See all those kids with their noses glued to their phones? That’s what my mother used to say about me. Except my nose was stuck in a book.
People scoff at those who seem glued to their devices. I’m feeling a bit more tolerant these days. Somehow I’m finding myself surfing the net or reading Facebook or playing Sudoku more than I used to, rather than picking up my kindle (or an actual book). I guess I’m just getting lazy. Or is it that the mindless posts or games are more intriguing than the books I’ve been reading?
Sadly, I think it’s a combination of both. But the good news is that I have found a few books I found compelling, enjoyable and memorable.
Some books just reach out and grab you from the start, and this is one of them. Yelena is rotting in prison, waiting to be executed for murder. Instead, she’s given a second chance. Only the condition is she has to accept the position of food taster for the Commander, the ruler of Ixia. Slowly, as she studies poisons and grows into her new position, she realizes she may have a bigger role to play in the political dramas that surround her. I loved this book so much I bought the rest in the series.
Peggy is working as a secretary in the Embassy of Ghana in Washington DC when she gets a phone call from a relative. Her Uncle Joseph, king of the village of Otuam, has died. The village elders have selected Peggy to be the next king.
So begins the true story of Peggy’s life changing from ordinary secretary to king of a village. She arrives to find a truly sad state of affairs. The royal palace is nearly in ruins. Tradition demands that her uncle’s funeral be held at the palace, which is in no state for a major event. A series of events teach Peggy that she was chosen to be king because the elders thought a woman, long-distance king would never find out how they were stealing the village funds. How Peggy managed to overcome the ingrained corruption and bring wells, ambulances and better schools to the village made for an entertaining read.
What was especially interesting was how the traditional beliefs and customs were presented. I felt like I got a fascinating glimpse into traditional Ghanaian thinking.
We’ve all wanted to find ourselves in the world of our favorite books. That’s exactly what happened to author Jeff Powell. He wakes up to find himself in the world he created for his series of fantasy novels. His characters, however, aren’t happy with him at all. They complain about the drought and dragons he’s sent to plague them, and want some of the evils he’s conjured up erased. The problem is that enemies he didn’t write are on the prowl, and no one can figure out how to send him back to our world so he can rewrite the end of the story. A clever and engrossing read.