The Happy Noisemaker Book Club
For a few years, my mother and I lived in different parts of the world. It was not a matter of choice; my brother needed medical attention Nigeria could not provide and so they moved to London. The youngest was still a toddler and so he went as well. My dad and I remained in Nigeria. For a 7-year-old who was obsessed with her mother, it was difficult for me to understand why she could not take me along. I know it was irrational but at the time I felt unwanted. This was in the late ’90s and early 2000’s so there wasn’t cheap, mass mobile, or internet proliferation so we weren’t constantly in communication. The national postal service wasn’t great either (still mediocre) so she would send gifts and letters to me through friends or people she knew travelling from London to Lagos. I liked the clothes and chocolates and toys but what I absolutely loved, were the books. My mum would send me what seemed like a mountain of books at the time. It was more like 10, or 20 at a go. For a kid who loved books so deeply, it was the ultimate love language. Every time I read any of those books (and I read a lot), I convinced myself my mum was thinking about me, and loved me in a special way.
I loved reading before that and love it even more now, but that is just one of the stories that expresses just how much books mean to me. I have wanted to start a book club for a really long time, but between procrastination and feelings of inadequacy, I have waited till now, but better late than never innit!
Happy Noisemaker book choices will be predicated on one of two things:
The author is a woman
The author is African or black
Why? Because I say so. But also because some of the amazing literature that has stuck with me for the longest time has been by women, and the more I read the, more I love. I also just love African stories and stories about the black experience. If I’m going to deliberately make recommendations, I want it to be from authors in those two categories.
We will meet every fortnight (virtually) to discuss the book choice of the month. There will be other recommendations (optional) including articles and blogposts and other books and I’m open to suggestions from readers! Please join me!
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I’m excited for what is to come!