I always marvel at God's special blessings upon Nigeria. From the fresh fruits we have in abundance to the weather, from the human resources to the variety of crops. The crops of course cannot be without rain with which God has endowed us. In other countries, agriculture is organized and mechanized but in Nigeria we are still looking down on farming as petty and inconsequential.
I have travelled enough to know we are abundantly blessed. Buying mangoes abroad for instance is like throwing your money away; pineapples are so tiny they look unreal. Back home in Nigeria naturally grown food is everywhere. But sometimes the rain can trap us, ensnare us and make us moody. For me the sound of rain, the beauty of drizzles, the sum total of a downpour is a call to my books. When it is raining there is poetry in the atmosphere. I advise you to read a book at this time. Sitting in an office unable to go out is an opportunity to read a book or curled up in bed with the rain singing on your roof. A good book, a cup of tea and some quiet are always such delights. Sometimes, rain can be a spirit dampener but it's all good. Our plants grow, the weather is clement and we are grateful that we are not in drought. A book is a bonus. Enjoy these five recommendations on a rainy day.
1) All of James Hadley Chase's novels. I have read almost all of them and although they do not fall in today's modernist types of block busters, James Hadley Chase wrote books to keep us all awake, alert, and excited. From Double Shuffle to No Orchids for Miss Blandish. Any one of his books will please you on a rainy day.
2) Tropical Fish by Doreen Baigana. I read this book in two days. The Ugandan Caine Prize winner did not disappoint reader throughout the book. It was so funny; I had to continuously hold my sides. When I finally met her in Abuja, she showed that humorous side of her that came through in her book. Tropical Fish is a collection of short stories I thoroughly enjoyed. If you cannot visit a friend because of the rain. You can read Tropical Fish. It will keep you company.
3) Depressed by the goings on in on in Nigeria? Cheer up. Grab a copy of Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani's riveting I Do Not Come to You by Chance and learn more about how advance fee fraudsters (419) operate. Not only is it educative, it will teach you a lesson or two.
4) Chinua Achebe returns to this page again and again. He is the ultimate literary hero of our time. I recommend that when you are confused, angry, amused or simply irritated by some of the things you encounter in our politics, you should help yourself to some education by reading A Man of the People, again. A world classic about Nigerian politics, amazingly relevant today as it was when it was written in the sixties. A good book for the rains.
5) I just got a copy of No Higher Honour; A Memoir of my Years in Washington written by Condoleeza Rice, former American secretary of state. This is the story of her role, how government is ran, the challenges, the intrigues and the highlights of working with two serving United States Presidents, father and son. I recommend it very highly and I suggest that while you are it you should pick up a copy of George Bush's Decision Point as complimentary to Condoleeza's.
When it is raining, love is more beautiful and tender. Read a love story. Any love story will do.
Next to love stories, I recommend Newspapers, magazines, Journals and cartoons. Any light read will enable you enjoy the moment and hear the poetry of the rain. Stop. Take a look outside your window. Beautiful isn't it? It might even make you write your own book. Great inspiration! It grows our food, helps to cool the weather, keeps us in love, makes us read a book and might even help us write one. Rain is good. I say no more.