A few months ago I semi ranted to a semi-friend that I wished I had a proper creative outlet for all the seemingly “useless” info I gather through books. I posited that since some/a lot of the details in books do not constitute the main subject matter, one often ends up forgetting them with time, and I’m one keen on optimising the outcome of my reading routine. At the time of this conversation I was reading a book about Ebola by David Quammen, and my friend kind of bored from the whole convo suggested that my best outcome would be to apply for a job at Amref. Cue…Ohmigaahd! Just. Stop. Whining!
But I kept thinking about this, before it hit me that I was looking for what I already had; an accessible, laid back, fun way to learn in depth about some of the issues shallowly laid around in books as excrement of the main subject. Namely, this blog. For instance, I am currently reading The Gene by Siddhartha Mukherjee, and some of the anecdotes revolve around the politicisation of science,shocking medieval treatment methods, Eugenics, the greatest events that changed the course of science etc. Now, since the core of the book is the history of the gene, Siddhartha understandably doesn’t launch into a research log of medieval medicine for instance, except to the extent that it aids his points about Genetics. That’s where I come in.
The idea is to have an opinion/research/article piece about an issue/object/concept that features in a book, but not prominently enough to be explained by the book. In the Gene, I would not write an article about the history of the Gene for example as a) I’ll already have covered this in the review of the book and b) This would be mere regurgitation without much benefit to readers who already have or intend to read the book. Since I like writing, this will ensure a constant flow of ideas to execute.
The pieces will run concurrently with the usual Book reviews, but as stand alone posts and will cover every book I read [and some that I have read], including fiction and (Auto) Biographies. From time to time they will take a “How Things Work” approach, interrogative approach, an approach solely in the Kenyan context etc. I will also mention the book that inspired the topic and my basis for deciding to delve into it.
You will notice that even though I post a review on average once every two weeks, I don’t have strict preset timelines. I shall post a review and accompanying post once I’m done reading a book. Hopefully this will be twice a month [4 posts], hopefully it’ll be more frequent. Lastly, posts in this series will have 500-1500 words, as opposed to the 500-600 words we write in reviews.
See you on the other side!