Weeks back, I had to rearrange my bookshelf and add a couple of annexes to the existing shelves. Seeing the number of books that needed to be shelved, my daughter compelled me to make a commitment to not buy any new book in 2020.
I recently finished reading Lagos Noir and in the middle of it, I decided to look up the history of the Noir series. With over 90 titles all named after different cities of the world, I was keen to see which other titles would attract my attention. I wanted to choose the London one but the stories seemed set in the London of the 70s. I wanted something more recent from a city I was familiar with. I finally settled for Sydney Noir. It is nowhere near my favourite city as I do not have particularly fond memories but the reviews seemed very good, so I went for this.
There are fewer things that give me joy than attending jazz gigs at night away from home while also lazying in hotel rooms all day and popping into bookshops to pick up random books when I manage to get out of the hotel room. Away in Johanessburg, I had one of such weeks while attending the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz festival.
I recently tweeted about a stash of books which I had ordered and used an overseas address. These orders were placed over a couple of weeks and had been gathering dust for months. A colleague was in the said city and brought it back home. I was elated, to say the least.
A while back I mentioned my search for Greek contemporary fiction during a recent stay in Athens. I did not give up on my search afterwards. I finally found one of the books I was searching for initially. I found The Scapegoat on Amazon and gladly grabbed the solitary copy that was available.
In recent times, I have developed an interest in the history of the Group Area Acts that were instruments of the Apartheid government in South Africa. This recent interest was rekindled by the book Buckingham Palace, District Six which I read earlier this year. It is difficult to rank the heinousness of the instruments deployed by the apartheid government for their evil but the Group Area Acts must be at the top of any list.
While preparing for a recent visit to Greece, it occurred to me that I had not immersed myself in the Greek Literary scene despite repeated visits to that beautiful land.
In my view, our love for particular books is rarely objective. Our affinity to certain books like songs is usually subject to the emotions they evoke. These emotions could be merely based on our familiarity or close ties with the content or location of the work. There are few works of fiction set in Port Harcourt city.
About four months ago, I was listening to a 702 literary talk show while navigating my way home in the Lagos traffic, and I heard Zukiswa Wanner reviewing some African fiction she had recently read. I was fascinated by the review of Sulaiman Adonia’s book.