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Happy New Year Brittlers!

What everyone needs at the start of the new year are tips on how to reinvent aspects of their lives. For people like us who love African writing—2014 may have left us a little exhausted from the whirlwind of new fiction, book festivals, and social-media drama. I’ve put together a 7-day treatment course to help boost up your enthusiasm for 2015, a year that promises to be amazing for African literature.

Day 1. Get a Detox

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Are you just about sick of reading “serious” African novels and listening to African authors going on and on about political issues and other matters of world-historical importance? Don’t despair. You’re simply showing signs of someone in urgent need of a literary detox. Ankara Press romance novels is the perfect remedy. The hip and absorbing purse-size novellas featuring titillating African romance is the literary antioxidant you need to clear out those unwanted thoughts that could permanently damage your enthusiasm for African fiction.

Day 2. Revamp Your Reading Habit

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Focus on building a relationship with books tailored to your unique personality. Read about and around things you genuinely love in your daily life. If you are a fashionista, explore fashion fiction books. If oldschool African novels bore you, then read more of the new titles like Ghana Must Go and Lalami’s A Moor’s Account. If realist fiction is not your speed, you’re sure to like everything published by Lauren Beukes, Nnedi Okorafor, and Sarah Lotz. The key is letting your taste guide your reading.

Day 3. Digitize Your Entire Library

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Retire your clunky, dusty books and take your reading life to the cloud. Buy only electronic versions of your favorite novels. Everything from Adichie’s Americanah to Zukiswa Wanner’s London, Cape Town, Joburg is available on Kindle and other e-reading platforms.

Day 4. Novelize Your Love Life

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It’s a new year, so leave your old sex routine behind. Let African fiction introduce you to a delightful world of sex-perimentations. The South African erotica, A Girl Walks into a Bar, by Helen S. Paige is a good place to start. The London-based Nigerian author, Kiru Taye, also has a whole boudoir of titillating novels to get you in the mood.

Day 5. Go for Literary Small-Chops

 

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If you don’t have time to read a long, bulky novel, don’t worry. Consume your literary favorites in bite size.  Make African literary blogs like Brittle PaperNaija Stories, Omenana, and Saraba Magazine part of your daily routine. Literary blogs like these publish original stories, poems, and short essays that you can access on your phone for free and read on the go.

Day 6. Get the Literary Rock Star All-Access Pass

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 Amazon Kindle Unlimited is a must-have for avid readers. For only 10 dollars a month, you have access to a massive inventory of e-books containing a good amount of African titles. When I’m in my literary zen zone, I could read as much as three novels per week. Since I signed-up for Kindle Unlimited, I’ve ceased to worry about breaking my bank from buying books. Amazon Kindle Unlimited is a good way to slash your reading bill and get you instant access to an expansive library.

Day 7. Rev Up Your Literary Exercise Routine

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Don’t just read. Use what you read to strengthen your intellectual muscles. Learn how to talk and write about what you read. Head on to Twitter and join the conversation about African fiction. Someone to follow is, of course, yours truly @brittlepaper, but there’s also @zunguzungu, @sisterkilljoy, @jamesmurua, @bookshybooks, @BinyavangaW, @LaurenBeukes, @ikhide, @tejucole, @nnedi, @Chrisabani. These novelists and bloggers are part of a vibrant community of African readers that you could integrate into your daily social-media life.

 

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Image Credit:

1. By andcombust via Flickr

2. ankarapress.com

3. Anne Adrian via Flickr

4. Wolfman- K via Flickr

5. Abbensett via The New Naturalista

6. Foodicted via Flickr

7. Rebecca Siegel via Flickr

8.Zachary Long via Flickr

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

4 Responses to “Your 7-Day African Literary Make-Over” Subscribe

  1. Salisu 2015/01/05 at 03:00 #

    Hi Ainehi, this is good, so-very-good. Now I have some ideas to begin a colourful literary new year with. OMG! How could I had forgotten to dust my digital library, oh! And donate some paperback books of last year. Thanks.

  2. Oluwatosin Adeshokan 2015/01/05 at 08:28 #

    Hi. Brilliant article.
    Thanks for the tips.

  3. Habibat Ore 2015/01/05 at 20:07 #

    nice article any recommended resources for audiobooks

  4. Ainehi Edoro 2015/01/05 at 23:38 #

    Hi Habibat,

    Most bestselling African authors like Adichie, Cole, Beukes, Coetzee, and the likes all have audio editions of their work available for purchase on Amazon. Hope this helps.

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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