By Lelo Boyana / 4 of December 2020
I love books, but not enough to consider myself a bookworm. I buy no less than 15 books a year. But finding the time to read them is a challenge! Thanks to my obsession with Netflix and Korean dramas, I’ve read less than a handful *facepalm* so my bookshelf is full of titles I’m yet to touch.
But I have finally dived into my collection and found some riveting reads. So if you are looking for delightful travel reads to keep you company at the beach, or on the couch, here are my top picks. Get ready for some serious wanderlust!
1. 40 Years of Iconic Food by Dorah Sitole
I loved this because it is about more than just the mouth-watering recipes. It also details and celebrates Mam Dorah’s culinary journey from Soweto to kitchens across Africa and beyond. The breathtaking travel photographs alone landed this book on my list!
2. Vagabond: Wandering Through Africa On Faith by Lerato Mogoatlhe
This is one of my favourite travel reads, and it’ll have you laughing, crying and shook! When Lerato quit her job as a journalist, she’d had enough of writing about people living their dreams and wanted to live hers. So she left home, with a laughable budget, to go and explore 21 African countries.
3. What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding by Kristin Newman
While reading this, you might feel like you’re eavesdropping on some girl talk, because it’s about a single woman’s sexcapades around the world. While her friends settled down, got married and had kids, Kristin decided to travel solo and explore the world. Fun times ahead!
4. The Book of Memory by Petina Gappah
This page-turner is about a woman with albinism who narrates her story from Chikurubi Maximum Prison in Zimbabwe. Reading about growing up in Harare brought back beautiful memories from my childhood. So much of what she shared made me realise just how similar our backgrounds are as Africans.
5. I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes
This exciting book had me travelling through Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, the USA and Turkey and to a world of US spies and jihadi terrorists. I didn’t want to leave! It’s over 600 pages filled with pure suspense. I’d love to see a film better than this book (if that’s even possible!).
6. Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue
This book introduces us to Jende and his wife Neni, immigrants from Cameroon, who are struggling to make ends meet in New York City. Jende gets a job as a chauffeur for a wealthy family and then things get interesting! This book will give you a lot to consider if you’re thinking of leaving SA to go and live the American Dream.
7. Black Girl in Paris by Shay Youngblood
I liked this book because I love Paris. The author was able to transport me back there while sharing her experience of trying to make it as a writer. It’s beautifully written, and I loved how descriptive it is. My favourite outtake? ‘Don't take only what life gives you. Reach out and take what you want.’
8. Still Grazing by Hugh Masekela
I don’t think there is a book I tweeted about more extensively than this one! There’s so much musical history in this read. Bra Hugh is raw and honest as he narrates his career, which took him from SA to Botswana, London, New York, Jamaica, Lagos, Zambia and the world.
Want to delve into Ms LeloB’s top travel reads? All books are available at Exclusive Books.