When I initially started thinking about this post I thought November hadn’t been a particular busy month, but on reflection, maybe that was not quite the case.
I completed five books during the period:
- The kaya-girl, by Mamle Wolo [First prize Winner of the 2011 Burt Award]. A fun read for teens/young adults.
- Florida heatwave, edited by Michael Lister. [A collection of thriller short stories set in Florida; some definitely better than others]
- My first coup d’etat: Memories from the lost decades of Africa, by John Dramani Mahama [Written when the now President of Ghana was Vice-President; some interesting anecdotes from a contemporary politician. We felt we had to read and discuss this book before Ghana’s Election Day on 7 December 2012]
- It happened in Ghana – A historical romance 1824-1971, by Noel Smith [not sure how to describe this book, which mentioned various events in Ghana’s history; I didn’t think it was that great]
- A discovery of witches, by Deborah Harkness [all right, I haven’t read the whole Twilight series, but this vampire/witch/daemon story has its entertaining bits!]
There was a preponderance of books on Ghana, with more fiction (as usual), but more male authors than female. And I did read two of the books on my Kindle, definitely a bit more than usual!
I bought four books during the period – all from Vidya Bookstore so as usual my TBR shelves continue to grow
- Joseph Anton, by Salman Rushdie
- The casual vacancy, by J K Rowling
- American dervish, by Ayad Akhtar [actually on one of my wish lists for a while]
- Amateur spy, by Dan Fespermann
My bookish/library activities during the month of November were three:
- Ghana Library Association‘s biennial congress & AGM – took place in the first week in November. Alternately interesting and a bit irritating. Great to see professional colleagues. Election results were pretty interesting – a much younger group elected!
- Accra Book Club’s discussion of My first coup d’etat, by John Dramani Mahama. We all agreed that it was great that a Ghanaian politician should put pen to paper, and wished that more would do so. Reactions from those of us who had spent some time in Ghana did differ a bit from those who hadn’t. But generally we liked it.
- Readings by Chuma Nwokolo, author of The ghost of Sani Abacha and Diaries of a dead African, at his visit to Ashesi. Very entertaining and amusing. I think all the students and others present enjoyed it.
Maybe readers should be the judge as to whether November was a busy or quiet month?
Picking up on the line : ‘… all agreed that it was great that a Ghanaian politician should put pen to paper, and wished that more would do so’
How many have – put pen to paper that is? In this context, it might be observed that those named below have all written plays, and have all taken leadership roles in public life.
Some have held responsible positions, some have contributed to major debates, some have been involved in ‘party politics’.
Ama Ata Aidoo, Mohammed Ben-Abdallah, Kofi Awoonor, Kofi Busia, J B Danquah, Cameron Duodu, F K Fiawoo, Joe de Graft, Michael dei-Anang, Mable Dove, Efo Mawugbe, Kobina Sekyi Efua Sutherland and Asiedu Yirenkyi.
One could discuss whether they are playwrights who have become politicians, or, perhaps, public intellectuals who have chosen, on occasion, to express themselves in theatrical form.
Thanks for pointing out that many people in public life have expressed themselves – at least theatrically. I stand duly corrected. I guess I am expressing concern about the lack of books/memoirs/whatever you want to call them from some people who were involved in the political area in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. I know there is some material on this period, but not as much as one might hope
I guess John Mahama being actively involved in politics makes some difference here. All or some of those mentioned above, were or are literary greats who were called by national duty to be part of the nation building process.