Afenhyiapa! Happy New Year y’all.
It’s 9:30am in Accra. The lights have been on everyday since the December 2015 holidays and I’ve given up anticipating/calculating the return of Dumsor the Dread.
The Harmattan season is upon us here in West Africa. (For those unfamiliar with Harmattan, it’s a December-to-March season of coldish, dry and dusty winds that sweep down West Africa from the Sahara Desert) so
Suffering: Dry throat, smarting eyes, just aggravation and general misery. Three nights ago, I jumped up off my bed at 4am, awakened by an overwhelming smell of smoke, convinced that my house was on fire. As I reached for the door handle, my brain remembered that characteristic smoky scent of Harmattan. The house was not on fire. Just wicked Harmattan winds. I went back to sleep comforted but cursing my completely dried-out nostrils. Harmattan is one of those iconic, bizarre seasons — far better to talk about than to experience. Where are the rainmakers?
Reminiscing and grateful for: The holiday season, which I spent in bed, in my village. Oh, glorious sleep. Such a fitting way to end what was a stressful year. (I’m tempering my emotions here but 2015 was awful). I even took afternoon naps. In between sleeping, napping, reclining, I managed to finish Dilman Dila’s A Killing in the Sun.
Canceling: Any attempt to organize my 2015 reading into a coherent post. I did a poor job of tracking and reviewing the books that I read in 2015. Moving on….
Reflecting: On my 2016 Bookish and Reading Goals. I’ll keep them flexible and brief:
- Have fun reading.
- Shadow judge the Etisalat Prize for literature
- Read at least 50 books
- Reread some of my favorite books
Joining: reading challenges. I like reading challenges. The struggle to complete them is fun and I never beat myself up for not completing a challenge ☺. I’m doing the following 2016 Challenges:
- What’s In a Name? 2016. A title-themed system. I have to read one book for each of the following categories of titles: a country, an item of clothing, an item of furniture, a profession, a month of the year, and a title with the word ‘tree in it. Cool themes. Early days yet but I’m having trouble with the clothing and furniture titles.
- Deal Me In Short Stories and 100 Shots of Short. I read plenty short stories every year so my yearly 100 Shots of Shorts is no big deal. Deal Me In involves a deck of playing cards, four categories and 52 stories. Crazy fun. I’m yet to compile my categories and list of short stories and I’m already a week behind. Stories that I read for one won’t count for the other challenge. In other words, I’m doing a 152-short-stories challenge.
- The TBR Triple Dog Dare and #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks. I started populating my Goodreads to-read shelf with my unread books and the count is 90 and rising as fast as my hands can type. Too many good books go unread in my house, some for over two decades. For the Triple Dog Dare, during the first three months of 2016, I have to read books that are in my possession (as of December 31, 2015). I can make up my own rules for #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks. I’ll do that later. But there it is– I’m delving into my stacks this year.
Hosting: The African Reading Challenge again this year. Do sign up if you’ve resolved to read African literature this year.
(The featured image for this post is Difficult Choice by Jong-Hae Jeong)
I wish everyone a fantastic year filled with good books and good health.