Before the curtains falls on this year that has seen us grow a hub of literati in Nairobi, we would like to let you in on what we have read at #TBCBookClub this 2016. We started with ‘Power of Now’ by Eckhart Tolle. It was our January book of the month. Along the way, we committed to promoting books by African authors and for that reason, we are currently on an African literary tour.
‘We Need New Names’ by Zimbabwe’s NoViolet Bulawayo paved the way for other reads by African authors besides leaving us in stitches. We traversed Nigeria courtesy of ‘Blackass’ and featured Angola thanks to Jose Eduardo Agualausa’s ‘A General Theory of Oblivion’. For September we read ‘Homegoing’ by the very talented Yaa Gyasi of Ghana. ‘The Curator’ by Jacques Strauss and ‘Tomorrow I’ll Be Twenty’ by Alain Mabanckou were our October and November reads respectively. This December, we are reading ‘City of Thorns’ which sheds light on Dadaab Refugee Camp through the stories of 9 lives who call this city home.
Curious to know what could be going on in each book? Here you go.
December book of the month : City Of Thorns by Ben Rawlence
It gives an investigative perspective to the reality that is Dadaab Refugee Camp. You can order it here.
November book of the month: Tomorrow I’ll Be Twenty by Alain Mabanckou
In Tomorrow I’ll Be Twenty, at only ten years, Michel is going through much more than any other 11-year-old may be faced with. He is caught in a dilemma. He is struggling to keep up with the demands of dating his 12-year-old girlfriend Caroline who is threatening to dump him for a bully. A bully with who is in the same football club with Michel. Can life get worse?
October book of the month: Curator by Jacques Strauss
It embodies things that we are not too brave to talk about. Fictitious as it is, Strauss manages to paint the darker sides of society and people in a way that is believable. Murder and family disintegration are a solid part of this read.
September book of the month: Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
This was #TBCBookClub 10/10 read this year. Yaa Gyaasi’s debut novel ‘Homegoing’ sets itself the unnerving task of tracing centuries of sorrow that scathed a family. The power of storytelling that is evident in Gyasi’s writing leaves a deep-seated understanding of the slavery situation that gave birth to savage realities and emotional damage that not even centuries can erase.
August book of the month: A General Theory of Oblivion by José Eduardo Agualusa
So here is whar you need to know. At the beginning of José Eduardo Agualusa’s A General Theory Of Oblivion, Ludo, our protagonist barricades herself to keep away from the ongoing Angolan independence day festivities. She saves on food, water and adjectives.
July Book of the Month: Blackass by Igoni Barrett
Given the rarity of white men in Lagos, what happens when you sleep a black man & wake up a white man? Will be you be handled in high regard? Furo struggles with this reality that he neither chose nor wants but which provides him authority. One thing is cast in stone, a part of him remains black amidst this pigmentation. A part that carries the title of this book.
June book of the month: Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Set during World War II in Germany, this groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. In case you are familiar with book hangovers, this is read will leave you hanging in that state for a while. Here is a quote we loved from this book “Did they deserve any better, these people? How many had actively persecuted others, high on the scent of Hitler’s gaze, repeating his sentences, his paragraphs, his opus? Was Rosa Hubermann responsible? The hider of a Jew? Or Hans? Did they all deserve to die? The children?”
May book of the Month: We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo
They way NoViolet frames words in this read, well you are bound to imagine that the characters are conversing against a backdrop of humour that takes (literary) ignorance to ignore. We will let you read it for yourself .
April Book of the Month: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt’s
The book is an impressive account of loss, love, and the trans-formative power of art. The protagonist is 13-year-old Theo Decker is abandoned by the man he called his father as we are led through the life of Theo and his mother. His father, a man of great excesses, with a simmering and explosive rage leaves them near destitute; times are hard but somehow, they manage to get by. One would expect that this shift would cause them much grief, but, in some paradoxical emotional twist, this gives them a new lease on life. They are, If only for a little while, unabashedly happy.
March book of the month: Primary Greatness by Stephen R. Covey
Stephen R. Covey believed there were only two ways to live life: a life of primary greatness or a life of secondary greatness. Covey believes that the intrinsic rewards of primary greatness – integrity, responsibility and contribution – far outweigh the extrinsic rewards of secondary greatness – money, popularity and the self-absorbed, pleasure-ridden life that some people consider ‘success’.
February book of the month: Edge of Eternity by Ken Follett
‘Edge of Eternity’. This book is the final installment in a series of three books which together make up the Century Trilogy.In the Century Trilogy, the author documents the lives of five wealthy families and the spaces they consequently inhabit during the dawn of the twentieth century. The first book, Fall of Giants, focuses on the First World War and the Russian Revolution. The second book, Winter of the World, features the Spanish Civil War, the Second World War, and the development of nuclear weapons. Then comes ‘Edge of Trinity’ which spans through the social, political and economic pressures of 1960-1970 in Europe.In this read, we grow with these individuals as they experience life in their own extremities.
January book of the month : Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
In this read, you will learn that
The Present Moment Is The Most Precious Thing There Is.
Any Action Is Often Better Than No Action
Whatever You Fight, You Strengthen, And What You Resist, Persists and more.