September 14, 2016

Like a Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun by Sarah Ladipo Manyika | Book Review

Morayo is an elderly woman living in San Francisco, California. She lives alone with her multitude of books in a prized apartment with a choice view of the city. She has never had children and she has no family member geographically close enough to be there for her when she needs it. She used to be a Professor of English and she also used to be married to an ambassador. Using flashbacks and the narration of other characters in Morayo's life, Manyika gives us a great perspective of the life Morayo now lives. Like a Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun is a portrait of a woman who's living out the last years of her life the best way she can.

I honestly couldn't wait to be done with this novel. Honestly. The knowledge that it had just 118 pages kept me going because I knew I could do it if I just kept at it. I like Sarah Ladipo Manyika. I enjoyed and reviewed her first novel In Dependence and I even interviewed her for this blog in the post 12 Questions for Sarah Ladipo Manyika back in 2009. Morayo's story is boring. It has no spark. I understand that it's a story about an elderly woman but I wanted it to be much more than this. It's all good though. I'll still be in line for Manyika's next novel.

[Image via Amazon]

September 10, 2016

Book Release!!! | "The Path Which Shapes Us" by Lazola Pambo

The Path Which Shapes Us is a young adult fiction novel written by South African poet, novelist and essayist, Lazola Pambo. Its protagonist Clifford Malothi is caught up in his Uncle's past criminal life and lives in fear of being kidnapped along with his girlfriend. His Uncle's nemesis, Nasty Mike, is a threat to his Uncle and all the people of Evansdale, Clifford's hometown. The only one who can save them is Clifford and he has the perfect plan to overcome Nasty Mike.

Lazola Pambo has had his works published in New Coin, LitNet, The Kalahari Review, Aerodome, Nomad's Choir, Black Magnolias Literary Journal, BlazeVOX, Indiana Voice Journal, and Aji Magazine. He will soon be published in The Sentinel Literary Quarterly. This is his first novel. You can follow him on Twitter: @LPambo

The Path Which Shapes Us will retail for the price of R159,99. It will be available in South African bookstores and online by the end of September 2016. Orders can be sent in advance of release date to the book publisher. Contact: Mr. Isaac Shabangu via email -

September 07, 2016

July's People by Nadine Gordimer | Book Review

Bam and Maureen Smales are a caucasian couple with three kids living in apartheid South Africa. This story begins with them in a village hut being attended to by their black manservant, July. The sudden war in South Africa, a product of racial tensions, has forced everyone to flee the cities and the Smales family is in especial danger because of their race. July's extended family aren't welcoming but they take the Smales in. July's mom even vacates her personal hut at his request so the Smales can stay in it. The plan seems to be to hide out in July's village until it's safe but tensions are rising within the camp. For 15 years July has been the paid manservant who does their bidding but now the Smales are helpless and dependent on July for a lot of things, including their safety. Will they continue to stay with July's People or will they head out on their own?

July's People is about the racism in South Africa at a certain point in time. The story doesn't start out in an exciting way and for a while the only reason I'm clinging on is because it's written by Nadine Gordimer. She's a revered South African author. She won the Booker Prize in 1974 and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1991. I've wanted to read her books for some time now and I initially planned to start with The Conservationist but I changed my mind. Anyway, July's People doesn't build up to some great tragedy or jaw dropping event. It just keeps trudging along for 160 pages. Do I like July's People? Yeah, it was okay... Would I recommend it to anyone? No.

[Image via Amazon]