“What else am I doing? I’m learning about food and wine and terroir and how to pay attention.” Every once in a while a book comes along that serves as a cautionary tale for overzealous readers, like myself. What is the warning?, you may ask. To remain wary of books that make it on all the popular lists, because once in a while all these media sites will be applauding what could only be described as an over-hyped dud. I was promised a book that would blow my socks off, instead what I read was a book that left me with the feeling of trying badly fitting shoes. It was an uncomfortable experience.
“The family is like the forest: If you are outside it is dense; if you are inside you see that each tree has its own position” My personal reading choices when it comes to non-fiction veer off in two rather opposing spectrums. On one swing of the pendulum you will find my deep appreciation for the fantastical and magical, which is anchored within the realm of wild possibility. On the opposite swing of the pendulum, my reading subject matter choice is anchored in stark, bleak reality relating to African identity and history, especially addressing colonisation and slavery. Most African and Black History remains untold, one-sided and/or incomplete and that’s why I appreciate authors like Yaa Gyasi, who take on the daunting task of bringing “our” stories (with their colourful, painful histories) to life through fresh, informative narratives.
“The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it, no paper notices on downtown posts and billboards, no mentions or advertisements in local newspapers. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not.” Since I moved back home to Harare one of the biggest things I was missing from my Jozi life, was my book club. Not only did I miss the regular meet-ups with witty and feisty women-folk having very passionate (and usually loud) discussions over a selected book, but I also missed having a new book to read every month. So I consulted with a friend and we co-founded a book club together here. “The Night Circus” was my pick and the first book of the year. Now even though I am normally a big lover of “out there” and super fantastical books, this one pushed those limits and had me side-eyeing it…many a time.