Top 10 Books for 2019
Thanks to Dave Ramsey, I found that although I am not the type to impress a male by wearing make up or dressing fancy, if someone I find attractive asks me to read a book about money, I don't care if it is bigger than Tomi Adeyemi's Children of Blood and Bone, I am reading it!
Note: This list is in no particular ranking or order.
This Is How We Disappear by Titilope Sonuga
I read This Is How We Disappear this summer. I really liked the book and the spoken word collection that Titilope Sonuga released afterwards. For many parts, it is a feminist collection and reminiscence of the Chibok Girls.
I was looking for leading female voices in the Nigerian literary world and this really stood out to me. Most importantly, I have always admired Titilope Sonuga from afar, especially her career qualification towards her art which allows her to stand out from many other artists who only back up their work with "passion" or "feelings."
Magical Negro by Morgan Parker
Morgan Parker is Queen. She is unapologetic and unbothered in someway. When I read her works, I ensure that I have a note and pen beside me to jot notes because her thinking, works and words are thought provoking.
She writes raw, unfiltered and unashamed. In this collection she writes of the African American history and experience playing with language and commonalities.
I'm Lying But I'm Telling The Truth by Bassey Ikpi
Some books you’ll get and read/listen to and wonder why it took you so long to get a copy.
As a writer, this is the kind of book you’ll read with a pen and paper at your fingertips. It’s provoking. Bassey finds words for those things that hang as clouds over one’s (in)sanity but hasn’t birthed names.
She writes of mental health, parenting, love, romance, discipline, therapy, and healing. It reminds me a lot of Jennifer Lewis’ The Mother of Black Hollywood.
The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
Besides me loving this book for it's practical content and suggestions about finances, this books holds a history of me being a "book Ho" - that's right. You read that word right. Thanks to Dave Ramsey, I found that although I am not the type to impress a male by wearing make up or dressing fancy, if someone I find attractive asks me to read a book about money, I don't care if it is bigger than Tomi Adeyemi's Children of Blood and Bone, I am reading it!
Not only did I listen to this book because it was recommended by someone I found attractive, I took notes and I think I actually learned something. However, on a serious note, I recommended the book to my other friends who needed clarity on financial management and they found this very useful and practical. It changes your mindset and actions.
I will give you the full gist of the "book Ho" another day lol!
Unbroken by Egli Colón Stephens
Besides the fact that this book was a project I participated in, I found the faith and dedication of the authors quite personal - as something I could learn from and breathe in.
This is a book of a mother-daughter relationship that many can learn from. It is about God and their faith in him. It is also a story of love and loss - of innocence, childhood and time.
It is a book of miracles and reminder that God never fails.
In Search of Equilibrium by Theresa Lola
Theresa Lola is a god.
I read books for fun but most importantly, to learn the art and techniques of other writers - see what they are doing right and best then highlight how I can emulate it. Compared to the works of other writers in their debut collection, Theresa Lola was very focused in her themes.
She is the kind of creator that takes one thing and carves it, twists it, bends it, breaks it, glues it back together to form everything life can possibly introduce.
Most importantly, I admired her wisdom, insights - her ability to play with her art and push its limits beyond the ordinary. She is one of my favorites female Nigerian writers.
Doveglion by Jose Garcia Villa
I am at a point of my education about creative writing whereby, I am starting to develop disgust towards the direction of contemporary poetry represented by insta-poets like Rupi Kaur. Hear me out!
Rupi Kaur's Milk and Honey was the first book I read willingly and fully enjoyed. It inspired my writing of To Bee a Honey however, since then, reading the works of other writers, I have questioned the high dependency of works like this on human emotion and meaning rather than art itself.
I came across Jose Garcia's work from a poetry workshop course I am taking this semester and even had the opportunity to chat with one of Jose Garcia's apprentices. His work prioritized three things that now inspire and guide my own writings "Play" "Pretense" and "Practice." His work reminded me of Knots by R.D. Liang who influenced the most artistic pieces in To Bee a Honey.
If writing poetry was just based on emotions, new born children would be authors of too many books. Writing as an art not necessarily dependent on meaning but on the exploration of life and existences has a different impact and that's what made this book stand out to me.
Now, I Want to Remember by Oyindamola Shoola
This collection of love poems is a consequence of me being a "book Ho." It was honestly a fruit of love and romance. However, it also came as a result of the frustration that I only wrote sad poems and my pen was just looking for a happy place to land.
I had always wanted to write a collection about love - whether poetry or short stories and decided to publish this piece within a short period this summer.
I like it because of its simplicity and playfulness. Now, I Want to Remember is a book that even people who aren't lovers of poetry but are lovers of love can enjoy.
It is available for free download HERE.
Broken Places & Outer Spaces by Nnedi Okorafor
I have never been a fan of Nnedi Okorafor's Sci-fi works however, I have always been curious to just know her as an individual and learn of her personal history.
This book is personal and gives insight to her experience of blackness, being an Americanah and also of pain, healing, and recovery.
If you enjoyed Bassy Ikpi's I'm Lying But I'm Telling the Truth, I think you'd like Nnedi Okorafor's Broken Places & Outer Spaces. It is a short read and it is highly impressive.
George's Pieces of Me by Tomi Adesina
Obviously, I am in a race to discover more female Nigerian writers.
When my sister first introduced me to Tomi Adesina's book, suggesting that I'll enjoy it, I didn't believe her. To cut the long story short, my sister bought the book for me and then I wouldn't put it down. I stole the book from my sister and her friendship with Tomi Adesina.
Sometimes you read books because you've been familiar with the author, other times, you read books by authors you have no connection with and then it builds the desire to know them. It has been a pleasure knowing Tomi Adesina afterwards and exploring her writing through award winning movies like Hakkunde and her Opera Series - Baby Morayo.
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