Friday, May 28, 2010

BRW: A THANK YOU FROM LAGOS

Thanks to everyonewho took the time to swing by for Book Review Week 2010. I hope it was of some benefit to you. If you have any suggestions on how to make a future Book Review Week better, please do not hesitate to share.

I want to take this opportunity to say thank you to eveyone who nominated this blog for Best Parenting Blog at Nigerian Bloggers Award. I am hoping you guys will please vote for my little blog so it can win something. ANd, as it was aonly nominated for one category, I'm hoping I can get some votes. =) Thanks to everyone who nominated  Nigerian Curiosity as well. I am begging hoping for votes for that blog as well (Please!!!!!). Voting begins on May 31st, please vote for my blogs!!!!!

I am currently on a short trip in Nigeria and as I type I am listening to Lagosian drivers make a lot of noise. Nothing like home!

Stay blessed!

Hope you are all well and have a fabulous weekend. Don'

Thursday, May 27, 2010

BRW 2010: IN MY DREAMS IT WAS SIMPLER

In My Dreams It Was Simpler was written by Tolulope Popoola. Also known as 'Favourgirl', by most of us Nigerian bloggers, Tolu invited a few fellow bloggers to create the book which revolves around six young women: Lola, Funmi, Titi, Dolapo, Temmy and Maureen. These women are navigating life and love the best way they know how and their stories made for an easy read. Reading this book, I felt as if I knew the characters. I mean there were scenes in there that most women have experienced at one point or another either as individuals or in the lives of those closest to us. I read how 'things fell apart', read about relationships and much more.

The book contains writings from contributors that many of us are familiar with: Latifat Ayoola, Tade Thompson, Ayodele Alofe, Tolulope Adegbite, Erere Abayowa, Rayo Falade, 'Diamond Hawk' and 'Flourishing Florida'. Most, if not all, of these writers are equally bloggers whose blogs I and many others visit. Kudos to all of you ladies!


As the book is a series, the story of these women is bound to evolve and I for one, cannot wait to read what comes next for them. By the way, did I mention that I played a teeny weeny role in bringing this book to be? heehee! I don't want to toot my own horn, but apparently, a suggestion of mine contributed to the book. Irregardless, it was nothing but the hard work and fearlessness of all the contributors and Tolu herself that made the book come to be.

I tried really hard not to give away any spoilers, but please believe that In My Dreams It Was Simpler is a book that I enjoyed reading. 


Have you read In My Dreams It Was Simpler? If so, what did you think about it? If not, make sure you get your copy of Season One below.
















PS: Tolu, when this becomes a scripted program, feel free to cast me in a small role. Thank you. =) Continued success to the entire team!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

BRW 2010: FEDDIE GIRL

Written by Nona David, Feddie Girl, focuses on a troublesome Nigerian-American child who gets to experience life at a Nigerian boarding school. I had heard about this book before receiving it from the publishers for review and was very excited to read it.

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I started reading it immediately upon arrival, but for various reasons, the book initially  failed to keep my attention. Nevertheless, I took the book with me during my winter vacation to Dominica and it came in very handy. One night during the trip, I was awakened by Bomboy at 3 am. I managed to get him back to sleep but, of course, I was wide awake. I opened Feddie Girl and started reading. I did not put the book down for hours and laughed my head off without waking up the house.

The main character's exploits upon her arrival in Nigeria and her experiences at boarding school are a thing of wonder. How one person can be so troublesome, well, it would have shocked me, but considering my own precocious children, I could relate somewhat. And her antics at boarding school? Well, I will say if  you have ever attended a Nigerian boarding school, you would understand every scene and laugh as you reminisce about those days.

For it's trip down boarding school-memory lane, Feddie Girl is one to read. The twists, the turns, the accusations and an ending that left me wondering "What next?" more made this book a good vacation read. And just in case you are wondering, I stayed up reading Feddie Girl on the balcony overlooking the Caribbean Sea and finished it that night/morning. I was sleep deprived for the rest of the day, but, I'm glad I finished it.


Have you read 'Feddie Girl'? If you haven't you can purchase it below.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

BRW 2010: A HEART TO MEND

If you are a Nigerian blogger, then you have heard of our fellow blogger, Myne Whitman. Myne runs a blog called Myne Whitman Writes and she has another website called Naija Stories where Nigerian authors can freely publish their work, and everyone can read stories. Many of you know that she also has a book available for purchase, A Heart To Mend.

Now, I am yet to read the book, I confess. But, it is definitely one I would love to read during the summer. For some reason, I tend to read for pleasure mostly during the summer and winter, don't ask me why. The rest of the year, I read research, analysis, news and all sorts of stuff most people will probably find boring.

Anyway, although I am yet to read A Heart To Mend, I was able to nab some short reviews from a few others who actually read and enjoyed the book. Here are Funmi's thoughts:

"The first thing I noticed about Myne Whitman’s first novel; A Heart to Mend, was the quality of the paper-back copy. The book quality is so striking, I couldn't by-pass that. I mean, it still hasn't rumpled or torn and it's exemplary. And I think it's extra-ordinary that she is self-published. Kudos. I loved the story. It was very captivating. That's how I know a good book for me because it's not easy to let go.Although the story was pretty common (it has been told before) and easy to relate to, I didn't once feel bored or deem it cliché. HOW DID SHE MANAGE TO GET ME TO READ THROUGH THE MANY SHARES, STOCKS AND BONDS EPISODES?? HOW????? That was beautiful. Happy Ending...(I'm a sucker for happy endings...lol). I think she is a writer to look out for. Yes, she’s that good. Because myself and other readers would be expecting more from Myne Whitman.
I enjoyed it!!!"

And then, there's this review from blogger, Kaleidoscope:

"A Heart to Mend by Myne Whitman is a love story between Gladys and Edward. It is very unique being that it has its setting in Nigeria. Nigerian [readers] will love it because is a familiar setting and non Nigerians will love it because it is different and refreshing. It is also mixed with a bit of suspense, work life, family and relations with friends.
What I love most about the book, firstly is the quality, very good quality. The content, I love how the writer lived through the characters. It is one of those books that when you pick to read the characters come alive, it was like a movie, it was very relatable, fun and so you just keep going. The writer gave a very good description of places used in the book, that you almost feel like you have been there. I loved reading it twice."
This book is on my reading list for this summer. What about you?

Have you read A Heart To Mend? If so, please share your thoughts. If not, you can purchase it below.

Monday, May 24, 2010

BRW 2010: AFRICAN ROAR

'African Roar' is a collection of short stories. Edited by Ivor Hartmann and Emmanuel Sigauke. The book contains fictions pieces written between 2007 and 2009 by African writers at the Story Time website.

 

It's 11 stories are definitely compelling. However, I must confess that I especially enjoyed the story from Kola Tubosun. Kola is a bonafide Easier Crew member and an accomplished writer whose story, 'Behind The Door' was a pleasure to read. The short story followed an unnamed character visiting what appears to be an HIV/AIDS testing clinic. To me, the story raised issues of facing one's fear, making good choices and facing the consequences of our actions. While I read the story, there was tension in the pit of my stomach. There was suspense. And for me, there was fear. However, the story itself is far from dark and the main character is quite jovial and a little funny, in a way.

I imagined myself right there with the main character. I could see the walls, the floors, and the faces of other characters in my mind's eye. One thing I will never forget is a salient point made by a character towards the end of the story. Specifically, she said,

"You young children of nowadays should at least consider your parents before you take your stupid risks. If you don't consider yoru lives, you should at least consider theirs."

Those words captured an ideal that has been ingrained in me, somehow. I just never heard it stated so concisely and clearly.

And then, there was the final scene of the story, which is powerful in it's simplicity.

I feel I have given away too much of this wonderful story but I hope that you will consider purchasing 'Africa Roar', not just to read Kola's story, which was undoubtedly very good. But, also to read the stories from other African authors who are geared to become a powerful force in the literary world.

Have you read African Roar? If not, you can also purchase a copy right here by using the Amazon image below.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

BOOK REVIEW WEEK 2010

For the longest time, I have wanted to do a quick review of a few books that I have had the pleasure to read or heard good things about from others. Thankfully, I finally got around to it and am happy to introduce Book Review Week 2010. BRW 2010 is my ode to writers who somehow manage to put their thoughts, ideas and creations on a page, allowing themselves to be vulnerable to the rest of us who get to read and critique.

Some of the books and stories you will see this week will come from names familiar to many of you. That is because, I wanted to focus on featuring the writing of fellow bloggers. The blogging community has generated so many writers and I for one, am happy for that. As an aspiring writer, I look up to my fellow bloggers that have tackled the challenge. There is a book that is not from a blogger, per se, but many bloggers are probably familiar with it. My review for this book has been a long time coming as I struggled with reading and reviewing the book, but managed to do it nonetheless. And, I finished the book feeling much differently than I did when I began.

Anyway, I hope you will take the time to read these short reviews as the appear each day of the week. I also hope that if you feel differently about any of the reviews, you will share your thoughts and reasons.

On a sidenote, there is indeed an update to the last TTTEC installment. I will have to put it on the backburner for Book Review Week unfortunately, but I can assure you that 'Ifeoma' read your comments and gave me permission to share what her plans are and exactly why. I think when you hear more, you will understand why I suggested the solution I did, and it will legitimize those who equally suggested the authorities be involved.

See you during Book Review Week and please nominate this blog and my politics blog, Nigerian Curiosity, at the Nigerian Blog Awards. Thanks!

Friday, May 21, 2010

TTTEC: SHE WANTS MY HUSBAND?

Hmm, well, here is an issue I have never of before, but I definitely had a strong reaction. I included a little bit of my suggestion at the end of the post.

****************
My husband and I live in a small midwest town in the US. Last September, we met a young girl called Amanda at out local supermarket. She heard us speaking in Igbo and introduced herself . We chatted with her and exchanged email addresses. Sometime later, we invited her to our church, exchanged numbers and even invited her to our house a few times when I cooked Nigerian food for her.

Her aunt came from Canada to visit in March. Amanda brought her to our house, uninvited, to meet us. Her aunt thanked us for being kind to Amanda and we all exchanged various pleasantries. I received a phone call from work and got up to to take the call in the kitchen.


The call was quick, but once completed, I heard the woman asking my husband inappropriate questions. The woman asked how long we had been married and why we had no kids. My husband explained that we simply were not ready to expand our family. Amanda's aunt the began asking whether I was barren and told him, "Eh, you know that Amanda is a very fertile girl." She then asked him if he could just marry her so she could get citizenship because she overstayed her tourist visa some years ago and had to stay in our area so as not to alert the attention of authorities.

I had heard enough and at this point I came back into the room. Once Amanda's aunt saw me she stood up quickly and told my husband to think about what she told him. Neither her or Amanda said goodbye to me or even acknowledged me. They just walked out brusquely.


Now Amanda keeps calling my husband. So much so, that she calls and texts at all hours of the day. I've listened to the messages and she keeps asking him to call her. He responded to one of her texts, in my presence, telling her to please stop calling and texting. But, she refuses.


I am at my wits end about this matter. All I want to do is hurt this Amanda girl and her aunt. I am so upset that I did not speak up that day. My husband does not want me to see her or do anything. He has even demanded that if I see her I should turn and walk away, but I am furious and I know I will not honor his wish.


What kind of people will ask a stranger to marry someone he does not know? All for the sake of 'papers'. Are we the only ones this has happened to? We do not know this girl and her family. We thought we were being kind to an international student, far away from home. After all, we were in those same shoes once. So, to now be dealing with this mess is unimaginable. Before this matter, my husband and I never fought, but this matter is causing so much stress in our marriage. Now, I wonder if there is something else I do not know about. Please I need to know what to do because I am really angry, I am fighting with my husband and this idiot of a girl has brought confusion into my marriage.


***********************
Okay people, I can't lie, I told Ifeoma to call Immigration Services and inform them about this girl. Yes, I know some of you will think that is extreme, but you haven't heard some of the other parts of this story, and based on what I have been told by Ifeoma, you would see the need to deal with this girl seriously.

Anyway, I was given permission to share this with you guys. So please, feel free to share your opinions and give her advice. I do not think she should engage with this girl AT ALL. But, let's see what you guys have to say.

Have a blessed weekend.

Monday, May 17, 2010

HELP!! MY MOM'S ON FACEBOOK????

Yes, you read right. "Shine Shine" is now a member of Facebook oh!!!!

I received a Friend Request some time ago and I just don't know what to do.

You guys already know that my relationship with Facebook is very touch and go. From the random guy telling me he can't wait to be in my arms to the other lunatic that sent me the silliest little message. These, plus the other things I have heard happen to other people makes me wary of the wonderful world of Facebook.
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Source: Zazzle

And now, my mom is on it. Kai! What am I going to do? I worry that she will out me on Facebook. Not on purpose but by mistake. It has actually happened a couple of times, but I just love my anonymity and well, I don't want to lose it just yet. I think. Also, if she is my Facebook friend, then I might have to not talk about her anymore on my blog, heehee.

I am stalling on adding her. That isn't hard because when I'm on Facebook, I'm only there for a couple minutes at a time. In fact I didn't realize I had as many friend requests as I have until, well, 5 minutes ago. My bad, people.

Okay, okay, okay. I wonder how much longer I can stall. Geez, I can imagine my mom putting baby pics of me on FB. Good God, there's that picture of me at 2 with a heineken bottle to my lips. Don't worry, it was empty, but it's a little funny. Won't be good for my serious political commentator/cooky mom image. Or would it? Hmmm.

Come on, folks. How many of you have parents on Facebook? Are you friends with them? If so, how does it affect your FB life?

Help!!!!

BTW: Next week is 'Book Review Week' and I will be featuring some books. However, have you got a book you think should be featured? Especially one from a Nigerian or African author? Do let me know. Thanks!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

THIS IS TROUBLE

From the dancing...

To the outfits...

There is nothing kosher about this video.

I love to see children dance. I love Beyonce's 'Single Ladies' song.

But the combination here, well, me no likey at all, at all.



What do you guys think?

PS: Book Review Week is coming. More information on Monday. Hope you are all doing well...


Thursday, May 6, 2010

AND THE NATION LOST ITS PRESIDENT...

As many of you probably know, Nigeria's President Yar'Adua passed away.

He was only 58.

May he rest in peace, and my condolences to his family.

It is sad that things could not have ended differently. It all seems so anti-climactic.

My thoughts on the political ramifications are at Nigerian Curiosity.

But, ultimately, I just wish his family and the nation, the very best.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

HELP! MY SON WON'T LET ME SPEND MONEY!

As TE is my mini me, so also is TK just like his father. Some of you might think that is very sweet, and in a way you are right. However, as much as I love Husband and obviously love TK, having a clone of my husband and thus 2 of those men in the house is a challenge.

Consequently, I am constantly cooking chicken and providing fresh stew for my 'clients' (as Husband calls them). Stew I can handle. TK's control of my purse strings, on the otherhand, well that I cannot handle!

The other day, I tried to buy a little child's chair to add to the other 3 we have for the kids. Why? Well, the kids have a little friend, Baby A, who comes over sometimes and even sleeps over at times. I thought an additional chair would make Baby A feel even more comfortable while over at our house and the chair cost an affordable 3.99.

No sooner had I touched the chair than TK began his interrogation, just the way his father would. "Who is it for?" "Do you need it?" "If it's for Baby A will he take it to his house?" "No? Then why buy it?"

My goodness! I ended up so flustered answering those rapid fire questions that I promptly put the chair down and walked out the way I walked in. Yes, that's right - he won, I lost badly!

This incident, plus the recent warning the guy gave me about taking him to stores that have no food, have reinforced that shopping with my son in tow will never be a good idea. His father just keeps complimenting his son with "My boy! Keep it up."

Na wa! I don't think I have ever heard of a mother whose spending habits are determined by their 4 year old son's opinions. I mean, I'm not like TE whose only objective is to "spend daddy's money." Believe me, that is indeed her objective and she steadfastly thinks that even if she is making her own money, her daddy's will be 'sweeter' to spend. lol!

But, no wahala. I simply shop without TK. But, because time is not something I have a lot of, I don't hardly get to shop. *sigh* I guess TK is pretty useful at keeping me from spending money, eh?

Ahhh...my life...

Hope you guys had a great weekend and are gearing up for a wonderful week!