Reams of Reading

I was reading Andi’s blog over at Tripping toward Lucidity and she was talking about her habit of starting new books instead of getting up from a comfy spot to get the one she is reading. I have this habit too and I realised today that I have 7 books that I have started and not finished right now! It isn’t anything about the books! They are not boring, although if they were un-put-downable I wouldn’t be in this situation would I?

Well I have made up my mind as my summer class finished on Wednesday and I have until the 17th August off to get the books finished and move on!

So, this is what I am reading at the moment:

Not on Our Watch: The Mission to end Genocide in Darfur and Beyond
by Don Cheadle and John Prendergast

The one listed at the side and actually I just started this and it is fascinating and disturbing and passionate so I would recommend it. I had been meaning to read this for quite some time and I came across it in the college library a couple days a go. I’ll be finishing this one first.

Facing Mount Kenya
by Jomo Kenyatta

For those who don’t know Jomo Kenyatta led an extraordinary life. He was one of the foremost leaders of African nationalism. He was the grandson of a Kikuyu medicine man and studied Anthropology under Bronislav Malinowski at the London School of Economics in the 1930’s. On June 1, 1963, Kenyatta became the first Prime Minister of a self-governing Kenya and he presided over the unfurling of the new Kenya flag at midnight on December 12, 1963, at Uhuru Stadium, amid world leaders and multitudes of people. A new nation had been born and one year later on December 12, 1964, Kenya became a Republic within the Commonwealth, with Kenyatta, as the President.

Facing Mount Kenya is an anthropological work about the Kikuyu and tribal life in Africa described as “an invaluable key to the structure of African society and the nature of the African mind.” The book is quite dense but it is accessible, even though it was written in 1938, and it shows an intimacy and passion with the Kikuyu people. I picked this up in the library and I have been taking anthropology this semester so it is an excellent example of the concepts I have been studying.

Saving Fish from Drowning
by Amy Tan

I started this a loooong time ago and I just got sidetracked almost immediately to something else so I may as well start again from the beginning. I read the Joy Luck Club and decided to read another by her. She is a great storyteller. This one is about a ghost who watches her friends take a journey she had planned for them all (when she was alive) one that was supposed to take them along the Burma Road. I’m looking forward to thjis again now — I think it must be a mood thing.
Sleeping in Flame
A few years ago I read a few of Carroll’s querky and imaginative books but this was one I bought and just didn’t get round to. I recently picked it up and I am as taken with this as I was with White Apples and The Wooden Sea. Carroll writes strange but beautiful characters and his stories are fantastical but profound. If you have never read one of his books I recommend him wholeheartedly.
Black Dogs

There really is no excuse for having this one on the go with other books! It is not long.

None of his books, that I have read, are particularly long but they are always compelling. I think it may be that he has a penchant for the darker side of human nature so really it is a question of mood again. This one is apparently about “the intoxications of violence and the redemptive power of love,” The New Yorker. Maybe I’ll remember to review these when I’m finished.

The Gurkhas

Had this going a while now but it is suddenly more topical, I suppose, because the UK government finally got something right and allowed them to stay in Britain. If you know nothing about this story please look it up –it was the most astoundingly ridiculous fight that the government ever put up –to prevent the Gurkhas from remaining in Britain after they have served. The people won this one thankfully!
Anyway this book is a non-fiction published in 1999 about this legendary group of fearsome soldiers from Nepal who have loyally served the British monarchy since 1815.

and finally…

I Can Make You Thin by Paul McKenna: This one is full of things you should already know –it is not a diet– but it does attempt to re-program your thinking about food. Interesting and simple.

I suppose I’d better get off the computer and pick up a book! Get some of these finished.

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