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In twenty-eight days, I’ll be twenty-eight years old. Like a flash, ten years have gone by from when I was a dewy-eyed eighteen-year-old. Scratch that. I was never dewy-eyed. I knew too much at too young an age. Partly because I read everything I could lay my eyes on; which I realise now may not have been a completely good thing for a child, but over time as I have matured, the knowledge has served me well. I don’t read as much as I used to and my tastes are more refined (I want to believe) but the love affair I started with books as a four-year-old is still going strong.

I love to read.

I. Love. To. Read.

I cannot count the number of wonderful friends, real and imaginary, books have brought into my life. Some of you reading this post are my ‘novel’ friends from way back.

My Birthay Wish List
Back to me now. For my birthday this year, I want twenty-eight books. Some of them I’ve read, some I owned at some point or another (and they got borrowed and never returned or I lost them when I left the north in a hurry in 2011), some I have in soft copy (but I’m a sucker for hard copies). Others I’ve never read but I’ve heard good things about. This is the point where I say “if you love me buy me one, or two or three (or all) of these books.” But I won’t say it. I’ll just drop this here.

1. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
2. We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo
3. Efuru by Flora Nwapa
4. The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren
5. Battlefield of The Mind by Joyce Meyer
6. The Strange Man by Ngugi Wa Thiong O
7. Jokes Apart by Julius Agu
8. To Saint Patrick by Eghosa Imasuen
9. Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
10. The Famished Road by Ben Okri
11. Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Adichie
12. American Gods by Neil Gaiman
13. Merchant of Venice – Shakespeare
14. The Palm-Wine Drinkard by Amos Tutuola
15. To Sir, With Love by E. R. Braithwaite
16. Weep Not, Child by Ngugi Wa Thiong O
17. African Child by Camara Laye
18. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
19. Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Garcia Marqeuz
20. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
21. How to Spell Naija by Chuma Nwokolo
22. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
23. The Great Railway Bazaar by Paul Theroux
24. King Solomon’s Mines by H. Rider Haggard
25. She: A History of Adventure by H. Rider Haggard
26. The Joys of Motherhood by Buchi Emecheta
27. The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born by Ayi Kwei Armah
28. Open City by Teju Cole

How will you know if someone else decides to get me the same book you have in mind? You won’t. But the books I get more than one copy of, I’ll be donating to a school library.

(Just putting this out there. A Kindle will be the PERFECTEST birthday gift)