Review

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.

 

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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!

BITTER TRUTH

BITTER TRUTH BY WILLIAM LASHNER

“She walks in beauty, like the night of cloudless lines and starry skies and all that’s best of dark and bright meet in her aspect and her eyes.”

“Obscene wealth is the greatest American obsession and I am nothing if not a patriot. It’s just that now I think how I make it and how I spend it is every bit as meaningful as the money itself.”

“I can detect the sweet scent of mint, no, not peppermint, government.”

I read Bitter Truth by William Lashner  all week during January’s third week. With a desire to return the borrowed novel, I pulled it out and decided to read it. I don’t regret it! This novel, Victor its hero, and it plot twist were spectacular.

Where do I start? Is it with the murdered Reddmans, vengeful Pooles, damning letters and diaries, unearthed family secrets, the Philadelphia mob or unique view to spirituality and religion or the ambitious lawyer and hero Mr Carl in the midst of it all.

A complex, unconventional, compelling legal thriller that kept shocking me with its suspense, plot and characters.

‘A taste for truth at any cost is a passion which spares nothing.’-Albert Camus. This is the first quote that I meet when I flipped the book’s beginning pages.  At the end of the book I fully understand this quote. The powerful crippling future of fortune built on lies, deception and crimes.

Written with many literary devices like imagery, personification, simile, metaphors, poems,  jaw dropping flash back, the plot felt complete without being burdening. The novel begins with Mr Carl on a plane to get his third of a one hundred million dollars judgement sum from a mysterious mastermind killer. Through the rest of the novel the plot jumps from the hero’s current search in Belize for the judgement debtor to  apt flashbacks, of the chilling sometimes comical and outrageous experiences during his appointment as an  attorney, to investigate the Reddman family murder and history while weathering a mob war.  It’d been a while I have a novel with characters so alive! One of my best reads in January.

ORAL ORDERS

My Female Condom(FC2) review

Diary Entry Date- February 3,2018

Spot the Female Condom (FC2) sold at a subsidized rate in Nigeria by Society For Family Health. Female Health Company (UK) Plc manufactured this condom. I bought this from a female student selling it on campus. It is the most affordable female condom I have come across in Lagos. Many are sold for N2,000 to N3,000 unlike this N200(prices may vary with vendors).

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..the pack the condoms came in.

Society For Family Health always have affordable contraceptives. I used their Combination3, an oral contraceptive sold at the subsidized price of N100 for months last year. I love the packaging of these female condoms. It’s bright, unique, durable and lightweight. There are a manufacturing date and expiration date. Also a NAFDAC registration number is printed at the back of the pack. These are important because they show it is fit for use and not counterfeit.

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an illustrated direction of use circled for emphasis by African waist beads.

Now the instructions on how to use the condoms seem easy.  

 

Diary Entry Date-March 18, 2018

Finally! I decided to  end my abstinence spell. After being eager to try out the female condom, I was rather hesitant. Emotions I associate with trying a new sex position, contraception or toy.

It was a whole new experience inserting the female condom. Initially, I stood with one small feet on the floor the other feet on a sitted thigh and tried inserting the smaller ringed tube end in it. The ring was the circumference of an unused male condom. It bounced out of my vestibule–twice. My attractive nude partner sat patiently watching with erect interest. Then I had to lie on my back to try insertion again. Frequently checking instructions on the back of its large white wrap that he held. I successfully inserted the condom—pushing it as deep as I could—wondering if it would shift from the 8 shape (I had bent it into to make insertion easier) into a circle. It was different experience from a diaphragm usage direction my mother described to me years ago. Unlike a male condom, it felt like the superlight latex tube had dissolved. Only its larger circumference ends stuck out of my vestibule like a tiny dainty napkin. I rubbed my lubricant oiled fingers on his chest and pulled his shoulder forward with my right palm.

Using the female condom was easy and comfortable. I knew I wouldn’t be allergic to the condom when my vestibule and vagina expanded without peppery painfulness I usually experience with Durex.  Although I felt the stretching pain of not having had penetrative sex in months. At first my partner said he could only feel it and not me. This I found odd because I felt immerse uninterrupted pleasure his penis and glorious paced thrusts gave. After a few thrusts the sheath went invisible I suppose. The female condom didn’t slip out with thrusts while in the missionary position.  While rocking my hips back and forth atop him, I asked if he could feel the condom and he said no. To feel the intensity of my sensual, rhythmic rocking and thrusts I closed his eyelids. I whispered erotically, ‘keep your eyes closed and feel me, the sensations and our orgasms.’ Leaning back and holding his hands I increased the tempo of my bouncing on my erect sheathed penis. I slowed and rhythmically picked up pace. Occasionally I moved his clutched palms to my breasts and butt cheeks. Repeating the ride with full control on top, I slowed to a halt when I felt sore.

‘I was worried you’ll penetrate and withdraw with the whole condom.’ I told my cute, fair-skinned companion after our beads of sweat and heart rates slowed down. He chuckled then kissed my left nipple.

Removing the condom was interesting. I gathered the protruding latex to avoid warm, cream spillage and tugged. The condom had stretched to line the walls of my vagina. After tugging thrice and pulling four inches of latex that stretched. Without pain the smaller ring popped out surprisingly as a circle. There were no spillage or tears. It was a pleasure filled, interesting experience.  I can ascertain its the perfect fit for me. Using it made me confident that I was proactive about my sexual health. My male partner who doesn’t enjoy male condoms felt absolutely comfortable using it. Also, I had no allergic latex irritations or soreness. Now I have to restock more FC2 into my medicine bag because the honeypot is officially open for 2k18!