Book Hangover


Have you ever thought what kind of “holic” are you? A workaholic, bookaholic, golfaholic, spend-aholic, rage-aholic, chocoholic, wordaholic, tweetaholic, foodaholic or an alcoholic?

I am not sure if I can call myself a bookaholic but I do experience “Book Hangover” which is inability to start a new book because I am still living in the last book’s world.  Sharing excerpts from my recent Hangover.

The Thing around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Nkem lives in Philadelphia with her kids.  Her art-dealer husband, very busy man, visits her only 2 months a year.  One fine day, Nkem learns about her husband’s girlfriend who has moved in her flat in Lagos.  While she is waiting for her husband in Philadelphia, she compromises her identity in terms of looks just to claim her straying husband.  This is one of the 12 stories, Imitation, which speaks volumes in very few words.

Another story which fascinates me is Jumping Monkey Hill.  Ujunwa, a fiction writer is invited to an African Writers Workshop held at Jumping Monkey Hill resort near Cape Town.  Each writer at the workshop is to write one story during their stay at the resort.  While Ujunwa’s story is criticized as “implausible” (…It isn’t a real story of real people), it is in fact an autobiographical piece.   Well, Fiction reveals Truth that Reality obscures. 

This collection of 12 short stories by Adichie leaves the reader wanting more.  Though her stories give a nervous clutch in the belly, it will surely make you sanguine at the end. 

The Devil wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger

At some point in time, did you ever wish your Boss was dead? But after a rational thought, you don’t want him / her to die.  Because, if he / she dies, you lose all hope of killing him / her yourself. And that would be a shame.  This tiny book of fashion inspiration is about Andrea’s one year journey as an assistant to Editor-in-chief, Miranda Priestly (a tyrannical nightmare) of the world’s most fashionable magazine, Runway.

Andrea’s dream was to break into magazine journalism, her ultimate goal being to get a job at The New Yorker.  This one year job as Miranda’s assistant promised Miranda’s recommendation, which Andrea hopes will ‘send her straight to the top’ working for The New Yorker.

Andrea is thrust into this extremely trendy fashion world which she barely knew existed. Each person working at Runway is skinnier than the other, everyone dresses in the trendiest (and most expensive) clothes imaginable, and Miranda Priestly expects her assistants to work fourteen-hour days doing menial jobs such as making sure her coffee is in right temperature, serving her lunch the moment she asks for it, getting her clothes dry cleaned, wrapping Christmas gifts and so on.  To make matters worse, Miranda is ungrateful, rude and does not accept her assistants making any mistakes.

As much as she hates Miranda, Andrea continues to do her job, holding out hope that the job at The New Yorker is only few months away. As time goes by, all non-Miranda things somehow ceased to be relevant the moment Andrea arrived at work.  However, as she continues to put in long hours at work, her relationship with her boyfriend, best friend and family as well as her self-esteem begin to suffer.   

It is all about the choices we make in life.  But is the chase for success really worth the moments you lose forever and the people who are (rather were) a part of your lives?

Cheers – Lubna

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