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If Beale Street Could Talk
If Beale Street Could Talk | James Baldwin
Like the blues -- sweet, sad and full of truth -- this masterly work of fiction rocks us with powerful emotions. In it are anger and pain, but above all, love -- affirmative love of a woman for her man, the sustaining love of a black family. Fonny, a talented young artist, finds himself unjustly arrested and locked in New York's infamous tombs. But his girlfriend, Tish, is determined to free him, and to have his baby, in this starkly realisitic tale... a powerful endictment of American concepts of justice and punishment in our time.
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GatheringBooks
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#ArtfulAugust Day 8: #Choices Choices indeed from my recent book haul here in ‘Murrica. Too many books, too little time. Full book hunting expedition post now up today: https://wp.me/pDlzr-oyr

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks The struggle is real!! 4mo
Eggs 👏🏻📚🥰 4mo
62 likes2 comments
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Sydneypaige
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This book is a deep romance, and I loved it. Not an easy story, and set alongside the pain of reality as a Black family in the US. But this is a beautiful love story.

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BkClubCare
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“But these days, of course, everybody knows everything, that‘s why so many people so lost.”

vivastory One of my favorite books of the year! 1y
AvidReader25 I love this one! 1y
BkClubCare @vivastory - it sure packs a punch. 1y
BkClubCare @AvidReader25 - hope to see the movie 🎥 soon. 1y
AvidReader25 @BkClubCare They did a wonderful job with it. One of the few times when the movie lives up to the book! 1y
33 likes5 comments
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rjsthumbelina
If Beale Street Could Talk | James A Baldwin
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Pickpick

Brilliant. Beautiful, heartbreaking, lovely. My first James Baldwin, but it won't be my last

And the audiobook, read by Bahni Turpin, is wonderful

#authoramonth

Caterina I really enjoyed this one on audio too! Although of course it made me cry. 😭 1y
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Larkken
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Pickpick

This was my last book of July, and it was a doozie. Having never read Baldwin before, I was surprised at the smooth unveiling of the storyline, how it drifted from past to present seemlessly, and that mix of joy and love and heartbreak he delivered. “If it can get worse, it can get better,“ maybe, but that despair at the end! 😭
#AuthorAMonth

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Caterina
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#20in4 #Readathon starts today and goes thru Tuesday! Thank you, @Andrew65 , for hosting. 😊 I'm gonna try to make some progress on all these books I'm #CurrentlyReading. I don't know how much time I'll have, especially since today I'm chaplain on-call at the hospital, but at least my commute gives me about 3 hours of audiobook time each day! I'll definitely finish the tagged, and it'll definitely break my heart. #20in4Readathon

Andrew65 Good luck, great to have you with us. 😊👍 1y
42 likes1 comment
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rjsthumbelina
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The way James Baldwin writes about pregnancy, you'd think he'd been through it multiple times! I so deeply relate to Tish...This book is so beautiful and heartbreaking. I have less than 1.5 hours left in the audiobook, so I should finish it today.

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rjsthumbelina
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I'm less than 15 minutes into this audiobook, and I already love it so much...

Eggs So good-love the narrator! 1y
rjsthumbelina @Eggs yeah, Bonnie Turpin is pretty much always a good listen. And the character's voice is so strong so far! 1y
rjsthumbelina @Eggs I always misspell her name at first try! - *Bahni 1y
Eggs She is a busy narrator! Does the Angie Thomas books too! @rjsthumbelina 1y
26 likes4 comments
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staci.reads
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Pickpick

Read my first Baldwin novel for #AuthorAMonth. I've read a few short stories & essays previously. It was fantastic - powerful and moving. His writing is so distinctive, almost lyrical and stream-of-consciousness at times. The only thing that bothered me as a reader was writing from a female point of view, some of the thoughts he attributed to Tish & other women didn't feel "true." Especially some of their thoughts about the men. ⬇️ @Soubhiville

staci.reads I continued to remind myself "time and place," so as to try not to use my 2021 lens when considering ability to write female characters. ? 1y
64 likes1 comment
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MrsV
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Pickpick

#AuthorAMonth I can‘t express how maddening this story is. All too often this situation played out this way. I‘m ashamed I put off Baldwin‘s works until now, but so happy to correct this. 5 ⭐️

@Soubhiville

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vlwelser
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Pickpick

This is another beautiful story by James Baldwin. Written nearly 50 years ago, it's still relevant today. Which says something really not good about our society. The #audiobook is read by Bahni Turpin who is always amazing.

#AuthorAMonth with @Soubhiville

#BookSpinBingo square 18
@TheAromaofBooks

Prairiegirl_reading I put this audiobook on hold last summer and when it came in I was pleasantly surprised that Bahni Turpin was the narrator! I loved it too. Still so relevant. Sadly. 1y
TheAromaofBooks Great progress!! 1y
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Addison_Reads
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Pickpick

#BookSpinBingo @TheAromaofBooks #AuthorAMonth2021 @Soubhiville

This book was such a poignant beautiful read that left me broken and fixated on how relevant it still is to today, which also deeply saddened me because as a society I wish we had moved beyond the injustices portrayed in Baldwin's classic.

This is the first book I've ever read by Baldwin and I understand why he is so wildly cherished as an author. His words are powerful.

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 1y
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AmyG
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Fonny is in jail for a crime he didn‘t commit...while Tish, the woman he deeply loves and plans to marry, is pregnant and just trying to survive. A very relevant book...even today. With that said...I just couldn‘t “get into” it. I am tired and just want to read lighter stories. Ha, the happy non-thinking kind.

#authoramonth @Soubhiville

jeff1000 Kindly Text me here .
jeffroland2000@gmail.com
1y
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Skygoddess1
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Mehso-so

Baldwin‘s writing draws you in and you can‘t help but feel for these characters and want for them to be successful in getting Forney out of jail. As much as I enjoyed the story, I found the ending to be really abrupt and that brought down the rating. #AuthorAMonth #BookspinBingo

Deblovestoread I felt the ending was abrupt as well but the more I thought about it I was ok with it. The ending gave me the space to believe that everything is alright which is what I wanted for Fonny and Tish even as unlikely as that ending would be. 1y
TheAromaofBooks Great progress!!! 1y
16 likes2 comments
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Melismatic
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Pickpick

So much of this is beautifully romantic prose - juxtaposed with anger, frustration & pain as a result of racism & police brutality. But the ending admittedly felt pretty jarring. Perhaps that was the point. #AuthorAMonth

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mom2bugnbee
Panpan

I wanted to like this. I did. I'm not a prude, but too much language just isn't my thing. But I was determined to finish it for #Authoramonth. However, as much as I appreciate Mr. Baldwin's contributions to literature, I won't be reading any more.

⭐⭐/⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

AmyG I am reading this now and while I appreciate the story, I am just not “feeling” it. So…I get it. 1y
DivineDiana They must have toned it down for the movie. Because I liked it, and am not a fan of what I consider inappropriate language. 1y
mom2bugnbee @DivineDiana That's good to know! I thought that I might like to watch the movie now, especially since Regina King won an Oscar. 1y
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Bookwormjillk
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Pickpick

This book was so well written. I loved how Baldwin showed us things with his words rather than telling us. The story itself was really sad. I can‘t believe we haven‘t fixed this yet. #AuthorAMonth2021

SamAnne I‘m waiting for my library hold to come in. 1y
BkClubCare I have this! Just hasn‘t made it to top of pile 1y
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Eggs
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Pickpick

Painful and bittersweet story of 19 yo Tish and young sculptor Fonny, the father of her baby. But their true love is interrupted by the wrongful arrest and imprisonment of Fonny for murder. Though it‘s a common theme, unjustified imprisonment is a familiar part of our real world 💔😥. Narrator Bahni Turpin is, as always, awesome 👏🏻
#authoramonth2021 @Soubhiville
#bookspinbingo @TheAromaofBooks

TheAromaofBooks Yay!!! You are whipping through all these Baldwin books!!! 1y
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Simona
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Pickpick

Sad and painful story about racism, and at the same time very tender story about young love/lovers and the meaning of community. Prose is excellent, but the saddest part of this story is how relevant still is … #AuthorAMonth

DivineDiana The movie was excellent. 1y
Simona @DivineDiana I keep seeing good reviews for the movie too. 1y
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Deblovestoread
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#JulyJourneys #JulyTBR

Looking forward to another great bunch of books. Along with these the rest will come off my #BookSpinBingo board. Happy July and happy reading everyone!

Eggs Your July is Booked 👏🏻📚❤️ 1y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks 🙌🏻📚❤️ 1y
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mariaku21
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Pickpick

"If Beale Street Could Talk" is my first James Baldwin book; I was unaware of everything he captured. This could have easily been a book about today's current climate and not something that he had written in 1974 - 1974?!?

This won't be my last James Baldwin, just the first.

#readharder

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AmyG
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#Bookspin July @TheAromaofBooks

I should be back on track for August.

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! Good luck!! 1y
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licia.reads
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Pickpick

Still relevant after almost 50 years. #blitsy #blacklitsy

SamAnne I plan to read in July. 1y
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licia.reads
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licia.reads
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“I look at myself in the mirror.”
#FirstLineFridays @ShyBookOwl

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vivastory
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If Beale Street Could Talk is a dynamic book with a young couple, Tish & Fonny, who seem to be the center of the book. Fonny has been falsely imprisoned & is trying to remain optimistic yet is realistic knowing what justice is like for Black people in America. The other center of the book is the powerful & bitter struggle between Tish & Fonny's families, specifically their mothers. As Joyce Carol Oates wrote in her review of the book👇

vivastory “It affirms not only love between a man and a woman, but love of a type that is dealt with only rarely in contemporary fiction—that between members of a family, which may involve extremes of sacrifice.“ Oh, & did I mention that it's basically a novella? Baldwin was a master of the short prose form. His story “Sonny's Blues“ is one of my fave short stories of all time & with If Beale St he crafted a timeless story about loyalty, love, & justice in 1y
vivastory America. #midyearfaves Day 2 1y
Librariana Fantastic review, Scott! 1y
See All 9 Comments
Lcsmcat Stacked! 1y
vivastory @Lcsmcat Wonderful! I think you'd really like it! 1y
vivastory @Librariana Thanks, Ana! 1y
BarbaraBB I‘ve been eyeing this one for years. I now feel I must really read it. 1y
vivastory @BarbaraBB It's a quick, yet unforgettable, read. I feel pretty certain that you'd really like it 1y
Michael_Gee This is one of my favorites of the year, too. 1y
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vivastory
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Baldwin's book is about Tish & Fonny. At the beginning of the book Tish visits Fonny in prison, where he is serving a sentence for a crime he didn't commit, to tell him that she's pregnant with his child. As Tish & Fonny struggle to remain optimistic they initially take guidance from the #matriarch of each family, who are polar opposites. Whereas Tish's mom is loyal, forgiving & generous, Fonny's mom is suspicious, zealous & mean spirited. 👇

vivastory This is by far one of my favorites of the year. I really should watch the adaptation. I loved Jenkins' Moonlight & his latest-Underground Railroad, which releases this Friday, is easily one of my most anticipated movies of the year. #maycharacters @eggs @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks 2y
Eggs Sounds captivating 👏🏻📚👏🏻 2y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Sounds great!! 2y
68 likes3 comments
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vivastory
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1) The 4 pictured are my favorites so far. The year is only a quarter over. It's going to be a great reading year!!
2) Pre-covid I would occasionally read in outdoor cafes or parks. Looking forward to doing so again.
3) Undecided.
@MoonWitch94 #thoughtfulthursday

MoonWitch94 Thanks for playing 💗💐📚😊🐣 2y
51 likes1 comment
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Michael_Gee
If Beale Street Could Talk | James A Baldwin
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Pickpick

Wow this book. Discussed with my senior living bookclub tonight. Once we got past the language and crazy sex scenes (Fonny‘s parents 😳) we started talking about the meat of the story. One participant described it as a fairy tale love story structure, but where the obstacle is institutionalized racism. It‘s lyrically written, difficult, and powerful.

readordierachel Wow indeed. And I love that description from your participant! Very insightful. 2y
vivastory The pregnancy announcement scene.... 2y
Michael_Gee @vivastory incredible! 2y
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vivastory I think at one point my mouth literally dropped open. I do know that I said Holy Shit at one point. ...but yeah, Baldwin is a master. This is one of my fave books of the year, for sure 2y
SamAnne Haven‘t read this one yet but it is on my list for 2021. 2y
Reggie Awww I loved Tish‘s family. That whole scene with her mother telling Fonny‘s mother what being family is all about. I‘m glad your peeps read the book this time! 2y
Michael_Gee @Reggie I loved them too. The love and support they had for Tish and Fonny was unwavering. Powerful stuff. And yeah, I‘m glad they read the book this time! Lol. Third month in and we had the most participation for this one, though I guess one resident actually threw the book away after reading Fonny‘s parents‘ pillow talk. 😬 2y
Michael_Gee @SamAnne Oh, good! It was on my TBR for years. It‘s a fast read. There aren‘t any chapters so I found myself zooming through. 2y
35 likes8 comments
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KatieDid927
If Beale Street Could Talk | James A Baldwin
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The tagged book comes to mind! An American Marriage as well. My most recent read The Kindest Lie is also about a variety of different kinds of Black love.

#IntegrateYourShelf @ChasingOm @Emilymdxn

MeganAnn Recently read your tagged book and it was fantastic! 😍 I want to watch the movie now 2y
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TiminCalifornia
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Thank you @Chelleo How amazing to come home and find this waiting for me. #bhms #blitsyswap

Chelleo ☺️ you‘re very welcome 2y
SamAnne @Chelleo it made my day too! My partner has become jealous of all the Litsy mail and gift packages I receive... :-) 2y
35 likes2 comments
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vivastory
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Pickpick

What a way to end the month! I was so moved by this I am seriously contemplating a read through of Baldwin's fiction (previously read Another Country & a smattering of short stories) this year. Were there a few issues here & there with it? Probably. But the overall effect is just astonishing & the novel remains unfortunately as topical as when it was initially published. Raw, tender, immediate, lyrical...this is the Baldwin I first experienced👇

vivastory & fell in love with while reading Sonny's Blues which to my mind is one of THE best short stories ever written. I read this AND True Deceiver in one weekend. Luckily I read Wyndham's Chocky in between which was OKAY, otherwise I would have created some sort of bookish wormhole reading 5 star books back-to-back.. (edited) 2y
vivastory Sidenote: I WILL def be watching the movie adaptation of this. Barry Jenkins, I mean, are you kidding me?! But, I probably need a day or two to catch my breath. 2y
AvidReader25 This was one of my favorites last year. The movie was excellent too! 2y
See All 6 Comments
glamhobbit Just gifted this to my mom for her bday! 2y
readordierachel Great review! I think about this book often. 2y
Faibka Nice! I love James Baldwin, adding it to my list! 2y
93 likes2 stack adds6 comments
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vivastory
If Beale Street Could Talk | James A Baldwin
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This book 💙💔

Reggie The mother in here. Especially when she talks to Fonny‘s mother. I just imagine this lioness looking after her own and then some. She‘s the family member we all want. 2y
vivastory @Reggie Completely agree. The scene where Tish announces her pregnancy. I am hard pressed to think of a more dramatic pregnancy announcement scene in a novel. At one point I literally said out loud "Holy shit" ? 2y
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breadnroses
If Beale Street Could Talk | James A Baldwin
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my first baldwin! what beautiful writing. i definitely want to rewatch the movie.

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TrishB
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Pickpick

As relevant today as the 1960s. Are we going backwards?

Smarkies Actually, every book I read of his, I find that the issues highlighted are still relevant today. A sad state of affairs that things have not progressed. 😞 2y
TrishB @Smarkies yes exactly, very sad. 2y
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SaniyyahK
If Beale Street Could Talk | James A Baldwin
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Pickpick

My first Baldwin and I‘m obsessed with his writing!

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Prairiegirl_reading
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Pickpick

This was my first Baldwin and it definitely won‘t be my last. I was blown away by it. Published in 1974 and still so relevant that it makes me really angry but the book itself is just brilliant. Tbh I‘m not sure I know exactly what happened at the end but I know what I want it to mean.
I found this on Libby and immediately put it on hold, when it came in I was pleasantly surprised to find out the narrator is Bahni Turpin! One of my favourites.

SamAnne I just read my first Baldwin this year—The Fire Next Time—and I‘m with you! I wamt to read more! 2y
Prairiegirl_reading @SamAnne I think that will be my next Baldwin. I‘ve had it on audio for a while and never got around to it. It‘s time! 2y
41 likes2 comments
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KatieDid927
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Pickpick

James Baldwin was a genius and this story is beautiful and heartbreaking all at once. Whenever I hear James speak or read his words it always hits me how little has changed. This book could‘ve taken place in 2019.

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kellock
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Pickpick

What a wonderfully written book, poetic almost at times. A story of injustice that could unfortunately have been set now.

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meli.hooker
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"...her face began to change. It became bonier and more private, much more beautiful. Her long narrow eyes darkened with whatever it was they were beginning to see."

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WorldsOkayestStepMom
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Pickpick

This was my first exposure to James Baldwin's writing and I absolutely loved it. He flawlessly changed points of view and the story kept my attention. His writing style is so descriptive and beautiful. I want to read more of his work!

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kellock
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Next up. Seems like a fitting read. Also want to watch the movie.

rockpools Loved this one! 2y
16 likes1 comment
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Romy819
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Juneteenth is a celebration of remembrance,action,celebration for black lives. Happy juneteenth #juneteenth #2nd independence

Maybe I don't cry, but it hurts. ✊🏾
Maybe I won't say, but it feel.✊🏾
Maybe I don't know, but I care.✊🏾

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rockpools
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Pickpick

Now may be the worst/best time to read this. I can‘t get over how it felt so 1960s and so 2020s (published 1974).

A young black man is accused of a crime he didn‘t commit. The story‘s narrated by Tish, his 19-year old girlfriend, while Fonny is in prison awaiting trial. The writing‘s stunning - I could quote from every page- the story‘s heartbreaking but not without hope. Mostly though, it‘s just way more relevant than it should be 45 years on.

TrishB You probably pushed this up the tbr a bit more now 👍🏻 3y
rockpools @TrishB 👍🏻 I hadn‘t read Baldwin before and I now need to read everything, soon! 3y
See All 6 Comments
TrishB I haven‘t read any, but have a couple on my kindle ready! 3y
TheAromaofBooks Great review! 3y
BiblioLitten I have to give Baldwin a try. Great review! 3y
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Angitron
If Beale Street Could Talk | James A Baldwin
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Pickpick

It‘s hard to write about Baldwin‘s work because everything he wrote was just so good! He‘s able to grab hope, joy, frustration, fear and injustice in incredible ways and this book is not exception. Wonderful!

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Mitch
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Heading for heartbreak .... #booktoscreen !

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Mitch
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I missed this when it was in movie theatre‘s so nows my chance! 👍🏼

Leftcoastzen I thought it was really good ! 3y
Mitch @Leftcoastzen 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 3y
readordierachel It's beautifully done 3y
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BittersweetBooks
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But, just remember, love brought you here. If you trusted love this far, don‘t panic now 🖤

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