July was an extremely slow month. It happened to be the month that ushered in the reading fatigue that usually comes when one has been consistently reading. Last year, the fatigue months were May, June and August, where I read the least.
In my review of June's reading activities I projected to read four books, hoping that I could add another one to get to the average of five per month required to meet the challenge. However, July had its own ideas and I had to suspend reading for days. I have read (almost) three of the four projected books:
- Ama - a Story of the Atlantic Slave Trade by Manu Herbstein. [374 p.] This is an engaging story about the slave trade. It is not only about the Atlantic slave trade but also about the kind of internal slavery that existed among the tribes. It is an interesting book that needs to be read by all.
- God Dies by the Nile by Nawal El Saadawi. [175 p.] Nawal was in her elements in this story. This is a book or a story about the political, religious, and economic oppression of women and of men. It is also about the religious fanaticism and religious impotence.
- Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. [in the final pages] [813 p.] This book is about aristocratic life in Russia, the sham and the facade. But it is more about the social laws of marriage and divorce that existed at the time and how religion influences everything. It is also a tragic love story.
On the other hand, July was full of literary activities. There were two readings by Taiye Selasi, neither of which I attended. However, I attended a reading organised by Invisible Borders - The Trans-African Project which featured the author of The Spider King's Daughter, Chibundu Onuzo, and Emmanuel Iduma, author of Farad at the Pan-African Writers Association (PAWA) house in Accra. Two days later, Nii Ayikwei Parkes (author of Tail of the Blue Bird) organised a reading that featured Chibundu and Martin Egblewogbe, author of the short story anthology Mr Happy and the Hammer of God at the Sytris Bookshop.
On the 24th of last month, Nana Malone was the guest reader of the monthly book reading organised by the Writers Project of Ghana and the Goethe Institut under the Ghana Voices Series. The Book and Discussion Club also met on Tuesday July 31, to discuss the book of the month God Dies by the Nile by Nawal El Saadawi. The Sunday before this, I talked about Saadawi's book on Writers Project on Citi, a weekly radio programme organised by the Writers Project of Ghana.
Thus, even though my reading slumped my participation in literary activities increased.
August is an uncertain month. I am not sure which books I will be reading and so I am not going to predict anything. I have purchased a few books from the readings I attended and so might depend on them.