I think I need to remember to take a photo of each of the books I read, mainly because I feel slightly odd about linking to a site such as Amazon all the time. After all how many of us in Ghana are buying our books from there?
So here goes for the month of November 2009:
I do not come to you by chance, by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani. The story of a young Nigerian graduate who is frustrated in finding a job, keeping his girlfriend, and living up to the standards that his family expect of him. So what does he end up doing? Joining the black sheep of the family, and becoming quite expert at 419s! I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it was both fun, and at times sad, and yet rang horribly true.
The Jane Austen book club, by Karen Jay Fowler. I think it was the title that attracted me, already being a fan of Jane Austen. Did it live up to the promise? Not sure. For me it was OK, but not very exciting, or even particularly inspiring.
A beautiful place to die, by Malla Nunn. Here the attraction was definitely the cover, and a niggling feeling that I had read a good review of this detective story set in the early 1950s in South Africa. It was quite atmospheric, with lots of tension, yet still the complexity of several of the characters did come through. I really liked it, and look forward to reading her future work.
Wife of the gods, by Kwei Quartey. A detective story set in Ghana, with a Ghanaian detective! How could I resist? Since I first heard of it, it had been on a wish list, and I even went to the extent of talking to the author on his website – basically asking when there would be copies available here in Ghana. Didn’t get an overly satisfactory answer though. A fellow Accra Book Club member had bought a copy and lent me hers, so I quickly read it. Verdict: OK, in my view quite a few loose ends, or inconsistencies. Not bad on descriptions, but did it have atmosphere? Not really. But I’ll probably look out for his next work.
Garlic and sapphires: the secret life of a critic in disguise, by Ruth Reichl. I am not a foodie – though I like eating, and sometimes cooking – but I enjoy reading cookbooks, and about cooking. The author writes very entertainingly about her “disguises” and visits to New York restaurants while she was a critic for the New York Times. Light reading, but I enjoyed it, especially as her relationship with her mother is recalled.
Of course, I started some other books, which are still ongoing… And one of them has over 900 pages and even thought it is a paperback – is HEAVY!