Have you ever started reading a book only to feel like you’re not enjoying it as much as you thought you would but just when you’re about to give up, it gets so good? That’s how the books on this list made me feel. I started them but stopped somewhere along the line only to pick them up later and really love them.
In the palace of flowers by Victoria Princewill
It was brought to my attention on Instagram close to its release date and I just couldn’t ignore it. When the publishers sent me a review copy, I was very excited.(I’m always happy to get free books especially because I rarely get them – cons of living in Nigeria). I started it in July but I was a bit overwhelmed with the story and the characters that I decided to drop it. I began to side-eye the person who said it was a good book. Eventually, I picked it up again at the beginning of this month and I finished it in a couple of days and it was really good! You can read my review here.
Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell
This was a ‘Bookstagram made me buy it’ book. I’m not a fan of classic English plays. I read Shakespeare in secondary school and frankly didn’t enjoy his work. So I wasn’t so keen on reading a book based on his life/his son’s life. When I finished reading it, I was so surprised at how much I liked it. It explored grief in such a moving way.
Aftershocks by Nadia Owusu
I remember seeing Aftershocks by Nadia Owusu in a bookstore and walking past it. Later that evening, I saw one of my Instagram followers mentioned buying it and I decided to wait it out and read her review before buying it. Out of curiosity, I went on Goodreads to read the synopsis. From the synopsis, I found out it wasn’t fiction (I assumed it was) and that I wanted to read it. I eventually bought it three weeks later but when I started reading, I just wasn’t connecting to it but I kept reading because it wasn’t bad enough to discontinue. By the time I was 50% in, I was reading this book everywhere. In this memoir, Nadia details her life – the good and mostly bad aspects of it, her family, her childhood, the loss of her father and in this book, I found some sort of comfort in her vulnerability and honesty. I shared my review on the blog and you can read it here.
Dreams and assorted nightmares by Abubakar Adam Ibrahim
I remember being so excited to receive my review copy of this book along with other books from Masobebooks! I started with the other books I got because this book just didn’t catch my attention. I eventually read the first story and dropped it. (I always have high expectations for the first story in a short stories collection. If that first story is not fantastic, my zeal to read the other stories drops significantly)
A few weeks later, I picked it up again and finished it in two sittings. I think the best thing about this book was how unexpectedly good and different it was. Fun fact – I discussed this book on the radio (Smooth FM) with Judith.
Kintu by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi
The story of how I got and eventually completed this book is interesting. I wanted to buy Kintu at Aké fest 2019 but I didn’t because I had a budget and I wasn’t going above it. A week later, I won Kintu in a giveaway and I just knew even God wanted me to read it. I started it at the end of 2019 and would carry it everywhere with me but I just wasn’t enjoying and understanding it so it was not surprising that I left it in someone’s house. Anyway, sometime in 2020 (I think May/June) I got it back and started over again because I honestly couldn’t remember what I’d read. The way I rushed through it was shocking to me. It was such an amazing read. I still can’t believe I would’ve missed out on this gem of a book!
Ghana must go by Taiye Selasi
From the numerous reviews I’ve read, Ghana must go is a book you either love or hate. There is usually no in between. I remember starting this and pausing it to read other books because I wanted more from it and it just wasn’t giving me anything. I was so curious about the characters in this book and that was enough to make me pick it up again. This book emphasized the fact that the decisions we make, however little can have a huge impact on the lives of the people we love. You can read my review here.
As much as I advocate for never forcing yourself to read a book, these books have taught me that some books require a bit of patience.
Have you ever almost given up on a book only to end up loving it? Please share!