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Month in review

Reviews
American Road Narratives: Reimagining Mobility in Literature and Film by Ann Brigham
Author: A True Story by Helen Lester
The Big Roads by Earl Swift
Bull by David Elliott
Chopping Spree by Diane Mott Davidson
The Genius of Birds by Jennifer Ackerman
Giant Days, Volume 4 by John Allison, Max Sarin, and Whitney Cogar
Hannah and the Homunculus by Kurt Hassler
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Hilda and the Stone Forest by Luke Pearson
I Am Not Sidney Poitier by Percival Everett
I Say Tomato by Katie Wall
Instructions by Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess
Jem and the Holograms, Volume 3: Dark Jem by Kelly Thompson
The Long Cosmos by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter
Lucky Boy by Shanthi Sekaran
Lunch Lady and the Field Trip Fiasco by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
Mayday by Karen Harrington
The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break by Steven Sherrill
Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1: No Normal by G. Willow Wilson
National Audubon Society Guide to Landscape Photography by Tim Fitzharris
Needled to Death by Maggie Sefton
Noragami Volume 03 by Adachitoka
Over the Ocean by Taro Gomi
Red Hook Road by Ayelet Waldman
Skybreaker by Kenneth Oppel
Ten Things We Did by Sarah Mlynowski
Tip of the Tongue by Patrick Ness
Triangle by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen
Tru & Nelle by G. Neri
The White Road of the Moon by Rachel Neumeier

Miscellaneous
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (July 03)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (July 10)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (July 24)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (July 31)
June 2017 Reading Report June 2017 Reading Sources

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



I Am Not Sidney Poitier: 07/31/17

I Am Not Sidney Poitier  by Percival Everett

I Am Not Sidney Poitier by Percival Everett is the story of a young black man endowed with the name Not Sidney Poitier and his apparent resemblance to the actor. His mother having believed in cable television in its earlier days, invested her entire nest egg wise in Ted Turner's venture, leaving Not Sidney and incredibly wealthy young man — and Ted Turner forever in his debt.

It's a strange set up but it works. The story told in a dreamy first person reminds me of Big Fish (both the book by Daniel Wallace) and the film (2003). There is also a transformative quality to Not Sidney, one that reminds me of a singleton Being John Malkovich (1999).

Early on in the novel, Not Sidney, having moved to Atlanta to live with Ted Turner, decides to go home to Los Angeles. He decides to drive and for a moment I really did expect the book to embrace a Big Fish quest, though done as a road trip. Not Sidney, though, is traveling while black and barely makes it out of Atlanta before he's pulled over and jailed and sent to work on a chain gang.

The jail and chain gang adventure, though, is just one of many in Not Sidney's life. He is a black everyman, and his experiences are the extreme examples of what is possible.

He is even able to transcend his existence as a character in a novel, as demonstrated by his time in college, where he takes a literature class from Percival Everett. Though he is Everett's creation, living in one of his worlds, Not Sidney can't make heads or tails of his lectures or his books.

It's an odd book with an odd protagonist but definitely a memorable one.

Four stars

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