Badkittyuno reviewed this one and I immediately put it on my to read, and then picked it up at my first chance from Audible. American Like Me is a collection of 32 stories about what being American, whether they call themselves American enthusiastically, reluctantly, or not at all. Some of the authors have written previously, others have not, but America Ferrera gathered a wide variety of voices to capture a breadth of experiences. This book is full of the stories about life between cultures. The authors are actors, athletes, politicians, and artists. They are also immigrants themselves or the children and grandchildren of immigrants, indigenous people, regardless they are people who grew up with personal connections to more than one culture.
I listened to this quickly, and then reviewed it slowly – I suggest you do the opposite. There is a lot of similarity amongst the stories, not in tone or delivery but in their hearts, and for me some stories blurred together because of it. There were a few stand-outs, that I remember now a month later: Issa Rae and Randall Park especially. They bring both a personal warmth and their natural comedic natures to their chapters, but they also dig deeply into their personal stories even if it doesn’t necessarily feel that way at first glance. Park in particular approaches his in such a light-hearted manner that its more serious undertones take time develop.
The most important part for me in this was that each story had some component that rang true to my own lived experience, my own times along the boundaries of what make me American, and it is always going to come back to the variety of components that make up this life.