Author: Adaeze Feyisayo Samuel

Amethyst Saw is the pen name of a Nigerian biblophile. Amethyst is a bookie, writer and curator of African literature. On days she's not resisting her chocolate and ponmo addiction. Amethyst is bookstagramming eye catching, themed book photos.

Amethyst’s 1st Anniversary

365!

Today makes it 365 days of sharing my quirky narrative with you. I started the blog to curate and publish my African chicklit and speculative fiction flash stories. After over 100 posts, 4 series, 8 categories I’m grateful to have you read, like and comment over the past year.

Amethyst’s bookstagram account was also a year old on the 13th.

It seems like hours ago I published this first post of a book photo and review in this WHAT I AM READING above. Today 72 posts later #amethystshotx shares my improved book photography skill. i’m so happy I decided to utilize these platform for what I love. The following months are going to be superb. As I have more flash stories, series, reviews and manuscripts to publish.

Happy Anniversary to Amethyst Saw (blog, bookstagram and newsletters). To celebrate I’ll be doing a giveaway on my instagram for my readers and followers resident in Nigeria. More details will be published on my instagram account so do follow Amethyst Saw.

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Bookstore Review: Alaroro Books

Alaroro Books is an online bookstore on Instagram. They sell used and new books, classics, bestsellers and newly released books of Nigerian, US, UK authors in Nigeria. Their page is filled with consistent updates of pictures of delightful book flat lays and stacks. On their #throwbackthursday  feed I saw Wayward Men and laughed at the book cover picture. Its 80s fashion highlights ie. the mom jeans, floral crop top, fat, long neckties are recycled into today’s fashion. Curiosity and the novel’s title made me purchase it for my short break read.

Placing the order for Wayward Men was easy. Alaroro Books was prompt, effectively communicated with me and understanding. The next day the parcel was delivered to Ikorodu by friendly Temi of The Book Peddler.

Although, I had issues with my bank Alaroro Books was patient. For me to sort it out and transfer the book price and delivery fee (within Lagos)of N1,000 to their account. I liked the experience, Victor’s warmth and brown wrapping paper.

 

BOOKS, FILMS, ADAPTATIONS.

Films Or Books? Is usually a question people ask me. Dah! You just pulled me out of an open novel to ask that question. But sometimes the stars aline in the dark galaxy and there are movie adaptations of books I love. From the Star Wars franchise to Half of A Yellow Sun, I love watching movie adaptations of  narratives I adore. Its magical watching the cast and crew efforts of squeezing and trimming a novel into an hour plus of interpreted visual delight. Plus seeing the author’s approved representation of  imagined characters and setting, ah!

This May I watched a few films based on books which I found endearing. These join the list of my favourite adaptations (in no particular order) The Notebook, Half of a Yellow Sun, The Great Gatsby, Longest Ride, Something like Summer, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Call Me By Your Name, Everything Everything, Me Before You, Fifty Shades Trilogy, etc.

So..May Adaptations include

Message In A Bottle by Nicolas Sparks, A touching story of love and loss, grief and growth I read while in senior secondary school. I was so moved by this narrative that I wrote a short note to my crush then, I put it in an empty plastic bottle and gave his friend, the courier. His other friends hijacked the bottle, ran around school to my utter embarrassment before they surrendered my message. Although, suspecting that might happen I’d kept it short, poetic but not ‘lame and loving’. In the end my crush didn’t see anything sweet or romantic about this gesture. That was years ago. After watching the movie adaptation for the first time last week I sent my secondary school best friend a direct message about this funny but embarrassing memory. He said, ‘that boy never had any romantic bone in his body’. Like every Nicholas Sparks book, there were the timeless, classic, aesthetic setting of the film.

The Best of Me by Nicolas Sparks, one word..WOW. for the moving undying first love story, adulthood reunion, loss, sacrifice. A beautiful adaptation of a breathtaking narrative. I cried.

The Kissing Booth by Beth Reckles: Another unique teenage romance story. Filled with plot twists, friendship, hurt, love and being honest with one’s self. All perfectively captured in this bright, up beat Netflix movie. Plus Elle was acted by a short, curvy, beautiful young woman. Amazing.

Wayward Men

“ The realisation that she could not have a baby for the man she loved brought tears continuously to her eyes. What the, was the essence of living and loving if she coukd not have a baby for the only love she had ever had.”

“The telephone, Tony noted as he dropped the red biro and picked up the blue one, was a very rude instrument. It was the one thing without the simple courtesy of asking for permission before intruding on someone’s discusssions or thoughts.”

I guess the first quote explains certain desperate baby mama sentiments. While the second one echoes a truth still relevant now in the 2000s.

I loved the time setting of the novel. From the glorious civil servant, greater value of small denominations of the naira to Calypso- Nat Cole music references. I love! The author’s language, pace, point of view and the setting all depict the Nigerian 80s. A backdrop of a intriguing story of infidelity, fun, suspence, lust and misguided love. I had purchased it after I saw a picture of it on #throwbackthursday Alaroro Books instagram feed.

What I did not like was how the first 100 pages of the plot line focused on Tony’s affairs and little on his wife, Lillian’s own. The synposis promised me a damning tale of wife’s extramarital affair.  I found the actions and thoughts of certain minor characters funny, irritating, often shocking and sometimes offensive. ‘Remember it’s a different era’, I’d murmur to calm my inner semi-militant feminist. This made me grateful for the times I live in.  The imaginative metaphors, similes and expresssions were unique and graphic. For example, “when he stopped talking, silence hung in the room like a wet blanket, dampening the atmosphere. The suspence was delightful. But the end of the plotline annoyed me! I felt the end of the novel was rushed. An unrepentant cheating husband didnt end the marriage but his wife’s first affair leds to an unfortunate event. Come on!

#instastory: Do You See?

When I look at this stealth adventurer, treasured tales traveller, bookstagram prop, bookshelf space thief–I wonder if you see what I see.

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I see me finally dropping the sword of action on many areas of my life. The sword I’ve held poised above certain insecurities and action steps the past fortnight.
Do you see the Pirate’s eye? It draws my grandmother’s single breast and left flat surgical stitched cheat to sight. My diva whose fighting breast cancer and is slowly completing the cycle of life.
When I look at the credits of this imagined short film we are read-watching. The credits! The tiny words on orange behind the minion? I think of months ago..before I was cut off from your ‘hey beautiful’ texts.
You might just gaze at this yellow adventuress and just see my humoured disinterest frozen confusingly on an orange beach of memories. Granules of crystalized pleasure and pain from past lovers calling back.
So do you see?

END