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6 Captivating Books About Africa

Learn the many stories the land of the Sahara has got to tell.

When we talk about Africa many images come to mind: Wild savannahs full of roaming beasts, green jungles and tall trees as far as the eye can see, big elephants and tall giraffes. Scenes that seem taken from Disney’s The Lion King, etc.

Truth is, there’s just so many things about the cradle of civilization that people are normally unaware of. So much history, knowledge, and epic stories are connected to this land that haven’t made it to the masses’ consciousness just yet. Discover the many mysteries and wonders of the African continent with these books.

#1 The Fatal Sleep by Peter Kennedy

The Fatal Sleep by Peter Kennedy
This book is a must-read for anyone with an interest in health, social change, or anything in between. Prof. Peter Kennedy tells the harrowing story of one of Africa’s biggest killers: Sleeping Sickness. He discusses everything from the biology to the social impact of the disease. Amidst all the darkness, he asks if there is still a glimmer of hope for the future.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

Read more reviews and buy the book here (Amazon)

Search for the audiobook here (Audible)

#2 Dark Star Safari by Paul Theroux

Dark Star Safari by Paul Theroux
In Swahili, safari means ‘a journey’. This is exactly what Theroux gives the reader on his overland journey from Cairo to Capetown. This book encapsulates the mysterious pull, frustration, and optimism of the continent and its diverse people. This is not just a smooth sail down the Nile, but a sometimes sobering look at a continent long dismissed.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

Read more reviews and buy the book here (Amazon)

Search for the audiobook here (Audible)

#3 Play Like a Girl by Ellie Roscher

Play Like a Girl by Ellie Roscher
Growing up and living in Kibera, Kenya, Abdul Kassim was well aware of the disproportionate number of challenges faced by women due to the extreme gender inequalities that persist in the slums. After being raised by his aunts, mother, and grandmother and having a daughter himself, he felt that he needed to make a difference.

In 2006, after much work, the Kibera Girls Soccer Academy (KGSA) was established with their first class of 11 girls and 2 volunteer teachers. Today, KGSA is composed of 20 full-time staff, provides a host of artistic and athletic programs for more than 130 students annually, and continues to expand. By providing academics inside and outside of the classroom along with artistic and athletic opportunities, KGSA inspires the young women of Kibera to become advocates for change within their own communities and for Kenya as a whole.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

Read more reviews and buy the book here (Amazon)

Search for the audiobook here (Audible)

#4 Lest We Forget by Kwan Kew Lai

Lest We Forget by Kwan Kew Lai
Lest We Forget chronicles the harrowing and inspiring time spent serving on the front lines of the 2014 Ebola outbreak—the complicated Personal Protective Equipment, the chlorine-scented air, the tropical heat, and the heartbreaking difficulties of treating patients she could not touch. Dr. Lai interweaves original diary entries to create a gripping narrative about life, death, and human relationships that will leave no reader unmoved.

Lest We Forget exposes the raw brutality of Ebola, as well as the chaotic nature of the undersupplied and understaffed health infrastructure in the developing world. At once a memoir of triumphs and failures and a memorial, this book will ensure that the victims of Ebola and the fighters who sought to heal them will not be forgotten.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

Read more reviews and buy the book here (Amazon)

Search for the audiobook here (Audible)

#5 Akwaaba: An African Inspired Adult Coloring Book by Connie Omari

Akwaaba: An African Inspired Adult Coloring Book by Connie Omari
Historically, the nature of the African continent has often been told to the outside world by non-natives of Africa. This has led to an inaccurate and distorted reality of the beauty with which the continent holds. By re-creating the story of Africa, through the use of this adult coloring book, not only is one able to experience the many benefits associated with adult coloring, but they are also able to re-create the content of Africa on their terms.

Whether it’s through the use of color, interactions with patterns, or the collection of African inspired mask and nature, artist (both amateur and expert) are able to find relaxation and meditative thought processes provided throughout the collection of over 100 unique and inspiring African Art inspirations.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

Read more reviews and buy the book here (Amazon)

Search for the audiobook here (Audible)

#6 The Limits of the World By Jennifer Acker

The Limits of the World By Jennifer Acker
As you may know, some of the best writing being published today is cross-cultural literature generated by gifted writers. This novel is about a family from an Indian enclave in Nairobi who’ve managed to flourish in America but not without a great deal of struggle, including a secret marriage between an Indian son and a Jewish American woman.

The story moves between three continents and is a mosaic of ethnic and ethical divisions. The book has received some great early reviews in the trades and was listed as one of the most anticipated books of 2019 by The Millions and LitHub.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

Read more reviews and buy the book here (Amazon)

Search for the audiobook here (Audible)

Contributors to this article
Tamsin Nicholson from Dr Felix

Kevin Nielsen from Two Teacher Trek

Allyson Fields from Viva Editions

Dr. Connie Omari from Tech Talk Therapy PLLC

Deb Zipf from Meryl Moss Media, Inc.

Written by Zak Parker

Journalist, writer, musician, professional procrastinator. I'll add more here later.

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