The cool thing about being an English major, or maybe just an avid lover of books in general, is that even if you haven’t read a certain book, you probably know a few things about: what the cover looks like, what the book is about, various people’s opinions on it, and sometimes even the decade/century/year of publication. Upon reading the news of today’s post, I couldn’t help but recall the story behind my first encounter with the book.

Sometimes when I tell guys that I like to read (and/or write), if they’re interested they’ll try to connect by announcing some book that they’re reading or that they’ve read recently. Well, while riding a train from the airport in Atlanta (a long time ago), a guy struck up a conversation with me and pulled out Ben Carson’s Gifted Hands. I did what I always do when somebody hands me a book. I looked at the cover, read the back summary, and asked for an opinion. I don’t remember the guys face or what else we talked about, but I remember that book. Never read it. Never purchased it . . . but I know the book.

I wonder why they decided to update Carson’s cover. When I searched for the book online, I thought to myself, that ain’t the cover that I remember! All that to say this:

Cuba Gooding Jr. has been cast as the lead in “Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story,” a TNT original movie based on a memoir by the real-life neurologist, reports Reuters. Due in the first quarter of 2009, the film will trace Carson’s journey from frustrated inner-city kid to director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University Hospital. It will air under TNT’s Johnson & Johnson Spotlight Presentation banner. Thomas Carter, who directed the feature film “Coach Carter,” will direct “Gifted Hands” from a script by John Pielmeier.

Carson’s memoir begins with his childhood in a rough neighborhood of Detroit and his difficulties after his father “abandoned the family.” Encouraged by his mother, Carson wrote, he pushed himself to succeed in school even when faced with prejudice and negative peer pressure. His accomplishments led him to be named a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which President Bush bestowed on Carson at a ceremony in June (Source).

If HBO produced the picture, I might have greater hope. However, that TNT stamp makes me wonder. Sure, you can argue that TNT has evolved into creating better programming—but I ain’t seen it! Can you name five shows that you enjoy watching on TNT? Personally, I would like Dr. Preston Burke (I. Washington) to star as Ben Carson instead of Radio (Cuba). That’s just me though. You know I like to hate, but I’m sure I’ll watch it. I just hope it’s better than Something the Lord Made starring Mos Def. Sigh.

Happy reading, ya’ll!