Oh, 2018 was a beautiful year, I hope —In Shaa Allah— that 2019 would be better, merrier and happier for me and for you.
Making this list was hard, I enjoyed a lot of books, movies and songs this year. In fact the number was supposed to be 5 and I was like Oh No, Zee. It can’t be 5, you need to add this and this. So I settled for 7.
This year, I set to read at least 30 books, I read 70 books according to Goodreads (8 of them are audiobooks) : 20 non-fiction, 3 poetry collection and 47 fiction) and I saw even more movies (Especially if we are going to count the African Magic movies and also the series I saw episode by episode) and the songs, well who counts the number of songs they’ve listened to?
Let’s start with Books. Of course I’m going to start with books, that’s my super power because roughly, 6 of every 10 people I meet are movie/song lover but only 2 of 200 people I meet are book lovers. ?
1. The Book of Night Women by Marlon James (Fiction):
If you follow me on instagram, you’d know I’ve been talking so much about this book. This book is so beautiful and my Daada wrote it. Yea, Marlon James is my daaada and isn’t it beautiful that his initials is MJ? And oh isn’t it beautifuler that he’s Jamaican and he wears his hair in dreads? Oh. ?
TBONW is a story exploring slavery on an Island in Jamaica and features the fiercest character I’ve ever met in a book, Lilith. TBONW tells the story of how the night women and Lilith planned and executed a revolution where they were to get rid of all the Massas. So beautiful, so beautiful, that strength, that courage. Read my review here..
2. Autobiography of Assata Shakur (Non Fiction): I’m more proud of my black skin and my gender after reading this book. Read my 3 reasons why you should read this book here.
3. The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma (Fiction)
This book messed with my heart and my soul. Read it read it. Read the review here.
4. The Gods of Small Things by Arundhati Roy (Fiction):
I enjoyed The gods of small things, really Arundhati Roy is a goddess of good literature. I read many books by authors of Asian descent this year, I wanted to do a post about those books but wheww, I’m lazy. So Im going to mention 5 of my best here after this, Animal’s people by Indra Sinha, Pachinko by Min Jee Lee, American Panda by Gloria Chao, The Leavers by Lisa Ko and To All The Boys Ive loved before by Jenny Han.
5. The Kite Runner (Fiction) by Khaled Hooseini: If you haven’t heard of this book, I wonder what you’ve heard about. Read 10 quotes I found invaluable here.
6. The Essential Rumi (Poetry): I don’t know if it’s right that I added this book because I’m not done reading it. It’s a collection of poetry by Rumi translated and compiled by Coleman Barks. Rumi is the lord of poetry that speaks to your soul (argue with yourself). I couldn’t finish it because it’s the type of book you take in bit by bit. I want the hardcopy and it looks like the bookstores I use don’t have it.
7. The Green Mile by Stephen King (Fiction):
My favourite authors include Marlon James, Khaled Hosseini and Stephen King. They write different genre but three of them have a thing in common, the grab your soul, your mind and your body. And seriously, if you are a writer and you want to learn how to develop your character, just read a Stephen King. I don’t know how he does it but it’s difficult to believe his characters aren’t real. Read my review of the green mile here.
Ok, sorry I’m going to have to make books 10.
8. Reclaim your Heart by Yasmin Mogahed (Non Fiction): I didn’t reclaim my heart completely after reading this book by Ustaz Yasmin, it’s a gradual process that requires a lot of hard work but I was happy I read the book. I don’t like self-help books but I’m baised when it’s about Islam. This book was like a collection of different essay and speeches revolving around Islam and the struggle with faith. She spoke about Feminism and Hijab and what this “liberation” of women really means.
9. All the women in My Family Sing (Non-fiction): This is a collection of essays by Women of Colour. They are beautiful, painful, thought provoking and empowering. Read Aeesha’s review here.
10. A Moonless Starless Sky by Alexis Okeowo (Non fiction): This book is a story about ordinary men and women fighting extremism in Africa. Alexis spoke with those people and wrote their stories. The book centered on 4 Countries in Africa. Uganda, Nigeria, Somali and Mauritania and the extremism they face.
1. The Last Face: it’s a 2017 movie starring Javier Bardem and Charlize Theron: I hated and loved this movie. I hated the movie because it’s a bad movie, I loved it because I cried a lot. It’s a story about two people who help Africans in war, they fell in love and I would have loved the movie if they focused on the Africans in war, you know. But no, they did that rubbish thing again, The movie focused on the two white-skinned and how they help Africans and how they fell in love and then somehow the war and the Africans became the shadow of the movie. I felt like , it ridiculed the suffering of these people by focusing on the suffering of the the two other people in love. Maybe I’m just sentimental though.
I loved the movie because it made me more interested in the wars that had happened in the world. So I read about many, including the Armenian Genocide, MauMau Uprising in Kenya, World War II, Biafra war. The movie made me realise I know little about the history of the world.
2. BlackKklansman starring John David Washington: Also made me know more about the history of KKK and Black Revolution. It’s centered on Ron Stallworth, the first black American to become a cop in Colorado and how he infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan in Colorado Springs
3. Black Panther: Well, Y’all already know why. ?
4. Crazy Rich Asians staring Henry Golding and Constance Wu: I was just so happy that I saw a movie about Asians acted by Asians on the big screen. ♥
5. The Hate U give starring Amandla Stenberg: I enjoyed the movie as much as I did the book. Read my review of the book where the movie was adapted here.
6. How To Get Away With Murder 4 (Series) starring Viola Davis: I cant wait to start the 5!
7. King of Boys starring Shola Shobowale.: If you like, start saying Nigerian movies are this, Nigerian movies are that. Iwolomo. This movie is Nigerian and it isn’t this or that, it is spectacular.
1. KOD (album) by J-cole
2. East Atlanta Love Letter (album) by 6lack: Oh 6lack, you are amazing.
3. All the Stars by Kendrick and Sza
4. Perfect by Ed Sheeran: Can’t get tired of listening to it, I think this is my favourite Ed’s song.
5. Misfits by Shinedown : I connected with the title before the listening to the song sef. Lyrics below.
They called us crazy cause we never fit in, we never thought of keeping up with their trends…..And after all we never played by the rules..We broke the mold and found our kind of cool…It didn’t matter we weren’t on the list, cause we were misfits, we were misfits.
6. Heavy Hearts (album) by Dwin the Stoic: Thanks Femi for Sending me this album. After listening to just one song on the album, I was like OMG, this is good Music and he’s not screaming or shouting Sarewagba , I went to stalk him, you can stalk him too on Ig @dwinthestoic. His name is Edwin Madu, he tags his kind of Music as “Sans Genre” because he finds it hard “to place his music in those neat little genre boxes”.
7. Outside (album) and Every Song Burna Boy released this year: Ye o Ye o, ye ye ye ye ye ye.
Thank you for reading till the end. I hope you had a year too? ♥
If you want to track or record books as you read them, download Goodreads, it’s amazing. You track your books, find more books, write your thoughts about books and see what people are saying about books.
For movies, I use Letterboxd and its amazing apart from the fact that it is exclusively for movies, no TV series. Letterboxd is like a Goodreads for movies.
What books, movies and songs did you enjoy this year? Let me know. ♥ ♥