Obama, A Promised Land - Introductions and general

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Obama, A Promised Land - Introductions and general

1timspalding
Redigeret: nov 20, 2020, 1:43pm

Here's a topic to say hello to others reading A Promised Land, and say anything else not related to any particular part of the book and which you don't want to start a new topic for.

I'll go first: I'm the founder of the site, and something a political junkie. I'm pretty far along in the book already--or rather in the audiobook, which Obama himself narrates. As a political junkie, it's a trip down memory lane for me. And I appreciate Obama's peculiar analytical and honest, but reserved, style, which resembles what I remember from Dreams from My Father, read many years ago.

I'll be doing my best to encourage conversation. But I have no great expectations we'll get many members involved. I do hope we can at least center the book itself, not contemporary political arguments. One cannot, of course, really talk about the book without that context, but we aren't going to get anywhere shouting at each other about it.

The starting-of discussion dates are posted on the group, but here they are again:

Monday, November 30. Part One.
Monday, December 7. Part Two and Three.
Monday, December 14. Part Four and Five.
Monday, December 21. Part Six and Seven.

2amanda4242
nov 19, 2020, 1:58pm

While I'm glad to see the return of One LibraryThing, One Book, I can't help but think choosing a book that came out two days ago and has currently been cataloged by fewer than 200 people might not have been the best choice. I'm sure many people will be reading this one in the months ahead, but many more will not be able to participate because they can't afford to buy it and can't get it from the library due to lockdowns or long wait lists.

3timspalding
nov 20, 2020, 6:04am

>2 amanda4242:

We've chosen a variety of books before. The book is huge now—it's already sold around a million copies—so a lot of people are reading. I regret that, as a new book, and a popular one, it may be hard to get for free from the library or at a used bookstore. If anyone feels they can't afford it, let me know privately. If you promise to be helpful in making SantaThing suggestions, I'll see what I can do about getting you a copy.

4krazy4katz
nov 20, 2020, 10:37am

Question: will a date for discussion be posted ahead of time? Or will there be discussion while we are reading the book? I am not sure whether I will join, but I am interested.

5timspalding
nov 20, 2020, 1:43pm

>4 krazy4katz:

I've added in the first message.

6karenmarie
nov 20, 2020, 7:28pm

The book arrived safe and sound yesterday, I was wondering if and when I'd be motivated to start it, and lauralkeet pointed me to this thread. I've starred this thread and hope to get started soon.

Thank you, Tim!

7lauralkeet
nov 20, 2020, 8:49pm

>6 karenmarie: *waves to Karen*
Nice to see you here!

I’m really happy this group read came along— it’s given me the push I needed. Looking forward to the discussion.

8laytonwoman3rd
nov 21, 2020, 9:33pm

I got the audio book through an Audible free trial...downloaded to my Kindle. The volume is a bit low, even at maximum, but I'm going to try to work with it. Listening to Mr. Obama read it himself is just too good to miss. I will probably eventually buy a hard copy. I'm not sure whether I'll be able to keep up with the schedule here, as it's hard to find quiet time to listen (I hate earbuds...don't even suggest it!) but I'm looking forward to the discussion as well.

9timspalding
nov 21, 2020, 10:35pm

>8 laytonwoman3rd:

I've been listening to the audiobook. Some authors can't read their own work, but politicians are professional speakers, so it works. Gaiman is then best author/reader, though.

10abergsman
Redigeret: nov 24, 2020, 8:45am

I found this group read via Litsy, and would love to join in. I am also a self-ascribed political junkie, attended the 2012 DNC, and volunteered on the 2012 Obama campaign. I also attended both the Inauguration and Inaugural Ball. I've been waiting on this book since the day he left office!

I have both the book and audiobook, and plan on doing both print/audio concurrently.

I probably won't be able to keep up with this schedule, as I plan on taking my time. I just started last night.

11laytonwoman3rd
nov 24, 2020, 8:47am

Happy to report that my husband's wi-fi headphones work very well with my Kindle, so listening is going much better.

>10 abergsman: I hope you'll share your unique perspective as you go along...that should make this all even more interesting!

12jessibud2
nov 24, 2020, 8:53am

I also have the hard copy but had hoped to follow on the audiobook - still waiting for it from the library. I have listened to him read me all his previous books. I am quite sure I won't be able to keep up with the schedule here as I am not a fast reader. But I still look forward to the discussions.

In case anyone might be interested, there was a wonderful (if somewhat long-ish) interview on cbc radio yesterday morning with Barack Obama, his only Canadian one. Matt Galloway, host of the national program called The Current, interviewed him. When Matt asked him what he missed about his former gig, I LOVED his answer. He said, the mental challenge of solving really difficult problems. SO MUCH was UNsaid in that statement, ie, that the current resident is not only NOT solving any problems but he is incapable of any *mental challenge* that involves words of more than 2 syllables, not to mention *wanting* to actually put in the work. Eek. Anyhow, it was a terrific interview.

Here is the link. Worth the listen:

https://www.cbc.ca/radio/thecurrent/obama-the-current-trump-biden-1.5809468

Oh, and I actually teared up at the musical surprise near the end!

13lauralkeet
nov 24, 2020, 9:19am

Like others, I might be challenged to keep up with the schedule. This week is the lightest: 80 pages by Monday. I've really enjoyed what I've read so far and expect to finish Part 1 in time. But the rest of the schedule requires more than doubling the reading pace, and I'll be reading other books at the same time. We'll see how it goes.

14JulieW121
nov 24, 2020, 4:25pm

I can't wait for this book....I have it on hold, the audio. Like Michele's book - the sound of his voice is soothing and calm for me!

15kidzdoc
nov 25, 2020, 9:59pm

I bought a copy of A Promised Land from an airport bookshop this morning, so I'll join in this group read. Hopefully I can keep up after this current week.

16kristilabrie
nov 26, 2020, 2:07pm

I just started listening to the audiobook last night! I might be a little off on the reading schedule, but we'll see.

As for intros: I've been with LibraryThing for over 6 years now doing member support for both LibraryThing and TinyCat, and I love the intelligent bookish discussions we hold here. In my private life, I'm a certified personal trainer, a wife of 3 years to a drummer and restaurant manager, a mom of a boisterous little 19-month old boy named Finn (Finnegan), and I love food, gardening, knitting in the winters, and soaking up as much sunshine as I can in the New England summers.

Looking forward to the discussions!

17jessibud2
nov 30, 2020, 7:08am

>2 amanda4242: - Just for what it's worth, I bought my copy at Costco, at nearly half the cover price. It was a surprise to me to even find it there, and at that price! I was on the wait list at the library for both hard copy and audiobook. I cancelled my hold for the hard copy and the library doesn't yet have the audiobook in its system. I had really wanted to do them simultaneously as I have listened to Obama read me all his other books on audio even while owning the hard copies, but that isn't going to happen quite like that this time. No matter. I will do my best to try to keep to the schedule here but even if that doesn't happen, I am sure I'll enjoy the discussions. It's not like there will be spoilers....

18booksbound2plz
nov 30, 2020, 3:02pm

Have started reading A Promise Land and I particularly liked Mrs. Obama commenting something like "How are you going to get this all done - do you have magic beans or something?"

19kristilabrie
dec 1, 2020, 10:15am

>18 booksbound2plz: I cracked out with laughter at that excerpt. I've laughed out loud a few times, actually. Good read so far.

20lauralkeet
dec 1, 2020, 11:26am

>18 booksbound2plz: the best part about that quip is that he references it again later (p. 54)

21laytonwoman3rd
dec 1, 2020, 11:54am

>20 lauralkeet: "Magic beans, Baby....magic beans"---I love it.

22weird_O
dec 1, 2020, 12:02pm

Finally found this thread and I'm in, somewhat hesitantly. I do have the book. Nothin' to it but to read it. Oh my.

23JackieHay
dec 3, 2020, 8:39pm

I loved reading Michelle Obama's memoir, Becoming. I'm a little behind the schedule but I hope to catch up with this group! It is so interesting to get a deeper look into how Barack Obama started his career in politics.

24Berly
dec 5, 2020, 12:56pm

Hoping I find a copy of this book under the Christmas tree and then I'll catch up.