Good Morning, Afternoon or Evening, depending on when you read this, Buff Reader! I’m hoping your weekend went well? Well, i’ve busied myself this weekend with ranting on Twitter about Donald Trump and discovering the beautiful African Music of Late Miriam Makeba. I am tired.
On a lighter note, i have decided to do a sort of a wrap up on September because i realized that there were so many amazing books i read in September that i am yet to share here. I had reservations at first, due to the dates of publication but i decided to share anyway.
13 REASONS WHY by Jay Asher
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Year Publication: 2007
Download book here
This book truly changed me. I was reluctant to read it at first, as it fell into my library accidentally. As soon as i began reading it, i realized i was going to love it.
The plot basically follows a teenage boy, Clay Jensen, who receives a box of tapes from his dead classmate, Hannah Baker, giving reasons for why she killed herself. We follow the string of emotions and decisions he has to make as he listens to the heart-wrenching tapes.
The scenes in the book ranged from being morbid to scary, depressing to
uplifting intensely saddening, but there were some nice scenes there too (not so nice when there’s that gnawing thought at the back of your head that she’s already dead).
From speaking to some of the people that have read this book, they have said that the reasons she gave were not exactly concrete enough for someone to actually kill themselves for. I am of the opinion that if someone is suffering from a mental illness such as depression, any reason is reason enough to want to commit suicide.
Basically, what i think the writer was doing was trying to emphasize the effects of people’s actions and bullying in American High schools on an average student. Sounds cliche right? No. The beautiful part of all these is that the writer made these reasons based on people’s actions directly or indirectly to her. Every reason is a person. So basically, there are 13 people that became reasons for her to kill herself.
There’s sort of a back-and-forth, pause-stop-and-play thing going on in the book because Clay is living his life as he listens to the taps. He is going through so many emotions (because he had feelings for her) and we see how these tapes greatly affect his actions during the short time he spends listening to them. I think that’s one of the unique things about this book-because there’s an effect we really haven’t seen before.
In the end, you find yourself actually being conscious of how your words and actions affect the lives and emotions of others and you try consciously or unconsciously to be a better person. I also found myself searching for suicide symptoms in people lol.
All in all, i give it:
THE COLOR PURPLE by Alice Walker
Year of Publication: 1982 (won Pulitzer prize in 1983)
Download book here
I don’t think i want to say much about this one.
What i would say is that the book tells a complex yet simple story about a woman who has suffered years of abuse from her father and then, her husband but is still able to find inward happiness and independence from the world. It’s a beautiful story about self discovery and tells us that no one is ever indeed too old to find love, happiness or self worth.
There’s even a bit of it that’s told from Africa that will leave you wondering if the tribe is Nigerian, or maybe Gambian or perhaps Namibia. LOL
The Color Purple is written in Black American Speak but it’s easier to read than The Help.
YOUR HEART WILL SKIP A BEAT by Writvism
Published by: Bahati Books
Genre: African Flash Fiction Anthology
Year of Publication: 2016
Download book here
Your heart will skip a beat (banging title by the way) is a compilation of thirteen stories by twelve writers. Every story is a hit. back to back.
The contributors are so diverse, ranging from writers from Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Botswana. All the stories are from writers who attended the Writvism workshop in the different locations and were mentored by great and established writers.
I’m still trying to decide between my two favorites, Juliet by Magunga Williams and Lagos doesn’t care by Socrates Mbamalu. They were both funny and spot on. You knew they were indeed too short for you (I wanted more) but you knew that there was no better way for the story to end.
The story Your heart will skip a beat, was a little disappointing as i expected a lot because of the title, even though it was not so bad. There were other stories that really caught my interest: God of Death by Sima Mittal, Same Size feet by Wairimu Muriithi and Aduke’s waist by Tolu Daniel. If you have read the book, do tell what your favorite story was!
Honestly, everyone should have this in their library, if not for anything but for fun. They are stories one can read when on the line at the bank, or when you need distraction from a particularly boring class too.
Try not to form too tight an emotional attachment to the characters, as the stories are, after all, flash fiction.
I’m currently in search of new books to read, so please leave suggestions in the comment section and let me know what you think about this post.
I love you guys and have a lovely week.