Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert

Let’s face it, my first week of August has been awesome largely due to great books. Yesterday I was going on about Rain Falls on Everyone by Clar Ni Chonghaile.

Today it’s Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert. After reading Eat, Pray, Love- I was content to read this book because I was eager to know more about Elizabeth and Felipe, how did it turn out for her? Did she commit after swearing off marriage? Did she come to find what she was looking for? (Yes,we all know that I am a hopeless romantic, hence my desire to finally buy a little black dress:-) )

So, here’s the thing about Committed, unlike the first book, this one is downright entertaining. I loved her research into marriage in various cultures and the roles that women and men played in this institution. 

I also loved the quotes at the beginning of each chapter and I’m noting them down for future conversation starters!

Be of love (a little)/ more careful/ than of everything else. E. E. Cummings

A man can be happy with any woman as long as he does not love her. Oscar Wilde

Marriage is a friendship recognised by the police. R. L. Stevenson

It’s been a productive day for me and any day that begins with time spent at Java is always an awesome day for me! I am looking forward to casting my vote tomorrow and hoping all the other voters make an informed decision that would see Kenya prosper. I am also moving on to the next book which happens to be Alexander by Valerio Massimo Manfredi.

Yeah, Manfredi is my absolute favorite because his retelling of legends always has that extra spice to it, it’s like the perfect serving of curry! So, I can’t wait to get started on this.

Have a great afternoon.

TMI

Listening to: Long Live the Angels by Emeli Sande

Currently reading: 19 Souls by J. D. Allen.

Drinking: Water 

Rain Falls on Everyone by Clar Ni Chonghaile

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About the book: Theo, a young Rwandan boy fleeing his country’s genocide, arrives in Dublin, penniless, alone and afraid. Still haunted by a traumatic memory in which his father committed a murderous act of violence, he struggles to find his place in the foreign city. Plagued by his past, Theo is gradually drawn deeper into the world of Dublin’s feared criminal gangs. But a chance encounter in a restaurant with Deirdre offers him a lifeline. Theo and Deirdre’s tender friendship is however soon threatened by tragedy. Can they confront their addictions to carve a future out of the catastrophe that engulfs both their lives?

If there’s one book you ought to read in 2017, it’s this one. I am not saying so because it deeply moved me, or because the folks at NetGalley were so smitten with me that they approved my request to read it, but because Clar (I love you Clar) delivers grief, turmoil, nostalgia, fear, anger, loss and love in crisp tones.

It’s like being at a karma restaurant where you get what you deserve and more often than not, Writers underrate readers when it comes to serving up truth and pain. Clar’s characters do not make excuses (even though Dierdre does for her husband every time his fists find a home on her body) when it comes to baring their flaws and working through their muddled life.

From the beginning, you know that Theo’s a good guy and as you read on, you wish him the best. You want him find a way out of the mess he’s in, but what edged me on was that at no point did I pity the characters. It was almost as though they were telling me “you can empathize, but please, save your pity for another book,” and in their speech you’d sense some kind of toughness. I don’t know much about the Irish, but like Theo, in reading this I felt as though his stay in both Rwanda and Ireland had their fair share of violence. In Rwanda, it was uncalled for. He did not ask for the genocide to take place, but with the drug business in Ireland, he was definitely the one who knocked and asked to be let in.

This book did a number on me and if you are thinking what I think you’re thinking, No, I did not cry! I wish I did because there were moments when reading it felt like watching a thriller, but no I did not. A few lines and scenes stuck to me like glue, so, I’ll share them:

“In the real world, goodbyes happened when you weren’t paying attention.”

Theo saying:

“I’m feckin’ over the moon that a family found me in the bush and taught me how to hide up to my eyes in the mud. For hours, Dierdre, staying absolutely still and listening to the screams as they found other people and butchered them. So, no, I don’t take it for granted. For years, after that, I was still just trying to stay alive, trying to get up every day and keep breathing. Do you know how hard it is to do that sometimes?…I’d survived, I knew I’d made it, and then I didn’t know what to do with that.”

On the other hand, there is a sense of “I hear you” that I have when I come across any book that mentions Kenya or East Africa. It’s like coming home or being home when I read such books, and this feeling is not lost on me as I share my views on this book. I believe it made me read it closely looking out for any mistakes or falsification of events, and I did not come across any of it here.

It’s 142 days give or take to Christmas, until then you’ve got to read this book.

Like the title, Rain does indeed fall on everyone and sometimes those who are lucky enough to seek shelter cannot pretend that they were never soaking wet.

Where to get the book:

Amazon

Author’s site: https://clarnichonghaile.wordpress.com/

 

August Reads

There is a Malian proverb that goes, “You will never drown where you always take a bath.” 

I am looking forward to reading some awesome books that I bought from Nakumatt’s #BooksFirst yesterday.  I’m dreading their shut down because my life and my bookshelves have been kept ablaze with the books I bought from their store. For August, I am looking at these four titles:

  • Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert
  • The Brazen Bride by Stephanie Laurens
  • Shadow Fever by Karen Marie Moning
  • Alexander (Book Two; The Sands of Ammon) by Valerio Massimo Manfredi

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June’s favorites

I am glad that June‘s here because for some weird reason, I always seem to come up with better book ideas and plots in the month of June. At first I thought it was the change in weather and drinking lots of tea, but now I know there’s something about making it halfway through a year that inspires me to write.

It’s also been a while since I posted anything about my favorite things.

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Started writing the next book, so these are my go to tools!
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I love bright scarves, and these two would make my headwraps so awesome I’m freaking out!
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New month, new books! Two down…three more to go.
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Who knew that facial cream could break a bank! Had to get these to combat a nasty breakout…
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What’s a girl without coconut oil? #lovelovelovecoconutoil
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This is Vanilla month…we’ll see what next month carries.

Getting back on track

April’s not going down as I envisioned it. I know that challenges are part of life but in terms of writing, it’s not been an epic month for me. I managed to write 30,000 words of a story. Things were getting better until I sent it out for review and it was shredded to pieces!

Literally, it came back all red with one bold comment, “I thought we’d graduated from this kind of writing.” So, I set the manuscript aside, walked to Moha’s shop, bought a 500ml Fanta Orange, and had it while watching Spongebob Square Pants.

Ever since, I have not been able to write or better yet work on something else, until this past weekend where I decided to go with my gut feeling. It hurts when you write up something and it is met with such negativity, sometimes the criticism helps, but sometimes it wears you down.

I understand that not everyone would swoon over what I write. It’s just as well because as a reader I also find some genres not to my liking. As a Consumer, I stick to some products because of the value I feel they add to my life- hence my love for a sugar high with Fanta. I am not a Coca Cola person. It just isn’t my kind of beverage. So, in writing I use the same perspective to appreciate criticism.

The Crown of the Sea is out now!

The Crown of the Sea by [Dora Okeyo]

It’s so short that you’ll wonder what I’m talking about in just 12 pages! Wonder what ideas will come into your head as you read this, and whether you’ll feel for the Narrator like I did, but all in all, it’s got me out of my funk and I am relaxed.

It’s free on Amazon, so how about you check it out here–> The Crown of the Sea

A Rose for Every Season

When a woman gets to her breaking point, two things are certain; vengeance or surrender.

If anyone told you that Helen chose neither vengeance nor surrender, you would react the same way I did. You would shake your head, laugh and walk away.

If you embody certain Kenyan mannerisms you’d throw in the phrase Ghai! Wacha jokes! 

There is something beautiful about betrayal, a certain unveiling of character and actions that make life worth living. It is like watching two bulls lock horns and even though you are guaranteed the show of a lifetime, you know that at any moment the tables could be turned on you…and lastly there’s blood. Of all the magnificent colors in the world, why did blood have to be red and not silver?

So, there I was laughing when it hit me, that what Helen did is something that took not her courage, but her resolution…she did what I would never do, and that is why her story is worth telling.

PS: It’s just began, a process that I had to endure, the frustrations and pace in writing. I am pleased it’s being edited 🙂 

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