Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

Title: Born a Crime: A stories from a South African childhood.

Author: Trevor Noah

Pub Date: November 15th, 2016

My Rating: ★★★★★

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Synopis from Goodreads:

The compelling, inspiring, and comically sublime story of one man’s coming-of-age, set during the twilight of apartheid and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed.

Trevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents’ indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa’s tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle.

Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man’s relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother: his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life.

The eighteen personal essays collected here are by turns hilarious, dramatic, and deeply affecting. Whether subsisting on caterpillars for dinner during hard times, being thrown from a moving car during an attempted kidnapping, or just trying to survive the life-and-death pitfalls of dating in high school, Trevor illuminates his curious world with an incisive wit and unflinching honesty. His stories weave together to form a moving and searingly funny portrait of a boy making his way through a damaged world in a dangerous time, armed only with a keen sense of humor and a mother’s unconventional, unconditional love.

I really like Trevor Noah in The Daily Show. And I really like memoir audiobooks narrated by the author. So this book was just a perfect pick for me. Trevor shares with us an amazing story of childhood so much different than anything I know. He was born in South Africa when interracial relationships were illegal, but his mother was fearless and she wanted a child. She asked her white friend for that child. She was relentless so she got that child. So Trevor was born into a black family, but he was coloured. He wasn’t black and he wasn’t white. And at that time how you looked and what colour your skin was crucial. The whole system was based on that. There were towns where black people lived, where white people lived, coloured, Indian, Asian. How you lived and what you were allowed to do was based on how you were classified racially.

The story of Trevor’s childhood is centred around his mother. She is the true hero of his story and we learn so much about her. Trevor tells us about tough choices she had to make, about her stubbornness and fearlessness. She’s truly amazing women, and it was thought to listen to what happened to her at some time in her life. She’s extremely strong.

You can learn a lot while reading this book. It tells a story of life in the aftermath of apartheid. It shows us how hard it is to judge someone who committed a crime. How unjust world is. But the story also has its light moments. It’s not all serious. Trevor’s mother lessons about women and romance are very good. Stories of Trevor’s romantic endeavours are quite funny, cute and a bit sad.

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Back To School

This weekly meme was created by The Broke and the Bookish. Today’s theme is  Back To School Freebie — anything “back to school” related like 10 favorite books I read in school, books I think should be required reading, Required Reading For All Fantasy Fans, required reading for every college freshman, Books to Pair With Classics or Books To Complement A History Lesson, books that would be on my classroom shelf if I were a teacher.

I decided to create my list of Books to Complement a History Lessons. I believe that the best books to complement history lessons are biographies or memoirs of survivors of some of the most horrific events in history. Such books will stay with you forever; those books will shake you and show you the history through the eyes of regular people. Those books will show you a number of pain people went through to survive. We need to read their stories, to remember. Reading such memoirs will shake you more than the dry text of history book, with those books you will experience the horrors of wars, rebellions, dictatorships, and you will remember that those things happened.


Testament of Youth
by Vera Brittain

374388HISTORY LESSON: Word War I

Pub Date: 1933

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Much of what we know and feel about the First World War we owe to Vera Brittain’s elegiac yet unsparing book, which set a standard for memoirists from Martha Gellhorn to Lillian Hellman. Abandoning her studies at Oxford in 1915 to enlist as a nurse in the armed services, Brittain served in London, in Malta, and on the Western Front. By war’s end she had lost virtually everyone she loved. Testament of Youth is both a record of what she lived through and an elegy for a vanished generation. Hailed by the Times Literary Supplement as a book that helped “both form and define the mood of its time,” it speaks to any generation that has been irrevocably changed by war.

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TOP TEN TUESDAY: Underrated – book with less than 2000 ratings

This weekly meme was created by The Broke and the Bookish. Today’s theme is Top Ten Books We Enjoyed That Have Under 2000 Ratings On Goodreads.  

A big part of books that pass this requirement are not yet published books – which is the reason why they have such a low number of ratings or books in polish, that were not translated into English.


Tears in the Grass by Lynda A. Archer

Literary Fiction | Contemporary Women |  Native American & Aboriginal

25532106

Pub Date: March 19th, 2016

My Rating: ★★★★★

Goodreads | Numer of ratings: 50 | Average rating: 4.08

Buy: Amazon | Book Depository

A fresh and poignant story of three generations of Cree women — Elinor, Louise, and Alice — setting out to uncover a long-buried secret that will change all of their lives. Set in the Qu’Appelle Valley and prairies in the late 1960s, the novel confronts the trauma of residential schools, and the long, dark shadow they cast over the present.

It is such a beautiful story. I loved it. The writing is marvelous, descriptions of nature were mystical and brilliant. I just devoured them. I encourage everyone to read it, especially if you are looking for a book with characters from minorities that are overlooked in modern fiction.

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