February Book 1 (Sometimes There Is a Void)

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I moved from Blogger to WordPress, so I’m sharing some of the books I have read this year. Here is what I wrote about Sometimes There Is a Void, pulled directly from the old blog:

Zakes Mda is one of my favourite authors, so much so that this month I am reading two of his books. I was reading Cion when I bought Sometimes there is a Void (Memoirs of an Outsider). I stopped reading Cion, not because it was boring but because my curiosity got the better of me. I wanted to know where my favourite authors was from, where his love for writing came from, what his childhood was like etc.


I was unable to put this book down. It made me realise just how little I knew about the history of Lesotho and the ‘arts scene’ in South Africa. It almost felt like I had gone to visit him in his home and every day was spent just listening to him talk. I am not disappointed that I bought the book. His honesty made me appreciate him even more.


I will be reading Cion for the rest of the month. 2 book in February? I’m impressed with myself *wink*

Update: A few months after I read this book I got to meet Zakes Mda and his beautiful wife Gugu Nkosi. This was truly a dream come true. I have tried for a long time to blog about what this meeting has meant to me. But words fail me. All I can say is that Zakes Mda is one of the most incredible people that I have met this year. He is relaxed and always interested in hearing what people have to say. Maybe I should also include that he is funny, we had many laughs. Zakes is very passionate about South Africa; both he and Gugu want to come back home and be part of the ‘solution’. AND Sometimes There Is a Void was made it on to the New York Times list of 100 Notable Books of 2012. I am not at all surprised. Well¬†done¬†Ntate Mda!

January Book (A Mercy)

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I moved from blogger to wordpress in September, so a lot of my old-but-interesting stuff is over at the last spot. I started sharing some of the books that I have read this year over there. Since the year is almost done, I thought I would revisit some of the books that I’ve read this year. Below is the post on A Mercy, by Toni Morrison, pulled directly from the old blog:

I’ve decided that I’m going to try to read at least 1 book a month in 2012. In January I sat down with a book that I had bought and then proceeded to run from: A Mercy by Toni Morrison. I ran from the book for almost a year. I just didn’t feel ready to read it. The ‘right time’ finally arrived and boy am I glad that it did. Anybody who knows me will tell you that I am a Toni STAN. I love her work and cannot be reasoned with when it comes to it.

I don’t believe in reviewing music or books, something about it feels unclean to me. I will tell you how this gorgeous book made me feel though: I was wrapped up in Toni’s words and never wanted to leave the world they created around me.

I tried to read it slowly, but my hunger and curiosity got the better of me. The January book was AMAZING!!

November Book (The Hard Goodbye)

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It was not my intention to read a graphic novel… I didn’t even choose it. My nephew sent me a message one day asking if I would buy him a Sin City book. I had already bought one as a birthday present for a friend and he seemed to enjoy it. So I thought ‘hey why not?’.

I buy my niece and nephew books all the time and I make sure I read those books before I hand them over. Call me a paranoid aunt, but I like to know what the kids are reading. I watched the movie a few years ago, so I kinda had an idea of what to expect.

Cover image. Forgot to take a pic before I sent it to my nephew.

This wasn’t my first graphic novel experience, but it was definitely my first Frank Miller experience. The thing that struck me was that Frank Miller is obsessed with perky ‘surgically enhanced’ type of breasts. I’m guessing this is a common theme in comics/graphic novels. I enjoyed the story of Marv, as dysfunctional as it was. And having read The Hard Goodbye I appreciated how awesome Mickey Rourke’s performance in the film was. Book 1 (The Hard Goodbye) is all about Marv, he is a killer and seemingly unlovable. But he meets a woman who affects him significantly… Look to a normal person it doesn’t seem like a special ‘meeting’ and his actions are a little over the top. But in the mind of poor twisted Marv, it all makes sense. Someone kills Goldie (that’s her name) and all hell breaks loose. If you’ve watched the movie then you know what happens. If you haven’t then I wont spoil it for you.

Mickey Rourke as Marv in the film ‘Sin City’

The Hard Goodbye was an interesting addition to this year’s reading list. I did include some notes in the book, for my nephew, before I sent it off. I wasn’t in love with some of the language and I wanted him to know that. I’m curious to hear what HE has to say about it.

September Book (Maru)

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Over at the last blog I used to ‘review’ books that I was reading. Why? At the beginning of the year I decided that I would try to read at least one book a month. I am very happy to say that I have been VERY successful. That is not a humble brag. I AM bragging. The only month that I didn’t finish a book was August and that is because I had a very big writing project and a very tight deadline.

My September book is Maru by Bessie Head. I had been searching for this book for 2 years and couldn’t find it any book stores. Darling little brother got it for me as a birthday present this year (how sweet is that guy?).

Maru is so beautifully written. I was drawn in from the first sentence. The story is about, orphaned Masarwa, teacher Margaret Cadmore and her arrival in the small village of Dilepe. Most people like her are slaves and the town is not sure what to make of her. Something beautiful happens and that something leads to some awesome and inexplicable events. I hate getting into the details of a book, for fear of spoiling it for you. I felt like the book was too short and I’m definitely going to read it again (during the holidays).

Bessie Head

The book is written by the incredible Bessie Head. A South African who later moved to Botswana and wrote till she died. She died young (48) but I am grateful that she wrote. I am a lover of Bessie Head. Her writing is nothing short of a gorgeous display of genius. Thank you Bessie Head.

I will share some of the books that I read and shared over at my last blog. In the meantime get familiar with Bessie Head.

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