So, back to that post I was going to write a while ago. The one that has nothing to do with Congo and nothing to do with my sewing project. Because I do occassionally exist beyond those two realms. Or at least I hope I do. It is not that I don't enjoy Congo or enjoy SHONA. It is because I do. Sometimes the people and places we love can become our very existence. But there is a larger world out there. And perhaps that is why I enjoy reading so much, because it takes me somewhere else, and introduces me to other people and places who can steal my heart and attention. And I think that is good to remember. Because it is a big world out there.
Here are a few of the books I have read this year:
The Zanzibar Chest (Aidan Hartley): The book is written by a guy who grew up in Africa and spent much of his life trying to get back to it and find his place in it. He become a journalist/war correspondent for many years, and now lives with his family on a farm in Kenya. The book is an interesting view into the lives of war correspondents and I found it interesting to learn about the conflict in Somalia (from his point of view). He also covers the genocide in Rwanda, but I did not appreciate his treatment of that topic. Overall I found it a quite interesting read.
Quote: "Sitting among that family, I longed to stay in the bush and not return to the towns of Africa where people were killing each other. I decided that my father had led a better life than I. He had chosen to live among simple people out here, whereas in the noisy years of my twenteis I had grown fasincated with all that was wrong with the world."
The Color of Water (James McBride): This book is written by a black man who only as an adult realizes that his mother was white and Jewish. Chapters in the book are split between narrating the lives of the son and the mother. The son is lost, on a quest to find his identity. But what makes the story pop is the mother, who single-handedly put her 12 children through university through sheer determination. I started this book at least 3 times before I got into it, but in the end I really enjoyed it. The honesty in the depictions of both mother and son are striking.
Quote:" I had to find out more about who I was, and in order to find out who I was, I had to find out who my mother was"
Revolutionary Road (Richard Yates): I guess you all have seen the movie or atleast ads for the movie. The story is of a young couple who move to the suburbs, and struggle and fail to find meaning in their lives and in their marriage. I found it a bit dark, even for my tastes, and wished it offered something more than a pretty bleak view of the world.
"We've got to be together in this thing, haven't we."