2015 Recap & My Top 5!

Hey everyone!

I hope the holiday season has been relaxing thus far. 2015 is almost over! I ended up reading 26 books this year (and I turned 26 years old this year too, haha. It’s a coincidence, I promise). The break down of my 2015 reading experience is as follows:

Longest book read: A Deeper Love Inside: The Porsche Santiaga Story by Sister Souljah – 432 pages.

Shortest book read: We Should All be Feminists by Chimamanda N. Adichie  – 32 pages.

Screen Shot 2015-12-28 at 9.07.18 PMAfrican literature: 10 books

Caribbean literature: 2 books

African-American/Black literature: 11 books

Other: 3 books (these are non-African diaspora books. I read books written by – Mitch Albom, Lena Dunham, Jhumpa Lahiri)

14 women writers ; 6 men writers 

I read multiple books (two each) by the following authors: Amma Darko, Maya Angelou, Ngūgī wa Thiong’o, Alice Walker, Chinua Achebe and Nayyirah Waheed. 


Top 5 favorite books of 2015

  1. The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma
  2. You Can’t Keep a Good Women Down by Alice Walker
  3. The Trouble with Nigeria by Chinua Achebe
  4. salt. by Nayyirah Waheed
  5. Dreams In a Time of War by Ngūgī wa Thiong’o

These books took a toll on my emotions the most! If you’ve read my reviews for these 5 books, you know exactly why they are my top 5! And didn’t I say The Fishermen would win many awards? So far Obioma’s debut novel was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize (this is a big deal!) alongside other nominations, and won the 2015 Emerging Voices Award. There are probably more awards it’s won that I’m missing out! I’m not surprised by the success of The Fishermen, it is well deserved – #iToldYouSo!

Reviews for all the books read this year are in the Book Reviews section of the book blog. [Some missing reviews (4 of them) will be posted in 2016].


I also attended quite a number of book readings, thanks to Writers Project of Ghana and some invitations I received to attend readings. Below are pictures of my favorite reading events this year:

In my 2014 recap, I mentioned that my favorite book for 2014 was Binyavanga Wainaina’s memoir, One Day I Will Write About This Place. I was elated to finally meet him when he came to Accra! Unfortunately, Binyavanga recently suffered from a series of strokes and is receiving medical care in India. I pray he has a speedy recovery, so we can all enjoy his fun-loving spirit soon. Let’s keep him in our prayers!


Finally, this year I joined in a partnership with AFREADA !

AFREADA is an online literary magazine, featuring original stories from emerging writers across the Continent.”

If you write short stories or you love photography, definitely submit your work to AFREADA! And if you are a lover of original, African short stories – visit the website! There are some lovely stories written by talented writers from all over the continent, as well as photo stories AND book reviews by me! Visit http://www.afreada.com, and thank me later. 

It has been a fulfilling year! What were your favorite books of 2015? And what were some of your fave bookish events? Please do share!

I’m truly grateful to everyone who frequents this book blog and for the great discussions (agreements, disagreements and recommendations) we have in the comments section. I also enjoyed commenting on various blogs as well! I really appreciate the support and love shown here from you all. I’m excited for all I have to share in 2016. God bless 🙂

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Challenge Update (summer); Currently Reading

Hey everyone!

Summer is basically over (this year, the first day of Fall is Wednesday – September 23rd) and real life is back in full effect :(. In my last challenge update I stated that I planned on reading at least 15 books this year. As the summer rolled along I realized that I would surpass this goal, so I challenged myself to read 20 books this year…. and I ended up surpassing that as well! During the summer I read 9 books; some were light reads, others were more on the heavy side. I enjoyed most of my summer reads to the point where my reading-tank is quite full… and I may be experiencing a reading slump!

Books I read during the summer: 

May 23rd 2015: The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae

June 4th 2015: The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma

June 10th 2015: The Color Purple by Alice Walker

June 28th 2015: We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo

July 8th 2015: Krik? Krak! by Edwidge Danticat

July 12th 2015: Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe (re-read)

July 22nd 2015: Pig Tails ‘n Breadfruit by Austin Clarke

August 5th 2015: The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis

Aug 11th 2015: Matigari by Ngugi wa Thiong’o

Reviews for the rest of the books will be posted as the months go by!

Interpreterofmaladiescover

I’m slowly reading my 22nd book of the year – Interpreter of Maladies by Indian-American author, Jhumpa Lahiri. I’m a mood-reader so I’m currently in the mood to enjoy a non-African literature novel this month, and so far, I like Lahiri’s work! I’m quite behind on the Lahiri bandwagon, but oh well! I recently found her books (Interpreter of Maladies and The Namesake) at a used bookshop in Accra called Ghana Book Trust. There were so many gems in that bookshop and I ended up buying 15 books! Majority of the books I purchased are from my favorite genres (African Lit, African-American/ Black Lit, Caribbean Lit) and are classics. They were cheap too – 3 Ghana cedis (GHC) per book! Check them out below:

 

 

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[Books not shown in the picture above that I also bought are: The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri, To Be Young, Gifted and Black by Lorraine Hansberry and When I was Puerto Rican by Esmeralda Santiago]

Lots of good books added to my bookshelf :). Have you read any of them?

What books did you enjoy during the Summer? What are you currently reading? Please do share!

Challenge Update; Currently Reading

Hello everyone!

As I mentioned before, I’m participating in the Goodreads Reading Challenge for 2015. This year, I plan on reading 15 books (at least). I really admire those who read 40 plus books in a year! Being a dental student, I wonder if I can ever reach such goals…

Anyways, I recently finished reading the great Ngūgī wa Thiong’o ‘s childhood memoir: Dreams In A Time Of War and Amma Darko’s novel, Beyond the Horizon.

NgugiWaThiongo

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t you just love the book cover? Ngūgī wa Thiong’o ‘s book was a very touching memoir – Ngūgī is a man I truly respect. I plan on reading the second volume of his memoirs – In the House of the Interpreter: A Memoir later this year :).

 

 

beyond-the-horizon

 

 

 

 

Beyond the Horizon by Amma Darko is a compulsory read for an African Studies class I’m currently taking. This book is laden with domestic violence and the main character- Mara, is extremely naive, so it was initially quite a frustrating read. Its a shame that Amma Darko does not get enough shine for her writing. Expect reviews soon!

 

 

Other books I’ve read from January till now:

January 12th 2015: We Should All Be Feminists (eBook) by Chimamanda N. Adichie

January 18th 2015: You Can’t Keep A Good Woman Down by Alice Walker

January 28th 2015: A Deeper Love Inside: The Porsche Santiaga Story by Sister Souljah 

February 1st 2015: Wife Type: Her take on real love and healthy relationships (eBook) by Sheri Gaskins (on Goodreads)*

February 3rd 2015: The Palm-Wine Drinkard by Amos Tutuola 

February 16th 2015: Sula by Toni Morrison

February 27th 2015: Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s “Learned” by Lena Dunham (on Goodreads)*

March 22nd 2015: Dreams in a Time of War: A Childhood Memoir by Ngūgī wa Thiong’o

March 31st 2015: Beyond the Horizon by Amma Darko

 

I’m currently on my 10th book:  The Trouble with Nigeria which is a very short, almost history-like book by Chinua Achebe. Since Nigeria recently had their elections, which have been peaceful thus far (thank God!), I thought this would be a good read for the times.

 

What are y’all currently reading?