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A Pinch of A Review and A dash of a Poem


“The buying of more books than one can read is nothing less than the soul reaching toward infinity.” 

~A. Edward Newton~

“A bibliophile of little means is likely to suffer often. Books don’t slip from his hands but fly past him through the air, high as birds, high as prices.” 
~William Lyon Phelps~

As my field work intensifies, so do my posts become more and more sporadic. I am here to amend that however for the present moment, so on to our lovely day’s agenda. Since I have been on the road for most of this month, I have been soaking in a lot of books, but before I go on excitedly about my new library additions, let me shed a little light on last month’s book-club read, “Purple Hibiscus” by Nigerian-born Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. The book is set in post-independence Nigeria and circles the daily happenings of the members of a well to do family and their struggles with a controlling overly religious( almost a zealot)  father as the main antagonist. The story as seen from the eyes of a teenage girl (the younger of the 2 siblings), Kambili, is both very descriptive and if I may say genuine and raw. The author is able to pull you in two directions at once and show you real moral dilemmas that face real African people. Its needless to say that I absolutely loved it and I was thoroughly disappointed at not having a chance to dissect it over a hot cuppa tea! My fantastical vision of what the book-club meeting would be, but was not to be, since I was not in attendance (i desist from expounding 😦 …sigh!) The book really resonated with me and I could not put it down at all,reading it everywhere especially in matatus. Lol!

September book-club read

Matatu readers will understand that,though there is nothing worse than being stuck in notorious Nairobi traffic, it is a saving grace to be unavoidably stuck with a good book! It is like a a quiet way of yelling, “Suck on that Traffic!!! “. Annnnnnnnnddddd we move away swiftly from these and other small victories on to the massive victory of book-thrifting. There is this street where I always find such treasures for as little as Kshs. 50 and I inevitably cannot resist the urge to fill my tiny house with yet more books that I intend to read. You can say I’m a bit of a bibliophile. It is right outside the old Ukwala Supermarket on your way to bus-station from Afya Centre. They are old and dusty and smell of such knowledge, I digress however. My most valuable find for this week is “The Time Traveler’s Wife” by Audrey Niffenegger, which has become my favorite traffic read. The movie was magnificent and I have been wanting to read the book having discovered that the movie was an adaptation. Later analysis coming up soon, stay tuned folks!

Book thrift- Kshs. 50

I knew this was going to be a bumper post, but stick with me its almost done :). I was on my way to yet another interview for work today and this poem simply made its way from my day-dreaming to my notebook. Check it out and let me know what you think please.

 

SMILING IN TRAFFIC

 

5 am, rise and stretch

Still sleepy, need to pray.

Where’s my toothbrush?

Pizza breakfast yay!

 

6.15 am, we’re rushing out

Three flights down

Lets hit the road

Monday Morning Rush!

 

An hour later

Still in a ‘jam’

Happy and contented

“Weekend success?”

My eyes silently ask

“Yes! Indeed it was!”

His own answer mine

We Smile.

 

Earphones out

Local radio shows

Lulling him to sleep

I take out my book

‘The Time Traveler’s Wife’

We share the earphones

And Smile

I doze off.

 

8 am, I’m already there

Let’s goodbye now

“Can’t wait till next time”

My eyes quickly say and shine

We Smile again.

 

Happy to share

Some special secret

Reveling in its exclusivity

“Thank you”. My eyes speak

He smiles again, “You’re welcome”

And off to work I get

 

My heart is full

I dance as I walk

And think of

Peace and

Peppermint tea and of

Smiling in traffic.

 

Have a good week folks! This month’s book-club read: “One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

October Book-club Read

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“The Kamasutra”

 “Vatsyayana says, that as variety is necessary in love, so love is to be produced by means of variety” 

“Though a man loves a girl ever so much, he never succeeds in winning her without a great deal of talking” 

~Vatsyayana (“The Kamasutra”)~

I have been crazy busy off late and consequently neglected to write but with a few stolen minutes this is is my review on ” The Kamasutra” by Vatsyayana. So I am here to set the record straight:

1. It is not a book of pictures of sexual positions (somebody say gutter?) it in fact, has not a single picture!

2.It is not a book of sage wisdom on sexual positions either

3. it is also not an instructional manual for sex (u can check out sexykenyan.com or crocodildo.com for those 😉 , sorry no links, ha!)

It is however, a book on sexual relations. At least that part is down right with most people I have spoken to. It was written by Vatsyayana (not sure why he/she didn’t have another name, or who they really were as an authority on sex, so to speak…) and not much is said of the author anyway. It seemed more like the book came from the opinions of very well known Indian “sex experts” (term very loosely used) and was actually written by their scribes or followers/ believers.

That aside however, it starts off on explanations on the different levels of passion in both men and women and of different kinds of sexual union and the right or wrong status of said unions according to Indian culture (no mention of which religion was subscribed to at the time, but am guessing it might have been Hindu- am not positive on that fact). After the first few chapters that discuss the do’s and dont’s of sex in a very narrow view, the rest of the book delves into the living situations of lovers and marriages and the guidelines need to follow a whole array of things such as; juggling lovers, seduction, extortion of lovers and love games as part of a climb to fame and fortune.

I will not lie, this read was purely out of curiosity and I am even a bit surprised that I managed to finish it (I’m notorious for book abandonment and floozyness with books). I certainly did not enjoy reading this book. It felt very biased to me as a woman and not at all considerate of all the factors that play into everyday life. It was too its-a-man’s-world for my liking, despite the fact that I knew it was written about a century ago and it was a man’s world then, I just kept forgetting the fact and sneering at the writer’s audacity as I read. My personal opinions aside, it is quite informative on many levels especially if you find yourself in a less than moral situation with no qualms about being selfish and hedonistic.

Rating: **

In other news, I am currently and hurriedly engrossed in my book club read for this September (happening on Friday the 28th- tomorrow people! yikes! at the iHub between 1&2 pm) “Purple Hibiscus” by Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

Purple Hibiscus- Matatu reading

So far all I can say is…superb! I don’t think I will be going for lunch today 😉 can’t get enough. The discussion tomorrow should be interesting, stay tuned for a run-down this weekend.

Have a happy Thursday people!

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