Hi guys! I hope this blogpost finds you well 🙂
On my first installment of Quarantine & Chill, I’ll focus on interesting books to read. I’ve read these books already and would do so again and again! Man, I love them!
In this time of quarantine, it may be difficult to access bookshops, so here are a few sites and apps you could use:
Ok, let’s get into it!
My Sister The Serial Killer – Oyinkan Braithwaite
This dark, comedic novel follows two Nigerian sisters, Ayoola and Korede as they navigate through life. Their lives aren’t necessarily ordinary, as one (I won’t say who) has insatiable bloodlust, and the other always cleans up the mess.
I’ve never read an African novel with such elements, so that made it extra appealing to me. Have you read an African book that’s the same genre as this one? If you have, let me know!
What I love about this novel is its darkness. I’m a sucker for murder stories and you’ll always catch me watching the ‘Crime Investigation’ and ‘Investgative Discovery’ channels on DSTV. I’m not a creep, I just find them engaging. That’s all…
I also love the fact that the chapters are short and keep you on your toes. Like who’s going to be murdered next? Will they be caught??? I love such books! They heighten my emotions and I feel like I’m living in its universe!
I would totally recommend it for those that love murder stories, suspense and elements of surprise! Some reviews say that the ending was anticlimactic, and I thought so too, but it depends on the reader at the end of the day. The story’s still good, I assure you!
“It takes a whole lot longer to dispose of a body than to dispose of a soul, especially if you don’t want to leave any evidence of foul play.”― Oyinkan Braithwaite, My Sister, the Serial Killer
The Hairdresser of Harare – Tendai Huchu
This Zimbabwean Novel tells the story of Vimbai, a skilled hairdresser, whose world is rocked when Dumisani, an even more skilled hairdresser, appears. Despite their rivalry, which is one sided as Vimbai fuels it, they form a special friendship. However, as their relationship grows, suspicions grow and truths are revealed.
The novel not only follows these two main characters, but post-colonial Zimbabwe, following the ‘white flight’, when white settlers were forced out of the country and experienced difficulties in their former colony. It also documents the beginning and origin of the economic crisis of Zimbabwe, fueled by corruption and poor management.
It’s a good read and opens your eyes to the social issues experienced in those times, that we still experience today.
“I knew people who never looked beyond the next day. Their circumstances only allowed them to focus on the here and now, which is pretty much what animals did, though we regarded ourselves as superior.”Tendai Huchu, The Hairdresser of Harare
Homegoing – Yaa Gyasi
This novel follows two sisters, Effia and Esi, that are separated by the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. They hail from the then British colony The Gold Coast, presently known as Ghana. Readers are transported from the shores of the Gold Coast to the slave plantations of America.
I learnt so much from this book, from how slavery not only affected the slaves, but those left behind and the effects colonisation had on my ancestors. .
I would refer to the novel as a history book, as it not only focuses on those times, but the present too. It touches on the issue of identity African-Americans face, as they were forcibly uprooted from their homes and placed in a strange and new environment. The wounds of slavery are still being felt today, and this story touches on them
It’s a heartbreaking tale and can enrage you, knowing what our people went through, but lets us know that we should appreciate the lives we have today. Our freedom. Our independence..
“We believe the one who has power. He is the one who gets to write the story. So when you study history, you must ask yourself, Whose story am I missing? Whose voice was suppressed so that this voice could come forth? Once you have figured that out, you must find that story too. From there you get a clearer, yet still imperfect, picture.”Yaa Gyasi, Homegoing
Stay With Me – Ayobami Adebayo
This novel touched my heart in all the right places. I experienced all emotions known to man. I’ve read it twice and would do it again in a heartbeat
Adebayo shares a story known to many married couples. She tackles the good and bad times in marriage through the two main characters, Yejide and Akin. These two university sweethearts were basically relationship goals. However, being relationship goals doesn’t exempt you from having problems.
In this part of the world, once you get married, babies are expected to appear immediately, and if they don’t society looks at you sideways. Adebayo touches on these issues, as Yejide and Akin face fertility problems and after 4 years of marriage, no baby exists. It’s very common for women to be the first to be blamed for the lack of children, and Yejide is no exception to this.
She faces the threat of being replaced by a second wife, and goes through the most extreme measures to make sure she isn’t.
Though all characters in this book are fictitious, they represent so many people in our society. This is a plus as it teaches grave and relevant lessons we all need, to be honest.
It’s a fast and interesting read that keeps you wanting more!
“If the burden is too much and stays too long, even love bends, cracks, comes close to breaking and sometimes does break. But when it’s in a thousand pieces around your feet, that doesn’t mean it’s no longer love.”Ayobami Adebayo, Stay With Me
These 4 books should keep us busy during this period, and I’m also going to challenge myself to read more.
These are the books I intend on reading:
- The Joys of Motherhood – Buchi Emecheta
- Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood – Trevor Noah
- Blackass – A. Igoni Barrett
- Housegirl – Michael Donkor
Once, I’m done, I’ll let you know how they were.
Before we end, I would like to give a quarantine tip:
It’s always helpful to follow a schedule once at home to create a balance, in order to avoid over and under-working.
Happy quarantine and happy reading guys!
Thanks for reading!
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