Favourite Reads

Tomorrow Died Yesterday: A Novel by Chimeka Garrickstomorrow died yesterday

Published: In 2010 by Paperworth Books

Pages: 415

Genre: Fiction

Purchase on http://www.amazon.com; http://www.booksmartsonlinestore.com

Publisher’s Blurb: It’s 2004 Port Harcourt, Nigeria at the height of the kidnap of oil workers in the Niger delta, a kidnapping goes awry and four lives are reconnected. Douye aka Doughboy the career militant responsible for the crime. Amaibi the gentle university professor / eco-warrior accused. Kaniye the lawyer turned restaurateur who tries to get him off and Tubo an amoral oil company executive. Against a backdrop of corrupt practises, failed systems and injustice, these four friends tell the story of oil in a region and its effects on local communities and the Nigerian larger society.
The Author: Chimeka Garricks is a Nigerian and Irish writer who was raised in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. ‘Tomorrow Died Yesterday’ published by Paperworth Books is his first novel. His short stories have also been published by http://www.juked.com (‘I Put a Spell on You’), http://www.altarwork.com (“Tears in Heaven”) and http://www.kalaharireview.com (“Music”). His novel “Tomorrow Died Yesterday” is available on amazon.com and booksmartsonlinestore.com. He lives with his wife and three children in Lagos, Nigeria. You can follow him on Twitter @MrGarricks

 

Diaries of a Dead African by Chuma Nwokolo

Published: 2003 by Villagehousediaries of a dead african

Pages: 193

Genre: Fiction (African Literature)

Purchase on http://www.amazon.co.uk ; Book-Smarts School Supplies & Bookshop, Port Harcourt

Publisher’s Blurb: Diaries of a Dead African is a merciless comedy that explores the life-threatening situations of three protagonists, the farmer Meme Jumai and his two sons – Abel (failed writer) and Calamatus (aspiring conman). Meme’s wife has left him with the bulk of his barn. He has a few tubers to last until harvest. Can he stretch it? Will his friends and relatives help out? Calamatus’ break has finally come after an apprenticeship to a con-artist. Can he survive wealth as readily as he did, poverty? Finally Abel’s manuscripts are attracting attention, but not, as he discovers, for their literary value… his fondest dreams were on the verge of realisation, yet his father had died at 50 and his brother at 25. How to outlive them both, without fleeing the very opportunities he had craved all his life…

The Author:Chuma Nwokolo was born in Jos, Nigeria in 1963. He graduated from the University of Nigeria Nsukka in 1983 and was called to the bar in 1984. He was a managing partner of the C&G Chambers in Lagos and  writer-in-residence at The Ashmolean Museum in Oxford.  He  founded the literary magazine African Writing with an old friend, Afam Akeh. His first novels, The Extortionist (1983) and Dangerous Inheritance (1988), were published by Macmillan in the Pacesetter Novels. His stories have found foster homes in the London Review of BooksLa Internazionale, AGNIMTLSArzenal, and Sentinel, among places. Other books written by the author include, African Tales at Jailpoint (1999), One More Tale for the Road (2003), and Diaries of a Dead African (2003). In his words, his more honest anthologies consist of The Ghost of Sani Abacha (2012) and How to Spell Naija in 100 Short Stories Volumes 1 (2013), and 2 (2016).

 

 

The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory

Published: 2003 by Touchstoneoher boleyn girl

Pages: 661

Genre: Historical Fiction

Purchase on http://www.amazon.com

Publisher’s Blurb: Two sisters competing for the greatest prize: The love of a king! When Mary Boleyn comes to court as an innocent girl of fourteen, she catches the eye of Henry VIII. Dazzled, Mary falls in love with both her golden prince and her growing role as unofficial queen. However, she soon realises just how much she is a pawn in her family’s ambitious plots as the king’s interest begins to wane and she is forced to step aside for her best friend and rival: her sister, Anne. Then Mary knows that she must defy her family and her king and take fate into her own hands.

A rich and compelling novel of love, sex, ambition, and intrigue, The Other Boleyn Girl introduces a woman of extraordinary determination and desire who lived at the heart of the most exciting and glamourous court in Europe and survived by following her heart.

The Author: Philippa Gregory was an established historian and writer when she discovered her interest in the Tudor period and wrote the novel The Other Boleyn Girl, which was made into a TV drama and a major film. Published in 2009, the bestselling The White Queen, the story of Elizabeth Woodville, ushered in a new series involving The Cousins’ War (now known as The War of the Roses) and a new era for the acclaimed author.Gregory lives with her family on a small farm in Yorkshire, where she keeps horses, hens and ducks. Visitors to her site, www.PhilippaGregory.com become addicted to the updates of historical research, as well as the progress of her ducklings.

 

The Queen’s Fool by Philippa Gregory

Published: In 2004 by Harper Collinsthe queen's fool

Pages: 490

Genre: Historical Fiction

Purchase on http://www.amazon.com

Publisher’s Blurb: A young woman caught in the rivalry between Queen Mary and her half sister, Elizabeth, must find her true destiny amid treason, poisonous rivalries, loss of faith, and unrequited love. It is winter, 1553. Pursued by the Inquisition, Hannah Green, a fourteen-year-old Jewish girl, is forced to flee Spain with her father. But Hannah is no ordinary refugee. Her gift of “Sight,” the ability to foresee the future, is priceless in the troubled times of the Tudor court. Hannah is adopted by the glamorous Robert Dudley, the charismatic son of King Edward’s protector, who brings her to court as a “holy fool” for Queen Mary and, ultimately, Queen Elizabeth. Hired as a fool but working as a spy; promised in wedlock but in love with her master; endangered by the laws against heresy, treason, and witchcraft, Hannah must choose between the safe life of a commoner and the dangerous intrigues of the royal family that are inextricably bound up in her own yearnings and desires. Teeming with vibrant period detail and peopled by characters seamlessly woven into the sweeping tapestry of history, The Queen’s Fool is another rich and emotionally resonant gem from this wonderful storyteller.

The Author: Same as ‘The Othe Boleyn Girl’.

 

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers

Published: 2005 by Multnomah (First published in 1991)redeeming love

Pages: 464

Genre: Historical fiction

Purchase on http://www.amazon.com

Publisher’s Blurb: California’s gold country, 1850. A time when men sold their souls for a bag of gold and women sold their bodies for a place to sleep. Angel expects nothing from men but betrayal. Sold into prostitution as a child she survives by keeping her hatred alive. And what she hates most are the men who use her, leaving her empty and dead inside. Then she meets Michael Hosea. A man who seeks his Father’s heart in everything, Michael obeys God’s call to marry Angel and to love her unconditionally. Slowly, day by day, he defies Angel’s every bitter expectation, until despite her resistance, her frozen heart begins to thaw. But with her unexpected softening come overwhelming feelings of unworthiness and fear. And so Angel runs. Back to the darkness, away from her husband’s pursuing love, terrified of the truth she no longer can deny: Her final healing must come from the One who loves her even more than Michael does … the One who will never let her go

The Author: New York Times bestselling author Francine Rivers continues to win both industry acclaim and reader loyalty around the globe. Her numerous bestsellers include Redeeming Love, A Voice in the Wind, and Bridge to Haven, and her work has been translated into more than thirty different languages. She is a member of Romance Writers of America’s coveted Hall of Fame as well as a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW).

 

 

Born on a Tuesday by Elnathan John

Published: 2016 by Cassava Republic Pressborn on a tuesday

Pages: 371

Genre: Fiction

Purchase on http://www.amazon.com

Publisher’s Blurb: Dantala lives in Bayan Layi, Nigeria and studies in a Sufi Quranic school. By chance he meets gang leader Banda, a nominal Muslim. Dantala is thrust into a world with fluid rules and casual violence. In the aftermath of presidential elections he runs away and ends up living in a Salafi mosque. Slowly and through the hurdles of adolescence, he embraces Salafism as preached by his new benefactor, Sheikh Jamal. Dantala falls in love with Sheikh’s daughter, Aisha, and tries to court her within the acceptable limits of a conservative setting. All the while, Sheikh struggles to deal with growing jihadist extremism within his own ranks. This novel explores life, love, friendship, loss and the effects of extremist politics and religion on everyday life in Northern Nigeria.

The Author: Elnathan is a writer and lawyer living in spaces between in Nigeria and Germany. Mostly. His works have appeared in Hazlitt, Per Contra, Le Monde Diplomatique, FT and the Caine Prize for African Writing anthology 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. He writes weekly political satire for the Nigerian newspaper Daily Trust on Sunday (and any other publication that PAYS him). Except you are The New Yorker, he considers it violence of unimaginable proportions to ask him to write for free. He has never won anything. This record was almost disrupted by the Caine Prize when they accidentally allowed his story on the shortlist in 2013 and again in 2015. Of course, both times, he did not win. He has been shortlisted and longlisted for a few other prizes, but he is content with his position as a serial finalist. It is kind of like being a best man at a wedding – you get to attend the ceremony but you can get drunk, sneak off and hook up without anyone noticing because after all, you are not the groom. In 2008, after being lied to by friends and admirers about the quality of his work, he hastily self-published an embarrassing collection of short stories which has thankfully gone out of print. He hopes to never repeat that foolish mistake.

 

The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier

Published: 2004 by Penguine Bookslady and unicorn

Pages: 250

Genre: Historical Fiction

Purchase on http://www.amazon.com

Publisher’s Blurb: A tour de force of history and imagination, The Lady and the Unicorn is Tracy Chevalier’s answer to the mystery behind one of the art world’s great masterpieces—a set of bewitching medieval tapestries that hangs today in the Cluny Museum in Paris. They appear to portray the seduction of a unicorn, but the story behind their making is unknown—until now. Paris, 1490.  A shrewd French nobleman commissions six lavish tapestries celebrating his rising status at Court. He hires the charismatic, arrogant, sublimely talented Nicolas des Innocents to design them. Nicolas creates havoc among the women in the house—mother and daughter, servant, and lady-in-waiting—before taking his designs north to the Brussels workshop where the tapestries are to be woven. There, master weaver Georges de la Chapelle risks everything he has to finish the tapestries—his finest, most intricate work—on time for his exacting French client. The results change all their lives—lives that have been captured in the tapestries, for those who know where to look. In The Lady and the Unicorn, Tracy Chevalier weaves fact and fiction into a beautiful, timeless, and intriguing literary tapestry—an extraordinary story exquisitely told.

The Author: Born19 October 1962 in Washington, DC. Youngest of 3 children. Father was a photographer for The Washington Post.
Childhood: Nerdy. Spent a lot of time lying on my bed reading. Favorite authors back then: Laura Ingalls Wilder, Madeleine L’Engle, Zilpha Keatley Snyder, Joan Aiken, Susan Cooper, Lloyd Alexander. Book I would have taken to a desert island: Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery.
Education:BA in English, Oberlin College, Ohio, 1984. No one was surprised that I went there; I was made for such a progressive, liberal place. MA in creative writing, University of East Anglia, Norwich, England, 1994. There’s a lot of debate about whether or not you can be taught to write. Why doesn’t anyone ask that of professional singers, painters, dancers? That year forced me to write all the time and take it seriously.
Geography: Moved to London after graduating from Oberlin in 1984. I had studied for a semester in London and thought it was a great place, so came over for fun, expecting to go back to the US after 6 months to get serious. I’m still in London, and still not entirely serious. Even have dual citizenship – though I keep the American accent intact.
Family: 1 English husband + 1 English son + 1 tortoiseshell cat.
Career: Before writing, was a reference book editor, working on encyclopedias about writers. (Yup, still nerdy.) Learned how to research and how to make sentences better. Eventually I wanted to fix my own sentences rather than others’, so I quit and did the MA.
Writing: Talked a lot about becoming a writer as a kid, but actual pen to paper contact was minimal. Started writing short stories in my 20s, then began first novel, The Virgin Blue, during the MA year. With Girl With a Pearl Earring (written in 1998), I became a full-time writer, and have since juggled it with motherhood.

 

Inconceivable by Ben Elton

Published: 2000 by Corgiinconceivable

Pages: 368

Genre: Fiction (Humor)

Purchase on http://www.amazon.com

Publisher’s Blurb: Lucy desperately wants a baby. Sam is determined to write a hit movie. The problem is that both their efforts seem to be unfruitful. And given that the average IVF cycle has about a one in five chance of going into full production, Lucy’s chances of getting what she wants are considerably better than Sam’s. What Sam and Lucy are about to go through is absolutely inconceivable. The question is, can their love survive? Inconcievable confirms Ben Elton as one of Britain’s most significant, entertaining and provocative writers.

The Author: Ben Elton was born on 3 May 1959, in Catford, South London. The youngest of four, he went to Godalming Grammar school, joined amateur dramatic societies and wrote his first play at 15. He wanted to be a stagehand at the local theatre, but instead did A-Level Theatre Studies and studied drama at Manchester University in 1977.
His career as both performer and writer encompasses some of the most memorable and incisive comedy of the past twenty years. His ground breaking work as a TV stand-up comedian set the (high) standard of what was to follow. He has received accolades for his hit TV sit-coms, The Young Ones, Blackadder and The Thin Blue Line. More recently he has had successes with three hit West End musicals, including the global phenomenon We Will Rock You. He has written three plays for the London stage, including the multi-award-winning Popcorn. Ben’s international bestselling novels include Stark, Inconceivable, Dead Famous and High Society. He won the Crime Writers’ Association Gold Dagger Award for the novel Popcorn.Elton lives in Perth with his Aussie wife Sophie and three children.

 

I Do Not Come To You By chance by Adaobi Trisia Nwaubani

Published: 2009 by Hachette books

Pages: 4028175576[1]

Genre: Fiction (Humor)

Purchase on http://www.amazon.com

Publisher’s Blurb: A deeply moving debut novel set amid the perilous world of Nigerian email scams, I Do Not Come to You by Chance tells the story of one young man and the family who loves him. Being the opara of the family, Kingsley Ibe is entitled to certain privileges–a piece of meat in his egusi soup, a party to celebrate his graduation from university. As first son, he has responsibilities, too. But times are bad in Nigeria, and life is hard. Unable to find work, Kingsley cannot take on the duty of training his younger siblings, nor can he provide his parents with financial peace in their retirement. And then there is Ola. Dear, sweet Ola, the sugar in Kingsley’s tea. It does not seem to matter that he loves her deeply; he cannot afford her bride price. It hasn’t always been like this. For much of his young life, Kingsley believed that education was everything, that through wisdom, all things were possible. Now he worries that without a “long-leg”–someone who knows someone who can help him–his degrees will do nothing but adorn the walls of his parents’ low-rent house. And when a tragedy befalls his family, Kingsley learns the hardest lesson of all: education may be the language of success in Nigeria, but it’s money that does the talking. Unconditional family support may be the way in Nigeria, but when Kingsley turns to his Uncle Boniface for help, he learns that charity may come with strings attached. Boniface–aka Cash Daddy–is an exuberant character who suffers from elephantiasis of the pocket. He’s also rumored to run a successful empire of email scams. But he can help. With Cash Daddy’s intervention, Kingsley and his family can be as safe as a tortoise in its shell. It’s up to Kingsley now to reconcile his passion for knowledge with his hunger for money, and to fully assume his role of first son. But can he do it without being drawn into this outlandish mileu?

The Author: Adaobi Tricia Obinne Nwaubani (born in 1976) is a Nigerian novelist, humorist, essayist and journalist. Her debut novel, I Do Not Come to you by Chance, won the 2010 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book (Africa), a Betty Trask First Book award,and was named by the Washington Post as one of the Best Books of 2009. Nwaubani is the first contemporary African writer on the global stage to have got an international book deal while still living in her home country.

 

 

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