Ten Books to Read Before the End of 2015
- Sixty Percent of a True Story by Osisiye Tafa
Education, mental illness, depression, politics, fraud, bribery, and corruption – these are only some of the themes that run through Osisiye Tafa’s Sixty Percent of a True Story.
Sixty Percent of a True Story tells the stories of three youths, Tafa, Korede and Chris. Tafa is a young man navigating the less than straightforward paths of further education at the University of Lagos. His anecdotes are a window to a foreign and exciting existence. Korede, on the other hand, is struggling with feelings and desires that he would rather not have. And Chris is the individual who exposes Tafa to some of the greyer aspects on a University existence.
Despite the weighty topics, Sixty Percent of a True Story is light, funny and memorable. It is a must read.
The young and ambitious, Tayo Dabi is a rising star at Regent Detective Agency, where she is a trainee detective. Yes, the protagonist of this tale is a Nigerian female detective! Tayo is driven by her passion to solve crimes and haunted by the death of her brother and so she immerses herself in the job, delivering results that belie her newbie status.
But when Tayo is assigned a new, high-profile case, her confidence is shaken. Lawrence Gbade, a popular, wealthy contractor is murdered in his home and as Tayo digs deeper, things become less certain. Was Gbade’s murder a robbery gone wrong, or something much more sinister?
Take some time out to read this gripping tale of betrayal, rage and the facades we put up to hide our true selves.
This is a tale of two young men from the notorious Lagos ghetto, Makoko, as they attempt to realize grand aspirations. Ambition, conscience, friendship and necessity result in continuous drama for the young men. The seemingly impossible challenges to the honour and integrity of the young protagonists, and their desperate but unrelenting reactions, combine to make an interesting story.
- Blackass by A. Igoni Barrett
White skin, green eyes, red hair…Furo Wariboko, wakes up on the morning of his job interview to discover he has turned into a White man! As he hits the city streets running, still reeling from his new-found condition, Furo finds the dead ends of his previous life are now open doors. As a White man in Nigeria, the world is seemingly his oyster – except for one thing: despite his radical transformation, Furo’s ass remains robustly black…Funny, fierce, inventive and daringly provocative, this is a very modern satire, with a sting in the tail.
Efe Paul Azino’s spoken word performances have received critical acclaim from listeners over the years; and so this book could not have come soon enough for his fans. For Broken Men Who Cross Often, is a refreshing and brilliant bond of the written and the oral, as it invents aesthetic devices to connect the two mediums – spoken word and written poetry. In this poetry collection, Efe Paul Azino explores the themes of advocacy, love, loss, identity and history and the need for a revisit the inner self.
Taramade Johnson seems to have it all. But she is stuck in a dead-end marriage, consumed by her desire for Adam Okoya, a male colleague, and burdened with a secret that could cause her to lose everything.
In addition, the tyrannical Damelda Johnson, Taramade’s mother-in-law, has lost her place as MD of the Johnsons’ Marine Compact Bank to a bureaucratic reformer, Banke Olumide. Damelda hatches a plan that will put control of the bank in her grip again. But there are others who want the bank just as much as Damelda does. And for some, it is a battle worth killing for.
- Foreign Gods Inc by Okey Ndibe
Foreign Gods, Inc., tells the story of Ike, a New York-based Nigerian cab driver, who sets out to steal the statue of an ancient war deity from his home village and sell it to a New York gallery.
Ike’s plan is fueled by desperation. He is unable to manage the emotional and material needs of his temperamental African American bride and his widowed mother. When he turns to gambling, his mounting losses compound his woes.
And so he travels back to Nigeria to steal the statue, where he is forced to confront old friends, family, and a mounting conflict between those in the village who worship the deity, and those who practice Christianity.
In the winter of 1953, Boy Novak arrives by chance in a small town in Massachusetts, in search of a new life. She marries a local widower and becomes stepmother to his winsome daughter, Snow Whitman.
But the birth of Boy’s daughter, Bird, brings to a halt the new found fairytale. Bird, who is dark-skinned, exposes the Whitmans as light-skinned African Americans, passing for White. Boy, Snow, and Bird are forced to confront physical bias and how much power surfaces hold.
- The Fisherman by Chigozie Obioma
The Fishermen is set in a small town in Nigeria in the mid-1990s. Four brothers, use their strict father’s absence from home to go fishing in a forbidden river. They encounter a dangerous madman, Abulu, whose mystic prophecy of violence threatens the very core of their close-knit family.
His prediction is that one of the brothers, a fisherman, will kill another. This evil prophecy of violence causes a deep rift between the brothers and starts to break the deep fraternal bonds, unleashing a tragic chain of events.
Told by the youngest of the brothers, shy nine-year-old Benjamin, The Fishermen combines classic African storytelling with contemporary fiction, and illuminates Nigeria in all its historical, political and cultural complexity.
- Butterfly Fish by Irenosen Okojie
The tale takes us on a journey with main character, Joy, who has to deal with the sudden death of her mother. As the protagonist unfolds the mystery behind an inherited brass warrior’s head from a king in 18th century Benin, and a beautiful familiar woman floating in her photographs, Okojie’s story unearths a complicated past filled with family secrets, political upheaval, love and hope.