Press "Enter" to skip to content

For the book worms

Reading doesn’t just help with your critical thinking, but it also improves your brain function. Consider what happens when you work a muscle every day. That muscle grows and becomes much stronger than before. Reading works much the same way for your mind. The constant stimulation of the brain that a book provides is similar to the exercise required to work a muscle; it strengthens the separate parts of the brain that control your thinking and analysing skills.

So enjoy this weeks list of books for your brain workout…

Girl, Woman, Other. Bernadine Evaristo

Girl, Woman, Other follows the lives and struggles of twelve very different characters. Mostly women, black and British, they tell the stories of their families, friends and lovers, across the country and through the years.

Joyfully polyphonic and vibrantly contemporary, this is a gloriously new kind of history, a novel of our times: celebratory, ever-dynamic and utterly irresistible.

On October 14, the 2019 Booker Prize for Fiction was announced in London jointly awarded to Margaret Atwood and Bernadine Evaristo, for their novels, The Testaments and Girl, Woman, Other, respectively.

When. The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing. Daniel Pink

Everyone knows that timing is everything. But we don’t know much about timing itself. Our lives are a never-ending stream of “when” decisions: when to start a business, schedule a class, get serious about a person. Yet we make those decisions based on intuition and guesswork.

Timing, it’s often assumed, is an art. In When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing, Pink shows that timing is really a science.

Drawing on a rich trove of research from psychology, biology, and economics, Pink reveals how best to live, work, and succeed. How can we use the hidden patterns of the day to build the ideal schedule? Why do certain breaks dramatically improve student test scores? How can we turn a stumbling beginning into a fresh start? Why should we avoid going to the hospital in the afternoon? Why is singing in time with other people as good for you as exercise? And what is the ideal time to quit a job, switch careers, or get married?

In When, Pink distills cutting-edge research and data on timing and synthesizes them into a fascinating, readable narrative packed with irresistible stories and practical takeaways that give readers compelling insights into how we can live richer, more engaged lives.

My blood divides and unites. Jesmane Boggenpoel

Coming of age in South Africa as apartheid falls, a young mixed-race woman struggles to overcome her identity and heritage.

Born into poverty and state-mandated third-class status, Jesmane was weighed down by self-doubt, feelings of inferiority and shame even though she was at the top of her class and showed great promise.

After graduating from a prestigious South African university, earning a master’s degree at Harvard University and becoming Head of Business Engagement for Africa at the World Economic Forum, she continued to wrestle with internal conflicts and contradictions stemming from her past.

In this touching memoir, Jesmane and various South African colleagues explore their early lives, embrace the crippling contradictions forced upon them by apartheid, and craft new narratives for themselves, narratives of acceptance, inclusion, and boundless possibilities.

As a mixed-race (coloured) woman, whose genes connect her with all parts of Africa, as well as East Asia, South Asia, Germany, Wales, Netherlands, and other parts of the world, Jesmane is a microcosm of nations riven by internal strife. She reconciled with herself by deliberately turning to the conflicts and contradictions within. Doing so forced her to explore her past, grapple with lingering emotions, and come to a new understanding of herself, to a new healing.

Our world today, divided and fractured, would benefit from a similar process of self-reconciliation, of exploration of national and individual stories, followed by the embrace of contradictions and the crafting of new narratives of acceptance, inclusion, and boundless possibilities.

The stories Jesmane tells in this book – her story, and those of people from around the world spanning from US, Mexico across to India, Pakistan, Nepal and to Rwanda – can bring healing and inspiration to all.

Jesmane Boggenpoel is an experienced business executive and a former Head of Business Engagement for Africa at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland. She has served on the boards of various South African and international organisations. She is a Chartered Accountant (South Africa) and holds a Master’s degree from Harvard University’s JFK School of Government. Jesmane was honoured as a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum and is a Harvard Mason fellow.

Travel light. Move fast. Alexandra Fuller

From bestselling author Alexandra Fuller, the utterly original story of her father, Tim Fuller, and a deeply felt tribute to a life well lived

Six months before he died in Budapest, Tim Fuller turned to his daughter: “Let me tell you the secret to life right now, in case I suddenly give up the ghost.” Then he lit his pipe and stroked his dog Harry’s head. Harry put his paw on Dad’s lap and they sat there, the two of them, one man and his dog, keepers to the secret of life. “Well?” she said. “Nothing comes to mind, quite honestly, Bobo,” he said, with some surprise. “Now that I think about it, maybe there isn’t a secret to life. It’s just what it is, right under your nose. What do you think, Harry?” Harry gave Dad a look of utter agreement. He was a very superior dog. “Well, there you have it,” Dad said. 

After her father’s sudden death, Alexandra Fuller realizes that if she is going to weather his loss, she will need to become the parts of him she misses most. So begins Travel Light, Move Fast, the unforgettable story of Tim Fuller, a self-exiled black sheep who moved to Africa to fight in the Rhodesian Bush War before settling as a banana farmer in Zambia. A man who preferred chaos to predictability, to revel in promise rather than wallow in regret, and who was more afraid of becoming bored than of getting lost, he taught his daughters to live as if everything needed to happen all together, all at once—or not at all. Now, in the wake of his death, Fuller internalizes his lessons with clear eyes and celebrates a man who swallowed life whole.

A master of time and memory, Fuller moves seamlessly between the days and months following her father’s death, as she and her mother return to his farm with his ashes and contend with his overwhelming absence, and her childhood spent running after him in southern and central Africa. Writing with reverent irreverence of the rollicking grand misadventures of her mother and father, bursting with pandemonium and tragedy, Fuller takes their insatiable appetite for life to heart. Here, in Fuller’s Africa, is a story of joy, resilience, and vitality, from one of our finest writers.

Share on...
error

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *