During September, I read – or more appropriately – finished reading six books:
- King Peggy – An American secretary, her royal destiny and the inspiring story of how she changed an African village, by Peggielene Bartels and Eleanor Herman [quite apt as it was about Ekumfi Otuam, the “hometown” of the late President of Ghana, Prof John Atta Mills]
- The secret lives of Baba Segi’s wives, by Lola Shoneyin [a polygamous marriage has many secrets]
- Half-blood blues, by Esi Edugyan [read for Accra Book Club]
- Speechless – World history without words, by Polyp [graphic non-fiction; I confess I wasn’t always clear what was being depicted]
- Death and pain – Rawlings’ Ghana, the inside story, by Mike Adjei [aspects of Ghana’s history during the turbulent 1970s and 1980s]
- The bean trees, by Barbara Kingsolver [moving early novel by the well-known American author]
As is obvious by the titles above, there were more books with African/Ghanaian flavours/origins. Unusually for me there was an even mix between fiction and non-fiction.
In terms of bookish activities, it was a busy month, or rather the last ten days were very full. I had mentioned anticipating several activities in a previous post, and indeed I did go to all.
GAWBOFEST – Ghana Association of Writers Book Festival – did take place, and I did go. 21 September was a public holiday here in Ghana (Kwame Nkrumah’s birthday). But I didn’t stay long, bought a few books, and left, mainly because I wasn’t feeling very well, even though I had heard that the President, John Mahama, was coming to read from his recently published book, My first coup d’etat. I was very sorry to have missed that reading, but I was very happy that it took place in what was a relatively informal and non-political forum.
The next week, 25 – 29 September, was the 11th Ghana International Book Fair, held this year at the National Theatre. I went round the stands on a couple of days, and didn’t buy much, mainly because I had seen what I wanted at GAWBOFEST. But I was glad to attend the formal book launch of the Burt award 2011 books, and did buy the pack of three books:
- The kaya girl, by Mamle Wolo
- The lost royal treasure, by Ruby Yayra Goka
- Akosua & Osman, by Manu Herbstein
For an interesting and challenging perspective on the Book Fair and writing for children here in Ghana, see Mikelle on Education’s post.
- The ghost of Sani Abacha
- Diaries of a dead African
Nwokolo was entertaining and amusing, and the audience obliged with lots of questions and laughter, and of course we bought his books!
The rest of the week involved a regular monthly gathering of the Accra Book Club, plus a meeting of CARLIGH (Consortium of Academic & Research Libraries in Ghana)…
And not too surprisingly I did buy a few books: one gift, three books for work, and nine for myself! The TBR shelves continue to grow!