Great African Reads discussion

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Group News & Current Activities > Group input, please - suggestions, ideas?

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message 1: by Anetq, Tour Operator & Guide (new)

Anetq | 719 comments Mod
It's been more than a year with the regional reads of African literature - so I wondered if you have any comments or ideas to share?

Is there anything you would like to read, other types of group reads, topics, themes, types of authors... Anything you are missing, that would make you participate more or read more African books - or just make you enjoy the group more?


2018
Western Africa: Jan-Feb
Central Africa: March-April
Southern Africa: May-June
Eastern Africa: July-August
Northern Africa: Sept-Okt
Western Africa: Nov-Dec
2019
Central Africa: Jan-Feb
Southern Africa: March-April
Eastern Africa: May-June
Northern Africa: July-August


message 2: by Tinea, Nonfiction Logistician (new)

Tinea (pist) | 395 comments Mod
I am enjoying catching the regional reads when I can but I miss the push towards encountering countries less well known (to me) and the challenge of finding and reading from a limited selection of works when there isn't much published or translated from a particular place. I would love to see the group go back to reading country-by-country instead of regionally, but perhaps jump around by region or something else instead of working our way through the list alphabetically.


message 3: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolfromnc) | 57 comments I am enjoying regional reads far more than one-country reads, but have often forgotten to post anything here about my reading, and other members' posts tend to be once they've finished, if at all. It seems as though we're not getting the benefit from actually reading a novel together, but are engaged in the reading version of parallel play.

I could be wrong, but believe the lack of reading books as a group is a natural outcome of our extended nomination and voting process. I wish that nominations and voting happened at a predictable and finite pace and with some close-ish relationship to when the book will be read. I nominated a couple of books in January, but didn't know when voting would occur. In some instances, voting occurred in May or June, for a read to occur even later. That kind of gap reduces both excitement and participation, IMO. A cadence of nominations open for (no more than) 2 weeks, voting open for a week, and starting the read 6 - 8 weeks later increases the likelihood that readers know/recall what's coming up and can plan for it, and if they nominate, they know they'll be available to drive the conversation.

Just a thought.


message 4: by Anetq, Tour Operator & Guide (last edited Aug 22, 2018 01:46AM) (new)

Anetq | 719 comments Mod
Thank you both for your thoughts!
Tinea I am thinking the selections will widen, when we return to a region for the second and third time - but there is a danger of only reading Egypt/Nigeria etc... So good thoughts, and although I am personally not longing to read another "only book written in country X" when there are so many great works from other countries - I do think striking a balance would be good :)
Carol - I agree the excitement may wear off in a long proces - and I share your frustration over the parallel reading, so any ideas there are more than welcome (though we also have to give people time to get the book).
Please keep the comments and thoughts coming!


message 5: by Wim, French Readings (new)

Wim | 721 comments Mod
I have been liking the regional reads we have been doing so far. To have more balance and read from less known countries, we might choose alternative regions such as 'West Africa excluding Nigeria', or 'Francophone West Africa' or 'Lusophone Africa'? Or group together similar countries?

I agree with Carol that the voting and reading process is too much diluted in time. When we voted for The Translator and Woman at Point zero lately, I was wanting to start reading them, but then I realised that it wasn't even August while the books were for Sep/Oct and I didn't even start reading those for July/Aug yet! So good idea to reduce the length of the process, such as proposing the books for Sep/Oct in the first half of Aug, then voting during 1 week.

Instead of reading two books in two months, isn't it better to do one book a month? In that way we might synchronise better?

It has also surprised me that lots of people vote, but few actually post comment in the discussion groups while reading...


message 6: by Tinea, Nonfiction Logistician (new)

Tinea (pist) | 395 comments Mod
Thanks, Wim, I like your idea of adapting Regional Reads to narrow down the category a bit while still staying pretty broad!

Agreeing also with the multiple suggestions to reduce time between suggesting, voting, and reading.


message 7: by Anetq, Tour Operator & Guide (last edited Sep 17, 2018 02:08PM) (new)

Anetq | 719 comments Mod
Peterson wrote: "Here’s a poem contained in my book, do well to support me by checking it out, please.
I did this poem the night before we..."

I've deleted your comment as this is a thread for discussing group stuff - if you want to promote your work, please keep it in the thread for that - you can find that here: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/group...


message 8: by Nina (new)

Nina Chachu | 205 comments I do realize that there is a wide range of readers in this group, with different experiences of African writing/ African diasporan writing. I have to admit that at times I feel that we are defaulting to the older literature - for all sorts of reasons - whereas I think it would be interesting to hear about newer African writing. Or maybe we have a mixture of the two?


message 9: by Wim, French Readings (new)

Wim | 721 comments Mod
To continue on the Nov_Dec nominations discussion, I actually was surprised by the closing of the nominations (process that was launched in Dec 2017; I really admire your efforts Anetq!) as I had been postponing my input...

I recently moved to Burkina Faso where books are depressingly unavailable, so I do understand the need for at least 5 weeks between voting and reading, but I still want to suggest a shorter and more concentrated nomination process. Do we really need more than 2-3 weeks to gather suggestions before voting? Moreover, it is a bit confusing to nominate for next reads before having voted for the previous one.

So what I like to suggest is that the nomination process for let's says the next Jan/Dec reads should only start in October, with voting by half of November. Does that sound reasonable?


message 10: by Wim, French Readings (new)

Wim | 721 comments Mod
To react on another comment you made Anetq, I have not found any groups of African literature in other languages (French, Portuguese, ...), so it might be interesting to create a separate corner, though that depends mainly on the number of people interested in reading in those languages.


message 11: by Sharon (new)

Sharon (goodreadscombookslinger1) | 47 comments For reasons not connected with this wonderful book group, I fell off the train when the Tour d' Afrique A through Z ended. I responded well to the A-Z format. I failed to connect with the regional book club so I am really in the dark now. As a "fallen away" African book reader, I urge you to keep up the good and important work for African lit. Today I am looking through your title suggestions and find several that sound wonderful. Homegoing--I may start that today. Although I am not active in the club, I appreciate your booklists very much.


message 12: by Anetq, Tour Operator & Guide (new)

Anetq | 719 comments Mod
I hear lots of great suggestions here - Thank you all for taking an interest :)

Nina: Yes - more new African literature would be nice. How is the e-book versions (and therefore easy availability for those of us on other continents) ? I have an idea that it's a bit scarce - but I may remember it wrong, I might have been looking for classics? Do you know? Or can you suggest some never titles, so we can have a look?


message 13: by Anetq, Tour Operator & Guide (new)

Anetq | 719 comments Mod
Wim wrote: "To continue on the Nov_Dec nominations discussion, I actually was surprised by the closing of the nominations (process that was launched in Dec 2017; I really admire your efforts Anetq!) as I had b..."

I hear you (and others) - we'll tighten up the schedule - and as there are two months to read the book, those suffering long delivery times should still be able to catch up in the second month :)


message 14: by Anetq, Tour Operator & Guide (new)

Anetq | 719 comments Mod
Wim wrote: "To react on another comment you made Anetq, I have not found any groups of African literature in other languages (French, Portuguese, ...), so it might be interesting to create a separate corner, t..."

My own french is not good enough to read books (and enjoy it) - but we could set up a folder - especially if someone would like to head it up?
Would anyone like to give it a go?


message 15: by Anetq, Tour Operator & Guide (new)

Anetq | 719 comments Mod
Sharon wrote: "For reasons not connected with this wonderful book group, I fell off the train when the Tour d' Afrique A through Z ended. I responded well to the A-Z format. I failed to connect with the regional ..."
Join in anytime and anywhere, we'd love to have you back!


message 16: by Anetq, Tour Operator & Guide (new)

Anetq | 719 comments Mod
Another thing: We get a lot of African authors suggesting we read their work. We've had to disallow self-nominations - and I suggest they use our folder for selfpromotion, which they politely do.
But I just want to put it out there: If anyone has an interest in reading those brand new authors - it would be possible to do something around their works.
If anyone has an interest and would like to organise something - please put your (virtual) hand up :)


message 17: by Wim, French Readings (new)

Wim | 721 comments Mod
Anetq wrote: "My own french is not good enough to read books (and enjoy it) - but we could set up a folder - especially if someone would like to head it up?
Would anyone like to give it a go?"


I can try and moderate a group of those who want to read books that have only been published in French, if there are enough interested people to join.


message 18: by Anetq, Tour Operator & Guide (new)

Anetq | 719 comments Mod
"I can try and moderate a group of those who want to read books that have only been published in French, if there are enough interested people to join. "

Excellent, Wim! Est-ce que vous voulez un ...eh thread pour ca? (sorry no cedille on my keyboard either!)
In other words: Why don't we make a thread/folder for discussing it and/or setting it up - and you can proceed from there?


message 19: by Anetq, Tour Operator & Guide (new)

Anetq | 719 comments Mod
Voila: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...
Anyone interested, please go there and let your interest be known! I'll put it in a group message as well!


message 20: by Margaret (new)

Margaret Crampton (cramptonmargaret) | 49 comments I read almost exclusively on kindle as print books are expensive and there is limited availability. It would be great if you were able to ensure a kindle version in every choice of books and shorten the process between voting and reading. The system does seem to lose momentum as it is drawn out.


message 21: by Anetq, Tour Operator & Guide (new)

Anetq | 719 comments Mod
Margaret wrote: "I read almost exclusively on kindle as print books are expensive and there is limited availability. It would be great if you were able to ensure a kindle version in every choice of books and shorte..."
Thank you for the input :) Unfortunately availability is always ...let's say interesting... when it comes to African literature, so I'm afraid we can't limit it all to Kindle editions (though I am a happy e-reader myself) - but we could ask people to check out availability when they nominate books as regional reads, then people can take that into account when voting for the books as well?


message 22: by Susan (new)

Susan | 70 comments I really like the Read Across Africa Challenge and I hope it will stay up next year so I can read West to East. I have been finding some really good books this way. If not, I'm sure I will still do it on my own, so thanks for putting it up here and giving me the idea to do it.


message 23: by Anetq, Tour Operator & Guide (new)

Anetq | 719 comments Mod
Thank you so much Susan for the feedback - it's always nice to hear, and great that you have enjoyed it so far :)


message 24: by Nan (new)

Nan Carter | 33 comments I am new to reading African authors. This is what I appreciate about this group: the various challenges and lists as well as dates for regional reads which help me to have a guide or focus to what’s out there.

Also I like reading the both the comments of readers as well as the reviews by reviewers. Both provide a further way to think about what I am reading.

A huge thank to the moderators whose work make this list an important source for those of us who want to read African Literature.


message 25: by Zhana (new)

Zhana Zhana (zhana21) | 6 comments Greetings, everyone. Have you read This Is Lagos And Other Stories (African Women Writers) by Flora Nwapa? If so, have you reviewed it? Let us know. Thanks!

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8...

(Not sure if this is the correct place to post this. If not, please correct me on this. Thanks.)


message 26: by Calla (last edited May 22, 2021 08:26PM) (new)

Calla كالا | 16 comments Have we covered religions and folklores in Africa yet? It would be awesome to read about the various cultures religions. Perhaps add it on to the regional reads. That way we can search by region.


message 27: by Margaret (new)

Margaret Crampton (cramptonmargaret) | 49 comments I
Like monthly nominations from the group followed by a poll to choose our next read. It’s simple and predictable


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