What I read on my Zanzibar vacation!


Well, I managed six novels during the trip, four of them set in Zanzibar! It was quite tricky to track down novels set in Zanzibar, and I unfortunately failed to find any written by zanzibari authors. The only zanzibari author I could find was the Booker shortlisted Abdulrazak Gurnah, but none of his novels are set in Zanzibar! So I wound up with:

1. The Africa Bar by Nick Maes The Africa Bar by Nick Maes
Very well-written interesting story about two British women and their respective intertwined zanzibari tales; one set in 1963 on the brink of revolution, and the other in contemporary Zanzibar. I was quite taken with this book, it felt very initiated and well researched. The heat coming off the pages was almost palpable.
Nick Maes in the bookshop

2. Zanzibar by Giles Foden Zanzibar by Giles Foden
Literary thriller based around the Al-Qaeda bombings of the US embassies in Dar es Salaam and Nairobi. Very exciting and incisive.
Zanzibar by Giles Foden in the bookshop

3. Lost Empire by Clive Cussler Lost Empire by Clive Cussler
Well. Chuckle, chuckle. My six-year-old enjoyed this the most. I've never read Mr Cussler before, but it's quite like an action film with lots of quirks and historical conspiracies and hidden treasure and, well. You get the idea.

 Lost Empire by Clive Cussler in the bookshop

4. Death in Zanzibar by M. M. Kaye Death in Zanzibar by M. M. Kaye
A period piece, written in the late 1950s. This is in the vein of Agatha Christie with maps of houses and staircases with secret buttons. It's about hidden treasure and murder and was quite a lark.

Death in Zanzibar by M. M. Kaye in the bookshop

5. In the Woods by Tana French In the Woods by Tana French
I broke off my Zanzibari reading with an Irish crime novel. I had high hopes for this and they were well founded. Great writing, interesting and complex characters. It felt a bit like Donna Tartt writing crime. After that I ran out of books, but the hotel library luckily were kind enough to exchange my Giles Foden for a copy of:

Into the Woods by Tana French in the bookshop

6. The Likeness by Tana French The Likeness by Tana French
The second book from Ms French and it's even better!! Even more Donna Tartt vibes. Happy surprise. The setting is pure magic; an old country house with four beautiful post graduate students desperately but with great style and determination hiding from the world. And then one of them is stabbed...

The Likeness by Tana French in the bookshop

That's it! Now back to the grindstone!