Thursday, 31 December 2015

AMERICANAH: LETS TALK ABOUT 'CEILING'

You just have to give it to Ifemelu and Obinze, they even have a name for their little intimate moments and running off to his room after his mom leaves to buy her drugs so they can do a quickie? Thats way on top of my list of hottest love scenes from any book. Of course it earns them the oh so-awkward first-time sex -ed talk with his mom. But their are the lucky ones because most Nigerian parents never talk to their children about the 's' word. The uncomfortable task is left to porn mags videos or even mischievous relatives such as Nicholas who 'drew pictures to show Obinze what to do with his hands between a girl's legs' or Aunty Uju who tells Ifemelu to 'let Obinze kiss and touch but not to let him put it inside'.
 But where does this leave us? Am talking to you parents in the house. Wouldn't you rather give your children correct sex education yourselves?  Shying away from your responsibility doesn't make it go away.  And no, I never got the birds and the bees talk from my folks either. Did you? Let me know.
 Cheers.

AMERICANAH: NEW WORDS

Happy new year's eve Literatis! May 2016 be fabulously 'bookish' for us all. I'd like to share with you a couple of new words I've learnt from Americanah:
The first one is Traducers: It comes 'traduce' and according to www.oxforddictionaries.com, it means to speak badly or tell lies about someone so as to damage their reputation.
 Next is Dour which is defined, also by www.oxforddictionaries.com as a relentlessly severe stern or gloomy appearance.
Then fop which www.thefreedictionary.com defines as a man who is preoccupied with and often vain about his clothes and manners; a dandy.
Which new words did you learn? I'd love to know.

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

AMERICANAH: NO AFRICA IS NOT A COUNTRY.

...'She know many people in Africa. She sell cloth'
'Where is she?'
'In Africa'
'Where in Africa?'
'In Benin'
'Why do you say Africa instead of just saying the country you mean?' Ifemelu asked.
Aisha clucked. You dont know America. You say Senegal and American people; they say, where is that? My friend from Burkina Faso, they ask her, your country in Latin America?
Ok I have never left Nigeria before but apparently, conversations like the one above take place all the time between Africans abroad and non-Africans. I personally find it hard to believe that there is an adult alive today who doesnt know that Burkina Faso is actually in Africa. I mean, whatever happened to paying rapt attention in class or did they sleep all through Geography class in Secondary School? Though I kind of blame us Africans for this, what if instead of just saying 'Africa' when asked where you are from, you actually say ' Sao Tome and Principe' or 'Mozambique' or even 'Western Sahara?' They dont know where that is? They might be pretending but its an excellent oppurtunity for you to show off how much you know about your country. You might even go all walking  encyclopaedia on them and say something like: Mozambique is a country in South East Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean to the East, Tanzania to the North, Malawi and Zambia to the NorthWest. Its GDP is 26.257billion dollars...(go to wikipedia for more). See? One less ignorant non-African.
Cheers.

Sunday, 27 December 2015

AMERICANAH: NEW WORDS

English is a second language for me so I encounter a number of strange words each time I open a book. Thats why I always read with a dictionary by my side ( it used to be a seemingly 2kg Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, but now I thankfully have a much lighter e-version on my phone). I will of course be sharing the new words with you, though am sure you may already know them.
The first one is 'proselytizer' from the word proselytise  which according to Dictionary.com means to convert or to attempt to convert. You're welcome.

AMERICANAH: WHAT DOES YOUR CITY SMELL OF?

Princeton, in the summer smelled of nothing...Philadelphia had the musty scent of history. New Haven smelled of neglect, Baltimore of sun warmed garbage. Adichie delivers an award winning opening paragraph, giving us a tiny little peak into the life of Ifemelu, our heroine. It is so expertly  craftily done that, even though we hardly know her, we are drawn to her.  She manages to fit several lives, several stories into a couple of pages without loosing the connection between them- Barack Obama, Nigerian cabbies abroad, Senegalese hair stylists and even our very own Nollywood gets a mention.
 Though the red pepper-flavored ice cream offered on Nassau street do not particularly  sound  appetizing, am really touched by Mariama saving up some money to send back home. And wait, she charges two hundred dollars just for braids ? I mean I could open a hair attachment factory with that in Lagos.
But this should be an interesting read and oh! What does your city smell of? Let me know.

Saturday, 26 December 2015

7 Totally Genius Ways To Put A Book To Good Use...Apart From Reading It Of Course

Whats the first thing that comes to mind when you see a book.? You're supposed to read it right? Well what if told  you that there are a number of  things to do with a book? Take a look
1. Get a killer posture.

 Are you just dying to get that envy-inducing  Jlo  figure but  too lazy to exercise and diet? Well here's the easy way: try balancing a book on your head for a couple of minutes every day. The thing is: with the book or books on your head, it difficult, nay impossible to slouch. For maximum results, you could try balancing about three or four Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionaries first thing in the morning for about an hour ever single day. Hello killer body.

2. Start A Conversation.
 So you've been eying that hot guy or girl across the room for the past fifteen minutes but too shy to approach? Well, is she/he holding a book? Then you're in luck. Walk up to them and show or pretend to show a little interest in the book, but please on the pain of death try not to ask dumb and cliche questions like ''what are you reading?' or 'what is the name of the book?' I mean, you can read can you? So ask about the Author or what the book is about. You could even ask to borrow the book, that way you'll have to return the book giving you another chance to see them and n opportunity to talk again, genius.
Or it could work the other way round:

3. Avoid A Conversation.
 So that annoying person just walked walked in and you know they'll try to talk to you and you don't want them to? No problem. Stay calm and pull out a book from your bag ( I assume you carry one around, don't you?)  Open  it and put on your best ward winning - I am so deep in concentration I don't have time to listen to anything anyone has to say-look. Tighten up your forehead, you could even try nodding gently to show how far gone you are and that should scare them away. Unless they happen to be the relentless type then you'll just have to sit through it. Sorry.

 4. Stuff A Bag
 Ever notice how some bags are just so ugly when they're empty? Well it doesn't have to be that way. Just find a couple of books and  stuff them with it just make sure its nothing embarrassing just incase you have to empty your bag to search for your keys. And  am sure you don't want your crush to see that 'how to make eye contact with a boy you like'  book you've been carrying around when he's helping you pick up your stuff after you bump into each other.

5. Decorate A Room
 This is pretty straight forward right? Especially when your broke and cant afford any other decorations or if you're just an incorrigible bookworm, just a
Creatively arrange all your books around the place and it instantly transforms it.But just remember NO SILLY OR EMBARRASSING TITLES.

6.Pass Time
 So you're waiting for the bus or the train and bored as hell. Let your favorite Author help make it a little less frustrating.

7. Make Some Extra Cash
So you're broke and you have all these books you've spent so much money on? Good. Now I dint advise selling them because I like to read and re-read my books several times. Besides I just live having them for some sentimental reason so what I advise is that you rent them out. There are a lot if people who may want them but cant afford to buy them. You could even start your own personal library and charge your friends a token fee for borrowing the books. Thank me later.
So what other ideas do you have? Send in your comments



#2016BookWishList... Top 7 Books Am Just Dying To Read

The year 2016 is almost upon us guys and of course it will be  a lot more fun with interesting books to keep me company. This is my #WishList and of course when I do read the books, I will share all the excitement with you guys. Remeber the list is in no particular order sha, so here goes:    
                             
1. The Interesting Narrative Of The Life And Times Of Olaudah Equino Or Gustavus Vass, The African
I have known about this book for a long time and read several excepts in my English textbook, I think in Primary or  Junior Secondary School but I Have never really read it. I hope to change that soon. Its an old book and may not be very easy to get but I will try.
 Its the true story of a young African boy who was sold into slavery, kind of like a memoir. Am even more determined to read it because he was Igbo like me
2. The Late Professor Chinua Achebe's There Was A Country

 This is the last published work of the late giant of African literature. Its about the Biafran war and ruffled quite a number of feathers when it was first published. Definately want to what all the fuss is about.
3. Chimamanda Adichie's Half Of A Yellow Sun

 This is also about the Biafran war. Its about a young boy Ugwu who goes to lives with a University Professor Odenigbo as his houseboy. Right now am reading one of Adichie's other books Americannah and am having a blast so I know this one will be good too. Plus its even been made into a Hollywood movie. Like I needed any more motivation.
4. Uzodinma Iweala's Beast Of No Nation

 Ok, this is so not intentional but this one is also about war. And no am not a totally depressing person to be with if that you are thinking its just a coincidence. Its about a young boy Agu who is forced to become a child soldier . Plus, its also being adapted into a movie and its  two main actors Edris Elba and Abraham Attah are getting major nod, so...
5.Sefi Attah's  Everything Good Will Come

This was published in 2005 and follows A young girl Enitan as she grows into a woman in Post colonial Nigeria and Britain.
6. No Violet Bulawayo's We Need New Names and last but certainly not least

7. Binyavanga wainana's One Day I Will write About This Place.

 So there you have it. But of course these arent the only books I will be reading. What will you be reading? Please let me know in the comments section.
P.S
Am really sorry about the lack of visuals, I tried so much to upload some pictures but its just not working. Am really new to this blogging thing so any useful advice will be greatly appreciated. Thanks a lot
                                                                                                                                         Yours sincerely,
                                                                                                                                         Chiomaah


THE INTRODUCTION: AMERICANNAH

Hello, my name is Chiomaah Ugo Nwachukwu and am a bookaholic. There, I said it. So once again you are most welcome to my brand new book blog and I hope you like it but then, I will not be doing reviews, at least not yet. Instead, we will be reading and discussing the books - together. I hope you're ready for how much fun this is going to be: 

#WhatAmReadingNow: Americannah by Chimaamanda Ngozi Adichie. Its her latest book and it was published in 2013. It follows Ifemelu, as she discovers her new America after leaving her country and her love behind. Its a story of race, identity and my personal favorite, hair.
Adichie is a Nigerian Writer and the Book was chosen as one of the best 100 Books of 2013 by the Times. 







Friday, 25 December 2015

What are you reading this christmas Literatis?  Chimamanda Adichie's  Americannah is keeping me company. Tell you all about it soon.

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

You are reading my very first blog post! Thanks a lot.

Hey there! My name is Chiomaah Ugo Nwachukwu and you are  welcome to my brand new book blog Up Close and Literal. I hope that this signals the begining of a long, cozy and of course 'bookish'  relationship between you and I. Not into books? Don't worry too much, just take my hand and  I'll help you see books In a new light. Once again, thank you very much for visiting my blog today.