Great African Reads discussion


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message 1: by Carrie (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:40AM) (new)

Carrie (crheinga) | 1 comments Hello fellow Good African Reads group members,
It might be fun to all read one of the books we have in this group and discuss it here on GoodReads. We have plenty to choose from. We could do it over the month of August, or until some other specific date, then start the discussion after that date. What do you think?


message 2: by Dana (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:41AM) (new)

Dana Berglund | 5 comments I would like that! I just got the book "They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky" by Alphonsius Deng (Sudan). Is anyone else interested in reading that with me? I'm actually off to Uganda for the month of August and won't have much email contact, but I'd love to discuss it when I get back. (I'm also hoping to find some "new" (to me) authors while I'm there.

message 3: by Otis (new)

Otis Chandler | 1 comments What do people recommend for someone who is going to Africa (Tanzania) for the first time? Fiction/nonfiction - either way...

message 4: by Katy (new)

Katy | 81 comments Hi Otis,

If you have time, try The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. I say "if you have time" because it's a pretty long novel. But it is captivating, and really captures life in central Africa, I think. Kingsolver's parents were medical missionaries in the Congo when she was a child, so I think the book is pretty accurate. It's a great read, very captivating and moving.

Tell us about your trip when you get back!

Katy G.

message 5: by Jason (new)

Jason | 1 comments I also suggest "Zanzibar Chest". Its non-fiction and gives you some good insight into events that happened in the area over the past 20 years or so.

message 6: by Wendy (new)

Wendy (wendywoo) | 82 comments Some of my favorite Africa reads include: "Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight"; "When a Crocodile Eats the Sun"; "Rainbows End"; "Rules of the Wild; "Emma's War" and "The Zanzibar Chest". Those are pretty much all memoirs except "Rules of the Wild" is a novel. Hope you have a great trip. Let me know if you enjoy any of the books I suggested.

message 7: by Hulananni (new)

Hulananni What a great collection of 'reads'....I've read the first two and really enjoyed both. Now I'll have to find the others.

Lived in South Africa from 1981 - 1985 and haven't made it back yet. It's a LONG way from Hawai'i!

message 8: by Wendy (new)

Wendy (wendywoo) | 82 comments Hi Hulananni,

If you're interested in a couple of good South Africa books, check out "My Traitor's Heart" and "Country of My Skull". I also enjoyed Mark Mathabane's books (beginning w/ "Kaffir Boy"). For something a bit heavier (and focusing on the Congo) I would recommend "King Leopold's Ghost".

Happy reading,

message 9: by Hulananni (new)

Hulananni Aloha. I've read "My Traitor's Heart" and Mark Mathabane's books....will have to find "Country of My Skull"...

now....NOT a South Africa book but I just 'cried my way through' "Blessed by Thunder"....a memoir of growing up in Cuba in the 60s/70s. Powerful and poignant.

message 10: by Wendy (new)

Wendy (wendywoo) | 82 comments "Blessed by Thunder" looks great. I added it to my wish list! Thank you :-)

message 11: by Krista the Krazy Kataloguer (last edited Jun 18, 2008 11:35AM) (new)

Krista the Krazy Kataloguer (KristatheKrazyKataloguer) | 3 comments Hi there! Are we including books written by non-African as well as African authors? I added a bunch the day I joined, and it looks like they've all been deleted.

message 12: by Hulananni (new)

Hulananni Mahalo to everyone. I just returned from the local library with 4 Africa-centered books. As soon as I finish "Twenty Chickens for a Saddle" which I bought...I'll start on the library books.

"Twenty Chickens for a Saddle" is the story of a family with young children who grow up in Botswana for the most part being home-schooled. Their father is a doctor. Mother is a free-thinker. What a delightful read and it takes me back to the years we spent in the area. Especially one part about the paperwork and trauma involved in 'crossing' borders in that area. Always worrying that the paperwork was not filled out correctly. I remembered it too well while reading the book.

Don (The Book Guy) (donthelibrarian) Hello everyone. I was looking for a group that focused on the literature of Africa when I ran across this one. I just came back from a 4 day seminar on Africa hosted by the Center for African Studies at the University of Illinois, Champaign. It has really gotten me fired up about finding more on Africa. So far I have read Ken Saro-Wiwa's "A Month and a Day: a Detention Diary", Achebe's "Things Fall Apart", Kingsolver's "Poisonwood Bible" and have just started "Purple Hibiscuis".

Don (The Book Guy) (donthelibrarian) Is this group focusing only on Sub-Saharan authors?

message 15: by Hulananni (new)

Hulananni I just read "Rules of the Wild" and "rainbow's end"....the first is fiction and the second non-fiction. I really enjoy reading the 'childhood memoirs' of those who lived in southern Africa....I feel like I'm back there again (and wish I were!)

message 16: by Adrienne (new)

Adrienne | 4 comments anything about Ghana?

message 17: by Manu (new)

Manu (manuherb) | 163 comments Hi Adrienne,

What exactly are you looking for? Names of leading fiction authors?

If so, I suggest, for a start, that you Google/Amazon:

Ama Ata Aidoo
Mohammed Naseehu Ali
Ayi Kwei Armah
Kofi Awoonor
Amma Darko
Manu Herbstein (that's me)
Benjamin Kwakye


message 18: by Adrienne (new)

Adrienne | 4 comments Hello Manu,

Thanks for the suggestions, I'm looking for something fiction.
Are you from Ghana?

message 19: by Manu (new)

Manu (manuherb) | 163 comments Hi Adrienne,

I have dual citizenship, South African and Ghanaian. Born and educated in Cape Town but I've spent most of my adult life in Ghana.


message 20: by Adrienne (new)

Adrienne | 4 comments Oh thats interesting. I love Ghana, I was there in May.

message 21: by Valerie (new)

Valerie Bedard | 2 comments Hi Otis... Paul Theroux spends a few chapters (11-13) in Dark Star Safari writing about his travels through Tanzania. This would give you another perspective on the country. Have a great time!

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