2015 - Circling the Sun
I thoroughly enjoyed this book in both written and audio forms (Katharine McEwan narrates the audiobook and does a wonderful job). The main character, Beryl Markham (a real person, by the way, though this book is more historical fiction than true biography), was born in England and moved to Kenya as a child. She grows into an indomitable woman who was the first woman to earn a horse training license, the first woman pilot in Kenya, and the first person to fly solo across the Atlantic ocean.
But more than the story of an incredible woman, this is the story of a place. The setting is everything. The so-called "Happy Valley," popular with British aristocrats, is a slice of colonial Kenya where (white) women are surprisingly empowered and seemingly everyone has an appetite for adventure. The lushness of the landscape shines through in McLain's writing. It left me longing to read more about Kenya, specifically, and eastern Africa generally, from an African perspective. In that light, I'm recommending three books about Africa by Africans.
1. Coming to Birth by Marjorie Oludhe MacGoye
2. A Grain of Wheat by Ngugi Wa Thiong’o
3. Kintu by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi
Keep turning the page,