Or, Something Bigger
Last week I was told to consider doing volunteer work to get out of my own way so I'm starting this off by saying I'm open to any and all volunteer activities in the Nairobi Metropolitan Area. I've written before about my feelings regarding philanthropy so I feel some measure of conflict going back into the world of Rotary but this might just yield some interesting moments. If you're looking for a person to join your project, feel free to reply to this via email or in the comments section.
The Women's Prize winner was announced last week and I knew I was super tired because I wasn't able to stay awake and catch the announcement. Ruth Ozeki, whose books I haven’t read with the exception of My Year of Meats, has been lauded as a worthy winner. I can’t wait to read The Book of Form and Emptiness after the hype dies down a bit (read: when the queue at the library is shorter).
Meanwhile, the Caine Prize shortlist was announced and this house’s fave Idza Luhumyo is on it. In a previous life, I’d have read them all (cue Pokemon vibes) by now but I’m taking it slow this year. I might make a video about reading the shortlist, though, just to add to the voices of everyday people thinking about the prize. Plus I’ve been thinking of trying things outside the round ups I’d been doing (see: the May book haul and the latest video, another BookTube staple) so this will make for interesting content.
Speaking of prizes, the winner of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize was announced this week and it pleased me and my homegirls to see that it was the regional winner from Africa, Eswatini chemist and writer Ntsika Kota, who took home the overall prize. I might soon turn myself into a BookTuber who discusses short story prizes if the enthusiasm I felt about reading all the regional winners on Granta is anything to go by.
Content creation as praxis, huh?
When I started writing this entry on Monday, all the books I’d finished since the last entry were non-fiction so I’ll list them here for posterity: Sometimes I Trip On How Happy We Could Be by Nichole Perkins (narrated by the author), Mrs Woolf and the Servants: The Hidden Heart of Domestic Service by Alison Light and Unladylike: A Field Guide to Smashing the Patriarchy and Claiming Your Space by Cristen Conger & Caroline Ervin (narrated by the authors). You know what I’d really like to read? More non-fiction from outside the Global North, written by people from the Global South. Please send recommendations my way!
It’s been a while since I talked about what I’m planning on reading (it’s because you keep changing your mind, Mike!) but the library has forced my hand this week so here goes. Finished since the week began: Clash of Civilizations Over an Elevator in Piazza Vittorio by Amara Lakhous and My Name Is Why by Lemn Sissay. The ones I hope to finish before the week is out (because of the holds, as always): Confessions of an Alleged Good Girl by Joya Goffney, Vagabonds! by Eloghosa Osunde (too much of a potato, I fear) and On a Sunbeam by Tillie Walden (I’m surprised I’m not done, considering how strong a start it had). Throw in the prize reading and catching up on Nepurko’s latest newsletter entries (she’s baaaack!) and I’m happy my reading mojo is back to match all this good stuff.
I went to an orchestra event over the weekend (DM me if you’d like to go to the theatre or to a music event together!) and that might be why I was primed to listen to a classical music playlist as I am writing this. Of course the Kenyan in me can only hear African Divine Church/ Legio Maria/ Jo Roho songs every time the triangle is played (I am reminded by the triangle in this performance). My thanks to musician, wit, and reader Peter Nyabuto for putting me on.
Last, but most definitely not least, join Gatwiri and me this Saturday at 2000 EAT (1700 GMT/ UTC) for the ‘Jambula Tree’ reading. As with the ‘Tekayo’ reading earlier this year, you can show up to listen and party with us after the reading, if that’s your jam. Sign up here and I’ll send details (the Jitsi link, the Spotify collaborative playlist link) your way in advance. I’m terribly excited :)
Enjoy the rest of the week and have a lovely time reading. Talk to you soon!