Read Soul Lit Photo Challenge 2021 – Days 10 – 13

Day 10: Book and Bookmark

Children of the Night The Best Short Stories By Black Writers 1967 to the Present is an edition I was lucky enough to purchase in a used book sale in Paris for a whopping 1€! The book sale was selling paperbacks for 0.50€ and hardcovers 1-2€. I grabbed this one as soon as I saw it. This edition was edited and commences with an introduction by the late great Gloria Naylor. Big thank you to @booksandrhymes 🤗for reminding me that I had this book on my shelf. 🤦🏾‍♀️ Clearly I have a lot of books. No worries because I’ll be trying to read this one at some point in the year over a month or two. It falls into that big book category 500+ pages. You know I’m reading one of those a month and I’m reading one short story collection a month too. So this kills 2 birds with one stone. I can’t just stop there. I have to talk about this watch bookmark called Clock Artmark from @bookartbookmarks which actually works. Love it!❤️ So if you’re interested in one you can go to their website to purchase it and so many beautiful other bookmarks.


Day 11: Four in a Row

I can’t wait to see what everyone posts today because you can post so many different ways on 4 in a row. I’ve decided to Spotlight one of my favorite series and that’s Walter Mosley’s Easy Rawlins series. These are the first 4 books of the series and I need to continue on by getting to book 5, A Little Yellow Dog. This series is so suspenseful and full of larger than life characters but most of all it features a protagonist black man who solves mysteries/crime beginning in the mid forties. The best thing is that time advances with each novel. This series currently contains 15 books. Book #15 is called Blood Grove and was released this month February 2, 2021.


Day 12: Kids Corner

Today is another moment to spotlight excellent black stories for our children. I’ve spoken about The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis before, but I couldn’t resist mentioning it again. It’s a wonderful novel crafted with a very touching and informative story of the difficulties of a black family to survive during the Depression. Full of emotional twists and turns, you won’t be able to forget The Mighty Miss Malone. And this cover is everything! I actually pull it out regularly just to admire it.😍


Day 13: Real Life Heroes

100 Amazing Facts About the Negro was first published in 1957 by Joel Augustus Rogers. It’s original title was “A Negro ‘Believe It or Not’”. Rogers was delivering pride and enlightenment with this book. « You could say Rogers was African-Americans’ first black history teacher. » The excitement and pride Black people must have felt reading the wonders of this book and during Jim Crow. It surely helped keep hope alive. Not to mention, Henry Louis Gates is definitely reminding Americans everyday how much Black History is American history.


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Read Soul Lit Photo Challenge – Day 1: #ReadSoulLit TBR


Better late than never! I’m finally back at the beginning of this new year with the Read Soul Lit Photo Challenge.  I’ve linked the photo challenge here so that you can follow along. I promise to be back with at least one post a week but this month I’ll be here everyday with my photo pic from the Read Soul Lit Photo Challenge in honor of Black American writers for Black History Month 2021 that I’m hosting over on Instagram.I’ll be doing weekly videos on YouTube as well covering what I’ve photographed for the challenge.


As for my TBR, I’ve chosen quite the big stack this month because I truly do want to get through all of these great books and more if possible. I’ll be laying off the extra Netflix watching, besides when I watch when I’m having lunch or dinner. I’m also going to try to read everyday this month. I didn’t do that last month. There were 11 whole days when I didn’t read a thing and that’s why I didn’t finish one of my books last month. Totally unacceptable if I want to get through 8+ books this month.

So what have I decided on reading:

Firstly I’ll be reading A More Perfect Union by Tammye Huff. It’s a fictionalized retelling of the meeting and life of her great great grandparents. This is the book I’ve chosen for the Read Soul Lit Readalong for this month. If you’re interested in joining you can purchase the book through The Book Depository and you can join the Goodreads group where month long discussions will be happening. The group is called A More Perfect Union Read Soul Lit February Readalong 2021

The 2 biggest books I’m reading this month are What You Owe Me by Bebe Campbell (533 pages)  and The Selected Letter of Ralph Ellison (1,002 pages). I so hope I can manage to finish these two.

The Read Soul Lit Book Club on Patreon, we will be reading Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison. It will be my second time picking it up in a very long time, since college. I’m wondering what my thoughts will be. More on that as it happens….. If you’re interested in joining the Patreon book club you can click here.

Since I’m trying to read one short story collection a month I’ve decided on The Awkward Black Man by Walter Mosley. An oldie by the great Leonard Pitts, Jr., Grant Park. It is a story of race relations in the United States set between two eras 2008 and 1968. And last but not least two new releases: The Prophets by Robert Jones, Jr.  It’s a story set in the Deep South on a plantation that explores a relationship between two men. The other book is called Yellow Wife and it is also a slave narrative that follows slave Pheby Delores who has been promised to be set free on her eighteenth birthday.

Come back tomorrow for Days 2 and 3 of the photo challenge.

If you’d like to pick up a copy of any of my recommendations or just shop for yourself please consider clicking my affiliate links for Blackwell’s or The Book Depository.  It would be much appreciated. It will help fund my incessant book buying, reading, and reviewing. Thank you, I really appreciate it!

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The Brown Girl Reading  March shop has Read Soul Lit mugs and tote bags! Get into the mood with a great book and a Read Soul Lit mug with your fave hot drink.


Interview with Suzette Webb the author of Blues to Blessings: Moving from Fearful to Faithful

I had the pleasure of reading Blues to Blessings:  Moving from Fearful to Faithful by Suzette Webb at the beginning of this year.  I don’t usually read books like this which would be classified as self-help, but this one I found interesting and I could see how it could be a big help to a lot of women who are in doubt of their paths and looking to revive their lives in the right way.
Blues to Blessings is written in a diary format in the author’s first person point-of-view.
We follow Webb’s search for herself and her eventual reconnection with God.  Through the book, we see how she struggles to find herself in her work and family life  present and past, as well as how she finally opens up and faces everything head on.
I found this book helpful in getting me to reflect on a lot of things about my work and family life past and present.  Moreover, I was still interested even though I’m no longer particularly religious.  I especially enjoyed the diary sections because Webb’s honesty about aspects of her past were moving to read.   Each chapter ends with a Coming Full Circle section where she analyzes what was discussed in the chapter and ends on a quote from the Bible which relates to it.
After finishing Blues to Blessings, I was drawn to the idea of getting an interview with Suzette Webb to find out more about the book and what’s to come.  I urge you to follow Suzette Webb on here different social media platforms where she gives great motivational talks regularly.  You can find her on Instagram, YouTube, and of course on her website.  Click the video below to here one of her motivational talks.
Interview with Suzette Webb:

1.  When did you decide to write this book?  How long did it take and is it your first book?

I had this book on my heart a couple of years before I actually put pen to paper.  It took me 5 years to complete Blues to Blessings — far longer than I ever expected.  No, this isn’t my first book.  I self-published an affirmations book in 1997 titled Moments of Truth.  This one is currently out of print.


2.  What were some of the problems and/or difficulties you ran into while writing Blues to Blessings?

Getting to a place of peace about exposing my deepest secrets, struggles, flaws, etc. for all the world to see and likely judge.  I also wanted to tell a truthful story without hurting my family members.  For example, if I tell readers that my parents were never married and my father played no role in my upbringing, I am also telling my mother’s story that she had a child out of wedlock — a taboo for her generation.  This is why in the acknowledgment section I say something to the effect — “Thanks to my mother, husband and family members for allowing me to tell their story, so that I might tell mine.”

3. How did you come up with the title? It  fits the book perfectly.

Thank you.  “Blues to Blessings” was the second affirmation in Moments of Truth and it was the one that seemed to resonate with readers the most.  After the affirmations book, I knew that my next book would be about transformation and ‘blues to blessings” seemed to be the perfect fit.  The alliteration also didn’t hurt.😊


4.  I don’t usually read self help books and I have to admit I’m agnostic, but despite those things I thoroughly appreciated Blues to Blessings.  How do you explain that?

First, I am so glad to hear that you really appreciated Blues to Blessings!  It was not written for the devout religious.  One evening I was attending my small women’s group (a group of women who experienced some form of abuse during childhood) when one of the participants, Marilyn  shared that she had been raised as a Catholic but no longer believed in a loving God.  She simply reasoned what loving God would allow a little girl to experience the horrific pain and trauma that she had endured.  

Personally, I believe the measure of a good book (especially a non-fiction book) is enlightening the reader’s perspective…inspiring them to think and act in different ways.  That night, I tasked myself with writing a book for the Marilyns of the world.  If I could inspire Marilyn even in the slightest way to see her relationship with God differently, I had written a good book.  

Rather than write a religious or spiritual book that was centered around me telling others what they should and shouldn’t do, I was much more inspired to use my vulnerable voice to write about my own transformation and to show how God’s hand was riddled throughout my process.  I consistently hear from Amazon reviewers that B2B was hard to put down.  I think it’s this aspect of the book that draws the reader in. 

By the way, Marilyn ended up giving me a quote for my 1st edition:

“Suzette’s book immediately captured my attention.  It helped me find what I was seeking – insight into my relationship with God.  While Blues to Blessings focuses on the author’s beliefs, each of us experience God, our Higher Power, in our own way, myself included.  This book challenged me to re-evaluate my beliefs, gave me new perspective and helped  me see that God has been and will be right next to me, guiding me as I go through life.”  Marilyn D., Chicago, Illinois 

5.  Your consulting company is called LOM (Light of Mine).  Could you explain how you started it and what it’s all about?

When I finished college, all I wanted to do was enter the corporate world.  After spending several years there, all I wanted to do was leave it.  I had been conforming and dancing to everyone else’s tune for far too long, and it was time for my little light to start shining.  After earning my MBA at Northwestern, at a minimum, I knew I could consult — hence, Light of Mine (LOM) was born on my knees at my tub.

Today, LOM is actually a small manufacturing company where we supply lights for armored vehicles.  I also speak as it relates to the book and re:  women’s issues.  I often say that I am in the world of lighting and enlightenment.

6.  How has your family reacted to you writing this book?

Initially, they were concerned that I would tell too much of their story, but they are all very pleased and supportive of the final product.

7.  New Orleans is your hometown and you speak candidly about the tragedy of New Orleans after Katrina in Blues to Blessings.  How do you feel about how the city is developing since the storm.

Unfortunately, I have only been back to New Orleans a handful of times after Katrina, so it’s hard for me to assess just how much the city has changed.  Although, I will say that some parts of the city were unrecognizable to me given the new developments.

8.  Do you have any plans for writing a second book?

If so, what subject matter would it treat?  Would it be nonfiction or fiction?

I think another non-fiction book may be in my future, but I really want to maximize the exposure of Blues to Blessings to as many  potential readers as possible.  I recently received a 250+ word 5-star review on Amazon and I often think there are a million more readers out there just like that reviewer in search of a book like B2B.  I have been razor-focused on finding those readers.  This has been my #1 priority before embarking upon a new project.  A new book would likely be non-fiction but I haven’t given the topic much thought.



If you’d like to pick up a copy of any of my recommendations or just shop for yourself please consider clicking my affiliate links for Blackwell’s and/or The Book Depository.  It would be much appreciated. It will help fund my incessant book buying, reading, and reviewing. Thank you!

Blackwell’s Affiliate

The Book Depository