I knew the Frederick Douglass book was short, but I never expected I would finish it that quickly! Less than four hours. That's got to be a record for me. It's easy now with so many other slave memoirs and other works that came afterward (Twelve Years a Slave, Uncle Tom's Cabin) to overlook the power this book would have had in 1845. The Abolition movement was just gathering significant steam, slavery was still hotly defended across the country, and general emancipation was by no means a certainty, and wouldn't be for another 20 years. Douglass chronicles his life from early childhood through his marriage after escaping to New York, and plainly relates the hardships of slave life. Even when things are relatively good, things are still bad. He also gives us a glimpse into the mind of the slave, and sheds light on our confusion today as to why more slaves didn't revolt or escape. I'm now more interested than ever to read the recent David W. Blight biography of Douglass, to see if there is a more in-depth discussion of mentalities, as well as to fill in details Douglass left out, such as how he actually escaped (he left this out because there were living people who could be affected by his telling it, but he also didn't want to cut off anyone still enslaved from escaping).


2. That old black magic: A paranormal novel. The Ocean at the End of the Lane - Neil Gaiman
7. Doorstoppers: A book more than 600 pages. Mexico - James Michener
13. Learn the Quadrille: A regency romance. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
14. Crossing the (color) lines: A book about a person of color (PoC), any variety, written by an author of the same variety. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave - Frederick Douglass Done 1/14/19
17. Back in the day: A historical of any genre. My Name is Red - Orhan Pamuk
19. Support the home team: A book by a fellow AWer. A Dangerous Fiction - Barbara Rogan
24. Down on the farm: A book featuring farmers, agriculture, or taking place in an agrarian setting. Charlotte's Web - E. B. White
27. Halcyon days: A bestseller or book published the year you turned 21. The English Patient - Michael Ondaatji
29. You might also like. . .: A book recommended by someone real, or by a bot. Where the Crawdads Sing - Delia Owens
33. Happy days are here again: A book published between 1945 and 1960. Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury
37. Read it again, Sam: Reread a book you have already read. Freedom - Jonathan Franzen Done 1/14/19
43. Still time for more chapters: A memoir/biography by/about someone who’s still alive (as of January 1). Educated - Tara Westover