Jola Naibi

Writer and amateur photog. I seek to inspire and inform with the words I write and share and the photos I take. I have written a book of short stories: Terra Cotta Beauty, and I am working on a lot more. Reading and writing fuel my energy. In reading, I explore this vast and diverse world, in writing, I employ my over-active imagination and address the 'what-if' questions that life often throws at us.


Reading List 2013

By on March 3, 2013

Regrettably, I have waited until the third month in the year to share my 2013 reading, happily, it is quite a colorful list which I am quite pleased with. The Global Book Club: GoodReads has issued its annual Book Challenge and I have signed up to read 10 books this year, we’ll see how it goes, especially as I am trudging through the pleasantness of writing one myself.

Watch this space for a blog article titled ‘The Trials of a Self-Published Author’. It shall happen yet.

So I have started the year with a nice dose of non-fiction reading, and who better to kick off 2013, than the maestro himself. Chinua Achebe’s There Was a Country, kept me company for the first few weeks of 2013.

I have always been fascinated by the events of the Nigerian Civil War and it was an illuminating experience to walk through the Biafran War through the eyes of Mr Achebe who was right in the middle of it all. Instructive, yet entertaining, Mr Achebe took me to a Nigeria before my time and gave the sort of insight I needed. A must-read for any student of Nigerian socio-political history.

 So, next up, I am in the middle of Jason Stearns’ Dancing in the Glory of Monsters: The Collapse of the Congo and the Great War of Africa. Riding on the wave of knowledge gained from Mr Achebe’s memoir, I sought to inform myself even more on the distinct diversity of my native Africa and all that accompanied it. I have to admit, the events of the Biafran War greatly pale in comparison to what people had to endure in the Great Lakes region. Written in excellent prose, this book is not for the fainthearted and I have had to put it down for the last week in order to pick up some fiction, mostly to remind myself that there is still some good in this world. Big kudos to Mr Stearns for his accurate yet gory portrayal of the Great War of Africa

So like I said, I picked up a piece of fictional reading from my old favorite African Writer Series (inspired by reading Mr Achebe’s narration of how that came to be) and I am now reading Ama Ata Aidoo’s Changes.

2013 will see me reading the following titles:

Jayne Amelia Larson ~ Driving the Saudis: A Chauffeur’s Tale of the World’s Richest Princesses (plus their servants, nannies, and one royal hairdresser): On a recent domestic flight, I sat next to a woman who was reading this and I was fascinated by the title

Lauri Kubuitsile ~ In the Spirit of McPhineas Lata and other Stories: I discovered Ms Kubuitsile’s writing on Botswana through the New Internationalist. She was the one who shed more light on the elusive Batswana which I previously wrote about

Chibundo Onuzo ~ The Spider King’s Daughter

Tendai Huchu ~ The Hairdresser of Harare

Leila Aboulela ~ Lyrics Alley

Manil Suri ~ The City of Devi

Betsy Friedman ~ The Feminine Mystique

 Phiona Mutesi ~ The Queen of Katwe

I will also be blogging less in the next couple of months (and probably reading less too) as I finish up my book.


Here’s one I thought I’d share and which will probably end up on my reading list. The Secretary: A journey with Hillary Clinton from Beirut to the Heart of American Power. Author and BBC corresponded was assigned to cover the US State Department in 2008 and ended up accompanying the dauntless former US First Lady and Secretary of State on a number of missions which led to this book.


February 27, 2013