Hosted by MizB at Should be reading, this meme asks you what great books did you hear about/discover this past week?
I missed doing this last week, during my understandably busy week and brief hiatus from blogging, but unsurprisingly I wouldn't have had anything to share either considering that I hadn't looked at any new books during that week either. So here are some books I discovered this week.
The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives by Lola Shoneyin
After recently reading a book on polygamy (Hidden Wives), I have become reasonably interested in this theme - a morbid fascination with the lives of the people involved in polygamy and a wondering feeling about how they can ever feel "normal" in such a relation. During my blog-hop recently, I saw this one reviewed at Color Online.
Set in modern-day Nigeria, The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives is about a polygamous husband and his four very different wives. For Baba Segi, his collection of wives and gaggle of children are a symbol of prosperity, success, and a validation of his manhood.
All is well in this patriarchal home until Baba arrives with wife number four: a quiet, college-educated, young woman named Bolanle. Jealous and resentful of this interloper who is stealing their husband’s attention, Baba Segi’s three wives begin to plan her downfall. How dare she offer to teach them to read, they whisper. They vow to teach her a lesson instead. What they don’t know is that Bolanle hides a terrible secret: a secret that unwittingly exposes the deception and lies upon Baba Segi’s household rests.
The Book of Awesome by Neil Pasricha
I came across this book once long back and thought the title cool enough without even reading the synopsis. This week, I read Kathy's review over at Bermudaonion's Weblog, and that's when I even learnt what the book is about. How cool it would be to document the best things in life as an ongoing project? I love it when books give me ideas!
Based on the award-winning 10-million-plus-hit blog 1000awesomethings.com, The Book of Awesome is a big celebration of life's little moments. Sometimes it's easy to forget the things that make us smile. With a 24/7 news cycle reporting that the polar ice caps are melting, hurricanes are swirling in the seas, wars are heating up around the world, and the job market is in a deep freeze, it's tempting to feel that the world is falling apart. But awesome things are all around us-sometimes we just need someone to point them out. The Book of Awesome reminds us that the best things in life are free.
Kraken by China Miéville
I first saw this one a couple of weeks back, but forgot to add it. I was luckily reminded about it by Nancy when she reviewed it at her blog. Her review made the book more interesting and compelling for me than I remembered the first time I came across it.
In the Darwin Centre at London’s Natural History Museum, Billy Harrow, a cephalopod specialist, is conducting a tour whose climax is meant to be the Centre’s prize specimen of a rare Architeuthis dux—better known as the Giant Squid. But Billy’s tour takes an unexpected turn when the squid suddenly and impossibly vanishes into thin air. As Billy soon discovers, this is the precipitating act in a struggle to the death between mysterious but powerful forces in a London whose existence he has been blissfully ignorant of until now, a city whose denizens—human and otherwise—are adept in magic and murder.
There is the Congregation of God Kraken, a sect of squid worshippers whose roots go back to the dawn of humanity. There is the criminal mastermind known as the Tattoo, a merciless maniac inked onto the flesh of a hapless victim. There is the FSRC, a branch of London’s finest that fights sorcery ... with sorcery. There is Wati, a spirit from ancient Egypt who leads a ragtag union of magical familiars. There are the Londonmancers, who read the future in the city’s entrails. There is Grisamentum, London’s greatest wizard, whose shadow lingers long after his death. And then there is Goss and Subby, an ageless old man and a cretinous boy who, together, constitute a terrifying—yet darkly charismatic—demonic duo. All of them are in pursuit of Billy, who inadvertently holds the key to the missing squid, an embryonic god whose powers, properly harnessed, can destroy all that is, was, and ever shall be.