Review | Call Number | May 2017 | And Then There Was Me by Sadeqa Johnson

Call Number is a “library-inspired monthly book box that celebrates contemporary Black literature and authors.” It costs $35.00 a month and includes one book and an assortment of bookish goodies. Perfect! Sign me up! Or don’t, because I’m already signed up! Check out all my Call Number reviews if you’d like.

As is constantly the case with this box, the contents were very thoughtful and fun. I just love this box x1000! Even though we’re not even halfway through the year yet, I’ve still been contemplating which of these boxes I’ll be keeping next year and this is one of the few that’s definitely going to make the cut.

and then there was me by Sadeqa Johnson cover.jpgThe May book, which I haven’t read yet but will review once I have, is And Then There Was Me: A Novel of Friendship, Secrets and Lies by Sadeqa Johnson. The curator of Call Number describes it as “a book that explores what it means to lose yourself,” and the blurb on Amazon reads as follows:

Bea and Awilda have been best friends from the moment Awilda threw her fourteen year-old self across Bea’s twin-sized bed as if they had known each other forever. Bubbly, adventurous Awilda taught sheltered, shy Bea how to dress, wear her hair and what to do with boys. She even introduced Bea to her husband, Lonnie, in college, who pledged to take good care of her for the rest of their lives. But philanderer Lonnie breaks that promise over and over again, leaving Bea to wrestle with her self-esteem and long time secret addiction.

Recently Lonnie has plopped the family in a New Jersey upper class suburb, which lacks the diversity that Bea craves but has the school district and zip code envy that Lonnie wants. The demands of carrying a third child and fitting into this new environment while pretending that her husband is not cheating on her again, is more than she can handle. And just when she thinks things can’t get any worst, the ultimate deception snaps the little thread that was holding her life together and all comes tumbling down.

Sadeqa Johnson’s And Then There Was Me is the story of love and friendship, heartache and betrayal. It’s the journey of a woman stripped down to her lowest point and needing to find the will to press on.

Both the description from Amazon and the curator’s description have made me pretty excited about digging into this book.

Mix Tape Soft Enamel Lapel Pin.jpgNow for the goodies! First up is this awesome mix tape pin made by Martin East Coast Makers. I’m getting quite the collection of pins on my favorite purse and I ain’t mad about it! This pin is especially well made and has some really cool details on. A+

Apparently one of the characters in the book, Bea, listens to music throughout and the curator has created a Spotify list that details all the songs mentioned in the book Looks like it has some Beyonce, Rihanna, Snoop Dogg, Thelonious Monk, Ella Fitzgerald, etc. I’ll have to check it out after I’ve read the book.

Hand Painted JournalNext up is this incredible hand-painted journal from UndoutableLove. It’s similar to the one pictured except it doesn’t have holes and it says, “Serenity Journal” on the front.

I wish a picture could do this justice. The hand painting is so beautiful and textured. The pages inside are thick and crisp. It’s just lovely.

Then there’s a super-adorable library gift card. It’s got a sort of weathered, vintage-y look to it and a cute burlap string to attach it to the gift. It’s amazing.

Finally, we have a very nice letterpress post card with a James Baldwin quote from The Fire Next Time

“What others did was their responsibility, for which they would answer when the judgement trumpet sounded. But what I did was my responsibility, and I would have to answer too.” 

It has a picture of a trumpet, appropriately.

So! There we go! Another box well worth my $35. I don’t know how she does it but I hope she keeps doing it for a long time!


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