Thursday, July 28, 2011

Book 97: Their Eyes Were Watching God and Book Stats.

Title: Their Eyes Were Watching God
Author: Zora Neale Hurstone (1891-1960)

First Published: 1937
My Edition: Harper Perennial Modern Classics (pictured at right)
Pages: 219

Other Works Include: Color Struck (1925), Jonah's Gourd Vine (1935), Moses, Man of the Mountain (1939)

I had originally picked this one up back in April at the end of the last read-a-thon. I got 30 pages into it, set it down on the nightstand, and it was eventually buried by the million other things I had to read in the meantime.

In a cleaning spree the other night, I uncovered it and felt immediately guilty. I hadn't set it aside because I disliked it...I just....forgot about it. And I blame that on the sickness that came over me back in April.

But I am excited to finally get back into this one and give it the attention that it deserves. I really loved those first 30 pages, so we'll see where this takes me this time around.

One thing I do want to say is that my edition has one of those reader's guides in the back. Now, normally I am okay with extras included in books. I like reading old introductions, criticisms, notes, etc, but for some reason, reader's guides irritate the crap out of me. I feel like the publishers are telling me how I SHOULD be interpreting the novel and how to think about it. I don't like that kind of pressure. Anyone else feel this way? Or am I just usual? (it is also possible that I am a book snob. I can own that for once, I suppose).


  1. I feel like I have read this book, but I'm fuzzy on the details. It's probably one I need to revisit, too.

  2. Reader's guides don't bother me. For a second I thought there was something wrong with me: *should* they bother me? Then I realized they don't bother me because there's no way I'd be swayed to think like the author just because of a reader's guide. I sometimes read them just to get a different swing on the novel. It has actually never occurred to me to think like the guide says I should. Interesting notion that they irritate you. Maybe you're thinking of new readers entering the novels, becoming swayed? The teacher in you? I wonder how readers many get irritated, and how many are more like me (skim the guide and don't feel much either way about it)?

  3. Hm, now that I'm thinking on it, I am getting kind of irritated! :-)

  4. They dont really bother me. I just don't -read- them. I do love to use the occational Spark Notes when reading the B&N editions of the Classics or any other Classic that may have them

  5. I loved this book. It's so beautifully written. It's one of those ones where you can't stop thinking in the dialect of the book.
    I don't mind reader's guides but I don't read them until I've read the book and made my own mind up. Then I read the guide and see if they got it right! :)

  6. I just ignore Reader's guides. I read this novel last year, and although I liked it, it din't have the impact I was expecting. Looking forward to your views on it.

  7. I received a free copy of this book several years ago from the library. It was a part of some adult reading program, but I never read it so I didn't go to the discussion. The book still sits on my shelf unread. I think I'll have to remedy that!

    I find the reading guides to be rather insulting. Any reader, book group moderator, or high school teacher/college professor should be able to formulate discussion questions or a lead a general discussion without the publisher providing questions. I just ignore the guides.

    Grace at Feeding My Book Addiction

  8. I need to read this book soon! It's been languishing on my shelves for too long. Hope you enjoy it!