Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Additions to the Library

Between my last report on newly acquired books and now, I have come into possession of several books. This has come about because, first, I ran out books - the remaining few being those I am not keen on reading; besides these are basically non-African authored books. Left with the option of choosing between reading western authors I am not keen on and repleting my library (at moderately significant cost), I chose the latter. However, not all the books I have come to own were purchased. 
  1. An Enemy of the People by Henrik Ibsen. This was sent to me - in a soft copy format - by a friend. Every body has heard of that Ibsen's statement about the majority being stupid rather than being right. Yes! If you haven't then there you have it. It is in this play that that famous statement was made. The story is a metaphorical take on the cause of rot and deterioration in a society. Guess what it is. This book is worth the read.
  2. African Roar 2013 by Emmanuel Sigauke. Every year, since 2010, StoryTime publishes an anthology of short stories by African writers. Most often these authors are new or moderately unknown. The publishing platform offers them the launchpad to shoot their career. This is a great source for new African writings. This year's anthology consist of thirteen short stories with wide-ranging themes. I was fortunate enough to have received an Advance Review Copy. 
  3. The Confusions of Young Torless by Robert Musil. If there is anything I have directly gained from blogging, it is being given books. To those who have been gifting me with books, I really thank you and do appreciate it, especially those who have to spend extra dollars to ship them to me. Musil is the first Austrian writer I have read, ever. His first book, titled above, is about the psychological changes that go on in a person during the teenage years and its sexual fulfilment. Its about power and the use of power. Musil's insight into the relationship between sex and power is enormous.
  4. A Bit of a Difference by Sefi Ata. Another source of books has been book readings and the Ghana Voices Series organised by the Writers Project of Ghana, an organisation I associate with, and the Goethe Institute provides me with that opportunity. The reader for the month of September was Sefi Ata and so we got to purchase her books. A Bit of a Difference is her latest book.
  5. Wizard of the Crow by Ngugi wa Thiong'o. Any ardent follower of this blog knows that not only do I have a copy of this fantastic novel, but I have reviewed it earlier this year. So why buy another copy? Yes, this is a replacement copy. The first one is missing about forty-five pages and almost the same number of duplicated pages. I had to borrow friend's to read those important pages. Like the rest of the books below, I purchased this from the EPP Bookshop, whose floor-space is pictured above.
  6. Dreams in Times of War by Ngugi wa Thiong'o. Ngugi is one of my most-read authors with five books. Thus, it is only proper that I started reading his memoir. Dreams in Times of War is Ngugi's childhood memoir. The other one is In the House of the Interpreter (2012). By the way, I had the privilege of being among a group of nine - made up of reader and blogger Kinna of Kinna Reads (who made this once-in-a-life-time event happen); writers Ama Ata Aidoo, Nii Ayikwei ParkesNana Nyarko Boateng (also a blogger), and Martin Egblewogbe; publisher, Nana Ayebia Clarkes; and photographer, Nana Kofi Acquah - which met Ngugi over lunch when he visited Ghana. That's another blog post on its own.
  7. Waiting for the Wild Beasts to Vote by Ahmadou Kourouma. I found the title of this story fascinating. The Independence describes the book as 'a tour de force - original, irreverent, brutal, funny, poetic - in which history and myth are brilliantly evoked.' The book won the Prix du Liver Inter in 1999. Unfortunately, Ahmadou Kourouma an Ivorian, died in 2003, this being his last novel. It was translated from French by Frank Wynne. 
  8. Allah is not Obliged by Ahmadou Kourouma. This was first published in French 1998 and translated, again, by Frank Wynne (like the one above). Allah is not Obliged won the Prix Renaudot. According to The Economist, 'Allah is not Obliged...deftly captures the mixture of horror, fascination and detachment with which a child views the world of grown-up folly'.
  9. True Murder by Yaba Badoe. I heard when this book when it came out. I purchased it for Kinna's Ghana Literature Week scheduled for November 11 - 17, 2013. According to the Daily Mail 'The Novel surges wtih raw emotion; guilt, love, betrayal, loss - and treachery.'
  10. Women of Owu by Femi Osofisan. I picked this book because I have heard of the title, not the story. Besides, I have heard of how wonderful a playwright Professor Osofisan is and having read Ola Rotimi and Wole Soyinka, I do not doubt this. Western Morning News: 'This African retelling (of Euripides), written by Femi Osofisan, of a people and a beloved city destroyed by the brutality of war is unnervingly topical and eloquently moving...'


  1. I'm planning to read Wizard of the Crow next year; the story seems very good and funny.

  2. I have read and reviewed True Murder by Yaba Baode, I am sure you've read my review on it. I have ordered more books to read and Allah is not obliged by Ahmadou Kourouma and Waiting for the Wild Beasts to Vote by Ahmadou Kourouma are among them.

    Happy reading.

    1. Yes I did read your review. Keen on knowing what you think of Kourouma's books. I just found him out. And he is Ivorian. More translation for me.


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