This is a post in my 50 Nifty series, in which I’m reading through 50 books that embody each of the 50 United States. Find out why I’m doing this and which books I’m reading when (so you can read along) by checking out my first 50Nifty post, or else browse all 50Nifty posts by clicking here!
Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston
I’ve read this twice (both times in the past 8 years) and loved it both times, but (mostly due to time constraints) didn’t re-read it last week. It’s the kind of book you’d like to sit with for a couple of hours at a time to fully immerse yourself in Hurston’s beautiful writing. There’s a pull to enter the world of Janie and stay there for a while.
Instead of reading it, I checked out the movie (made-for-TV?) version a couple of weeks ago, as I’d never seen it. Considering my love for the book, my expectations were high, and that’s a great way to set yourself up for disappointment. I was so bored during most of it that I did a couple loads of laundry, straightened my entire living room, and caught up on a magazine while watching. After my viewing, I better realized how much the actual language and writing in the book adds to the experience of the story for me. So, please DON’T watch the movie instead of reading the book on this one.
I must say, though, that both the book and the movie version beautifully captured images of Florida, so I fully support this as the Sunshine State’s addition to the 50Nifty list. In fact, several people have actually guessed that this would be Florida’s book when I’ve explained the project to them, and I’m happy to endorse the designation.