"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Friday Quotes and review of THE NICKEL BOYS

Book Beginnings on Friday is hosted by Rose City ReaderShare the opening quote from the book.
e Friday56 is hosted at Freda's VoiceFind a quote from page 56.

The book I am currently reading (with a summary and review):

Title: The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

Book Beginnings: Prologue--- 
Even in death the boys were trouble
Friday 56: 
He'd started his day in his old life and ended it here.
Summary: Elwood Curtis and his grandmother live in Tallahassee, Florida in the early 1960s. Elwood's most prized possession is a recording of one of Martin Luther King, Jr's speeches. In fact the ideals on that recording may have been part of Elwood's undoing. On the day that Elwood is set to start taking classes at a black college, he is caught up in an innocent mistake. Justice for blacks isn't justice and Elwood is sentenced to a juvenile detention center called the Nickel Academy. It is touted as a place for moral, physical, and intellectual development but actually it is place of unimaginable horrors, both physical and sexual. Boys who do not toe the line are severely punished, often killed. Elwood goes in to Nickel Academy quite naive but learns quickly to be wary and guarded. He makes one friend, Turner, who is much more worldly and skeptical than Elwood. Can the boys protect each other and make it out of Nickel alive?

Review: My husband and I listened to The Nickel Boys on audiobook on a recent road trip. I honestly had to turn off the audio player several times to take a break from the on-going horror. I knew that this book was based on an actual juvenile detention facility that operated in Florida for over 100 years, closing some time in the 1980s. And here is the thing. It suddenly hit me that I wasn't expecting a good ending. When I discussed this with my husband he said that may be one of the unidentified aspects of racism--- that even fictional accounts which involve people of color don't necessarily end on a good note. In fact, perhaps one comes to expect the opposite. Colson Whitehead is an excellent writer and his topics are red-hot. I am so grateful that he is sharing his skills at both research and writing with the world.

(RHS Book Club selection for Oct. 2019)


  1. I've just started hearing buzz about this one. I still have guilt that I haven't read The Underground Railroad!

    1. If you pick one, I like The Underground Railroad better. But it involves magical realism.

  2. I'm so drawn in, especially with that beginning! I added you to the linky. Happy weekend!

  3. Compelling excerpts. I've got this book in my queue.

  4. I'm sick just thinking about Nickel Academy. I haven't read any of Whitehead's work, but I hear it is outstanding. I will definitely be looking for this one. It sounds like a worthwhile read. Have a great weekend, Anne.

  5. Sounds quite intense. I was interested to hear your thoughts on it.


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