My 2016 Reading List

I know what brown smells like.

Every single time I open up a book with brown pages, it has the same distinct smell. I know what digital feels like, that ache in my eyes and that cramp in my finger. Actually, now that I think of it, I also know what white smells like.

No, my dearest up-in-arms advocate – this is in no way linked to racism.

We often make resolutions without a plan – well, this is my attempt at a plan. I want to read – I want to read so much more than I have read these past 5 years. Well, these past 15 years, really!

I want to read Africa.

Apana ndugu, hii si attempt mbili ku racism.
(Ha! See what I did there…)

We, all 7 billion of us, view the world in our own shades of purple and grey. I want to read her. I want to read stories from ‘the’ Congo; I want to learn of myths of Mali; I want to hear the song of Libya; I flex with the might of the South Africans; I want to get mystified by the stories from Uganda. I want to soak her in. I want to be a part of her…

Okay, maybe I exaggerate – but you get the gist of it. The titles in list below were compiled from Nevender‘s & NaiveUgandan‘s blogs as well as the trusty old Google Search.

30 books for 2016.

  1. We Need New Names – NoViolet Bulawayo (Book 2 – Review here)
  2. I write What I like : Selected Writings – Steve Biko
  3. Kizza Besigye and Uganda’s Unfinished Revolution – Daniel Kalinaki (Book 3 – Review here)
  4. The River Between – Ngugi wa Thiongo
  5. Blossoms of the Savannah – Olet Kulet
  6. The Warring Princess: Portrait of a Triumphant Woman – Josephine Namukisa
  7. A Long Way Gone : Memoirs of a Boy Solider – Ishmael  Beah
  8. Through My African Eyes – Jeff Koinange
  9. Arrow of God – Chinua Achebe
  10. The Shadow of Imana by Veronique Tadjo
  11. Purple Hibiscus – Chimamanda Ngonzi
  12. Ghana Must Go – Taiye Selasi ** Currently Reading**
  13. God’s Bits of Wood – Ousmane Sembene
  14. The Poisonwood Bible – Barbara Kingsolver
  15. Half of A Yellow Sun – Chimamanda Ngonzi
  16. Things Fall Apart – Chinua Achebe
  17. Tropical Fish – Doreen Baingana
  18. In The Country of Men – Hisham Matar
  19. A Calabash of Life – Asalache K.
  20. Petals of Blood – Ngugi wa Thiongo
  21. In the Footsteps of Mr.Kurtz : Living on the Brink of Disaster in Mobutu’s Congo – Michela Wrong
  22. Nothing Left to Steal – Mzilikazi Wa Afrika
  23. The Rebel’s Hour – Lieve Joris
  24. Americanah – Chimamanda Ngonzi
  25. The Memory of Love – Aminatta Forna
  26. Everything Good Will Come by Sefi Atta
  27. The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born – Ayi Kwei Armah
  28. Men of the South – Zukiswa Warner
  29. Recipe for Disaster – Lilian Tindyebwa
  30. Kintu – Jennifer Makumbi (Book 1 – Review here)
  31. Uganda’s Revolution 1979-1986 | How I saw it – Pecos Kutesa (Book 4 – Review here)
  32. Nairobi Echoes – Stanley Gazemba (Book 5 – Review here)

Bonus books curated from This is Africa – Considered the best books of 2015
Chigozie Obioma, “The Fishermen”
Petina Gappah, “The Book of Memory”
EC Osondu, “This House Is Not For Sale”
Chinelo Okparanta, “Under the Udala Trees”
Igoni Barret, “Blackass”
Abubakar Adam Ibrahim, “Season of Crimson Blossoms”;
Elnathan John, “Born on a Tuesday”
Masande Ntshanga, “The Reactive”

**Update from Africa39’s interview with Arac de Nyeko
The God Of Small Things by Arundati Roy,
Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels,
Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga,
Song of Lawino, the long poem by Okot p’Bitek,
The Concubine by Elechi Amadi.
So Long A Letter too by Mariama Bâ

**Update from #MeetLounge #ReadABook Session
The Official Wife by Mary Karooro Okurut

**Update – these titles were bought at Writivism2016, a literary festival that happens in Kampala, Uganda.
The Ghosts of 1894 – Oduor Jagero (Book 6 – Review here)
The Triangle – Nakisanze Segawa
A Death Retold in Truth and Rumor – Grace A Musila
How to spell Naija 2 – Chuma Nwokolo
Borderline – Michela Wrong
It’s Our Turn To Eat – Michela Wrong
100 Days – Juliane Okot Bitek
We are all Blue – Donald Molosi

I am currently reading Kintu by Jennifer Makumbi & The Best is Yet to Come – Brian Houston. Hope to be done with the latter soon – so that I can hop onto the next. Kintu, is a different story, you need to ‘experience’ it to learn that you cannot rush Jennifer – your heart will shatter into tiny pieces. Better to take it all in small doses.

Yeap! This is the beginning of my 2016 Africa Reading Challenge!

So tell me, who are you going to read this year?
Do you have your own list – Share?
Is there a title I simply MUST read :)?

*Images courtesy of Google

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