Showing posts from August, 2016

New Books Acquired

Books are life. Good books are heavenly. A stack of books? - indescribable. The following are the books I have purchased since I last talked about new books  I have acquired : The Maestro, The Magistrate & The Mathematician  by Tendai Huchu. I came to know Tendai when he published The Hairdresser of Harare .  I interviewed him then. And I have an interview with him on this new book, which I am yet to post here. I was therefore surprised to find that the book organization, of which I am a member, Writers Project of Ghana, has copies of his book for sale, courtesy Farafina.  The Maestro, The Magistrate & The Mathematician  was published in 2015. My interest in reading Tendai's second book is to really understand the path his writing will take. Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy. John Banville describes the book as "unlike anything I have read in recent years, an extraordinary, breathtaking achievement." It has been considered as a great American novel. The grea

301. Every Day is for the Thief by Teju Cole

Every Day is for the Thief (2007; Cassava Republic) by Teju Cole is an interesting story that is difficult to categorise, if you are one in love with such mundane activities. In some aspects it is a novella - Teju says: " Every Day is for the Thief, written after I revisited Lagos after a long absence, is a novel "; however, in an attempt 'to capture a contemporary moment in the life of the city'...'much of the impetus comes from real-life events '. In this aspect, Every Day is for the Thief   is not just your everyday novel. It is more than that. The writing style, the plot (actually there was none), and the unnamed narrator writing about his travel makes it read like a travelogue, creative non-fiction style. However, at what point is a work of fiction, fiction? Or what proportion of fiction is required for a work to be described as such? Realist writers, whatever that term might mean, writes of the everyday happenings that the reader, if the book is set i

299-300: The Diamond As Big as the Ritz (by F. Scott Fitzgerald) & Daisy Miller by Henry James

300. Daisy Miller by Henry James: My first impression after reading this novel was one of disappointment.  It seemed too simple. I waited for something to happen but it never did until the main character died. However, like Fitzgerald, the story shows the progress society has made. The story is about social restrictions placed on young ladies. In the novel, it was frowned upon for a young unmarried woman to be seen in the company of a young man she is not engaged with for such a length of time without the presence of an elder woman. The problem was that some of these restrictions differ and when Daisy arrived in Europe where such restrictions were tough, she was confused and ignorant of what she was to do. Thus, reading the novel one is likely to think that Daisy is a tough woman brazenly defying society, yet it turned out that she was totally ignorant of the laws and that she was only flouting them in innocence. Though not a good representation of Henry James, it still provides a te

A Five-Year Reading Challenge that Ended Almost Two Years Ago

In October of 2009 , about seven months into my book blogging life, I came up with a plan to guide me read some fantastic books. I had just transitioned from reading 'everything' (or preferably pulp fiction) to literary fiction with focus on African literature. Realising how much I was missing, I set myself the target of reading 100 amazing books in five years. These books were to be exclusive of all other books I will read in the year. Thus, I can read other books but at the end of the five years I should have read these 100 books. I developed the list with vigour, with information from several sources (recommendations from friends and best books lists). This is the kind of challenge I cherish though I don't always complete challenges . However one challenging factor when it comes to challenges is book accessibility and it is because of this that I set the five-year target thinking that within that period the hurdle would have flattened out.  So I made a list of books