Jun 13, 2011

Book reading decisions

If you’ve been reading this blog for some time, you’re probably aware of my personal goal of reading more African literature and sharing reviews. I’ve focused on Zambian literature because my previous track record was woeful;  I also read works by authors from other African countries and the challenge continues to be enjoyable. Picking new titles is no easy feat because there still isn’t a lot of information out there, and settling for well known literary award winners seems like a cop out to me.

I am always interested to know which authors have been honoured with awards, but personal experience has taught me that award winning books aren’t always the best books out there, and really how many Chinua Achebe books do I need to read before I die? J

At this time I lean quite heavily on my Amazon.com recommendations based on previous purchases by myself and others with similar interests. I’ve also had recommendations from friends which helps, and I’m on a winning streak at this point. I'm also a little of research fanatic and will thoroughly read a book's synopsis, and about its author before making my purchase (it's a disease, I know!).

I’m interested to know how others make their book picks. Do you rely on book reviews, bestseller lists, literary awards, referrals from Amazon or friends? Or are you one of those people that's able to walk into the library or book store and picks whatever strikes your fancy? 


I rely on blog posts like these and boy-oh-boy am I grateful!! I used to follow UgandanInsomniac and her Africa reading challenge, but she hasn't posted in a while. I will be trying to do my own reviews when I'm not busy writing myself!


This type of post is a recommendation. I also got Powder Necklace, Hairdresser of Harare and Wife of the Gods from Image Nations, he blogs African authors generally. I also follow the major prizes and pick those that sound interesting. After that are Amazon and library browsing...

Thanks for the feedback so far ladies! I will have to check out both UgandanInsomniac and Image Nations.

@Myne - It's certainly a small world since I have Hairdresser of Harare and Wife of Gods currently in my TBR pile.

Well, I mine the web for recommendations. I especially like to peruse reading lists for university courses. And of course, I look to book bloggers. I also blog about African literature.

Kinna, as you know I follow your blog and you continually impress me with the depth of your selections. Thanks for the tip on checking university book reading lists. I tried it before, but never spent much time. I'm taking that route and hope to mine something good!

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