You’d think a pandemic with many imposed lockdowns would have been a perfect time to break my own “_books read in a year” record but alas, I could not even make an “at least one book a month” goal. Feel free to judge me. I’m not judging myself. At least I’ve made it in time for World Book Day to bless you with this list.
1. My Sister, The Serial Killer – Oyinkan Braithwaite
This was a fun way to start the year. I have told myself I’ll read more books by female African authors and my reading list from 2020 is riddled with them. I was pretty surprised with each turn the story took, which is weird considering the “serial killer” is in the book title. Not your usual thriller story and it was quite refreshing to have a female murderer in the books for a change. Haha
2. Shoe Dog – Phil Knight
This has to be the best autobiography I’ve ever read. (I don’t read many, but I’ll take recommendations for more). This is an account of the Nike founder Phil Knight and is great story of determination and business practice. Also one of those books I wish I had run into earlier in life. But the next best time is now, right?
3. Why Not Me? – Mindy Kaling
I’m a Mindy Kaling fan. Nothing new here. This is a compilation of her life stories, a sequel to “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) which I’ve written about before. She makes light of her misfortunes and makes for a fun read.
4. Baby Proof – Emily Giffin
This was not my first Emily Giffin book either but I’ve enjoyed her other books more. Or 2020 was not really a chick lit year for me?
5. The Hairdresser of Harare – Tendai Huchu
I’m biased towards books set at home. I loved the familiarity of the story and visualizing the streets of Harare. Tendai is on my 2021 to-be-read-list because I enjoyed The Hairdresser of Harare so much. I felt like I had travelled back home.
6. Everything I Never Told You – Celeste Ng
I looked for this book after I had watched the short series Little Fires Everywhere adapted from a novel by the same author. Have you watched the drama? I love dramas and Kerry Washington and Reese Witherspoon absolutely killed it. I’ll recommend both the book and the mini series. I’ll admit, I indulged in a lot of TV during quarantine. That could be part of the reason why I slacked in my reading 🙊😅 Celeste Ng is a genius. If you run into any of her books, please stop what you’re doing and read it.
7. The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives – Lola Shoneyin
Another fun book from a female African author. This book follows the lives of the four wives of a Nigerian man. He’s just taken a new learned young wife and things seem to be changing for the family. It was fascinating to delve into the background of each of the wives and how they ended up with Baba Segi. I could see a few cultural practices and ideas similar to those at home that made me realize how we’re all the same in one way or the other.
8. Rotten Row – Petina Gappah
I think Petina Gappah is my favourite Zimbabwean author. After I read An Elegy of Easterly, it became my go-to item when I need to gift anyone something from home. Her short stories portray such a realistic picture of Zimbabwe that you’d think they’re true stories. There’s a combination of laugh out loud moments and heartbreaking stories.
9. What it Means when a Man Falls from the Sky – Lesley Nneka Arimah
Here’s another compilation of short stories but from a Nigerian Author. This is another instance I could see the stories from home reflected in the stories of other. (We really all are the same person.) During the lull times, when my brain can’t read (can we call it Reader’s Block?) I appreciate a good short story.
10. Angels and Demons – Dan Brown
The time way back in High school when everyone else went through a Dan Brown phase, I read The Da Vinci Code and stopped there. I guess it’s time to play catch-up. Funny enough, I recently watched The Two Popes on Netflix and I got to picture the Papal Conclave that’s in the book.
As you can see, my 12 book list is incomplete. Can I share list of TV shows I watched instead? I’d want to say “No Excuses 2021” but it’s almost May and I’ve just completed my first book 👀 Again, feel free to judge me 😃
A happy reading year to you all. Do share any fun books you come across.