I was speaking with a co-worker yesterday about books. When I first meet someone I usually try to gage if they love books like me and there fore if I can be their friend. Sometimes I ask directly, other times I mention that I went to the library on the weekend or bought a new book. Usually I can quickly find out who loves books...because they usually want to talk about them as much as I do.
While talking with my co-worker, I mentioned that I was currently reading "Jazz" by Toni Morrison. We began discussing African-American literature and what we had read. This got me thinking about the African-American/Canadian literature that I had read in my life and how it has affected me. When I was 15, I read "Native Son" by Richard Wright for the first time. (Check out Amazon.com for a review) I don't recall all the details of the book or really remember why it affected me so much - but what I do remember is how I felt after I read it. I felt as if I had seen something new - something not very pleasant but something I had never seen before. It made me look at the world differently. It sounds cheesy but it did change my life. I think that reading novels about other peoples experiences can open a persons mind and help readers understand other cultures a bit more.
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