Monday, August 01, 2011

July in Review, Projections for August

July, the beginning of the next half of the year, wasn't that bad in terms of reading though comparatively it was not up to the standards of January. In all I read four books:
  • Dew in the Morning by Shimmer Chinodya: This is about a young boy writing about his village and the changes it has gone through, morally, culturally and environmentally. This book effectively takes Zimbabwe out of the African Reading Challenge; thus, any subsequent book I read by a Zimbabwean would not be recognised as part of the ARC since I have read more than three authors from that country.
  • 1984 by George Orwell: This was read for the Top 100 Reading Challenge. 1984 is a dystopian novel about the future of the world if the rhetoric and ideologies being promoted or bandied about are implemented fully. It also shows how leaders think and uses fear and obfuscation to deceive the ruled to propagate their self-interest. After reading Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale and 1984 I look forward to reading Aldous Huxley's Brave New World.
  • Underground People by Lewis Nkosi: This novel captures the last stages of the fight against apartheid. Here, Nkosi brings to the reader a serious issue written almost like a satire with a school teacher turning into a commander of guerrilla fighters. It easily passes as the best book I have read this year.
  • Mema by Daniel Mengara. Read for the Africa Reading Challenge, the author is from Gabon and it's the first Gabonese novel I have read. A series of reflections by a young boy. The reflections are mostly about his childhood home and his mother who resisted all external pressure and threat to keep him to her. A full review will be posted on this blog in the coming days.
  • I also reviewed Ngugi wa Thiong'o's Weep Not Child though this novel was not read within the month, or even year, under review. In this review I basically looked at the importance names play in Ngugi's novel and how much a part blacks played (and still play) in the master-servant tango that has plagued the continent for so many years. 
In all I read a 915 pages, which is almost three times what I did in June. I also go an autographed copy of Fiona Leonard's novel The Chicken Thief, the only BOOK I purchased in the month of July. Thinking about it, I forgot to buy myself a book on my birthday; something I have been doing for the past two years. Finally, I also edited two short-stories I have written.

August would see me reading Chinua Achebe's Anthills of the Savannah a book I purchased in 2010. It would be my fifth Achebe. I would also be reading Neo-Colonialism the last Stage of Imperialism by Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana's first president. Following would be The River Between by Ngugi wa Thiong'o, and a collection of short stories edited by Yvonne Vera titled Opening Spaces: Contemporary African Women's Writing. If things go as planned I would add Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner to the list of books.

These are just projections and could change depending on my mood and my reading habit.


  1. I absolutely love hearing about your reading plans! It's rare to hear how people think about choosing books

  2. Excellent choices -- there's a lot of variety in that list. If you
    need any more books for the Africa Reading Challenge, has quite a few.

  3. Fantastic month and what great plans for August - all the best! Also, happy belated birthday :)

  4. I like Anthills of the Savannah. A good reading month, Nana. Mine pick up after I switched to reading short fiction. Also, I'm back to reviewing. have a good reading month this August.

  5. @Kinna, welcome back (to your blog). I saw your review of Mahfouz. Glad you found a way around the dip. It reminds me of last year. For the first four months or so I did virtually no reading until almost the middle of the year. This year could be the best in terms of reading consistency.

  6. I ve a couple of crime novels waiting to be read ,sounds like a great July Nana ,all the best stu


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