January 1st, 2019 – Out of Darkness, Shining Light by Petina Gappah
Having served in Zambia and listened to the stories about Livingstone and Stanley it was refreshing to read a book written from the perspective of party members that supported him especially as they dealt with Bwana Daudi’s death and took the risk of transporting his body, his papers and goods back to his home. What I enjoyed most about this book were the moments where the narrator has an ability to foresee what their actions precipitated. I have read a lot of novels based in sub-Saharan Africa and I really appreciated Petina Gappah’s voice.
December 28th, 2019 – The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa
A beautifully written – the words, metaphors and thoughts – surreal novel. It comes off as a story of a surveillance state but through a more realistically passive experience of it. It’s not a handsmaid tale but how we quietly acquiesce. It was a quick one day read but I’ve thought about it every day since.
December 27th, 2019 – Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
Currently being made into a feature film this novel was an intense read about how easily we take a system – assumed to be just – that is so easily flawed by the people in it. Wonderful book 5/5.