Thursday, September 01, 2011

August in Review, Projections for September

This is the first time I overachieved my reading targets. I set out to read four books, or five time permitting, but ended up reading seven books and four single stories (for the Caine Prize Shortlist Reading). 
  • Anthills of the Savannah by Chinua Achebe. This book tells of the rift that came among a group of three friends as one became the head of state. It shows how the quest of power could wreck a lifelong relationship. 
  • Eno's Story by Ayodele Olofintuade. This is a children's story about witch-labelling and tagging. The language is simple but the subject is complex. We get to know how people in seeming authority and elders could all be wrong and wreck lives because of misunderstanding. And folly.
  • The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. A story that traces the complexity of relationships between the rich and the poor over the course of a country's history. A story that would affect you in more than one way.
  • The River Between by Ngugi wa Thiong'o. A story about the tribal relations at the eve of colonialist invasion into the deeper regions of Kenya.
  • Opening Spaces by Yvonne Vera (editor). A short story anthology by contemporary women of Africa. It deals with issue such as polygamy, rape, and irresponsible husbands. There are other themes like politics and the cycle of abuse.
  • Look Where you have Gone to Sit by Martin Egbelwogbe and Laban Carrick Hill (editors). This is a poetry anthology by new Ghanaian writers, most of whom have never had their work published before.
  • Neo-Colonialism, the Last Stage of Imperialism by Kwame Nkrumah. Kwame Nkrumah's book traces the factors that has led to the underdevelopment of most African countries, the impediments on the path to unity, the powers behind the extractive industry in African and the world at large and how these corporations work to impede Africa's progress; how they control production and supply and has the power to affect prices and output; how capitalism works, through its very free nature, to aid the development of monopolies, so that the extractive industries is a made up of a link of few corporations with interests in one another and controlled by fewer people.
In August I set out to read all the Caine Prize Shortlist, beginning 2009, one story at a time or as single stories rather than an anthology. The difficulty here is that single stories are difficult to review as the breadth of the story is not that wide. In 2010, I read Mamle Kabu's End of Skill which was on the 2009 shortlist. The others read in August to complete the 2009 shortlist are:
Currently, I am reading The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown. I hope to finish this in time and start the selected books for September. The total number pages read, excluding the one currently being read, is 1,390.

Again, I would be conservative with my selections for September. For this month, I have the non-fiction Excursions in my Mind by Nana Awere Damoah. I reviewed Nana's Through the Gates of Thoughts, his second book, on this blog. For the non-African-authored book for the month I would be reading a book that has been with me for a long time The Shadow Catcher by Marianne Wiggins. The remaining books for the month are: A Grain of Wheat by Ngugi wa Thiong'o and The Book of Not by Tsitsi Dangarembga, a sequel to Nervous Conditions.

In addition to these, I would review the 2010 Caine Prize shortlist: The Life of Worm by Ken Barris, How shall we Kill the Bishop by Lily Mabura, Muzungu by Namwali Serpell, and Soulmates by Alex Smith. Follow me for updates and reviews of these books.

Again, these are just projections and could change depending on mood and other factors. They are meant to be a guide only.


  1. Congrats on going above and beyond your reading goals!

  2. you had a good august nana ,hope you gets lots read in september ,all the best stu

  3. @Anna, I hope to do same for Sept, if possible.

  4. Wow, congratulations on a really fantastic month! I'm so excited to see that you've read a nonfiction and I can't wait to see your thoughts on it! All the best in September.

  5. @Amy, I would be reviewing that soon. And I have another schedule for today.

  6. Well done. I;m still having problems with reading and reviewing. But I know it will pass.

  7. it will. Sometimes you get mental block and nothing seems to work.


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