The 2015 Africa Reading Challenge

It’s easy for us all to get stuck in a rut – and a reading rut is just like all those other ruts we find ourselves flailing at the bottom of. For me, I tend to chose books that are either well-reviewed and popular (for example, I am currently reading The Miniaturist) or non-fiction accounts of contemporary events I am interested in.

I thought it was time I tried something new. And browsing through the blogging events list on WordPress I came across the 2015 African Reading Challenge. With us moving to (South) Africa this year, I thought this would be perfect. I’m already ahead of the game, as towards the end of last year I read two books about Africa – The Africa House  by Christina Lamb (an account of a magnificantly eccentric building project undertaken by a British colonial army officer in the last century, the ruin of the house in the middle of the tropical environment mirrored by the ruin of his marriage and relationships with most of the people around him) and Under our Skin by Donald McRae (the true story of McRae’s upbringing as a white South African during the apartheid years). I am also currently reading (and enjoying) – Lauren St John’s books The White Giraffe and Dolphin Song to my seven and nine-year-old daughters.

Some of my African reading

Some of my African reading

The challenge suggests listing those books you intend to read, but at the moment I haven’t had time to research what they will be. For me personally, there is no point in chosing any books that are so thick, complicated or just plain dull that I won’t get through them. I like a good story or a good true-life account, so I will be on the look-out for that. I know there are plenty of brilliant writers in Africa and have heard good things about Half a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche so have a thought that I might start with that one.

After that – well, I would welcome recommendations! The rules are the book has to be either by an African author or written about Africa (I guess both would be ideal), and if possible I would love to branch out into all corners of the continents.

I will be reviewing the books as I go along so do check back to see how I get on!


19 thoughts on “The 2015 Africa Reading Challenge

  1. Coincidentally, I just finished a book by Lucinda E. Clarke called Walking Over Eggshells. It’s her true life account about her adventures including those in Africa. I’ve also written a review and it’s on my blog How exciting for you to be moving to a new place. Don’t forget to keep us posted.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I came across your blog from the challenge page. I’ll add my voice to the others and say that I loved Half of a Yellow Sun! Another African book I really enjoyed was Lyrics Alley by Leila Aboulela who is from Sudan. Good luck with your move and your reading!


  3. Since you have seen the pictures already on my blog, you know we are animal and conservation obsessed … And since we are currently located there, it’s all about Africa! So far! Since you are off to South Africa I definitely recommend Lawrence Anthony’s The Elephant Whisperer. Most people I know who chose to read it did so in one sitting … You cry and laugh and hug a memory of the beauty of man-animal relationship all your life after reading it. And then there are his other books … Babylon’s Ark – about how he rescued the animals of Baghdad zoo during the war and The Last Rhinos – how he tried to rescue the last of a species of rhino … This book was published posthumously. Mr.Anthony’s untimely passing is a loss to animals and a loss to all who like to read a well written real life story.

    And then you can visit Thula Thula – and meet all the players in The Elephant Whisperer, except the author.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you – I have just added the Elephant Whisperer to my list! We have become quite a lot more conservation aware since we learned we were moving to SA, just reading about what is happening there with the poaching is heart-breaking. We bought one of the those rhinose’s for our car (a red rhino;s horn that fits on the front of the vehicle) – I haven’t seen any more yet in the UK!


  4. Pingback: The Africa Reading Challenge: A Reviw of Dolphin Song |

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