Written by Faith Oneya
In culture. He co-edits for Nairobi.Now [www.nairobinow.co.ke] Occasionally he consults for the MoA on Agricultural Statistics | Techie [iHub member] & Husler2.0. He blogs at http://njathika.blogspot.com/
1. What kind of reader are you?
I am an accidental reader. I came to appreciate reading culture recently. This is mostly as a result of attending numerous book readings.
I like reading books that have historical context, geopolitics, biographies and autographs.
My favorite genre happens to be short stories. This because they are short concise and to the point plus they fit in this rat race we have! However I do humongous books especially those that deal with geopolitics.
During the Hay Festival I came across a new genre: Travel books! I am an adventurous kind of person so I have a feeling I might be doing a few travel books to see if they are really my thing!
2. What are you currently reading?
I have currently finished reading Henry Kissinger’s book On China. An incisive book on how China approaches foreign policy. One thing Kissinger emphasizes in his book is that Chinese culture plays a critical role in the way China looks at the world. I have also come to appreciate that the Confucian philosophy also plays an important role in Chinese deliberations with the world.
The other book I am lazily reading is The Divided West by Jurgen Habermas.
Apart from this I do some heavy opinion reading. My favorite opinion writer locally is Cobbo. He has opinion columns for Daily Nation and the EastAfrican.
3. What books am I likely to find in your bookshelf?
I am an N-1 kind of person. So I will begin with what you will NEVER find in my bookshelf. For starters Romance novels. In mind I have Mills and Boon of this world. Second ‘How to Make It’ books. These are how to make it rich etc books. In my humble opinion these books usually make it for the authors and publishers! I am actually surprised to read in our newspapers that these ‘How to make it’ books are top sellers in our Nairobi bookshops.
Some of the books in my bookshelf are Kwani? Edition Books, M. Wrong and Chimamanda Ngozi books and last but not least J.K. Rowling’s books. I now believe there is some wizardly in each and every one of us! (This should be a dead give away on the costumes I am likely to wear for Halloween)
4. Who is your favourite author?
I do NOT have one favourite author. I have a couple! I know this is weird. However, if I were to go by one then I would go Michaela Wrong. This is because her books offer a set of truths about this region. Starting from DR Congo to Eritrea.
Chimamanda Ngozi’s Purple Hibiscus and Half of a Yellow Sun have been good reads for me. And I am currently discovering Ben Okri’s literature.
5. Which authors/books would you highly recommend?
I will start by recommending what I am yet to read! Currently, I am looking forward to read One Day I Will Write about This Place by Binyavanga Wainaina. I had a chance of listening to Binyavanga Wainaina reading excerpts of his current book during last years (2010) Kwani? Lit. Fest. I have also read reviews of the same. This should be a good read.
I also would also recommend M. Wrong and Chimamanda Ngozi books.