Have you ever walked through a library or bookstore and a book seemed to say, “Take me. I have something to share with you?” James Brown sang one of his most memorable slow songs when he sang, “Try Me.” That’s what can happen to avid readers as they walk the aisles of libraries and bookstores.
A couple of times while frequenting the Boston Public Library, I had that experience. My eyes were on the Bronte sisters’ works when I stopped in my tracks. I saw Anne Bronte’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1848). I felt like wait. There was a third sister! Who knew? Not Charlotte. Not Emily. Anne! So, I checked it out and truly enjoyed the adventures of Mr. Huntingdon. Great writer!
I was in the same locale when I felt a beckoning during another visit. There sat Nina Simone’s book, I Put a Spell on You (1993). In this autobiography, she told about her plans to become a classical pianist and her eventual acceptance of her destiny. Instead, this songstress’ deep, melodic voice became the voice for the people during a pivotal historical era. She also talked about her life in Paris. I felt as if we were actually sitting down on her sofa, having a conversation. She told her story with such clarity!
Yesterday, I was checking out some items at a dollar store. This book caught my eye. The picture of Jane Fonda hugging an African-American woman made me pause. I started to leave, but it jogged my memory. I thought, “Oh yeah.” I remembered reading about Jane Fonda’s adoption of a child of color when I read her autobiography, My Life So Far (2005).
I put my bags down at the register. I went back and picked up a copy. I couldn’t believe that it was only one dollar for this hardback book. I can hardly wait to hear what Mary Williams has to say as I read The Lost Daughter (2013). I know that she has a yarn to spin as she too called out, “Try me!”
July 9, 2015