2012 reading challenges

I decided to take part in two challenges in 2012 so here is a report of what worked, and what didn’t go quite up to expectations.

Goodreads 2012 reading challenge 
I originally thought I would read 100 books this year, but changed this goal to a somewhat more realistic 70. I doubt if I am going to make that either – I think I may end up between 65 and 67 at the rate things are going. Not sure what all the reasons are; I suspect the major one is the distraction of the web – and all the various lists I subscribe to. Plus a few more excuses I could mention, but won’t!

Kinna Reads Africa Reading Challenge 
I set myself a specific reading list of six books, of which I have read four.  The remaining two, Chicago (Alaa al Aswani) and Broken glass (Alain Mabanckou) are definitely going to be carried over to 2013.

However I did read a pretty good number of books which I would consider either Ghanaian or African. Just to clarify though, my definition of a Ghana author is either a Ghanaian or a diasporan Ghanaian or a resident of Ghana. Then there are also books on Ghana by someone who falls in none of the above categories. Definitions of an African author more or less follow the same model, as do books on Africa.

Ghana fiction read in 2012

  1. Tales from different tails, by Nana Awere Damoah [part of my Africa reading challenge]
  2. Diplomatic pounds and other stories, by Ama Ata Aidoo [bought at the launch]
  3. The mystery of the haunted house, by Ruby Yayra Goka [teen story, from another Burt award winner]
  4. Half blood blues, by Esi Edugyan [part of my Africa reading challenge; also read for Accra Book Club
  5. The kaya-girl, by Mamle Wolo [bought at the Burt ceremony at the Ghana International Book Fair in September 2012; for teens]
  6. It happened in Ghana – a historical romance, by Noel Smith
  7. Brave music of a distant drum, by Manu Herbstein [a sort of sequel to author’s Ama; for teens/young adults]

Ghana non-fiction read in 2012 (including books on Ghana)

  1. Tabom – the Afro-Brazilian community in Ghana, by Marco Schaumloeffel [very illuminating description of a specific area of Accra]
  2. A sense of savannah … Tales of a friendly walk through Northern Ghana, by Kofi Akpabli
  3. Three cheers for Ghana! by Robert Peprah-Gyamfi [autobiographical]
  4. The black body, edited by Meri Nana-Ama Danquah  [several different essays/stories]
  5. Abina and the important men, by Trevor Getz and Liz Clarke  [one of my favourite non-fiction books of the year]
  6. Foods and food related practics of cultural groups in southern Ghana, by Faustina Yaa Amoako-Kwakye
  7. Tickling the ghanaian – Encounters with contemporary culture, by Kofi Akpabli
  8. The Prof – a man remembered – the life, vision and legacy of Dr K A Busia, by Abena P A Busia
  9. 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
  10. Death and pain – Rawlings’ Ghana – the inside story, by Mike Adjei
  11. In pursuit of my destiny – Memoirs of a parliamentarian, by Kosi Kedem [his library career was also of interest to me]
  12. My first coup d’etat: Memories from the lost decades of Africa, by John Dramani Mahama [author is now the President of Ghana, though the book was written when he was Vice-President.  Also read for Accra Book Club
  13. The seduction of food, by Barbara E Sai
  14. Stones tell stories at Osu – Memories of a host community of the Danish trans-Atlantic slave trade, by H Nii-Adziri Wellington [another book about Accra; again very illuminating for  its description of the origins of many famous Ghanaian families]

Africa fiction read in 2012

  1. Ways of dying, by Zakes Mda [first book I’ve read by this well-known South African author]
  2. 10 years of the Caine Prize for African writing [for Accra Book Club; I had read many of the stories already, as they are often available when the Caine Prize shortlists are announced]
  3. As the crow flies, by Veronique Tadjo
  4. Patchwork, by Ellen Banda-Aaku [personally I preferred the part written from the child’s point of view]
  5. Zoo City, by Lauren Beukes
  6. Mixed blood, by Roger Smith
  7. Ancestor stones, by Aminatta Forna
  8. The secret lives of Baba Segi’s wives, by Lola Shoneyin [had several very unexpected twists in it]
  9. The cry of Winnie Mandela, by Njabulo Ndebele [part of my Africa reading challenge]
  10. An elegy for Easterly, by Petina Gappah [part of my Africa reading challenge]

Africa non-fiction read in 2012

  1. You’re not a country, Africa, by Pius Adesanmi [entertaining set of essays]
  2. Indigo – in search of the colour that seduced the world, by Catherine McKinley [read for Accra Book Club.  Actually mentioned some people I know!]
  3. African wax print – a textile journey, by Magie Relph and Robert Irwin [bought at a NAWA meeting, with beautiful illustrations]

NB: Many of the above are available through Amazon (and other international suppliers), but some which were published in Ghana have yet to hit the international market!

I look forward to hearing how others have done on their challenges


2 thoughts on “2012 reading challenges

  1. interesting books here. I will be reading more non-fiction in 2013 than I did in 2012. You did great. I was just telling someone that there are others who read 100 or more books in a year. The Brazilian community in Accra interests me. And the president’s book also.

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