I entered into a reading challenge late last year.
Zaynab Wahab tagged me on a post made by Dasience. The post suggested a whole year reading challenge. I entered into it by sending my email to her, Dasience. I got an email back with the schedule. So this is what the schedule looks like:
This way, you get to read at least, 4 books a month or 5, ticking each box after reading a book that fits that category.
The categories for January are:
- A book staring with J, A or N (or an author)
- A classic book
- A book you’ve always wanted to read
- A religious book
- A science fiction
Unluckily for me, I didn’t start early. I was hooked during the first week of January into the second but I managed to squeeze up some time to read.
I ticked all of my categories but I didn’t finish the author whose name started with J (Jane Austen). I was reading her classic book, Pride and Prejudice. Almost done by the way.
I am going to give a breakdown of all the categories and the books I read for them.
- Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (J, A or N)
- Nicollo Machiavelli’s The Prince (Classic)
- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus (A book I’ve always wanted to read)
- Osman Nuri Topbas’ A peaceful Home ( Religious Book) and
- Orson Scott Card’s Ender‘s Game (Science Fiction)
Dasience wanted me to write about my experience. Well, it was challenging. I had less time to read 5 books. With school and work and so many other attachments. But I survived. I guess that’s why it’s a challenge. So I’m just going to write a few things about each. Someone said I wrote summaries and not reviews. So here are my summaries 😀
Nicollo Machiavelli’s The Prince was written in a critical statecraft manner. Machiavelli compared various approaches of rulers to maintaining their colonies and their manner of relinquishing power. He wrote the book while he was home-prisoned after being involved in the government of Florentine himself.
The book is brave and came off as shocking to the audience of its time. It was boldly written enough to tell rulers what they should do to be ruthless tyrants with enough examples to reason his opinion.
He taught the manner of acquiring absolute power from the knowledge of his own experiences and European statecraft history.
The book commanded without leaving room for lapses or excuses. Machiavelli was a teacher of real politics and he asserted so.
Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice has been reviewied by those worthy of it. The review of which I consider too daring on my end.
But, the book would seem mediocre (save for the complicated use of the 17th/18th century diction) to a modern reader until you learn that the book was written around the 17th/18th century at a time when women were expected to stay indoors, be modest, courteous, maintain the highest level of decorum and seek nothing but the attention of men.
The book mirrors an average English society where women lived to be in 3 stages:
- Girls belonging to their parents.
- Ladies seeking the attention of men who will hopefully change their families’ fortune.
- Finally as women living to satisfy their men, raise their kids and hoping to get their daughters married to men who can better their families’ fortune.
And not much more
In this book however, the state of affairs shows that in general circumstances, there are always exceptions. Elizabeth Bennet was the exception to the general obtainable. She was more than a lady to be owned and dance to the tune of society. She was a brain who didn’t live to thread clothes and hype men. She was an independent woman, daring and strong. The type who wasn’t made for that century. She was a modern thinker. Her relationship with Mr Darcy started off with disdain but got worse after Darcy convinced his friend to avoid Elizabeth’s sister. She often described him as ‘not agreeable’.
The main characters were on their own great personalities and very well developed by the author. It wasn’t only about love and society. It was much more than that.
It was a love story that cut across humour, pride, prejudice and love of wealth. It is a classic book that told the story exactly how it should be told.
The fact that Jane Austen didn’t receive credit for the book while she was alive because she was a woman shows how daring a work it is.
Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus circles the lives of a Nigerian family of 4 with an extremist Catholic as a father. The story reveolved around their lives as a rich family with zero pleasures except the kids were always seeking the acceptance of their father in everything even for mere facial expressions and preferential opinions.
Adichie didn’t fail to observe the tyranny of the military government in power and activism against them. She expoused a lot on the Catholic way of worship, a little about igbo culture and practice. She also targeted the power of blood(family ties), a little about love and growing up in a Nigerian society.
Their mother was an abused submissive wife who saw her marital life as a privilege. Constantly reminding herself and others that her husband could have chosen better or betterstill, chosen more than her. Her love for her children however changed it all.
The story was written in Kambili’s words. She was a deep character who was very shy and quiet and wanting of her father’s permission in everything. Her mind was loud, her thoughts were sharp. Her experiences she described so well that it deepened the effect of the emotions on the readers. She was pain masked with acceptance and reticence.
Jaja was however the one who saw the pain differently. He wanted to revolt. His experiences with his aunt’s family changed everything. He felt he didn’t do well for his family. He wanted to be man enough to protect his women (mother and sister) and he thought he did at the end.
Their father was a fanatic who mentally suppressed and physically abused his own family telling them all he did was for love. He thought too high of himself and his beliefs and never thought that his own death would be engineered by his wife and never mourned by his children. But rather, a new beginning for them devoid of pain but full of bitter memories.
This is the first part of this post. The second part to be written soon. I’m stuck with school books as exams are staring in two weeks or less. Meanwhile I just finished the first book of the February challenge.
So, see ya! Byeeeee!
\(-ㅂ-)/ ♥ ♥ ♥
♪ ♬ ヾ(´︶`♡)ﾉ ♬ ♪
PS: Two of the books were epubs and three were paperback. Only the three are contained in the picture.
THANKS FOR READING