Spade’s Reading Circle

ImageWhen I started reading the selections for my group’s reading group, I was excited about the prospects of reading fluff (not used in a degrading way…just not academic writings).  I wanted to do some pleasure reading that I abandoned back in September.  And the selections delivered.  In fact, I was slightly disappointed when I finished them (in one night!).  I am going to touch on each of the readings briefly with some of my initial thoughts.

Ryan Andrews:  This was Our Pact

This was the first piece that I read and I REALLY liked it.  I have a soft spot for graphic novels, so I try to read them whenever I have the opportunity.  This particular story brings up a lot of questions for me.  What was under the bridge when the boys were watching the lanterns?  Did they forget their past lives?  How much of this should I take at face value?  I am excited to talk with others about this story (not to mention the illustrations!)

Zora Neale Thurston: Sweat

This was the next story that I read.  I’ve read only one of Thurston’s books (Their Eyes were Watching God) when I was in high school.  I don’t remember too much about it, so I was interested in reading something else by her.  This story was very provocative.  I couldn’t stop reading it once I started and it stayed with me long after I finished it.  I have a similar experience when I watch Mad Men.  I believe it is because this story (and Mad Men) address women’s rights, roles and oppression; something I feel very passionate about.  The characters in Sweat are very well constructed.  In fact, I was surprised by how excited (and a little pleased) I was when Sykes died.  I look forward to hearing my peers discuss the characters and the imagery.

Paul Flowers: A Tale of a Snake’s Tail

Another snake story!  I was wondering if there was an animal theme in our stories.  This one was fun.  I reminded me a little of the film Closely Watched Trains with its obvious reference to trains but also the surreal story line.  I like the idea of a snake communicating through the use of Morse Code.  One thing that I found somewhat disturbing was the image of a rattlesnake lapping up milk.  Kind of gives me the chills.

James Baldwin: The Story of Atalanta

I’ve read a number of legends and fairy tales.  This particular story follows similar paths.  I was happy to see a female heroine that didn’t follow in the traditional steps of princesses and helplessness.  However, I didn’t feel like the characters were all that developed.  I really didn’t care that much about them, so when some died I didn’t care too much.  However, there is a lot in this story in terms of cultural values and themes to talk about.  I want to hear what others got out of it.

I am really excited about this assignment and I sort of wish we did this more often in classes.


About mainvils

I am a first year UMSI graduate student specializing in LIS and Preservation of Information.
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