I can’t believe it’s been well over three months since I last posted here.  I’ve kept meaning to but for various reasons (excuses) haven’t done so.  It’s not for lack of reading.  I guess work and just trying to keep up with life in general have kept me busy, not to mention the stresses that go along with living in South Africa, which have kept my mind somewhat preoccupied recently, but it’s time to stop using those excuses which I believe, correctly or incorrectly, keep me doing what I really want to do and that is doing more of this.  Writing and blogging.

Last year I took up the Goodreads challenge and over optimistically challenged myself to read 52 books.  I would have liked to have read that much, but it was just a bit too much.  So this year I have challenged myself to a more reasonable number of 24 books and so far I am on track.  If I read more, great, but I will make sure I read at least 24.

I won’t say I’ve read any great literary wonders so far this year, but they’ve made for good enough reading.  In keeping with my African roots, so to speak, all four books I’ve read this year have been based in Africa.

place of reeds 2

Read between Christmas & New Year, this is a true story about Caitlin Davies a British woman and her marriage to a mixed race Botswana man, and the challenges she faced, particularly the culture clashes so to speak, and the complex relationships she had with her husband’s family.  Her story also captures the essence of life in southern Africa, especially life in the more isolated villages and towns  and those are the parts of the book I enjoyed the most.  However it draws to a sad end, after Caitlin is raped and how she deals with it and how her family, her in laws in particular, deal with the rape and with her.  The end, I find is particularly sad, and I do hope life has been better to her and her daughter since then.

dark heart 2

Tony Park is an Australian author who while on safari in South Africa apparently fell in love with country and now writes best selling novels that are based in South Africa.  This one was based around the Rwandan genocide, and the illegal trade in wildlife in Africa.  The book was a good enough adventure/action romp. Maybe somewhat implausible at times, but it kept me going, wanting to know what would happen in the end, so I’m fine with that. As we say in South Africa, it’s a “skop, skiet en donner” story. (meaning “kicking, shooting and beating people up”) If that’s your sort of story, you’ll enjoy it. In some ways he reminded me of Deon Meyer.

The other two I’ll review soon, and hopefully not in several months time!

In the meantime, I’m giving Africa a break and am reading a Neil Gaiman novel – who I’ve never read before.  Different, but it’s got my attention.