BOOKS

Outliers: The Story of Success

– Malcolm Gladwell

I haven’t yet read this book, but it’s a definite must read for me.

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Women Who Run With The Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype

– Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes

This is, without a doubt, one of the books which have shaped my way of thinking about myself and the fact of being born female. I was 18 years old when I first picked up this weighty masterpiece – very intimidated yet intrigued all the same by volume of the content that awaited me. I still have not gotten around to finishing it – I had to return it to the Rhodes University library after months on months of renewal. I really should just purchase it for my own future home library.

I really had to extend myself emotionally and mentally whilst reading, and in-between jotting down poignant points and cryptic passages, I fell in love with the writing and nurturing nature of the author.

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Red Dust

– Gillian Slovo

Understanding in some way the post Apartheid process of reconciliation and the cross-examinations which took place is something I did not quite think I was mentally ready for when I read this book as a 16 year old. So, it would be senseless to write-up a review because the majority of what I read and understood is largely blurred now. All I know is that I learned about a reality that I have to do more research about. The writing was enjoyable to read, no doubt. I later learned, whilst in my first year in 2009, that the author is actually the daughter of one of South Africa’s anti-Apartheid freedom fighters, Joe Slovo.

I suppose after learning this, I was reminded of how reading this book made me feel, and realised I actually have to re-read it if I was to gain any kind of matured, ‘conscious’ understanding of the issues explored.

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Three-Letter Plague

– Jonny Steinberg

When I was around 9 years old, I lost my first family member to HIV/Aids. I did not understand what was going on back then, but in being introduced to the LoveLife campaign by my mother when she used to work at a clinic in Cato Manor, I quickly found myself picking it all up like a sponge. I feel I am blessed to have been surrounded by such intensity and been exposed to communities which were seriously battling with this ever persistent ‘angel-of-death’ (if you will).

Watching someone who had once brought life, smiles, and laughs (and who had once eagerly participated in three tin and shumpu games with us kids – her nieces – in the delightfully dusty hood that still holds my heart) literally disintegrate before your eyes is by far the most morbid thing ever.

So, when I was 18 years old I was introduced to Jonny Steinberg’s work…I read this book on recommendation by Bassie Kumalo. I had watched an episode of Top Billing in which she and some friends had come together on a ‘book-club’ discourse. So, I read it…and so the tears kept on flowing.

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The Purpose Driven Life: What On Earth Am I Here For?

– Rick Warren

God must have sent Pastor Rick Warren out to write this helpful guide for me. I generally ask a lot of questions, but truly stripping all the layers of years of ‘life happens’ off is what this book allowed and still allows me to do. I found myself crying ’til I could no longer feel my oesophagus. Everyone needs to read this book at least once.

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The Color Purple

– Alice Walker

I watched this film, The Color Purple after reading the book…I loved every single page, but I still have to re-read it. Alice Walker is a stellar story-teller. The only real challenge I suppose was getting the flow of the Southern slave ‘dialect’ which was used throughout the book.

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Ways Of Dying

– Zakes Mda

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The God of Small Things

– Arundhati Roy

I have not read this one either, but was linked to it by Redi Thlabi, one of South African media’s top minds. I look forward to being lifted and challenged in every way.  Besides the conviction with which Redi recommended it, I am fascinated by the title, The God of Small Things.

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The Measure of A Man: A Spiritual Autobiography

– Sidney Poitier

After watching several videos of him being interviewed, and in particular the birthday dinner Oprah organised for him a few years ago, I developed a respect for Mr. Poitier. I feel like when I finally pick up this book and dive right into it, my life will be transformed forever.

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