Okay, okay. My title is little dramatic. I like dramatic titles, sue me. But honestly, I read an advanced copy of “Buck” by M.K.
Asante while at
my job. I always rummage through the mock library for new literature. I never
really look for anything in particular, just something that catches my eye.
This particular book stood out to me: it had no cover artwork. It just said:
And other less important book sale date jargon.
There was no forward. No epilogue. No opening dedication. No author bio. At this time, I had NO idea who this
Asante fellow was. Everything was
just TK (which is “to come” in editor lingo). What in the absolute hell is this
book about? All I know is that I have an affinity for memoirs and books about
urban life. “MK Asante” sounded pretty ethnic to me, so the book seemed like a
win/win. So I grabbed the book off the shelf, flipped to the first page of the
first chapter and skimmed. I couldn't even make it past the first two sentences:
“The fall in Killadelphia. Outside is the color of cornbread and blood.” Yup.
Definitely ethnic. Corn bread?? I was in love immediately. I had to close the
book, stuff it in my bag and jet to the train station. I had to be seated and
comfortable before diving in, because I knew I would quickly be enveloped in
its pages. My commute out of the city is almost two hours. Perfect.
I don’t remember what page I got up to by the time I got off at my stop, but it wasn't very far. I had to force myself to stop. Not because it was bad. Not because I was disinterested or distracted. I was far from it. I needed to wait until I got a highlighter. The language he used in just the first chapter had me creasing pages to remember every point I saw awesome verbiage. I had a lot of creases. And it’s funny. I used to shake my head at people who wrote in their books. For me, anything as permanent as a book should not be defaced. It lowers the value. The book should remain intact, as if it were never even touched. Or so I thought until “Buck.” Now I know how much value it gave my reading experience. I never expected to be getting more intimate with a book and a highlighter than with a man (the struggle is real).