Tuesday 6 March 2018

When I Grow Up.. by Patricia Asedegbega @Patricias_Place #BlogTour #RandomThingsTours

"You need a plan B," said Alicia’s mother when at five years old she told her what she wanted to be when she grew up. Thirty odd years later, Alicia is on plan D: sharing a flat, no tangible savings, and working for hateful Julia, whose sole purpose in life is to make her existence utterly miserable. Good thing she has Oscar and the girls to make the long hours at work bearable. But when a series of events tears the close-knit group apart, putting friendships and motives under suspicion, will Alicia be able to restore balance and set things right? More importantly, will she ever be able to upgrade her life to at least plan C?

When I Grow Up by Patricia Asedegbega is published in ebook and print.  I'm really happy to welcome the author here to Random Things today. She's talking about the books that are special to her in My Life In Books.

My Life In Books - Patricia Asedegbega 

I don´t recall the title of the first book I read or when I did but I have lots of childhood and teen memories of myself reading, going to the local library to borrow books, exchanging novels with friends, pretending to study whilst secretly reading a novel…

I also have lost count of the number of books I have read in my life, but here is a small list of the most significant ones (I'm sure that I'm forgetting a few).

The Bible: I have vivid memories of my siblings and I listening to my mother read to us from The Bible when we were quite young. For some inexplicable reason (considering how active we were), we managed to sit quietly those Sunday evenings as she read. I do remember looking at the black and white illustrations probably trying to relate them to what I had just heard. I have since progressed to reading it on my own, and it has become an indispensable companion for me through the years.

Malory Towers: Of all Enid Blyton´s books, this collection is my favourite (even though growing up I read anything I could lay my hands on from her). I first read them as a pre-teenager in Spanish and I found them easy and relatable reads, she nailed the different characters that you can find in a group of school girls and it was fun seeing them mature into almost adults. I consider her one of the best all time children´s author and always recommend her. I got the collection again as an adult (this time in English) and I loved discovering little nuances I had missed before. I have to mention that I of course also read Famous Five, Secret Seven…but like Malory Towers…

Greeks and Trojans by Rex Warner: I read this book as one of the required literature texts in school (I think it was when I was thirteen years old) and so far this has by far been the best version of that war for me. Probably because it was a compulsory read and we had to do a lot of work with it, I got to analyze and know its content fairly well. Writing this post I looked it up on Amazon and was delighted to see it is available (with the same cover it had almost 30 year ago). I can´t wait to get a copy and reread it

The Pacesetters series: As teenagers we devoured the books in this series of African authors published by Macmillan. The colourful illustrated covers depicted scenes or characters from the book which really helped my imagination when reading. I remember how we waited for our turn to borrow whichever book in the series we hadn´t read. They are short novellas rich in African traditions with some sort of moral at the end of each one.

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe: This for a lot of us that have read the book is one of the treasures of Nigeria (when the book is mentioned, people that have read it can´t seem to stop themselves from quoting bits and pieces). I can´t remember how long ago I read it but it is one of those books that I had to have in my library as an adult. It is a profound analysis within a rural setting of human strengths, fears and weaknesses. The acceptance of change that comes with colonization and the struggle to maintain an identity and way of life at all cost. There is so much more to this book than meets the eye… if you are a fan of popular sayings and proverbs; then this is a must read for you.

So Long a Letter by Mariama Ba: I think I was about seventeen when a friend gave me a summary of a book she had read and really liked. I of course (like any book lover would do), asked her to lend it to me. Set in Senegal, it is a 95 page letter from one friend to another recounting her life journey; depicting the struggles of the African woman of that time. Considering when it was written; it does give an insight to the mind of the author that probably used her pen as an outlet to the frustration felt towards a society unjust to women. A raw and touching story that will not leave the reader indifferent. I have of course since gotten my personal copy of the book

Towards Zero by Agatha Christie:This is one of my favourite books from her. I´ve read all her books (I think) and they inspired me in my genre choice as a writer. I consider her the queen of suspense and I love how in each book she succeeds in submerging the reader in the plot and keeps you guessing till the very end. I think what I like best about her books is that they are suitable for people in almost any age range. Also, her use of every day psychology in creating her characters helps bring them to life and you can almost imagine them when reading.

Rome Sweet Rome by Scott Hahn: I can´t remember how I discovered this book (probably in one of my Amazon searches) but I really enjoyed reading this autobiography. Most especially, I actually found it very insightful and learned quite a lot from it. I normally don´t read non-fiction but the journey and struggles of this couple; I found really inspiring.

There are many more books I have enjoyed reading (comics included) and through the years I have become a fan of many authors like Elizabeth George, Sophie Kinsella, Alexander McCall Smith…I hope that just as others helped me discover new authors, my little list can help you do the same

Patricia Asedegbega - March 2018 

Author of I stand corrected, When I grow up..., Rewind, Balou uncensored, Bienvenidos a gatos anónimos, Pasarse cuatro Pueblos and Sesenta segundos dan para mucho, Patricia Asedegbega Nieto was born to a Spanish mother and a Nigerian father in Madrid. 
As a child, she relocated with her family to Nigeria and later returned to Spain, where she acquired her BSc and master´s degree. 
She is currently living near Madrid with her family and her very stubborn cat, Merlin Mojito.

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