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Book Bites: 13 July 2014

Good Morning, Mr MandelaGood Morning Mr Mandela
Zelda la Grange (Penguin Books)
****
Book buff
From her beginnings as a self-confessed Afrikaner racist to her professional apogee as the right-hand woman of the greatest statesman of our times, this is a pretension-free, no-holds-barred yet poignant account of how Zelda’s relationship with Madiba changed her fundamentally. As she said at her book launch, the good stuff in the book far outweighs all the negative things that happened at the end of his life. If there is just one other book to read about Madiba besides Long Walk To Freedom then this is it.
- Jennifer Platt @Jenniferdplatt

Life DrawingLife Drawing
Robin Black (Picador)
****
Book fling
“A painter looks. That’s what she does. But she doesn’t always look in the right direction.” Life Drawing is the shifting portrait of Augusta and Owen’s marriage. The seductive prose peels back the skin of apology and excuse, exposing how tragedy can be created by the smallest of mistakes, misunderstandings and misplaced good intentions. For it is a myth that marriage is kept alive on love alone.
Tiah Beautement @ms_tiahmarie

LagoonLagoon
Nnedi Okorafor (Hodder & Stoughton)
****
Book fiend
It is difficult to imagine a fresh type of alien invasion story when there are so many that have already been written, but Nnedi Okorafor has created just that. Set in the ordinary chaos of Lagos, her book tells the story of three extraordinary people and the aliens who descend on them – and their city. Soon, Lagos is burning, monsters like Mami Wata walk among soldiers, and the streets are more alive and dangerous than ever. Lagoon is the most original novel (African or not) that I have read in some time.
– Bontle Senne @BontleSenne

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