Tuesday, April 30, 2013

April in Review, Projections for May

April was an okay-month. I read a total of five books: two non-fiction, one play, and two novels. Withe the exception of Ian McEwan's Saturday, I read most of the books I projected to read this month. In place of McEwan's book, I read The Government Inspector for The Book and Discussion Club book of the month.
  • Antifragile - Things That Gain from Disorder by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. This book continues from Black Swan - the Impact of Highly Improbable Events. In this extraordinary, myth-busting book, Nassim discusses how we can position ourselves as individuals, organisations, companies to benefit from such Black Swan events. He also proposes that predictors should have their skin in the game if they are to continue to predict and that the gradually increasing phenomenon where some people take the upside of events whilst others take the downside should be eliminated with we are to build systems that would be antifragile. Economists, forecasters, banksters, and the believers or followers of these folks are Nassim's greatest target.
  • Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie. This is a parallel story of a child - Saleem Sinai - and the story of India. Saleem Sinai is one of the thousand and one children born on the stroke of midnight or seconds away from it on the eve of India's independence. Midnight's Children is about the fate of the children especially, Saleem, Parvati, and Shiva. Consequently, it is also the story about India.
  • The Government Inspector by Nikolai V. Gogol. This is a comedic and satirised story about Provincial life in Russia in the early nineteenth century. It dramatises the endemic and institutionalised corruption of the time. It also shows the deterioration that occurred due to the corruption.
  • My First Coup D'etat by John Dramani Mahama. This is a memoir of the life of the President of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama. It concerns his childhood and to the period that he went to Russia to study. The book shows how his family was affected by the 1966 coup - Ghana's first coup - and other subsequent coups. It however left out the president's political life, hence my expectation of another book.
  • On the Road by Jack Kerouac. The novel is about the wanton search for joy, happiness, freedom. It is fraught with sex, drugs, jazz, and spontaneous decision-making. It is about searching for experience, informal learning, and the subterranean life of America or its pop-culture (if I know what this is). On the Road is a compendium of thrill-seekers not bogged down by the concept of tomorrow. Life to them is now.
Projections for May:
The gradual decline in the volume of unread books is gradually making it difficult to select the books I will be reading for the following months. I intend to visit either the EPP Bookshop or the Legon Bookshop for some books. However, I have selected a few for May.
  • Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey. This won the Booker Prize in 1988, the Miles Franklin Awards in 1989 and shotlisted for the Best of the Booker (which was won by Midnight's Children) It was made into a movie in 1997.
  • Saturday by Ian McEwan. The book won the James Tait Black Prize for Fiction and was longlisted for the Booker Prize in 2005. I schedule to read it last month but will have to try again this month.
  • A Question of Power by Bessie Head. I read this book in 2011. If I should read it, it will be the first book I've reread since I started blogging, excluding Weep Not Child. The book is the selection of The Book and Discussion Club for the month of May.
I will purchase two or three Russian books to complete the five books for May and to also boost my plan of making this year the Year of Russian books. What did you read in April and what are you planning to read in May.

6 comments:

  1. Hello there,
    I was about to see the movie "On the Road" in the cinema. I gave up last-minute.. and saw something else.
    I am looking forward to reading your review... though I won't read the book.. perhaps I will make up my mind and see the move next time.

    I will be reading one of Bessie Head novel next month... or the other..

    you are really a serious reader.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. On the Road presented a special kind of problem for me. The lingua was geo-specific and the subject is not easily to relate especially for someone coming from this part of the world. We just don't hit the road and go anywhere the road leads.

      I read my review of Bessie's novel and realise I might not read it since I got the story just when I read it.

      Are you sure? LOL.

      Delete
  2. Moreover, why did you change your blog format?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just wanted to try other formats. How do you find it? Is it complicated? Some features of the old are not compatible with this. If this doesn't work out, I will go back to the old template.

      Delete
    2. I find this one some what impersonal. I personally like colours. I guess it depends on individuals.

      Delete
    3. Very conservative. I am trying it out, comparing the advantages with the disadvantages. Will make a decision to keep or not to. There is a widget I want... the one which appears below every post indicating are posts of similar interest. It is currently not compatible with this format.

      Delete

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