It’s that time of the year when the days are longer and warmer, and we get to languish in the sunny Cape Weather – of course with a good book in hand. If you live in the Southern Suburbs go for a walk along the Alphen Trail and find a bench, or relax in the Boschenheuvel Arboretum. If you’re a town dweller, then find a vacant spot in the Company Gardens or the Promenade. Here are 5 suggestions that have kept me glued to my spot.
Pale Native – Maz du Preez
With brutal honesty and clarity, characteristic of his journalistic career, Max takes us through the first 50 years of his life, introducing us to the various people, papers and plane-crashes that for him, the scene for exploring what it mean a pale native in South Africa. Particularly poignant as our country faces several social, political and moral challenges.
Half a yellow sun – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Simply sumptuous and captivating from the first page. In this semi-historical novel, this furiously talented African novelist takes us on a whirlwind journey through Nigeria’s civil war, told through the lens of a wealthy family, and the lives that intersect with theirs. In every way an African classic, and a fabulous introduction to this author if you haven’t already met her.
Patricia de Lille – Charlene Smith
This biography has helped increase my perception of Patrica one hundred fold. After seeing the book, I thought I should get to know a little more about my mayor, and I have a massive newfound respect for her contribution towards the humanitarian, ethical and political spheres of our country, and the great sacrifice and suffering she has endured in the process. Something Capetonians in particular should read.
Wild – Cheryl Strayed
A coming of age biography, detailing how Cheryl Strayed walked over 100 days of the Pacific Crest Trail in an attempt to deal with some of the grief of losing her mother, and to try and make sense of the somewhat tumultuousness that had become her life. Captivating, honest and inspiring. You may have seen the posters for the recent Hollywood adaption of the film, starring Reece Witherspoon.
Mornings in Jenin – Susan Abulhawa
My first foray into the life of a Palestinian who faced dislocation at the hands of Israeli invasion. Heart-wrenching and difficult to read, the narrative explores the life of the relocation camps, as experienced through three generations. A biased narrative sure, but it can only be natural that a person’s story carries bias, as it is theirs and theirs alone, based on the true experience of their life.