I projected to read only two books: War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy and Smouldering Charcoal by Tiyambe Zeleza (for our Book and Discussion Club). The sheer size of Tolstoy's book made it impossible to meet the average monthly books of 6, for that book alone is worth four books (at an average of 348 books). Per my plan, if I stuck with at least 50 pages a day, it would have taken me 28 days. In the end, it took me a day or two less. In addition to these books, I read one poetry anthology and one short story. The following are the books read:
- War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. At the macro-level it is a story about a nation; at the micro-level it is a story about some aristocratic families. But there is more to this book than this. It gives an excellent window into life during that Napoleonic war period. Tolstoy also brought in his personal essays on predetermination, free will, power, causes of events, and more. War and Peace is more than a novel. The reader lives it.
- Smouldering Charcoal by Tiyambe Zeleza. Tiyambe's novel belongs to the immediate post-independence literature (forget that it was published in 1992) and deals with issues of corruption, cruelty, mis-development, and general societal malfunction. There are however several structural deficiencies in the novel.
- Breaking Silence - A Poetic Lifeline from Slavery to Love by James Robert Myers (Editor). This is a collection of poems from several individuals most of whom are from Ghana. As the title indicates, the anthology covers two basic themes - slavery and love. There are some good pieces in the collection.
- The Lump in her Throat by Aba Amissah Asibon. In this short story, a young girl narrates the events leading to the laying in state of his dead father. She is somewhat not very abreast with what was happening around her though she tells her story as best as she understands them both to the reader and to her friends. Through her narrative, flashes of past life, of decayed culture, of religion and of abuse could be glimpsed. Though just a short story (and the writer does not digress), Aba Amissah provides enough information for one to know about about the cultural setting of the story. A brilliant piece.
If I am to make up for numbers, which I wouldn't push myself to or sacrifice quality for quantity, I will have to improve the rate. I expect to read the following books in April:
- Antifragile - Things that Gain from Disorder by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
- My First Coup d'etat by John Dramani Mahama
- Saturday by Ian McEwan
- Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie
- On the Road by Jack Kerouac
Any other readings will be e-books that I've received for review purposes. I find it difficult to read e-books and though I keep saying this, I keep receiving them and reminders from the providers. Besides, I keep an 8 to 5 job, which sometimes include long travels. I hope I will be able to read all these books, thoroughly.
What did you read in March and what do you hope to read in April?