- Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte: almost every reader has read this book. Readers are quite divided between being an Austen fan or a Bronte fan. Though this book is not on any of my reading challenges, the author is on a long list of authors I want to read. I have a list of over two hundred authors whose books I would buy anytime I come across them; however, this is not a challenge. This novel is also on a list of Top 100 books by the BBC;
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen: This is also on my list of Top 100 books to be read in five years. I have heard great things about all these English Classics and I believe I have to satisfy myself by reading it. Note that my background has nothing to do with studying novels for class so I am far behind in classics that many have read. Also, present in the Guardian's and BBC's list of Top 100 books;
- Persuasion by Jane Austen: This is not on my list but I chose it because of the author. Later, I would love to read everything by the Brontes and Austen.
- Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy: I read and love Jude the Obscure. I purchased this for the same reasons as 1 above. It is not on any list of Challenges but on a list of authors I want to read.
- Tess of the d'Ubervilles by Thomas Hardy: This is his most talked about novel. It appears on most Top 100 list such as the BBC's together with Far from the Madding Crowd.
- Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence: Not on any Challenge list, I purchased this book for same reasons as in 1.
- The Adventures of Huckleberry Fin by Mark Twain (US): Not on my list but there is no need to give a reason. This book has been read by most literary enthusiasts and last year being the centennial year of Twain's death I believe those of us on the periphery of the Fellowship of the Words should at least have a go with this much-talked about widely-banned book. Yes, it has also been on the list of most banned books because of its use of the 'N' word. Currently, it has been banned from most classrooms in the US and there is a call to 'clean' all the 'N' word out. I have no say in this issue but I believe a book cannot be appreciated in isolation. It is best read and appreciated within the environment within which it was written. Besides, every word used by an author is significant to the complete understanding of whatever has been written.
Conclusion: Only two of the non-African books are on any Challenge list. Impulse buying?
- The Purple Violet of Oshaantu by Neshani Andreas (Namibia): for the Africa Reading Challenge. This is the author's debut novel;
- A Question of Power by Bessie Head (Botswana/South Africa): on my Top 100 list. After reading A Woman Alone, I purchased Maru and finally I have obtained the book whose search led me to purchase the first two;
- Harvest of Thorns by Shimmer Chinodya (Zimbabwe): on the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Africa Region Reading Challenge. Doris Lessing describes the book as 'A brave book, a good strong story';
- Shadows by Chenjerai Hove (Zimbabwe): Looking for Bones, which is on my Top 100 list but had to settle for this;
- Houseboy by Ferdinand Oyono (Cameroon): for the Africa Reading Challenge.
- Mine Boy by Peter Abrahams (South Africa): for my Top 100 list. The first copy I bought had several blank pages. According to the cover page, this novel is 'the first modern novel of black South Africa' according to the cover page;
- The Clothes of Nakedness by Benjamin Kwakye: for the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Africa Region Reading Challenge. A friend told me her impressions of this book and I decided against reading it. However, this challenge and Geosi Reads have virtually forced me to read it.
- Fury by Salman Rushdie
- The Art of War by Sun Tzu translated by Samuel B. Griffith (Non-Fiction)
So these are the books I have added to my library. I shall let you know my thoughts as I gradually gnaw my way through them.