Monday, 7 October 2019

Better Never than Late, 2019, Chika Unigwe *****

This is a collection of short stories that narrates on the lives of Nigerian immigrants in Belgium. it consists of ten short stories somehow interconnected.

The Transfiguration of Rapu: How do you cope when you have to pretend you aren't the real wife because your husband is married to another person in order to legalise his situation.

Finding Faith: My favourite of them all, though it is a sadly engaging story of loss. How do we deal with the loss of our loved ones when we are so far away from home and immersed in a different culture?

If Finding Faith is sadly engaging, the story of Agu and Prosperous is enraging. Their story occupied two chapters of the novel "Becoming Prosperous and Every One Deserves Grace". After the riot that put an end to Agu's business in Jos, he decides

Wednesday, 2 October 2019

FRIDAS DE BARCELONA


OBJETIVOS DEL 1ER. CÍRCULO INTERNACIONAL DE POESÍA Y ARTE MUJERES PUÑOS
VIOLETA “MI MUNDO SURREALISTA” DE FRIDAS DE BARCELONA Y EL MUNDO:

 Crear difusión a las poetas que se inician en el ámbito poético.

Promover la poesía activista y feminista.

Empoderar a la mujer poeta.

Crear redes entre poetas de todo el mundo.

En virtud de lo anterior, es nuestro deseo crear un círculo energético internacional donde la prioridad sea el empoderamiento de las mujeres alzando su puño violeta en el ámbito de la poesía y el arte activista-feminista, difundiendo a través de nuestros vínculos artísticos la solidaridad y empatía, donde no existan las jerarquías o estatus de poder por trayectoria o premios, que impidan a mujeres desconocidas acceder a divulgar su poesía y arte. Un círculo donde se puedan verbalizar las ideas, emociones o sentimientos a través de la poesía y el arte por el hecho de compartir y nutrirnos para crecer como personas y artistas y con el objetivo final de enviar un mensaje al mundo sobre los derechos humanos.

Sunday, 2 June 2019

Travellers, 2019, Helon Habila *****

The main character whose name is not mentioned, leaves Nigeria to complete a phD thesis in the U.S.A, he marries an American, not the way his parents would have expected. However, one thing leads to another and he drifts around. This novel narrates on the people he meets along the way while travelling.

In Berlin, he meets Mark,  deep and mystical, a Malawian student with an expired visa dodging deportation. He comes across  Manu and his daughter Rachida, Libyans  who survive the

Sunday, 28 April 2019

Memoirs of a Woman Doctor, 2019, Nawal El Saadawi ****

Nawal El Saadawi, I wonder why she has not yet won the Nobel Literature Prize. Memoirs of a Woman Doctor narrates the story of a girl who is forced to grow up in a society dominated by men. 
"because from early childhood a girl is brought up to believe that she's a body and nothing more, so her body becomes her main concern for the rest of her life, and she doesn't realise that she's got a mind as well which must be looked after and encouraged to develop"
"How can a woman live alone without a man? Why is she going out? Why is she coming in? Why is she smiling? Why is she breathing? Why is she taking gulps of fresh air? Why is she looking at the moon? Why does she hold her head up and open her eyes wide? Why does she tread with confidence and

Sunday, 21 April 2019

Known and Strange Things: Essays, 2016, Teju Cole ***

Teju Cole writes so well, Known and Strange Things is a collection of essays neatly written, divided into four sections; Reading Things, Seeing Things, Being There and Epilogue (which consists of only one essay). In total, over 50 essays.

Here goes some of my favourites:
Aciman's Alibi: What we missed was not just Egypt. What we missed was dreaming Europe in Egypt" - what we missed was the Egypt where we'd dreamt of Europe"
Guergui Pimkhassov: ...Behind this dispiriting stream of empty images is what Russians call poshlost: fake emotion, unearned nostalgia. According to Nabokov, poshlost "is not only the obviously trashy but mainly the falsely important, the falsely beautiful, the falsely clever, the falsely attractive."

Sunday, 14 April 2019

Palace of Desire (The Cairo Trilogy #2), 1957 by Naguib Mahfouz

At long last I am finally done with this novel. Last two years I read the first part of the trilogy which I thoroughly enjoyed, please click here. In Palace of desire, the family saga continues. Al-Sayyid Ahmad is done mourning the death of one of his sons who died in the first sequel, he went back to his life of alcohol and women, though he realised he has aged. He decides to keep a young mistress. 
Kamal his youngest son falls in love with a

Sunday, 15 April 2018

The Mourned One, 1975, Stanlake Samkange ***

The Mourned one narrates the story of a young man who is condemned for allegedly raping a white woman in Rhodesia, today's Zimbabwe.
Ndatshana is born a twin, separated from his brother after birth, saved and raised by a white missionary. Life is good until he realises he does not really belong and starts to enquire about his background, which, does not sit well with the white missionaries.

The woman he allegedly raped is his

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Dance of the Jakaranda, 2018, Peter Kimani ***

Dance of the Jakaranda narrates the story of the intertwined destinies of a white reverend, a British soldier, an Indian railway worker and a Masai king in today's Kenya before its independence from the British. A novel that questions the true identity of a Kenyan. 
The story has lots of potential, however, it does not meet my expectations, A lot is going on at a time, which keeps on moving back and fort in history. I was more interested in the lives of the characters, I wanted to get to know them better, however the historical events keep on popping up, kindling my interest, although,

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Horses of God, 2010, Mahi Binebine ****

Horses of God tells the story of a boy who lives in abject poverty and squalor in Morocco, falls into Islamic indoctrination and is convinced to carry out a jihad. This book actually is written in remembrance of the 2003 Casablanca bombing. One of the suicide bombers from his grave narrates the story of his life and what led him to become a suicide bomber.

It is not a novel I particularly enjoyed however, I must say it is brilliantly written. An interesting read as we live in an era where there has been more often than not suicide attacks,  a situation that creates

Sunday, 21 January 2018

New Release 2018

What books to watch out for in 2018

 
The Secrets Between Us is a sequel to The Space Between Us published in 2006 by Thrity Umrigar, I'd like to read. It will be published in June 2018 by Harper.

Please click here to buy



The author of Nervous Condition has published again. She won The Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best Book in Africa 1986 with her first novel. I'd like

Sunday, 14 January 2018

2017 Book of the Year

http://www.maryokekereviews.com/2017/07/dance-with-poor-mans-daughter-1997.html 

I read many interesting novels in 2017 however, Dance with a Poor Man's Daughter was outstanding in so many ways. A page turner, an easy read, a sad read and a hopeful story told through the eyes of a child. This book was published in 1997 and won the Commonwealth Writer's Prize for Best First Book in Africa 1998. This is a novel, I wholeheartedly recommend. 

Pamela Jooste is a South African  novelist. Dance with a Poor Man's Daughter is her first novel.

What was your most outstanding book read in the year 2017?

Please click here to buy.



Sunday, 7 January 2018

2017 Reading Highlights

Read, Enjoyed and Highly Recommended in 2017.

http://www.maryokekereviews.com/2017/09/the-fishermen-2015-chigozie-obioma.html http://www.maryokekereviews.com/2017/07/dance-with-poor-mans-daughter-1997.html http://www.maryokekereviews.com/2017/06/love-in-exile-1995-bahaa-taher.html
 http://www.maryokekereviews.com/2017/04/palace-walk-cairo-trilogy-1-1956-naguib.html http://www.maryokekereviews.com/2017/05/the-book-of-memory-2015-petinah-gappah.html http://www.maryokekereviews.com/2017/02/a-bit-of-difference-2012-sefi-atta.html 


My 2017 book of the year will be announced next week.

Monday, 1 January 2018

Happy New Year 2018


http://www.maryokekereviews.com/2017/02/a-bit-of-difference-2012-sefi-atta.html http://www.maryokekereviews.com/2017/02/a-bit-of-difference-2012-sefi-atta.html http://www.maryokekereviews.com/2017/02/tierra-de-brujas-2016-maria-ferreira.html

http://www.maryokekereviews.com/2017/03/gratitude-in-low-voices-memoir.html http://www.maryokekereviews.com/2017/04/happiness-like-water-2013-chinelo.html http://www.maryokekereviews.com/2017/04/palace-walk-cairo-trilogy-1-1956-naguib.html
http://www.maryokekereviews.com/2017/04/thorns-and-roses-2017-amaka-azie.html http://www.maryokekereviews.com/2017/05/the-book-of-memory-2015-petinah-gappah.html http://www.maryokekereviews.com/2017/06/the-white-tiger-aravind-adiga-2008.html
http://www.maryokekereviews.com/2017/06/the-river-between-1965-ngugi-wa-thiongo.html http://www.maryokekereviews.com/2017/06/love-in-exile-1995-bahaa-taher.html http://www.maryokekereviews.com/2017/07/dance-with-poor-mans-daughter-1997.html
http://www.maryokekereviews.com/2017/07/you-cant-get-lost-in-cape-town-1987-zoe.html http://www.maryokekereviews.com/2017/09/the-fishermen-2015-chigozie-obioma.html http://www.maryokekereviews.com/2017/09/cocktail-hour-under-tree-of.html
http://www.maryokekereviews.com/2017/10/when-we-speak-of-nothing-2017-olumide.html http://www.maryokekereviews.com/2017/09/hausfrau-2015-jill-alexander-essbaum.html http://www.maryokekereviews.com/2017/10/the-underground-railroad-2016-colson.html
http://www.maryokekereviews.com/2017/11/how-to-read-air-2010-dinaw-mengestu.html http://www.maryokekereviews.com/2017/12/the-boy-who-spat-in-sargrentis-eye-2014.html http://www.maryokekereviews.com/2017/02/ghana-must-go-2013-taiye-selasi.html

I read 21 books in 2017, I must admit that I did not read as much I would have loved to. My readings slowed down the last trimester of 2017 due to personal reasons. At least I was able to read as much as in 2016, not less.

What about you? Have you read any of the books mentioned above or any book by any of the writers mentioned above? Please let us know or post a link to your review.

I am wishing you a prosperous reading in 2018. 

Please click on image to read review.

Sunday, 17 December 2017

The Boy Who Spat in Sargrenti's Eye, 2014, Manu Herbstein ****

Manu Herbstein is a historical novelist whose novels are so well researched, Ama: A Story Of The Atlantic Slave Trade is a good example.
The Boy who Spat in Sargrenti's eye is the story of  the invasion of today's Ghanaian territory by the British army told through the eyes of a teenage boy Kofi Gyan, in the 1800s. Villages were ransacked, villagers were hanged, maimed or sent to exile. Tons of gold were stolen and auctioned at the invaders' heart desire.

An easy read, even a book I'd

Sunday, 19 November 2017

How to Read the Air, 2010, Dinaw Mengestu ****

"Like most of the men he was thirsty all the time, and he was convinced that there was something irreparably cruel about a place that put water that could not be drunk in front of you"
"The ships that you see at the far end of the port are all government controlled,... They carry one of two things: food or weapons. We don't make either of them in Sudan"
"I know what you want, he would shout. You want me to go back and have  me dead." In the way he phrased it, death always sounded less like a condition and more like an item from a grocery list. You want me to go back and get the fish. Or You want me to go back and get more bread."
Jonas trying to make sense of his existence, the broken relationship with his parents and the failed marriage to his wife Angela, has to invent a story for

Sunday, 22 October 2017

George Braziller Inc

George Braziller Inc. is an American independent publishing house since 1955, mainly known for their publication of works by foreign authors. George Braziller was the founder, he was born on the 12th of February 1916 and passed

Sunday, 15 October 2017

The Underground Railroad, 2016, Colson Whitehead ****

The Underground Railroad is the plightful journey to freedom of a young woman named Cora, from a plantation in Georgia, United States of America. Her grand mother, Ajarry was kidnapped from Africa and enslaved in America. Her mother Mabel was born into slavery, she supposedly abandoned Cora in search of her own freedom.
This book basically narrates the life of Cora in Randall's plantation, how she escaped, the people that helped, betrayed and hunted her. It is a novel that helps you understand the history of Africans in America.
"For we are Africans in America. Something new in the history of the world, without models for what we will become"
The book is painfully interesting because I know it is a historical novel even

Sunday, 1 October 2017

When We Speak of Nothing, 2017, Olumide Popoola ***

I am not really into the "new release fever", I basically read what I can set my hands on. However, I bought "When We Speak of Nothing" by Olumide Popoola when I visited Atlantis Books  in Santorini. I had no idea who the writer was, however, I know the publishing house Cassava Republic  based in Nigeria and I've been longing to read more books published by them, so, coming across this novel was an opportunity.

This book is about many things and nothing in particular. Nevertheless, it emphasizes on the life of Karl, born Carla, by a Nigerian father and British mother in England. He lives with his mother and never met his father before. After some ups and downs in his relationship with his mother, he decides to travel to Portharourt in search of his father. What arouse my interest is first and foremost, the gender identity in a Nigerian (African) literature, a topic that Olumide addresses so

Sunday, 24 September 2017

2017 Children’s Africana Book Awards

The Children’s Africana Book Awards (CABA) program is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.   CABA awards are presented annually to the authors and illustrators of the best children’s and young adult books on Africa available in the U.S. The awards were created by Africa Access and the Outreach Council of the African Studies Association (ASA) to encourage the publication and use of accurate, balanced children’s materials about Africa. Over the past 25 years, CABA has recognized 90 books for children and older readers.

Reviewers read 30 to 40 books a year, nominated by publishers and copyrighted in the year preceding each awards ceremony. Books must be available in English in the United States. The number of awards varies each year depending on the quality of what has been published.

In addition to honoring a total of 90 books set in 24 countries, the Africa Access’ website (africaaccessreview.org) provides scholarly reviews and criteria for evaluating books.

The 2017 CABA Winners are:

Please click here to buy

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