• Oh, this sounds really really good. Must read it! Thanks for letting us know about it, and that it has a sort of happy ending compared to say, the Congo.

    • It may honestly have had a horrible ending. Unlike my book about Congo, this one was limited to a specific period in Lesotho’s history, so I still don’t know anything about their more recent history. Like what happened to Lesotho during all the apartheid mess in South Africa? No idea. (I initially started this project wanting to read one comprehensive history of each African nation, but that’s proving implausible.)

  • Medicine murders. Ulp.

    Your reading project has convinced me I need to know everything about Africa, and also that I should read more nonfiction as a general rule. It just takes me so loooooooong. I’m the slowest nonfiction reader ever because I always stop to argue with it if there’s any sort of opinionish thing involved, or to reread bits if I don’t feel I understand the concepts well enough.

    An Evelyn-related sidebar: I thought Evelyn Waugh was a woman until literally three minutes before I started BRIDESHEAD REVISITED. I read the little bio in the front of my edition and was like, “Huh? Evelyn Waugh is a guy?” I have an aunt named Evelyn so I assume all people named Evelyn share my aunt’s gender. This has proven to be a faulty assumption.

    • Yeah, nonfiction is for sure a lot slower than fiction reading. What I’ve been doing with this Africa reading project is committing to read one chapter per night, and I do it before I go to bed. That way, I’m limiting in advance how much I consume at once, plus I feel like I read somewhere that you remember stuff better if you read it right before you go to bed. So that’s how this project is working for me.

      Hahahah, yep, there are boy Evelyns. I feel like someone told me that it’s pronounced Eh-velyn if it’s a girl and Eee-velyn if it’s a guy, but I cannot confirm this rumor.

  • Chrisbookarama

    I knew none of this. I’m a dumb Canadian. Very interesting!

    Like Memory, I also thought that about Waugh. I was quite surprised to find out I was wrong.

    • Hahahaha, you’re not a dumb Canadian! I bet even people who live much closer to Lesotho than we do don’t know all of this.

  • I knew exactly nothing about Lesotho before reading your post, except I knew it was surrounded by South Africa. I’m pretty good at geography which has helped me in life exactly never, but if I am ever on Jeopardy…it won’t matter because the chances are they won’t have anything I know up there. Anyhoo, these medicine murders, wtf? It sounds like some Ancient Mayan sacrifice except, oh you know, during the decade my parents were born. With apartheid starting up in South Africa, that was really the place to be in the 1940s, am I right? *shudder*

    • I KNOW, it sounds like a hot mess. I feel especially bad for the regular people in Lesotho at the time of the medicine murders, because they didn’t ask for any of this mess — the succession crisis or anything — but they still got dragged into it. Sucks.

  • Alley

    I appreciate your concern that people will be mad that your diverse reading was focused on big countries. I’m pretty sure it’d be OK if you smacked these (I hope) imaginary critics.

    Thank you for reading this and sharing because this is fantastic and I knew nothing about Lesotho except that it is a country in Africa. and even that I was only like 75% sure about.

    • Hahahaha, they’re totally imaginary critics. I imagined criticisms of myself because I do that constantly. :p

  • I’ve never even heard of Lesotho. The medicine murders sound so creepy! Someone needs to write a thriller about that stat.

    • Oooo, that’d be wonderful. Malla Nunn writes a series of mystery novels set in apartheid South Africa, which are hella dark, and I bet it’d be even creepier to do something similar in the Lesotho medicine murders time.

  • These are always just so interesting (and fun – even with the murders and what not). I’ll just be over here sad about the fact that I can claim to be a history teacher and still know so little.

    • I’m glad you think so! I sometimes worry that it’s self-congratulatory by me and not fun for anyone to read. I find these books I’m reading SO INTERESTING, and I want to shout about the new things I’ve learned, is all. :p

      Anyway, do not feel sad about anything. I’m doing this project, but there’s still so much I don’t know. I was reading a book set in Croatia last night and just had noooo idea about any of the history behind it. Except I was like “this is maybe the former Yugoslavia maybe?”

  • Stefanie @ SoManyBooks

    Go Lesotho! Very clever maneuvering during the colonial period. The medicine murder thing is creepy weird though. Great write up. You make me feel so much smarter than I was before.

  • helen from a gallimaufry

    Tsk! Next you’ll be claiming that Vivian is a girl’s name too!

    Fantastic review, Jenny. I’d never even heard of this book and now I really want to read it. I have been rather intermittent with my internet visits recently (and bemused by Disqus, neeeew technology oh dearie) so didn’t realise you had an Africa reading project so am going to check out that page right now.

    • Oh, sorry! I tried to make the Disqus plug-in as manageable as possible for people. If it’s too much hassle, let me know. It’s by way of an experiment, and if it makes ccommenting too difficult for anyone, it’ll be a failed experiment.

      • helen from a gallimaufry

        Jenny, it’s taken me five years to work out how to use the remote control for the television, I think I’m distinctly below average when it comes to new things so I wouldn’t let it trouble you.

        I’m afraid I’ve just read a novel on which not only was the husband’s name Vivian but the friend’s name was Cecil and she was female…

  • I’m seriously loving your Africa reading project posts – so interesting!