So I'll come right out and admit that I recently downloaded my very own copy of Fifty Shades of Grey. Out of a pure literary interest, of course. I had resisted for the longest time. And now I was fully prepared to blast this book to smithereens in my review. I must say I'm willing to stand corrected, at least partially. It's still a terrible plot, but at least it's all grammatically correct.
Most South Africans, especially of the generation slightly older than myself, know Ian Smith very well, the man who unilaterally declared Rhodesia's independence from Britain, served as its prime minister, and oversaw the bloody civil war that eventually led to the first democratic elections and the long reign of Robert Mugabe since then. Read hear about his story.
2010 will be the last year the print version of Britannica in all its 32 volumes was released, meaning from here on out, all progress will only be recorded online. Because it's so much more efficient and user-friendly. There are so many reasons why it makes sense to keep this type of information purely online, and not in print. And yet this news makes me profoundly sad.
We Are All Zimbabweans Now, unlike Mukiwa or When a Crocodile Eats the Sun, is a work of fiction. It's a good story, starting innocently enough with an American graduate student sets off for Zimbabwe in 1982 full of euphoria to write a thesis about Mugabe's new government and his promise of reconciliation. But things become complicated quickly.
<Click here to place your order for the Guide to Johannesburg or to download a trial chapter>
When I recently came across the Guide to Johannesburg by Expat-Living.info, my first thought was “wait a minute, that’s what my blog is all about!” I had to find out more, so a few weeks ...
Ever since arriving here, several friends have recommended this book called The Elephant Whisperer, so when I happened upon it at Scoobs the other day, I decided to give it a try. It's really a worthwhile read. Although the title is a bit misleading, because it immediately makes you think of the Horse Whisperer, and it has none of that cheesy chick-flick quality. It's actually a rather serious book.
There was much hope among both blacks and whites for their new country, Zimbabwe, after the end of white minority rule and a bloody civil war in 1980. The Fear chronicles the slow and steady erosion of this hope during Zimbabwe's subsequent decline, leaving only hardship, misery, and, well, fear. It's not an easy book to stomach but a story that needs to be heard.
I finally did it. I finished Nelson Mandela's Long Walk to Freedom. It wasn't a short hop for me either. I'd be lying if I said it was an easy read. I usually fall in love with books readily and am also not typically discouraged by very thick specimen, but this one did test my willpower. The story is fascinating, but the writing itself didn’t captivate me as much as that of other authors.
Twenty Chickens for a Saddle is a charming story of an unconventional childhood in 1990s Botswana. Robyn’s mother is a staunch believer in home schooling, because “a syllabus stifles creativity”, and she cheerily proceeds to impose a rather haphazard schooling regime, as much driven by daily events and the life around them in the bush as any adherence to a formal curriculum.
When a Crocodile Eats the Sun picks up where Mukiwa: A White Boy in Africa, another Peter Godwin book, had left off: Whereas Mukiwa is a memoir of Peter's childhood and coming of age in the Rhodesian armed forces during the early years of the civil war, this second book describes what happened in what was now called Zimbabwe after independence up until the present day.