Great African Reads discussion

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Contemporary Lit | Planning > The general idea

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message 1: by Marieke, Chief Chatterbox (new)

Marieke | 2273 comments Mod
There has been some interest in reading some contemporary literature as a group here. I'm not sure how best to organize it. I will continue to participate in the Tour so for me, reading these books will be in addition to that, but I don't expect everyone to feel like they must do both. I personally want to read more current literature coming out of Africa and the diaspora, and I want some more activities going on here since not everyone wants to be on the Tour all the time.

So...what do you all think? Is a monthly read too much? We take two months for each tour stop, so I should be able to handle that, at least in 2012, which is coming up fast.

And when would you like to begin?

Should we generate a list of books we are interested in and use a randomizer of vote for each selection? Or sometimes read what The Africa Book Club is reading. Their selections don't always appeal to me but often they do. I have september's selection staring at me right now!


Melanie | 168 comments Good idea Marieke! I am up for reading more current literature plus I think those books might be a tad easier for people to get. :)


message 3: by Marieke, Chief Chatterbox (new)

Marieke | 2273 comments Mod
i'm glad to hear that Melanie!

i might be able to get this up and running in November. January 2012 at the latest...but what do you all think in terms of generating a list of choices? and preferences for how we select? and do we determine the reading period based upon each individual book? for instance, we already have Agaat selected for January and i think that needs to be a two-month read...


Nina Chachu | 144 comments I think I would be interested. You could ask for suggestions, and have some kind of cut-off, then a vote? or consensus?


message 5: by Marieke, Chief Chatterbox (new)

Marieke | 2273 comments Mod
Nina wrote: "I think I would be interested. You could ask for suggestions, and have some kind of cut-off, then a vote? or consensus?"

you mean to use the same method essentially as for the tour? we can definitely do that.

would you be able to start in November, Nina?


Nina Chachu | 144 comments If you do it like the Tour, at least as I understand it, everyone is asked for their suggestions, and then when you see what comes up there is a poll, or if there are many, many choices, then some kind of pre-selection is done. That in itself does seem to generate discussion, as evidenced recently about the Ghana choices. And ultimately it is about the reader's/member's choice.

I, for one, don't always manage to read the "Tour" books at the time we are discussing them, though I may do so later, or put the book on my TBR list, for later consideration.


message 7: by Melanie (last edited Sep 15, 2011 05:04PM) (new)

Melanie | 168 comments You could mix it up - for one read we could all nominate books and for another you could pick one that comes up in discussion a lot - or you and Muphyn could pick a couple and we vote.

I could try to do November - a lot of it for me is the availability of the book. Knowking way ahead of time helps too :)


message 8: by Marieke, Chief Chatterbox (new)

Marieke | 2273 comments Mod
Yeah! The Africa Book Club is awesome. :D

How about we start discussing books we might want to read in November.

I have on my shelf The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives: A Novel and The Boy Next Door and Zoo City and Oil on Water: A Novel. I might have some more downstairs but I'm lazy and I want to see you all have/want to read.

Melanie, if we choose a book by October 1, will that give you time to be ready for November?


Melanie | 168 comments I will try very very hard. :-)


Nina Chachu | 144 comments Marieke wrote: "Yeah! The Africa Book Club is awesome. :D

How about we start discussing books we might want to read in November.

I have on my shelf The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives: A Novel..."


What a good selection of four! And shall I say that I feel lucky to have two (one of which I am reading - along with others, naturally), and I would be happy to go along with any of them, anyway! Plus all are available on Kindle, which is great for those of us who do not have access to super well stocked bookshops !


message 11: by Muphyn, Book Tour Operator (new)

Muphyn | 820 comments Mod
I love Nina's thoughts, keeping things flexible by getting members' input one month, you (Marieke) suggesting a book another time, etc. Keeps it interesting and less structured. (Which reminds me, I need to get a move on for Tour books for Nov/Dec! oopsy, totally forgot...)


message 12: by Marieke, Chief Chatterbox (new)

Marieke | 2273 comments Mod
November is fast upon us...should i make a poll for contemporary lit?


message 13: by Muphyn, Book Tour Operator (new)

Muphyn | 820 comments Mod
Yeah, sure!! What are the choices?


message 14: by Marieke, Chief Chatterbox (new)

Marieke | 2273 comments Mod
I'll make it later, but it will be the ones I've mentioned above and I'll check the Africa Book Club for their current choice and them I'll have a write-in slot. But first, must make dinner... Heh heh (the important things).


message 15: by Marieke, Chief Chatterbox (new)

Marieke | 2273 comments Mod
okay, so i'm finally going to make a poll. and i'm going to link to some books by the authors Chris Abani mentions in this wonderful article. :D


message 16: by Marieke, Chief Chatterbox (new)

Marieke | 2273 comments Mod
From the Abani article, i'm definitely interested in Open City and let's consider Zoe Wicomb, i've read one novel by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Sefi Atta is new to me, Chika Unigwe is familiar but i can't remember what i read, and Shailja Patel is also new. i will be browsing their books and encourage everyone to chime in on which ones they are interested in for future polls!


message 17: by Muphyn, Book Tour Operator (new)

Muphyn | 820 comments Mod
Oh well, each of them's new to me so I'm excited about all of them!! :D


message 18: by Marieke, Chief Chatterbox (new)

Marieke | 2273 comments Mod
The winner for November is The Boy Next Door with seven votes!

Melanie, i will put together a poll for December very soon. i realize you probably want more time...


Melanie | 168 comments Ahh thanks Marieke. I probably will only be able to hit every other one. I have already put in a request at our library for The Boy Next Door so hopefully it comes soon. :)


message 20: by Marieke, Chief Chatterbox (new)

Marieke | 2273 comments Mod
The Boy Next Door reads quite quickly. I really enjoyed it and i think there will be a lot to talk about so I'm pretty excited it won. Although I was excited about the others too! XD


message 21: by Muphyn, Book Tour Operator (new)

Muphyn | 820 comments Mod
Marieke wrote: "The Boy Next Door reads quite quickly. I really enjoyed it and i think there will be a lot to talk about so I'm pretty excited it won. Although I was excited about the others too! XD"

Haha, but you're always excited!! :D (Excellent thing, the world needs more people like you! :D)


message 22: by Marieke, Chief Chatterbox (new)

Marieke | 2273 comments Mod
i'm going to set up a poll this evening for a December selection. I have about five in mind, but let me know if you want me to include anything in particular. There will, of course, be a write-in slot. hopefully i set that up properly this time. :S


message 23: by Marieke, Chief Chatterbox (new)

Marieke | 2273 comments Mod
The voting for the December selection is really close!! Zoo City is in the lead with five, Nairobi Heat has four, and King of Kahel and Who Fears Death are tied with three votes apiece. anyone who hasn't voted or if anyone wants to change their vote, you can do so through tomorrow!


message 24: by Marieke, Chief Chatterbox (new)

Marieke | 2273 comments Mod
Okay! so Nairobi Heat won by two votes, so it will be our December group read for contemporary literature...i hope those of you who voted for different books will still join in? maybe? Pretty please?


Manu (manuherb) | 143 comments Marieke wrote: "The voting for the December selection is really close!! Zoo City is in the lead with five, Nairobi Heat has four, and King of Kahel and Who Fears Death are tied with three votes apiece. anyone who ..."

Author Lauren Beukes writes about a Zoo City-themed exhibition put together by eight student curators at Wits University at http://mg.co.za/article/2011-11-23-da...


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