Africa (fiction and nonfiction)

Books about Africa or by African authors. I know -- Africa's a big giant continent, but I want this list to help people focus on Africa as more than a place full of lions and giraffes.
1

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3.70 avg rating — 307,455 ratings
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2

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4.07 avg rating — 678,201 ratings
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3

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4.31 avg rating — 120,884 ratings
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4

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3.44 avg rating — 446,119 ratings
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5

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3.89 avg rating — 70,595 ratings
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6

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4.09 avg rating — 49,418 ratings
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7

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4.17 avg rating — 85,701 ratings
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8

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3.80 avg rating — 242,264 ratings
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9

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4.29 avg rating — 76,075 ratings
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10

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4.13 avg rating — 175,876 ratings
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11

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4.29 avg rating — 348,381 ratings
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12

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3.90 avg rating — 38,912 ratings
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13

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3.94 avg rating — 53,278 ratings
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14

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3.99 avg rating — 772,066 ratings
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15

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4.10 avg rating — 83,734 ratings
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16

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3.84 avg rating — 92,871 ratings
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17

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4.30 avg rating — 299,580 ratings
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18

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4.18 avg rating — 32,076 ratings
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19

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4.15 avg rating — 88,407 ratings
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20

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4.01 avg rating — 13,309 ratings
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21

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4.32 avg rating — 82,996 ratings
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22

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3.87 avg rating — 11,753 ratings
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23

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4.38 avg rating — 11,725 ratings
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24

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3.87 avg rating — 118,451 ratings
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25

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3.81 avg rating — 23,696 ratings
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26

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4.01 avg rating — 192,631 ratings
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27

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3.94 avg rating — 26,540 ratings
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28

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3.53 avg rating — 14,725 ratings
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29

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3.97 avg rating — 13,377 ratings
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30

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4.24 avg rating — 32,242 ratings
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31

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3.95 avg rating — 7,664 ratings
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32

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4.10 avg rating — 34,569 ratings
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33

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4.11 avg rating — 152,225 ratings
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34

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4.16 avg rating — 32,920 ratings
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35

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4.12 avg rating — 102,729 ratings
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36

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3.71 avg rating — 230,834 ratings
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37

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4.15 avg rating — 8,187 ratings
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38

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3.89 avg rating — 2,703 ratings
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39

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4.03 avg rating — 26,497 ratings
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40

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4.42 avg rating — 80,114 ratings
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41

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3.77 avg rating — 15,971 ratings
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42

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3.84 avg rating — 3,671 ratings
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43

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3.97 avg rating — 50,750 ratings
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44

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4.20 avg rating — 19,750 ratings
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45

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3.71 avg rating — 21,997 ratings
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46

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4.47 avg rating — 4,213 ratings
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46

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3.89 avg rating — 4,084 ratings
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48

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3.86 avg rating — 34,768 ratings
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49

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4.14 avg rating — 19,940 ratings
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50

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4.17 avg rating — 2,769 ratings
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51

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4.17 avg rating — 6,393 ratings
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52

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4.16 avg rating — 4,095 ratings
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53

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4.32 avg rating — 1,765 ratings
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54

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4.46 avg rating — 218,293 ratings
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55

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3.82 avg rating — 11,502 ratings
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56

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4.22 avg rating — 9,158 ratings
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57

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4.06 avg rating — 3,639 ratings
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58

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4.12 avg rating — 5,314 ratings
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59

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3.52 avg rating — 6,660 ratings
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60

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3.99 avg rating — 2,786 ratings
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61

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4.20 avg rating — 2,843 ratings
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62

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3.73 avg rating — 11,335 ratings
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63

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3.89 avg rating — 2,294,881 ratings
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64

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4.14 avg rating — 2,175 ratings
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65

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3.98 avg rating — 39,005 ratings
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66

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3.85 avg rating — 4,443 ratings
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67

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4.09 avg rating — 5,853 ratings
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68

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3.99 avg rating — 9,179 ratings
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69

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3.98 avg rating — 5,700 ratings
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70

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3.96 avg rating — 19,891 ratings
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71

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3.66 avg rating — 1,540 ratings
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72

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4.16 avg rating — 15,170 ratings
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73

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3.94 avg rating — 5,186 ratings
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74

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4.24 avg rating — 3,537 ratings
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74

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3.86 avg rating — 8,624 ratings
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76

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 36,301 ratings
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77

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4.23 avg rating — 11,426 ratings
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78

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3.74 avg rating — 18,532 ratings
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79

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3.89 avg rating — 7,197 ratings
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79

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3.91 avg rating — 1,862 ratings
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81

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4.16 avg rating — 5,760 ratings
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82

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4.02 avg rating — 15,384 ratings
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83

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4.04 avg rating — 2,376 ratings
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84

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4.46 avg rating — 471,741 ratings
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85

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4.42 avg rating — 152,147 ratings
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86

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4.01 avg rating — 7,373 ratings
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87

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4.19 avg rating — 8,904 ratings
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88

by
3.77 avg rating — 3,503 ratings
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89

by
3.91 avg rating — 1,425 ratings
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90

by
3.89 avg rating — 2,786 ratings
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90

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4.19 avg rating — 35,705 ratings
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92

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3.77 avg rating — 14,226 ratings
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93

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4.10 avg rating — 26,503 ratings
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94

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3.85 avg rating — 16,564 ratings
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95

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4.18 avg rating — 15,819 ratings
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96

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3.79 avg rating — 3,480 ratings
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97

by
3.69 avg rating — 3,348 ratings
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98

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3.96 avg rating — 2,456 ratings
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99

by
4.27 avg rating — 767 ratings
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100

by
3.95 avg rating — 3,621 ratings
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474 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Jami 2350 books
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Greyweather 2660 books
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Susanna - Censored by GoodReads 3253 books
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Sarah 2630 books
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abcdefg 112100 books
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K. 1050 books
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bryan 222 books
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Jessica 1263 books
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More voters…


Comments Showing 1-19 of 19 (19 new)

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message 1: by Inder (last edited Sep 30, 2008 01:12PM) (new)

Inder I agree that Heart of Darkness is really about Africa in the racist imagination of colonialist Europe, and not about Africa in a factual sense. However, I think it's worth pointing out that it is generally understood to be an anti-colonialist book.

Either way, European colonialist attitudes towards Africa have played a sadly important role in shaping Africa as we know it today. So while you may find Conrad's depiction offensive (fair enough), I think it's still worth reading, if only to deconstruct it. It's still an important literary work about Africa, however you look at it.


message 2: by Christine (new)

Christine Taylor Nega Mezlekia is a worthy author to add to this list.


message 3: by Nicole (new)

Nicole Chanda's Secrets
It's for young adults, but moving and honest.


message 4: by J. A. (new)

J. A. Wooton Millicent wrote: "I'm disheartened that the number two book on this list is Conrad's Heart of Darkness. Africa was an arbitrary setting for Conrad, chosen out of racist convenience (darkness!) and because colonial ..."


COMPLETELY agree with you! I am fairly upset that Heart of Darkness ranks as #2 on this list... it's a prime example novel of colonial discourse effect and I don't think it should be featured on this list... perhaps another one, but not for this. :(


message 5: by Danna (new)

Danna I believe I would LOVE books about Africa. Alas, I have read some of the books above. I studied in university last year about Africa and I really loved it, I guess that is when my passion for Africa grew. I would also love to learn about my granparents' history, they are African.
A really good list, I should have thought about it.


message 6: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Millicent wrote: "I'm disheartened that the number two book on this list is Conrad's Heart of Darkness. Africa was an arbitrary setting for Conrad, chosen out of racist convenience (darkness!) and because colonial ..."

In what way was Africa an arbitrary setting for this book? Conrad wrote this based on his own experience traveling in the Belgian Congo. I agree that his portrayal of Africans is pretty aggressively racist, but keep in mind that Conrad was just a product of his own time. You can't expect open-mindedness from a European living under the omnipresent spectre of British imperialism at the turn of the century.

I think it's an incredibly important book simply because it brought attention in Europe to the atrocities that were being committed in central Africa.


message 7: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl I think "I am Nujood" (last page) should be deleted - she is from Yemen, which is not considered part of Africa as far as I am aware.


message 8: by Beata (new)

Beata "Reading Lolita in Tehran"- Iran is not Africa.


message 9: by Ben (last edited Jan 26, 2013 02:38PM) (new)

Ben The Liquidator by a GR author has 8 ratings and yet 32 voters, almost none of whom voted for any other book.

I smell socks...


message 10: by Tinea (new)

Tinea In the Great African Reads group, we are trying to find (or create) lists of books for each African country and region.

Here's an updated list of lists, including the countries that still need someone to make a Listopia for them.


message 11: by Wendy (new)

Wendy Massa Makan Diabaté from Mali could be added.


message 12: by Beth (new)

Beth As of this writing, only three of authors in the top ten are African, and only two are Black African. If you think a white British or American person has written THE book about some part of Africa, please read more African authors. I know I'm just yelling into the void here, but...ffs.


message 13: by Douglas La Rose (new)

Douglas La Rose Most of the books on this list are ABOUT Africa. One should not conflate African literature with literature ABOUT Africa.


message 14: by Douglas La Rose (new)

Douglas La Rose Beth wrote: "As of this writing, only three of authors in the top ten are African, and only two are Black African. If you think a white British or American person has written THE book about some part of Africa,..."

Not yelling into the void, it's the most important comment on this list.


message 15: by Mac (new)

Mac What about the book "African Kaiser" by Robert Gaudi?

It is a book about Paul von-Lettow Vorbeck and the war in German Southeast Africa during the Great War


message 16: by Donna (last edited Jun 01, 2020 02:59PM) (new)

Donna Davis Author Tim Butcher sent me a message because he is concerned about his books disappearing from the lists, and this is one of them. He says his book Blood River was on this list with 322 votes when it vanished. I'm not seeing any documentation here about its removal; I know some librarians don't leave a note when they remove titles. Can anyone fill me in on this? Ordinarily he would be talking to GR employees, but with the pandemic he's having difficulty getting through, so he decided to ask a volunteer (me.) He says another one of his books, Chasing the Devil, was on the list at 193 votes. Then, poof. I haven't read his work, but the scope of his problem (disappeared from over 50 lists, he says) is not a small one, and it's affecting his ability to make a living. Does he have enemies out here? I've never heard of such a thing. Please advise.


message 17: by Douglas La Rose (new)

Douglas La Rose Donna wrote: "Author Tim Butcher sent me a message because he is concerned about his books disappearing from the lists, and this is one of them. He says his book Blood River was on this list with 322 votes when ..."

Not sure, but I've read both of those books and they are pretty good.


message 18: by George P. (last edited Jan 27, 2021 06:17AM) (new)

George P. Donna wrote: "Author Tim Butcher sent me a message because he is concerned about his books disappearing from the lists, and this is one of them. He says his book Blood River was on this list with 322 votes when ..."

I had in my notes that Blood River was number one on this list. I just noticed that it is gone, and not on the next two pages either ( 101-300). It needs to be replaced I think.
The only list it comes up under the search function in is "2012 Endeavour Award Submissions".


message 19: by Tim (new)

Tim Butcher Just a word to thank those who contributed to this thread about vanishing books. I am grateful to the Good Samaritan who restored - unprompted - one of my books to this list. Having lost the original votes, I feel like I landed on a snake and slid back down to the start. I just wanted to better understand why this happened and work towards it not happening again to me or any author. With thanks to all who contribute to this site. Cheers, Tim Butcher, author etc


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