Showing posts from August, 2012

188. If I'm So Successful, Why do I feel Like a Fake - The Impostor Phenomenon by Joan C. Harvey with Cynthia Katz

If I'm so Successful, Why do I feel like a Fake  (St Martin's Press, 1984; 246) by Joan C. Harvey and Cynthia Katz is a book about peculiar human behaviour. It discusses what has been referred to as the Impostor Phenomenon where a high-flier - in academia or work - think that he or she does not deserve his or her success. Usually, such individuals feel like they are fakes and have used some exceptional extrinsic values to deceive everyone into believing them and that it is on this that their success is based on. They never attribute their success and promotion or recognition to to their ability but to such things as hard work, beauty, communication and the likes. They see these as external to ability and therefore often feel like cons. Harvey's book adequately discusses the signs and symptoms of the impostor syndrome and how it happens in the family and in the world. The three main signs of IP as discussed by Harvey are: The sense of having fooled other people in

Library Additions

When one takes up blogging it is to act as a place to share his or her thoughts; a place to give voice (or words) and meaning (sometimes not) to whatever he feels and wants to share. For some it is a way to get an audience; others use blogging to develop their writing skills. As I have said, I used blogging to help me contribute my quota to the promotion of African Literature. Reading is a passion and it comes to me naturally. I was privileged enough to have literate parents who understood the essence of education but was not privileged enough to have parents who had a passion for reading; hence, I wasn't born with that reading culture. But I took up reading earlier in life because I understood then that one's ability to read is key to many things. However, if the little things one do get recognised by the people who matter to such an extent that one is given attention then one could say that the little he did was done well. For book bloggers, it is always about being re

POEM: Echoes in a Dying Head - In memory of Ken Saro-Wiwa

In 2005, I set out to write poems for individuals who mean a lot in my life. At the time, I had heard of Ken Saro-Wiwa and even with little knowledge of his works and deeds, I set out to write a poem about this man. This week I am read a book written by him titled A Month and a Day & Letters . It is funny how much of what I captured fits in. I am sharing this one with you to celebrate this man who gave his life and also all individuals who fight against injustice everywhere and who are persecuted for doing so. (Only the weak fight with Guns) EVENING (DARKNESS) Between the cockroach and the cock all disputes are settled with a peck. You eat the gods’ sacrifice and you owe them twice: no crow to bring you kernels no stone to crack them; The pigeons’ pinions are wet Their legs tied to their nests. Pocket torn Stomach churning Maize farms yielding swallows Thieves singing praises for their daily bread They sow not, reap the lot My eyes are

187. Cut off My Tongue by Sitawa Namwalie

Cut off My Tongue (StoryMoja, 2009; 80) is a bold collection of poems by Kenyan author who writes under the name Sitawa Namwalie. My first encounter with Namwalie's poems was when I saw her perform this entire set of poems at the Museum in Kampala, Uganda. That performance will live with me for a very long time. I describe Sitawa's poems as bold because of its subject matter. She is not afraid to call a thing by its name. Yet, in been blunt she didn't sacrifice the musicality and artistic requirement of poetry. All these ingredients are present in this excellent anthology. Whether she is writing about the deeply tribalistic nature of her Kenyan compatriots, an issue that isn't peculiar to that country alone and which has been capitalised by politicians to achieve their personal goals, or she is talking about her identity as a Kenyan and an African, Sitawa minces no words and does so brilliantly. Though her writing covers wide subject matters, the common thread we

The Man Booker Prize 2012 Longlist

I am very late on this, yet I feel I should still share it with you. On July 25, 2012, the Man Booker Prize organisers released the long list of competing books for 2012. This list consist of 12 books chosen by a panel of judges chaired by Sir Peter Stothard. The longlisted books were selected from a total of 145 titles. The following are the books on the list: The Yips by Nicola Barker (Fourth Estate) The Teleportation Accident by Ned Beauman (Sceptre) Philida by Andre Brink (Harvill Secker) The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng (Myrmidon Books) Skios by Michael Frayn (Faber & Faber) The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce (Doubleday) Swimming Home by Deborah Levy (And Other Stories) Bring up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel (Fourth Estate) The Lighthouse by Alison Moore (Salt) Umbrella by Will Self (Bloomsbury) Narcopolis by Jeet Thayil (Faber & Faber) Communion Town by Sam Thompson (Fourth Estate) According to the Ch

186. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Markus Zusak's The Book Thief  (Black Swan, 2005; 554) is a book that is difficult to place between the dichotomy of adult or children's book. It is a book about a child and some adults during the World War II Nazi Germany. It is a heart-wrenching novel narrated by Death and in The Book Thief  Death is forced to work and its less nefarious than humans. The book is in ten parts with each part comprising short chapters and each chapter interspersed with poetry-like lines that seek to explain further what has been stated, providing several asides germane to the overall appreciation of the novel. The book opens with the main character Liesel Meminger and her brother on their way to meet their foster parents, the Hubermanns: Hans Hubermann and Rosa Hubermann of Himmel Street, Molching; but his brother could not make it and died in the train. During his burial Liesel would steal her first book, The Gravedigger's Handbook. Note, Himmel means Heaven but the Horrors that