My Top 10 Reads Of 2017 So Far

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You might think it’s too soon for the best books of 2017 list until you consider that the year is halfway gone already. Just like that.

A lot of amazing things have happened this year, around and outside this blog and reading. I could write an epistle about that and maybe I will eventually.

For now, I thought I’d share the books that have my reading this year magic.

Longthroat Memoirs by Yemisi Aribisala

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5 months after I finished reading this book, I haven’t recovered from the experience. It would be a great disservice to say this book is about food. I don’t have a poetic bone in my body but this book makes me feel like writing music.

Intelligent, Enlightening and Hillarious. This book is the answer to lazy Sunday Afternoons. Read my full review here.

Get the book here.

P.S. The Puff Puff recipe is worth the hype.

Foreign Gods Inc. By Okey Ndibe

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Very few characters make me feel like reaching through a book to deliver a well-placed knock on their heads. Read my full review here.

This book has been around for over 3 years but is only getting a Nigerian Edition this month. There’s a full promotional tour coming up, so I expect Foreign Gods Inc. will be in our faces for a while.

 

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The Education Of A British Protected Child By Chinua Achebe

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The manner in which I found and consumed this book was nothing short of magical. The cover of this book caught my eye at Ikeja as I was rushing to the airport. As I was still patting myself on the back for acquiring it at a ridiculous discount, I was informed my flight was being delayed.

Not one to waste time, I brought out my book and started reading. 7 hours later, I was still at the airport but Chinua Achebe had given me a diploma in self-awareness and appreciation.

This is as close to a review as I’m going to get. All I have to say is if you haven’t read this book, do yourself a favour. Find a way to get your hands on it pronto!!

You can find The Education Of A British Protected Child at Patabah Bookstore in Surulere.

 

Stay With Me By Ayobami Adebayo

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The only book I was really looking forward to reading in 2017.

I first came across Stay With Me on NetGalley and the combination of the cover and the name got my attention. I requested to read it then with no luck. Then I found the author on social media and stalked her to oblivion.

When I couldn’t wait for the Nigerian release date, I chose the audio route. There’s a review of that here.

I wish Stay With Me had won the 2017 Bailey’s prize, though as far as I’m concerned it did.

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Easy Motion Tourist By Leye Adenle

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One of those books you consume in less than 5 hours… At least that’s what I did.

I had a few problems with the main protagonist, Guy Collins, I still believe he served no real purpose in this book. Ideally, we won’t have to deal with the sleaze if there’s a sequel but I’m not holding my breath.

Read my full review.

Other than that, this book was a proper thriller. Definitely recommended if you’re looking to get lost in fiction.

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Hopes And Impediments By Chinua Achebe

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My first collection of essays by Chinua Achebe. It’s in this book Achebe really dissects the racist undertones in Joseph Conrad’s Heart Of Darkness. A book I hadn’t heard of before then.

This book introduced me to Achebe’s brand of humour which was always on point. While this is not as intimate as The Education Of A British Protected Child, it is just as powerful and enlightening.

I won this book in a giveaway by African Book Addict and unfortunately, I have no idea how to get it in Nigeria.

I haven’t written a review for this book too because I have no clue where to begin.

 

The Woman Next Door By Yewande Omotoso

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I wasn’t sure I wanted anything to do with The Woman Next Door. To be honest, the only reason I got it was because it was cheap. Obviously, I am very happy I ignored my instincts.

Yewande Omotoso’s writing went through a complete transformation in the years between Bomboy and this book. I found myself constantly checking the cover to remind myself who the author was.

I wrote a review earlier this week. You can read it here.

If you’re looking for a light and breezy read to take on a holiday. I highly recommend this.

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A Man Of The People By Chinua Achebe

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This book is timeless. It’s shocking how very little has changed when it comes to Nigerian politicians since A Man Of The People was published. Well, except for the coups. Thank God for small mercies.

The second piece of fiction by Achebe I’ve read apart from Things Fall Apart, this book is a long way from being classified as “sexy” but it was still weird to read evidence that Chinua Achebe was once a young man. It was all shades of hilarious though and I wish there was a movie to go with it.

I borrowed the copy I read from a library and I expect to read it again when I get a personal copy.

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Born A Crime By Trevor Noah

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I highly recommend listening to the audiobook of Trevor Noah’s memoir. His ability to find humour in the most horrific moments of his life is heartwarming.

For instance, the story of when his mum threw him out of a bus to escape what would have surely meant the end of his family had me cackling until I remembered that this wasn’t fiction.

I still want a physical copy of this book. In fact, audiobooks feel more like an audition for books than actual reading.

 

 

 It by Stephen King

It-stephen-kingThis year I vowed to get over my fear of Stephen King. You see, I read Cell and Pet Sematary back to back at a very young age and I had nightmares for months afterwards. Especially, Pet Sematary. Even thinking about this now…

Anyways I decided the best way to get over it, more than 10 years later, was to read his most popular horror stories. One that involved kids getting their arms torn off by a zombie clown with the power to bring your worst nightmares to life. I mean, that makes sense right?

So far, so good, I haven’t woken up in a cold sweat yet but then I’ve only made it to part 3. God help me.

There it is, my favourite reads in the first half of 2017. Looking forward to more literary goodness the rest of the year. Feel free to share your favourites this year in the comments below. I’m always looking out for book recommendations.

Obsessed with books.

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4 Comments

  1. I think all I’ve read this year can also be classified as my favourite reads:
    1)The Perks Of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky – I think(I’ve not yet concluded) this is the most amazing book I’ve ever read. Ever. Simply put,amazing.
    2) Swimming Home by Deborah Levy – Nominated for the Booker Prize. Also a nice read.
    3)Eileen by Otessa Moshfegh – I liked how the titular protagonist was treated. How her low self worth was explored. Another nice read.
    4) Half Of A Yellow Sun – I reread it for the second time. Another amazing read. To think that I’m already thinking of reading it again, lol.But seriously, whenever I think again of this quit notice being issued to the Igbos in the north, I think of the events in the novel and just want to bury myself in it again.
    5) Wish You Well by David Baldacci – This one is not one of the usual thrillers Baldacci is famous for. This is a sad-sweet story about two kids who lost their father in an accident and whose mother was left in a catatonic state due to the accident. Quite nice too.

    1. This is a beautiful list. Reminds me that Half Of A Yellow Sun is still languishing on my tbr pile.

  2. Mine will have to be:
    Born a Crime – Trevor Noah
    Seven Solitudes of Lorsa Lopez – Sony Labou Tansi. This read was so good, I had zero expectations of it and wanted to stray off the path of recommended reads. I’m glad I grabbed this book.
    The God of Small Things – Arundhati Roy. What a read! You pause, marvel and repeat.
    The Anthill – Obi Egbuna. I like this play, it’s a quick read and the speed at which it unravelled made me laugh out loud!
    Noughts and Crosses – Malorie Blackman. This will get you thinking. I promise.