My Literary Blindspots

I feel that over the last couple of years, the Booktube and Book blogging community has been making a conscious effort to read more diversely which is highly welcomed.  Given the current state of the world and the living in the information age, people do not have an excuse to become more knowledgeable about pertinent world issues.

On my part, I feel like I know a lot about different subjects thanks to books, the internet and TV but I am not sure how many topics I can discuss at length without being intimidated by someone’s else arguments. The funny thing is that they may not necessarily be more knowledgeable or correct than me but their confidence in themselves just makes them stand. Plus, I do not know about you but I am in dire need of a potato-chip news diet.

Jean from Jean’s Bookish Thoughts recently shared on her Youtube channel that she has only been able to appreciate non-fiction by reading more of it. Yes, it is an endless worthwhile cycle. In the same vein, I have also been encouraged by Olive’s voracious appetite for non-fiction literature as well as her Russophilia  (from YT channel A Book Olive). In short, I aim to be reading more non-fiction in 2017 despite my utter failure in completing 2016 Non-fiction challenge but that is not to say that some works of fiction are not equally illuminating. Over the next couple of months,  I would like to expand my horizons on the following topics:

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  • Classical music: I grew up being exposed to various genres of music but my knowledge of various eras in music is quite rusty. I am so excited that Jenniffer of Insert Literary Pun Here will be doing an introductory series about opera arias which I know nothing about so I am definitely looking forward to that.
  • Western art: Similar to classical music, my knowledge of western art is limited to what every other person might know about  Van Gogh, Monet, Picasso and other great artists. My interest definitely piqued after reading  The Girl with the Pearl Earring and watching a TED-Ed video on Vermeer’s painting. Maria of Read Create Repeat Homeschool has set herself a similar challenge which I will definitely be keeping tabs on for all the good recommendations.
  • Kenyan history and politics: 2017 is a Kenyan election year so it is important to be more aware of the important issues. Last year, I read Find Me Unafraid largely because I want to know about how the  2007/8 post-election violence affected  people living in Kibera but I need to dust off my copy of Dust which has received a lot of accolades.  I feel horrible that I have not yet read any of Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o books and other under-appreciated Kenyan authors.
  • Rest of Africa, Asian, MENA, Eastern Europe and South American Cultures:  Well, I think that I should have written from other developing countries. So far, from the few books that I have read from these places, the have reminded me that we are all human just born in different continents, with different perspectives and with so much to learn from each other. For instance, after reading Chinua Achebe’s No Longer at Ease, I heavily related with the context and characters despite the fact that the fact that the book was based on post-independence Nigeria. Same applied to How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia.  When the world is focusing on being divisive, I want to focus on the stuff that makes different cultures special.  * Off the soapbox*.  I am hoping that  Tim Marshall’s Prisoners of Geography will be a good place to start,
  • Sustainability issues: In 2016 my interest in sustainability issues piqued after doing a few online courses for my day job and I was finally able to understand the beauty of slow living, ethical consumerism and generally making the world a better place.  In the same vein, I want to learn and share as much as I can on the subject since  I firmly believe that it is my human duty to leave the world a better place than I found it especially since I  don’t have Elon Musk’s resources to try to settle on Mars.

As always, if you have any book or online recommendations for the above topics, please share with me in the comments section below. Also, please let me know which one of your literary blind spots you will be tackling in 2017.

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My 2016 in Books and 2017 Goals

It’s that time of the year when everybody is taking stock, making resolutions and Goodreads wants to know how many books I will be reading in 2017 that  I read over the past couple of months. Well, I am a bit disappointed that although I read over 45  books, I did not meet my reading challenges: 2016 Kenyan Bookworm and  PopSugar one. After a lot introspection and watching a couple of  Booktube videos I realised a couple of things

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Book Review: Rethinking Reputational Risk

It took me a while but I am glad that I finally got round to finishing this book and just before the clock struck midnight 2016. Given that my current day job is in the financial services industry and the numerous questions surrounding the state of corporate governance in the Kenyan banking industry definitely made me request this book from Net Galley…
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Book Review: Better than Before

I have been reading self-help/personal development books ever since I was in high school and they formed the bulk of my non-fiction reading. Over the last 48 months, I think I have been reading the same messages in books, blog posts (please no more listicles!!! Continue reading

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Reader’s Nook: Eric Kariuki

Kerry’s Note: This week in the Reader’s Nook,  I am thrilled to be hosting to be hosting my good friend, Eric Kariuki whom I  have known for a quite a number of years now. One of the words that immediately comes to mind, whenever I am asked to describe him, is intellectually curious. I have learnt something new or gained a different perspective from him on various issues. Well,  I hope that you will also learn a thing or two from him. Don’t forget to reach out to him in the comments section below or Twitter Continue reading

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