Freshwater – Review

Hi guys. Long time no book review! I was telling my friend last weekend that I’m not a fan of long reviews but I often have a lot to say after reading books. What a conundrum!

BOOK – FRESHWATER

AUTHOR – AKWAEKE EMEZI

PUBLISHED IN 2018

{The edition I read was published in Nigeria by Kachifo limited under its farafina imprint.}

ISBN: 978-978-55597-1-2

LAYOUT AND COVER – AKEEM IBRAHIM

PAGES – 249

I tried hard to stay away from reviews before starting this book. I mean, I waited for over a year but I still read a few and what I gathered from them is that it’s a book about an ‘Ogbanje’ and it’s sort of an autobiography.

I finally started reading it properly last week and I finished it in two days.

Akwaeke tells a story of a young girl Ada, an Ogbanje who was born and raised in Nigeria by her Malaysian mother, Saachi and Nigerian Father, Saul. She had a pretty traumatic childhood but most of it doesn’t come up till much later in the book. The story spans through her childhood in Nigeria up until she travelled to America for college and a few years after that. While in America, a traumatic event happened which led to a series of discoveries. The story takes us through her journey of self discovery and it was amazing to read even more so because it is the reality of the author.

I have heard the term Ogbanje before. I mean if you’re Nigerian, the term is likely not foreign. I don’t know what it means and I’ve never been interested until I read this book. I did a bit of research (ish) on that. Here is the best answer I got.

“An Ogbanje is a reincarnating spirit that causes grief or pain. They’re most often children that die stillborn, or children that die before they’re married (marriage in Igbo culture makes one ‘complete’). This spirit comes through the mother over and over, torturing her and her family. This is the most common understanding.

Ogbanje that don’t die the during infancy are believed to grow up to be very attractive and rebellious. Often troubled or troublesome children that will ultimately die early if measures aren’t taken. Because of this, many rebellious or vain children are called ‘ogbanje’. They’re also ‘special’ children while alive, often having a higher level of spiritual intuition than others. Nobody really knows if a child is Ogbanje unless they pass, and there’s a history of pre-mature death in the family. “

Okay so now that we have a little insight into who an ogbanje is, it gets a little more interesting. The book is narrated by the different spirits/voices/ in her mind. The two main personalities were Asughara and Saint Vincent. I personally wish I read more from Saint Vincent’s POV. I read Chigozie’s book ‘An orchestra of minorities‘ couple of months ago and I think I am starting to understand the concept of a Chi but as I read on, I felt more and more convinced Ada has what we call Dissociative Identity Disorder. I thought Chis were spirits that sorta are just in the background watching you do your thing, the voices/thoughts in your head you know? Asughara and the other spirits controlled Ada so much that she needed them to survive and the weaker she was, the more they thrived.

The book explores sexuality, abuse, love, family, mental illness, gender, spirituality and culture.

I tried to be open minded and started to create reasons why it’s actually not Dissociative Identity Disorder. but the Doctor in me refused to let the book take me where it wanted to. My confusion however was that in DID, the original personality usually has no knowledge of the other personalities. When a given personality is dominant and interacting with the environment, the other personalities may not perceive what is happening but in Ada’s case, she interacts with her other personalities, they even had drinks at some point. I tried to picture how that went. My conclusion is The mind is so powerful and sometimes terrible things happen that even our mind cannot process and we find ways to cope to survive.

I really enjoyed reading this book. The writing style was great. My only issue is the timeline was a bit confusing and towards the end, the story felt a bit scattered. I felt some parts should’ve come earlier in the book. WARNING – Be prepared to have chills when you read from Ada’s POV.

Freshwater is a book I’ll likely not forget anytime soon. So unique and thought provoking. It left me mindfucked. It’s not a book you’ll finish reading and just move on from. You might need time to process what you’ve just read. I was so curious to know how much of the book was fiction. It was chilling to know She actually went through all that and I am in awe of her strength for sharing this book with us. It must’ve taken a lot of courage to bare her soul out to strangers who will read and write up reviews of what they think without actually being able to comprehend what she has been through. I read an article where Akwaeke said ‘I hoped Freshwater would help with the terrible depression that often comes with having a reality you can’t share with anyone else.’

Favorite quote :

I inhabit a space between depression and happiness , a sweet spot, a brilliant spot. I stared at him and wondered if it was true. If it was, could that spot be more real than either end of the spectrum? It would be a point of perfect balance.’

RATINGS- ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This is definitely the longest review i’ve ever written. Am I getting better at this?

Image result for pats self on back gif

About the author

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Waldman-Emezi-Freshwater.jpeg

Akwaeke is a non – binary transgender. The pronoun to be used when addressing Akwaeke is ‘THEY/THEM’. I find it interesting though that in the about the author section, the pronoun ‘she/her’ was used. ‘Akwaeke Emezi is an Igbo and Tamil writer and video artist based in liminal spaces. born in Umuahia and raised in Aba, Emezi won a 2015 Morland writing scholarship and is a graduate of the Farafina and Caine prize writing workshops. her short story ‘who is like god’ won the 2017 commonwealth short story prize for africa and her work has been published by Granta and Commonwealth writers, among others. Freshwater is her debut.’

Have you read Freshwater? If yes, did you enjoy it?

  • TOSIN

An Orchestra of Minorities by Chigozie Obioma | Worth a read?

Firstly, I’d like to thank Lara for gifting me a copy of this book about three months ago. I found out about the book on Instagram. Bookstagram is the plug for new books! You’re welcome. I was excited about reading it because I read Chigozie’s debut novel ‘The Fishermen’ and I liked it. If I remember correctly, I gave it 4 stars!

Author – Chigozie Obioma

Pages – 516 pages

Published by Parrésia Publishers Ltd

ISBN – 9789785659504

Blurb –

Umuahia, Nigeria. Chinonso, a young poultry farmer, sees a woman attempting to jump to her death from a highway bridge. Horrified by her recklessness, Chinonso joins her on the roadside and hurls two of his most prized chickens into the water below to demonstrate the severity of the fall. The woman, Ndali, is moved by his sacrifice.

Bonded by this strange night on the bridge, Chinonso and Ndali fall in love. But Ndali is from a wealthy family, and when her parents object to the union because Chinonso is uneducated, Cells most of his possessions to attend university in Cyprus. Once in Cyprus, Chinonso discovers that all is not what it seems. Furious at a world which continues to relegate him to the sidelines, Chinonso gets further and further away from his dream, from Ndali and the place he called home.

In this contemporary twist on Milton, Dante and Homer written in the mythic style of the Igbo literary tradition, Chigozie Obioma weaves a heart-wrenching epic about the tension between destiny and determination.

Before I start this review, let me just put it out there that this book has been shortlisted for the Booker prize this year. The only book by an African author on the list. The winner of this year’s Booker Prize will be announced on the 14th October 2019.

As a Nigerian, I am immensely proud of him but if we are keeping it one hundred, I’m a bit shocked it was picked in the first place and I’ll tell you why.

Let’s get right into it shall we?

I tried to read this book twice before I finally finished it. I abandoned it after the first chapter but decided to pick it up again, then abandoned it after the second chapter. Once I got past the first 50 pages, it started to get a little better. It’s a big book so prepare your mind for long journey.

Chinonso is basically a sad man living a sad life. Both parents are dead, he’s not speaking to his only sibling because she went and got married and then moved to Lagos. He lives alone with his chickens till he fell in love with Ndali and it started to look like things might be better for him but his ‘village people’ had the upper hand because he kept going from one mess to the other.

So the book started off with Chinonso’s chi which is basically like his spirit intervening on his behalf to the gods in the spirit world. I found that bit fascinating (I mean, the idea of having a spirit and said spirit having the ability to sorta influence your decisions. The idea that your spirit watches over you and sometimes sees you about to make a bad decision but all it can do is try to persuade you not to. This is a concept that is not entirely unfamiliar to Nigerians.) until I realised his Chi literally won’t shut up and certainly won’t stop distracting us. His Chi was supposed to narrate the story of Chinonso’s life and tell us why he is the way he is and sort of justify the things he did but he spent half the time reminding us what his job was and basically tried to push the blame away from himself. I honestly would’ve preferred reading directly from Chinonso’s POV.

Also, I was very frustrated by the main character – Chinonso and I could sense how confused the author was writing about him. He first started off making us believe chinonso was naive and clueless then went ahead to show us how mentally unstable he was while still trying so hard to justify his silly actions. I wasn’t even sure if the author wanted us to sympathise with Chinonso because all I felt was disgust with a tinge of irritation.

Furthermore, I think Ndali’s character could have been better developed. I mean surely, there was more to her than her relationship and what she did for Chinonso. Like, C’mon!

come on eye roll GIF

I also found that it was a very repetitive and unnecessarily long book IMO, this book had no business being 516 pages. It was obvious he was trying to add fillers and that made it super exhausting to read.

I was frustrated and disappointed because I actually really like the plot but it wasn’t engaging enough for me.

angry hate GIF

Chigozie does have a unique style of writing which I reckon some people really love. I find his stories intriguing and different which is a very good thing. I wish he put more effort into making his stories richer and engaging.

Ratings – 3 stars

I know it seems like the cons are more than the pros but I’m coming from a place of disappointment because I had such high hopes. I will recommend this if you’re into books leave you a bit frustrated.

shay mitchell whatever GIF by Talk Stoop

I would also like to state that some pages were missing and some were not numbered accordingly. I’m not sure who to blame for that but it threw me off a bit. They definitely need to do better!

If you’ve read this? Did you enjoy it?


Also, I’m currently reading two books with similar themes and I’m loving them. Follow me on Instagram to read mini reviews that don’t make it on here !

We are also on Twitter and Facebook !

January Reads

Hey y’all!

How’s it going ? So if you don’t know my reading goal for the year, you should probably follow me on goodreads – Tosin Ade. For those that know, I think I’m doing alright.

I read 4 books in January. Bear in mind that January was one of my worst months ever. A lot of things happened that made me question life. I’m alive and healthy tho so I’m still thankful.

  • The first book I read was Brooklyn by Colm Toibin

I absolutely loved this book.

image

The book is largely about Eilis an Irish lady in the 50s who lives with her mother and sister in Ireland. A very simple and boring life if you ask me. She however was struggling to get a job when an Irish Priest from America came and told the family about job opportunities in America. Colm takes us on a journey of how she struggled in her new environment away from the familiarity and comfort of her home, how she fell in love with the sweetest guy, Tony , how she experienced new things. The book was divided into four parts and I must say the fourth part was super frustrating. (This is why I gave the book 4.5 stars) Eilis is such a sweet character tho and I think Colm did a fantastic job with her. He wrote so well you could almost understand and feel what she was feeling.

  • The second book I read in January was Wake Me When I’m Gone by Odafe Atogun
image

Ese, a young lady who recently lost her husband lives in a remote village somewhere in Nigeria with her son Noah. The book follows the story of Ese, her life, the tribulations and trials she went through. The ridiculous traditions and cultural practices she had to endure. It was a very simple story but I did not love it. It was almost impossible to connect with the characters. I’d probably not have finished it if it was a bigger book.I did find some parts hilarious but it was still pretty bleh for me. Just felt like a pointless story if I’m being honest. An unrealistic plot. I gave it 3 Stars.

  • The third book I read was Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

This is such an adorable book!

image

It follows the story of Simon a gay teenager, his friends and his journey to finally coming out and meeting his secret friend/lover who he has been emailing for a while. The emails between Simon and blue were my favorite part of the book. It was also super easy to read. Written in a conversational tone. I started listening to the audiobook but I just couldn’t finish it so I switched to the ebook and I couldn’t drop it. The guesses and the struggle to figure out who Blue was kept me glued. I gave it 4 Stars.

  • The fourth and last book I read in January was I Can’t Make This Up by Kevin Hart

You guys! I loved this book!

image

I’ve always been a fan of Kev so I knew I’d enjoy it. It was a book about his life and journey to fame. Of course I expected it to be funny because duh it’s Kevin Hart! but it wasn’t just a funny book about his life. It also felt like a motivational/inspirational book. With kelvin there is always a lesson to learn. I basically had to stop myself from taking pictures of every page. So many good quotes man! He also seems like a very positive guy (I could definitely learn a thing or two from him in that aspect ). I lowkey wish he wrote it after the cheating scandal tho. Always here for the juicy behind the scene gist. Of course I gave this 5 Stars!

So guys, how many books were you able to read last month?

2018 in books!

Hey y’all! Happy new year!!

It’s been a hot minute! How is everyone doing? How was 2018 for you? It was quite dramatic for me to say the least but it ended with a bang! If you’re following me on Instagram you already know what I’m talking about and if you’re not then ask yourself if this is really how you want to start your 2019.

I read 60 books last year (59 actual books plus the one my fiancé made for me. Yes he made a picture book with the story of how we met and basically our journey together so far. If that isn’t the most romantic thing ever! )

So let’s get to it shall we? I read a total of 60 books like I mentioned earlier. Here is a mini breakdown. Out of the 60 books, 7 were Nonfiction, 53 fiction.

15 books by African authors,

37 books by female authors

19 books by male authors

13 paperbacks

18 Audiobooks and 19 ebooks.

From this breakdown, it is apparent I like audiobooks and ebooks just as much if not more than paperbacks. Oh and whooosh! I clearly have a thing for female writers!

So out of all 60 books I read, four books stuck out to me and I’m sure I’ll probably reread them in the nearest future. The four books are;

1. Educated by Tara Westover

2. Beartown by Fredrick Backman

3. The book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill

4. Born a crime by Trevor Noah

Guys! You really should get these books and read them. I laughed a lot, almost cried, screamed and giggled while reading them.

I’m excited and a bit nervous about 2019 but I know and trust that God will handle everything so I’m chilling.

I plan to read 60 books this year and that’s because I have professional exams coming up, wedding planning (still feels weird saying this) and a whole lot to do this year by God’s grace. I’m putting zero pressure on myself to read 60 books. If I end up reading more, Awesome! If I don’t, awesome!

So here’s to reading more books and taking each day as it comes!


Have you started any book this year?

How’s the new year treating you so far?

Book Review : How To Stop Time – Matt Haig

Hey people! I haven’t posted a book review in a bit not because I’m not reading but life has been a bit crazy lately. I shall be doing a life update post soon.

I absolutely loved loved loved reading this book. Titi actually bought it on her trip to Bermuda. If you haven’t read about her trip, you can read about it here, here and here.

Book Title: How to stop time

Author: Matt Haig

Published February 6, 2018 by Viking

ISBN: 0525522875

Blurb

‘The first rule is that you don’t fall in love’ he said… ‘There are other rules too, but that is the main one. No falling in love. No staying in love. No daydreaming of love. If you stick to this you will just about be okay.’ A love story across the ages – and for the ages – about a man lost in time, the woman who could save him, and the lifetimes it can take to learn how to live Tom Hazard has a dangerous secret. He may look like an ordinary 41 year old, but owing to a rare condition, he’s been alive for centuries. Tom has lived history — performing with Shakespeare, exploring the high seas with Captain Cook and sharing cocktails with Scott Fitzgerald. Now, he just wants an ordinary life. So Tom moves back to London, his old home, to become a high school history teacher — the perfect job for someone who has witnessed the city’s history first hand. Better yet, a captivating French teacher at his school seems fascinated by him. But the Albatross society, the secretive group which protects people like Tom has one rule: Never fall in love. As painful memories of his past and the erratic behavior of the society’s watchful leader threaten to derail his new life and romance, the one thing he can’t have just happens to be the one thing that might save him. Tom will have to decide once and for all whether to remain stuck in the past, or finally begin living in the present. How to stop time is a big hearted, wildly original novel about losing and finding yourself, the inevitability of change, and how with enough time to learn, we just might find happiness.

I read this book in one week.

It’s a strange but awesome book. I love books that make me imagine things, books that take me on a journey, books that can temporarily have all my attention and this definitely ticked all the boxes. It started off a bit slow and confusing but it started to make sense as I progressed. Although, the end was a bit predictable, it was what I hoped for and was still intriguing.img_20180407_132821-011693549723865907230.jpeg

The story revolves around the main character Tom Hazard, a man who has a condition called Anageria which develops around puberty which in plain terms means he aged slower than the regular human. He looks a year older every 15 years. How insane? He looks about 41 years old but in reality is 439 years old. He took us on a journey of his life from 1599 to present day 21st century. The timeline was a bit too scattered for me. It went from 1982 to present day to 1599. I still was able to follow but I’d have preferred if it wasn’t so scattered.img_20180407_132754-01851876731128832482.jpeg

Another aspect I liked was that he incorporated famous people like Shakespeare, Captain Cook, Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda into the story. Although it was a bit pointless if you look at the book as a whole but I found it super cool partly because I haven’t read about the lives of these people.

Of course having lived for over four hundred years, Tom has seen it all. Literally. He went through loss and then love and Hapiness and more losses. Everyone has a thing to learn from our obsession with time and the future. I don’t want to share too much so as not to spoil it for you but it’s definitely a good read! I gave it 4 stars!

PLEASE CLICK TO TWEET

My fav quotes were

‘As you get older you realise you never get away with things. The human mind has its own prisons. You don’t have a choice over everything in life.’

‘It doesn’t matter that we age differently. It doesn’t matter that there’s no way of resisting the laws of time. The time ahead of you is like the land beyond the ice. You can guess what it could be like but you can never know. All you know is the moment you’re in.’

‘But the thing is: You cannot know the future. You look at the news and it looks terrifying. But you can never be sure. That is the whole thing with the future. You don’t know. At some point you have to accept that you don’t know. You have to stop flicking ahead and just concentrate on the page you are on.’

Have you read this book?

Did you enjoy the review? You can follow me on Goodreads to follow reviews and ratings of books I read that might not make it to the blog.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Love,

2018: The year of paperbacks.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin
Hey book lovers! How’s it going? I hope your reading challenge is going as planned. My reading goal this year is to read 50 books. I’ve read 12 so far. I don’t think this is a promising start but as much as I want to accomplish this goal I’m putting zero pressure on myself and enjoying every book I read. I wanted to share and blog about the books I read in 2017 because I actually was able to list all 40 of them thanks to Goodreads but I was taking a short break from blogging last year December. (We are always taking breaks. We know and we apologise). Let me know in the comment section if you still want me to blog about that.

I’ve bought 11 books so far this year.

1. Men are from mars, women are from Venus – John Gray (Got this in camp)

2. Aké- Wole Soyinka (Got this at the Abuja airport)

3. Sorrow’s joy – Ogochukwu Promise (Also Got this at the Abuja airport)

4. Fine boys – Eghosa Imasuen (Ordered this from Alaroro books on IG)

5. Dear Ijeawele, or a feminist manifesto in fifteen suggestions – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Also Got this from Alaroro books on IG) – Bought two copies and decided to give one away.

6. Strategies for securing your dream job – Francis C. DAVID (Got this in camp. They gave us a lecture on this and I decided to buy the book after the lecture)

7. Under the uduala trees – Chinelo Okparanta ( Got this at the SLAY festival I attended last weekend. There was a nice sale going on and your girl had to get on it! Shout out to Patabah books!)

8. We should all be feminists – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (I also got this at the SLAY festival)

9. It wasn’t exactly Love (Stories from the farafina trust creative writing workshop 2012)

10. Blackass -A. Igoni Barrett

11. Attitude is everything – Keith Harrell

I feel like I’m going to be spending a lot of money on books this year. So I’m taking a break for now till like April. My birthday was three weeks ago and i’ll be accepting late gifts. Thank you very much! 🙂

Have you read any of these books? Did you enjoy it?

(I’ve always been a fan of ebooks but I’m getting into paperbacks this year)

Are you a fan of ebooks?

In case you missed the review of Aké by Wole Soyinka, you can read it here.

  • TOSIN

10 books by female authors I look forward to reading in 2018

Hey book lovers! Happy International Women’s Day!

Photo cred: Pinterest.

Hope you’re having a fulfilling day!

I was going to do a recap of the books I read in 2017 but I took a break from blogging last year December and I feel like it’s too late to share now. Anyway, I ended up reading 40 books last year. 80% of which I read in the last quarter of the year. I found a new love in Mystery and thriller novels.

I am hoping to read 50 books this year and I’ve read 8 so far. According to goodreads, I’m on track. Yay!

In the spirit of the day, I’m sharing a list of books by female authors I look forward to reading this year. In no particular order. (I’ve read one of the books on this list (An American Marriage) and it was incredible.

1. Freshwater – Akwaeke Emezi

35412372

Blurb

An extraordinary debut novel, Freshwater explores the surreal experience of having a fractured self. It centers around a young Nigerian woman, Ada who develops separate selves within her as a result of being born ‘with one foot in the other side.’ Unsettling, heart wrenching, dark, and powerful, Freshwater is a sharp evocation of a rare way of experiencing the world, one that illuminates how we all construct our identities.

Ada begins her life in the south of Nigeria as troubled baby and a source of deep concern to her family. Her parents, Saul and saachi, successfully prayed her into existence but as she grows into a volatile and splintered child, it becomes clear that something went terribly awry. When Ada comes of age and moves to America for college, the group of selves within her grows in power and agency. A traumatic assault leads to a crystallization if her alternate selves: Asughara and Saint Vincent. As Ada fades into the background of her own mind and these selves – now protective, now hedonistic — move into control, Ada’s life spirals in a dark and dangerous direction

2. A girl like that – Tanaz Bhathena

Image result for a girl like that tanaz bhathena png

Blurb

Sixteen year old Zarin Wadia is many things: a bright and vivacious student, an orphan, a risk taker. She’s also the kind of girl that parents warn their kids to stay away from: a trouble maker whose many romances are the subject of endless gossip at school. You don’t want to get involved with a girl like that, they say. So how is that eighteen year old Porus Dumasia has only ever had eyes for her? And how did Zarin and Porus end up dead in a car together, crashed in the side of a highway in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia? When the religious polic arrive on the scene, everything everyone thought they knew about Zarin is questioned. And as her story is pieces together, told through multiple perspectives, it becomes clear that she was far more than just a girl like that.

This beautifully written debut novel from Tanaz Bhathena reveals a rich and wonderful new world to readers. It tackles complicated issues of race, identity, class, and religion, and paints a portrait of teenage ambition, angst, and alienation that feels both inventive and universal.

3. An American Marriage – Tayari Jones

Blurb

Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. But as they settle into the routine of their life together, they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years for a crime Celestial knows he didn’t commit. Though fiercely independent, Celestial finds herself bereft and unmoored, taking comfort in Andre, her childhood friend, and best man at their wedding. As Roy’s time in prison passes, she is unable to hold on to the love that has been her center. After five years, Roy’s conviction is suddenly overturned, and he returns to Atlanta ready to resume their life together.

4. Every note played – Lisa Genova

36082326

Blurb

From neuroscientist and New York Times bestselling author of Still Alice comes a powerful exploration of regret, forgiveness, freedom, and what it means to be alive.

An accomplished concert pianist, Richard received standing ovations from audiences all over the world in awe of his rare combination of emotional resonance and flawless technique. Every finger of his hands was a finely calibrated instrument, dancing across the keys and striking each note with exacting precision. That was eight months ago.

Richard now has ALS, and his entire right arm is paralyzed. His fingers are impotent, still, devoid of possibility. The loss of his hand feels like a death, a loss of true love, a divorce—his divorce.

He knows his left arm will go next.

Three years ago, Karina removed their framed wedding picture from the living room wall and hung a mirror there instead. But she still hasn’t moved on. Karina is paralyzed by excuses and fear, stuck in an unfulfilling life as a piano teacher, afraid to pursue the path she abandoned as a young woman, blaming Richard and their failed marriage for all of it.

When Richard becomes increasingly paralyzed and is no longer able to live on his own, Karina becomes his reluctant caretaker. As Richard’s muscles, voice, and breath fade, both he and Karina try to reconcile their past before it’s too late.

Poignant and powerful, Every Note Played is a masterful exploration of redemption and what it means to find peace inside of forgiveness

5. Educated: A memoir – Tara Westover

33135584

Blurb

Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her “head-for-the-hills bag.” In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged in her father’s junkyard.

Her father forbade hospitals, so Tara never saw a doctor or nurse. Gashes and concussions, even burns from explosions, were all treated at home with herbalism. The family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when one of Tara’s older brothers became violent.

Then, lacking any formal education, Tara began to educate herself. She taught herself enough mathematics and grammar to be admitted to Brigham Young University, where she studied history, learning for the first time about important world events like the Holocaust and the civil rights movement. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home.

Educated is an account of the struggle for self-invention. It is a tale of fierce family loyalty, and of the grief that comes with severing the closest of ties. With the acute insight that distinguishes all great writers, Westover has crafted a universal coming-of-age story that gets to the heart of what an education is and what it offers: the perspective to see one’s life through new eyes, and the will to change it.

6. Happiness – Aminatta Forna

35458040

Blurb

London. A fox makes its way across Waterloo Bridge. The distraction causes two pedestrians to collide–Jean, an American studying the habits of urban foxes, and Attila, a Ghanaian psychiatrist there to deliver a keynote speech. From this chance encounter, Aminatta Forna’s unerring powers of observation show how in the midst of the rush of a great city lie numerous moments of connection.

Attila has arrived in London with two tasks: to deliver a keynote speech on trauma, as he has done many times before; and to contact the daughter of friends, his “niece” who hasn’t called home in a while. Ama has been swept up in an immigration crackdown, and now her young son Tano is missing.

When, by chance, Attila runs into Jean again, she mobilizes the network of rubbish men she uses as volunteer fox spotters. Security guards, hotel doormen, traffic wardens–mainly West African immigrants who work the myriad streets of London–come together to help. As the search for Tano continues, a deepening friendship between Attila and Jean unfolds.

Meanwhile a consulting case causes Attila to question the impact of his own ideas on trauma, the values of the society he finds himself in, and a grief of his own. In this delicate tale of love and loss, of cruelty and kindness, Forna asks us to consider the interconnectedness of lives, our co-existence with one another and all living creatures, and the true nature of happiness.

7. Red Clocks –  Leni Zumas

35099035

Blurb

In this ferociously imaginative novel, abortion is once again illegal in America, in-vitro fertilization is banned, and the Personhood Amendment grants rights of life, liberty, and property to every embryo. In a small Oregon fishing town, five very different women navigate these new barriers alongside age-old questions surrounding motherhood, identity, and freedom.

Ro, a single high-school teacher, is trying to have a baby on her own, while also writing a biography of Eivør, a little-known 19th-century female polar explorer. Susan is a frustrated mother of two, trapped in a crumbling marriage. Mattie is the adopted daughter of doting parents and one of Ro’s best students, who finds herself pregnant with nowhere to turn. And Gin is the gifted, forest-dwelling homeopath, or “mender,” who brings all their fates together when she’s arrested and put on trial in a frenzied modern-day witch hunt.

8. The Windfall – Diksha Basu

Blurb

For the past thirty year, Mr. and Mrs Jha’s lives have been defined by cramped spaces, cut corners, gossipy neighbors, and the small dramas of stolen yoga pants and stale marriages. They thought they’d settled comfortably into their golden years, pleased with their son’s acceptance into an American Business school. But then Mr. Nah comes into an enormous and unexpected sum of money, and moves his wife from their housing complex in East Delhi to the super- rich side of town, where he becomes eager to fit in as a man of status: skinny ties, hired guards, shoe- polishing machines, and all.

The move sets off a chain of events that rock their neighbors, their marriage, and their son, who is struggling to keep a lid on his romantic dilemmas and slipping grades, and brings unintended consequences, ultimately forcing the Jha family to reckon with what really matters.

9. Asymmetry – Lisa Halliday

Blurb

Told in three distinct and uniquely compelling sections, Asymmetry explores the imbalances that spark and sustain many of our most dramatic human relations: inequities in age, power, talent, wealth, fame, geography, and justice. The first section, “Folly,” tells the story of Alice , a young American editor and her relationship with the famous and much older writer Ezra Blazer. A tender and exquisite account of an unexpected romance that takes place in New York during the early years of the Iraq war, “Folly” also suggests an aspiring novelist’s coming of age. By contrast, “Madness” is narrated by Amat , an Iraq-American man who, on his way to visit his brother in Kurdistan, is detained by immigration officers and spends the last weekend of 2008 in a holding room in Heathrow. These two seemingly disparate stories gain resonance as their perspectives interact and overlap, with yet new implications for their relationship revealed in an unexpected coda.

A stunning debut from a rising literary star, Asymmetry is an urgent, important and truly original work that will captivate any reader while also posing arresting questions about the very nature of fiction itself.

10. The wife between us- Greer Hendricks, Sarah Pekkanen

Blurb

A novel of suspense that explores the complexities of marriage and the dangerous truths we ignore in the name of Love.

When you read this book, you will make many assumptions. You will assume you are reading about a jealous wife and her obsession with her replacement.

You will assume you are reading about a woman about to enter a new marriage with the man she loves.

You will assume the first wife was a disaster and that the husband was well rid of her.

You will assume you know the motives, the history, the anatomy of the relationships.

Assume nothing.

Discover the next blockbuster novel of suspense, and get ready for the read of your life.

Have you read any of these books? What books have you read this year and what books by female authors are you looking forward to reading? Share in the comments section! I’d love to add more books to my TBR list.

  • TOSIN

Book review: Memoirs of a professional bridesmaid – Nneka Ijeoma

Hey guys. I haven’t been on here in a while. I’m kinda tired of giving excuses so yeah let’s just leave it yea? Anyway, my friend got me three books (Stay with me, Sweet medicine and this book) at the just concluded Aké Arts and Book Festival. [All for N10,000]

Blurb:With witty and humorous dialogue, Memoirs of a professional bridesmaid is the telling of Nneka’s numerous experiences as a bridesmaid. Its tongue-in-cheek style reveals all elements of being on a bridal train.  Memoirs of a professional bridesmaid is a fun read for everyone and dishes on the beautiful, the bold and the ‘extra’.

This book is just 146 pages so it’s a very easy read. Like you can actually finish reading it in Lagos traffic.

It was published this year in Nigeria under Prestige imprint.

Book cover: I really like the cover of the book. Not so much going on and simple. Although I’ve been known to be drawn towards colourful covers and I sometimes judge books by their covers but it is what it is.  🤷🏾‍♀️

Okay. So let me get right into it. I have only been a bridesmaid once in my life and that was for Titi’s wedding so I’m sure you’re wondering why I bought the book. I honestly had enough drama that one time and wanted to hear from a professional bridesmaid.

Nneka talked about her various experiences with different brides, bridesmaids, maid of honour, vendors, designers e.t.c. I love that she wasn’t trying to be funny. Reading this book sorta felt like a friend was just gisting me about her experiences. Very simple style of writing. She talked about serious issues lightheartedly.

I like that she was very personal. I found myself saying ‘Yasss’ as I was reading especially when she was talking about bridal showers. Always remember that the focus is the bride.’ The petty side of me wanted to buy this book for a certain somebody. Like I remember being so frustrated planning my sister’s bridal shower. Guys, ‘Set realistic goals’. ‘Why do you need almost half a million naira to plan a shower?’.
I did not like the fact that every time she was brutally honest about any of her friends, the next statement is about how she loves that about them or how amazing they are. It was almost like she was making them feel better just in case they happen to read it.  I was like for you to be friends with them, they’re probably not so bad. So please say what you want to say with your chest and keep it moving but then again I know girls are dramatic so it’s probably best she did it that way.

Here are some tips she gave.

Parents are not your ATM

To thyself be true.

No Maid of Honour is a BAD idea.

Delegate. Especially if you have a large train.

If the timeline doesn’t favour you, you have two options – A) Get ready at home, do your own makeup and hair and come in ON TIME for the pictures. B) Make sure there are enough makeup artists. This might mean you may have to pay a little extra to book your own makeup artist.

Relax and be yourself.

Do not take everything you see on social media at face value, always do your background checks and ask questions. Some things are all smokes and mirror. – Funke Bucknor

Set realistic goals.

Ladies, be considerate (When you’re in a bridal WhatsApp group)

Think about the concept and a dress for your girls. That discussion should not be up for debate. This is a tip for your health and wellbeing.

Don’t be messy.

Don’t feel bad if you’ve ever get left out of a friends’ train. You may just be the next professional bridesmaid.

It was a light and fun read. I’ll give this book a 3.5/5. It is highly recommended for those getting married soon or anyone actually.

Have you ever been a bridesmaid? Please share your experience.

What book(s) are you currently reading? Please share!

TOSIN

Dark Matter – Review 

Book Title: Dark Matter

Author: Blake Crouch.

I remember seeing it on Olayinkareads instagram page but I never got around to actually reading it. (If you’re a book lover, you should totally check out her Blog). I’ve read quite a few books outside my TBR list for the month like Homegiing by Yaa Gyasi, Turtles all the way down by John Green, Dear Martin by Nic Stone – Highly recommended. I’m currently reading The Fishermen- Chigozie Obioma and I’m liking it so far.

So, I read Dark matter in one day. The book is about a guy Jason Dessen who is just a regular teacher living  happily with his wife Daniela and his son Charlie. He is not where he thought he’d be career wise but he’s happy and content until he got kidnapped and somehow landed in an alternate universe.
Anyway, Jason finds himself in another universe and here he’s not married with a kid. He’s a successful scientist. Plot twist – the Jason from the universe he’s stuck in is now living his life- pretending to be him and having the time of his life while at it.

I watched fringe (a tv show) for years and I used to be so into this alternate universe concept and the idea that multiple universes exist where we make different decisions at different points in our lives. It was such a great read that I could not drop my phone.
It was a very interesting and intriguing read.

I did not like how it ended though. I’m a sucker for happily ever after and although the ending was not terrible, It wasn’t what I was expecting.

I’m trying not to share too much so I don’t ruin it for yall.

This book got me thinking of the different  things that have happened in my life and the different decisions I’ve made at different points in my life. In another universe I’m probably not a Doctor or I am a Doctor but I did not do my internship in Ibadan and I’m probably traveling from one continent to the other under Doctors without border or for fun. 😂
But ultimately, i am happy in this life with the decisions I’ve made so far. Of course my life could be much better but I regret nothing.

I’d give this book a 5/5.  Yas it was that good!

Guys, would you love to be in another universe as you but living a totally different life? how’s your month going?

Did you know we launched TwoTeesShop yesterday?

You can check it out on Instagram and Twitter. Follow, like, share with your friends. Don’t forget to order something. They’re all really cute and  affordable.
TOSIN