The audio book that I listened to this month was Shopaholic Abroad by Sophie Kinsella. I really enjoyed listening to something light-hearted that got me laughing. The story follows Becky Bloomwood as she heads to the shops of New York, accompanying her entrepreneur boyfriend Luke who decides to move there for business. Becky is totally addicted to shopping and finds a way to justify her every purchase, but then things go wrong, and Becky's career, her relationship with Luke and even her access to credit are in jeopardy. Shopaholic Abroad is entertaining and funny; a welcome book to listen to in between some more serious and thought-provoking reading matter.
I've decided to read or, in some cases, re-read some of Bryce Courtenay's books. It is interesting to read something written by someone born in Africa, although the author has lived in Australia for many years. I hadn't read April Fool's Day previously and found it a poignant story. It is a true story about Bryce's son Damon, a haemophiliac, who subsequently contracted the HI virus from one of the many blood transfusions that he required from very early in his life. Having seen through my research and writing about how HIV and Aids affects people in South Africa and Malawi, it was quite an eye-opener to see how someone with Aids was treated in Australia in the early 1990s. It is a wonderful tribute to Damon and his girlfriend Celeste who was by his side through so many difficult times.
This month I also read African Tears: The Zimbabwe Land Invasions by Catherine Buckle (published in 2001). Some readers may have read some of the weekly emails sent out by Catherine telling of the invasion of the farm she owned, lived on and had built up over 10 years. The book tells the whole story, including excerpts from the emails and newspaper reports. It tells how Catherine, her husband Ian and their young son lived alongside men who claimed to be war veterans. It's a really sad story, a distressing reminder of the land invasions in Zimbabwe and the suffering that many people, black and white, have undergone.