The Lion Seeker (South Africa)

by Kenneth Bonnert When a family of Lithuanian Jews travels to Johannesburg before the second World War, they are delighted to find that suddenly, they’re white people. But alas, it isn’t as easy to escape their past as the mother was hoping. And she is so afraid to slipping back down the class ladder that […]

Peoples of Southern Africa (Part 3)

Read Part 1 Read Part 2  Tswana The Tswana are also Bantu-speakers; their language branch is called Setsuana and they are also known as Western Sotho. The country’s first president, so beloved by Mma Ramotswe in the No 1 Ladies Detective Agency series was Sir Seretse Khama (1966–1980). Like many African people, the Tswana revere […]

Peoples of Southern Africa (Part 1)

by the Diagram Group *this book appears on my blog courtesy of the Spokane Public Library* What is Southern Africa? The countries of Southern Africa follow arbitrary lines drawn in the Colonial Era. They are: Botswana Cormoros (islands) Mauritius (island) Mozambique Madagascar* (island) Namibia South Africa Lethoso** Swaziland** Zimbabwe *Lethoso and Swaziland are separate countries […]

Waiting for the Mango Rains (Central African Republic) (CAR)

by Jon White It’s 1974. Nixon has just resigned. Before the American in this book has even left the plane to embark in the Central African Republic, he falls victim to a scam. Having traveled extensively throughout Europe and Asia, *I* saw it coming a kilometer away. It’s the old “oh dear, I’ve left my […]

The Translator (Sudan and South Sudan)

by Daoud Hari courtesy of a special order from Auntie’s Bookstore I must like to read books that make me angry and sad, because so many of them have appeared on this blog. This memoir tells the story of a Zaghwa boy who is unique from his brothers because his father sends him to school in […]

The Royal House of Monaco (Monaco)

by John Glatt One summer when I was 12 years old, my mother, her mother, and I grabbed big glasses of iced Coke with lemon wedges and headed on into the living room to watch what was being billed as the Wedding of the Century–Princess Diana’s marriage to Prince Charles. Little did I know that […]

A Fish Caught in Time (Comoros Islands)

by Samantha Weinberg Courtesy of Banana Books in Long Beach, Washington After reading about the horrors of the Holocaust in The Search for Major Plagge, I had to switch to something cheerful. Enter the charming wackiness of ichthyologists in hot pursuit of their passions in A Fish Caught in Time: The Search for the Coelacanth. Ironically, this book […]

Shadows of Your Black Memory (Equatorial Guinea)

by Donato Ndongo Translated by Michael Ugarte from the Spanish Note: Equatorial Guinea was the only Spanish-speaking country in sub-Saharan Africa The first chapter of this book grabbed me and wouldn’t let go. It’s a young African man explaining to the white priest why he no longer wants to be ordained. The white man is […]

She Plays With the Darkness (Lethoso)

by Zakes Mda  Courtesy of a special order from Auntie’s Bookstore *****Really good.***** A sister (Dikosha) and a brother (Radisene) from a village in the mountains of Lethoso. (A country completely surrounded by South Africa.) As they grow, Dikosha becomes more and more seduced by the ways of the ancestors until in her early 20s, […]