|Planet Books, Lusaka Zambia|
One thing I like to take with me from any journey (outside Ghana) is a book. I buy books at airports and at identified bookshops in the countries. In Zambia I buy books at Planet Books located within the Arcades Shopping Mall, Lusaka. I have always been surprised at the wide-range of titles one could get at Planet Books. Though their floor space is incomparable to that of EPP Bookshop at Legon, they have by far more titles including several Man Booker books and other important titles not easily found in Ghana. The downside is that their stock of general African fiction is poor and when available are generally expensive. On the other hand, they have some quintessential African titles. What therefore makes such difference? There seem to be a dearth of excellent titles - literary fiction, poetry anthologies, essays, and others - in Ghana. Sorry, I am drifting from the main issue. The following are the books I have purchased:
- The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. [1943; 704]. Any reader and blogger knows that blogs do have influence on people's choice of books. I have followed A Guy's Moleskine Notebook for a while and it was a blogpost of his on this book that convinced me that I should read it. Consequently, I named the book was as one of the books to look out for this year. In addition, Ayn Rand was a Russian and therefore the book will count towards the Year of Russian Literature reading challenge.
- Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. [1957; 1070]. For similar reasons as above. It is believed that the publication of these two books brought success to Miss Rand.
- Indaba, My Children by Vusamazulu Credo Mutwa. [1964; 696]. When I listed this book on my Top 100 Books to be Read in Five Years, I never considered availability. I thought time would deliver them onto my lap. Yes, to some extent time has. However, when I first realised how difficult the books on the list are to come by, I became disillusioned. Then came a change in job, and different demands (on my time including travelling) and this book. From the blurb:
Whenever the names look like being forgotten and the memories overwhelmed by the events of time, the preservation of cultural traditions assume a new, more vital importance. Believing that the tales he learned from the elders gave direction to his life and motivated him to further his knowledge of his people's history, Vusamazulu Credo Mutwa, though the ancient art of storytelling, takes on that commitment to preserve, promote and revive the past. [Canongate Books, 1998]