Sunday, 7 February 2016

Nights of the Creaking Bed, 2008, Toni Kan ****

Nights of the Creaking Bed is a collection of short stories by the Nigerian writer, Toni Kan. It consists of 14 short stories, one thing I find out all the stories have in common are their tragic ending, abuse and sexual content. But then again, despite the progress and development in Nigeria, sadly, issues like this are still recurrent.

The first story, same as the title of the book;

Nights of the Creaking Bed: is the story of a widow who preferred her bed to creak to loving her own children. told through the voice of one of her sons.

I enjoyed reading all of the stories, however, I'd like to comment on the ones that somewhat moved me in no order of preference.

The Passion of Pololo: A son caught his mother being unfaithful to his father, the image bothered him so much that in order to assuage the guilt, he decided to do the unthinkable. 

The Echo of Silence: is a breath of fresh air, it felt good to read about a funny situation after all the drama and the creaking of beds.

My Perfect Life: I find this story really entertaining in the sense that, generally, African women are viewed as if they do not really care about sex, love and the details. That they are only interested in being successful, carrier wise (those who can), finding a husband who cares for them and their children, it does not really matter if they love him in return. This story proves it all wrong, it rather reveals that the Nigerian woman

Sunday, 31 January 2016

The Prophet of Zongo Street, 2005, Mohammed Naseehu Ali ***

I discovered Mohammed Naseehu Ali through his published story "The Manhood Test" in the  anthology "Gods and Soldiers" edited by Rob Spillman. Whose book I have since added to my TBR.

There are ten collection of short stories included in "The prophet of Zongo Street" most of the stories are mainly about people who live on this street, some few were set in the USA. However, let me talk about the ones that kept me on the edge of my seat;

Rachmaninov, yes you read well, the Russian composer and pianist. Well, that is the music in the background when an aspiring Ghanaian artist  and his date were under the effect of an overdose and everything else was in discordant; sex, hallucination, drug and

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Whiteman, 2006, Tony D'Souza ***

I fell into the trap of reading this non-fiction novel by Tony D'Souza because I bought it unknowingly. Generally, before purchasing my novels I try to research a bit about the writer, book review and etc. However, some other times the book cover can simply incite me to buy without wondering about the content, that is the case of  "Whiteman". 

The narrator is a member of Peace Corps who is assigned to a small village in Côte d'Ivoire where he is accepted without reserve by the villagers. He was supposedly to help in the "supply of clean water" however

Sunday, 17 January 2016

2015 Book of the Year

Please click here to read my review.

This is a novel beautifully written! Sort of (not exactly) interlinked shorstories. It is just difficult to put in words the type of craft invested in the writing of this book, and mind you it is only a debut novel! It is a book that also involves you as a reader to piece the story together!

I have also read Helon Habila's Measuring Time and yet to read Oil on Water which I have already purchased.

This is actually the first time a Nigerian writer is making my book of the year, previously it has been Zimbabwe (2012), Mozambique (2013)  and Tanzania (2014). Surprising right? This is going to be a whole different post, anyway.

Have you heard of Helon Habila before? Have you read any of his published works?

I hope you will be able to set your hands soon on Waiting for an Angel and read it if you haven't yet.

Please click here to visit his website.

Saturday, 9 January 2016

2015 Reading Highlight

I find it difficult to state my 2015 top ten must read because I only read 20 books and I wouldn't be sincere if I say that half of the books read were top ten must read. I was not that lucky. However, I can say that some of the books were outstandingly interesting and engaging, they were:

In no order of preference:

  1. Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight by Alexandra Fuller
  2. Waiting for an Angel by Helon Habila
  3. Admiring Silence by  Abdulrazak Gurnah
  4. Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

Abdulrazak Gurnah's novel was highlighted last year and was my 2014 book of the year, again this year it is being highlighted. Will it be my book of the year again? Have you read any or all of the novel mentioned above? What is your opinion? Let me read your thoughts before I announce my 2015 book of the year.

Monday, 28 December 2015

2015 Autumn Read Progress

First and foremost, I hope you did have a Merry Christmas and looking forward to a prosperous 2016. Over here, in the city of Barcelona, it was sort of warm, it was around 17ºC. However, we had a great time with our loved ones, families and friends.

I read 4 books this fall, started a fifth one,  have not finished yet, hopefully I'll be done before the year ends and I can proudly say I

Monday, 21 December 2015

The Prisoner's Wife: A Memoir, 1999, Asha Bandele ***

The Prisoner's Wife; A Memoir is a non-fiction narrative of how the writer (Asha Bandele) fell in love with a man condemned twenty to life imprisonment for murder.

Asha's writing is poetical, lyrical, descriptive and graphical, there is no way you wouldn't grasp her narrative. Sometimes I just have to reread some paragraph, not because I do not understand but simply for the pleasure of it. She is a recognised poet by the way, a skilled she applied in the making of this book. She met Rashid, the prisoner, during

Monday, 14 December 2015

Bloomsbury Publishing

Bloomsbury Publishing is an independent publish house with its head quarters in London and branches in New York, New Delhi and Australia. It is considered one of the largest publishing companies in the UK. Its target are mainly high quality fiction with which I concur, evidence is four novels I have read so far published by them which have all been long-list, shortlist nominee and winner of most of the literary awards.

You can feel the sombre mood on their book cover, they are in for real adult issues. In my opinion, Abdulrazak Gurnah, Aminatta Forna, Khaled Hosseini and Leila Aboulela are just exceptionally good, you can tell Bloomsbury Publishing's commitment to excellence. Please click here to visit their website.

  • By The Sea: Man Booker Prize Nominee for Longlist (2001)
  • The Memory of Love: Orange Prize Nominee for Fiction Shortlist (2011), Commonwealth Writer's Prize for Best Book Overall (2011), European Literature Prize Nominee (2013)
  • And the Mountains Echoed: Paris Review Best of the Best (2013), Goodreads Choice Award for Fiction (2013), DSC Prize Nominee for South Asian Literature for Longlist (2015)
  • MinaretLong listed for the Orange Prize for Fiction 2006
 Have you read any of the novels mentioned above

Monday, 7 December 2015

Cutting for Stone, 2009, Abraham Verghese *****

This novel grasp my attention from the very beginning to the end. A young nun leaving her Indian hometown to serve in Africa ended up in Ethiopia with a Surgeon she met in the ship, whose life she saved.

They got involved, she became pregnant and died during labour after giving birth to identical twin brothers, Marion and Shiva.

Thomas, the surgeon, fled leaving behind his identical twins. Hema and Ghosh, Thomas' colleague and friend buried Mary, raised Marion and Shiva with so much love as if they were theirs, of course telling them the truth about their biological parents.

The twin brothers grew up in Ethiopia of the sixties, seventies and eighties, in a missionary hospital where they were born, where their parents met and worked and where their mother is buried. Their non biologic parents are doctors too and work in that same hospital.

You see, the writer Abraham Verghese, who is also a doctor has set a perfect scenario to narrate his story. His medical narrative is intense, the cutting and stitching of the human body is in detail. Do not miss this out, Marion the twin brother is the main narrator and guess what?

Monday, 30 November 2015

Africa World Press

I'd like to to talk about the book publishing companies that publish the books I read. They are always in the rear, I am always talking about the book titles and their authors, however, I barely mention their publishing companies. Sometimes, I get to meet budding writers that ask me about publishing companies, my answers always go towards the direction of not having an idea, or vaguely naming a few... So, I have decided to shed a light on those companies that I have read two or more books published by them. It is also a way to see what type of books by African writers they choose to publish, the similarities if there are any, book cover and etc.

In an alphabetical order I' ll start with

Monday, 9 November 2015

The Spider King's Daughter, 2012, Chibundo Onuzo ***

Let me start with saying it is a story about a rich man in Lagos, who got rich suspiciously. He is intimidatingly powerful, which makes the way he runs his household very questionable as well.

His presumptuous daughter Abike falls for a hawker, who use to belong to the Nigerian affluent middle class. What she did not know is that her father has a hand in the hawker's current situation by doing away with his father's life, the main breadwinner and the one who pays the bills. Will the hawker take this opportunity to avenge his father's death or

Sunday, 1 November 2015

New Book, Released on October 23rd 2015

Set on an island off the eastern coast of North Africa, the tale is of a young and smart yet impoverished girl who seeks to transcend her destitute class by showcasing her prowess to the regal establishment.  After a run of raucous adventures, she finds herself among the daunting elite. However, having gone from the ignorant bliss of simple peasant life to the sobering misery of the base evils of power-hungry men, Samiyah faces a series of terrible personal trials liable to determine the outcome of an imminent, bloody revolution.

Rife with passionate dialog, edgy suspense, and epic conflict, this Dark Fairy Tale follows our heroine as she journeys to heal a nation broken by the internal prejudices of class warfare, armed with nothing but stark determination.

Do you look forward to reading this novel? Have you heard about the writer before?

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Saharawi Refugees: UNHCR press release

Devastating flooding affects 25,000 Sahrawi refugees in Tindouf camps
Briefing Notes, 23 October 2015
This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Melissa Fleming – to  whom quoted text may be attributed – at the press briefing, on 23 October 2015, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

The guest speaker for this item was Amin Awad, Director of the Bureau for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and Refugee Coordinator for the Syria and Iraq situations.

Heavy rains and flooding have caused widespread damage to five camps providing shelter to some 90,000 of the most vulnerable Sahrawi

Monday, 19 October 2015

An Elegy for Easterly, 2009, Petina Gappah ***

An Elegy for Easterly is a collection of  thirteen short stories that expounds on the socioeconomic political situation of the actual and the good old days Zimbabwe.

Let me say that the stories are funny, witty and most of the time tragic. Tragic because of the corruption, inflation, despair, poverty, HIV and AIDS constantly present in every backdrop of each story. For instance the story "The Cracked, Pink Lips of Rosie's Bridegroom"  you can feel
the pressure on women to get married, Rosie is so desperate to tie the knot that she does not care that her groom is obviously down with AIDS. Everyone turned a blind eye, of course they will, let he who is not infected or has not buried a relative who died from the disease cast the first stone.

In addition, what baffles me is
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