(Issue 67, Summer 2014) Books that have caught our eye this season:
By Brian Jackman (Bradt)
Africa oozes from every page, Jackman’s exquisite writing bringing to life the sights, smells and sounds of the Africa he has travelled through over the last 40 years. Essential reading for anyone with a curiosity about the continent and its wildlife.
Adventures in Music and Culture – Travels of an Ethnomusicologist in West Africa
By Rob Baker (Ambassador International)
With fascinating cultural observations, intriguing musical traditions, amazing scenery, frequent setbacks, and plenty of humour to keep you entertained.
The Ringtone and the Drum – Travels in the world’s poorest countries
By Mark Weston (Zero Books)
An engaging and informative book that provides a rare look at one of the world’s poorest and least understood regions – Sierra Leone, Guinea-Bissau and Burkina Faso.
Madagascar, the eighth continent – Life, death and discovery in a lost world
By Peter Tyson (Bradt)
Combining cutting edge science and conservation with adventure travel and historical narrative, the book represents a fascinating odyssey through an extraordinary country.
Appointment in Zambia – A trans-African adventure
By Sara Dunn (Matador)
In 1970 newlyweds Ross and Sara set off, with extraordinary naivety and a lack of preparation, to drive from Edinburgh to Zambia in a standard saloon car. This is their story.
Fakirs, Feluccas and Femmes Fatales – Tales from an incidental traveller
By E T Laing (Bradt)
From the funny to the downright terrifying, Laing’s tales touch the extremes of poverty and wealth, of beauty and brutality.
The ten-letter countries – More zany adventures of the alphabet traveller
By David Jenkins (Matador)
After his epic 85,000-mile journey to the four-letter countries, the alphabet traveller sets his sights on the ‘tens’.
Radio Congo – Signals of hope from Africa’s deadliest war
By Ben Rawlence (Oneworld)
From conflict-mineral mines near Goma to the decaying colonial city of Manono, we hear the real stories of DR Congo – and find the seeds of a peaceful future.
By Tony Park (Quercus)
Set against the vast landscapes of southern Africa, African Sky tells a spellbinding tale of love amid the trials of war. From the bestselling author of Dark Heart.
The Honey Guide
By Richard Crompton (Phoenix)
Mollel promises to be a fine addition to the ranks of fictional detectives with this outstanding debut novel.
By Richard Crompton (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)
This second novel is a compulsive whodunit, set in Kenya, where tribal politics can get you killed.
For the coffee table
Evocative Africa – Ventures of Discovery
By Gerald Cubitt (John Beaufoy Publishing)
This book brings together the best of Cubitt’s 30 years of photography across Africa. Its focus is on most of southern and East Africa, and while his natural leaning is towards landscapes and flora and fauna – including a good range of bird and flower images – there is an appropriate share of people photographs.
This range, together with the sheer volume of photographs included and the depth of supporting editorial by Benni Hotz, ensures the reader is taken on a delightful, all-round tour of the continent. There’s plenty to admire and learn about on every page.