After 26 Years, Virginia Kress is Retiring and the Store is Closing
To My Valued Friends and Customers
It is with both sadness and excitement that as of Saturday, August 31 I am formally announcing my retirement and the closing of The Readers Loft.
These past 26 years have brought so much joy I don’t even know how to properly express it. Not just the books themselves but all the people that have come into my life as a result; customers, authors and co-workers alike. My goal from the beginning was to create a haven from the frantic world we all find ourselves living in. I hope you have found over the years that The Reader’s Loft was a place of refuge and peace for you. From our book clubs to writing circles to poetry readings I hope you have also found nourishment for your mind and soul. I will miss you all!
On a more positive note, Amy will be opening a new bookstore created in her own vision on
Washington Street in downtown Green Bay. While her store Lion’s Mouth will offer the same
basic services as our current store, the setting will be a bit more contemporary. We hope you
will all continue your patronage of our local independent bookstore.
Thank you for your support over the years.
All the best,
The Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother (Paperback)
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Good Lord Bird, winner of the 2013 National Book Award for Fiction, Five-Carat Soul, and Kill 'Em and Leave, a James Brown biography.
The incredible modern classic that Oprah.com calls one of the best memoirs of a generation and launched James McBride’s literary career.
Over two years on The New York Times bestseller list
Who is Ruth McBride Jordan? A self-declared "light-skinned" woman evasive about her ethnicity, yet steadfast in her love for her twelve black children. James McBride, journalist, musician, and son, explores his mother's past, as well as his own upbringing and heritage, in a poignant and powerful debut, The Color Of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother.
The son of a black minister and a woman who would not admit she was white, James McBride grew up in "orchestrated chaos" with his eleven siblings in the poor, all-black projects of Red Hook, Brooklyn. "Mommy," a fiercely protective woman with "dark eyes full of pep and fire," herded her brood to Manhattan's free cultural events, sent them off on buses to the best (and mainly Jewish) schools, demanded good grades, and commanded respect. As a young man, McBride saw his mother as a source of embarrassment, worry, and confusion—and reached thirty before he began to discover the truth about her early life and long-buried pain.
In The Color of Water, McBride retraces his mother's footsteps and, through her searing and spirited voice, recreates her remarkable story. The daughter of a failed itinerant Orthodox rabbi, she was born Rachel Shilsky (actually Ruchel Dwara Zylska) in Poland on April 1, 1921. Fleeing pogroms, her family emigrated to America and ultimately settled in Suffolk, Virginia, a small town where anti-Semitism and racial tensions ran high. With candor and immediacy, Ruth describes her parents' loveless marriage; her fragile, handicapped mother; her cruel, sexually-abusive father; and the rest of the family and life she abandoned.
At seventeen, after fleeing Virginia and settling in New York City, Ruth married a black minister and founded the all- black New Brown Memorial Baptist Church in her Red Hook living room. "God is the color of water," Ruth McBride taught her children, firmly convinced that life's blessings and life's values transcend race. Twice widowed, and continually confronting overwhelming adversity and racism, Ruth's determination, drive and discipline saw her dozen children through college—and most through graduate school. At age 65, she herself received a degree in social work from Temple University.
Interspersed throughout his mother's compelling narrative, McBride shares candid recollections of his own experiences as a mixed-race child of poverty, his flirtations with drugs and violence, and his eventual self- realization and professional success. The Color of Water touches readers of all colors as a vivid portrait of growing up, a haunting meditation on race and identity, and a lyrical valentine to a mother from her son.
About the Author
James McBride is an accomplished musician and author of the National Book Award-winning The Good Lord Bird, the #1 bestselling American classic The Color of Water, and the bestsellers Song Yet Sung and Miracle at St. Anna. He is also the author of Kill 'Em and Leave, a James Brown biography. A recipient of the National Humanities Medal in 2016, McBride is a Distinguished Writer in Residence at New York University.
"[A] triumph."—The New York Times Book Review
"As lively as a novel, a well-written, thoughtful contribution to the literature on race."—The Washington Post Book World
"Vibrant."—The Boston Globe
"James McBride evokes his childhood trek across the great racial divide with the kind of power and grace that touches and uplifts all hearts."—Bebe Moore Campbell