I know why the caged bird sings – Maya Angelou

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Once upon a time, long before the innnernet, I used to be an avid reader. I would devour books like they were hot salted peanuts, still licking the salt off my lips from the last one as I opened the next one. My concentration and focus abilities were second to none and often I would rather go to bed with a novel than my boyfriend. Sometimes. But then the internet came and shortly afterwards, social media. I was not immune to its seduction and became entrapped in the world of instant gratification. To watch an entire movie from beginning to end without checking my phone, making a banana smoothie or sending an email in the middle of it is a task, let alone reading an actual book with more than 10 pages.

But then as the infatuation with the online world began to waver, I found myself turning to my first love, books. Picking up a fresh one and cracking the spine gave me that familiar stir of excited anticipation. It’s similar to the feeling of the first day of holiday but better because my imagination, I’ve decided, is my favourite holiday destination.

I have said too much now and have hardly touched on this exquisite novel by Maya Angelou. Each chapter a short story of her childhood. Written with dignity and poise, articulate and insightful, Maya Angelou takes you back to the 1930’s and gives you a front row seat of the life of a negro girl in the South. But unlike many novels or movies in this setting, this collection of stories will leave you with a warm feeling in your belly better known as love. For Maya Angelou did not harp on her shortcomings, nor did her experiences make up her identity. Instead, she offers an alternative way to view your own experiences in life that will leave you feeling light yet determined.

Get it here

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