The last time I posted on books I have acquired was exactly a month ago, on March 29. Of the four books I acquired then, I have read only one: Accra! Accra! More Poems about Modern Afrikans. However, as all readers or particularly bibliophiles know, we acquire books faster than we read them. If not we would be in deficit. Over the past month, I have been lucky to have come into some number of books through a combination of gifts and purchase.
When I read Pride and Prejudice, I showed my love for that book and for Jane Austen as a writer. I also made my intentions known that I would love to read her books. This week I received three packages of three books per package from Amy of Amy Reads and guess what? Four of them were Jane Austens. Yes! Thanks Amy of such a kind gesture. The following are the books I received from Amy:
- Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen. This one of the books I received from Amy. Jane Austen is on my author to read. She makes me understand the past and how we related to it, fiction or no fiction.
- Emma by Jane Austen
- Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
- Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
- 1984 by George Orwell. 1984 is on my list of Top 100 books to be read. I like the negative utopian world Orwell created and the way he's been vindicated by the books he wrote. Animal Farm is as relevant today as ever. Today, still, some individuals consider themselves more important than others. If not tribalism, racism, ethnicism and all those schisms wouldn't be there. I was listening to the announcement of the royal wedding and what the tabloids were saying and I became sad. Why do they refer to Kate as 'average', 'middle class', and all those derogatory terms. Isn't she human first? Isn't it the same blood that runs through her veins. I recently chanced upon a letter by Dr Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana's first president, in the letter he said 'an advantage gained by privilege and not merit is illusory.' Besides, after the implementation of the PATRIOTS Act, the Big Brother thing Orwell mentioned has even become more important. I believe we all need to read this novel.
- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. This is also on my list of Top 100 books to be read in five years. I am in the third year of this challenge and thanks to Amy I am getting some of the books.
- The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. This is also on my list of Top 100 books to be read in five years. This novel would also lead me into a different location-based literature, Arabic Literature. I know the author lives in America but I believe there would be that Arabic influence there.
- The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood. It was in search of this book that led me to read Oryx and Crake which I loved the most. I heard Year of the Flood follows this. Again on my Top 100 list and again given to me by Amy.
- A Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. Though this book is not on my list of Top 100 books, the author is on my list of authors to be read. Besides, who can refuse this book? Unless perhaps the person has already read it and decided against it.
In addition to the books Amy sent me, I have also purchased some books and these are:
- A Grain of Wheat by Ngugi wa Thiong'o. This is also on my Top 100 list of books to be read. It's also on the list of the Best 100 African Books of the 20th Century.
- The River Between by Ngugi wa Thiong'o. Ever since the rumour surfaced that he was being considered for the Nobel prize (the one Mario Vargas Llosa won), I have been in search of his books. It is this search that led me to reading Matigari.
- Gathering Seaweed: African Prison Writing by Jack Mapanje (Editor). This is a collection of essays, letters and poems by Africans who found their way into prisons mainly because of their political inclination and their fight for democracy and the overthrow of colonialism and apartheid. This would include names like Kwame Nkrumah, Nelson Mandela, Jack Mapanje and more. Jack Mapanje is a poet whose anthology The Chattering Wagtails of Mikuyu Prison was reviewed on this blog.
- The Portrait of an Artist as an Old Man by Joseph Heller. Joseph Heller is on the list of authors I have to read with his book Catch-22.
I have also received some books from authors:
- A Love Rekindled by Myne Whitman. I read A Heart to Mend by this author and even though I am not fully into love stories or romance I enjoyed it. Sometimes a change from one's comfort zone is required. Besides, I am happy that Africans are broadening their genres to cover all aspects of lives. I believe that if one wants to read African novels one must be able to read from Romance to Futuristic Science Fiction and even Fantasy. In this way, we would tell our stories from varied perspectives. And this leads me to the second and the third:
- Love at Dawn by Lara Daniels. Just like Myne Whitman, Lara writes love stories. Though I haven't read any of her novels I am happy to try these ones.
- Love in Paradise by Lara Daniels. The second of Lara's novels.
Non-book item received through a book blog:
- I also received an ear-rings and a sticker of Madame Tussaud (by Michelle Moran) from Anna of Diary of an Eccentric. I have given the earrings to my partner. She loved it.
I would be bringing you reviews of these novels/novellas with time. I believe at the pace I am reading I have enough novels to last me for a while. But I cannot discount the fact that I would still be purchasing books. It's a part of me. It's my addiction and what an addiction to have!
Upcoming Anniversary: May 11, 2011 would be exactly two years I first posted into this blog. I would write the history of this blog and the changes that had gone on over the years. How it came to be and what it was meant to be, what is it now and where it is heading to.