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The Beautiful Struggle
The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two Sons, and an Unlikely Road to Manhood | Ta-Nehisi Coates
An exceptional father-son story about the reality that tests us, the myths that sustain us, and the love that saves us. Paul Coates was an enigmatic god to his sons: a Vietnam vet who rolled with the Black Panthers, an old-school disciplinarian and new-age believer in free love, an autodidact who launched a publishing company in his basement dedicated to telling the true history of African civilization. Most of all, he was a wily tactician whose mission was to carry his sons across the shoals of inner-city adolescence—and through the collapsing civilization of Baltimore in the Age of Crack—and into the safe arms of Howard University, where he worked so his children could attend for free. Among his brood of seven, his main challenges were Ta-Nehisi, spacey and sensitive and almost comically miscalibrated for his environment, and Big Bill, charismatic and all-too-ready for the challenges of the streets. The Beautiful Struggle follows their divergent paths through this turbulent period, and their father’s steadfast efforts—assisted by mothers, teachers, and a body of myths, histories, and rituals conjured from the past to meet the needs of a troubled present—to keep them whole in a world that seemed bent on their destruction. With a remarkable ability to reimagine both the lost world of his father’s generation and the terrors and wonders of his own youth, Coates offers readers a small and beautiful epic about boys trying to become men in black America and beyond.
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UnabridgedPod
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Pickpick

For Ta-Nehisi Coates's memoir The Beautiful Struggle, I both listened and read, which was fabulous. Listening gave me the chance to be swept up in the narrative, in Coates's ruminations on the unconventional nature of his childhood and coming of age. Reading the pages allowed me to appreciate once again the brilliance of his writing, his ability to create a perfect image. (continued in comment)

UnabridgedPod I admire his clear-eyed examination of his demanding and nurturing father. Paul Coates brings his children into full Consciousness of the joys and challenges of their youth, of the systemic problems in America that make their black boyhood (and manhood) so difficult. The fact that Paul also helps Ta-Nehisi find strength in the midst of that difficulty lies at the heart of his love for his father. Gorgeous, powerful book. 3mo
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Kristy_K
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Pickpick

I‘ve heard a lot of great things about Coates‘ writing (& enjoyed it in the Black Panther GN) so I was eager to dive into this book. However, I was a little underwhelmed. His story is interesting but I struggled while reading. It wasn‘t as engaging as I thought it‘d be. I still want to give his other books a try as those are the ones I hear most about.

⭐️⭐️⭐️

#memoir

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megnews
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Panpan

Warning: unpopular opinion ahead. What a difference 7 years makes. If you want to read Coates-and you should-skip The Beautiful Struggle (2008) and read Between the World and Me (2015) instead. I read the latter in 2016 and gave it 5 stars. It was brilliant and his writing was beautiful. The Beautiful Struggle is a 2. It just didn‘t affect me the same way Between the World and Me did. Would have DNF‘d if not for the audiobook.
Book 12/90 1/11/19

Weaponxgirl I‘ve read the first one but not this one. In what way do you think it‘s different if you don‘t mind saying? Like you I adored between the world and me so was just wondering? 7mo
Weaponxgirl Ps I always appreciate an honest review! I‘m just so intrigued now! 7mo
megnews For me, his writing style was much improved in Between the World and Me. In The Beautiful Struggle, I never felt drawn into the sense of place. I felt disconnected. 7mo
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megnews
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When I read, I love to come across the impact reading has had on someone, real or fictional.

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megnews
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I‘ve been reading this but checked out #overdrive for the #audio version since I‘m out and about today.

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Jacobwakeup
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This one has been sitting on my nightstand for years. Plowed through half of it today. #beachread

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Afua
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Pickpick

The review I truly wanted to put up was 200 words over what the limit would allow. Mostly because I wanted to show which quotes from this timeless narration spoke to my own struggles with myself, struggles with the men in my life and their struggles with the worlds they have been told to conquer.

But I will say this: TNC wields his pen beautifully, like a wand and microphone all at once.

Nute Welcome to Litsy. I know that you will enjoy your time spent here and will make many friends. I look forward to getting to know you!💕 13mo
Afua @Nute Thank you so much! ❤️❤️ 9mo
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Tjackson
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I just downloaded this from Amazon for $1.99!!! What a great deal. I have been wanting to read several of his books, but I think this is a great one to start reading!!! I ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ memoirs!

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lauralovesbooks1
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Pickpick

Coates is a skilled writer and this is a compellibg memoir about growing up in Baltimore and his relationship with his parents. He grew up with activism as a crucial part of his family's core beliefs and you can see that influence in his work today. I was especially interested in how his relationship with his father impacted his own perspective as a father that he shares in Between the World and Me.

GondorGirl Ooo- 'Between the World and Me' was brilliant... I'll have to check this one out! 2y
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rixla
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Rixla reading challenge 2018 - #1

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proudmum
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proudmum
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Books_Wine_Repeat
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Pickpick

This memoir focuses on Ta-nehisi growing up in Baltimore and his parents struggle to keep him focused on his education and out of trouble. It's an honest look at growing up as a POC during the 70s, 80s and 90s.

mjdowens I did not know he had another book out. I need to read this one also 2y
Books_Wine_Repeat @mjdowens This is his first book, I think. His second is my favorite. 2y
mjdowens Ooohhh.. I thought Between the World and Me was his first one. Thanks for the info 2y
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ReadingEnvy
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Pickpick

Great read, fascinating look into a Baltimore childhood and the writing! Oh the writing. Every word matters.

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ReadingEnvy
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(This is the same page I realized that Tupac is the son of legendary Assata Shakur, still on the top ten of the FBI's most wanted list for controversial reasons....)

LindsayReads She died last year I do believe... 2y
ReadingEnvy @LindsayReads hmm I know she was ill (Angela Davis was trying to get her name cleared so she could come home!) but I can't find evidence of that. She is still listed on the FBI site https://www.fbi.gov/wanted/wanted_terrorists/joanne-deborah-chesimard 2y
LindsayReads Ha! Jeez... 2y
ReadingEnvy @LindsayReads it's such a fascinating story! I'm on an internet rabbit hole as we speak!! 2y
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ReadingEnvy
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whatthelog
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#photobookchallenge day 22 - historical fiction

OK so this isn't historical FICTION but I couldn't go through #blackhistorymonth without mentioning Ta-Nehisi Coates. This is the first book I ever read that really went into detail about the Black Panthers, and what it means to be a man of revolution. Beautifully written, this is a book that packs punches.

#nonfiction #diversebooks

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SoniaC
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Pickpick

What a powerful and well written book. Such an honest look at the struggle of a boy becoming a man. The way he explores his own maturing but also within the context of race and inner city culture. His writing looks at his life and does not flinch. I highly recommend it.

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SoniaC
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Lovely brunch of tofu scramble, fried potatoes, fresh fruit, English muffin and Breakfast Tea. All while enjoying this incredible book.

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SoniaC
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Starting on this book today enjoying it with a ride of veggie pizza! Yum! This one is mine and my friends Buddy Read for January. Really looking forward to it.

Alfoster That looks delicious!😍 3y
Lacythebookworm Yummy pizza! 3y
Mdargusch Yum! 3y
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Ruri_kaichou Mod Pizza 😻 3y
SoniaC @Ruri_kaichou exactly! So good. I tried the Lucy Sunshine today. 3y
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kiminreverse
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My #santathing box was sent to my mom's house, so I'm just getting to open it now. I love the picks! I'm not very familiar with any of them, although I did read Between the World and Me, so that makes it extra fun.

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Lesliereads
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Pickpick

Before there was #BetweenTheWorldandMe Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote this memoir. Poetic, original. #memorablememoirs #memoirs #fathersandsons #tanehisicoates #readsoullit

Donna_sBookMinute Can't wait to read this one. I'm picking up a copy at B&N this morning. 3y
Lesliereads @Donna_sBookMinute I'll stay tuned for your impressions. 3y
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TheNextBook
Pickpick

Well, I'm not sure what I was expecting when I first picked this up, but I really enjoyed Coates's writing style. He can weave his storytelling and truth together in such a hypnotic way. His upbringing at the hands of his father, an ex-member of the Black Panthers was so compelling and interesting. His self reflection was very telling and at moments very sad.

BookishFeminist These were some of my exact thoughts after reading this book, especially since I read his second book first. Wasn't sure what to expect but I was so glad/sad to have read it. Loved reading about the printing press his dad set up in their family's basement & the Black Panther history. 3y
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TheNextBook
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The next book on my list is... Almost a full hour in to @DeweysReadathon and I will take a break from King to dive into this memoir by Coates. I've had this one for a while and this is a great opportunity to move it up my TBR pile.

BookishFeminist So good!! You'll love this one and love his new one even more. 3y
TheNextBook @BookishFeminist I've reached the halfway point and I love his writing style. So far so good. 3y
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read_diverse_books
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#booktober Day 3: text-only covers.
I actually have a few more than I expected! But I want to start with very important and always-relevant books by Ta-Nehisi Coates.
Between the World and Me has a gained national acclaim and is being taught across university classrooms, which is fantastic and hopefully encouraging important conversations among young people of all backgrounds.
#diversebooks #books #reading #DiversityMonday #nonfiction

courtney I just got Between the World and Me from the library. It seems like required reading, so I'm ready to get to it and see everything it has to offer and teach. 3y
read_diverse_books @courtney Excellent. Read slowly, savor, and ponder. Hope you enjoy! 3y
smunn On my list! 3y
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saphfyre42
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today was a good mail day... I can call in sick
tomorrow yeah?

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BookishFeminist
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Pickpick

#Recommendsday: If you enjoyed Between the World and Me, you'll enjoy Coates' first memoir. It follows Ta-Nehisi's childhood in Baltimore during the Age of Crack, particularly his relationship w/his father & 6 siblings as he came of age. His father was a philosophical man & Black Panther who founded a publishing company in the family's basement to educate about African culture. Fascinating look at how he came to be the intellectual he is today. 📖

shawnmooney Wow, I didn't know there was an earlier memoir! Thanks for the recommendation! 3y
BookishFeminist @shawnmooney No problem! I didn't know about it either until well after his latest came out. 3y
Books_Wine_Repeat Between the World and Me was such a powerful book. I love his writing. I need to read this. 3y
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Laalaleighh 📚 3y
BookishFeminist @Books_Wine_Repeat I agree- it's a wonderful book. This memoir has a different tone to it but wonderful insight. I loved it as well. 😊 3y
brendanmleonard A great recommendation - been meaning to catch up with this one! 3y
brendanmleonard Also so excited for his novel (that he signed a deal to write). 3y
BookishFeminist @brendanmleonard WHATTTT?! Brendan, you have the best fun book facts. To the Google I go. 3y
Littlerobz I loved this book! I still haven't gotten around to reading Between the World and Me but it's high up on the TBR. 3y
Blaire Didn't know about this one. Read and loved between the world and me. 3y
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LaurenAsh
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Pickpick

I'm not late to Ta-Nehisi Coates; I've had this book on my TBR list since 2011. But shame on me for waiting so long to read him. I am hooked on his beautiful writing.

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brenna
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Pickpick

Finished this one (fourth started, sixth finished of my #24in48 while out catching Pokemon. I loved this as much as BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME. Coates is a masterful storyteller and this book, which focuses on his growing up and his relationship with his father, is funny and moving, political and assertive, and ultimately hopeful and exhilarating. Strongly recommend.

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brenna
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Current listen. It's so good, folks. Where BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME is about Coates and his son, this book is about Coates and his father and the myriad ways his father tried to lift his children out of poverty and teach them the power and truth of the Black experience in America. The narrator is great and I'm loving the stories so far.

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GregoryCass
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Pickpick

While this lacked some of the resonance of Between the World and Me, this is a beautiful memoir. Coates's masterful descriptions capture adolescence and it's confusing mix of motivations perfectly within a larger meditation on growing up black in Baltimore.

GregoryCass This is the second incredible book by an author of color that I have read in as many weeks. For me it's a good reminder that reading is about expanding beyond my own perspective. 3y
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GregoryCass
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Privilege.

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Littlerobz
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"I did not know then that this is what life is - just when you master the geometry of one world, it slips away, and suddenly again, you're swarmed by strange shapes and impossible angles."

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GregoryCass
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"...we grew tired of crumbling under their boots and embraced the Knowledge..."

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tholmz
Pickpick

Beautiful is an accurate word for this incredible book.