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February 16, 2023


#BlackHistoryMonth Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois

by NancyElin


The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers Honorée Fanonne Jeffers

Genre: novel
Rating: D-
Review: The Love Songs of W.E.B Du Bois (ISBN:9780008516482)

Good news: During 2023 I am going to concentrate on reducing the number of books on my Kindle. That is why I’m going to give ANY book on my TBR a chance. This looked like a good place to start for #BHM.

Bad news: This book is 300 pages too long… it sacrifices depth for breadth. I just could not finish it. So disappointed because I saw many rave reviews…(Oprah’s Book Club).

Personal: Undaunted by the introduction (HUGE family trees of several families)…I pushed on. While the first half of the book was interesting (1960s-1990s)… it became repetitious and felt like a long soap opera once the youngest (Ailey) was off to college. I made it to 50% mark…then was tired of the melodrama in the Garfield family (Coco, Lydia and Ailey). Lesson learned: Any book 800+ pages…I must read the reviews (score 2 and 1) before buying the book!! Once again…many people loved this book about a multigenerational Black American family…so you will have to read it for yourself and decide.

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8 Comments Post a comment
  1. Feb 16 2023

    I have this on my TBR – I often enjoy a nice long epic story, but I do have to be in the mood for it. Sorry it didn’t quite make it for you.

    • Feb 16 2023

      The book didn’t agree with me…too long. So many family members criss-crossing the narrative left me confused and later uninterested.
      The book has gotten rave reviews…but sometimes I just don’t see what others have seen! C’est la vie! Thanks for your comment!

  2. Feb 16 2023

    Yes, I agree one has to be in the mood for this length of read. I bought this for a friend and she loved it, I started it on the kindle and couldn’t get into the narrative voice, I put it aside. Now I’m unsure whether to give it another go or focus on what feels more like my style. I’m reluctant given my initial impression, because now there’s a feeling of dread that comes with it.

  3. Feb 16 2023

    Claire, give the book a chance…and you did. If the book doesn’t grab my attention in the first 100/200 pages (b/c book is 800 pages long!) I tend to skim…or mark it as DNF. There are so many other books that are worth reading for #BlackHistoryMonth! Blood in the Water (Heather Ann Thompson)…then The New Jim Crow (Michelle Alexander) Just Mercy (B. Stevenson) are excellent choices!

  4. Feb 22 2023

    I couldn’t get into this one either and felt really guilty about it, as so many people have loved it and it seems such an important book. And I’m no stranger to a long intergenerational book, either: I read Roots!!

    • Feb 22 2023

      So glad you commented… it helps me come to terms with “not liking this novel ‘…at least somebody else had difficulty with it!

      • Feb 22 2023

        Yes, and I’m glad you said that in the first place!! It’s particularly bad when one is committed to diverse reading and sharing diverse books and then really doesn’t get on with something, isn’t it!

  5. Feb 22 2023

    Diverse books especially for Black History Month are important to read…but after reading 4- 5 this year….I need a break.


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