Hey guys. Happy new month and I hope you are all well. I am not even going to lie, I cheated again and at this point, it is safe to say I might never read the books on my 2019 reading list. I am embarrassed, I do not even know how to explain myself but I know I will do it again.
With that being said, I am going to give reviews on the last books I read.
1. My sister, the serial killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite.
I had to have this book after I found out about it on BBC Africa. It is a thriller and by thriller, I don’t mean juju or human sacrifices. It is a set in modern times and is different. I had never read an African thriller before and I must say, this is one I will always remember. I will not spoil it for those who have not yet read it, but I will just comment on the few things I liked. I love how Korede’s personality of being a “fixer” was also part of her identity. She was neat and clean, and covering and cleaning after Ayoola, her sister. I also admire how the writer portrayed their bond, how Korede always had her sister’s back even when she snatched the love of her life. I enjoyed the plot twist too, how the patient woke up from a coma and remembered everything Korede “told” him about her sister’s murders. It was such a good book I couldn’t put it down. The author also highlighted a few issues about marriage, love, betrayal and kinship.
I watched a video where the author was talking about how she came about the story. She said she was always fascinated by how the black widow spider kills the male after mating. She said that was how the story came to light. Which I find to be very fascinating because ideas come from anywhere and everywhere. I would say, this was the best African thriller I have ever read. Highly recommended.
2. Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams.
This was a book I was not expecting to love. Not because it was not good, but because I had never heard of it and got to know about it after I read it at a book store. Most of the books I read are books I would have researched on and added to my list, but this one took me by surprise. I was not expecting to be moved and engrossed after 5 minutes in. I enjoyed the plot twists and how the storyline was about self-discovery and friendship.
My heart was broken when she didn’t get back together with Tom but I was happy she found herself. One of my short stories Zvemoyo was inspired by Queenie. I loved the idea of self-awareness and accepting that we are all a hot mess. Candice touched on stereotypes, racism, immigration, love, relationships and depression. It is an all-rounded book which millennials will enjoy because they can relate. If you are someone who is not keen on reading, I would recommend this because its witty and her style of writing is simple but captivating. Read it, you will not be disappointed.
3. Sweet Medicine by Panashe Chigumadzi.
Sweet Medicine was recommended by a friend of mine. I added it to my collection because I have been meaning to add on to my collection, Zimbabwean authors. I find it encouraging because I get to have examples and people to look up to, who are from the same country.
I enjoyed the book because it portrayed what is happening in Zimbabwe as we speak. The need for blessers, marriage and money. It is about Tsitsi, a girl raised in a strict household, well mannered and God-fearing but due to the hardships of the Zimbabwean economy, she resorts to going after a minister who she ends up “keeping” by using witchcraft aka sweet medicine (mupfuhwira in Shona.) I enjoyed how the author illustrated the friendship between Tsitsi and her friend, they were both sleeping with married men but Tsitsi thought she was better because she was “committed” to one man whilst her friend slept with several. I enjoyed how it addressed real issues plaguing society and marriage. Good book.
4. What Sunny Saw In The Flames by Nnedi Okorafor.
Also know as Akata Witch, this book was my first introduction to Sci-Fi. It is not one of my favourite genres, but I have made it a thing to read something from a genre I am not very fond of, so I can broaden my mind as a creative.
I must say, I quite enjoyed this book. It is about an albino girl who realised she had “powers”. She makes friends with other children who are like her and practises spells and juju with her friends. It is a book about what we ( most African children) were warned about. It is a young adults book and has a sequel. Though I know my mind can not stretch that far, I liked seeing the world in a different way. Try it.
5. The Hairdresser Of Harare by Tendai Huchu.
To add on to my list of Zimbabwean authors, I decided to read this book. I enjoyed it and having been in one of these salons, I understood. The tension, jealousy and betrayal. I personally did not like Vimbai, she was a bit too territorial but that is to be expected. She had her own plights at home and with her family, and Jabu her competition was adding more stress. I liked how it touched on the people in the diaspora being in constant survival mode then just dying without enjoying the fruit of their labour. Good Book.
6. The Book Of Memory by Petinah Gappah.
Written from a young albino woman’s point of view, the Book of Memory is about Memory. She was arrested after being accused of killing a white man who she was “sold” to. Explaining herself to a lawyer, Memory tells her story of how it was like being born and growing up as an albino in the Zimbabwean locations (rokesheni). Memory explains how her albinism has gained her “respect” and also plight at the same time. Great book.
These are the few books I have read in the last couple of months and I am sure to add on to my collection. Please feel free to comment and tell me about the books you have read and want to read, especially by African authors.
Till next time, byeeeeeee!