***DISCLAIMER: This is a long one so grab a cup of tea! ***
When I was younger, my mum used to make my eldest brother take me to Shepherds Bush Library fortnightly as I was never allowed to sit in front of the TV for hours on end. It was there that my deep and long love affair with books began…
My favourite authors as a child were Malorie Blackman, R.L Stein, Terry Pratchett, Courtia Newland – I could go on and on. This has now been replaced with more age appropriate authors (lol) such as Chimamanda Adiche, John Grisham and Ben Okri.
So I am forever indebted to my amazing mother for helping me to cultivate a noteworthy habit; knowledge is indeed power. Enjoy my review on some of the books I have read this year.
Americanah by Chimamanda Adiche
I went to see Chimamanda Adiche as part of the Guardian Book Club events and I was sooo star struck (will try and fish out the pic of me grinning like a prat!). She didn’t disappoint. My oh my, it is pretty self explanatory as to why she writes so well. She is super intelligent, eloquent and quick witted. It all made sense.
Americanah follows the love story of Ifemulu and Obinze, childhood sweethearts who leave the shores of Africa to forge better lives aboard. As Nigerians that now form part of the African diaspora, life presents them with a number of challenges that would be deemed as alien back home. And this is the beauty of the book; Chimamanda explores a number of contentious issues that are all too familiar for those living within the diaspora. It is all weaved into this unconventional love story showing just how complicated life can be. Life never moves along a linear trajectory which is why I found this book to be so relatable.
Ghana Must Go by Taiye Salesi
I also saw Taiye Salesi in person at the Stylist book club event but I hadn’t actually read the book at that point. I was intrigued nonetheless because to say the room was packed is an understatement.
However, despite the raving reviews that night, I have to say, I agree with friend and cousin who both said that the book was difficult to read (you were right Kofo and Mary!) The prose was far to complicated which made it hard to follow. The characters were interesting though but overall, it just wasn’t enjoyable.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
This book is everything. You know a book is fantastic when you jump on the train and everyone is reading the same book, each person peering over the top of their book, giving that gentle nod of approval. Thank you to my beautiful and sophisticated friend Tosin for recommending it and to Stylist magazine too who did a review very early on.
Gone Girl is the twisted tale of Nick and Amy Dunne who paint the perfect picture of marriage. They seem madly in love until Amy goes missing and you start to see cracks in the paintwork. I cannot say anymore without giving it away so if you haven’t read it yet you’re snoozing!
20 out of 10 mate; nothing else left to say here.
Lean In by Cheryl Sandberg
I was beside myself when the gorgeous Titi presented me with this book for my birthday. I was literally planning to buy it within the next week or so, so it was very timely.
THIS BOOK IS IT. What I love most about this book is yes whilst gender inequality within the workplace is still very much an issue, what we fail to discuss more is the internal barriers that exist that hold us back even more. She challenges women to lean in and sit at the table and to raise our hands even if we are afraid to do so. I really do suggest that every woman reads this book; there are so many nuggets and takeaways and the best part is that Cheryl shares her own personal experience which makes it much more relatable.
And that brings me to the end of this review. I might do a two part series…we’ll see.
P.s. the books I am currently reading are:
- White Teeth by Zadie Smith – The cult classic written by one of the greatest authors of our time. It has taken me a while to get round to reading it and I know I am super late but better late than never. I read her second book On Beauty and that was literally one of the best books that I have ever read in my life.
- Hard Choices by Hillary Clinton – my fav Ibby got this for me and whilst I thought it would be more about Hillary’s political career and life in general, it is actually about US foreign policy and American governance which I used to loathe (I went to SOAS!) But now I am more open minded especially as I am currently studying US foreign policy as part of my postgrad degree. It ties in nicely.
In any case, I will be sure to let you know what I think of them in due course. In the meantime let me know of your thoughts on any of the books mentioned.
Until the next time…xxx