My 2020 half-year page turners
My 2020 goal was to read more nonfiction books. I think I tried making this come true. When I decided to start the page-turners series, I realized all the books I read in 2019 were all fiction. And I loved them, really. But for my 2020 page turners, I have managed to spice it up.
Unfortunately, I am yet to get to my 20 books limit. But, I will hopefully reach this target by the end of the year.
The Wretched of the Earth by Frantz Fanon
There is one question I kept asking myself anytime I marked certain paragraphs of this book. “What would Frantz think of African countries if he were to come back to life?”
If you have read this book I am pretty sure you understand why this question kept bugging me. And it still does. If you have not read it, I am sure when you get to reading the book this question will pop somewhere at the back of your head.
It does not matter that Frantz wrote the Wretched of the Earth at the height of Algerian fight for independence back in 1961. Why? Because almost everything he wrote, especially on the “On Colonialism and Psychoanalysis” chapter reminds one of the leadership most African countries are under. It seems as though all the psychological methods the colonizers used, which Frantz has covered in very heart-wrenching details, are still applied by the native intellectuals of our time. The only difference is that instead of fighting racism as natives, which we still are somehow, we are fighting each other among tribal lines.
If you are looking for a book that does not sugarcoat the happenings of the colonial times, especially countries that were colonized by France, then this here is the book to read.
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari
Forget the history of Sapiens that you were taught in school. Honestly, it does no justice to what some of us have come to learn on our own. However, Yuval does a lot of justice to these historical occurrences that are rarely spoken of in classrooms.
From the early species of humans to the only species of humans in the planet at the moment, Sapiens. How did we get here? How did we topple the rest of the human species on planet earth? He covers the cognitive, agricultural, and scientific revolutions that, believe it or not, have shaped who we are.
I loved the way he managed to talk about economics, biology, palaeontology and anthropology in a well-structured manner. Most importantly, he wrote in such a simple and articulated method- which is usually rare when it comes to such topics.
If you want to challenge everything you think you know about the history of humanity to date, what shaped us, our actions, power, future and many more, then grab yourself a copy.
The Sparrow and Children of God by Mary Doria Russell
After reading The Sparrow and its sequel Children of God in January 2018, I was sure the series will always be among my all-time favourite page-turners. I have to admit that the book was a bit slow at first, but if you have some patience, you might love it.
What will happen when humans finally get the proof they have always looked for? That we are not alone.
In The Sparrow, humans get this proof. It is the year 2019, and while the UN debates on whether to make contact or not, the Society of Jesus organizes and sends a group of 8 people to Rakhat in secret.
It is a mission that soon spirals out of their control with time as they try to wrap their fingers around what they find in Rakhat. The faith of the lead priest is put into test and religious issues are explored openly. Whether humanity should have made contact with an alien civilization in this story makes you wonder what we would really do if the situation was no longer fictional.
The Children of God continues with the story, right from the return of the only human that managed to escape from Rakhat. I was looking forward to it because the curiosity of what happened to Emilio was eating me alive. I was a little disappointed though because Children of God has a slow pace compared to The Sparrow.
However, the events that took place in Rakhat after the alien species interacted with humans were somehow too interesting and relatable. I will try not to give too much away. The inferior tribe of the aliens finally learns from humans that they had too much power. It is a realization that awakens a revolution. They realized they had the numbers in terms of population as well as better skills. And since then, a bloody revolution was birthed in Rakhat.
Akata Series by Nnedi Okarafor
Nonfiction books on my list turned out to be heavy reads. The Wretched of the earth took me a couple of months to read because the chapters are a bit long.
So, I spiced this up with some fiction books. Akata Witch and Akata Warrior make up the Akata books by Nnedi Okarafor. What drew me to Akata Witch is the mere fact that it is a mythological book set in Nigeria without all those witchcraft clichés on Naija movies. Most mythological books available are all set outside of Africa. You can imagine my fascination and curiosity in seeing what Africa mythology had to offer.
I read that book in 2 days, went back to the bookshop to get Akata Warrior. I was done in 3 days. For fast readers with a lot of reading time on your hands, 3 days is enough to finish the series.
Nnedi takes you through the life of Sunny, an albino teenage girl born in New York to Nigerian parents. After they relocate back to Nigeria, Sunny makes friends. In no short time, they make her realize all the power she commands.
The books were interesting, fast-paced, and fascinating. If you are looking for a series of page-turners, then make this one of your reads in 2020.
So far, I am pleased by my 2020 page turned list; it is still too short. However, I really enjoyed reading the few that I managed. I am looking forward to the next half-year list of page-turners. Going by the look of books I have on my reading list it is going to be a hoot!