From Africa with Love: African Literature

I grew up reading African literature books. I read so many books by African authors throughout high school and Uni as part of  assigned reading and also out of my own interest. Most of these books were by Nigerian authors such as the legendary Chinua Achebe and Wole Soyinka. My favorite Kenyan author is Ngugi Wa Thiong’o. What I love about Ngugi’s books is that they gave me an insight into my culture. A culture that is gradually getting lost due to globalization and effects of westernization.Traces of the cultures are now found mainly in the pages of books and museums.



My ethnic tribe is called Kikuyu. This is a photo of a Kikuyu woman taken in 1936 in the traditional attire. With the passage of time and westernization, this attire is now worn as a costume or modified versions of it are worn for occasions such as traditional weddings.




Books by African authors that I have recently added to my TBR:

memoryThe Book of Memory by Petina Gappah

(Click on title to read my review)

Memory is an albino woman languishing in Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison in Harare, Zimbabwe, where she has been convicted of murder. As part of her appeal, her lawyer insists that she write down what happened as she remembers it. As her story unfolds, Memory reveals that she has been tried and convicted for the murder of Lloyd Hendricks, her adopted father. But who was Lloyd Hendricks? Why does Memory feel no remorse for his death? And did everything happen exactly as she remembers?



The Secret Lives of Baba Segis Wives by Lola Shoneyin

(Click on title to read my review)

Meet Baba Segi . . .A plump, vain, and prosperous middle-aged man of robust appetites, Baba Segi is the patriarch of a large household that includes a quartet of wives and seven children. But his desire to possess more just might be his undoing.

And his wives . . .Iya Segi—the bride of Baba Segi’s youth, a powerful, vindictive woman who will stop at nothing to protect her favored position as ruler of her husband’s home.ya Tope—Baba Segi’s second wife, a shy, timid woman whose decency and lust for life are overshadowed by fear.Iya Femi—the third wife, a scheming woman with crimson lips and expensive tastes who is determined to attain all that she desires, no matter what the cost. Bolanle—Babi Segi’s fourth and youngest wife, an educated woman wise to life’s misfortunes who inspires jealousy in her fellow wives . . . and who harbors a secret that will expose shocking truths about them all


 fishermenThe Fishermen by Obioma Chigozie

(Click on title to read my review)

In a Nigerian town in the mid 1990’s, four brothers encounter a madman whose mystic prophecy of violence threatens the core of their close-knit family. Told from the point of view of nine year old Benjamin, the youngest of four brothers, The Fishermen is the story of an unforgettable childhood in 1990s Nigeria, in the small town of Akure. When their strict father has to travel to a distant city for work, the brothers take advantage of his extended absence to skip school and go fishing. At the ominous, forbidden nearby river, they meet a dangerous local madman who persuades the oldest of the boys that he is destined to be killed by one of his siblings. What happens next is an almost mythic event whose impact-both tragic and redemptive-will transcend the lives and imaginations of its characters and its readers. Dazzling and viscerally powerful, The Fishermen never leaves Akure but the story it tells has enormous universal appeal. Seen through the prism of one family’s destiny, this is an essential novel about Africa with all of its contradictions—economic, political, and religious—and the epic beauty of its own culture. With this bold debut, Chigozie Obioma emerges as one of the most original new voices of modern African literature, echoing its older generation’s masterful storytelling with a contemporary fearlessness and purpose.


born-on-a-tuesdayBorn on a Tuesday by Elnathan John

In far northwestern Nigeria, Dantala lives among a gang of street boys who sleep under a kuka tree. During the election, the boys are paid by the Small Party to cause trouble. When their attempt to burn down the opposition’s local headquarters ends in disaster, Dantala must run for his life, leaving his best friend behind. He makes his way to a mosque that provides him with food, shelter, and guidance. With his quick aptitude and modest nature, Dantala becomes a favored apprentice to the mosque’s sheikh. Before long, he is faced with a terrible conflict of loyalties, as one of the sheikh’s closest advisors begins to raise his own radical movement. When bloodshed erupts in the city around him, Dantala must decide what kind of Muslim—and what kind of man—he wants to be. Told in Dantala’s naïve, searching voice, this astonishing debut explores the ways in which young men are seduced by religious fundamentalism and violence.


new namesWe need new names by NoViolet Bulawayo

Darling is only ten years old, and yet she must navigate a fragile and violent world. In Zimbabwe, Darling and her friends steal guavas, try to get the baby out of young Chipo’s belly, and grasp at memories of Before. Before their homes were destroyed by paramilitary policemen, before the school closed, before the fathers left for dangerous jobs abroad. But Darling has a chance to escape: she has an aunt in America. She travels to this new land in search of America’s famous abundance only to find that her options as an immigrant are perilously few. NoViolet Bulawayo’s debut calls to mind the great storytellers of displacement and arrival who have come before her-from Junot Diaz to Zadie Smith to J.M. Coetzee-while she tells a vivid, raw story all her own.


Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue

beholdJende Jonga, a Cameroonian immigrant living in Harlem, has come to the United States to provide a better life for himself, his wife, Neni, and their six-year-old son. In the fall of 2007, Jende can hardly believe his luck when he lands a job as a chauffeur for Clark Edwards, a senior executive at Lehman Brothers. Clark demands punctuality, discretion, and loyalty—and Jende is eager to please. Clark’s wife, Cindy, even offers Neni temporary work at the Edwardses’ summer home in the Hamptons. With these opportunities, Jende and Neni can at last gain a foothold in America and imagine a brighter future.

However, the world of great power and privilege conceals troubling secrets, and soon Jende and Neni notice cracks in their employers’ façades. When the financial world is rocked by the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the Jongas are desperate to keep Jende’s job—even as their marriage threatens to fall apart. As all four lives are dramatically upended, Jende and Neni are forced to make an impossible choice.


africaMy favourite quote on Africa and African Literature:

“There are as many Africas as there are books about Africa — and as many books about it as you could read in a leisurely lifetime. Whoever writes a new one can afford a certain complacency in the knowledge that his is a new picture agreeing with no one else’s, but likely to be haugthily disagreed with by all those who believed in some other Africa. … Being thus all things to all authors, it follows, I suppose, that Africa must be all things to all readers.

Africa is mystic; it is wild; it is a sweltering inferno; it is a photographer’s paradise, a hunter’s Valhalla, an escapist’s Utopia. It is what you will, and it withstands all interpretations. It is the last vestige of a dead world or the cradle of a shiny new one. To a lot of people, as to myself, it is just ‘home.”
Beryl Markham, West with the Night

Book Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

When I started reading Anna and the French Kiss, I thought it was too YA. I couldn’t connect with the characters at first and felt like they were too young. Worse still, a tragedy occurred in my personal life before I reached page 50 of the book. Frustrated,I set it aside and didn’t look at it for a whole week. My second attempt at reading this book had me staying up late at night turning pages until I got to the last page.

PARISOne of the things that I absolutely liked about Anna and the French Kiss was the setting. I have always loved Paris. It just looks so beautiful and enchanting in every movie that I have watched. Paris also seems like the most romantic place on earth. Anyway,I digress. The setting of this book was wonderful and I felt like I got to know more about Paris through the pages. The beautiful culture and art was well portrayed through the adventures of the characters. It was also wonderful to see the city through Anna’s eyes as she was new in Paris.

SWOONINGI liked the characters in the book. Anna reminded me of what it was like being young and in love.  My heart broke for her each time she was let down by Toph or Etienne. However, Anna was such a great female protagonist. She was funny, strong, open and generally endearing. I also liked Etienne. He reminded me of Chuck Bass(Charles Bartholomew) with his English accent and amazing hair. He was an adorable character.Another thing that I loved about the book was the friendships between the teens.

What I didn’t like about the book was probably Etienne’s indecision at times. I felt as if he strung Anna along for quite some time. At some point, Etienne was no better than Toph. I know he explained his reasons but still, I didn’t like that bit about him having a girlfriend and staying with her even when he feel for Anna.

If you are a fan of YA and haven’t read this one yet then you need to do so. If you have never read any YA, then you should start with this one. I expected it to be the usual teen romance novel but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I ended up enjoying the book.

Beautiful Bookshelves


“I can’t write without a reader. It’s precisely like a kiss—you can’t do it alone.”
John Cheever


Beautiful Bookshelves

“A man’s bookcase will tell you everything you’ll ever need to know about him.”
Walter Mosley, The Long Fall

I love looking at other people’s bookshelves and seeing the neat little rows of books and the amazing designs of the shelves. I have never really owned a bookshelf. Growing up, my parents had a small one but living on my own, I have always had my books piled up on the floor.I used to love watching the pile grow.

After my  house was burglarized and all my books stolen in 2014, I started collecting books again although reluctantly due to the fear of losing them again. The collection that was stolen had books that I had acquired over years and all my favorite reads including some autographed copies. My current book collection is very small but at least the books are now off the floor.

My small book collection


I hope to one day own a beautiful bookshelf or even better, a personal library,a room full of books. In the meantime, I can only drool at these bookshelf designs  that I found online.


“The best gift you can give me is a book.”
Lailah Gifty Akita, Think Great: Be Great!







ps: the bookshelf designs are not mine, I found them online on Pinterest.

March TBR

On my bookshelf this month

“I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! — When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.”
Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

I have a collection of 10 books that I would like to read this month. I don’t think I will be able to read all of them within the month. However,I hope to read at least five. This is what I have on my bookshelf:


1.The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruis Zafon


About the book
Barcelona, 1945:  an antiquarian book dealer’s son who mourns the loss of his mother, finds solace in a mysterious book entitled The Shadow of the Wind, by one Julián Carax. But when he sets out to find the author’s other works, he makes a shocking discovery: someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book Carax has written.

I have read a number of good reviews about this book and it came highly recommended. I am almost halfway through the book and I absolutely love it so far.
2. Halos by Kristen Heitzamann


About the book
It was the halo that caught her heart between beats and made her pause to take notice. When Alessi Moore drives her red Mustang convertible into town, she wonders if this could be the place she was meant to find, a place to settle down. But when her convertible and all she owns is stolen, she is filled with doubt.

I found this book at the library in the  Christian Fiction. I have never read anything from that genre so I decided to give it a go.

3. Her Mother’s Hope by Francine Rivers


About the Book
 Near the turn of the 20th century, fiery Marta leaves Switzerland determined to find life on her own terms. Hildie, Marta’s oldest daughter, has a heart to serve others, and her calling as a nurse gives her independence, if not the respect of her mother. Amid the drama of WWII, Hildie marries and begins a family of her own. She wants her daughter never to doubt her love, but the challenges of life conspire against her vow. Each woman is forced to confront her faulty but well-meaning desire to help her daughter find her God-given place in the world.

This is also Christian fiction. I was introduced to Francine Rivers books by a colleague. Again, a new genre that I am excited to delve into.

4. Her Daughter’s Dream by Francine Rivers


About the Book
In the dramatic conclusion to the New York Times best seller Her Mother’s Hope, Francine Rivers delivers a rich and deeply moving story about the silent sorrows that can tear a family apart and the grace and forgiveness that can heal even the deepest wounds.

I received this book from the same colleague who gave me book number 3 on this list.

5. The Memory of running by Ron McLarty


About the book

 By all accounts, especially his own, Smithson “Smithy” Ide is a loser. An overweight, friendless, chain-smoking, forty-three-year-old drunk, Smithy’s life becomes completely unhinged when he loses his parents and long-lost sister within the span of one week.

Rolling down the driveway of his parents’ house in Rhode Island on his old Raleigh bicycle to escape his grief, the emotionally bereft Smithy embarks on an epic, hilarious, luminous, extraordinary journey of discovery and redemption. (From the publisher.)

I bought this book from a street vendor. Adding it to my list.The next 4 books were also bought from the same vendor.


“Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.”
Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

6. Glow by Jessicca Maria Tuccelli


About the book
October 1941. Eleven-year-old Ella McGee sits on a bus bound for her Southern hometown. Behind her in Washington, D.C., lie the broken pieces of her parents’ love story—a black father drafted, an activist mother an activist mother of Scotch-Irish and Cherokee descent confronting racist thugs. But Ella’s journey is just beginning when she reaches Hopewell County, and her disappearance into the Georgia mountains will unfurl a rich tapestry of family secrets spanning a century. Told in five unforgettable voices, Glow reaches back through the generations, from the red-clay dust of the Great Depression to the Blue Ridge frontier of 1836, where slave plantations adjoin the haunted glades of a razed Cherokee Nation. Out of these characters’ lives evolves a drama that is at once intimately human and majestic in its power to call upon the great themes of our time—race, identity, and the bonds of family and community.

7. When it happens by Susane Collasanti


About the book
At the start of her senior year in high school, Sara wants two things: to get into a top college and to find true love.Tobey also wants two things for his senior year: to win Battle of the Bands and to make Sara fall in love with him. However, a popular jock named Dave moves in on Sara first. But Tobey’s quirky wit and big blue eyes are hard for Sara to ignore. Plus, he gets the little things that matter to her. Can a slacker rock-star wannabe win the heart of a pretty class brain like Sara?

8. My Long Trip Home by Mark Whitaker


About the Book
In a dramatic, moving work of historical reporting and personal discovery, Mark Whitaker, award-winning journalist, sets out to trace the story of what happened to his parents, a fascinating but star-crossed interracial couple, and arrives at a new understanding of the family dramas that shaped their lives—and his own.

9. The Scarlett Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne


About the Book
Set in the harsh Puritan community of seventeenth-century Boston, this tale of an adulterous entanglement that results in an illegitimate birth reveals Nathaniel Hawthorne’s concerns with the tension between the public and the private selves. Publicly disgraced and ostracized, Hester Prynne draws on her inner strength and certainty of spirit to emerge as the first true heroine of American fiction. Arthur Dimmesdale, trapped by the rules of society, stands as a classic study of a self divided.

10. Shantaram by Gregory David Adams


About the book
Shantaram is narrated by Lin, an escaped convict with a false passport who flees maximum security prison in Australia for the teeming streets of a city where he can disappear. Accompanied by his guide and faithful friend, Prabaker, the two enter Bombay’s hidden society of beggars and gangsters, prostitutes and holy men, soldiers and actors, and Indians and exiles from other countries, who seek in this remarkable place what they cannot find elsewhere.

11. Dust by Yvonne Adiambo Awuor


About the book
idi Oganda, running for his life, is gunned down in the streets of Nairobi. His grief-stricken sister, Ajany, just returned from Brazil, and their father bring his body back to their crumbling home in the Kenyan drylands, seeking some comfort and peace. But the murder has stirred memories long left untouched and unleashed a series of unexpected events: Odidi and Ajany’s mercurial mother flees in a fit of rage; a young Englishman arrives at the Ogandas’ house, seeking his missing father; a hardened policeman who has borne witness to unspeakable acts reopens a cold case; and an all-seeing Trader with a murky identity plots an overdue revenge. In scenes stretching from the violent upheaval of contemporary Kenya back through a shocking political assassination in 1969 and the Mau Mau uprisings against British colonial rule in the 1950s, we come to learn the secrets held by this parched landscape, buried deep within the shared past of the family and of a conflicted nation.

I was to read Shantaram and Dust in February but I got distracted by other books. I hope to read them this time round.

“Reading was my escape and my comfort, my consolation, my stimulant of choice: reading for the pure pleasure of it, for the beautiful stillness that surrounds you when you hear an author’s words reverberating in your head.”
Paul Auster, The Brooklyn Follies

I look forward to reading these books and will be posting the reviews from June, 2016. Let me know if you have read any and your thoughts on them.

10 Books of February

My TBR for February had  six books. I had planned on reading 2 memoirs, 2 African Literature novels and at least 2 thrillers. However, I ended up reading 4 memoirs, 2 African Lit and 4 other great books so a total of ten books.


My favorite book  was The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I also really loved The Color Purple by Alice Walker. I hope you find a book that interests you from my February reading list.


1) Abducted: The Fourteen Year Fight to Find My Children by Jacqueline Pascarl


Abducted featured image

About the Book: At seventeen, Jacqueline Pascarl married a royal prince and embarked on what she believed would be a fairy-tale existence. But it soon became a nightmare. After years of abuse at the hands of her husband, Jacqueline escaped with her children, hoping to leave her past behind. But what followed would haunt her for the next fourteen years.In this heart-rending story, Jacqueline describes how her husband kidnapped their two young children and forced them to cut off all contact with her. She tells of the pain and helplessness she felt at their loss but also of how she channeled her grief, forging an existence as an aid worker and humanitarian ambassador, all the while desperately hoping to hear news of them

Why I picked the book: I found the book at an Inama Bookshop(street vendors who sell books) and loved the blurb. Although it was secondhand, it  looked pretty new.

Thoughts: I loved parts of the books, In particular the first and the last section. The middle section was a bit too slow for me.


2) Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt



About the Book This is the memoir of Frank McCourt, born in Depression-era Brooklyn to recent Irish immigrants and raised in the slums of Limerick, Ireland. Frank’s mother, Angela, has no money to feed the children since Frank’s father, Malachy, rarely works, and when he does he drinks his wages. Yet Malachy — exasperating, irresponsible, and beguiling — does nurture in Frank an appetite for the one thing he can provide: a story. Frank lives for his father’s tales of Cuchulain, who saved Ireland, and of the Angel on the Seventh Step, who brings his mother babies.


Why I picked the book: I had been planning on reading this book for a while following a series of recommendations. I finally found a copy at our library and absolutely had to read it.

Thoughts: I really loved this book. The story is quite heartbreaking, the McCourt’s family went through unimaginable hardships. I enjoyed the narrative. I also liked that it was narrated by Frank McCourt through the years hence taking readers through the journey of his growth.
3) Dreams from my father: A story of race and inheritance by Barrack Obama



About the Book: Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance is a memoir by Barack Obama. It was first published in 1995 as Obama was preparing to launch his political career in a campaign for Illinois Senate,[1] five years after being elected as the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review in 1990.[2] The book chronicles the events of Obama’s life up until his entry into law school in 1988.

Why I picked the book: I heard about the book a while ago and was simply curious about Obama’s life. I borrowed the book from a library

Thoughts: I enjoyed the narrative and in particular, the last section about his visit to Kenya. It’s a wonderful and inspiring memoir.


4) I am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced by Nujood Ali

Nujood 1

“I’m a simple village girl who has always obeyed the orders of my father and brothers. Since forever, I have learned to say yes to everything. Today I have decided to say no.”Nujood Ali

About the Book: Nujood Ali’s childhood came to an abrupt end in 2008 when her father arranged for her to be married to a man three times her age. With harrowing directness, Nujood tells of abuse at her husband’s hands and of her daring escape. With the help of local advocates and the press, Nujood obtained her freedom—an extraordinary achievement in Yemen, where almost half of all girls are married under the legal age. Nujood’s courageous defiance of both Yemeni customs and her own family has inspired other young girls in the Middle East to challenge their marriages. Hers is an unforgettable story of tragedy, triumph, and courage.

Why I picked the book: The title, absolutely, I got the book because I was intrigued by the title. And then I found out that it was a true story, absolutely had to read it.
Thoughts: A heartbreaking story. It’s the kind of thing that you read wishing that it was fiction but then it’s not. Nujood is a brave little girl who went through something that no little girl should ever experience.
5) The Color Purple by Alice Walker


purple 2
About the Book:Taking place mostly in rural Georgia, the story focuses on the life of women of color in the southern United States in the 1930s, addressing numerous issues including their exceedingly low position in American social culture. The novel has been the frequent target of censors and appears on the American Library Association list of the 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2000-2009 at number seventeen because of the sometimes explicit content, particularly in terms of violence.

Why I picked the book: I have had this book in my personal library since last year. I don’t know why I took so long to read it. It is such a beautiful book.
Thoughts: I loved the book. I absolutely loved Celia and even Shug Avery. Loved how unique the narration was whereby the story was told in letters. I am truly glad that I read this book.












6) Behind Closed Doors by BA Paris



About the Book: The 2016 debut bloggers can’t stop raving about. Perfect for fans of The Girl on the Train and The Ice Twins. Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace.

He has looks and wealth, she has charm and elegance. You might not want to like them, but you do. Though, you’d like to get to know Grace better.

But it’s difficult, because you realise Jack and Grace are never apart.

Some might call this true love. Others might ask why Grace never answers the phone. Or how she can never meet for coffee, even though she doesn’t work. How she can cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim. And why there are bars on one of the bedroom windows.

Sometimes, the perfect marriage is the perfect lie.

Why I picked the book: This book is widely acclaimed especially in the blogosphere. I picked it mainly because someone told me that it’s like The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins.
Thoughts: I enjoyed the story. It’s quite fast paced. I haven’t read such as suspenseful thriller in quite a while. I was on the edge of my seat with each new twist. The book will keep you guessing up to the end.


7) The Other Side of Truth by Beverly Naidoo




About the Book: After the murder of their mother, twelve-year-old Sade and her younger brother are smuggled out of Nigeria by their journalist father to escape the corrupt military government and growing violence. They are sent to their uncle in London, but when they arrive, he is missing and they are abandoned, passed between foster homes. Their father escapes to England to find them — but he will be sent back to Nigeria unless Sade can find a way to tell the world what happened to her family.

A Silver Medal winner of England’s Smarties Book Prize, Beverly Naidoo’s new novel explores the issues of family, exile, and freedom wtih eloquence and stunning realism.

Why I picked the book: I wanted to balance my books for this month by including some good African Literature. I picked this book from the library because I loved the synopsis.
Thoughts: It’s an interesting story but I think it’s more suited for the YA readers


8) Crackdown by Njuguna Mutonya


About the Book: Njuguna Mutonya was born in Thika in 1960. At Nyeri High School he got his first taste of political activism campaigning for Waruru Kanja, a deeply nationalistic post independence Kenyan politician. Njuguna then joined the University of Nairobi during its most turbulent period (1980-1984) under Daniel Arap Moi’s regime. He graduated in Political Science and trained in journalism before being deployed as District Information Officer at Mombasa, a Kenyan Coast. Njuguna was arrested for sedition in 1986 and released in 1989.

Why I picked it: The book is based on true events about what a journalist went through in the Nyayo Torture Chambers in 1989. I was curious to read about the stories that make up part of Kenya’s dark history.
Thoughts: We cannot run away from our pasts no matter how ugly they are. This is a book about resilience and bravery that everyone should read.
9) The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

book smuggler.jpg

About the Book : It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. . . .

Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s 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. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.

This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.

Why I picked the book: Quite a number of people had recommended this book to me.

Thoughts: I really can’t explain just how much I loved this book. It’s the kind of book that you want to hug and keep close to you. I want to reread the book even if it broke my heart.I highly recommend it. Seriously, everyone should read this one.index


10) P.S: I Love you by Cecilia Ahern

About the Book: Holly couldn’t live without her husband Gerry, until the day she had to. They were the kind of young couple who could finish each other’s sentences. When Gerry succumbs to a terminal illness and dies, 30-year-old Holly is set adrift, unable to pick up the pieces. But with the help of a series of letters her husband left her before he died and a little nudging from an eccentric assortment of family and friends, she learns to laugh, overcome her fears, and discover a world she never knew existed.

Why I picked the book: I bought it from an Inama Bookshop. I loved the blurb and the cover and the title too.
Thoughts: I liked the book; it was an easy and fun read. There are sections that I thought were a bit over the top but that didn’t mess up the plot.



I joined the goodreads reading challenge this year for the first time and my plan was to read 50 books this year.  I am now reading, The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon which is my 22nd book for 2016. You can join the challenge too, click here for more details.

Attribution: All synopsis(about the book) were obtained from here.

A Haven for Book Lovers

“In a good bookroom you feel in some mysterious way that you are absorbing the wisdom contained in all the books through your skin, without even opening them.”
― Mark Twain

The first library that I visited was somewhere in Embakasi back in the early 90’s. I don’t remember much about the building but I do recall that the library belonged to a Catholic Church. As an 8 year old, I thought that it was an incredible place. To me, It was like taking a trip to Disney World. At that age, I still loved the Ladybird book series and spent hours reading them. My favorite books were Cinderella, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Jack and the Beanstalk, Goldilocks and the Three Bears.
I used to walk out of the library with a borrowed book hidden under my shirt lest a bully (imagined) saw me and stole my book (real…um imagined fears). I was a troublemaker back then and I guess that is why I was nicknamed Deedee.deedee I used to do a lot of annoying things just to get a reaction from the other kids. My favorite irksome habit was singing silly name songs at the top of my voice (Georgie, Porgie was my favorite one). I have two brothers who had numerous friends (of course), this was like having my own army which gave me the bravado to bug others.


girl reading
Anyway, I digress. I loved the library. My routine was to borrow books, read and return them. I then asked my parents to buy me the same books which I reread before adding them to my secret stash of books.

girl reading 2.jpg
It’s at this time that I eventually graduated from storybooks to reading novels. My first novels were; The Client by John Grisham, The River Between by Ngugi Wa Thiongo and My life in Crime by John Kiriamiti

The library at my former high school had Pacesetter collection which I read with gusto. I used to hide them under my desk and read them in class and sometimes at night in bed under the covers with a torch illuminating the pages. The school library was not so well stocked though and so the students had to sneak around books like contraband. Good times!


high school reading

“A library is a good place to go when you feel unhappy, for there, in a book, you may find encouragement and comfort. A library is a good place to go when you feel bewildered or undecided, for there, in a book, you may have your question answered. Books are good company, in sad times and happy times, for books are people – people who have managed to stay alive by hiding between the covers of a book.”

[Letters of Note; Troy (MI, USA) Public Library, 1971]”
― E.B. White

Bishop Okullu Memorial Library

Years later, I finally found my favorite library and book spot. It is big, beautiful and right at the center of my place of work. This is one of my favorite places and not just at work. This library is always quiet and cool even on the hottest days.


There is something magical about going through its doors and up the stairways.IMG_20160204_122203

My heart always races with anticipation as I get closer to my favorite section of the library. From habit, I never check the catalog in advance (there is no fun in that). The excitement lies in making new discoveries. I always take time to go through the book shelves, reading blurbs and occasionally hugging and smelling books that I have been looking for. Yes, normal people do that.

“I like libraries. It makes me feel comfortable and secure to have walls of words, beautiful and wise, all around me. I always feel better when I can see that there is something to hold back the shadows.”
― Roger Zelazny, Nine Princes in Amber


Today I went to the library and found some gems that I have now added to my reading list. Here they are:

“Libraries really are wonderful. They’re better than bookshops, even. I mean bookshops make a profit on selling you books, but libraries just sit there lending you books quietly out of the goodness of their hearts.”
― Jo Walton, Among Others