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.”
This week on Top Ten Tuesday with The Broke and The Bookish, the topic is Top Ten Books I’d Recommend to X Person. For my “person” I choose the average South African teen – young boys and girls of our country who grow up in difficult socio-economic circumstances. These are the books I’d recommend to them – granted, their reading ability would need to be up to scratch, which reportedly is not the case with many of our scholars, but none of these books are difficult reads.
In 1832 at the southernmost tip of Africa, slavery continues to toil a seemingly impossible battle. Slaves at the Cape work the vineyards, build their masters’ coffins, knit their winter-wear, raise children – and sometimes, when their owner’s wives can’t or won’t, they bear them children.
Slaves are barefooted. Shoes are for free men.
Slaves are not buried in wooden coffins, but in an old shroud. Coffins are for free men.
Philida, a cheeky slave girl who has endured beatings and borne four children her owner’s son refuses to acknowledge. His promises of buying her freedom prove fruitless and she makes the journey to lodge a complaint against him.
One of the good things about attending university away from home is the opportunity to live with a roommate. For some, who have never needed to share a space with anyone, it is a valuable learning experience, but even for people who grew up with siblings (like me) having a roommate for at least the first year of university goes a long way to assuage the homesickness and nervousness.
I have had four roommates on three occasions (roomed with two during Semester at Sea). Happily I have no horror stories, but in all cases we only met on the very first day of rooming together – in other words, we were not given each other’s details ahead of time, as happened with the protagonists in Roomies. Continue reading
Not literally, of course. But between her drug addict patients, sleepless nights on call, and battling wits with the sadistic yet charming Sexy Surgeon, Jane can’t imagine an afterlife much worse than her first month of medical internship at County Hospital.
The Devil Wears Scrubs by Freida McFadden follows Jane, an Internal Medicine Intern, for her first few months of Internship. She has all the jitters of a slightly inexperienced young doctor, a lot to learn, and a senior resident straight from hell. Jane must learn to navigate the halls of a new hospital, survive on next-to-no sleep and side-step her vicious roommate. Continue reading
I was fourteen when a friend of mine told me to try Manga. The next time I went to a bookshop I went to the Manga shelf and uttered, “But the book is faulty. It’s back to front!” Genuinely. I felt a little stupid when everyone laughed at me, so maybe that’s why it took me almost another decade to consider it again.
I got Bakuman in Japan earlier this year when I visited the Manga Museum in Kyoto. By Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata, this Manga is apparently very different from other Manga, because it is basically a Manga about Manga.The story: Moritaka is a young schoolboy who is close to the end of his compulsory schooling and has no idea what he wants to do with his life, and thus no idea which high school he should attend (if any). He enjoys drawing, but his parents expect him to lead a “stable” life and he agrees, having lost his uncle to the consequences of overworking. Continue reading
I have a weird name, and when you have a weird name and you love genealogy, you get obsessed with the meanings of names. Mine has various meanings depending on translation, but can mean anything from “wished-for child” to “rebellion”. I believe names can influence who we become – my sister has a name meaning cheerful and as a child she was incredibly happy-go-lucky and full of jokes. If you’ve read The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay, you’ll be familiar with the obsession with names. Here are my favourite literary character names, as prompted by Top Ten Tuesday.
I’m linking up with Top Ten Tuesday today to talk about the books I was forced to read (and loved). I always loved reading, but reading other people’s suggestions has been instrumental in broadening my horizons. It’s hard to identify which books I was “forced” into reading, because generally if someone suggests a book I happily devour it.
1. An Episode of Sparrows by Rumer Godden – this was probably the most difficult required reading I ever had to do, and I would not have loved it had we not had an excellent teacher guiding us through. The story begins incredibly slowly but with the right kind of attention it blossoms beautifully. Continue reading
This was the first book I bought while on Semester at Sea.
Hives in Paradise by Midge Hill Mebane was sold to me at the Hilo Farmer’s Market on our second (and final) day in Hilo, Hawai’i by the author’s son. He also sold delicious macadamia nuts and home-grown cloves, and had a lot of interesting views about Hawai’i and their people. I wish I could remember his name, because the book mentions the children a lot. It is out of print, and self-published, and I got a signed copy, which was excellent. Continue reading