WINTER BOOK SELECTION

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The change of seasons invites us to curl up in bed with a cup of tea in our hand and our favourite novel on reach. As the days are shorter take the time to stay in silence, getting lost in the rhythm of words and allow the storytelling to speak to you. 

1. Born a Crime
Author | Trevor Noah 
A coming of age memoir of comedian Trevor Noah set during the twilight of apartheid and the days of freedom that followed. The memoir offers insight into what life was like in South Africa during the regime and after Nelson Mandela became president, and what life felt like for someone that was neither black nor white in a country that based its politics on colour.

Andreea’s Review: I listened to the audiobook and I would highly recommend it. Trevor Noah dives into important topics in a lighthearted manner. It’s impossible not to laugh when he describes the toilet at his grandma’s place and not to cry when his mother gets shot. “

Price | £7.51 or less second hand 
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2. I’m Telling the Truth, But I’m Lying: Essays
Author | Bassey Ikpi
Bassey Ikpi breaks open our understanding of mental health by giving us an armful of access to her relationship with it. The book doesn’t hold back and it takes the reader along during moments of shame, medication, confusion and family dynamics. Bassey Ikpi shares her story of dealing with bipolar disorder and how her life has unfolded because of it.

Quote from the book: “A part of me was writing nonfiction, short stories about things I remembered, while another part was preserving the lies I tell myself to ensure the truth doesn’t kill me. This book is about those truths and the ways in which we parcel fact in order to survive.”
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Andreea’s Review: “An unsettling book at times, but nonetheless one that made me gain an understanding of what it can be like for people to live with bipolar disorder. It is hard to have empathy for something you know nothing about, so this book gave me the gift of understanding mental health a bit more. “

Price | £11.67 or less second hand 
3. The Long Walk Of Freedom
Author | Nelson Mandela
‘Essential reading for anyone who wants to understand history – and then go out and change it’ President Barack Obama
An unparalleled account on the insights of apartheid. A classic in its own right, this book is a fascinating account of one of the most important figures in the 20th century. This biography is interesting both for its interpretation of the recent history of South Africa but also for the deep personal insights into the person of Mandela.

Andreea’s Review: “Autobiographies and memories offer me a wisdom on steroids. Having the privilege of learning from someone else’s life experiences, lessons, trials and tribulations is like getting life guidance. We can learn from our own mistakes and experiences but also from those around us. Nelson Mandela’s life story is one of conviction and tenacity.”

Price | £7.81 or less second hand 
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4. The Famished Road
Author | Ben Okri
Azaro is a spirit child, an abiku, existing, according to the African tradition, between life and death. Born into the human world, he must experience its joys and tragedies. His spirit companions come to him often, hounding him to leave his mortal world and join them in their idyllic one. Azaro foresees a trying life ahead, but he is born smiling. This is his story. (Goodreads description)

Andreea’s Review: It is hard to classify this book. At first sight one could say it is modern magic realism, but the author wouldn’t agree with that. Ben Okri comes from two traditions, that of classical English novel writing and oral African tradition. The novel moves between different realms, but does that make it any less real? The book can be heard to swallow at first especially if you are not familiar with the spirit child tradition. However, the book leaves a footprint after you finish it. It a way it spoke to parts of I had no idea how to access myself.  “

Price | £8.91 or less second hand 
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5. Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen
Author | Jose Antonio Vargas
Jose Antonio Vargas is the most famous (or well-know) undocumented US citizen. The book follows his story from growing up in Philippines and moving to the US when he was a child having no idea of his legal status. His story is that of many citizens not only in the US, but across the globe. A universal story that every immigrant can identify with to a certain extent.  

Andreea’s Review: “This book touched me differently, probably because I am also an immigrant. Moving around cab make one question the ground under  one’s feet. It is hard to grow when you’re roots are getting uprooted. It is hard not to question whether you belong somewhere or not when the world gets to question that before you even get a chance.”

Price | £11.22 or less second hand 
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