We’re back with another Diverse Book Blogger feature here on BB>, this time with another of my favorite bloggers– African Book Addict! She has so many great recommendations for us in this post, so get ready. When you’re done reading her answers, make sure you visit her blog as well!
- Tell us a bit about your blog! If you have a specific literature focus, let us know why!
African Book Addict! was conceived about 2 and a half years ago out of my intense love of reading and discussing books by writers of African descent (in Africa and the diaspora). As a Ghanaian-American, I gain a stronger sense of self when I read works by writers of African descent. I identify strongly with the characters and the stories and get to understand myself and the world through their work. So African Book Addict! is basically a space where I review/discuss books by African, Caribbean and African-American authors, while showcasing books and writers that I feel don’t get the shine they deserve.
- Do you read the book first, or watch the movie?
I read the book first. Books are original works and contain all the nuances that make for a great story.
- What book(s) helped shape you into the person you are today?
You Can Not Keep A Good Woman Down by Alice Walker, Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Adichie, Black Boy by Richard Wright, The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger & I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou.
- Your website African Book Addict! has a huge wealth of authors from the diaspora. Who are some of your faves?
Yes, there are lots of authors from Africa and the diaspora highlighted over on African Book Addict! Some of my favorites are: Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Diriye Osman, Maya Angelou, Jamaica Kincaid, Binyavanga Wainaina, Ayesha Harruna Attah, Shimmer Chinodya, Edwidge Danticat, Alice Walker, Amma Darko, Sister Souljah, Chinua Achebe.
- What is distinctive about African literature, in your opinion?
It’s a continent of 54 countries. The stories by writers from the continent are different in their own ways, yet similar. I love how I can read stories from Botswana, Uganda or Nigeria and learn new things about the countries, the people and the struggles/joys they experience, yet resonate with them because they are somewhat similar to Ghana/Ghanaians – as I like to believe we are all one people (Pan-Africanism for the win!).
- Overall, can you tell us what some of your best reads of 2016 have been? Which books are you looking forward to reading?
Some of my best reads of 2016 so far have been Fairytales for Lost Children by Diriye Osman, Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat, Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee. The year isn’t over yet, so this may change. The final compilation of my best reads of 2016 will be in my recap post at the end of the year J.
I really look forward to reading Cannibal by Jamaican poet, Safiya Sinclair! It was published last month (September) and I find the book cover sooo intriguing. Another book that I’m eager to read and has been on my TBR for a while is The House of Hunger by (late) Zimbabwean, Dambudzo Marechera. I hear this collection of stories is disturbing and thought-provoking. I’m down for that!
- Who are some of your favorite bloggers?
I follow a lot of book blogs/have a lot a faves. Just to name a few, I frequent (in no particular) order:
- Incessant Scribble (a great book blog that focuses on African lit with succinct reviews – curated by my book blogger friend, Osondu).
- Books My Job Gave Me (this is actually a bookish podcast by Brionna which I love listening to).
- Black and Bookish (Antoinette’s bookish posts are awesome).
- Zezee with Books (you all know Anais! I enjoy her book tags and the fact that she religiously updates her book blog with good content). Read our feature with Anais here!
- AFREADA – an online literary magazine (I love, love, love the creative short stories AFREADA showcases by (young) writers from all over the continent + I review African Literature for the website).
- Repeating Islands (I truly appreciate the plethora of information and thoughtful pieces on Caribbean life & literature from this website).
- Where can readers find you online? (Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, etc)
I’m mostly active on Twitter @AwoDeee and Goodreads. I’m still trying to decide if I should get Litsy.
- Put your best foot forward! What’s your best post thus far?
Best post according to the most views or the post I am most proud of? According to views, my best post is anything of Adichie’s that I’ve reviewed. But in general, I love all the posts I publish, especially the more recent book chats. I truly appreciate the responses and conversations I have with other book lovers in the comments on the topics at hand. I’m most proud of my review of Fairytales for Lost Children by Diriye Osman and how the author emailed me months later to personally thank me for the review. That was truly rewarding.
- Anything else you want to say? Take a sentence or two and do it here!
Visit African Book Addict! and look around. There’s a lot of content on the book blog that all book lovers can enjoy – be it book reviews, book chats or showcases of book cover art, there’s a lot to explore to possibly pique your interest in books by writers of African descent. Enjoy!
This Diverse Book Bloggers feature was particularly interesting for me. I don’t read nearly enough by authors on the continent. Have you read any great books by African authors? Let me know in the comments! And don’t forget to visit African Book Addict!, and drop her a tweet or two!