Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme that was started by @Lauren’s Page Turners but is now currently being hosted by Emily @ Budget Tales Book Blog. This meme is quite easy to follow – just randomly pick a book from your to-be-read list and give the reasons why you want to read it. It is that simple.

This week’s book:

Vagabonds! by Eloghosa Osunde

Blurb from Goodreads

In the bustling streets and cloistered homes of Lagos, a cast of vivid characters—some haunted, some defiant—navigate danger, demons, and love in a quest to lead true lives.

As in Nigeria, vagabonds are those whose existence is literally outlawed: the queer, the poor, the displaced, the footloose and rogue spirits. They are those who inhabit transient spaces, who make their paths and move invisibly, who embrace apparitions, old vengeances and alternative realities. Eloghosa Osunde’s brave, fiercely inventive novel traces a wild array of characters for whom life itself is a form of resistance: a driver for a debauched politician with the power to command life and death; a legendary fashion designer who gives birth to a grown daughter; a lesbian couple whose tender relationship sheds unexpected light on their experience with underground sex work; a wife and mother who attends a secret spiritual gathering that shifts her world. As their lives intertwine—in bustling markets and underground clubs, churches and hotel rooms—vagabonds are seized and challenged by spirits who command the city’s dark energy. Whether running from danger, meeting with secret lovers, finding their identities, or vanquishing their shadowselves, Osunde’s characters confront and support one another, before converging for the once-in-a-lifetime gathering that gives the book its unexpectedly joyous conclusion.

Blending unvarnished realism with myth and fantasy, Vagabonds! is a vital work of imagination that takes us deep inside the hearts, minds, and bodies of a people in duress—and in triumph.

Why I Want To Read It

Happy Monday everyone! Yesterday was Christmas so belated Merry Christmas my friends. Happy holidays! Woah, time flies as in a couple of days, we will be welcoming a new year. 2022 is slowly dwindling down to its final days. Thankfully, today has been declared a holiday here in the Philippines. Otherwise, I would have spent Christmas Day alone in the Big City. Thankfully, I was able to go home to the province for Christmas and spend it with my family. I hope that you were also able to spend this time of the year with your family. With the start of a new week, I hope that you had a great head start for the rest of the week.

2023 is so near! The new year is certainly brimming with hope. Brighter days are ahead as everything is slowly going back to normal. Still, the virus remains a real threat. I hope we don’t become too complacent lest we will not be undoing the progress we have made thus far. With 2022 drawing to a close, I hope that the remaining days of the year will be kind to everyone. I pray that you will all be showered with nothing but blessings. I also hope for healing and recovery. I also hope that all your hard work will get repaid. I pray that all your prayers get answered or that they have already been answered. I also hope that the rest of the week will go great for everyone. More importantly, I hope that you are all doing well and are in a good state of health, both in your mind and body.

Anyway, to kickstart the blogging week, I am posting a new Goodreads Monday update. Woah. This is my last Goodreads Monday update for the year! With the year drawing to a close, literary publications and websites have been posting about what they think are the best books of the year. This has been a yearly tradition. Meanwhile, I am on the lookout for these lists as I want to see how I fared. It is also an opportunity for me to learn about writers and books I have not encountered before or whose works I have not read before. This week’s featured book, Eloghosa Osunde’s Vagabonds!, however, does not fit into any of this. Nevertheless, a random encounter with the book during a trip to the bookstore piqued my interest.

Prior to this year, I have never encountered Eloghosa Osunde. I have also not read any of her/their works; I tried to find her/their correct pronoun since I am not sure. Her/their site used a mix of her/she and their/them while other publications used her. The first thing that caught my attention about the book was its premise. It was set in Lagos, Nigeria; Osunde was a Nigerian. In the past three years or so, I have been immersing myself in the works of African literature, primarily Nigerian literature. It was a part of the literary world that I have largely underexplored. With more and more books being made available to the rest of the world, it is a great opportunity to broaden my horizon. Vagabonds! seems like one of those books as it tackled several seminal subjects that plague modern Nigeria. These subjects also resonate on a global scale.

I just might make the book a part of my 2022 reading catch-up early in 2023. Hosting another African literature month in 2023 is also not a bad idea. How about you fellow reader? What books have you added to your reading list? Do drop it in the comment box. For now, happy Monday and, as always, happy reading!