Books To Read | April 2019

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This is the first of my monthly ‘to-read’ posts. Every month, I’ll post the books I plan to read, just to keep myself accountable and keep track of my reads. If you’re interested in reading any of the book listed below, we can have a buddy-read.

The number of books I read each month will fluctuate because of my schedule. I have exams in April, so I won’t have time to read much. I’m committing myself to 3 books this month. Anything more would be a great accomplishment.

Two of the books were written by male authors, because I found that I most of the books I read are written by women. It’s great, but to have a more balanced representation of the diversity of African Literature, I’m making a conscious effort to read more works written by male and non binary authors.

So the 3 books I plan to read in April are:

1. The Hidden Star by K Sello Duiker

I read this as a preteen in secondary school, and I remember recounting the story to everyone who would listen. I look forward to revisiting it as a slightly more grown-up version of myself.

2. Just Like a Caucasian by Odera O’Gonuwe

I got this novel as a Christmas gift in 2017. I’ve tried to read it twice now, but did not finish on both occasions. It’s relatively short, so it shouldn’t take too long to read. I’m hoping the third time’s the charm with this one.

3. Dallvid Mogo, Godhunter by Suyi Davies Okungbowa

I received an Advance Reader’s Copy of this book from the publisher (Rebellion Publishing). The cover is stunning, and it’s an urban fantasy set in the Lagos underworld. Need I say more?

If I manage to finish the books above before the end of April, on the horizon are:

  1. The Afrikaner by Arianna Dagnino
  2. Wife of the Gods by Kwei Quartey
  3. I Will Always Write Back by Caitlin Alifirenka, Martin Ganda and Liz Welch

Have you heard of any of these books? What books do you have on your TBR list? Do you know any African books written by a non binary author?

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Update: 

By the end of April 2019, I read 3 books, maybe 3.5 (if you count the half of David Mogo, Godhunter I read before May 1st). Life happened, and I only finished reading 1 of the books I planned to read in April.

Here are the 3 books I read:

1.  I Will Always Write Back by Caitlin Alifirenka, Martin Ganda and Liz Welch

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5   You can read my review here.

2.  Just Like a Caucasian by Odera O’Gonuwe

⭐️⭐️/5    Check out my review.

3.  American Spy by Lauren Wilkinson

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5   I’m not sure if I’m going to post a full review of this novel. I liked the story, I liked the characterisation of Thomas Sankara, and the parts of the novel that were set in Burkina Faso. I just wish there was more conflict and more of a surprise factor (a lot of the story is given away in the blurb).

* I finished reading David Mogo, Godhunter on May 2nd, so I technically didn’t read it in April. It was definitely a unique experience, I rated it ⭐️⭐️⭐️/5. Check out my review.

Did you meet your reading goals in April?

10 thoughts on “Books To Read | April 2019

    1. Does he have any other works? ‘David Mogo, the Godhunter’ would be my first contact with his writing. I was that way with fantasy before, until I read Wild Seed. I still don’t like unicorns and all that. Why don’t you like fantasy? I’m familiar with Akwaeke Emezi’s work, I follow them on instagram (pretty entertaining) and I’ve read Freshwater.

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      1. Suyi has published short pieces on various literary blogs. I don’t enjoy anything with magical, mystical, futuristic themes. I just find it all too weird. I’ve read a couple of fantasy books; Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi which I didn’t like and Guardian of the Fall by Umari Ayim which I liked.

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      2. Fair enough. I enjoyed the storyline in CBB but not the use of Yoruba (it didn’t seem authentic or fluent) and I didn’t find it life-changing the way other people remarked. I haven’t heard of the other one. I just read the review on your blog, I’m adding it to my goodreads TBR list.

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      3. We read the pre-published second edition of Guardian of the Fall sent to us by the author. I’ll find out if it has been published and let you know. I think it’s a bit different from the first edition which was in circulation when we published our review.

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  1. I haven’t read any of these books and they’ve quipped my curiousity. I was going to mention Freshwater, I like The Cut by Akwaeke. I’m currently reading She Called Me Woman; Nigeria’s Queer Women Speak published by Cassava Republic. It has a piece by a transgender woman(She called me ‘woman’) and Nonbinary narrator(There is no one way to be a woman). Another great read, not by a nonbinary author but about a nonbinary character, is Everyday but David Levithan. Funny enough, I really enjoyed Fantasy growing up and now I hardly read it. I also read more female authored books in March. Because a lot of my read books in Feb and Jan were by Male authors. Life and the alternate realities we all live in. All the best with your exams. I didn’t appreciate that the Yoruba in CBB had no translations like Stay With Me by Ayobami. But it was nice to read my Mum’s language in an international bestseller.

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    1. I’ve read ‘She Called Me Woman’. I had to take so many breaks while reading it, just to recover from the trauma that some of the women experienced. I haven’t heard of ‘Everyday’, I’ll check it out. A lot of people have also recommended Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides.

      I’d say 95% of the books I read are written by women. Which is why I’m trying to explore other identities. And the fantasy thing is the exact opposite for me.

      I can read Yoruba, so translation isn’t an issue for me. My problem was that CBB’s Yoruba didn’t read like normal, fluent Yoruba that you hear people speak, and more like a choppy, google translate version. I think she didn’t translate the Yoruba because they were spells (you don’t really need to know what they mean outside of the context provided). Like how Harry Potter has spells like ‘Expecto Patronum’. But you’re right, it’s amazing that a book so full of Yoruba is doing so well internationally. Thank you for your comment, and the well wishes!

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      1. Yeah. I understand but incantations in Yoruba have meanings in yoruba that can be translated to English. These translations form proverbs and folklore so I was expecting translations.

        I’ve listened to the audio of Classic Yoruba Literature;
        Ògbójú Ọdẹ nínú Igbó Irúnmalẹ̀
        Novel by Daniel O. Fagunwa
        (A Forest of Thousand Daemons translated by Wole Soyinka)years ago and the incantations were rephrased in Yoruba words that were explanatory. I don’t know if you get what I’m trying to say.

        It’s so cool you can read yoruba. I’m not a fluent reader. Yh, women authors write gender narratives relatably better compared to some/many male authors. I’ll check out Middlesex.

        I agree about taking breaks. Midway, I realised how privileged I am to have supportive loved ones who accept me and my queer erotic stories. The women inspire me to up my independence game. I have a review of Everyday on the blog. If you feel it then go ahead to read the book.

        You are welcome!

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      2. Oh okay I understand what you mean now. CBB didn’t have any proverbs or folklore (or even deeper meanings) attached to its spells though. It was just literal translations of whatever the spell was meant to do-in Yoruba. Which was the problem I had with it. Hopefully she includes translations in book 2. I’m not that fluent with my Yoruba reading either. I’m not good with the intonations, but I can get a general gist of what they’re saying. I’ll check out your review now.

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