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Book Rant one more time

I am irritated.

I have spent the best part of an hour and a half looking for books at amazon to no avail.

Last time I read a historical romance was yesterday and I realise that after my almost 2 year hiatus from historical romances I am missing nothing. By the way I usually get my recommendations for romance books at www.likesbooks.com  in the forum section.

While reading ” your top hundred books” at likesbooks.com I kept coming across “Pride and Prejudice” and have finally caved in and decided to buy the book.  My dislike for all things “old school british literature” stems from high school literature class. Lord I hated “Wuthering Heights”. The font alone was an instant turn off. Then the book was thick and the fact that I had to read it for my form 5 exam.. hated that one. “Great Expectations” was an ok story…but i had to read it like 5 times before I could relly get into it.

Those two books sealed it for me. So everytime I have heard of Pride and Prejudice.. my mind flashes back to those two afore mentioned books and I get the shivers of dread…. as in yuck!

But now I find myself willing to give a little and see what the hype is all about. It helps that it only cost £1.99.

That said.. here are is my list of books that I have THOROUGHLY enjoyed so far this year.

  1. The thing around your neck – Chimande Ngozi Adichie
  2. Purple Hibiscus -Chimande Ngozi Adichie
  3. Half the yellow Sun – Chimande Ngozi Adichie
  4. Say you are one of them – Uwem Akapan (I have not yet finished it because the second story devastated my heart.. I could not go on.. really. I take my stories that seriously. I was left in utter shock..)
  5. On Black Sisters Street – Chika Unigwe
  6. Rainwater – Sandra Brown (I cried like a baby…. achingly beautiful)
  7. Her Mother’s Hope – Francine Rivers
  8. Goodnight beautiful – dorothy koomson (this one annoyed me to no end..but recommend it if u like….i dont know how to describe it…kinda  books) ( a friend lent me 3 Komsoon novels and she is an ok author but not entierly my cup of tea)

in btw that i have read lots of romance of the vampire kind….that’s not true :-).   discovered ” Midnight breed” series while in Nairobi and have since read 7 of the 8 books in print.  the interesting thing is that i am now more capivated by the enemy’s story than i am the protagonist’s. Reading them especially the last three has been like enjoying a good sci-fi movie.

May I end by saying that sometimes I feel likeI am the only person I know in real life who likes the books I like and it can be a lonely place to be.. because I soooo want to discuss the books with someone.

You know like the first 5 books on the list.. someone has to have read at least 2 of them  comeon now…any takers….

Mishmash and Update

Update first: remember my allergic reaction. Happens when I took KK for her 5 week checkup at the doctor’s I mentioned my allergic reaction. Doc took a blood sample and a week later I got the results. I tested negative for any allergies. She went into a long explanation about how they check the blood for pollen allergy and if present that signals the possibility of allergies which would result in further, individualised tests. Since I tested negative means I am not allergic to anything.

She went on to say that no one can be allergic to alcohol so it has to do something with the other ingredients in the drinks.  The only common thing btw red, white wine and apple cider is the alcohol and the grapes for the wines.. so I am still drawing a blank and keeping away from it. I did sip at apple cider 2 days ago and boom.. throat started doing it’s thing.. so.. whatever. I was warned to keep some antihestimines on hand and keep note of  I have consumed every time I get the reaction.

Moving on….

Watched “Predetor” yesterday and the day before. (see as a mom to two kids under4, there is no way I have 2 full hours to myself.. so it took me 2 days to finish watching it) Loved loved it. Just my kind of movie.

Today I started “The Expendables”. There was a nice moment  when Rambo, Shwazeneggar (sp) and Bruce were together in one shot.. brings back memories. I was IN LOVE with Bruce Willis back  the day and it all started with “Moonlighting”.It used to come on at 9.00pm on Thursdays… eh you see I remember. I loved that man.. still do. Still watch everything he does even the boring stuff. Young true love dies hard.. . Still puts a smile on my face… Bruce does!

and……

The hardest part about mommyhood is the sleepless nights. I keep reminding myself that sleep deprivation is actually used as a form of torture so I should just chill out. That said.. lack of sleep totally sucks.

then….

today I have done nothing but actively rested. Did a 45min long walk with KK and took the bus back home. Feeling good cause I have cleared some of the little admin things I had outstanding. Cooked minced meat to go with pasta, carrots and broccoli. Got to keep the family healthy.

and that is all from Mremboville.

be blessed.

“On Black Sisters’ Street”

That’s the title of the book that I have just finished reading by Chika Unigwe. If you get the chance I highly recommend it. Here is a review of the book.

While I was in Nairobi I visited all the book stores I could remember. One had been closed but the rest were still there. Some kind folks here on this blog had recommeded a few books and so off I went armed with my list to purchase these books, only to find that what people call a novel is what I call a story. There was no way I was going to pay Ksh 500 for a book that was 20 pages long; case in point “On the highway to Dandora” or something like that. If I am to pay that amount of money the book as to be at least 280 pages strong.

“On Black Sisters’ Street” left me reeling. The whole african prostitute in Europe fascinates and intrigues me. I shared my experience of it here. As the years went by and I moved from that town to another, I have not interacted with theladies. Now and then I do bump into the owner of the saloon, which she since shut down because it was not profitable but I did find out she has a brothel in the town where I work. Looking at her, you would never believe it. Last time I saw her she was looking much better than the previous time I had seen her. Then she had taken to the bottle, was running the saloon and holding down her job and the brothel. When I last met her it was on the bus and she looked much better. She had married some old old muzungu who was taking care of her. She still had her job _(was actually on her way to work). After reading this book, I wonder about her brothel and the girls she has and…… yeah I wonder

I have been reading interviews of Chika Unigwe about this book and the research involved. I find myself agreeing with her when she says one of the lessons she took away while researching the book was the whole judging of people. Until one really knows what it is like to walk in another’s shoes and the why’s of one’s decisions, we cannot really judge or hold one in contempt. It is humbling to realise that none of us  chooses the circumstances we are born into. Sometimes those circmstances force us to make choices that those born into better have the luxury of saying “I would never do that, no matter what”…

I am rumbling.. to quote Madiba “poverty strips a man of his dignity”

In ending, I  would just like to say that it would be nice to get some more “happy ever after” endings from African authors. Over the holidays I read Chimamande Ngozi’s “Purple Hibiscus”, “Half the Yellow Sun” and now “On Black Sister’s Street” then the other book by another Nigerian novelist…eish please.. some more happy endings please.. that is how I like my stories.

Say you are one of them

This is what I am currently reading. I have just finished reading the second story and I just had to go and see the web cast Uwem had done with Oprah.

If you want something to read.. pick this book up. It is really good, and I am only on story 2. It is a compilation of small stories.

If you want to watch the webcast  here it is..

http://www.oprah.com/oprahsbookclub/Watch-Oprahs-Book-Club-Say-Youre-One-of-Them-Webcast-Video

PS : by now you should know I am obsessive like that. I stalk authors when a book touches me. I need to know everything about the author and how they wrote the story… and the webcast filled that place for me about this book

Shuga

I was not in the know, now I am.

Below is a Kenyan anti-AIDS drama that is really good. I enjoyed. It’s in 3 parts each about 25 mins long. I tried to link it like those Youtube thingys but it jammed.  So follow the link.

http://vimeo.com/7775923

Encouragment

Was surfing and thought to share this with you guys.

You know how much I love to read, well one of my ABSOLUTE FAVOURITE authors is Francine Rivers. She writes fiction with a christian theme. I believe she refers to her self as a christian fiction author. I have read all her works except for 2 sets of books which I am planning on getting soon.

If you like to read and want to read really really good fiction with a christian theme and that does not stray from biblical accuracy or make you go hmmm (I may be a kafiri (heathen) of sorts but I do know my bible) I highly recommend her.

Strangely enough I discovered her way back in the day and all her books that I own I have always bought in Nairobi from one christian book shop or another.

So if you are interested do check out www.francinerivers.com and her books are available in Nairobi.. that I know for sure.

What I like is that she tackles true life issues without glossing over them in that annoying “christian” way or over simplifying as if everything is black or white.

And they are very very encouraging in for the spirit

I was not paid to promote her.

PS. once you read do give me your feed back

Another christian writer I like, who I classify as sci-fi writer is  Frank Peretti… as to how biblical accurate his books are.. well… eh.. me I enjoyed the books and took them for what they are fiction with a christian theme.  I really like his books. Have read everything he has written except for the last one which sounded a little too ..”out there” for me

I stopped reading that ridculous series of End of days or something like that.. cannot even remember the name of the author.. wrong wrong wrong.

PS. all these authors I discovered in my early 20’s.. was over at Francine’s website to see if she had anything new and yippe she has a book coming out March 2010..so there is something for me to look forward to.

Just finished

I just finished reading The Memory Keeper’s Daughter  by Kim Edwards.  I picked it up at our local library in the new town we have moved to. I was starved for some English books, cause i have not read anything new in like 3 weeks and I was going through withdrawal symptoms. The English section of the library is pitiful, but I found this gem.

I found the language a tad verbose , too flowery and  overly descriptive. Some sentences were unnecessarily long but the story did grab me from the very begining and I just had to finish it. Unlike some books, I did not read it word for word and found myself scheming through some pages.

What touched me about this book is the author skill at depicting how distance between two people grows and how human beings can sometimes fail to “see” one another especially  in supposedly “intimate” relationships. How in our misguided love for others we can do one thing or things that create even more distance and kill a relationship. How we can do something so wrong and yet at the core of us not be evil in anyway. How the truth, no matter how hard it is, is always the best way forward, always.

Now I gotta go cook and shake off the feeling of this book. It was a tad heavy, emotionally that is.

Have a truthful day. Resolve in yourself today to always tell the truth. Trust me, it is hard hard hard, but by God, the saying is true, it does set you free. Remember every decision you ever make has a consequence , so why not start out with the truth, no matter how ugly it is.

Snapps all around.

East African authors

I need recommendations for some East African authors.

If you are a regular reader of this blog you know I love love romance novels and in particular American romance stuff. I devour the stuff with no shame . I also read a lot of general fiction of which I am just getting back into. Few weeks ago I decided to look through the English books section at the central library and was  pleasantly surprised to find a reasonable collection.

Anyway, reason I want some recommendations is because I am in the process of creating a wish list for myself at Amazon and would like to add some more African fiction to my collection.

here’s what you should keep in mind prior to recommending. I do not do, colonial or post colonial stories.. ala Ngugi wa Thiongo. I just don’t. I have no interest at all in that time period. I am more interested in current stuff, more like the short stories in the Kwani series.. but novel of lenght .

About a year ago, Midnighttraintojoburg (hey girl!!) recommended authors one whom I throughly enjoyed, Buchi Ementeta and the South African girl.. (her book in on my wish list)

So go ahead a hit me with some recommendations.

Here’s a list of what I have read in the past three weeks

“An interuption of Everything” – Terry Mcmillan (America general fiction)

“The Devil and Miss Prym” – Paulo Cuehlo (Brazilian general fiction). Got him at the library and they have a number of them so going to knock my self out. Also saw  “The No. 1 Detective” series books by that British author. I have only read one of them, intend to read all of them ever since I heard that the series with Jill Scott in the lead has been a big hit.

Dark Dagger Brotherhood series (5 of them) – JR Ward (America paranormal romance fiction) This is a re-read. Read all the books last year.

“Mercury’s War” – Lora Leigh (American paranormal romance fiction)

A book by Nora Roberts.. actually it was like 3 of them..(instantly forgettable) but entertaining romance

Prior to that I was into self help stuff where I read or tried to read “The Road less travelled” by M. Scott Peck.  While on that wave I also read and finished “They Fuck you up” by James Oliver and “Family First” by Dr. Phil…… eh..   you can tell I was going through some things.  James Oliver’s book was very interesting and had some interesting points.

Don’t know about you guys but I have a hard time reading British prose and that’s not to say I never read British authors. I will but only if I can get it free or really cheap. 

 

Oh and for all you “House” fans, wasn’t the opening of  season 6 or is it 5 just fantabulous.

This post is inspired by the BBC list of great hundred books of which they say most people have only read 6 at most. I had done 20. I know someone who has done like 40 . I think the list was crap. Who likes Charles Dickens etc. I only read those classics because I did literature until Uni and only for my first year at Uni there after I dropped it like hot potatoe cause I just did not click how the lecturer was deciphering plots and stuff. I would be like “where the hell did you get that from… I didn’t get that vibe at all”

Here’s the BBC list

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/3035807.stm

so how many did you do???

Saturday

My saturday has been lazy, cozy and wonderful. Hope yours was the same. Nothing beats an unstressful Saturday where I get to be lazy do things at my own /family pace and still manage to get some house work done.

I did two batches of laundry, went window shopping with Big Al and Nikh for paint and detoured by “Clearance” furniture sale place where I saw a chair that I WANT. Big Al was getting overwhelmed cause I was like, “we should get that one, that one and that one”. In the end he was like  “shut it….. we are not getting anything till we move in. Me I was like “I am getting my chair”.

We got some good news yesterday. We were supposed to get the keys to the new house at the end of the month, however the couple has since moved out and are willing to hand over the keys early next week.  It is absolutely fantastic cause we will have enough time to paint the house…. hence the window shopping for the house and move in slowly while making the deadline for leaving our current apartment. Did I tell you all I viewed the house only once and signed on the dotted line. By the time we found our house, we had  been to so many viewings, Big Al and I were both getting fed up, then there was the fact that we were shopping for a house of a certain size within a certain price range which just made it next to impossible to find something we both felt..”wow” about. So by the time we walked into this house I said to him ..”this is it babes. This is our house”

But I detract from the point of this post, its about my saturday. So yeah that was about all I have done today. It is now 22:10. Big Al has just taken Nikh to put him to bed. Yes it is late but on Saturdays he does this 3.5hr nap in the afternoon, meaning there is no way he is going to bed at his usual time.

After this post I am going to fold a whole load of laudry to put away tomorrow morning cause I want to get up, go running, get back and go grocery shopping before midday and laze the rest of the day away.

Finally I am getting to why I am blogging.

Just finished watching “District 9”. LOVED IT! I don’t think I have told you this but I am a sci-fi chick. All movies sci-fi action adventure I am there.  How many times have I watched “Alien and Aliens and Alien the resurrection”. Some of what I consider the all time best are

  •  Predator (The original)
  • Alien and Aliens
  • The Matrix 1 and Matrix 3 (didn’t feel 2 at all)
  • Alien vs Predator (some folks thought it sucked.. I w as entertained)
  • District 9

I will admit to not having watched any of the “Star Wars” flicks and therefore do not qualify as a die hard sci-fi fan.. (who said)

Anyway i also watched “Next Day Air”. It has been so long since I laughed like that. Big Al and I both loved it to death.

Whenever I watch movies I usually go to www.imdb.com to check out reviews and comments and was disappointed that “Next Day Air” got a 6.7/10 which I felt was unfair. But Big Al explained it thus. He said that “if you do not know/understand black american culture, then you will not understand some of the jokes, so probably that’s why the low rating”. I think he was on to something.

So that’s it from me. Wanna watch something, check out “Next Day Air” and “District 9”

goodnight.

Time and Dreams

Just finished watching a movie and a lot of the lines in the movie had something to do with life and how one approaches it.  So sitting there watching it, my mind just went off tangent and I had a period of clarity in which I saw and see my life and realise;

  • I have never watched a sunset or sunrise and I think that’s sad.

 

  • I haven’t really been living life. I have been afraid of so many things. Afraid to just live and ride the wave that is my life. All my life I  have  had a plan B C and D and it is exhausting. So in my process of letting go of all my baggage and stuff, I am letting go of this paralysing fear that has been with me for some time. It has decreased in it’s intensity over the last year and more so over the last few months, but there remains some lingering touches and I am letting it all go. So hell with it all. Watch me fly.

 

  • I have been afraid of failure and have never exactly had a measure of what that failure is. In the process of defining what failure is to me I realise it has all been hog wash. So what if I have this education and pedigree and end up living in my mother’s village tending to my chickens, 3 goats and a cow. (that is how I picture my retirement). So what if I never have the best clothes that cost xyz. So what?? As long as I have my husband, my child grows up to be an upstanding moral, honorable man who is happy in life, I will be fine.

 

  • All the things I have thought were crazy to do like learning to ride those speed crazy yamaha motobikes, taking dance lessons, perfecting my swimming, being a bodyguard… they aren’t all crazy and I am going to try them all.

 

  • The best of all is that I can finally embrace my beast. We all have a beast and I guess part of life is learning to embrace her/him. Sometimes the beast wins and we become evil, horrible people. It’s a balancing act and I am learning it’s alright to embrace her, know her, learn her, then control her but once in a while she needs to be unleashed. The ying and yang that makes us human.

 

  • To finish it all, I am alright as I am. I am totally perfect in my imperfection! Go figure