The third book group I belong to is quite different from the others. It is led by a real bookworm, who is a book reader and lover, a photographer and producer of several podcasts https://soundcloud.com/bookradioafrica related to books and reading. He also has an online business selling books though that website seems to be under reconstruction at the moment!
Members too are young and mostly Ghanaian. I think yours truly is the oldest member.
A theme is chosen each month and then Bookworm Man puts together a list of contemporary books, complete with blurbs and audio files. Members then vote for their choice, and sometimes even there is a second round!
Since mid-2017 we’ve read and talked about the following:
- Here comes the sun, by Nicole Dennis-Benn [set in contemporary Jamaica]
- Ginny Moon, by Benjamin Ludwig [main character is an autistic teen]
- Who will catch us when we fall? by Iman Verjee [takes place in Kenya]
- Born a crime, by Trevor Noah [autobiographical account of the South African comedian’s early life]
- The book of night women, by Marlon James [takes place in late 18th century Jamaica]
- Before I go, by Colleen Oakley – our March 2018 read
I probably wouldn’t have chosen some of these books if I had been browsing for myself, but then that is the great thing about a book group. You read what you like; and you read material that is different from your own “preferences” (whatever those might be).
I also belong the NAWA book group, which is made up of members of NAWA – a multinational group of women. This group is as a result restricted to NAWA members, but I still felt like sharing the titles of our reads.
For the first few months of 2018 this book group is reading the following:
- Hillbilly elegy, by J D Vance [this was our January read]
- The gift of rain, by Tan Twan Eng [I actually read this last year while on vacation; it was long but really good] – for February 2018
- The miraculous fever tree, by Fiametta Rocco – originally for March 2018 but cancelled
- Stay with me, by Ayobami Adebayo – now the March 2018 read
- Exit West, by Mohsin Hamid [I just finished reading this for Accra Book Club] – for April 2018
- Fever dream, by Samanta Schweblin
- Empire of the summer moon, by S C Gwynne
- A year of marvelous ways, by Sarah Winman
Unfortunately, I usually end up missing the discussions as they take place during the day, while yours truly is at work. Sigh…
But I still read the books.
This is unashamedly a plug for the main book club I belong to.
We call ourselves the Accra Book Club, which is not terribly original, I know. We meet monthly – usually, except for a month or two in the months of June, July or August. This year we missed our July and August gatherings as several members had travelled.
So we will resume at the end of September.
Our next two books are:
- The thirteenth tale, by Diane Sutterfield
- The life and times of Michael K, by J M Coetzee
We usually meet at a restaurant, early in the evening – and we eat, and talk about the specific book, and others we’ve read. We also socialize a bit!
So if you are coming to Accra or have just arrived or you’ve been here for a while, and are looking for a book club/book group in which to discuss a range of books, do contact me – via the comments – and I will send you more information.
Looking forward to hearing from some more potential “members”!
A couple of busy bookish weeks for me at the end of February – not that I haven’t been reading during the previous weeks, but somehow, the end of the month seems to have a greater intensity than earlier on.
Mid February was a discussion from the second book club/group I belong to here in Accra. The group doesn’t seem to have a name, which for my filing is a little awkward. Should I call it Accra Book Club 2? or Book Club 2? or Other Book Club? Maybe I need to discuss with the person who has been coordinating things for this group?
Anyway this month the choice was mine, and I thought it might be interesting to discuss John Boyne’s The boy in the striped pajamas which I read in 2010, but then revisited by watching the film with the same name over the Christmas holidays. I have to admit I wasn’t sure I wanted to watch the film, because I knew that the ending was not going to be happy, but I found it quite well done on the whole. Definitely one of the better film adaptations of a book, in my opinion.
What particularly marked this particular gathering/discussion was the fact that this was the first time I had read, or in this case re-read, a book on my Kindle for a book club. For some reason I have always been able to get physical books to discuss. But this time, someone had taken my physical copy to school, so there was no choice left but to go the ebook way! Not a hardship, I admit.
But a sign of things to come?