Another month has come to an end and over here at ImageNations, I'm taking stock of how the month fared in terms of reading. As always, the target is to read 50 pages a day and 70 for the year (and 6 books per month). The challenge becomes difficult when voluminous books are introduced. But no one is complaining so early in the year.
A total of 5 books were read in the month under review. The five books, though two less than the previous month's, gave a total of 1,948 pages, leading to an average of 67 pages per day. All the five books were authored by Africans, as defined here on ImageNations and consisted of two males and two females. The other is an anthology with both male and female contributors but edited by a man. There were two fiction and two non-fiction. The anthology is a mix of fiction, non-fiction and poetry. The following are the books read:
- Wizard of the Crow by Ngugi wa Thiong'o. This is one hell of a book. Regardless of the size - and it commands 768 pages - it is a fast read due to the nature of the write. This is Ngugi at his best. The story is known but the delivery is unique: the mixture of satire and intensity makes this book a worthy read. It's jumped onto my all-time favourites list and has included Ngugi into the list of authors whose works I would want to completely read; the others are Nadine Gordimer, Toni Morrison, and Ayi Kwei Armah.
- Definition of a Miracle by Farida N. Bedwei. This book follows the story of Zaara, a precocious girl who has developed cerebral palsy. It provides the thoughts of individuals who have become disabled and whom society believes cannot do anything apart from beg. Zaara proves otherwise.
- Fathers and Daughters - an Anthology of Exploration by Ato Quayson (Editor). This anthology explores the relationship between fathers and their daughters from the point of view of either the father or the daughter. The subject matter is very interesting and one worth studying, for far too often the representation of men - especially African men - in books is so appalling that one is likely to think that the only type of men on the continent are the irascible and abusive types. And because I'm a man and a father, I know this is not true.
- Dead Aid - Why Aid is not Working and How there is another Way for Africa by Dambisa Moyo. This book explores the problems fraught with aid and how aid correlates with development. It concludes that aid has never worked and will not work if its intention is to effect development. Several reasons were provided such as misappropriation of aid money, weak infrastructure, and others. Dambisa proposed several ways African countries could adopt to achieve the resources necessary for development. Whether the reader agrees with Dambisa or not on the issues raised, there is one thing that he/she will agree: Dambisa raises some issues worth investigating further and the book is radical.
- Interventions - A Life in War and Peace by Kofi Annan (with Nader Mousavizadeh). This is a the former UN Secretary-General's memoir interspersed with commentaries. It's insightful and sometimes controversial in its own way. For outsiders like us, such books by such individuals show how the world operate and who are those who make decisions. I've already shared some of my thoughts on facebook. Though I had some issues to pick with Annan, the book is recommended.
Projections for March: February was a good month. I was both animated and excited by all my readings. March is going to be a difficult month. I don't intend to read that many books but I will read same or more pages as I read in February.
- War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. In fulfilling my 2013 reading objectives of more non-fiction and Russian Literature, I've chosen this this is 1,392-page book of small print. This book will be my first Russian literature since Isaac Asimov described himself fully as an American, after moving to that country at the age of 10. Even if I read exactly fifty pages a day, it will take me 28 days to read the entire book, leaving only three days for other books. This means that the maximum number of books I will read in March is 2.
- Smouldering Charcoal by Tiyambe Zeleza. This book will definitely be read for the WPG Book and Discussion Club, even if it will mean suspending W&P for a time to complete this.
These are my reading goals for March. I hope I'll be able to stick to them.