Thursday, 17 August 2017

Fourth Estate

Fourth Estate is a publishing house founded in Nothing Hill, London and later acquired in 2000 by an American publishing house HaperCollins one of the "Big Fives". The Big Fives are five of the publishing houses through which an important percentage of books in English language are being published. They are: Penguin Random House, Hachette, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster and Macmillan. To read more about Fourth Estate please click here.

Books I have read published by Fourth Estate are:

Sunday, 23 July 2017

You Can't Get Lost in Cape Town, 1987, Zoë Wicomb

I bought this book a long time ago. I could not read it, I find the writing style difficult, though poetic and a bit confusing. I did not struggle, I left it on my shelf and picked another one. Nevertheless, after reading Dance with a Poor Man's Daughter by Pamela Jooste  a novel that narrates on the ordeal of being "coloured" in apartheid South Africa, which, I enjoyed and highly recommend. Although, I felt there is some aspect of their story missing in the narrative as it is

Monday, 17 July 2017

Cassava Republic Press

As part of my Publishing House Project I am going to talk about Cassava Republic Press. It is true that most of the books I read are published abroad and none or few are published in the African continent. That is why it is a breath of fresh air when I came across Cassava Republic Press, a publishing house based in Nigeria.

The first book published by them that I read is

Sunday, 9 July 2017

2017 Spring Read


 https://maryokekereviews.blogspot.com.es/2017/07/dance-with-poor-mans-daughter-1997.html

 
I read 8 books this Spring, it is a lot compared to the 5 I read in Winter. The

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Dance with a Poor Man's Daughter, 1997, Pamela Jooste *****

Dance with a Poor Man's daughter is the story of one of the "coloured" families forced to relocate from the Cape Town area known as District Six in South Africa during apartheid, told through the eyes of a little girl. 

District 6 Memorial Plaque
ALL WHO PASS
Remember the thousands of people who lived for generations in district six and were forced by law to leave their homes because of the colour of their skins. Remember St. Mark's Church and the community who resisted the destruction of district six. -Hands Off District Six Campaign 11.2.1989

Lily lives with her grand mother, her aunt Stella and uncle Gus-Seep (that is how she calls and spells his name). Her mother Gloria left for Johannesburg because the valley is too small for her. Lily loves her grandmother more than she loves her mother, which she makes clear.
'You don't always like your mother as much as you would like to, do you Lily?' he says and I don't even have to answer him because he knows it's true.
The Group Area Act is approved, Lily and her family are forced to leave their house and move to the flats. Her mother, from Johannesburg hears what is going on and decides to fight in order to make sure that the house where  six to

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Love in Exile, 1995, Bahaa Taher *****

The title of this novel is misleading, of course love is one of the  themes discussed. However, I must say that it is a highly political read heavily based on the Sabra and Shatila Massacre that occurred in 1982.  The narrator is a journalist who leaves his homeland in Egypt and flees to Geneva where he works from, leaving behind his estranged wife and children. He tells us about his life in Swiss followed by the story of Pedro Ibañez's torture and the killing of his brother in Chile, as it was believed that they were supporters of the socialist president Salvador Allende. That is when he met Brigitte the woman he fell in love with, who is also living in exile. 

As the story unfolds, we find out that Brigitte was once married to a political refugee from Equatorial Guinea, however their love couldn't survive the height of racism in her home country, Austria.

While, the narrator is living in exile, civil war breaks out in Lebanon. Tension between Israel and Palestine is high. Israel used the attempted assassination of

Sunday, 18 June 2017

The River Between, 1965, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o ***

The River Between narrates the confusion that comes with the introduction of Christianity in a Kikuyu community. Clearly the religion divides them, a once united people start to drift apart, the struggle for power and confrontation begin.

Joshua is converted to Christianity, he changes his name and is told that his culture and tradition are heathenish and will not lead him into the kingdom of God. When one of his daughters decides that she wants to be circumcised because to her it means the initiation into womanhood as established in her culture and tradition, therefore part of her identity. Joshua refuses, he forsakes her, she flees. His second daughter, Nyambura falls in love with

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Winner of 5th Anniversary Book Giveaway

Celestine Nudanu from Ghana is the winner of my 5th Anniversary Book Giveaway. Ghana Must Go by Taiye Selasie has been dispatched to her. She is a blogger on Reading Pleasure and author of  Haiku Rhapsodies. She was part of my Blogger Spotlight  Project. Please click here to read her interview.


  • Her favourite African writer is

Sunday, 4 June 2017

The White Tiger, Aravind Adiga, 2008 ****

I have read quite a few novels set in India or by writers of Indian heritage and one of the topics that keeps on popping up is the blatant poverty and caste discrimination that perpetuate their society, The White Tiger is no exception. We get to read about the life style of an upper-middle class through the voice of their servant Balram. It is quite interesting as Balram tells us what he knows about his master  through pieces of information he gathers while being enslaved.
Balram narrates his ordeal with a witty sense of humour, you might  find yourself laughing in front of his adversity.
"The Great Socialist himself is said to have embezzled one billion rupees from the Darkness, and transferred that money into a bank account in a small, beautiful country in Europe full of white people and black money"
Balram narrates about life in his village Laxmangarh, his mother died when he was very young, his father a rickshaw puller died miserably of tuberculosis. A life of misery. One thing led to another and Balram becomes a driver and moves

Sunday, 28 May 2017

5 Years of Book Blogging & 50 Highly Recommended


    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
            
Click on cover to read review. For book giveaway please click HERE
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