Category Archives: World of Books

The Gift: World Book Night 2013

“The book to read is not the one that thinks for you but the one that makes you think.” Harper Lee

Tina Fey's BossyPantsfor World BookNight

The Gift: World Book Night 2013… Readers in my group received Tina Fey’s Bossypants.

More student Bossypants recipients with program coodinator.

The Gift: World Book Night 2013… Some student recipients with Program Coordinator Claudette Spence(2nd left).

Today is World Book Night, UNESCO‘s International Day of the Book, World Book Day, Shakespeare’s Birthday, and Miguel de Cervantes memorial. To celebrate books and encourage more adults to read, the World Book Night organizers, in collaboration with book publishers around the world, arranged a massive book giveaway. 500,000 copies of 30 paperback books, selected by a special panel, were distributed to readers in organizations, clubs, on the streets and at designated locations. What I found remarkable was how the program, initiated by Book publishers at a Conference in the UK in 2010, became a global event with thousands of volunteers connecting with appreciative book readers.

Program Coordinator Claudette and Instructor Fay admire the books.

The Gift: World Book Night 2013… Program Coordinator Claudette and Instructor Fay admire the books

Box of Books picked up at Barnes and Nobles

The Gift: World Book Night 2013… The box of books picked up at Barnes and Nobles

As a volunteer book giver, I received 20 copies of a special paperback edition of Tina Fey‘s BossyPants. It was one of three books I had chosen from the list when I applied. Earlier in the week, I stopped by my local Barnes & Noble bookstore to pick up my boxed books. The store manager welcomed me with a smile, and presented me with a thank you letter and professional looking certificate. I was thrilled and ready to share the books, but I had to wait till April 23rd to join the global effort and make sure the maximum number of students could be reached. The first World Book Night giveaway was celebrated in the UK and Ireland in 2011. By 2012, it had expanded to the USA and Germany.

Some of the student recipients of the book.

The Gift: World Book Night 2013… Some student recipients displaying their books

Bossypants on display at theYWCA

The Gift: World Book Night 2013… Bossypants on display and admired by instructor Fay

Today, I handed out copies of the book to Students in the Women’s Empowerment/Women in Transition program at the YWCA in Manhattan. To memorialize the event, I took several photos of the books and the grateful students/recipients to share with you here. When I signed up to become a book giver, I identified the program as one of two choices to receive copies of the free book because our students are learning new skills to help them get back to work, and most are on a tight budget. Tina’s hilarious and candid book was the perfect choice for my recipients because during tough times, reading uplifting or funny books, maintaining a sense of humor, and smart planning, can help us develop effective coping skills.  More below!

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Chinua Achebe: Celebrated Nigerian Author Dies at 82

“The Ibo people have a proverb that when a man says yes his chi says yes also. Okonkwo said yes very strongly; so his chi agreed.” Chinua Achebe

Chinua Achebe: Celebrated Nigerian Author Dies at 82. 1930-2013 RIP Photo of Chinua Achebe by Craig Ruttle, Associated Press

Chinua Achebe: Celebrated Nigerian Author Dies at 82. 1930-2013 R.I.P.  Photo of Chinua Achebe by Craig Ruttle, Associated Press

It is with great pain and sadness that I share the news of the passing of an illustrious writer, a great son of Anambra State, Nigeria, and one of the pivotal influences on my life as a reader/writer. It was Chinua Achebe’s book, Things Fall Apart, that opened my eyes to the rich and varied culture of my people, the Igbos of Eastern Nigeria. I read it as a preteen in Nigeria and it left an indelible mark on me; it gave me a clear understanding of the importance of roles, rituals and respect in Ibo land.  Ikemefuna and Okonkwo’s harrowing tale gave me both nightmares and a deep appreciation for the traditions and tribulations of our culture.

“Among the Ibo the art of conversation is regarded very highly, and proverbs are the palm-oil with which words are eaten.” Chinua Achebe

Chinua Achebe: Celebrated Nigerian Author Dies at 82. Book: Things Fall Apart

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The Falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart, the center cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world. – W.B. Yeats, “The Second Coming”

Who could ever forget the power and magic of Achebe’s mastery of idiomatic expressions that remain a fairly ubiquitous part of every day speech in Ibo culture? Who could forget the quote above that laid the foundation to the title of his book? Or the opening paragraph in Things Fall Apart that introduced us to Okonkwo? I ate up Achebe’s words like candy, devoured all his other books, and developed a lifelong love for his writings. His Fiction echoed the messages passed on through our collective history and ancestral lineage. His words were stark reminders of what shaped ancient Ibo history and the legacy we could pass on. More below.

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Reflections: What Are You Declaring Over Your Life?

“Our words have creative power. Whenever we speak something, either good or bad, we give life to what we are saying.” Joel Osteen

Reflections: What Are You Declaring Over Your Life? Abundance…

1 I declare God‘s incredible blessings over my life
2 I declare I will experience God’s faithfulness
3 I declare I have the grace I need for today
4 I declare it is not too late to accomplish everything God has placed in my heart From: I Declare by Joel Osteen

We know that choosing the path of negativity, in our speech and actions, is a sure road to misery. What we believe, express or reflect on can shape the life we live. In a new book by my favorite inspirational teacher/minister, I Declare: 31 Promises to Speak Over Your Life by Joel Osteen, we are advised to pay careful attention to the language we use about our lives and circumstances.

Instead of bemoaning all our hardships, Joel suggests that we declare something good and positive; just like the twelve  declarations I included from his new book in this post. He exhorts us to recognize that “those (negative) thoughts may come to your mind, but don’t make the mistake of verbalizing them.” It reminds me of that popular line our mothers always told us: “If you have nothing good to say…”  bu it is true that if we spend all our energy on negative thoughts, those thoughts can become a self-fulfilling prophesy.

“With our words we can either bless our futures or we can curse our futures.” Joel Osteen

Reflections: What Are You Declaring Over Your Life? Countless blessings

5 I declare I am grateful for who God is in my life and for what He’s done
6 I declare a legacy of faith over my life
7 I declare that God has a great plan for my life
8 I declare God’s dream for my life is coming to pass. From: I Declare by Joel Osteen

What makes this new book a wonderful addition to any personal library is the easy to read, positive content which is divided into 31 sections; each positive, prayerful declaration (one a day for 31 days ) is followed by a relevant story or revelatory piece to help us grasp and digest the message shared.  Every day, we can read a declaration to start our morning on a high note. Better yet, we get a daily reminder to declare something good and uplifting to help guide our plans and efforts. More below!

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