Book Wishlist for the Blog’s Reading List

Nairobi is super hot right now, and 2 pm is almost like mandatory naptime. It’s too hot to be outside, it’s better to be inside reading or checking out your FYP on TikTok (careful with this vortex though, you might not get any work done). It’s almost the end of March and I’m like, ‘where did the rain go? Cool-weather please come over now’. Funny that when June gets here, I’ll be like, ‘where did the sun go?’ Such a fickle heart when it comes to the weather. Oh well, global warming is real.

This Monday, I’ve been spending some time on the world’s bookshelf called Amazon Kindle. Hahaha.  I found books on my wish list that I’ve wanted to read for a while.  I’m excited to discover I’ve gotten to some of them, but there are still some epic ones on the list.  I hope to find time to review them as the year goes on.  Here’s my book wish list this March.

  1. Amanda Gorman’s Call Us What We Carry
Call Us What We Carry book cover

Formerly titled The Hill We Climb and Other Poems, the luminous poetry collection by #1 New York Times bestselling author and presidential inaugural poet Amanda Gorman captures a shipwrecked moment in time and transforms it into a lyric of hope and healing. In Call Us What We Carry, Gorman explores history, language, identity, and erasure through an imaginative and intimate collage. Harnessing the collective grief of a global pandemic, this beautifully designed volume features poems in many inventive styles and structures and shines a light on a moment of reckoning. Call Us What We Carry reveals that Gorman has become our messenger from the past, our voice for the future.

I’ve been waiting for this since I heard it was going to come out. I loved her poem ‘The Hill We Climb’.  One of my favorite parts of this poem that I feel defines all the places we call home and the strife often found among us all as humans,

Scripture tells us to envision
that everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree
and no one shall make them afraid.
If we’re to live up to our own time,
then victory won’t lie in the blade.
But in all the bridges we’ve made,
that is the promise to glade,
the hill we climb.
If only we dare.

The Hill We Climb, Amanda Gorman

I enjoyed reading and listening to Miss Amanda Gorman’s delivery of The Hill We Climb.  I can’t wait to read and discover more poems in Call Us What We Carry.

  1. Homegoing by Yaa Gyaasi

Ghana, eighteenth century: two half-sisters are born into different villages, each unaware of the other. One will marry an Englishman and lead a life of comfort in the palatial rooms of the Cape Coast Castle. The other will be captured in a raid on her village, imprisoned in the very same castle, and sold into slavery.

Homegoing follows the parallel paths of these sisters and their descendants through eight generations: from the Gold Coast to the plantations of Mississippi, from the American Civil War to Jazz Age Harlem.

Yaa Gyasi’s extraordinary novel illuminates slavery’s troubled legacy both for those who were taken and those who stayed.

This book was recommended to me last year. I’ve had it on my reading list for a while thanks to the epic reviews and mentions.  It’s ended up on the reading list for April 2022. 

  1. Caraval by Stephanie Garber
Caraval Book Cover

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.

Welcome, welcome to Caraval . . . beware of getting swept too far away.

I am late to this fandom.  I love the book cover.  Yes, I also pick up books based on how awesome their book covers look.  This one does it for me and I can’t wait to get into this book.  Caraval has three books in the series.  I’m excited to finally discover what the fandom is about.

  1. The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna
The Gilded Ones Book Cover

Sixteen-year-old Deka lives in fear and anticipation of the blood ceremony that will determine whether she will become a member of her village. Already different from everyone else because of her unnatural intuition, Deka prays for red blood so she can finally feel like she belongs.

But on the day of the ceremony, her blood runs gold, the color of impurity–and Deka knows she will face a consequence worse than death.

Then a mysterious woman comes to her with a choice: stay in the village and submit to her fate, or leave to fight for the emperor in an army of girls just like her. They are called alaki–near-immortals with rare gifts. And they are the only ones who can stop the empire’s greatest threat.

Knowing the dangers that lie ahead yet yearning for acceptance, Deka decides to leave the only life she’s ever known. But as she journeys to the capital to train for the biggest battle of her life, she will discover that the great walled city holds many surprises. Nothing and no one is quite what they seem to be–not even Deka herself.

I read book one last year, so I’m excited for Book Two.  Once again, the cover is so beautiful, and the story itself is so epic. I’m hoping to get book two when it’s out in May and put out a review for both.

  1. An Ember in the Ashes Series by Sabaa Tahir

I’m crazy for this series.  In case you haven’t discovered my reviews for the first two books, you’ll find them here and here.  Sabaa Tahir’s epic is amazing, and I am currently in deep with book three. So, definitely sharing a review of the end of this series soon. I’m both excited and sad to get to the end because Elias and Laia are so grand.  Helene is a very frightening warrior, and Sabaa should definitely wear the Kehanni’s crown from now on. I’m in this one full throttle.

A Reaper at the Gates
Book Three of An Ember in the Ashes Series

The Merciless Ones book cover

So, my reading list is packed with a bit of poetry, a bit of Yaa Gyaasi, and a trio of series books. I’m in a love/hate relationship with a series of books.  When you can get all the books on the line, it’s exciting to get into the series and read to the end.

It’s different when you have to wait for the next book in the series.  The Gilded Ones – Book Two comes out in May 2022.  Which means waiting a year between books.  Oh well, here’s to rereading the first part as we wait for Book 2.

If you’re in Nairobi, stay cool. Cold watermelons and hot tea. hahaha, if you know, you know. The sun loves us too much oh! Happy reading trails!


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