Reading Projects: Kenyan Authors and Victorian Spiritualism
This semester of school will be my last…at least for the foreseeable future. I’m both happy and nervous about that (but mostly happy, since honestly, I’m still in complete denial about what that’s going to mean for me as far as responsibility and sense of life-direction and all that goes). But I’d like to keep the studious habit of looking closely into specific subjects that interest me even as I leave college. Setting myself up for some more directed reading will help me do that, I think. So, I’ve come up with a few short-term reading projects for myself that I’m very, very excited about!!!
The first is in conjunction with a trip I’ll be making with my mom, and possibly my brother, to Kenya next July/August. My mom’s been involved for years with a non-profit that operates there and assists rural communities in digging wells and maintaining their own fresh, clean water supplies. We’re going to do a site visit! (We’ll be doing a few other things, too, but our plans are still a bit up in the air at this point so I can’t share them). I am beyond thrilled. Together, we’re going to prepare by reading one Kenyan author a month–and one book about Kenya–until our departure (mom’s a big reader too). Our tentative reading list includes:
1. Wizard of the Crow, by Ngugi Wa Thiong’o
3. The River and the Source, by Margaret Ogola
4. One Day I Will Write About this Place: A Memoir, by Binyavanga Wainaina
5. Imperial Reckoning: The Untold Story of Britain’s Gulag in Kenya, by Caroline Elkins
Have you read any of these? Do you have a favorite Kenyan author? Would you recommend different titles by these same authors? Anyone I MUST add? Have you been to Kenya/have suggestions for my trip? Please do let me know!
My second project, which I would wait until the fall to start if I weren’t so curious about it, is to read at least three of the following five books about women and Victorian spiritualism this year:
4. Talking to the Dead: Kate and Maggie Fox and the Rise of Spiritualism, by Barbara Weisberg
I think there’s just enough variety of focus in those titles to keep it non-redundant. Have you read anything on the subject worth checking out?
I’ve had so much fun compiling these short lists…I hope these projects are successful if only so that I can keep designing them. I’ve got a few other ideas in mind, already (Victorian circus cultures, you’re up next)!
Have any specific subjects have caught your reading imagination lately?
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