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<title>Book Reviews for Feb 2010 - Part 2 | Divya Manian</title>
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<meta name="description" content="It was only 15 days ago I was bemoaning my meagre collection of books to review, and here I am with six more! Sleepless nights FTW! Half Yellow Sun &hellip;">
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<time datetime="2010-02-28T00:00:00-08:00" pubdate><span class='month'>Feb</span> <span class='day'>28</span> <span class='year'>2010</span></time>
<h1 class="entry-title"><a href="/book-reviews-for-feb-2010-part-2.html">Book Reviews for Feb 2010 - Part 2</a></h1>
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<div class="entry-content"><p>It was only 15 days ago I was bemoaning my meagre collection of books to review, and here I am with six more! Sleepless nights FTW!</p>
<ul><li><h3>Half Yellow Sun</h3>
<p>Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie&rsquo;s is a marvellous writer (I have joined her fan club <a href="http://www.halfofayellowsun.com/content.php?page=mailinglist&f=2">officially</a>). While <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1400044162?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=nimbupani-20&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=1400044162">Half of a Yellow Sun</a><img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=nimbupani-20&amp;l=as2&amp;o=1&amp;a=1400044162" width="1" height="1" alt=""> states <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Igbo_people" title="Igbo people - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia">Igbo people</a> suffered greatly during the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biafran_War" title="Nigerian Civil War - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia">Biafran war</a>, the book also elegantly depicts that, in a war, everyone is a victim. Also interesting is the tone of how women seem to be resigned to their husbands&rsquo; infidelity and use that to justify their own extra-marital affairs. This is a good, if fictional, introduction to the North-South divide in Nigeria which still clouds the <a href="http://www.vanguardngr.com/2010/02/27/yar%E2%80%99aduas-inaccessibility-confirms-he-can%E2%80%99t-perform-%E2%80%94-richard-akinjide-part-2/" title="Vanguard News Online">current uncertainty with the Nigerian Presidency</a>. </p></li>
<li><h3>New York Trilogy</h3>
<p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0143039830?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=nimbupani-20&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0143039830">The New York Trilogy</a> is as complex as <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meenaxi:_A_Tale_of_Three_Cities" title="Meenaxi: A Tale of Three Cities - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia">M F Hussain&rsquo;s Meenaxi</a> (or more so). There is a character called Paul Aster (the same name as the author), and you have no idea when the so-called author becomes a narrator. There is a <a href="http://translate.google.com/translate?js=y&amp;prev=_t&amp;hl=en&amp;ie=UTF-8&amp;layout=1&amp;eotf=1&amp;u=http://traui.blogspot.com/2007/05/katze-schwanz.html&amp;sl=auto&amp;tl=en" title="New York Trilogy Chart">handy chart</a> to understand the characters in the novels, but I am still confused. All of these stories are based on what can happen when a detective gets obsessed with stalking someone. An engrossing read that keeps you confused for years to come :)</p>
<p>This edition also has art by Art Spiegelman, which was fantastic!</p></li>
<li><h3>Wizard of the Crow</h3>
<p>This giant book is a thinly-veiled allegory on Kenyan politics. <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1400033845?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=nimbupani-20&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=1400033845">Wizard of the Crow</a><img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=nimbupani-20&amp;l=as2&amp;o=1&amp;a=1400033845" width="1" height="1"> is set in a fictional state of Abruria ruled by a despot. The protagonists Kamiti and Grace are articulate, literate young people who struggle to raise money and find work. Kamiti is a passionate humanist and extensively talks about his experiences in Madras, India and morals from the Bhagavad Gita. He is guilt-stricken as his poor parents spent their entire life savings on sending him to study in India and yet he cannot find a job back in Abruria. </p><p>Suddenly, some people mistakenly interpret Kamiti&rsquo;s actions and serendipity for witchcraft and start consulting him. All actions of Kamiti can be rationally explained, but it amused me to no end to see how the rest of the characters interpret it. These actions are not peculiar to any “African nation” but you can see it in action everywhere! Foolish superstitious beliefs and <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/01/13/pat-robertson-haiti-curse_n_422099.html" title="Pat Robertson: Haiti 'Cursed' By 'Pact To The Devil' (VIDEO)">Pat Robertson’s trash about Haitians pact with Satan</a>, are more actions in the same vein.</p><p>It is a long read, but very well-written. Ngugi wa Thiong&#8217;o, the author, also suffered for speaking out - He was imprisoned in Kenya for his writing (by the dictator <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_arap_Moi" title="Daniel arap Moi - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia">Daniel arap Moi</a>). </p></li>
<li><h3>The Lost Daughter</h3>
<p>I have started to read books in the ascending order of marking them as &#8220;to-read&#8221;, which means I have no idea why some of the books end up in that list. This was one such book. It is not something I would pick up usually.</p><p> <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1933372427?ie=UTF8&tag=nimbupani-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1933372427">The Lost Daughter</a> is about a mother who muses on her parenting while on a holiday. It is an uncomfortable book, and there are parallels that can be drawn from it to incidents in any mother-daughter relationship. I found it very annoying that the writer focussed so much on what the mother is thinking about, which is usually about herself or her relationship with her daughters, ex-husband, or potential lovers. It might have worked if it was written in first-person, but feels like the author is trying to force her view through the mother. </p> </li>
<li><h3>Hell Boy Vol 7 / Tom Strong Book 4</h3>
<p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1593078609?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=nimbupani-20&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=1593078609">Hellboy, Vol. 7: The Troll Witch and Other Stories</a><img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=nimbupani-20&amp;l=as2&amp;o=1&amp;a=1593078609" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt=""> was a riot as usual (I am running out of adjectives to describe it!) <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1401205720?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=nimbupani-20&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=1401205720">Tom Strong (Book 4)</a><img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=nimbupani-20&amp;l=as2&amp;o=1&amp;a=1401205720" width="1" height="1"> is a big pile of mush. I fear Alan Moore must have lost his marbles when he wrote this character (or at least the story in this book).</p></li>
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<p>I won’t be surprising you with a Part 3 for Feb at least :) Any books that you have been pondering about lately?</p>
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