Waiting for you!

January 23, 2020


Around a flowering tree, there are many insects – Guinea proverb Be warned, Camara Laye’s The Radiance of the King is not a quick read (made slower for me by being merrily interrupted by Christmas and New Year). It demands that the reader having landed on its boisterous opening pages, slows down, divests themselves of […]

Mirror, mirror.

December 21, 2019


When everybody used to walk their dogs with sausages – Guatemala saying I’ve been struggling with this book’s review. Not that I didn’t enjoy the book, I did very much. Not that it wasn’t well-written or compelling, it was. It’s just that although, in my head, I have opinions and the words I want to […]

Cut to the bones

November 28, 2019


No matter how fast moonlight runs, daylight catches up – Grenadian proverb Well, to say it’s been a while would be like comparing a dismemberment to a slight nick.  It’s been 5 years since my last blog which sounds like the beginning of confession, ‘Forgive me Father’.  Not that it hasn’t been an exciting 5 years: […]

Something to get one’s teeth into

September 24, 2014


Even if the old woman has no teeth, her tiger nuts remain in her own bag. Ghanaian Proverb I have absolutely no idea what this proverb means but it makes me chuckle so I‘ve decided to use it. You will notice that I’ve skipped Georgia on the way to Ghana. This is because finding a […]

Losing it!

August 25, 2014


If a donkey kicks you and you kick back, you are both donkeys. Gambian proverb I’ve chosen this proverb not because it illuminates anything about Dayo Forster’s Reading the Ceiling, but because it seems particularly apt in the current political climate. And there I will leave that thought except to say that I would alter […]

G – are we here already?

August 17, 2014


Wood may remain ten years in the water but it will never become a crocodile. Gabon proverb Gabon is purportedly one of West Africa’s most stable countries, which may be why Daniel Mengara’s ‘Mema’ escapes the conspicuous violence of many other post-colonial novels. Instead of the usual narrative dose of brutality, concomitant with independence wars […]

Books long overdue

July 23, 2014


You can’t just turn on creativity like a faucet. You have to be in the right mood. What mood is that? Last-minute panic.― Bill Watterson   I’m starting this blog not with a quotation from the countries I’ve read since my last blog, but with a quotation about procrastination since that is what I’ve been […]

Love, a good story

April 16, 2014


Better to face lions than women – Eritrean proverb I cheated a bit with Eritrea. The book I chose is by an Eritrean, Sulaiman Addonia, but Addonia has spent most of his life outside Eritrea – his early life in a refugee camp in Sudan following the Om Hajer massacre (villagers were machine gunned in […]

Posted in: Addonia, Africa, Eritrea, Reading

beyond a shadow

April 2, 2014


If you dream of moving mountains tomorrow, you must start by lifting small stones today: Equatorial Guinea Proverb Have you ever picked up a cup of tea and taken a few sips only to realize that it’s coffee? Or started reading a book and read a fair few pages before realizing that the main character […]

A pitcher tells a thousand words

February 26, 2014


Dip the pitcher into the water enough and it finally breaks – Salvadorian proverb Un Dia en la Vida is one of those books I had so hopefully imagined reading as I  started on this journey.  As the title suggests (English title – One Day of Life) it offers a snapshot of a particular time […]