I am yours now, and you are mine and together we'll love through all space & time. —Prince
I never had the notion of loving Prince by halves. Yes, I’m talking about Prince today because it will help me work around this heavy cloud of disbelief. Like books, music makes life more rich. Maybe Mr. Nietzsche said it better: “Without music, life would be a mistake.” (Leave it to Friedrich to fan the dramatic.) And Prince’s music was, well, more electric and soulful than anyone else’s. There are no adequate labels for Prince. John Mayer called him, “the greatest pop musician whoever lived.” Sorry John, that feels remarkably lackluster. I heart Huckabee’s admission that His Royal Badness defies all description in this worthy read.
The artists that I adore are the ones who appear to be good people too—that look well beyond their star-studded selves. So when I hear that the High Priest of Pop saved a library, I get all warm and fuzzy inside. Louisville’s historic Western Branch Library was in danger of closing their doors after nearly a century due to financial troubles. I’m sure Prince was particularly interested in saving those stacks since it was the first full-service library in the U.S. to serve African Americans exclusively. And save it he did. He made a generous donation to alleviate Western’s financial burden. What’s even better, Prince donated to the literary cause anonymously. “He didn’t want people to know. He just wanted to do the right thing without a lot of fanfare and accolades,” a former library employee explained. Can you say my kinda guy?
So, in honor of Prince Rogers Nelson, here are a few reads that should remind us fondly of The Purple One.
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Prince would be proud of me for choosing this epistolary novel about “how love transforms and cruelty disfigures the human spirit.” This Pulitzer Prize winner is a must read about one woman’s ability to survive, to let go, and ultimately, to love.
Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson
Everyone should read Harold and the Purple Crayon. Everyone. His story is as appealing as it is rich. Each time I pick this prize up, I’m back under Harold’s spell—a long-time classic for plenty of great reasons.
Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes
Caldecott winner Kevin Henkes has personality and it shows. So it’s not surprising that an enthusiastic mouse named Lilly grabs the heart. She shines in her movie-star glasses, with her eccentric accessories that jingle and play jaunty tunes. Something tells me she and the Prince of Funk would get along fabulously—God rest his passionate soul.