Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

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I've set myself a number of challenges this year, and it has really shown me that as far as reading is concerned, I am a contrary beast. I've smashed my Goodreads goal of 150 books, and only a few of those have been for the other challenges.

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah is part of my Reading Around the World challenge. I picked this one up thanks to the Book Riot team – as an Aussie who doesn't really watch TV, I have no idea who he is in the US. Here in Australia, we have a significant number of (white) South African immigrants, who, for the most part, left the country around the time that Apartheid was overturned.

Noah's book is a fascinating look at what black and coloured people who lived under the regime had to deal with, as well as the changes that happened when Apartheid was overturned. Born a Crime is a series of stories of Noah's childhood and youth, growing up in South Africa. The title of the book is due to Noah's parentage – as the child of a white father and a black mother, his existence was illegal. This also meant that he couldn't be seen with either of his parents in public or they would go to jail.

I really enjoyed Born a Crime. Noah's stories reflect the grinding poverty, the stupidity of racism, and the difficulties he and his family encountered (including the terrible abuse by his stepfather) in a way that is absolutely relatable. I learned so much about South Africa and the many cultures therein. Plus the stories are, for the most part, incredibly funny.

I listened to this one on audio – it's read by the author, and is great in that format.

5 out of 5 hilarious poo stories.

24 in 48 update – 4 hours down

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20 to go!!

Dreadnought was so good! I really enjoyed it – it gave me all the feels. I’ll put up a full review in the next couple of weeks.

This baby is next.


Anita Heiss is a well known Wiradjuri author. She and a number of others are currently warming up for their Swim for the Reef challenge to raise money for the Environmental Defenders Office of Qld. (Our stupid government keeps wanting to build things like ‘mega ports’ outside the world heritage area of the Great Barrier Reef which could be incredibly damaging.) You can find out more (and donate if you wish) here.

This also ticks boxes for my Litsy A to Z,  Reading Around the World and AWW challenges.

I ventured outside to take this shot – and nearly melted. It’s 32 (C) and 90% humidity out there! I’m very grateful for air conditioning. 

How is your challenge travelling?

2017 Challenges – Bring it on!

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2016 was a great bookish year for me, and I hope 2017 will be just as good, if not better.

I have a few challenges I will be undertaking in 2017 that I would love to tell you about:

  1. The Goodreads Challenge – doesn’t everyone do this? I’ve set my goal at 150 – I would rather revise it up than be stressed about it being too high.
  2. Litsy A – Z Challenge – This was devised by the delightful @BookishMarginlia on Litsy. I’ve posted my list for this one previously, but you can find it here. The idea is to read a book representative of every letter in the alphabet, using title, author or a combination of both. My list is by title and I’ve added an extra level of difficulty by using a ‘diverse’ book for every title in this challenge. Which leads me to the next challenge…
  3. Diverse Reading Challenge – Naz from Read Diverse Books has laid down a challenge for bloggers to read and review more diverse books and authors. You will be awarded a badge according to your level of participation. Check out the #ReadDiverse2017 tag on Twitter. (My goal is to hit 30 if not more – diverse books are awesome!)

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    Naz’s button

  4. Australian Women Writers Challenge – This Challenge is to read and review more Aussie women writers. I’ve pledged to read 30 and review 4, though I’m hoping for more than that.

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    AWW Button

  5. Reading Around the World Challenge – I’m kick starting my project to read a book from every country in the world. This will take me longer than 12 months (a lot longer!) but I’ve tried to work books from this Challenge into some of the others. You can check out the planning page here and I’ll be updating it over the next few days mainly so I can keep track of books that I have ordered. I’ve found abebooks.com really helpful for this challenge. It’s great to locate second hand or even new books that are hard to find or completely overpriced on amazon or the other usual sites.
  6. Less of a challenge and more of a thing: Bex from An Armchair by the Sea┬áis hosting a Discworld reread through her blog. I’m going to be hosting the Watch during the month of May!

So there you go. These should keep me pretty busy. Notably absent is the Bookriot Read Harder Challenge, but I feel that, like last year, I will be able to complete most of it by participating in these challenges.

What challenges are you participating in during 2017?

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Litsy A to Z Challenge 2017

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So while I’m talking about fabulous things on Litsy, this Challenge has been floating around. There are a number of takes on it but I’ve gone A to Z by title only. I’m also pretty jazzed as this is an entirely diverse list.

Here goes:

  • An Ishmael of Syria – Asaad Alomohammad
  • Barbed Wire and Cherry Blossoms – Dr Anita Heiss
  • The Cypress Tree – Kamin Mohammadi 
  • Dust – Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor
  • Every Secret Thing – Marie Munkara
  • Follow the Rabbit Proof Fence – Doris Pilkington
  • The Girl with 7 Names – Hyeonseo Lee
  • Honor – Elif Shafak 
  • The Interpreter of Maladies – Jhumpa Lahiri
  • Jinangga – Monty Walgar 
  • The Kadaitcha Sung – Sam Watson
  • Left to Tell – Immaculee Ilibagiza
  • The Museum of Abandoned Secrets – Oksana Zabuzhko
  • Not Quite Men, No Longer Boys – K.C. Laughton
  • Oreo – Fran Ross
  • The People of Forever Are Not Afraid – Shani Boianju
  • Quiet Violence of Dreams – K Sello Duiker
  • Rainy Season – Nnanaziri Ihejirika
  • The Spider King’s Daughter – Chibundu Onuzo
  • Twisted – Jessica Zafra
  • Under the Udala Trees – Chinelo Okparanta
  • The Vegetarian – Han Kang 
  • We Need New Names – NoViolet Bulawayo
  • Xala – Ousmane Sembene 
  • You Can’t Touch My Hair – Phoebe Robinson
  • Zubaida’s Window – Iqbal Al-Qazwini

Join me with an A to Z list of your own! Let me know what you think you’ll include!!

Reading Around the World – modern African books

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Diana at A Haven for Booklovers has been my source of African book recommendations so far. I’ve been exploring and found this website – there are some good looking books on this page!!

The Contemporary

If you have any book recommendations from your part of the world, please let me know!!

Reading Around the World – 10 Filipino Writers

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While researching my Reading Around the World project I’ve come across this great article which I thought I would share with you, my like-minded diverse reading friends.

Enjoy!!

10 Contemporary Filipina Authors You Absolutely Should Be Reading