WWW Wednesday 28-Apr-2021

Welcome to another WWW Wednesday hosted by Sam from Taking On A World of Words.

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As usual, just answer the three W questions:

  1. What did you recently finish reading?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

Recently Finished

Currently Reading

Reading Next

How was your reading week? Feel free to share!

Top 5 Tuesday – Graphic Novels

Happy Tuesday, Homo sapiens! Welcome to another Top 5 Tuesday!

Top 5 Tuesday was originally hosted by Shanah at Bionic Bookworm and now found its home with Meeghan at Meeghan Reads.

Graphic Novels

I have just recently started reading graphic novels so I don’t really have much to share. So I’m sharing the three I’ve recently read and two others that I am really looking forward to reading.

maus1

Maus I by Art Spiegelman is my first ever graphic novel and I loved it!

maus2

So of course, I had to read Maus II.

acontractwithgod

My third graphic novel read is Will Eisner’s A Contract with God.

I am inclined to read Blankets and Palestine next. Both of these graphic novels were recommendations and I’d be happy to oblige.

What graphic novels have you read and which ones are your favorites? Feel free to share!

Quote of the Week

Perhaps home is not a place but simply an irrevocable condition.

~James Baldwin

Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin

giovannisroomGiovanni’s Room follows the story of David, an American guy who is struggling to accept his sexuality. He has been seeing a girl named Hella for quite some time and is vacationing in Spain “to think.”David moved to Paris for some time and got involved with the Italian-born Giovanni. Uncertainty and confusion started to emerge on David as he finds himself having to choose between Giovanni and Hella. Inside Giovanni’s dark and suffocating room, much of this argument and discussion between man and woman, homosexuality and heterosexuality took place.

This is my first experience on James Baldwin’s works and I find this book remarkable. In 1950s America, discussions on homosexuality was very controversial. It also explores the people’s attitude during these times to topics like femininity and masculinity.

I love the novel’s structure where you know a murder will happen right from the start and as a reader, you would want to find out how it happened and why it happened.

This is a terribly sad and heart-wrenching novel but at the same time beautiful with a very rich prose. One of the many books I look forward to rereading.

Quotable Quotes:

It takes strength to remember, it takes another kind of strength to forget, it takes a hero to do both.”

Not many people have ever died of love. But multitudes have perished, and are perishing every hour – and in the oddest place! – for the lack of it.”

You are the one who keeps talking about what I want. But I have only been talking about who I want.”

“And no matter what I was doing, another me sat in my belly, absolutely cold with terror over the question of my life.”

“There are so many ways of being despicable it quite makes one’s head spin. But the way to be really despicable is to be contemptuous of other people’s pain.”

Rating: 4/5 stars

WWW Wednesday 21-Apr-2021

Welcome to another WWW Wednesday hosted by Sam from Taking On A World of Words.

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As usual, just answer the three W questions:

  1. What did you recently finish reading?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

Recently Finished

Currently Reading

Reading Next

How was your reading week? What did you enjoy most? Any recommendations? What are you going to read next? Feel free to share!

Top 5 Tuesday – Debut Novels

Happy Tuesday, Homo sapiens! Welcome to another Top 5 Tuesday!

Top 5 Tuesday was originally hosted by Shanah at Bionic Bookworm and now found its home with Meeghan at Meeghan Reads.

Best Debut Novels

thekiterunner

The Kite Runner is Khaled Hosseini’s marvelous first novel. The story of friendship between two boys in Afghanistan. This definitely swept me away!

The Sympathizer Book Cover

The Sympathizer is a powerful novel from Viet Thanh Nguyen about the Vietnam War and its aftermath. The author definitely has a way with words!

amancalledove

A Man Called Ove is a charming novel about a grumpy old man named Ove. You’ll laugh and you’ll cry as the story unfolds. A Very memorable read from Fredrik Backman.

onearthwerebrieflygorgeous

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong is a devastatingly beautiful debut novel. It was written in a form of a letter from a son to a mother who cannot read. This is the kind of book that feels like a heart bleeding in pages.

thesilentpatient

The Silent Patient is an outstanding, shocking and unforgettable psychological thriller debut novel from Alex Michaelides. Total page-turner!

Happy Tuesday!

Quote of the Week

The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.

~Nicolas Chamfort

My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

mysistertheserialkillerMy Sister, The Serial Killer is a story set in Nigeria’s corrupt system of law and order. It’s a mix of humor and mystery and tackles societal expectations, relationships and kinship. It follows the story of Korede and her younger sister, Ayoola. Korede is plain, pragmatic and reliable while Ayoola is beautiful, charismatic and manipulative. Ayoola has just killed her boyfriend, again, her third victim, which now makes her a serial killer. Korede thinks it odd that Ayoola is carrying a knife but then just keeps quiet about it and helped her sister clean the mess at hand.

It is a short read, you can finish it in one sitting. It is written in short chapters alternating between the past and present, which I really liked as I get to know about the previous murders. Oyinkan Braithwaite is skillful in transitioning between different periods of time. Moreover, I liked how her characters were examined without revealing too much which allows for moments of surprise. Korede confides to a comatose patient in the hospital where she works for. It’s somewhat an unlikely relationship but this shows Korede’s sense of isolation from the people around her.

While the story’s language is simple and the chapters are short, there are multiple layers to this story which will keep the reader captivated. I somehow struggled with the absence of a character to like or love. I also didn’t connect emotionally to the novel and this resulted to somewhat an unsatisfying read but I must say, I was never bored in the story itself.

The ending might surprise some but it makes the most sense if you noticed the author’s clues throughout the story.

Quotable Quotes:

“She does not cry for me,” he says, his voice hardening. “She cries for her lost youth, her missed opportunities and her limited options. She does not cry for me, she cries for herself.”

“Is there anything more beautiful than a man with a voice like an ocean?”

“Love is not a weed, It cannot grow where it please…”

“The most loving parents and relatives commit murder with smiles on their faces. They force us to destroy the person we really are: a subtle kind of murder.”

Rating: 3/5 stars

WWW Wednesday 14-Apr-2021

Welcome to another WWW Wednesday hosted by Sam from Taking On A World of Words.

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As usual, just answer the three W questions:

  1. What did you recently finish reading?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

Recently Finished

Currently Reading

Reading Next

How was your reading week? What did you enjoy most? Any recommendations? What are you going to read next? Feel free to share!

Top 5 Tuesday – Top 5 Books You Would Re-Rate

Happy Tuesday, Homo sapiens! Welcome to another Top 5 Tuesday!

Top 5 Tuesday was originally hosted by Shanah at Bionic Bookworm and now found its home with Meeghan at Meeghan Reads.

Top 5 Books You Would Re-Rate

thesecretlivesofbabasegiswives

I rated The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives 4-stars but I think I can easily give it 5-stars if I get to reread it.

mycousinrachel

My Cousin Rachel is one of the many books I want to reread. I first rated this as 3-stars but I think a reread will give it a higher rating from me.

thedutchhouse

I rated The Dutch House 3-stars on my first reading. I remember loving the book when I began reading it and somewhere through the story it just went downhill. I might have missed something or whatever but I would love to reread this and I think the chances are high for it to be rated higher than 3-stars.

demian

Demian is the book that made me decide that Hermann Hesse’s works aren’t my cup of tea. Some of my seniors though regard Demian very highly and they encourage me to reread it and then decide. So this could either rate higher or lower than my previous rating of 2-stars if ever I decide a reread.

halfofayellowsun

Half of a Yellow Sun was a very educational and informative read for me and also my first experience of Adichie Chimamanda Ngozi. I’ve rated this 4-stars because it left me wondering where Kainene is and what happened to her. Until now, I am still wondering of the same thing. When I get to reread this, I probably will rate it 5 perfect stars because I know I loved this book but I still hope to find clues or probably figure out or give my own ending of what happened to Kainene.

How about you? What books do you consider to re-rate? 

Quote of the Week

The beginning of love is the will to let those we love be perfectly themselves, the resolution not to twist them to fit our own image. If in loving them we do not love what they are, but only their potential likeness to ourselves, then we do not love them: we only love the reflection of ourselves we find in them.

~Thomas Merton

Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford

genghiskhanMost of us have heard about Genghis Khan and the Mongol Empire. More often, he and his people are regarded as brute, ruthless and hostile. Almost always in a negative setting. Nevertheless, his and the empire’s story is captivating and needs to be told.

In this book, the author, Jack Weatherford tells us the story of Genghis Khan and his empire and how it shaped the beginning of the modern world. Weatherford asks us to reconsider our view of this great leader and his descendants.

Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World starts in detailing the early life of Genghis Khan, who was brought into the world in the steppe between Mongolia and Siberia. He was named Temujin by his father which means “of iron” or “blacksmith.” It was in year 1206 (if I remember it right) that he became the leader of the great Mongol nation and was then named Genghis Khan. The information on his early life was based on a document discovered called The Secret History of the Mongols. He did not have an easy childhood. He was confronted with many difficulties as a child. He didn’t have a formal education but he knew tradition and he knew that he lives in a dangerous world. His father was murdered and their family was cast out of the clan and so they were forced to live and survive on their own. He was also kidnapped and was forced to be a slave and this started his determination to seek revenge on every tribe that made his life difficult as a child.

The book focused more on the classic Mongol era — the period from Genghis Khan to Khubilai Khan. The stream of details will truly captivate the reader. And well, yes, Genghis Khan and his armies killed many people, sure, but warfare was important in creating the Mongol empire. Through his organized warfare, he unites everyone in every place he conquers regardless of their race and religion. Warfare and uniting the people were big steps that contributed to the foundation of the modern world and Genghis Khan made many laws. Genghis Khan is an extremely reformist leader. He made sure of everyone’s fundamental freedoms, everyone including women. He also advocated for human rights and education.

Genghis Khan and the other rulers of the Mongol empire practiced universalism. Since they didn’t have their own system to impose on their people, they were open to combine systems from the different places they have conquered. They looked and tried for what worked best for the empire. It is also notable that one of the best achievement of the Mongols was their great ability to blend with different local cultures thus giving the empire’s rule an exceptional degree of stability.

In the end, though, the empire was defeated by an unexpected enemy which was the plague. It spread like wildfire. Millions of people died. Eventually the empire started to fall and left divided into smaller kingdoms. Consequently, there came a growing anti-Asian attitude specially focused on the Mongols.

I enjoyed reading this book and hope to read more about Genghis Khan and the Mongol empire. Genghis Khan rocks!

Quotable Quotes:

“Genghis Khan recognized that warfare was not a sporting contest or a mere match between rivals; it was a total commitment of one people against another. Victory did not come to the one who played by the rules; it came to the one who made the rules and imposed them on his enemy.”

“Without the vision of a goal, a man cannot manage his own life, much less the lives of others.”

” …there is no good in anything until it is finished…”

Rating: 4/5 stars

WWW Wednesday 07-Apr-2021

Welcome to another WWW Wednesday hosted by Sam from Taking On A World of Words.

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As usual, just answer the three W questions:

  1. What did you recently finish reading?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

Recently Finished

Currently Reading

giovannisroom

Reading Next

How was your reading week? Any new favorites? Feel free to share! 🙂

Top 5 Tuesday – Books You Wish You Could Read for the First Time Again

Happy Tuesday, Homo sapiens! Welcome to another Top 5 Tuesday!

Top 5 Tuesday was originally hosted by Shanah at Bionic Bookworm and now found its home with Meeghan at Meeghan Reads.

Books You Wish You Could Read for the First Time Again

thekiterunner

I still remember the very first time I’ve read The Kite Runner, the tear-jerking moments, the eagerness to know what is going to happen next and Hassan! Oh, my dear Hassan! 

amancalledove

A Man Called Ove is a casual mix of tragedy and comedy. I loved the rawness of Ove’s character and the story altogether.

agameofthrones

A Game of Thrones is a book where I stopped liking the characters because if I do, they’d get killed next! Haha! I loved the book so much and the characters, too!

gonegirlGone Girl is just the perfect example of a deliciously twisted thriller!

norwegianwood

Norwegian Wood introduced me to Murakami who is now one of my favorite authors. This book also started my love affair with Japanese literature.

The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives by Lola Shoneyin

thesecretlivesofbabasegiswivesThe Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s wives, as the title implies, is the story of Baba Segi’s four wives. Baba Segi is a wealthy businessman from Nigeria. He strongly believes that the number of wives and children (sons most specially) a man has is the measure of real manhood. You’d laugh at how obsessed Baba Segi was in planting his seeds to his wives. Ha!

Baba Segi’s wives all live with shocking secrets. I will not spoil them for you, of course, but let me introduce the four wives. The first wife is Iya Segi. Being the first wife, she is the queen. She loves money and that makes her an accomplished businesswoman. The second wife is Iya Tope. She’s quiet and dismissive, she doesn’t mind Iya Segi calling the shots at home. She’s just happy taking care of her daughters. Iya Femi is the third wife and though I don’t like her, I find her character very interesting. She loves plotting revenge on people, she enjoys it and she’s happy when people are miserable. Then comes Bolanle, the fourth wife, the only educated wife of Baba Segi. The youngest and somehow Baba Segi’s favorite until it turns out that she’s barren. Baba Segi turned against her until the secrets started to come out. It wasn’t really surprising anymore if you’ve focused on the wives’ stories but I could imagine how each revelation was so shocking and painful for Baba Segi.

This book gives us a good view of life in Nigeria specially for women. Women who may be different from many of us and the life we’re living but they are also humans who have wishes and dreams, big and small. It’s saddening to read about the polygamous kind of marriage that exists there and the role of women as wives most specially their “obligation” to conceive a male heir. And if you can’t, you’re good for nothing.

The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives is a wonderful book. There’s a roller-coaster of emotions while I was reading it. It’s beautifully-written and the characters were well-drawn. Lola Shoneyin did a good job in engaging and captivating the readers.

Quotable Quotes:

“The choices we have to make in this world are hard are bitter. Sometimes we have no choices at all.”

“Men are nothing. They are fools. The penis between their legs is all they are useful for. And even then, if not that women needed their seed for children, it would be better to sit on a finger of green plantain. Listen to my words. Only a foolish woman leans heavily on a man’s promises.”

“A real woman must always do the things she wants to do, and in her own time too. You must never allow yourself to be rushed into doing things you’re not ready for.”

“Don’t think I can’t see the challenges ahead of me. People will say I am a secondhand woman. Men will hurt and ridicule me but I won’t let them hold me back. I will remain in the land of the living. I am back now and the world is spread before me like an egg cracked open.”

Rating: 4/5 stars

Quote of the Week

But who can say what’s best? That’s why you need to grab whatever chance you have of happiness where you find it, and not worry about other people too much. My experience tells me that we get no more than two or three such chances in a life time, and if we let them go, we regret it for the rest of our lives.

~Haruki Murakami

March 2021 Reading Wrap-Up

Hi there, Homo sapiens! I hope March had been a wonderful reading month for you! March had been a busy month at work for me, I feel kind of drained now but I’m still very happy that I’ve managed to read 8 books somehow. 🙂

Here are the books I’ve read for the month of March…

5-Stars

4-Stars

3-Stars

That’s my March wrap-up, moving on to April! Happy reading!