Reading of “Harmattan rain”

Last weekend I went to the second of the literary events organised by Franka Andoh at Cuppa Cappucino.   I missed the first one, as it took place a day or so before I travelled (not much of an excuse, I know) but actually met the author/reader featured (Mohammed Naseehu Ali, who wrote The prophet of Zongo Street) on the plane!  The phrase “it is a small world” certainly does apply!

This time the featured author was Ayesha Harruna Attah, and her book Harmattan rain. I had actually seen and bought the book, but had only read the first chapter (I am ashamed to say).

The heavens threatened to open, so the reading was moved inside – a little cosy, but generally the venue worked, and the audience was interested, questioning but sympathetic. Definitely more women than men – probably not unexpectedly given the venue, and possibly the subject.

There were the usual book sales afterwards, and author signing. And yes, I did bring my copy to be autographed.

As I write I have just finished the book. It was long, not a difficult read, and the stories were interesting as were the commentaries on Ghanaian society over the last fifty plus years. But I do feel it could have had a bit more editing…

Holidays are definitely over!

My holidays were, not surprisingly, too short, but I could only take four weeks off work, and even that was using up my full entitlement, plus some carry-over from last year!  I did manage to hit a few bookshops/bookstores, and decided that rather than paying a lot for overweight luggage I would mail the books to myself.   That in itself was a saga, as US Postal Service regulations are much stricter about reused carboard boxes – especially those with logos on them.   Anyway lesson learned…

I am however still waiting for the books to arrive – not too surprisingly I have to admit.  It was supposed to take six to ten working days – and I doubt very much that I will receive the parcel next week, though I can hope?

Holiday reading

I’ve been on holiday/vacation since Mother’s Day (10 May), so haven’t been reading as much as I would normally.  But by some standards, I wouldn’t be called totally idle.

I had heard of all the controversy about Stephanie Meyer’s vampire series, and I just couldn’t resist buying and reading a copy of Twilight, the first book.  It was OK, though I am not sure that I would go overboard in enthusiasm.  But it was certainly a good story.  Would I watch the movie?  Not sure.

Then a slight change of pace with an Icelandic mystery/crime story by Arnaldur Indridason, Silence of the grave.  It took me a while to get into the different time frames, and I am ashamed to admit that I found the names and geography just a little bit confusing, so was constantly referring to the map in the front.  The resolution isn’t too simplistic, and there are definitely some loose ends – mainly for the main characters who presumably carry on?

Another change of location with the book originally published as Q & A, and now titled Slumdog millionaire (by Vikas Swarup), obviously to cash in on the popularity of the award winning movie.   I am somewhat ashamed to say that I haven’t watched the movie – yet, but I did enjoy the book.  It was pretty gritty, which is something that didn’t really come through to me in reviews and discussions of the movie.  Or maybe I just didn’t absorb that aspect?

Most recent completed read was Alan Brennert’s Moloka’i, which my sister had recommended a long time ago.  Upon reflection, it is almost non-fictional but was still a good story about the impact of leprosy on one individual in the Hawaii of the late 19th century up to not so long ago.  It really gave me an insight into the impact of leprosy on individuals and their families in what one imagined to be a tropical paradise.  It did make me wonder what happened in Ghana before the advent of the present treatment for Hansen’s disease (leprosy).