Saturday, November 02, 2013

October in Review & Projections for November and Disrespecting Readers

Once in a while you hear statements that make you want to give up. They are so piercing that you wonder what they are meant to achieve. One contributor to the African Roar 2013 anthology nearly made me quit reviewing African books altogether. This guy claims my reviews exposes no one (with laughter) and more. However, I have decided not to be put off by folks of such mentality who see it proper to discourage and extinguish rather than to encourage.

So the month has ended and my quest to read 60 books, which took a huge jolt last month, is almost back on track with a gain of three books, reducing the deficit to two (according to Goodreads). This month, I read eight books - four by Africans and four by non-Africans; one each of non-fiction, short story anthology, and poetry anthology, two plays, and three novels. I read my first Austrian and Norwegian authors, Musl and Ibsen respectively. In all, I read a total of 1884 pages at 60.77 pages per day. The following are the books read:
  1. Indaba - My Children: African Tribal History, Legends, Customs and Religious Beliefs by Vusamazulu Credo Mutwa. This is about the history and customs of the Bantus and other tribes as they migrated from Eastern and Central Africa to Southern Africa.
  2. The Parliament of Poets by Frederick Glaysher. This is an epic poem that treats issues of Oneness and Unity in a world of 'false dichotomies'.
  3. African Roar 2013 by Emmanuel Sigauke (Editor). A short story anthology with varying degrees of success. The stories cover home, love, identity, city life, superstition and others.
  4. The Confusions of Young Torless by Robert Musil. Musil was Austrian and this was his first novel. The Confusions of Young Torless is about power and its use; about sexual development and its fulfilment. Musil's understanding of power is enormous.
  5. An Enemy of the People by Henrik Ibsen. This is a play about the shortfalls of liberalism and how the masses are their own enemies. It is about the capitalisation of wrong and how the majority are necessarily be right.
  6. Permit for Survival by Bill Marshall. The story began with a man who must, at all cost, prevent his own burial. It led on from there to talk about the changes that took place in his life.
  7. Persuasion by Jane Austen. This is Austen's last novel and again it mocks the marriage-for-convenience-instead-of-love mentality of the people of the time. 
  8. Children of Owu by Femi Osofisan. This is an African-rereading of Euripides' The Trojan Women. The story itself is set in Owu, after the city has been razed down by the Allied Forces of Ijebu, Ife, and Oyo. The story also hints on America's invasion of Iraq with such statements as 'Nowadays when the strong fights the weak, it's called a liberation war to free the weak from oppression.'
I hope to read the following books in November:
  1. Dreams in Times of War by Ngugi wa Thiong'o
  2. Waiting for the Wild Beasts to Vote by Ahmadou Kourouma
  3. Allah is not Obliged by Ahmadou Kourouma
  4. True Murder by Yaba Badoe (for Kinna's Ghana Literature Week, Nov 11 - 17, 2013)
  5. A Bit of Difference by Sefi Atta
  6. The Poor Christ of Bomba by Mongo Beti (the WPG's book for November)

1 comment:

  1. I admire you for such reading spirit. You inspire some of us to do same.


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