This is my 103rd review. I think three things have made my reading output this year increase exponentially. Those three would be: no cable television, the discovery that audiobooks work for me as part of my current commute, and the Read Harder challenge put on by Book Riot. (Although, the last two are really one in the same.) I am in the middle of listening to my 17th audiobook of the year, and Teju Cole’s Every Day Is for the Thief completes my final of 24 tasks for the Read Harder Challenge.
Task number 8 is to read a book by an author from Africa. Teju Cole was on the list provided by Book Riot, so off we went. (I should mention that since I’m feeling a bit of reader fatigue I did try Half A Yellow Sun but could not get into it, and the length at the tail end of the year was a bit off-putting. It remains on my to read list.) In this rather slim volume (my copy was 162 pages, some with pictures) Cole traces the experience of a Nigerian ex patriate returning to Lagos for an extended visit, and making peace – or not – with the country he rediscovers through adult eyes.
In some ways this work reads like a travelogue, in others as a journal, and still sometimes like a script. The reader accompanies the unnamed narrator as he spends long days comparing present-day Lagos to the Lagos of his memory, and ruminating on the changes that have taken place in both the city and himself. This is a very different coming of age story than one might be accustomed to, not focusing on the signposts of adolescence, but instead the soul searching of the mid-twenties.
This book was read and reviewed as part of the charitable Cannonball Read. Registration is open now (until January 15, 2016) for Cannonball Read 8, which starts in January.