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Wouldn't Take Nothing for My Journey Now Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; Reissue edition (October 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553569074
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553569070
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 4.4 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #73,543 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This inspiring collection of essays was a 25-week PW bestseller.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

YA-Morality, manners, friendships, and love are a sampling of the subjects covered by renowned playwright and poet. Students will contemplate the art of the essay as well as the wisdom of the woman in these pithy, candid pieces that are taken from her own experiences. Funny, sad, or poignant, they all make a plea for tolerance and understanding. Angelou's command of the English language is exceeded only by her love of humanity.
Jackie Gropman, Kings Park Library, Burke, VA
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

More About the Author

Maya Angelou has been waitress, singer, actress, dancer, activist, filmmaker, writer and mother. As well as her autobiography she has written several volumes of poetry, including 'On the Pulse of the Morning' for the inauguration of President Clinton. She now has a life-time appointment as Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University in North Carolina.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Maya Angelou is a timeless treasure, and so is this book.
Jacqui Mueller
This is a very well written and thought provoking collection of life lessons.
Sarah
I read this book for the first time on vacation in Jamaica.
Amy Buchenau

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Mazza HALL OF FAME on January 30, 2001
Format: Paperback
"Wouldn't Take Nothing for My Journey Now" is a delightful collection of short prose writings by Maya Angelou. Most of the mini-essays in this book are only 2 or 3 pages long, making this a good selection for those whose hectic schedules force them to do their reading in "found moments" during the day. In the book Maya reflects on various topics: spirituality, style, travel, sensuality, and being a woman. Many of the selections contain autobiographical reminiscences.
As someone who has read Angelou's book-length autobiographical narratives and poetry collections, I was fascinated to see her writing in a different mode. In "Wouldn't Take Nothing" she reflects on some of the people of her life: her son, her grandmother, her voice teacher, and others. Her musings on spirituality have an inclusive, multi-faith flavor.
Some of Angelou's observations may seem a bit obvious. For example, in the opening mini-essay she declares, "Being a woman is hard work." But what may obvious to some may be a revelation to others, and Angelou doesn't shy away from reaching out to that second group. And throughout the book her writing is graced with moments of wit and passion.
In the essay entitled "Power of the Word," Angelou writes, "I'm a spring leaf trembling in anticipation." I have no doubt that this appealing collection will leave readers trembling with anticipation for Maya Angelou's next book.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Rosemary Thornton VINE VOICE on June 2, 2000
Format: Audio Cassette Verified Purchase
One of the most memorable stories on this audio cassette (and in the book as well) is where Maya tells what her Mama (grandmother) would do when a known-whiner would come into their general store in Stamps, Arkansas.
Mama would call for Maya, saying, "Sister, come over here." When the "whiner" came in, Mama would ask them "How are you doing?" and the whiner would launch into a lengthy complaint about the weather and work and other things.
After this whiner left the store, Mama would turn to Maya and say "Sister, nobody likes to listen to someone who whines and complains..." and she'd tell Maya that there were lots of people - black and white, rich and poor - who went to bed last night and never woke up this morning, who'd give almost anything to have one more day of work or one more day in the summer's heat.
And the summation - "Sister, if you don't like something, change it. And if you can't change it, change the way you think about it."
This is a powerful book/audio tape. And it is narrated by Maya Angelou, which makes it even more of a treasure.
I'd highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to improve the way they think about life.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Sheri E. Barnes on March 10, 2006
Format: Paperback
I tend to borrow books from the library and use my limited funds to purchase only those that truly help me grown in some way. This book is one of those. I bought it before I had to return the library's copy. It is a small, easy-to-read book whose simplicity belies its wisdom and power. I have harvested some of that wisdom to assist me in conveying lessons and messages to others. Most recently, I used the essay "Death and the Legacy" as a reading for meditation at my grandma's memorial last month. My reading of that powerful piece inspired my cousin to read this anthology and to ask me for more Angelou recommendations. The essay that speaks most to me, however, is "New Directions," which I use to teach a seminar to people living with HIV. It is an inspiring essay which points out that we have "the right and the responsibility" to step off paths which are not working for us. What a great message of personal accountability! This is truly a wonderful book--my favorite among many Angelou books that I love.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Margaret Magnus on May 14, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is my favorite of the books I've read in which Maya Angelou sits around contemplating life, though it's perhaps not the most representative of her work. For the moment she sets aside her intellectual self, her history, her issues -- anything by which you might identify her as anything but a fellow member of the human race. In this book you're left with the essential Maya -- the wise woman with the great heart and the steady mind who speaks out from timeless space. It's an easy read, and life feels better when you're done. And if you're at the end left in doubt whether she's also a world-wise and savvy intellect, then anything else she has written will put your doubts to rest.
I love Maya Angelou.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 2, 1999
Format: Paperback
1 easy chair, sofa, or bed - 1 set of comfy clothes - 1 cup of something hot - 1 rainy, lazy weekend afternoon - 1 copy of Wouldn't Take Nothing For My Journey Now - Put on comfy clothes (or stay in pajamas) - Take hot cup of cocoa, coffee, tea, etc. - Curl up with book (getting out of bed optional) - Open book and prepare to be taught, inspired, and moved by these brief, but thought-provoking, writings of Maya Angelou, who always seems to know just how to touch the spirit.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Morrigan Alexandros VINE VOICE on July 24, 2008
Format: Paperback
"Wouldn't take nothing for my journey now" is a series of short essays by Maya Angelou on a myriad of topics such as pregnancy, self-worth, style, death, friends, family, racism and many other topics.

This books is amazing, I could not put it down. In a couple of hours I was done with the book, and by the end I felt so much better. It is both uplifting and full of wisdom and advice. It is the type of book that you read with a highlighter, make notes and show to friends. The type of book that you quote and say "But, of course" this makes sense.

As another reviewer mentioned, some of the things she writes about are self-evident, but sometimes we need a reminder, something that tells us "go on". This book does just that.

The essays are so varied that more than one is bound to hit close to home. Her advice in each essay is advice that comes from experience and the wisdom that has come from that experience. She writes like a woman who has lived a lot, pondered a lot and has resolved some basic things as her truth.

When talking about womanhood, she borrows a bit from Shakespeare and says "A rose by any other name may smell as sweet," and then adds "but a woman called by a devaluing name will only be weakened by the misnomer" About death she writes that she "seems at peace with the idea that a day ill dawn when I will not longer be among those living in this valley of strange humors" and that she is capable of accepting this but "unable to accept the death of anyone else." She then launches onto a empathic discourse about the death of a loved one.

Each essay is full of wisdom and advice and this is something that everyone should read. It is also a great present to give.
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