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 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.
My fellow blogger, KinnaReads, is once again hosting the Africa Reading Challenge, which of course I can’t ignore!
I have not yet chosen the books I will read, though I am very sure that I will read more than five “African” books this year.
And if someone wants more details about this great challenge, the best place to go is http://kinnareads.wordpress.com/2014/01/14/2014-africa-reading-challenge/