SJBC – Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward

A few month’s ago the internet birthed a funky cool little group reading big important thought provoking books. You can click over to Entomology of a Bookworm and get the whole back story of the Social Justice Book Club (who doesn’t love an origin story?).

This month the Social Justice Book Club is reading Jesmyn Ward’s Men We Reaped and I’m all in. I have my copy and ready to get started. I have no idea what to expect, but based on the SJBC’s past picks, this will be a worthwhile read.

Men We Reaped

Most of the folks reading Men We Reaped are doing an introductory post. So I hope this post qualifies.

1. Where do you plan on discussing this book the most?
I’ll probably be the most chatty here on my blog, though I am on Twitter and follow the #sjbookclub hashtag there. Also, I will definitely find a conversation and talk about it on LibraryThing.

2. Where in the world are you reading?
I am in Birmingham, Alabama.

3. Why did you decide to join in on the reading and/or discussion of this book?
This is the first SJBC choice that I have not already read and I’m ready to give it a go. Most of the ‘social justice’ books I pick up tend to be analytical and history driven. Not dry, just rooted squarely in cause/effect and pattern issues. Men We Reap sounds to be a very personal story, which is a welcome change from what I’ve been reading.

4. What, if anything, are you most looking forward to about this book?
I can say with 100% certainty that I would not have picked up this book browsing on my own. Ward’s experience sounds horrific and I want to hear her first-hand account of what’s happening around the country.

8 thoughts on “SJBC – Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward”

  1. I’m pretty active on LibrayThing too. I do most of my chatting in the 75 group, though. Looking forward to reading this book with you!

    1. I’m always excited to meet another LibraryThinger. I’ve never checked out the 75-ers group. Reading is a true superpower for you guys. They seem to have an interesting mix of folks for this book. The discussion should be a good one. Have a good weekend!

  2. Hello! I’m joining the SJBookclub for the first time. Looking forward to hearing what you think of the book!

    1. Good to meet another first timer. Maybe they’ll go easy on us newbs. I’ve followed the conversations on past books and they really seem like a super-bright bunch. I may wind up doing more lurking than chatting. We’ll see. Hope you enjoy the group.

  3. Glad you’re joining us! I’m curious why you say you wouldn’t have otherwise picked this book up — is it because it’s the more personal approach to non-fiction instead of the analytical/academic (and I don’t use academic to mean dry, because I’ve read plenty of “academic” books that are anything but!). Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this one as we read on!

    1. Thanks for stopping by the blog! I’ve felt burned a couple times by a couple “personal approach” books I’ve read. The topics were interesting, but the $28 book was really just a glorified blog post and probably would have been better served as such. I lay this blame fully as the book editor’s feet. When a book is 300 pages long, but only holds 30 pages of real original writing everything else feels like padding and cheapens it for me. So I’ve shied away from similar books. This is why I was so pleased your group picked this one. I feel it comes with a little bit of ‘cred’ and I am really looking forward to reading everyone’s thoughts on it.

      1. Oh, interesting. I can totally see what you mean (I feel like I’ve read several social psychology and business books that fit the same category — would have been great long-form essays, but didn’t warrant a full book). I don’t read a whole lot of memoir, so I think I’ve mostly avoided that conundrum in this genre, but I absolutely feel your frustration on books that don’t need to be books. Here’s to hoping this one is much more than that!

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