What I Am Reading

My thoughts on books, comics, literary magazines, anthologies, genres that I am currently reading and adding to the Amethyst Saw Library.

YOU ARE NEAR YET YOU ARE FAR

YOU ARE NEAR YET YOU ARE FAR by NKIACHA ATEMNKENG

‘Travel between both Nigeria and Cameroon is supposed to be easy since citizens of both countries do not require entrance visas. However, the land route between the Cameroonian border town. Ebok and the Nigerian border town, Ikom is currently barricaded. Don’t ask why.’

‘You finally get jealous of the damn Sanja and feel like peeling it off your body and disappearing into the restroom. But if you peel it off just to pee, you will become naked and everybody at Ake will embark on a screaming spree. “Mad writer! Wahala dey for here o. Dr Dami, please bring that your mad bus. Carry y’im go. A man’s body is not a country!’

I finished reading this piece and the magazine it was published in, in June. Its incomplete review has sat in my draft since. In a bid to clear out my draft I’m published my thoughts about this second person travelogue. It makes me smile that the author’s first name sounds Igbo because of the irony the first paragraph presents. He began his non-fiction story stating many Nigerians drummed ‘you look and sound Nigerian’ into his Cameroonian ears. This was delightful reading this travelogue written by an African visiting Nigeria.

Halfway through this creative non-fiction piece I’d highlighted various honest paragraphs and comical sentences.  I just knew this is my favorite work from the Saraba Magazine: Issue 22-OPEN. This travelogue made me reminisce about my tour of Obudu, Ikom and Calabar in Cross River State. Where no one could answer my questions about why the Cameroonian border was closed. Or why people kept asking if I was Nigerian.

Apart from the humorous yet observant tone and ironic experiences of the narrator. Its the second person point of view used makes this read very compelling. Apart from the Literary Exchange Programme, he visits the Ake Arts and Literature Festival. Since I missed the ‘This F-Word’ themed fifth festival, his narration made me feel like I was there. I attended the sensational festival through his thoughts, reflections, dialogues and famous Sanja. His bravery in publishing a food review that didn’t crown Nigerian Jollof Rice ruler mirrors his candid appraisal of Nigeria-Cameroon relations. I felt near to this Douala boy, involved in his discussions about culture, literature, geography, politics. Yet I am far, far away in Lagos.

 

 

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I’M LOVING YA ROMANCE

Young Adult Romance is a genre of Romance popularly called YA Romance by book lovers. It’s a genre I got curious about after reading book reviews, a blog tour, Something like Summer by Jay Bell, Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon, The Last Days at Forcados High School by A.H Mohammed and To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han.

This July I decided to add reading books from two new genres to my 2k18 reading goals. YA romance and African Horror were my picks because I had enjoyed the works I’ve read so far.  I’m a lover of erotica, chicklit, afrofuturism, queer, historical and western romance, travelogues, legal thrillers and coming-of-age books. Some days back some friends and I were lamenting about the cliché plots of many Mill and Boons novels we read as girls.

Having extraordinary narratives exploring unconventional experiences of characters of color is what I love about YA Romance. Little wonder many of these bestselling YA Romance novels are being adapted into films. I adored The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon that I read it in just one day! Everyday by David Levithan and P.I Still Love You by Jenny Han are ebooks I’m currently thoroughly enjoying.  I’d like to read Everything Leads to You by Nina Lacour, When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon,  Meet Cute, a YA Romance anthology edited by Jennifer L. Armentrout and Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi.

Most YA Romance novels and their reviews I have read narrate that we all have many types of loves, quests for life that don’t always end the way we expect. This abrupt yet robust style is one I found very fulfilling while reading some ebooks lately. The characters are so endearing! I love reflective works and many YA Romance make me travel, explore, muse, experience life and love. I really love chicklit and romance novels, poems and anthologies. why? These genres feed my hopeful romantic self with laughter, love, faith and lessons. I like it when a book teaches its reader to love and believe in themself This is a common theme with many Young Adult Romances I have read this July.

I haven’t began reading African Horror works yet. I only have Palmwine Drunkard by Amos Tutuola, a classic and books by the genre’s popular author Nuzo Onoh. After reading many African horror flash fiction on a blog a thousand midnights ago, I got fascinated with this genre. I do recall listening to Radio Lagos afternoon story time every week day. The presenter would read  Forest of a Thousand Daemons: A Hunter’s Saga by D.O Fagunwa in Yoruba. I came to cherish this Nigerian Literature Classic that improved my appreciation of Yoruba language and painted African mystical adventures in my mind forever. I will soon make a African Horror book list. If you have any book recommendations for both genres do comment them below.

 

Images source: Amethyst Saw

 

this week’s reads

With the pressure of writing my LL.B research paper I may have gone off my updated June reading list to read some lovely ebooks this week. I began reading Garri For Breakfast by Seun Lari-Williams. I’m in love with the unique tone each poem and its persona shared. They made me feel like I wanted to get to know them because they communicated to me in open, soothing stanzas. I absolutely love Full Moon. It made me remember my Tax Professor’s anticipation of the full moon and end of Ramadan. I found On Third Mainland Bridge and Welcome to Yaba Market funny recollections of experiences at major landmarks of Lagos.  I haven’t finished this poetry collection but it’s a feature in my handbag all week.

I also read Remember Me by Sophia Kinsella. I love the writing style, tone and London set novels of the Shopaholic Series Bestselling author. You should have seen how I read this ebook. My eyes scanned its reflective narrative, quirky amnesia suffering heroine, unbelievable plot reveals and unexpected climax. It was my break from research read.  There were many parallels with Lexi’s quest to regain her memories by knowing her past and my week. A unique, hilarious, but painfully honest chicklit, Remember Me, is highly recommended.

Rush reading two more ebooks off my reading list. I had reading vigils for Slow Hands by Leslie Kelly and To All The Boys I’ve Loved by Jenny Han(now a Netflix movie adaptation). Slow Hands taught me; not to be presumptuous, judge people but treat them nicely and all is not what it seems. Maddy’s successful career and  insecurities inspired me to work for my dreams, actively get I want and be more self compassionate. Being a Harlequin Blaze novel it was steamy with enough erotic encounters. An impressive depiction of a sextuationship. I mean toe-curling sex on a yatch in the middle of a cool, vast lake in Chicago after negotiation.

The following stuck with me.

“The point is people trade commodities all the time. Money for property. Stocks for liquid assets. Sex for marriage.” What more can be said?

“He’s a doll. I think it’s having sisters. In my opinion, every woman should end up with a man who had sisters. They drain all the assholeness out of him while he’s growing up and make him learn to treat a woman right.” Although, this is sometimes false.  I’m raising my younger brothers to treat women right.

“Maddy had worn a size two once. When she was two.” Witty!

As for To All The Boys I’ve Loved by Jenny Han which had me crying at how Lara Jean decided to end this! My Adobe Reader has many notes littered about this funny, deep, silly, stupid and downright unbelievable narrative. I really enjoyed this chicklit and YA Romance novel.

It’s delightful that halfway through 2k18 here at June’s end I can say I have met my reading goals to a large extent.

P.S: Can I just say I’m loving the YA Romance movie adaptations of 2k18. It’s always wondrous seeing my favorite romance characters and narratives in film.