Saturday, January 30, 2010

Chinua Achebe, Uwem Akpan and KTravulAID

The week has been fun with so much to read and share. And that's despite all that's happening in Jos and Haiti. Read this post and sure you'll begin to consider being a giving-reader, whatever that means.

Read Chinua Achebe's interesting personal narrative on Nigeria, published on Guardian UK. He says so much many young people of this generation aint aware of. Good read!

Uwem Akpan is just not yet done with all readers; his writing fires are still hot. Read his latest offering on New Yorker

Our good friend on Bookaholic Blog, Kola Tubosun helps raise funds for Haiti and Jos. And guess what? You get a lovely artwork for giving. Giving has never been so artistically rewarding! Find out more here and  here. He also blogs about ten reasons to buy KTravulart for Jos. Offer valid while stock lasts!

Alright people, go read; go give and get an artwork. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Granta--Interview with Ngugi and Book of African Short Stories

It was really interesting to watch Ngugi W'athiongo talk about childhood, the new generation of writers and translation. He was interviewed by Granta's Deputy Editor Ellah Allfrey. Watch here. Enjoy!

The Granta Book of The African Short Story--Edited By Helon Habila and Binyavanga Wainaina
This anthology will bring together the best of the best African short stories published in the last 50 years. You are invited to recommend any great short story you have read in a collection, a magazine, online, or heard on the radio, but it has to be by an African author.

The story could be in English, French, Portuguese, Arabic, or any major African language, but the final language of publication will be English. Send story title, author’s name, and any publication information you have to help us track your recommended story. Send before April 30, 2010, to: More information here.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Breadloaf Writers Conference

The Bread Loaf Writers' Conference is one of twelve summer programs offered at Middlebury College. The Program will take place from Wednesday, August 11 to Saturday, August 21.

The first scheduled event is a welcome and reading at 8:15 PM on August 11, but we ask that Bread Loafers plan to arrive by 5 PM that day.  During the Conference, writing workshops in fiction, poetry, and nonfiction are the core of the curriculum. Breadloaf offers many opportunities for you to inform yourself about the world of publishing. Guest editors and agents give overviews of the industry, describing the functions of agents and literary editors, answering questions, and offering guidelines on how to submit book proposals and full-length manuscripts. You may sign up to meet with an editor or agent in small groups. Magazine editors, publicists, grant specialists, and other guests offer a range of presentations on topics related to publishing.

Go here and here for more info.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Meet Myne Whitman

I've always been amazed by Myne Whitman's online energy, whatever that means! She not only visits; she comments most times. She always left me wondering who is this person with this 'energy' to be almost everywhere at the same time? And I'm sure I'm not alone on this one! So here she is, meet Myne Whitman...and make sure you allow her mend your heart.

Who is Myne Whitman? Why a name that sounds so European? 
Nkem Akinsoto is Myne Whitman. It's a name I coined myself when I began to write seriously in secondary school. Most of the books I read were in English, and since I was writing in English too, I decided my pen name would be the same. So the pseudonym is a play on some words of my maiden name.

Who is your perfect reader?
Someone who can relate to the stories I write about, someone willing to give life and love a chance and who has an open mind and heart.

What is the last thing you read that made you laugh? 
It has to be some of the blogs I come across in my rounds. I've not read a really funny book in a while.

Why did you write A Heart to Mend
Well, I primarily wanted to tell an engaging romantic story about unconditional love set in contemporary Nigeria. In my childhood, I was inspired by romance stories where the protagonist undergoes a lot of trials and heartache but eventually comes out on top, but they seem to have trickled off. So when writing A Heart To Mend, I wanted to do something about the situation.

How long did it take to write the story?
I already had a short story I wrote a few years ago. Making it a novel and polishing it up took roughly a year.

What book do you wish that you wrote? 
I've always wished I wrote romance novels and it now has started coming true. lol..

Is it writing you do fulltime? If not, how do you balance the other things? 
Yes I am a full time writer. But I still have to balance being a wife, daughter, sibling and friend. I also volunteer some days of the week and go for writing workshops with my meet-up group.

Why did you start your blog? What’s the strangest comment you had on your blog?
Some members of my writing group had blogs where they shared excerpts of their work. They advised that I could start one to get more feedback on the story I was writing then, and to know when it's ready for the market. I began a small blog on the Nigeria Village Square before moving to the Myne Whitman Writes blog.I think the strangest comments has been the few where some anonymous either writes in a different language or asks for a riddle because their life depended on it. LOL...

You push your book with this enormous drive that some publishing houses will struggle to keep up with, how do you do it? 
I don't really know, lol. One thing I did though is that while waiting after sending the book to the publishers, I shadowed some online publishers and book promoters. Also the publishing house I used, Authorhouse, has a very good marketing guide for their authors. I use that religiously to map out my strategies.

What are you scared of? I'm scared of losing people I love.

Have you ever imitated another writer’s style? Not consciously I think, but I have read so many books it may be possible to see an amalgamation of different styles. However I like to think my voice and style is unique.

Tell us your five favourite writers and why… 
I love various authors and cannot really narrow it down but some names are; Mills and Boon authors, Barbara Cartland, Francine Rivers, Sidney Sheldon, Robert Ludlum, Leon Uris, John Grisham, and Michael Critchton. And in Africa; Pacesetters authors, African Writers Series, Flora Nwapa, Buchi Emecheta, Cyprian Ekwensi, Chinua Achebe and more recently Chimamanda Adichie. These writers can weave a very good story.

Why romance? What are the challenges of writing ‘romance style’? 
Romance because there is a dearth of romantic fiction in Nigeria. Sometimes you hear people wondering if there is even anything like love. I have seen stories of love and I wanted to contribute to the conversation. It is also a delight having to day dream about romantic love for a living. The challenge is  finding a fresh story that makes the journey pleasurable and engaging for the readers. Putting together an  emotional, character-driven conflict that provides tension and excitement, knowing that there is a fixed 'happy-ever-after' ending.

Isn't it limiting to be tagged a ‘romance writer’? Is that all you will do or we should expect something else in the future? I do not find it limiting at all, it is a choice I made. And I'm so happy I chose the title I did for my debut. An interview I had called it "The Heart Mender". I think that is wonderful! LOL...That will be my specialty and I hope to write several more books.

Why did you take the self-publishing route? 
I decided to self publish because I heard some good stories about the process and how it can be successful if you apply yourself. I felt I could follow the route since I was now a fulltime writer and had more time to devote to it.I also knew that the majority of my audience would be Nigerians and it is no secret that the few publishing houses in the country are overwhelmed as it is.

What are you doing to make your book accessible to Africans? 
There are plans to publish in Nigeria which I hope will come to fruition in this first quarter.

What inspires your writing? 
I have to say it is my imagination. I fantasize a lot and being a book worm has not helped matters. I find inspiration from my life, people around me and it could be just a sentence in a newspaper or a line in a movie and my imagination just feeds on it. My brain just churns out these stories even when I am asleep.

What’s one thing that people don’t know about you? 
My life is an open book. I am silent until you start reading me.

What is the hardest thing to write about?
Optimism I think. It's easy to be pessimistic in our current world environment. But writing about love and hope and redemption, that is more difficult to do and I struggle with it too.

What is the worth of a book? 
As much as people are willing to spend their time and money to buy, read and talk about it. The way I see it, the expensive books gathering dust in libraries and bookstores are not of much worth to anyone.

How do you react to criticism?
I welcome criticism, just be gentle with me, LOL. Seriously though I like harsh critics, however I also want to know the way forward. I love discussions, two-way communication, and that is the way i prefer my criticisms to be.

Do you believe in romance? Do Africans believe in it? Some think romance is European, others that it misleads young folks or that it’s utopia; how do you perceive your book will be accepted with these in mind? I totally believe in romance, I refer to myself as a hopeless romantic in that there's no going back. But I think romance is hopeful, it wants to believe in love. Not in utopia, because I'm not an idealist, but in a world with a future. And no romance is not European. Love, and by extension romance, is universal. There is no misleading going on but a bringing to the fore. We know a lot of African marriages are either arranged or functional but we also know of those based on mutual love. Some of our grandparents even had those. That is what I want us to talk about and maybe we can have more of it

What do you have to say about the Nigerian publishing scene? 
I think it is in it's infancy. I don't think there are more than a handful if publishers in the literary fiction genre, most are in textbook or magazines. I think they need all the help they can get, from the government, from the private sector and from us the writers and poets. If the country wants everyone to read more, then we should put our money where our mouths are.

List five of your favourite blogs and why… 
I have loads of blogs I enjoy, but the types I enjoy the most are the personal blogs, fiction and poetry blogs, entertainment round-ups, movie and book reviews and finally social commentators.

If you had the chance to write your epitaph, what would it read? 
The Heart Mender! LOL...

Words to upcoming writers
I will say that they should keep at it. A writer has to persevere, have a story they want to share and push till it's in a forms others can understand and appreciate. I wish everyone the best.

What does it mean to be a writer? 
I will like to quote another writer here. Petina Gappah said on her blog "A writer is a person who writes...You, at your computer or with your notebook, writing, and writing, revising and writing, and revising again." I will only add that you need to have a story and a voice to tell it in.

What should we expect from you in the nearest future? More stories.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Mark your Calendar...Asa, G.A.P & Cancer Screening...

Don't mind this post looking like this...blogger is on something I think! This is a rather long post but would be great if you yank out your diary and start marking the dates! There's indeed fire on the Mountain. And we aint running yet. Yeah, you only need to look around. We think it would be great to calm  your nerves with great music from Asa 'the hawk'...

The Concert
No doubt Asa is one of the most talented singers to come out of Nigeria. She sings with sincerity yet with a sense of hope. Here comes a night of soulful music with a diverse and vibrant audience. The night will begin with a cocktail reception from 7-8, after which singers Bez and Dipo will open the show. These two singers are the future of Nigerian soul and r&b, showcasing two divergent but exciting possibilities for our music.

Tickets cost N10,000; and the event is TODAY at the Coral Reef, 10A Ikoya Avenue, Off Macpherson Street, off Queens Drive, Ikoyi. You can also call Tola on 0813.661.1633, Seun on 08022220065 or Tomiwa on 0805.8800.285 for information and tickets. RSVP the event here.

GAP (Guild of Artistes and Poets) Writers Retreat
For those interested in Nigerian Indigenous literature and discussing literature in general in the natural environs of Bwari Village, this is a must-read. A Writers' Retreat holds on 6th of February, 2010. And there are 25 slots available. Venue: Bwari Village

To participate send a one paragraph application and a one-page writing sample of either poetry or prose to elliteratemail@ Include a short bio and contact details. Use "Writers Retreat Application" as subject. No attachments please. Paste everything in the body of the mail. Deadline for submission is February 1st 2010. Selected applicants should be resident in Abuja and will be transported to and from the venue.

Get Tested for Cervical Cancer
This is not any  book news. Sorry! But on Bookaholic Blog, we also believe that health is wealth, not just books. This is information about a cervical cancer screening taking place in Lagos. Yes, that's it! Our Mothers, Daughters, Wives and Sisters, not to mention scores of friends and colleagues are diagnosed with and dying from cervical cancer everyday! It doesn't have to be this way. Cervical cancer is 100% preventable. And the good news is this test is almost free!

We are joining Wish for Africa (by blogging about this) to give women a fighting chance against this disease at this Mass Cervical Screening Programme! There's going to be screening of about 10,000 women at centres in Mafoluku and Ketu and across selected Local Government Areas in Lagos State of Nigeria over 3 days...28, 29 and 30th of January 2010 using the Visual Inspection method. RSVP the event here. The screening centres are:

Optimal Medical Centres
Mafoluku Centre:
5A, Adeyemo Street,
By 7 &8 B/Stop, off MM Airport Rd,
Mafoluku, Oshodi.

Ketu Centre:
9 Samuel Anibaba Street, by Iyana School Bus Stop
By Texaco Petrol Station, Ketu.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Call for Proposals: African Cities Reader

The aim of the African Cities Reader is to bring their stories and practices to the fore. The Reader seeks to become a forum where Africans tell their own stories, draw their own maps and represent their own spatial topographies as it continuous to evolve and adapt at the interstice of difference, complexity, opportunism, and irony. Submissions will be accepted until Wednesday, 31st March 2010.

Thematic focus: "Mobilities and Fixtures". African cities are quintessentially defined by incessant mobilities. And as people make their way in cities that are incapable of dealing with their presence, they continuously come to terms with the fact that the way of the city is a game of hide‐and‐seek… nothing is easily navigable; little is what it seems at first sight; and urban life becomes centred on a capacity to read the street, faces, gestures, ambience, odours, noises, danger and of course, most importantly, opportunity.Go here for more. Read the first issue of African Cities Reader.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Farafina Trust Editors' Workshop

Alright people, this is to editors working in publishing houses. Goodluck and have a fabulous week!

Farafina Trust will be holding a three day editors’ workshop in Lagos, Nigeria, from March 15th till 17th 2010. Funded by TrustAfrica, Dakar, Senegal. The workshop will be facilitated by the former Senior Editor, Jonathan Cape, Random House Group, UK, Ellah Allfrey . Ellah is now a deputy editor at Granta. And one of the judges of Caine Prize.

Titles edited by Ellah Allfrey while at Random House include, On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan, Gods behaving Badly by Marie Phillips, and After Daybreak by Ben Shephard. She also edited Segun Afolabi’s A Life Elsewhere, Patrick Wilmot’s Seeing Double, Biyi Bamdele’s Burma Boy and a host of others.

Participation is limited to editors currently working in publishing houses in Nigeria, Kenya and Uganda, who apply and are accepted.

To apply, send an e-mail to e-mail subject should read “Editors’ Workshop Application.” The body of the e-mail should contain the following:

  • Your personal CV
  • Information on your organization and the work you do
  • A brief paragraph about what you expect from the workshop
All material must be pasted or written in the body of the e-mail. Please do not include any attachments in your e-mail. Applications with attachments will be automatically disqualified. Deadline for submission is February 8, 2010. Only those accepted to the workshop will be notified by March 1, 2010.

Friday, January 15, 2010

...In My Dreams It Was Simpler

When eight female bloggers come together to work on a book you can't be too sure what you'd get. And that's one of the things that makes this book project special.

The story
Six Best Friends, A Man, his Wife, his Mistress, a mystery hunk and a guy with a shady past. They are thrown together in a series of events and twists that will leave you hanging off the edge of your seat! How will they deal with the situations they face? Will they pull through and become stronger? Or will they become victims of circumstances they cannot control?

The book is available for purchase  here. Click on and buy the book. Guess what? There's a special discount for the first ten people to buy the book today.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

An Open Letter from Nigerian Writers

As I make this post, my laptop battery is almost dead and guess what, it's the usual, there's no electricity. So I hurry. At Bookaholic, we are in support of other Nigerian writers--we are no longer at ease, we are tired of the politics of selfishness going on in our country. Here is the text of an open letter released by Nigerian Writers in reaction to the current political situation in Nigeria. 

We are No Longer at Ease

Nigeria’s failure to make the progress commensurate with 50 years of nation-building is not just a failure of leadership. It is first and most catastrophically, a failure of followership.

As ordinary Nigerians, we have failed to create an environment where good leadership can thrive. By glamorising fraud and ineptitude, we have created a country hostile to probity. Our expectation from Government House is mediocrity, so that good government surprises us pleasantly and excellence continues to amaze us. Instead of an environment of accountability, we have fostered sycophancy. We have been content to follow every stripe of leader, from the thief to the buffoon. The consequence is that for months we have been happy to be ruled even in absentia.

Today, we say, no more.

Protest is not a dirty word. Even babies have a voice, long before they learn language or discernment. The child that is too docile to cry when it hungers or ails might die in the hands of the most benevolent mother. A leadership, however benevolent, requires an intelligent, demanding, and courageous followership to excel.

It is the responsibility of every Nigerian to voice the legitimate expectations of nation and to establish the standards to which our leaders must be held. We must expect great things from this country, so we must look for the leaders who can deliver. There is an acceptable standard of leadership, and then there is an unacceptable standard. We must honour leaders who excel, and censure leaders – at every level, and in every arm of government – who betray our trust.

If failure is not censured, there is no incentive in pursuing excellence. If sacrificial leadership is not recognised, then leaders of merit will not come forward, and the heroes in our cenotaphs will be the very architects of our failure as a nation. Although we are justly famous for our generosity of spirit, for our ability to forgive and forget the gravest transgressions, Nigerians must also now boldly condemn the errors of leadership, and end the complacency that has brought us so low as a country. The only reason for the existence of political leaders is to offer service to nation.  Leadership is not an end in itself. It is a privilege to serve your country; leadership is not a right to be served by your country.

Today, Nigeria stands on a precipice. Behind us is a history that can push us, irrevocably, over the brink. Yet, we are writers. If we bring anything collectively to society, it must be the imagination and the inspiration to bridge impossible gulfs. Today, we must plumb our history, not to evoke despair, but to inspire resolve. Today, we call on Nigerians to hold hands across the trenches of our deep divisions and, somehow, find the resolution to dream again. Let us, as ordinary Nigerians, reject the ethnic fictions that local despots have used to colonise this country over the past five decades.

Let us dream a simple dream made fantastic by our present circumstances. Let us dream of a Nigeria that works, that evokes pride, and that inspires faith. Let us dream of a Nigeria of servant-leaders and sacrificial statesmen, a Nigeria which calls the best characteristics out of ordinary men and women. Let us call on that capacity for renewal to bring opportunity out of this crisis.

Let us recreate the excitement – and the possibilities – with which we approached the Independence Day of 1960. In 50 years, the resources and destiny of this great country have been hijacked by private carpetbaggers and adventurers. Let us take back the sanctity of our polls. Let us rejuvenate the recall process. Let us police our resources, our leadership. We must liberate Nigeria anew. Today, we must take back our country.

As writers, the past and the future are fertile fields for the work of our imagination. Today, in this love-letter to our nation, we call on all Nigerians to take authorship of our nation’s next 50 years. Our destiny is in our own hands. Shall we write into it a bigger civil war? Another half-century of mediocrity and international disgrace? Then we need do nothing.

But if we, the people of Nigeria, must write an inspirational epic of a humbled nation on her knees, who, breaking free of bondage, soars into the keep of eagles, we must begin by demanding only the best of our leaders. In the days and months to come, we the people must find our voice, our votes, and our true values. And we must make them count.

Thank you.

If you are no longer at ease, comment and make your voice heard here.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Fantastic Writers Fellowships...

Since 1989 the Royal Court Theatre has collaborated with emerging playwrights from all parts of the world. Now in its 22nd year, the International Residency offers international playwrights an opportunity to develop a new play of their own with the Royal Court Theatre. At the same time the International Residency provides these playwrights with a forum to meet and work with leading British writers, directors and performers.

The Royal Court Theatre is one of Europe's leading theatres, which since 1956 has presented a programme of new and innovative drama that has become known throughout the world. The Royal Court's international work has expanded in recent years to include continuing collaborations with theatres in the Americas, Asia, Europe and Africa.

Playwrights will be asked to develop a new play during their time in London, in collaboration with members of the Royal Court Theatre artistic team.  The Residency is an intensive programme that combines a small number of group sessions with individual one-to-one meetings.  There will also be time set aside dedicated to writing and rewriting.  Each Playwright will be teamed with their own British theatre director and translator who will work throughout the Residency to help realise the play.  There will also be the opportunity to work with a specially chosen team of actors in a workshop environment.  More information here

The Charles Pick Fellowship
The Charles Pick Fellowship is dedicated to the memory of the distinguished publisher and literary agent, Charles Pick, whose career began in 1933 and continued until shortly before his death in January 2000. He encouraged young writers at the start of their careers with introductions to other writers and practical and financial help. The Fellowship seeks to continue this spirit of encouragement by giving support to the work of a new and, as yet, unpublished writer of fictional or non-fictional prose. Its purpose is to give promising writers time to devote to the development of his/her talents. The Fellowship will be for six months, starting on 1 September. The award is £10,000. More info here.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Commonwealth Short Story Competition...

The Commonwealth Broadcasting Corporation Short story competition is here again.

The Commonwealth Short Story Competition is an annual scheme to promote new creative writing, funded and administered by the Commonwealth Foundation and the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association.  Each year around 25 winning and highly commended stories from the different regions of the Commonwealth are recorded on to CDs and broadcast on radio stations across the Commonwealth.

More information here. Deadline: March 31, 2010.

Read last year's winning stories here.

The younger ones can also participate in the Royal Commonwealth Society Essay Competition.

Mark your calendars! Start writing those stories now so you can re-draft as many times as you want. Goodluck!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Introducing Mazwi...

MAZWI is an online portal focusing mainly on Zimbabwean arts, culture, and literature. The idea of Mazwi is to become the most important outlet for a new creative, intellectual and cultural movement for Zimbabweans in the country and elsewhere. Tinashe Mushakavanhu is the editor-at-large.

Beyond the interesting pieces on the site now, it provides links to other websites where one can read more. So the more you read, the bigger your literary site database. At Bookaholic, we love collecting links :) . Looks like the birth of the newest hot spot when it comes to Zimbabwean writing...though most of the pieces there right now have been previously published, we can't wait for more!

Read essays here. Check here for submission guidelines.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Sylva Nze Ifedigbo on A Heart to Mend

Nigerians and indeed Africans are not known for romance writing. The reason can be attributed to the sense of morality (real or apparent) that relegates issues surrounding romance to the secrecy of bedrooms thus treating sex as a topic discussed only in hushed tones like some sacred ritual. We generally carry on like we don’t do sex yet we have HIV, or we don’t fall in love yet we have marriages.

Myne Whitman’s book, A Heart to Mend, makes a bold statement to the contrary. It shows that we do not only fall in love nor marry for love, love also conquers situations that could have ordinarily been a bit difficult to shoulder alone. A Heart to Mend comes as a fresh breath of air. It chronicles the journey of Gladys Eborah, a young female  graduate from Enugu, South Eastern Nigeria to the commercial city of Lagos first to find a job and - in the process- love and ultimately marriage. Typical romance style, this journey is not rosy, but filled with so much turbulence which raises the suspense giving the reader a deeper satisfaction for the also typical ‘happy-ever-after’ ending.

Gladys doesn’t share the spotlight alone however. Employing a double barreled lead character description approach, the author also brings the reader into Edward Bestman's life, young unmarried head of a business empire. Edward and Gladys meet in the very first chapter of the book but it takes longer for Edward to overcome his mistrust for people and profess his love…one which he felt since very first day.

For Nigerian readers, there is plenty to like in the book.  It is rich with very familiar words, places and things which they can easily relate with. We have for example the popular Peace Mass Transit which many Enugu residents know. We have Zennon oil, Terra Kulture, Tuface, Sound Sultan, Securities and Exchange Commission, etc. The language is simple but the description languid in some instances. It goes on and on sluggishly, seemingly not in a hurry to get to a climax.

For people who find it difficult to read books without conversations, A Heart to Mend presents itself as a good New Year gift but then some of the conversation are drab. A novice in the complex workings of the Stock Exchange might find this book a handy guide as the author engages the reader with concepts only those well schooled in that field would understand. I admire however how Whitman introduces these concepts in conversations which help the reader appreciate what is said rather than foisting it down the readers in some kind of tutorial format.

The absurdities and sharp practices that exist in Nigerian business climes are well captured. Mr. Odutose has developed a dubious way of helping companies get richer. He is persistent in selling his idea even when Edward is adamant. Odutose finally finds a listening ear in Chief Okrika who ironically sets out to use the idea against Edward Bestman. It is uplifting to note however that Edward Bestman's persistent refusal to buy into Odutose’s plan shows there are still credible Nigerian businessmen and women--a badly needed reminder these times Nigeria seems popular globally for only the wrong reasons.

There are a couple of downs for the book. The reasons why Aunt Isioma abandoned her relatives for so long a time does not sound convincing, neither did the author do very well in explaining why Chief Okrika and wife should show up suddenly after so many years and begin to witch-hunt Edward Bestman.  Gladys' initial reactions to Aunt Isioma which were intended to portray her existing annoyance for Aunt Isioma’s unexplained wrong treatment of her relatives seemed quite childish. But then, this is fiction and I guess the author has the right to the soul of her story.

Nigerian readers can now satisfy their yearning for well written, homegrown romance stories while the foreign readers can treat themselves to a different kind of romance--one made in the highly boisterous commercial Lagos. A Heart to Mend is the author's first offering, an impressive one which shows that the author should be watched for even richer outings.

Sylva Nze Ifedigbo an award winning writer lives in Abuja, Nigeria. Read his short story on StoryTime.

Visit Myne Whitman's blog here. Get copies of the book here and here.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Books that Made A Difference...

"Be as careful of the books you read, as of the company you keep; for your habits and character will be as much influenced by the former as by the latter."--Paxton Hood
"A book is a version of the world. If you do not like it, ignore it; or offer your own version in return."--Salman Rushdie, O Magazine, April 2003

I read O Magazine last week cover to cover (and don't ask me why I talk as if I read it only once a year!). It's thanks to the fact that it costs a price heavy enough to dig a hole in my pocket when I see it at the Galleria or other such places where you find foreign mags. I'd rather buy two books for the price of one mag (Hmm, books versus mags--a discussion for another day!).

Okay away from my rant. I was drawn by a magnetic pull to the 'Books that Made a Difference section'. The concept of books making a difference actually got me thinking--how much difference can a book make? Can it be drastic enough to make someone start a holy war or just a gentle nudge that makes one smile?

Having loved books for a great part of my life it's quite hard to tell. It usually seems that I love different books for different reasons. Hmm, difference? I've read books that have made a difference in my life, as it were but it's not as if I read them after reading the blurb and felt 'Whao this book has gotta make a difference!' Some were borrowed; others bought; some were gifts; some I can't even find again or remember where I read them. Sometimes, it's very much later, days, months or years even that an action, a situation, an attitude or a reaction gets me thinking about a certain character or some words written in a book. But I know of course that books make a difference.

Now you tell us--what books made a difference in your life? How and why? What appealled to you most about the books that makes you consider them your difference-making-books?

Read Jay z's Books that Made a Difference here.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Sweet Poem to 'Open' 2010

Well, one of the sweet ways to open a year on Bookaholic Blog just has got to be a sweet poem from an equally sweet woman--Ella Wheeler Wilcox. We found this really nice. Enjoy it!

“What can be said in New Year rhymes,
That's not been said a thousand times?
The new years come, the old years go,
We know we dream, we dream we know.
We rise up laughing with the light,
We lie down weeping with the night.
We hug the world until it stings,
We curse it then and sigh for wings.
We live, we love, we woo, we wed,
We wreathe our prides, we sheet our dead.
We laugh, we weep, we hope, we fear,
And that's the burden of a year.”