I did a fair amount of reading during 2015, though I didn’t meet my target of 75 books in the Goodreads challenge for 2015: I read 72 books which was 96% – not too bad!
I still tend to read more physical books than e-books – 60% for the physical. And still have four shelves+ of To Be Read titles! And yes, there are TBR titles on my Kindle too!
I borrowed about 5% of the books read – mostly from where I work (an academic library).
My reading in 2015 was still dominated by fiction – about 60%, with women authors featuring in over 50% of the titles read.
As usual I read a fair number of crime, science fiction/fantasy and thriller books – covering more than a third of what I read.
These were some of my favourite 2015 books:
- Midnight in the garden of good and evil, by John Berendt
- The short and tragic life of Robert Peace, by Jeff Hobbs
- An untamed state, by Roxane Gay
- Southern Reach trilogy, by Jeff Vandermeer
- Child 44, by Tom Rob Smith
- The passage, by Justin Cronin
- Colour my English, by Caryl Phillips
I know that some people do come across Accra Book Club via this blog.
So here are Accra Book Club’s selections for 2016, though the first book was read in December 2015
- The fishermen, by Chigozie Obioma – December 2015
- Go set a watchman & To kill a mockingbird, by Harper Lee – January 2016
- All the light we cannot see, by Anthony Doerr – February 2016
- A spool of blue thread, by Anne Tyler – March 2016
- A tale for the time being, by Ruth Ozeki – April 2016
- Circling the sun, by Paula McLain – May 2016
- Hiding in plain sight, by Nurrudin Farah – June 2016
- The children’s crusade, by Ann Packer – August 2016
- Everything I told you, by Pauline Ng – September 2016
- The dinner, by Herman Koch – October 2016
- The girl on the train, by Paula Hawkins – December 2016
I missed the discussion of the first book – work commitments prevented me from attending this gathering, much to my distress. [One of the disadvantages of working one and half hours out of Accra!]
I have read both the Harper Lee books, and am looking forward to this discussion, coming up at the end of January.
I have physical copies of three of the remaining nine books; the remaining ones I will probably read on my tablet.
Obviously, if someone is interested in joining this book club, please leave a comment, and I will send you further details.
I know I haven’t done much posting over the last year, and I guess one of my New Year’s resolutions for this year is to do more in this area. Focus is the key though.
I didn’t do much reading of fiction from Ghana, as seen by the following:
- Adonoo, Elikem: The teleport conspiracy [lent to me by the author]
- Attah, Ayesha Harruna: Saturday’s shadows [author is definitely maturing]
- Goka, Ruby Yayra: The lost royal treasure [young adult]
although I do have to admit to reading some Ghanaian flash fiction, but those I didn’t record!
Non-fiction on Ghana did much better:
- Akpabli, Kofi: Harmattan – a cultural profile of Northern Ghana
- Coe, Cati: The scattered family – Parenting, African migrants and global inequality [doubly relevant as a lot of the families were from Akuapim South District in Ghana, where I work]
- Dagadu, Kati Torda (ed): Ghana: Where the bead speaks
- Larratt, Carol: Human mules – The kayayo girls [not really sure whether this was creative non-fiction, but fascinating nonetheless]
- Tonah, Steve: Fulani in Ghana: Migration history, integration and resistance
- Tsikata, Dzodzi: In the shadow of the large dams [having worked near Nigeria’s first hydroelectric dam, I am still fascinated by the impact of these large projects]
- Owusu, Mary A Seiwaa: Prempeh II and the making of modern Asante
I did read a fair amount of African fiction, with a tendency towards Nigerian writers/writers of Nigerian descent:
- The Gonjon pin and other stories: the Caine Prize for African fiction 2014 [even though I often download the shortlisted stories, I still like buying the published collections]
- To see the mountain and other stories: The Caine Prize for African writing 2011
- Barrett, A Igoni: Love is power, or something like that
- Ndibe, Okey: Foreign Gods, Inc. [for Accra Book Club]
- de Hernandez, Jennifer et al: African women writing resistance [a mixture of fiction and non-fiction]
- Forna, Aminatta: The memory of love [for Accra Book Club]
- Hamilton, Masha: The camel bookmobile [not sure this really counts, though the setting is mostly Kenya]
- Imaseun, Eghosa: To Saint Patrick [I had downloaded this before attending a WPG reading by this author. A Nigerian detective story!]
- Laye, Camara: The dark child [rather amazing that I hadn’t read this before!]
- Obioma, Chigozie: The fishermen [for Accra Book Club]
- Okorafor, Nnedi: Lagoon [author is of Nigerian descent]
- Omotoso, Yewande: Bom boy
- Oparanta, Chinelo: Happiness, like water [definitely an author to watch]
- Oyeyemi, Helen: Boy, Snow, Bird [the setting is the US, though the author is of Nigerian descent] [for Accra Book Club]
- Wanner, Zukiswa: London Cape Town Joburg [Inspired partly by Caine Prize presentation]
Followed up by a few non-fiction books with an African emphasis:
- Fuller, Alexandra: Cocktail hour under the tree of forgetfulness [even though the main characters aren’t particularly nice, the author writes well and sympathetically]
- Ngugi Wa Thiongo: Decolonising the mind
- Saro-Wiwa, Noo: Looking for Transwonderland
I guess the above will sort of qualify for the 2015 Africa Reading Challenge. Although sometimes I feel it is not much of a challenge really, as I tend to read a fair number of books by Ghanaians/about Ghana and also by Africans/about Africa anyway – approximately 30% of my reading.