As the year comes to a close, I find it important to share the list of my best books read within the year. My list are arranged in no specific order. Yes, I know that there are more Coetzee’s in my list and please don’t ask me why…? You will only find out why once you get to reading him!
1. The Concubine by Elechi Amadi: Published in 1966, I remarked that it is by far one of the best humorous books I have read. The story deals with themes like religion as well as the traditions in the society. It is also very much about the longing of love for one another. Elegi proves himself as a good storyteller by the way he handles the narrative, humorously.
2. Far From Home by Na’ima B. Robert: Published in 2011, Far from Home is a powerful outlook into the political uproar in former Rhodesia but now Zimbabwe. With the retelling of how white men, the varungu, first came to settle in Zimbabwe, we get a vivid understanding of the history of Zimbabwe from the days of the colonial era through to the claim for independence.
3. The Adventures of Kobby Badu-Smith by Dr. Mary A. Ashun: Ashun’s The Adventures of Kobby Badu-Smith is a space adventure series book suitable for children between eight to twelve years. I enjoyed this book tremendously.
4. The Canoe’s Story by Meshack Asare: Asare’s The Canoe’s Story is a simple but deep children’s story with pictures. It is sixty-three pages long. This is an author I discovered this year. Here is what I said about him: ‘Although I have not read enough children’s fiction from this author, I am tempted to pronounce Asare as a master of children’s fiction and more so want to read more from him.’
5. Diary of a Bad Year by J.M Coetzee: Published in 2007, Coetzee’s Diary of a Bad Year is not your usual page by page read-novel, for the form in which it is written or presented to the reader is unique on one hand and stylistic on the other. Diary of a Bad Year is an all encompassing read, a novel full of ideas, ideas that are thought-provoking and interesting. There is nothing more I can say to convince any reader to pick up this book.
6. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon: Published in 2003, Haddon’s book is an interestingly ‘out of the ordinary’ kind of a novel. This is a book about a character who has a special kind of disability I have barely read about – Asperger disorder.
7. Summertime by J.M Coetzee: Published in 2010, Summertime is a book at the core of my heart. In fact, I am struggling to find words to describe how much I enjoyed this book. I better stop here and ask you to pick this up. It will not disappoint you.
8. In the Heart of the Country by J.M Coetzee: Published in 1977, this was one of the earliest books written by Coetzee. In fact, the question Coetzee’s character and young biographer, Vincent, asked the famous South African writer in Summertime seems to tell what the book is about: “Did you know that In the Heart of the Country would be about madness and patricide and so forth?” Again, a book I will recommend.
9. Powder Necklace by Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond: Published in 2010, Powder Necklace is a coming of age novel where the main character, Lila searches for her own identity through several travels she embarks upon. In my opinion, this book is a celebration for the new crop of good writers coming out of Ghana and Africa.
10. True Murder by Yaba Badoe: Published in 2009, this book is about Eleven – year – old Ajuba who has been abandoned at a Devon boarding school by her Ghanaian father. Haunted by the circumstances of her mother’s breakdown, Ajuba falls under the spell of new girl Polly Venus, and her chaotic, glamorous family. I am happy to say that I met the author personally and had her autograph my copy.
Have you read any of this books? What do you make of my list?