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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


so how many did you do???


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”


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

Motherhood tales, Oprah and Vogue

I have been ill since Sunday morning courtesy of bad meat. I prepared pork roast for Saturday dinner and it seems the meat was bad (there was no iffy smell off it and it cooked through.. trust me, I like my meat well done). Come Sunday morning I get an attack of nausea which I put down to something else(and not it was not pregnancy).  By mid day I knew it was not what I thought but food poisoning. Boy have I been sick, stomach cramps.. running tummy of the kind I never want to see again, dizziness, fatigue… and all the while.. mommy duties still abound.  I went into work Monday and Tuesday and since they refused to let me go home early on Monday, when I was feeling really crap.. I refused to work overtime on Wednesday and Thursday.

Meanwhile I just have not been able to get into reading my school work. Yani today morning I was staring at a paragraph trying to make sense of it. Read the thing like 4 times before I finally gave up  and decided to accompany Big Al into town.  We rarely get moments when it is just the two of us in the light of day. Now and then we sneak in lunch dates but usually it is not relaxed coz baby needs to be picked at a certain time and he needs to get back to work. I am still reluctant to hire a sitter. I took a leaf out of my cousin’s book when she said of her three children “I never leave them alone with a maid until they are 3 years old because by then they can talk and tell me how their day has been. If I need to be anywhere, my mother will babysit my youngest” at the time of the conversation her youngest was 5 months and her first two were 6 and 3. She can afford to do that because she is a stay at home mum with a very rich husband and a house full of maids and shamba boys etc.

Last night I was reading some message board and the topic was about raising boys. The poster was ranting about the challenges of raising boys. It was very interesting and though the age group of the children in discussion was  older;  9 years and above, I could already see that I have my work cut out for me. Seems like boy children will push boundaries and keep pushing till they finally learn who is in charge. I am glad that my husband is a very present and active figure in my son’s life.  A lot of the women on that thread were single mums to boys and from it I gathered that disciplining and the transition from boy to young man can be rather tough without the presence of a positive male figure in the child’s life.

Big Al reminded me of how as a baby Nikh was just not cuddly at all. He did not like to be held close and cuddled.. boy has that changed. We have a ritual now. After dinner and bath, we all sit on our two seater sofa. Big Al at one end me at the other and Nikh cuddled up tightly against one of usually his father, with the blanket covering all of us. Now and then he looks up at us and giggle and cuddles even tighter into his father. Sometimes he asks for his crew which consists of Dodo the dog, Nino the bear, Bobo the monkey and Bobby the elephant (Big Al came up with those names). At approx 2.30am every night/morning he gets upfrom his crib and descends or rather I get him into our bed, I refuse to share the bed with the rest of the crew. Sometimes I let Nino come in cause he is small and doesn’t take up too much space.  When we get baby number two we are going to need and new couch. 3 seater preferably… just enough space to all of us to sit, cuddle and watch tv.

So I got to town and ended up in 7-Eleven. I have been going there since mid month to see if the  April issue of O magazine has arrived and yes it had. I picked up the copy happily looking at Mrs O. Been a long wait…then I saw a copy of Vogue and it had Beyonce on it.. and you know I had to get it. I like Bey. On the bus back home I started flipping through Vogue and came to the page which featured a Kenyan artisit called Wangechi Mutu. Pleasantly surprised. Nope I don’t know her… but hey she is in Vogue, Kenyan, hello.. just got me happy. I read the whole article and I have to quote her on this because it precisely mirrors my feelings. The strange part was that during the ride to town Big Al jokingly said “we should get all our money move to the US and buy some of those cheap houses”

We joked about it then I got serious and said that I would absolutely not like to raise my children in the US and here is why ala Ms Mutu

I’d rather think of my children as intercultrual than black or white and what that means…….I wasn’t raised with the isses that have been enforced and implied for black people here (USA), and I don’t necessarily want our kids to go through that. It’s one thing to come here at a certain age and learn it through books and through watching people and through having conversations; it’s another to learn it by absorbing it all the way from childhood

I don’t know if I have said it here on this blog but after reading a lot of African American and Afro Carribean literature (while in the UK) I came to the conclusion that the history and heritage of African Americans or Afro Carribeans is not mine hence I can empathise, understand and sympathise but I will not own it. I have my own.

PS: though I have not finished reading the Vogue or Oprah, I highly recommend picking up April’s copy of Vogue.  Theme of the month is Nip/Tuck: Designing the Perfect Body. This is the 3 issue of Vogue I have bought. The first one was many years back in England and it totally sucked the previous one to this was excellent and this one looks promising.

If you love Mrs O. Pick up April’s issue of O magazine. The Talbot ads are killing me. The dresses, the dresses. If you want to get an idea of danish fashion.. check out www. staff-woman.dk


The coconut cake is baking in the oven, tonight is take-out night, tomorrow’s Saturday, I am rested, relaxed and chilled… so what better way than to talk about my passion

Cakes and Magazines (plus novels and chips!… I can live on chips (as in french fries) year in year out!). Before we had our son I used to spend on magazines like crazy. Every kind you could think of, from the gossip weeklies to News Week. When we moved out of our first property in England, I was embarrassed by the amount of magazines I had to throw out.. must have weighed like a ton and that was just for that year. I then made the conscious effort to cut back on my purchases by being more discriminating. That I did.. though I still spent an obscene amount. Then we moved to Denmark.

Denmark meant one income, 25% VAT and bloody expensive magazines, especially the English ones. For x-mas ’06 hubby got me a year’s subscription to Oprah and I tried tried to cut back on buying magz. I was down to buying about 1 or 2 magz a month.  Then my danish got better and I was able to read more and more and slowly I have started buying them again. In a way I am OK with buy the Danish ones because I feel I get to learn more about Danish culture and all the stuff you can’t really get to know by asking someone. I have been sucked into the Royal family and tend to buy the tabloid that focuses on Royals around Europe. (me thinks Princess Mary of Denmark has the most X-factor of any current royal).

I have lost track as to why I started this post about magazines.

Anyway… I am now more discriminating about what I buy. I don’t buy Oprah anymore because it’s the same articles over and over.. though I am getting the one with Mrs O on the cover. (I love all things Mrs O, I even bought this months Vouge which had her on) Vogue is one mag I just never could get into. A lot of the magazines repeat stuff over and over. No there is no one true diet, no there is no secret to dressing this way or that way and no there is not hottest must have item because next month there is another and another and another you get the drift. Mostly I now buy for the feature articles or interviews.

Now I remember why I started this post. It was about fashion and mags. Was it last year I decided to be more stylish and pay closer attention to what I was wearing. I think it was. The result of that is that I have become more aware of the fashion pages in magazines. Especially the African mags. (Every time I travel which is not so often or when hubby is in UG or KE, I make sure he gets me all the African Woman Magazines and True Love East AFrica that he can lay his hands on). The fashion pages just drive me wild with glee and happiness. Just to see beautiful gorgeous AFrican women and to read issues from the AFrican woman’s perspective, the interviews… My True Loves never get thrown out.

As to whether I have implemented what I am learning about fashion is another story all together. Being stylish is hard work and high maintenance. To have your hair looking ish means work every morning and night (which I am not into and never have been into). Dressing stylish means spending a certain amount on clothes and clothes shopping and being aware of what matches what in your wardrobe (which is hard work because I buy what I like, I do not stop to think… “this will go with this.. if I buy this, what will I wear it with”). I am a jeans girl. Always have been. I could live in jeans year in year out. Right now I have so many.

A few weeks ago I was feeling, ugly, dowdy, unfeminine and plain FUGLY, so I convinced my hubby to use his pay pal account to buy me some jeans I had seen on www. pzijeans.com. I came about that site after deciding that it was not me who had the problem but the fashion industry. Their narrowmindedness totally ignores a whole market of women, hence I googled “jeans for curves” and hey presto. I even got SKINNY JEANS and I look hot. Hubby thinks I look hot! I got three pairs (not all skinny) at a very good price (even with the taxes added that I had to pay prior to collection the post office)

Talking of post office I must give a shout out to Kenya Post and Telecommunications.  Whenever mum and sis send me slow mail (usually pictures from all the family gatherings/events I am missing) I get them within 3 days. This has happened 3 times in a row and I am like… woha! If they send the stuff Monday… lastest Thursday I have it here.

With that note, I want to share this website with you. I am not sure who the target market is… but it is certainly not me. I discovered them they intially launched, read them for a while then sorta stopped then today I got an email and …. viola!. The current issue is so not me.. I am not feeling it at all.. hence the comment on target audience. Enjoy www.mimimagazine.com

The cake I baked is one of my best so far. I love to eat cake you have no idea!

PS. I started this post at about 4.30pm It is now 22.39pm.  This is how blogging works these days. I took an oath with myself that my son, my hubby, my school work, my home, my novels come first in that order then blogging. I am so pressed for time these days. I sat down and wrote out what I do every hour of the day and was shocked at how litterally every hour is used on something, so I need to cut back on stuff and that includes the gym until I finish school. That will free up a lot of time for me.

Last tip of the day. A quote from Mrs O.  (I have paraphrased it) She said  she works out is because if makes her feel good and it is important for her daughters that she feels good . Then only will they grow up feeling good about themselves. I so agree about that.

Talking of gyms, I reached my goal weight at the begning of this month (as earlier plegded) . I am so pleased.  I am about 300grm over the target weight. I am now aiming to loose another 2 kgs. My goal is to arrive there through smaller portions. (I say that with doubt given that I had chips/fries for lunch, take out for dinner, cake for dessert… what hope do I have 🙂

A mother’s heart

Just finished watching “Slumdog Millionaire”.

My emotions are still raw. The movie was very good. I enjoyed it. A tad too long but good. I recommend it.

The reason I am posting is because of the emotions evoked. Ever since I gave birth to my son almost 2 years ago, I can hardly watch anthing to do with children.  If there is a scene with a child or children suffering, I just start crying, big ugly sobs! I can’t even watch documentaries about kids. Every child I see could be my child and the idea of my child suffering just about kills me.

Sometime when being introspective or in a mood, I will think that if I had to die now, I would have to cut a deal with God. Something along the lines of  ” I will only die willingly when my son is old enough to fend for himsel”. The idea of him being motherless now without me or his father to care for him just about drives me insane.

Big Al and I have talked about who we would want to have as our son’s carer in event of our “a tad too soon” death. We are agreed on who we DO NOT WANT but cannot seem to agree on WHO should be. There is also the aspect of asking people’s permission if we can list them as potential carers. Beyond the set of grandparents… things get a little tricky…then again maybe not. My sis-in-law and her hubby are my son’s god parents and she has 3 children herself.. …. horrible topic.

My prayer is that I will grow to see my own grandchild and see my son live happily into his adulthood.

God bless all the children!

J.R Ward:Black Dagger Brotherhood-Review

My angst with reviewers of this particular series of books has prompted me to write my own review.

I now own 5 of the books. Number six is yet to be released in Europe and number seven is being written as we speak. Yes I intend to buy both, though I will wait till number 7 is out before I buy no. 6.

As I type I am realising that the critiques are actually right so my critique of thier critiques is falling apart because I am agreeing with them.

What do I honestly think of the books. Wrath’s, Zsadist’s and Butch’s stories are on the money. I am curious to read Phury’s though I am wondering how he will get over being inlove with his sis-in-law. I own Vishous’ and Rhage’s books but I am yet to read them.

Regarding the plausibilty of white, hetro, leatherwearing men listening to hardcore rap and refering to each other as my brother (that’s fiction for you) and I have no beef with that.

I agree that the female heroines should have been a tad more stronger in character…Butch’s wife just got on my nerves. I loved Bella though. She was alright.

All in all. A good series of books. Very very addictive. If you are going to buy them. Get the whole series at once.

Is JR Ward inducted into my hall of fame for writers. Not yet.  So far only Laura Kinsale has a place there. Why? She ties the story. As in there are no loose ends in her books.  Her hero and heroines are always different, never once do you feel you are reading the  about same character again and again ala Stephanie Laurens, Judith Mcnaught, and the other chick who is the absolute worst at it.  JR Ward has not yet quiet managed that. She tries but she is not yet there. ON the same hand she is not as bad as the ladies I have named.

My conclusion. Go out, get the books and loose yourself in some vampire fantasy, lesser killing, leather wearing dudes romance!