Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Pride and Prejudice Book Scarf

 You've probably seen this scarf a few times by now. Well, I had to have it!

Photo Credit: storiartis on Etsy

This scarf was an impulse purchase. Fortunately, I didn’t regret it.  When I opened the package, I immediately appreciated the quality of the fabric. It’s durable but soft. And this scarf isn’t just for show, it protects from the weather. 

It’s a good width and length. I didn't have to tug to get it over my head a second time (I have a big head!) and it doesn't have to be wrapped five times to fit properly.


The text is on the inside and outside of the scarf so it can be twisted any way you like. With the color scheme, I put it on with anything.

You can find this scarf at the STORIARTS by Torri Tissell shop on Etsy.

Disclosure:  I purchased this scarf with my own money and have had no interaction with the shop owner about anything other than my purchase. I just love the scarf!

Friday, January 24, 2014

My Visit to the World's Largest Library

Instead of spending Monday’s holiday buried in a book, I made a long over due visit to the Library of Congress. And the "world’s largest repository of knowledge and creativity" does not disappoint. 

The library recently created a list of Books That Shaped America. I was surprised to find the list so diverse. After taking the guided tour, I learned that inclusivity is one of the library's primary goals. Along the marble stairway leading to the second level, you will find carvings of children from Africa, America, Europe, and Asia with their hands strategically placed on a globe. 

The architecture is so intricate that it’s almost overwhelming. Every detail has a story.

Numerous quotations are posted in the building and this is one of my favorites.  

The highlight for me was Thomas Jefferson’s personal library, particularly the way it is displayed. For some reason, cameras are not allowed in that room but the LoC website contains an image. 

Photo Credit

And I enjoyed this little tidbit: Jefferson liked to arrange books by subject. He borrowed from English philosopher Francis Bacon's classifications: Memory, Reason, and Imagination. And he came up with his own interpretation: History, Philosophy, and Fine Arts.

It was an afternoon well spent. 


Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Black Sleuth by John Edward Bruce

I picked up this book at a library book store and with a $2 price tag, I didn’t think twice about adding it to the growing pile of books that I purchased.

The introduction revealed interesting facts about author, John Edward Bruce, who was born a slave. It also provided great context to the book’s content but seemed to get a little lengthy with the editor outlining the plot, discussing the publication history, and providing information about each of the chapters. After finishing the book, I realized why such a hefty introduction was necessary. 

The book, featuring a black detective, was originally published as a series in a Philadelphia magazine from 1907 - 1909. This may be the reason that once pulled together as a novel, it’s a little disjointed. In that regard, the notes to the text are very helpful and eliminate some confusion.  

As noted on the book’s inside flap, Bruce “boldly attacks white prejudice and racial injustice” in North America, Europe, and Africa. The entire first half of the book addresses Sandipe’s (the detective and fiery main character) departure from his home in Africa to his arrival to America’s east coast. His father warned him of the treatment he would receive in America. But that could not prepare him for what he would actually experience.   

While on his journey South to attend a historically black college/university (HBCU), he’s confronted by this injustice like never before when asked to move to the train car designated for black passengers as the train crosses the Mason-Dixon line. Sandipe’s inclination to justly but naively defend, what should be, his right to remain seated where he is earns him a standing ovation along with an ally. This ally would later be responsible for landing Sandipe a position as a sleuth. 

In the second half of the book, Sandipe, or “our hero” as the author often refers to him, receives his first case. He travels to Europe and takes on disguise as several individuals. Often playing the part of of an uneducated individual with inferior mental capacity, to substantiate the prevailing myth, he embarks on successful career.  

In addition to wishing this book was a series, it made me want to know more about Bruce. I am now in possession of John Edward Bruce: Politician, Journalist, and Self-trained Historian of the African Diaspora by Ralph L Crowder. Stay tuned for the review! 

“Opportunity and environment are the standards by which all men should be judged, not color. It is no compliment to the negro to tell him that he is as good as a white man, for that presupposes that the white man is a superior being, which is not true. His opportunities and environment have done for him exactly what they would have done for the black man similarly placed.” The Black Sleuth by John Edwards Bruce

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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

2013 Wrap Up

Here at Reading Has Purpose, we keep it casual. So we won't worry that this post is a week late. I read some great books in 2013. And in case you missed it, I became captivated by the brilliance that is Edwidge Danticat. 

Danticat in D.C., yup, I was there!

Here’s the book rundown in no particular order: 

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

Long Division by Kiese Laymon
Night by Elie Wiesel
The Most They Ever Had by Rick Bragg
 Miles:The Autobiography by Miles Davis with Quincy Troupe

Why We Make Mistakes by Joseph T Hallinan
The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

The Man Who Lived in an Eggcup by John Gamel
The Tempest Tales by Walter Mosley
Green Power: The Successful Way of A.G. Gaston by A.G. Gaston
PG County by Connie Briscoe
Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat

The Dew Breaker by Edwidge Danticat
Krik? Krak! by Edwidge Danticat
The Farming of Bones by Edwidge Danticat
The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother by James McBride 
Kindred by Octavia Butler 

12 Years a Slave by Solomon Northup
This is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz
If He Hollers Let Him Go by Chester Himes
How to be Richer, Smarter, and Better-Looking Than Your Parents by Zac Bissonnette

The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
The Black Sleuth by John Edward Bruce
Brad’s Raw Made Easy by Brad Gruno

And my first read of 2014 was a winner! I’ve finished The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two Sons, and an Unlikely Road to Manhood by Ta-Nehisi Coates and started on Wealth Choice: Success Secrets of Black Millionaires by Dennis Kimbro. 

For the 2012 Wrap up click here
For the 2011 Wrap up click here    
And my favorite, the 2010 Wrap up click here

Have you started your 2014 reading yet?