Kinna Reads is hosting the Africa Reading Challenge, and I just had to sign up. I’ve read some literature from countries in Africa, but not a lot. Of the creative writing books portion of the Africa’s 100 Best Books of the 20th Century, I’ve only read four. For the challenge, you have to pledge to read five eligible books. An eligible book is one that is written by an African writer, or take place in Africa, or are concerned with Africans and with historical and contemporary African issues. At least 3 of the books must be written by African writers.
I’ve got my initial 5 books picked out:
- Palace Walk, Naguib Mafouz (read, 2/5/2012)
- Butterfly Burning, Yvonne Vera
- Wizard of the Crow, Ngugi wa Thiong’o
- A Palace in the Old Village, Tahar Ben Jelloun
- Maps, Nuruddin Farah
So I broke down and ordered books from Amazon. As much as I love using my local book store, they don’t really have the selection I need. And honestly, they’re not that local – the closest bookstore to me is in the next county. I know I could ask them to order what I want, but then, I admit, price becomes a factor. I like to be able to sit at my computer, search for a few different titles, see how much they are, see how much alternate titles are, decide how much money I want to spend, etc. I don’t expect someone at a bookstore to humor me like that. It doesn’t hurt that I still have an Amazon student account, which gives me free prime shipping.
Ideally, there would be a lovely independent book store near me with a great selection, friendly staff, and good prices. Unfortunately, that’s just not my reality at the moment. (Oh, Strand, how I miss you!)
Where do you get your books? And do you have any suggestions for African literature for me to read?