Saturday, August 13, 2011

Library Additions

Few books have come into my possession which I would love to share with you. As always.
  • Harare North by Brian Chikwava. Having been described as one of the 'exciting new generation of African writers' Brian Chikwava has moved on from strength to strength ever since he won the Caine Prize for African Writing in 2004 with his short story Seventh Street Alchemy. Brian has been one of the most recommended authors to ImageNations and even though I took the recommendations seriously the book proved elusive until I visited the Silverbird Lifestyle Shop located within the Accra Mall. What I have is a beautifully bound book (hardcover, of course!) from the stables of Jonathan Cape selling at GHC 28.5 or US$ 19. My only encounter with Chikwava is through his short story The Wasp and the Fig tree published at the Granta magazine.
  • Palace Walk by Naguib Mahfouz. Mahfouz is a Nobelist. What more there is to say? His book Cairo Trilogy of which Palace Walk is the first is also on my list of Top 100 Books. Besides, since I have not read the required three authors to effectively take a country out of the Africa Reading Challenge, this book would also qualify for this challenge, that is if I read it in time.
  • A Place of a Beautiful Nonsense by Alba Kunadu Sumprim. This is a new book by the author of The Imported Ghanaian. I have to really talk about this book (before reviewing it) in my new books category. I have known the author for a while now and the day she read this book to me, one-on-one, I told her 'you've sold me'. It's a graphic representation of life in Ghana written in satire. She illustrated the book herself.
  • The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie. Who wouldn't buy this book, a book that had sparked several controversies, a book that led the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, to issue a fatwa on the author on February 14, 1989. This is the greatest valentine a writer could ever have in his writing career. I haven't read any Rushdie and though I have Fury it is an Advanced Reviewers Copy and I have certain fear of ARCs; a fear that they might not be the final deed. If read before the issue, good. But after the final publication? not for me! I hope to enjoy this book. And by the way it is also hard-cover. The book is also on my Top 100 Books to be read list.
  • Theatre by  William Somerset Maugham. This author was recommended to me by Kinna of Kinna Reads when I was preparing my Top 100 Books Challenge. And since Kinna never really mentioned any particular book of his and so I supposed that any book I pick would be okay. Consequently, I added Of Human Bondage and The Moon and Sixpence to this challenge. However, having found Theatre means that at least I can replace one of the books on the list. Thanks Kinna and I hope it doesn't disappoint me.
  • The Godfather by Mario Puzo. After watching the three-part movie I decided to read his books but I have not been able to actualise it; however, now that I have the book on my shelf I believe I am a step away from this.
  • The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown. I know you have started scratching your head, asking if this reader is serious. I am, dear reader, very serious. In Dan Brown I am not seeking exquisite prose. If this is what I want I would go to Proust, Flaubert, et al. In Brown, I seek controversy, issues that could require further research. I read and loved Da Vinci Code; through this book I came to know Phi (the golden number that is so rampant in nature), fibonacci sequence, Priori of Sion (whether they existed or not), and many other things. 
These are the books I have acquired and my reason for purchasing them. Reviews of these would be posted here though considering my 'almost' chronological reading pattern, it might take some time. Though sometimes my mood changes and I choose a recently-acquired book for reading.

18 comments:

  1. No need to apologize for buying, and then reading books like "The Godfather" of "The lost symbol". Both are enjoyable, and let's face it, one can't be serious all the time!

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  2. Yes Nina. Too much seriousness burdens the heart.

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  3. You mean, you got Harare North at the Accra Mall? Isn't the requirement that a country leaves the challenge if you have read three books from said country a bit strict? Perhaps, I need to take a closer look at this challenge of yours? I hope that Maugham book lives up to my expectations! Finally, a book my Mahfouz! So, I approve of your additions :)

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  4. @Kinna... is that so? I kept it at three because it is always difficult to get enough writers from some countries. Then again even if I read three different authors from a country, it wouldn't prevent me from reading other authors from that same country. Except that it would not be part of the challenge. However, even if I don't get to read three and I read one author, I would consider the country covered.

    Yes, Harare North was at Accra Mall. I was shocked myself. I was going there to purchase only one book and ended up buying three.

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  5. Great collection of books! I enjoyed Palace Walk, though didn't love it. I also have Harare North on my to read pile. I hope that you enjoy all of your books!

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  6. wonderful selection I read the rushdie at time it came out and remember it being a great read even with the trouble round the books subject ,Maugham is a great choice I love his of human bondage ,all the best stu

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  7. I have all three books in the Cairo Trilogy, though I have not yet read them. At one time I had thought about sitting down over a weekend and reading them all straight through. Perhaps I will have to do that sometime.

    I also have tried to read The Satanic Verses about three or four times and can never get past page 100. It's such a hard book with difficult concepts for me, but I do plan on trying again sometime!

    Great new additions here, Nana!

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  8. I haven't read any of these, although several are on my tbr list. I was at a bookstore awhile ago and they had only the second and third books in the Cairo Trilogy, so I passed them by. I need to make a point to pick them up sometime.

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  9. Interesting, eclectic set of books. All men, I see ;)

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  10. @Niranjana... didn't even notice the Men angle. But wait! Not all men. Alba Sumprim Kunadu is a female. She's the author of A Place of Beautiful Nonsense. At least one woman.

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  11. @Amy... I think I read your review of that book. I hope I react differently because it is a somewhat chunkster.

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  12. @Zibilee, I'd be looking forward to reading your reviews of the Cairo Trilogy. From reviews and the other texts about Satanic Verses I see it is a difficult book with several themes. I hope I'm able to read and enjoy this, otherwise...

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  13. @MJ, Let me know when you do and I'd gladly read your thoughts. I'm building my library bit by bit so I try to get enough of the books I want to read.

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  14. @Stu, I hope to enjoy it. And Maugham's Of Human Bondage is on one of my challenge list.

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  15. Wow! At long last, you've got Rushdie's Satanic Verses... That's great. Wonderful additions here.

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  16. Yes Geosi, and it was expensive even as a used-book.

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  17. pls, where did u get it? This book of his in particular is so hard to come by. I have scanned so many book stores but never seen it.

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