My entire May was taken up by travel. Consequently, I did very little reading. One would ask 'why can't you read more if you are away from home.' The answer is precisely that: 'away from home'. From May 3 to 19, I was in Kampala (Uganda) and Nairobi (Kenya). These are two new cities (countries) I've visited. As my regular readers would know, my earlier job took me round Ghana and I did well - as judged by myself, lol - to update you with the fun aspect of my travels. My current job takes me to some countries in Africa (and sometimes beyond). So I was in Kenya and Uganda and I couldn't come back home and have nothing to say about these countries; hence, reading was sacrificed for roaming and exploration. In Uganda, I was invited by Beatrice Lamwaka, author of the Caine-Prize nominated short story Butterfly Dreams to attend a poetry performance by the Kenyan poet, Sitawa Namwalie. This turn out to be one of the best poetry performance I've ever seen. The fluidity between the sections, the themes ... it was as if the whole hour or more show was one giant poem, instead of being several poems. The day before, I had missed a performance by Nii Ayikwei Parkes - author of Tail of the Blue Bird - at the National Theatre (of Uganda). Nairobi was different; more exploration, less reading. And nothing literary.
Between May 27 and June 1, I was in Helsinki, Finland. Again, this being my first travel to Europe, I wasn't going to ensconced myself into books. Instead, with the help of a sleepless day (my first time of seeing the sun rise at midnight), I roamed the city at the end of everyday's programme. Again, no reading.
These aren't a detail report of what I did - for instance I've not mentioned of going to the source of the Nile in Jinja (in Uganda) nor the travel by boat on the Nile and also in Helsinki nor the travel my motor (or boda boda) in Uganda. Regardless of all these I did some reading:
- Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov:
- Foundation (170 pages)
- Foundation and Empire (172 pages)
- Second Foundation (168 pages)
- The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (214 pages)
- The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison (216)
In all I read a total of 940 pages, the lowest in the year - lower than the previous month. What this means is that my reading is declining, though my target remains unaffected - not yet. And I couldn't meet my reading target set out in May. I also fell short of the 'at least 50 pages per day' target, recording only 30.3 pages per day.
June will be a mixture of things: first I will be in Dare es Salaam from June 5 to 11 (or so). However, I expect to take some days off after I return, giving me ample time to catch up. I will continue with the unread books I projected for May. These are:
- Journey by G.A. Agambila - currently reading this
- The Dante Club by Matthew Pearl
- If I'm so Successful, why do I feel like a fake - The Impostor Phenomenon by Joan C. Harvey with Cynthia Katz.
- Paradise by Toni Morrison
I'll also be reading all the five (5) Caine-Prize shortlisted stories, at all cost. I need to read these and review them before the prize is announced on July 2.