Yay for Top Ten Tuesdays! This week is a rewind, and as (almost) always when we get to choose, I choose quotes. Quotes make me happy, and these are some of my favourites from books I read over the past year. (Two other TTT Quotes of mine: here and here.)
This post is scheduled a few weeks in advance as I am currently on a rural rotation without decent internet access. Responses to comments will thus be slower than usual. This week with The Broke and The Bookish we discuss our “reading wishlist” – in other words, things we wish authors would write about. Guys, this one was HARD! Obviously I did not want to give away anything that I might be working on (sorry)… I finally came up with some. They’re not all super unique, but I would like these books anyway. So if you want to write them, go for it!
I don’t really know how to describe Moxyland. It is Science Fiction set in Cape Town, and has FOUR POVs – an art-school drop-out, and activist, an “Aidsbaby” climbing the corporate ladder and a Vlogger/Gamer (basically). Don’t run away from the multiple POVs though, I thought it was quite well done. One can clearly tell the difference between characters, unlike some other books (like The Scorpio Races) where it was easy to get confused between the narrators.
The South Africa in Moxyland is basically a police state that favours big corporations. Technology is everything, and your cellphone determines your level of access. Thus, the homeless without cell phones truly are entirely disenfranchised. Continue reading
For a while now, it has been important to me that readers read widely. Bookworms will tell you that reading opens your mind, widens your world, allows you to travel when plane tickets are expensive and holidays in short supply. But I think, to some extent, there is a clause to this. I don’t think reading opens your mind quite as much if you only read one genre… or if you only read books set in one country (not judging, just hypothesising). That is why I went out of my way in 2013 to read books from countries I had never read. (Some of my favourites here.)
So I started looking at the books I have read. And I started thinking how awesome it would be if I could have a graphical representation of that. And then this happened:
I bought this book while in Vietnam with Semester at Sea. Last Night I Dreamed of Peace by Đặng Thùy Trâm is the wartime diary of a young Vietnamese doctor during the Vietnam War (or the American War for them) - 25, barely graduated, a female doctor in the 1960s.
Thuy was an incredible young woman. She grew up in Northern Vietnam, but was posted in the South at a civilian clinic for the war effort. She had to do many things she was not comfortable with, and soon took the role of a “war surgeon”. In addition she was responsible for training young nurses. I was hooked by the first line:
“Operated on one case of appendicitis with inadequate anaesthesia.” Continue reading
I’m linking up with Jamie from The Perpetual Page Turner for her awesome end-of-year bookish survey. This was hard because I don’t really take note of all these things while reading! But it was also good fun. What would my life be without books? Pretty empty. (The logos I’m using are from Jamie’s original post.) Continue reading
China Underground by Zachary Mexico was the third book I purchased on Semester at Sea. The book comprises a series of anecdotes of various Chinese citizens, whom the author met and interviewed while in China. These include sex workers, minority groups such as the Uighurs (a Chinese Muslim minority), art lovers, film makers, drug dealers (and users) and more. Their commonality is that they are outsiders, and that each sees their country and the world through a distinct lens.
The book is almost like a collection of short stories that can be picked up at any point and any time. There is something for everybody, although I would of course suggest reading the whole book. Continue reading
This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is about our most anticipated 2014 releases, but I decided to jump a few weeks ahead and do the 24 December topic: Top Ten Books I Wouldn’t Mind Santa Bringing Me. Reasons being a) I’m not too phased about anticipating new releases because it takes a while to reach South Africa, usually and b) my family will be wanting to buy my Christmas presents before Christmas Eve… hint-hint, nudge-nudge, bash-bash.
I was walking through my home suburb (read:village) with my brother the other day. We went to the local library, sampled some books (slim pickings) and as we walked home, I asked about such-and-such a bookshop, and such-and-such a used bookshop. They were all closed down. Anyone wanting to purchase books needs to go to town (literally). A town which, incidentally, has only generic chain bookshops.
And I said to my brother, “This place needs more bookstores.”
And then, “Our country needs more bookstores.”
And then, “Africa needs more bookstores.”