Saturday, July 02, 2011

June in Review, Projections for July, and Reflections of the First Half of 2011

June came and passed me by so suddenly that as I turned to look at its tail in the bend, I saw I had only three books behind me in addition to zero interviews. The fascinating thing about June and its departure is that it also marks the end of the first half of the journey towards December. That's, in someway, July is like January - promising a new beginning and providing a new canvass for the making of resolutions.

Now back to the quick-feet June. The slough of books I left behind were:
  1.  Shadows by Chenjerai Hove
  2. A Sense of Savannah: Tales of a Friendly Walk through Northern Ghana by Kofi Akpabli
  3. The Gods are not to Blame by Ola Rotimi
In addition to these reads, I also reviewed two books which were read in May:
  1. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
  2. Every Man is a Race by Mia Couto
Though June was a lazy-drone, churning out a paltry sum of 311 pages - less than the lower boundary of a chunkster - it was the month in which this blog recorded its highest number of hits. Again, there were not many literary activities to attend - except last Wednesdays' (June 29, 2011) Book Reading by Manu Herbstein, author of Ama: The Story of the Atlantic Slave Trade, at the Goethe Institute. And like a prophet of doom I predicted my own failure in May's review:
June would might also be dull as the data collected would need to be inputed and analysed. However, once I am in Accra I would be here more frequently than when I was away. I would be reviewing the two books I have already read. Currently, I am reading Shadows by Chenjerai Hove and enjoying it. (May in Review, Projections for June)
In July I hope things would pick up, though I would have to combine reading with searching for a job and performing some data analyses. However, I don't expect this dip in reading to continue forever. Definitely not.

Reflections for the First Half of the Year
On the whole, the first half of 2011 has been fruitful. Already I have almost equalled the total number of books I read  in the whole of 2010. I have read 29 books (as against 30 in 2010). The current total number of pages read stands at 5,926 (7,914 in 2010) and averages 988 pages per month (for the six months), or almost one Proust (Remembrance of Things Past) per month. At this rate, if things generally improve I hope to read more than a half-century of books.

In terms of translation (for more on these visit Winstondad) I have also read 9 translations this year (compared to 3 in 2010). I can proudly tell Amy of Amy Reads and Kinna of Kinna Reads that, 13 of the 29 books I have read so far were authored by women (compared to 8 in 2010). Finally, because I set out to read from many different African countries, I found myself enjoying, for the very first time, some Lusophonic writers such as Mia Couto, Lilia Momple, Pepetela and Jose Eduardo Agualusa.

Though these figures do not actually represent one who calls himself a reader, it does give me hope that 'it can only get better'. On personal writing fronts, I had some of my poems appearing at Sentinel Nigeria, Munyori Journal, Africa Knowledge Project (or JENda!), Writers Project of Ghana (WPG) and Dust Magazine. The poetry anthology Look Where You have Gone to Sit, also featured one of my poems.

ImageNations is focused on Promoting African Literature and it is our (my blog and I) belief that we shall become a locus for all those interested in promoting literature on the continent.


  1. I can hardly believe that the year is half over, and that December will soon be upon us! It's crazy to think that time is flying so fast, but it great to hear that the blog is getting more traffic, Nana!

  2. Congrats on such a fantastic half year for you. You've really done a lot and read some truly fantastic works. I have to say that I am very happy to see so many female authors :) I hope you have an equally successful second half of the year.

  3. @Zibilee, the year passes with such speed that one may think it is actually pushing us towards our demise. Or perhaps it is this fast-paced economy which pays not those who stand and smell the flower that is pushing us so fast that we become a blur in our surroundings.

  4. @Amy, thanks for the Atwood. Yes, I hope the second half of the year would be EQUALLY successful, though my selected books for July contains not such trace of equality.

  5. I am really impressed by your reading of women authors! I only recently found out that it is well known in publishing that men do not read women, so you are a notable exception! I haven't even counted my women vs men for this year, as I am sure it is 90% men - oh the shame!

  6. @Sarah... lol. The years before, the ratio was much more skewed. However, I didn't consciously select these... perhaps I was unconsciously influenced by Amy, Kinna and some other articles like the one from VIDA to read more women writers. lol...

  7. June was a good month for you, I suppose.


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