Book Love

….. a girl who reads possesses a vocabulary that can describe that amorphous discontent as a life unfulfilled—a vocabulary that parses the innate beauty of the world and makes it an accessible necessity instead of an alien wonder.

Charles Warnke

I can’t help myself.  I buy books faster than I can read them.  Like travel, photography, Pitbulls, dark chocolate, good wine, wildlife and fast cars, they are a good addiction and an escape from the hectic pace my working life has become over the years.  Non-fiction and books about Africa throw themselves at me.  I just HAVE to have them.

At the start of 2015 I listed all the unread orphans I had snapped up on my travels and set myself the goal of reading them all by the end of that year.  The list started out at 50.  That meant a book a week (allowing me Easter and Christmas off!) but predictably the pile grew rather than diminished.  I managed to get through 42 which were:

  1. The Griekwastad Murders: The Crime that Shook South Africa – Jacques Steenkamp
  2. Bushvet – Clay Wilson with Tony Park
  3. Mugabe and The White African – Ben Freeth
  4. Bravemouth (Living with Billy Connolly) – Pamela Stephenson
  5. Cry Havoc – Simon Mann
  6. The Diving (Life, loss and everything in-between) – Helen Walne
  7. Fruit of a Poisoned Tree – Antony Altbeker
  8. Your Voice in my Head – Emma Forrest
  9. Song of the Atman – Ronnie Govender
  10. Wild – Cheryl Strayed
  11. The Poisonwood Bible – Barbara Kingsolver
  12. Tiny Beautiful Things (Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar) – Cheryl Strayed
  13. Escape – Carolyn Jessop (with Laura Palmer)
  14. Triumph –  Carolyn Jessop
  15. Babylon’s Ark –  Lawrence Anthony (with Graham Spence)
  16. I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban – Christina Lamb and Malala Yousafzai
  17. A Year in Provence – Peter Mayle
  18. Encore Provence – Peter Mayle
  19. What About Meera – ZP Dala
  20. Leaving Before the Rains Come – Alexandra Fuller
  21. Black Dog Summer – Miranda Sherry
  22. The Last Road Trip – Gareth Crocker
  23. A Fountain in France – Marita van der Vyver
  24. Jani Confidential – Jani Allan
  25. A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers – Xiaolu Guo
  26. Dead Cows for Piranhas – Hazel Friedman
  27. Are We There Yet? Chasing a Childhood Through South Africa – David Smiedt
  28. Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas – James Patterson
  29. Shirley, Goodness and Mercy – Chris van Wyk
  30. The War of Don Emmanuel’s Nether Parts – Louis de Bernières
  31. What Did I Do Last Night – Tom Sykes
  32. When hungry, eat – Joanne Fedler
  33. Gem Squash Tokoloshe – Rachel Zadok
  34. Griet Skryf ‘n Sprokie – Marieta van der Vyver
  35. There’s More to Life Than Surface – Kate Turkington
  36. The Bang-Bang Club – Greg Marinovich & Joao Silva
  37. Damaged – Cathy Glass
  38. Women Food and God – Geneen Roth
  39. A Million Miles from Normal – Paige Nick
  40. Toujours Provence – Peter Mayle
  41. Pretty Girl in Crimson Rose (8) – Sandy Balfour
  42. unedited – Jane Raphaely

The rest await me in 2016 and beyond.  And yes, I know, the list is likely to grow as I go along 🙂

  1. Bon Appetite – Peter Mayle
  2. Big Magic – Elizabeth Gilbert
  3. The Dot Spot – Dorothy Black
  4. Dark Star Safari – Paul Theroux
  5. Justice Denied: The Role of Forensic Science in the Miscarriage of Justice – David Klatzow
  6. Survival Training for Lonely Hearts – Elana Bregin
  7. The Angina Monologues – Rosamund Kendal
  8. Secret Son – Laila Lalami
  9. The Caliph’s House: A Year in Casablanca
    Book – Tahir Shah
  10. Hitler, Verwoerd, Mandela and me – Marianne Thamm
  11. Millions of Women Are Waiting to Meet You – Sean Thomas
  12. Intimacy – Hanif Kureishi
  13. Student Comrade Prisoner Spy – Bridget Hilton-Barber
  14. The Shadow of the Crescent Moon – Fatima Bhutto
  15. Wine, Women and Good Hope.  A History of Scandalous Behaviour at the Cape – June McKinnon
  16. The Scattering – Lauri Kubuitsile
  17. The Blue Between Sky and Water – Susan Abulhawa
  18. A Hippo Love Story – Karen Paolillo
  19. At the Water’s Edge – Sara Gruen
  20. Being Chris Hani’s Daughter – Lindiwe Hani & Melinda Ferguson
  21. Eugene de Kock: Assassin for the State – Anemari Jansen
  22. The Republic of Gupta: A Story of State Capture – Pieter-Louis Myburgh
  23. Little Ice Cream Boy – Jacques Pauw
  24. The Refugees – Viet Thanh Nguyen
  25. Crashed – Melinda Ferguson
  26. A Fortune-Teller Told Me – Tiziano Terzani
  27. An African Love Story (Love, Life and Elephants) – Daphne Sheldrick
  28. Flight Behaviour – Barbara Kingsolver
  29. The Number – Jonny Steinberg
  30. Vagina – Naomi Wolf
  31. Lost and Found in Johannesburg: A Memoir – Mark Gevisser
  32. Past Imperfect – Emma van der Vliet
  33. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet – Jamie Ford
  34. The Spiral Staircase – Karen Armstrong
  35. Strange Days Indeed – Shaun Johnson
  36. To Every Birth its Blood – Mongane Wally Serote
  37. The Africa House – Christina Lamb
  38. When a Crocodile Eats the Sun – Peter Godwin
  39. The Great African Society – Hlumelo Biko
  40. Mandela: The Authorised Biography – Anthony Sampson
  41. Choice Not Fate The Life and Times of Trevor Manuel – Pippa Green
  42. At the Deep End – Morgan Tsvangirai
  43. With Both Hands Waving – Justin Fox
  44. A Mad World, My Master – John Simpson
  45. Twenty Chickens for a Saddle – Robyn Scott
  46. Winnie Mandela: a life – Anné Mariè du Preez Bezdrob
  47. No Death, no Fear – Thich Nhat Hanh
  48. First Snow on Fuji – Yasunari Kawabata
  49. The Lacuna – Barbara Kingsolver
  50. The Shadow of the Sun – Ryszard Kapuscinski
  51. Anam Cara – John O’Donohue
  52. Tranquil Mind – Rob Nairn
  53. Steering by Starlight – Martha Beck
  54. Finding Your Way in a Wild New World – Martha Beck
  55. New Earth – Eckhart Tolle
  56. The Blood of Flowers – Anita Amirrezvani
  57. A Veil of Secrets – Breyten Breytenbach
  58. God’s Gangsters? – Heather Parker Lewis
  59. Love in the Time of Cholera – Gabriel García Márquez
  60. Even Silence Has an End: My Six Years of Captivity in the Colombian Jungle – Ingrid Betancourt
  61. A Million Little Pieces – James Frey
  62. Muhammad – Karen Armstrong
  63. The Shadow World – Andrew Feinstein
  64. Burma: A Nation At The Crossroads – Benedict Rogers
  65. The Help – Kathryn Stockett
  66. The Host – Stephanie Meyer
  67. The Sight – David Clement-Davies
  68. Red Dust – Gillian Slovo
  69. Dangerous Love – Ben Okri
  70. The Road to Nab End – William Woodruff
  71. Almost French – Sarah Turnbull
  72. Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul – Deepak Chopra
  73. The Story of an African Farm – Olive Schreiner
  74. Cry, The Beloved Country – Alan Paton
  75. Frieda and Min – Pamela Jooste
  76. Mao’s Last Dancer – Li Cunxin
  77. Holding up the Sky – Sandy Blackburn-Wright
  78. The Goldfish Bowl:  Married to the Prime Minister – Cherie Booth & Cate Haste
  79. Bright Shiny Morning – James Frey
  80. Sarajevo Roses: War Memoir of a Peacekeeper – Anné Mariè du Preez Bezdrob
  81. A Friend Like Henry – Nuala Gardner
  82. The Unbearable Lightness of Being – Milan Kundera
  83. Circles in a Forest Dalene Matthee
  84. Leaving the Saints – Martha Beck
  85. Selected Stories – Nadine Gordimer
  86. The Tree Where Man Was Born – Peter Matthiessen
  87. The 21-Day Consciousness Cleanse: A Breakthrough Program for Connecting with Your Soul’s Deepest Purpose Paperback – Debbie Ford
  88. Women Who Run With Wolves – Clarissa Pinkola Estes
  89. The Road Less Travelled – M. Scott Peck
  90. Transform Your Life – Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
  91. The Celestine Prophecy – James Redfield
  92. The Seven Secrets of Highly Successful People – Stephen Covey






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