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My Life in Books: Bill Muganda

Bill Muganda

Welcome to My Life in Books, a weekly series where readers, writers and content creators share how books have shaped them over the years.

Bill Muganda is a Kenyan native in Nairobi who romanticises his daily routine by disappearing into a book or two, takes photos for a living, and lives with two cats. You can follow him on Instagram here.

Bill Muganda

What’s your earliest memory of reading?

I was in primary school when my classmate brought a massive Lion King picture book, and I was fascinated by it. Everyone wanted to have it to the point of having a waiting list. I remember vaguely hiding it under my desk when it was my turn to read it during a math lesson; ever since, I’ve been on the lookout for that particular feeling.

Do you have a favourite book from childhood?

I had this battered copy of Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets and destroyed it from rereading it.

Do you have a favourite book from school?

Our curriculum didn’t have some exciting books or classics that I would deem my favourite, but I enjoyed The River Between by Ngugi wa Thiong’o

How often do you read?

I’d say daily, and it’s morphed over time. I’m glad it’s part of my routine and keeps me sane.

What are you reading at the moment?

I’ve dipped in and out of Notes of a Native Son by James Baldwin. Also, Bewilderment by Richard Powers and Madam Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

Is there a book you’ve always wanted to read but haven’t yet?

The Waves by Virginia Woolf, I’m currently making my way through some of her fiction.

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Is there a book you’d recommend to almost anyone?

Mr. Loverman by Bernadine Evaristo

What book didn’t live up to its hype?

Sally Rodney’s Beautiful World Where are You was easy to get through but forgettable

Do you have a favourite character from literature?

Mrs Ramsey from To The Lighthouse.

Is there a book you often re-read?

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel.

Do you have a favourite author?

Currently, Virginia Woolf, but that could change any day.

Do you have a favourite classic?

I was hooked on Les Miserable by Hugo Last year, and I still can’t believe how entertaining it was.

Favourite non-fiction?

Are you My Mother by Alison Bechel

Is there a book you think everyone should read?

One of my favourites is a collection of Sci-fi short stories called Exhalation by Ted Chiang, which plays with interesting themes surrounding the nature of existence. I think anyone can get something out of it.

Feeling inspired? Shop Bill Muganda’s favourite books below…

Bill Muganda

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