Continent Read-a-thon discussion

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message 1: by Jasmin (new)

Jasmin (thebookjazz) | 35 comments Mod
I'm going to start with Purple Hibiscus. My expectations are a little high but I'm just really excited for this book. What is everyone else starting with?


message 2: by Lena (new)

Lena (spielena) | 29 comments Mod
I started Americanah as soon as I got it from the library because I was so curious and I really like the flow of the writing so far!


message 3: by Shaeron (new)

Shaeron I guess I've decided to go on a Chimamanda binge. I just finished We Should All Be Feminists. A very short ebook which I liked. I will start Purple Hibiscus either today or tomorrow.


message 4: by Lars (new)

Lars (herodotvonhalikarnassos) | 9 comments I am more than a hundret pages into Foreign Gods, Inc. and the protagonist's struggle with his identity is intense. It is also proving useful in preparing for my exams.


message 5: by Terry (new)

Terry | 26 comments I'll start with 'A Man of the People' or Anthills of the Savannah'.


message 6: by Alícia (new)

Alícia | 20 comments I also read We Should All Be Feminists and I agree with Shaeron. It is very short, but it's still very interesting. I'd definitely recommend it! I'm currently reading The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency. I'm only about 20 pages in, so I'll let you know how it goes in a couple of days.


message 7: by Maddie (new)

Maddie (themaddiehatter) | 6 comments I've started Purple Hibiscus and I'm 70 pages in right now. It's not really what I was expecting....but it's good so far. A bit unsettling at times, but the fact that it can have that effect on me, is a good sign in my book! :)


message 8: by Nicole (new)

Nicole (ofbooksandtrees) just started foreign gods, inc. I have to say, I do need to get used to the writing style, but I think I like it!


message 9: by Lena (new)

Lena (spielena) | 29 comments Mod
Lars, what kind of exam are you preparing for that you consider Foreign Gods, Inc. useful for it? :3


message 10: by Lars (new)

Lars (herodotvonhalikarnassos) | 9 comments Lena wrote: "Lars, what kind of exam are you preparing for that you consider Foreign Gods, Inc. useful for it? :3"

I Have a class on Double Consciousness from a Transnational Perspective. We focussed on Texts by W.E.B. Dubois, Emerson, and some of their influences like German Romantic Philosophy and Hegel. We took these concepts to examine African American experiences and literature, esp. Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye. Emerson for example opens a dichotomy between materialism and idealism, and in Foreign Gods, Inc. you have a protagonist who wants to sell (materialism) his cultural and religious heritage (idealism). But I have probably already gone on to long here...


message 11: by Lena (new)

Lena (spielena) | 29 comments Mod
Ooh but that sounds like an interesting class! And apparently it's actually useful in literature analysis so that's nice. Thank you for your explanation!


message 12: by Nicole (new)

Nicole (ofbooksandtrees) A little less than a third into Foreign Gods, Inc.
There's something about the writing style that doesn't quite work for me unfortunately.. I do like the story though and I'm curious to read where it will go.


message 13: by Alicia (new)

Alicia M (aliciajm) | 14 comments I'm hoping I can get Purple Hibiscus or I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings from the library so I can start one of them today!


message 14: by Jasmin (new)

Jasmin (thebookjazz) | 35 comments Mod
I read We Should All Be Feminists yesterday and thought it was really good. Very strongly voiced. I'm halfway through Purple Hibiscus and I love it. The writing style is brilliant and I'm really enjoying reading it.


message 15: by Alistair (new)

Alistair I read Yohannes Ishi, a short story (about 130 pages) A boy who was adopted in Ethiopia by a British couple in the 1970's but leaves during the revolution (the terror) and grows up in the UK. Returns in the modern day to teach at an international school and to discover some of his Ethiopianness?
It captures the feeling of being a foreigner in an African city very well.
I enjoyed it 3 or 4 stars.


message 16: by Maddie (new)

Maddie (themaddiehatter) | 6 comments I finished Purple Hibiscus the other day, and I really liked it! The writing was beautiful and the story was very good.
It was the first book that I read from Adichie's works and now I'm really looking forward to Half a Yellow Sun later in the month!

For those of you interested, you can check out my video review of the book here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7ypg...

Right now I'm reading something not related to the readalong, but next up I will go either for رادوبيس Rhadopis of Nubia or Disgrace.

Hope you are all enjoying your books!


message 17: by Nicole (new)

Nicole (ofbooksandtrees) About two thirds into Foreign Gods, Inc. It just an OK book for me I think... I don't love it, but it's not like I dislike it either..

in other news, while I was only planning on reading Foreign Gods, Inc., I did order Purple Hibiscus and hope to get to reading it this month as well :)


message 18: by Lars (new)

Lars (herodotvonhalikarnassos) | 9 comments I just read We Should All Be Feminists and was massively disappointed. I thought it was far too shallow to be as revolutionary as it was advertised to be.


message 19: by Alicia (new)

Alicia M (aliciajm) | 14 comments I'm starting The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives and The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency today! Very excited, especially about Detective Agency :)


Lisa YarnYenta247 | 5 comments Reading Half of a Yellow Sun and am enjoying it so far. Also was just able to get Americanah from the library and will read that next.


message 21: by Lena (new)

Lena (spielena) | 29 comments Mod
I finished The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives in one go a few days ago.I definitely recommend it, very interesting characters and the writing style is captivating.
I wrote a review if you are interested :)


message 22: by Mom2triplets04 (new)

Mom2triplets04 | 22 comments Started to read Purple Hibiscus. Mainly because I couldn't renew it from library and it's due back tomorrow. I'm about 80 pages in. So far enjoying it. I'm sure I will probably be paying a late fee for this one. Luckily it's only 10 cents a day so not too bad.


message 23: by Maddie (new)

Maddie (themaddiehatter) | 6 comments Lena wrote: "I finished The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives in one go a few days ago.I definitely recommend it, very interesting characters and the writing style is captivating.
I wrote a review if you are in..."


I really want to read that book; it sounds very interesting! Great review btw! :)


message 24: by Maddie (new)

Maddie (themaddiehatter) | 6 comments Mom2triplets04 wrote: "Started to read Purple Hibiscus. Mainly because I couldn't renew it from library and it's due back tomorrow. I'm about 80 pages in. So far enjoying it. I'm sure I will probably be paying a late ..."

It's definitely worth paying a 10-20 cents fee for! :)


message 25: by Jasmin (new)

Jasmin (thebookjazz) | 35 comments Mod
I'm currently reading The Conservationist and it really takes some getting used to. The writing style is so different from anything I've ever read. It'll take me some time to get though those <300 pages.


message 26: by Lars (last edited Feb 12, 2015 01:24PM) (new)

Lars (herodotvonhalikarnassos) | 9 comments I finished Foreign Gods, Inc. and Purple Hibiscus this week. I simply love Adichie's writing style; Purple Hibiscus was such an emotional read...


message 27: by Lena (new)

Lena (spielena) | 29 comments Mod
I seem to be stuck in the middle of Americanah. I love the writing and the story, but it's also emotionally draining (and also, the size of that book is just daunting xD"). Anybody else reading this book right now?


message 28: by Alícia (new)

Alícia | 20 comments I finished The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency a couple of days ago. It was ok, but I don't think I'll read the rest of the series. The main character was really cool and I loved reading about Botswana, their culture and their traditions, but the plot didn't interest me that much. My next book will be Purple Hibiscus! I can't wait to read it after seeing how much you enjoyed it :D


message 29: by Mom2triplets04 (new)

Mom2triplets04 | 22 comments Still reading Purple Hibiscus. I'm 200 pages in. Hoping to finish this this weekend. Yup with a late fee from library. The writing is a bit to get used to though. The names are throwing me for a loop!


Lisa YarnYenta247 | 5 comments I have Americanah ony kindle from the library haven't started yet. I am currently reading Half a Yellow Sun really enjoying it so far


message 31: by Mom2triplets04 (new)

Mom2triplets04 | 22 comments I'm proud of myself. I actually finished Purple Hibiscus. Here's my video review

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JKlb...


message 32: by Lena (new)

Lena (spielena) | 29 comments Mod
Just posted an Africa Halftime blogpost on my blog. I thought it would be nice to collect all reviews that our members have created so far, so if I have overlooked yours or you have some more links for me (or you want me to delete a link), just mum the word! :D


message 33: by Lars (new)

Lars (herodotvonhalikarnassos) | 9 comments I just finished Our Lady of the Nile. It was a tough read. I'd like to call it 'good' but that word seems very inadequate for a book that tries to comprehend the roots of the genocide in Rwanda. But if you are into serious reads I can definitely recommend this book.


message 34: by Alicia (new)

Alicia M (aliciajm) | 14 comments Quick question: is it every month we change continent, or every other month? I ask because last time I looked at the schedule thing there was a new continent every other month. Thanks!


message 35: by Nicole (new)

Nicole (ofbooksandtrees) Allie wrote: "Quick question: is it every month we change continent, or every other month? I ask because last time I looked at the schedule thing there was a new continent every other month. Thanks!"

Here's the schedule:
February - Africa
April - Asia
June - South America
August - Europe
October - Oceania
December - North America


message 36: by Mom2triplets04 (new)

Mom2triplets04 | 22 comments Cool do you mind if we read Africa again in March? I have 5 books out from library but doubt I'll read them in feb


message 37: by Lena (new)

Lena (spielena) | 29 comments Mod
I think I'll bring over some African books from February to March as well, so count me in :D


message 38: by Jasmin (new)

Jasmin (thebookjazz) | 35 comments Mod
March is free for you to read whatever you want :P If you want to continue African literature then go ahead. I think it's lovely to see that this readathon has fulfilled its purpose and helped to interest you into reading more diversely ;)
I might also not be able to finish all my African books at the end of this month.


message 39: by Alicia (new)

Alicia M (aliciajm) | 14 comments I'll definitely have to continue into March - not all of my books have arrived at the library yet :)


message 40: by LouLouReads (new)

LouLouReads | 3 comments It took me a long time to get into Americanah, but now I'm about halfway through it's finally picking up. I find that I really dislike reading judgemental point-of-view characters, and Ifemulu is certainly that, so it's taking me a while to plough through. The writing is gorgeous, though, and I love the character of Obinze, so it's worth it.


message 41: by Terry (new)

Terry | 26 comments Read Foreign Gods Inc, by Okey Ndibe. It is a morality tale about greed and money-worship, a story of immigrant experience, a failed American Dream, the old traditions embattled by modern (or western) corruption... this book can be any of these things, the theme is very fluid. Ike is the main character, the one who decides to betray his old world culture for what he hopes is a large amount of money. Ike is not a victim, he has options and makes choices. He could easily make a life for himself back home but chooses not to do so. In the NY scenes he is foolish and selfish. In his home country he becomes assertive and not so foolish, but remains selfish. This may be a function of the theme but it makes the characterization seem a little wonky. Overall a fine well written novel.


message 42: by Alícia (new)

Alícia | 20 comments I finished Purple Hibiscus yesterday and I also really enjoyed it. I'd highly recommend it to those of you who haven't read it. It took me a while to get into it and it must have taken me 5 days to read the first 100 pages, but I read the rest in a couple of days.

I was planning on reading The Smell of Apples, which I ordered online a few weeks ago, but I haven't received it yet. So instead I'm going to read The Thing Around Your Neck, also by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I'll let you know how it goes!


message 43: by Nicole (new)

Nicole (ofbooksandtrees) Starting Purple Hibiscus, really hope I'll like this one more than I did Foreign Gods Inc.
Originally rated that one a 2,5 to 3 starts (3 on goodreads), but after some more thought lowered it to 2 to 2,5 (2 on goodreads.) It wasn't that it was bad, but it wasn't really for me I think..


message 44: by Lars (new)

Lars (herodotvonhalikarnassos) | 9 comments Terry wrote: "Read Foreign Gods Inc, by Okey Ndibe. It is a morality tale about greed and money-worship, a story of immigrant experience, a failed American Dream, the old traditions embattled by modern (or weste..."

I especially liked the Faustian undertones in Ike. Comparing his situation to Faust's self-characterization in Goethe's version shows how one-dimensional western culture has become: "Two souls, alas, dwell in my breast, / each seeks to rule without the other. / The one with robust love's desires clings to the world with all its might, / the other fiercely rises from the dust to reach sublime ancestral regions." Goethe's Faust had studied philosophy, law, medicine, and theology - refering to all existing 'sciences' from an 18th century perspective - whereas Ike has a degree in business. Through Ike we experience how unbalanced our daily life really is; transplanting the scene to rural Nigeria where we expect a deep spirituality but find mostly religious capitalism, Ndibe visualizes our materialistic bias. And in Ike's fate we get a moral lesson and a warning of what will happen when we neglect to care for both sides of our inner duality. Because of this lesson, I don't think that Ike is meant to be very likeable and I believe his selfishness is caused by his inbetweenness. Ike combines the memory of the traditional Nigeria he left and the experience of living in the United States for decades; this makes him an outsider in both the moder US, e.g. he expects more than superficial pleasentries from his passengers, and Nigeria where he defies open corruption. He simply cannot relate deeply to anybody other than himself. I simply loved the book for questioning our material desires of fortune and fame.
Btw. does anybody else want to discuss the texts? I think many of us read Adichie's books, so we could open a discussion threat.


message 45: by Alicia (new)

Alicia M (aliciajm) | 14 comments Finished The Secret Lives and really enjoyed it - review will be up soon. Starting Purple Hibiscus and No 1 Ladies Detective Agency today.


message 46: by Lena (new)

Lena (spielena) | 29 comments Mod
Ooh, I'm looking forward to your review! I was really suprised by how much I loved that book.

I will be finishing Americanah either today or tomorrow. I hope the ending is a good one >__<


message 47: by Alicia (new)

Alicia M (aliciajm) | 14 comments I've ordered Americanah from the library but it hasn't arrived so I think I'll have to read that one in march. I was very surprised by how good Baba Segi was!


message 48: by Lena (new)

Lena (spielena) | 29 comments Mod
Yes, unexpected especially with such a topic as polygamy. I hope the author publishes other novels. So far she has only published poems otherwise and I haven't been a poetry person so far. But maybe I'll check hers out.


message 49: by Alicia (new)

Alicia M (aliciajm) | 14 comments Oooh I didn't know she wrote poetry too, I'll have to check that out! And same, I hope she continues writing. She's a very talented author.


message 50: by Alicia (new)

Alicia M (aliciajm) | 14 comments Oooh I didn't know she wrote poetry too, I'll have to check that out! And same, I hope she continues writing. She's a very talented author.


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