Review | Call Number | August 2017 | New People by Danzy Senn


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.

new people by danzy senna cover.jpgAs is always the case with this box, the contents were great this month. First, let’s talk about the book: New People by Danzy Senna. It is described by Amazon like this:

“As the twentieth century draws to a close, Maria is at the start of a life she never thought possible. She and Khalil, her college sweetheart, are planning their wedding. They are the perfect couple, “King and Queen of the Racially Nebulous Prom.” Their skin is the same shade of beige. They live together in a black bohemian enclave in Brooklyn, where Khalil is riding the wave of the first dot-com boom and Maria is plugging away at her dissertation, on the Jonestown massacre. They’ve even landed a starring role in a documentary about “new people” like them, who are blurring the old boundaries as a brave new era dawns. Everything Maria knows she should want lies before her–yet she can’t stop daydreaming about another man, a poet she barely knows. As fantasy escalates to fixation, it dredges up secrets from the past and threatens to unravel not only Maria’s perfect new life but her very persona.

Heartbreaking and darkly comic, New People is a bold and unfettered page-turner that challenges our every assumption about how we define one another, and ourselves.”

It’s also been on like a billion lists as one of the best books of the summer but I’d never heard of it. Once again, that’s what this box is for – great job! I’m excited to read it. The box also included a letter from the author and a signed book plate from her.

The info card the curator sent said that the first thing included was a Melanin University button. I could not for the life of me find this in my box. Which is fine, because as a white woman I wouldn’t feel it appropriate to add to my purse.

I did receive Dream Board cards that are designed to “help start the process of visualizing, and hopefully actualizing, some short term goals you want to achieve in life.” These are really cool sheets with targeted questions and exercises to help you define and achieve goals, just like the curator said.

Then we have a Literary Quote Card from Little City Love. The quote is from Phillis Wheatley and it says:

“Some view our sable race with scornful eye,

Their colour is a diabolic die.’ 

Remember, Christians, Negros, black as Cain,

May be refin’d, and join th’ angelic train.”

Finally we have a candle from Hearth & Hammer called “Cafe Au Library.” The candle makers say it has notes of hazelnut, vanilla, and espresso. The vanilla is very strong and then there is a lovely little coffee scent in the background. It’s fantastic!

Cafe Au Library candle Hearth and Hammer

Even with one item missing, this month was great – and an incredible value as far as I’m concerned. As always, I can highly recommend this box.

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