The Yacoubian Building

“The Yacoubian Building” by Alaa Al Aswany (Egypt) Review Readers loved this book! They warmed to the different characters who they described as vivid and well developed. They liked how each one evolved throughout the story as either their situation improved or deteriorated. They also liked the contrasts between the secular and religious lifestyles of…

By Night the Mountain Burns

“By Night the Mountain Burns” by Juan Tomás Ávila Laurel (Equatorial Guinea) Review There were mixed feelings about this book as some readers struggled with the stream-of-consciousness style of writing. Those who enjoyed it loved the flow of the story describing it as lyrical and dreamlike. They said it felt like listening to a friend telling…

Tram 83

“Tram 83” by Fiston Mwanza Mujila (Democratic Republic of Congo) Review From a classic plot-driven novel to an unusual collective ‘novel-essay,’ the four shortlisted books for this year’s Summer Reading Group varied greatly in structure, style of writing, and point of view. Our summer readers also noticed a recurrent theme in all four of dreams…

In the Country of Men

“In the Country of Men” by Hisham Matar (Libya) Review Most readers enjoyed the book finding it beautifully written and insightful, with one reader going so far as to describe the author as a wizard with language! They loved the setting and the descriptions of the house and its surroundings. They liked how the characters…

The Fall of Saints

“The Fall of Saints” by Wanjiku wa Ngugi (Kenya) Review From a first novel to a first attempt at a new genre by a well-known writer, this year’s Summer Reading selection of crime fiction covered a wide range of writing styles. “The Fall of Saints” is a first novel set in New York and Kenya…

We Need New Names

“We Need New Names” by NoViolet Bulawayo (Zimbabwe) Review Members of our Summer Reading Group liked the differences in writing styles and themes of this year’s four shortlisted books finding most of the stories highly enjoyable. Nicola has chosen the novel “We Need New Names” as her Coup de Cœur Summer 2014. Set in Harare…

The Devil I Know

“The Devil I Know” by Claire Kilroy (Ireland) Synopsis A thrilling novel of greed and hubris, set against the backdrop of a brewing international debt crisis. Told by Tristram, in the form of a mysterious testimony, “The Devil I Know” recounts his return home after a self-imposed exile only to find himself trapped as a…

Goodbye Lucille

“Goodbye Lucille” by Segun Afolabi (Nigeria) Review Readers were pretty much equally divided about this book, with half the group enjoying it, while the other half found it disappointing. Everyone agreed that it was an easy read, written in a clear language, and that the story was well crafted. They also liked the fact that…