother to tell her story - the story of a rabbi's daughter, born in Poland and raised in the South, who fled to Harlem, married a black man, founded a Baptist church and put twelve children through college. THE COLOR OF WATER is James McBride's tribute to his remarkable, eccentric, determined mother - and an eloquent exploration of what family means.
Amazon Indiebound Barnes and Noble WorldCat Goodreads LibraryThing
Pick icon
100%
blurb
Cinfhen
post image

#SeptemberSins One of the MOST compelling memoirs I ever read. James McBride is the child, one of 12 born to a white Jewish mother and a black Christian father. In the veins of Jeanette Walls and Tara Westover, McBride offers an intimate and unforgettable account of what it feels like growing up not recognized as #BlackOrWhite 😢High praise for both writing and storytelling and EXTRA shoutout to James‘s mom for doing the best she could.

Ruthiella I know it bugged other readers but I liked how he referred to her as “mommy” all through the book! 😀 2mo
Cinfhen Funny, I don‘t remember that at all @Ruthiella 2mo
78 likes3 stack adds2 comments
review
mom2bugnbee
Pickpick

I have no idea how I've missed this book for so long - I'm in my 40's and this was published when I was in high school!

What a story. What a lady. Go read it.

⭐⭐⭐⭐✨/⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

A book written by a musician - #pop19
A book about a family - #pop19

blurb
mom2bugnbee
post image

On the tail end of a chest cold, so I'm pretty zapped - thankful that there wasn't much to do today. My daughter's cat, Rose, always seems to find me & curl up in the crook of my legs when I'm reading in bed.

This memoir by the son of a black man & an Orthodox Jewish woman is riveting. My husband & I are as WASP as they come, so I can't pretend to understand what she went through. Regardless, I can't put it down. #currentread #currentlyreading

britt_brooke Great read! Glad you‘re starting to feel better. 3mo
Seekingtardis I hope it‘s gone for good real soon!! 3mo
Crazeedi I love when they curl up in the curve of the legs, so comforting 3mo
Amiable This was a really good read 3mo
42 likes2 stack adds4 comments
review
hazykiid
Pickpick

Beautiful! Beautiful! Beautiful! As a biracial girl living in a similar world as McBride, I could real are so deeply to the words. But the wonderful thing about the book is that you don‘t even have to be like McBride to understand what it feels like to not feel like you belong or that life sometimes is working against you. And his mother is soooo AWESOME!!!

blurb
Jbakesmcgee3
post image

Excited to start this one for book club!

11 likes1 stack add
review
megnews
post image
Pickpick

This was my first James McBride many years ago and I‘ve loved everything else he‘s written since.

#water #sprinvgintoreading

Cinfhen Fantastic memoir!! Was not a fan of this one though 7mo
28 likes1 comment
review
BookishShelly
post image
Pickpick

I saw this on the library‘s Black History Month display table but just finished it today. (It works for Women‘s History Month too, though.) It is so good. My son has a white mother and Chinese father, rather than a Black father, but I tend to be drawn to memoirs of mixed race children. Not that my son‘s life is anything like the author‘s. He‘s an only child and not one of 12 for starters. But this is a good read for everyone.

Abby2 I agree. Two of y kids are mixed (adopted) and I found this very enlightening. 8mo
36 likes1 stack add1 comment
blurb
CorinnaBechko
post image

This is such a cool idea! #ibelieveinbookfaries

review
Erinhunt
Pickpick

Yes.

blurb
Erinreadsthebooks
post image

I love when a teacher requests a class set of this gem. Lots and lots of invaluable lessons in this book 💎😍🤗

BuriedNbooks Probably my all time fav book! 2mo
33 likes1 comment
blurb
Smrloomis
post image

Kindle deal 🎉 I read this years ago but remember it as very moving.

SledgeReader This has been on my TBR for ages! 1y
Smrloomis @SledgeReader I think you should read it 😆👍🏽 1y
62 likes3 stack adds2 comments
blurb
OrangeMooseReads
post image

If you have not read this, you should. Kindle edition is $1.99 right now.

ReadingRachael Thanks for the heads up and recommendation! I‘m looking forward to reading it as it is now on my TBR. I was also happy to see that I was able to get it through Kobo for the same price :) 1y
OrangeMooseReads @elizaray 👍🏽 hope you like it. Glad you could get it in another format as well. 1y
32 likes2 comments
blurb
goodbyefrancie
post image

My current #audiobooks on loan on #Overdrive. I'm addicted, and have one going all the time. I may also have three baskets of audio books in CD from the friends of the library sale...oops, I got a little carried away.
#Riotgrams
@bookriot

review
DavidHoloman
Pickpick


The story of the white, mostly penniless lady who brought up her 12 black children to college educations and beyond is nothing short of remarkable. Many will find inspiration in her Christianity, I'm sure. I don't think I like the author very much; when he talks about himself rather than the Mom, the interest meter dips a lot. I don't think the presentation did justice to the underlying facts and facets of the remarkable story.

blurb
GatheringBooks
post image

After being “on duty” on a Sunday from 830 am to 430 pm for my teacher-training institute‘s PostGraduate Fair, super late lunch and early dinner with my loves who make everything worthwhile: garlic snowing pizza, gorgonzola pizza with bleu cheese, and garlicholic rice (with garlic chips and bacon) - and yes one of the loveliest memoirs about mothers in the tagged book which I can not wait to read.

83 likes1 stack add
blurb
GatheringBooks
post image

#ReadingResolutions Day 1: Here is my #MayTBR - top 3 are for my virtual book clubs, some of the titles are not known to me yet, Cutting For Stone is for #ReadAroundTheWorld and #LitWorld2018GB - #Ethiopia, the Henrietta Lacks is for my IRL book club, and tagged book is for our current reading theme on memoirs.

HeatherBookNerd Cutting for Stone is fantastic 👌🏼 2y
Cathythoughts Cutting for Stone is on my May list too 👍🏻❤️❤️ 2y
CouronneDhiver Cutting for Stone and Henrietta are both great! 👍 2y
See All 6 Comments
Lcsmcat What @CouronneDhiver said! I loved both those books. 2y
Tomigirl44 The color of water is one of my favoritest books! ❤️ 2y
BookishMe Verghese has been on my TBR and now may be a good time to tick it off. Then again, there are other gems to discover as well! 2y
86 likes1 stack add6 comments
review
Grayc
Pickpick

This is a must read...a very interesting account of race, family...etc.

Grayc Thank you 2y
DivineDiana Welcome to Litsy! On my TBR! 2y
Mdargusch Hi 👋🏼👋🏼👋🏼. It was great to meet you today! 2y
9 likes1 stack add4 comments
review
BeaG
post image
Pickpick

Great book! I enjoyed the set up. You hear mom's side of the story and it is written in italics. I didn't think I was going to like this book, but I couldn't put it down.

11 likes1 stack add
blurb
Erinreadsthebooks
post image

Some students were turning these books back into the library earlier this week. I put a copy off to the side and have been reading it when I get a bit of down time throughout the day. I loved it when I read it in college but couldn't remember why. Rereading it now, I completely see why.

review
Chrissyreadit
post image
Pickpick

One of my favorite books of all time! Have not seen in bookstore for years! Amazing biography and tribute. James McBride is so talented!

OneLitChick This book is so amazing! 2y
Yeah_I_Read I recommend this to people all the time! I ❤️❤️❤️ James McBride! 2y
OrangeMooseReads Love this book 2y
87 likes5 stack adds3 comments
blurb
JackOBotts
post image

1. Too many...TGIF, SNICK, Saturday mornings on NBC...these were filled with shows I loved as a not quite tween.
2. I read the tagged memoir years ago and remember being moved...would love to reread.
3. Steak 🥩
4. My first book club meeting for the year! 📖
5. @Shenanakins - this is a fun way to get to know fellow Littens! 🤗
#friyayintro @jesshowbooks

OrangeMooseReads This is a great memoir. A former friend introduced me to it and I loved it. 2y
MallenNC I have that memoir on my shelf, and need to read it 2y
Avanders Oh yeah.. I'm not much of a steak 🥩 fan either 😋 2y
57 likes1 stack add3 comments
review
Librosycafe
post image
Pickpick

Honestly, it's paradigm that makes you think about the serverity that race plays into any individual's life. Is it easy to raise Black children in a world of hate? It's beautifully written.💧

blurb
DivineDiana
post image

Here's what I found at the Library book sale! $4.65! #bookhaul #lovealibrarybooksale #thebookgodswerelookingoutforme

Notafraidofwords The Hopefuls is so gossipy and just so much fun. 2y
DivineDiana @Notafraidofwords Looking forward to some fun! 🙂 2y
LauraBrook That's a great stack! 2y
See All 9 Comments
susanw A stack of winners! 2y
Caroline2 Oh the Fingersmith is sooo good! Defo 5 ⭐️ I read it in January and it is still my favourite book of the year! 👍🏻 2y
ValerieAndBooks Great stack! I read The Color of Water many years ago and really liked it. 2y
DivineDiana @susanw @LauraBrook @Caroline2 @ValerieAndBooks Thank you! Looking forward to some good reads! 2y
Lmstraubie Well done!👏👏👏 2y
DivineDiana @Lmstraubie These sales are so much fun! 2y
86 likes9 comments
blurb
WanderingBookaneer
post image
83 likes6 stack adds
blurb
britt_brooke
post image

This is a pretty good read. #BlackOrWhite #90sInJuly

Cinfhen I really liked this book a lot and a few years ago I sat next to James McBride at a wedding ~ he was absolutely charming 💗a great conversationalist 😄 2y
OrangeMooseReads I love this book. 2y
britt_brooke @Cinfhen No way! That's awesome! 💚 2y
See All 10 Comments
MaryAnn1 @Cinfhen, what incredible luck!! 2y
Cinfhen @MaryAnn1 @britt_brooke I know! I had to increase my wedding gift check 😉I felt like I scored the winning seat!!! 2y
bookhoarder513 I really liked this also. 2y
Zelma @Cinfhen that not only rocks but is hilarious. 👍😂 2y
Cinfhen Thanks @Zelma it was worth it....😁 2y
110 likes6 stack adds10 comments
blurb
BookishMarginalia
post image

Revisiting

blankpagesofmine I have a Forrester too!! Great car!! 👍🏻 2y
LitHousewife That's one of my favorites! 2y
OrangeMooseReads Fantastic book 2y
114 likes3 stack adds3 comments
blurb
spinesvines
post image

#ReadSoulLit Photo Challenge
Day 23 - Oldest on Your TBR!
⠀⠀⠀ ⠀
THE COLOR OF WATER has been on my to read list for over 5 years. I've heard so many great things about this book and need to find the time to read it. ⠀

#spinesvines #thecolorofwater #blackhistorymonth

9 likes1 stack add
review
Wife
post image
Pickpick

I had some downtime at work tonight and finished this book. I so enjoy a good memoir. And the man my grandson was named after just happened to be mentioned!

33 likes2 stack adds
blurb
youngreadrshelf
post image

I know this one isn't exactly #blackhistory, but I think it's an important look at race and religion. You can see how many times my copy has been read. #riotgrams @bookriot @Liberty

LitHousewife I loved this book so much. 3y
Suet624 This book...(sigh)....so good. 3y
44 likes6 stack adds2 comments
blurb
Jlee745
post image

The color of water was my "person of color memoir" book. I really enjoyed the audiobook. #litseyreadingchallenge

quote
MSzyd
post image

Day 92: "I asked her if I was black or white. She replied 'You are a human being. Educate yourself or you'll be a nobody!'" #shoes by #bamboo from #modcloth

blurb
Lwsmith
post image

Trouble in my world, so I'm visiting in someone else's. Really like the very start of this memoir. Fingers crossed!

BookishMarginalia That's a good one! 3y
9 likes1 comment
blurb
sarahbellum
post image

"You're a human being. Educate yourself or you'll be a nobody!" #mommaknowsbest #education #diversity #mcbride #readdiversebooks

6 likes1 stack add
blurb
cathysaid
post image

My #fictionnonfictionpairing is an author pairing. McBride's tribute to his mother is at turns sad and joyful, yet always heart-melting. The novel, The Good Lord Bird, is on my TBR shelf. It sounds wonderful. #fiction #nonfiction #SeasonsReadings2016

RealLifeReading Added! 3y
LauraBeth I ❤️ both of these books! Nice choices 👏 3y
31 likes2 stack adds3 comments
blurb
Avid_Layla
post image

When you're still upset about the election, so you buy some books to cheer you up 😄

#bookstorehaul #librarybooksale

BooksForYears Solid choices all! 📚👏🏼👏🏼 3y
Avid_Layla @BooksForYears Thanks! I can't wait to read them 💃 3y
14 likes1 stack add2 comments
review
szack314
post image
Pickpick

This book has become one of my absolute favorites. Written by a black man with a white mother it really captures some of the challenges that come from being mixed race. I found myself relating to the characters and getting that feeling of oh I'm not the only one. I would highly recommend this book to anyone I know, but especially to people of mixed race because I feel it captures the experience of not quite knowing what you are really well.

review
utterKATEness
post image
Pickpick

#booktober Day 11: #MemorableMemoir I read this book a while back and it absolutely floored me. I couldn't put it down! It's raw and honest and beautiful. By far the best memoir I've read.

28 likes3 stack adds
blurb
Cinfhen
post image

#booktober #memorablememoirs My son was assigned both of these reads in high school. He liked them so much, he recommended them to me😊 Now they rank amongst my most favorite memoirs 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 and a shoutout to Mr. Mcclauglin...an awesome teacher who encouraged my kids to read deeply and meaningfully👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

RealLifeReading That is an awesome teacher! 3y
39 likes1 stack add1 comment
quote
szack314
post image

My parents were nonmaterialistic. They believed that money without knowledge was worthless, that education tempered with religion was the way to climb out of poverty in America, and over the years they were proven right.

review
Spiderfelt
post image
Pickpick

What a powerful testament this book is to the immense power of will. McBride shared his mother's incredible story, raising twelve intelligent, successful children despite the odds being stacked against her. I loved the alternating perspectives, shifting between McBride's childhood and his mothers childhood. The abuse and rejection she suffered from her family was horrific, and yet she survived and by many measures thrived. #audiobook

BookishFeminist I agree, this is an incredible book. I read this in high school and it's stuck with me ever since. 3y
Spiderfelt @BookishFeminist can you imagine what it must have been like to grow up in either of those houses? I loved the bit in the epilogue when McBride lists the degrees and jobs each of his siblings holds. It begs the question nature vs nurture. Did Rachel/Ruth have that drive because imitate despite her environment? Same for her kids? 3y
17 likes1 stack add2 comments
quote
dcossai
post image

Reposting from @BookishFeminist because it's too good not too share! #greatquote #love #tolerance #diversity

blurb
BookishFeminist
post image

Some words of wisdom from James McBride's talk at the #NationalBookFestival earlier. I had so much fun today! Love the Library of Congress for putting this amazing event on for free every year. 📚📚📚

#greatquotes #somethingforsept #septphotochallenge

Eugeniavb Love it! 3y
Wannabe_Quijote Awesome 3y
OrangeMooseReads One of my favorite books, easily in my top 5. 3y
See All 8 Comments
BookishFeminist @Eugeniavb @FUNdamental Yes! He was such a good speaker! 3y
BookishFeminist @OrangeMooseReads Ditto, he's an incredible writer. He said he wrote that book on the side when he was performing in a band! He hadn't told anyone he was a writer, let alone writing a book about his mom. 3y
youngreadrshelf I loved this book! My copy is pretty worn from lending it out. It might be time for a new one. 😉 3y
BookishFeminist @youngreadrshelf Definitely! Mine is worn out too- I've had it for so long & it's been very well loved ❤️ 3y
Yournewfriendsams 🙌🏽🙌🏽🙌🏽🙌🏽 3y
161 likes8 stack adds8 comments
blurb
beaniebankbeth
post image

"If we're closing the door to people who don't look like us, we're closing the door to tomorrow."

LauraBeth ❤️ this 3y
15 likes1 stack add1 comment
review
Bibliotini
post image
Pickpick

One of my reading groups is discussing this next week. My second read by McBride. What a beautiful homage to his mother. And what a wonderful, large family lucky to have her. The bad is only referred to in passing. Not dwelled upon and not made to be the reason for anything negative in their lives. It's a lot like sitting around a kitchen table talking about the old days with your family.

review
Bibliotini
Pickpick

One of my reading groups is discussing this next week. My second read by McBride. What a beautiful homage to his mother. And what a wonderful, large family lucky to have her. The bad is only referred in passing. Not dwelled upon and not made to be the reason for anything negative in their lives. It's a lot like sitting around a kitchen table talking about the old days with your family.

blurb
Bibliotini
post image

Kitters does not want me to read.

MrBook 😻😻😻😻 3y
BookishMarginalia Cuteness! 3y
11 likes2 comments
review
dog_earedbookreviews
post image
Pickpick

McBride provides his reader with an opportunity unique to great literature: the chance to practice empathy and wrestle with truth.