Thursday, August 23, 2012

Library Additions

When one takes up blogging it is to act as a place to share his or her thoughts; a place to give voice (or words) and meaning (sometimes not) to whatever he feels and wants to share. For some it is a way to get an audience; others use blogging to develop their writing skills. As I have said, I used blogging to help me contribute my quota to the promotion of African Literature. Reading is a passion and it comes to me naturally. I was privileged enough to have literate parents who understood the essence of education but was not privileged enough to have parents who had a passion for reading; hence, I wasn't born with that reading culture. But I took up reading earlier in life because I understood then that one's ability to read is key to many things.

However, if the little things one do get recognised by the people who matter to such an extent that one is given attention then one could say that the little he did was done well. For book bloggers, it is always about being recognised by publishers and because African books is almost marginalised, to be recognised by the few that exist is heartwarming. This year, I have been blessed with several books; not books dumped on me but books I had a hand in picking. Therefore, it isn't about being used as a tool but about being recognised and appreciated. Enough said; the following are the recent books I have received since July 20, 2012 when I shared the new additions to my library with you.
  • Mr Happy and the Hammer of God by Martin Egblewogbe (published by Ayebia Clarke). This is a republication to a wider audience. Any keen follower of this blog will realise that this book is on the list of my all time favourites. The author first self-published this book in 2008 and it wasn't until 2009 that I got a chance to read this book. And what a book! In order not to sound to be vainly convincing you, kindly read my first review here. Again you can read my interview with the author here. Mr Happy and the Hammer of God contains several placeless stories. The issues being dealt with are universal in themes and apply to us all. You can read other individuals' opinions here.
  • Growing Yams in London by Sophia Acheampong (published by Piccadilly Press). I agreed to read this, and the next book, because of the title. I was like 'uh! how can there be growing yams in London' but then when I saw the next title I was like 'but we've had iPods in Accra...'. These books look like they would be for young adults and I am going to read them and get back to you.
  • IPods in Accra by Sophia Acheampong (published by Piccadilly Press). See above.
  • Seasons of Migration to the North by Tayeb Salih (published by Lynne Rienner Publishers). This is one of the most sought-after books and on my list of Top 100 Books to be read in five years Challenge. It would be my first foray into Sudanese authors but not necessarily Arabic authors.This copy was translated from Arabic by Denys Johnson-Davies, the same person who translate Alifa Rifaat's Distant View of a Minaret.
  • The Repudiation by Rashid Boudjedra (published by Three Continent Press). Rashid Boudjedra is an Algerian novelist who, according to the introduction, 'writes with equal ease, flair and masterful command in both French and Arabic'. But this is what I love the most 'For Boudjedra a novel is an open-ended fiction that ignores borders, banishes representation, mixes and subverts rhetorical codes, cultivates the subjective and the phantasmagorical, thrives on intertexuality and heralds writing as a supreme, self-gratifying activity.' End of discussion.
  • Critical Perspectives on Ayi Kwei Armah, edited and compiled by Derek Wright (published by Three Continents Press). Why wouldn't I choose this book when I was given the opportunity to select? Some one just tell me: who wouldn't want to know more about his favourite writer? Yes, Ayi Kwei Armah belongs to my all time favourite authors' list. He, in fact, occupies the top even though I have read four of his books: The Beautyful Ones are not Yet Born (1968), Fragments (1969), Two Thousand Seasons (1973) and The Healers (1978). His writings also inspired by article Ayi Kwei Armah Featuring the Invasion of Africa Part II. Need I say more? He is intelligent, articulate and precise. I love his writings.
These are the books I have received and if you have read any of them share with us. 

16 comments:

  1. oh some new names to me Nana ,I m just read a Alain Mabanckou at the moment ,all the best stu

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    Replies
    1. Try any of these especially Mr Happy and the Hammer of God by Martin Egblewogbe which is now available on kindle and at other places and you won't regret it.

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  2. Great additions! Looking forward to your review on them

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  3. Nana, Martin's book is a must read for me. I don't know why I did not grab a copy when I was in school as I saw it many times at the bookshop. i am extremely happy that Ayebia is republishing it. The other two titles, growing yams in london and ipods in accra sounds interesting. I like the titles. is the authour a Ghanaian?

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    Replies
    1. Martin's book is up there in a class that seems to be solely his.

      Sophia Acheampong is a British-born Ghanaian.

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  4. It's so nice that you are being recognized and sought out for book reviews that you are excited about, and some of these books sound intensely interesting. So, so glad that you got your hands on these great books!

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    Replies
    1. I am so excited about the books I've received recently.

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  5. As with Stu, some names new to me, so a big thanks for the introduction

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  6. I love the posts on new library additions!

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  7. A truly fantastic collection of books! I hope you really love Seasons of Migration to the North. I found it to be an amazing read.

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  8. I loved Season of Migration to the North and I'll be waiting for your thoughts on it. Such a dark and beautiful book!

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