2014 has been another blessed year for me full of God’s grace. First, my research affiliation at the University of Oxford, Department of Education was extended for another year. In connection to that, I had an opportunity to spend 3 months of education planning research at the International Institute of Education Planning (IIEP)-UNESCO in Paris for 3 months. The lessons learnt, cultural experience, and knowledge gained was invaluable. I learnt a lot about education issues and policies at the global level. The “global learning crisis” was a shock for me…a wake up to put more effort into educating people in particular through improving our schools and quality of education delivery. For this reason, to borrow Nick Kristof, words, I will raise a glass for every person in this beautiful earth who works on improving education at whatever level or capacity.
Second, Paris helped me to get to meet wonderful people some of whom have left big positive mark on my life. Mmmh, on that note… “midnight in Paris” was a reality in me. Wow, life is indeed beautiful and it’s all by God’s grace. Somehow related to that…was a door opened as I accepted what Pastor T.D. Jakes that “if people want to walk away from your life, let them do so…” so I did that, letting some people out of my life, because I knew “they are not my destiny” however painful that could be… and with that acceptance and decision I have been delivered from something that would have been very mortal. Thank you Lord Jesus for the joy and peace in my life that you’ve brought through very unconventional means…with that, I tell you…don’t box Jesus…He’s “frameless”. At this moment I feel like a constructivist…lol (my IR remnants in me are being aggressive)
So, in the line of feeling the importance of being “frameless”, I have, as a result, developed a deep desire and passion to go into creative writing away from the super competitive academic writing… mainly I am ‘groupieing’ creative writing to express how life should be frameless and the beauty of living framelessly. Really? Beauty? Yes…a beautiful tapestry…with many strings…a couple of them very bitter yet they knit the tapestry tighter…that’s the genius of being “frameless” which is only understood #ByGrace. And here is where Aikande sleeps and Kyeku checks in…in my creative writing, am Kyeku…if you’d bother, you can call me character Kyeku…what about that?
With that new passion, I guess my reading interest changed in 2014…when Kyeku relaxed, however, Aikande would quickly come out and pull off an academic related book- one of the books Aikande enjoyed most was Piketty, to the point that Kyeku peeped back and forth only to find it interesting to the point of having a crush on the author…lol…he is such a brainy confident *******…otherwise Kyeku completely took over and enjoyed reading fiction as opposed to the hardcore staff.
The fiction I enjoyed the most was “The Ladies Delight”…it showed the power of a woman (not in a feminism way) but in the very “weakness” perceived in a woman…women! In our weakness we are stronger…
I also laughed a lot reading “White Teeth”…mmh! Trust me I sometimes woke up at night and laughed at some of the “scenes”
Chimamanda makes me proud. She presents masterpieces full of Africa yet global…a true reflection of an “the lexus and the olive tree” – i.e. think local act global… depicted in her Americanah as well as in Half of a Yellow Sun. Indeed, she makes the study of “immigration” and “global politics” so easy.
Now, here is the list of the books I read in 2014. I wrote reflections on some of them and posted them in my website. Mention may be made that in here I have not included the enormous academic journal articles I’ve had to read for my research…and this year, I was being properly educated in Education.
Well here are the books:
Achebe C., There Was A Country: A Personal History of Biafra (London: Penguin Books, 2012)
Adichie C., Americanah (London: Fourth Estate, 2013)
Adichie C., Half of a Yellow Sun (London: Fourth Estate, 2009)
Carothers T. & Gramont D., Development Aid Confronts Politics: The Almost Revolution (Washington DC: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 2013)
Chang Ha- Joon, Bad Samaritans: The Guilty Secrets of Rich Nations and Threat to Global Prosperity (London: Random House Business Books, 2007)
Figes O., Just Send Me Word: A True Story of Love and Survival in the Gulag (London: Penguin, 2013)
Fukuyama F., Political Order and Political Decay: From the Industrial Revolution to the Globalization of Democracy (New York: FSG Books, 2014)
Grenz S. J., The Moral Quest: Foundations of Christian Ethics (IL: InterVarsity Press, 1997)
Hayek F.A., The Road To Serfdom (First published by George Routledge & Sons, 1944; and reprinted by Routledge Classics,2001)
Irwin N., The Alchemist: Three Central Bankers and A World On Fire (New York: Penguin Press, 2013)
Kneale M., An Atheist History of Belief (London: Vintage Books, 2014)
MacMillan M., The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914 (Random House, 2013)
Masden A., Coco Chanel: A Biography (London: Bloomsbury, 2009)
Nyalandu, F. Unaweza: Mbinu Kumi Za Kumudu Masomo Yako (Dar-es-Salaam: Shule Direct, 2014)
Piketty T., Capital in the Twenty-First Century (Boston: Harvard University Press, 2014)
Said E. W., Orientalism (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd., 1978, and Reprinted by Penguin Books in 2003), pp. 396
Smith Z., White Teeth (London: Penguin Books, 2001)
Stiglitz J., The Price of Inequality (London: Penguin Books, 2012)
Zola Emile, Au Bonheur des Dames (The Ladies’ Delight), (London: Penguin Classics, 1883- translated in 2001), pp. 429.