Reading Suggestions

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Africa

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Harold Robbins. Heat of Passion/Angola

Win Liberte has it all. He prides himself on never having worked a day in his life. He has everything he wants – fast cars, beautiful women, a racing yacht, a penthouse in Manhattan. Orphaned at eleven, Win inherited an international diamond business that is managed by his uncle. Then Win loses it all when his uncle commits suicide after investing all of Win’s money in a scheme that fails. His single remaining asset is a bankrupt diamond mine in Angola, a steaming, war-ravaged country in equatorial Africa. In the blood and muck of central Africa, Win experiences the “Diamond Curse” first hand. Battles over Angola’s vast wealth in gems occur daily, and fights for control of the diamond industry have wiped out generations. Thriving on the challenge, Win founds an international diamond business that challenges a powerful cartel’s stranglehold on the market. Loved by two women – a movie goddess who sears men’s souls and a dedicated UN worker who risks her life in Africa – Win doesn’t find anything worth living for until he loses love. From the tunnels of the diamond mine to the stage at the Academy Awards, from the beds of beautiful women to a battle with warlords, Win has to fight to get back everything he ever wanted.

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Alexander McCall Smith. No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency/Botswana

This first novel in Alexander McCall Smith’s widely acclaimed The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series tells the story of the delightfully cunning and enormously engaging Precious Ramotswe, who is drawn to her profession to “help people with problems in their lives.” Immediately upon setting up shop in a small storefront in Gaborone, she is hired to track down a missing husband, uncover a con man, and follow a wayward daughter. But the case that tugs at her heart, and lands her in danger, is a missing eleven-year-old boy, who may have been snatched by witchdoctors.

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Stephen Davies. Outlaw/Burkina Faso

A high-tension, high-tech thriller with an African setting. Jake and his sister, Kas, whose father is the British ambassador to Burkina Faso, are abducted, bundled into a van, and driven into the unknown. In smartphone contact with his father, Jake learns that the kidnapper with the spider web tattoo is the remorseless outlaw Yakuuba Sor, who is connected to an international terrorist organization. But is he the real Yakuuba Sor? And is Sor really a dangerous criminal? In this fast-paced tale laced with trickery and murder, Jake and Kas discover that with the corrupt local government and British Intelligence arrayed against them, survival in the African desert may be the least of their problems.

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Stephen Coonts. Deep Black: Death Wave/Canary Islands.

Deep within the NSA is Desk Three, a top-secret unit of special operatives inserted into the field when the threat is great and the response demands sensitivity and invisibility. Charlie Dean, a former Marine sniper, is a senior officer. With his colleagues Lia DeFrancesca and newcomer Lia Akulinin, they form the core of a high-tech team known as Deep Black.  Off The Coast Of Africa lie the beautiful Canary Islands, a resort destination of millionaires. Underneath this idyllic paradise is one of the most volatile fault lines in the world. There, an alliance between radical Islamic terrorists and a rogue element of the Chinese government is planning to unleash an act of unimaginable geological terrorism that could devastate the U.S. East Coast, striking it with waves up to a thousand feet high. They plan to set off nuclear devices to precipitate a gigantic landslide that will send a death-dealing tsunami across the Atlantic. In the Central Asian Republic of Tajikistan, twelve nuclear warheads stolen by the Russian Mafia are about to be smuggled out of the country and delivered into the hands of the conspirators. Charlie and Ilya go on an intercept mission, but before they can retrieve them, the weapons vanish. Meanwhile, in a hotel in New Jersey, a bestselling author is assassinated to prevent the release of his stranger-than-fiction story about an Islamic plot to change the course of history. Lia, Charlie’s girlfriend, is sent to Berlin to infiltrate the empire of a ruthless Chinese billionaire whose machinations have come to the attention of the NSA. She risks immediate execution if her true identity is revealed. Their paths all converge in the Canary Islands. Unless the Deep Black team intervenes, the islands could be the epicenter of an apocalypse, with millions of lives-and the entire world order-at stake.

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Tamar Myers. The Witch Doctor’s Wife/Congo

The Congo beckons to young Amanda Brown in 1958, as she follows her missionary calling to the mysterious “dark continent” far from her South Carolina home. But her enthusiasm cannot cushion her from the shock of a very foreign culture—where competing missionaries are as plentiful as flies, and oppressive European overlords are busy stripping the land of its most valuable resource: diamonds. Little by little, Amanda is drawn into the lives of the villagers in tiny Belle Vue—and she is touched by the plight of the local witch doctor, a man known as Their Death, who has been forced to take a second job as a yardman to support his two wives. But when First Wife stumbles upon an impossibly enormous uncut gem, events are set in motion that threaten to devastate the lives of these people Amanda has come to admire and love—events that could lead to nothing less than murder.

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Enid Shomer. The Twelve Rooms of the Nile/Egypt

Before she became the nineteenth century’s greatest heroine, before he had written a word of Madame Bovary, Florence Nightingale and Gustave Flaubert traveled down the Nile at the same time. In the imaginative leap taken by award-winning writer Enid Shomer’s The Twelve Rooms of the Nile, the two ignite a passionate friendship marked by intelligence, humor, and a ravishing tenderness that will alter both their destinies. In 1850, Florence, daughter of a prominent English family, sets sail on the Nile chaperoned by longtime family friends and her maid, Trout. To her family’s chagrin—and in spite of her wealth, charm, and beauty—she is, at twenty-nine and of her own volition, well on her way to spinsterhood. Meanwhile, Gustave and his good friend Maxime Du Camp embark on an expedition to document the then largely unexplored monuments of ancient Egypt. Traumatized by the deaths of his father and sister, and plagued by mysterious seizures, Flaubert has dropped out of law school and writ-ten his first novel, an effort promptly deemed unpublishable by his closest friends. At twenty-eight, he is an unproven writer with a failing body.  Florence is a woman with radical ideas about society and God, naive in the ways of men. Gustave is a notorious womanizer and patron of innumerable prostitutes. The unlikely soul mates come together to share their darkest torments and most fervent hopes. Brimming with adventure and the sparkling sensibilities of the two travelers, this mesmerizing novel offers a luminous combination of gorgeous prose and wild imagination, all of it colored by the opulent tapestry of mid-nineteenth-century Egypt.

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Nelson DeMille. The Quest/Ethiopia

After receiving a tip from a dying priest, four unlikely partners begin a quest to find the Holy Grail in the jungles of Ethiopia.

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Taiye Selasi. Ghana Must Go/Ghana

The sudden and unexpected death of a renowned surgeon in Ghana has rippling repercussions on his family, both from his first marriage and his second, as truths are uncovered and betrayals are exposed.

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Anita Shreve. A Change in Altitude/Kenya

Newlyweds Margaret and Patrick join a climbing expedition to Mount Kenya, and during their harrowing ascent, a horrific accident occurs. In the aftermath of the tragedy, Margaret struggles to understand what happened on the African mountain and how these events have transformed her and her marriage, perhaps forever.

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Dale Brown. Wings of Fire/Libya

North Africa is in turmoil. The new Libyan president has had the new Egyptian president assassinated, and the latter’s widow, Susan Salaam, vows revenge. Enlisting the high-tech help of McClanahan and his Night Stalkers, she survives an assassination attempt, assumes control of the Egyptian government, outmaneuvers the Libyan president, and all but proclaims herself queen of Arab North Africa. But the Libyans, and their scheming secret allies, are not done yet. They hold a trump card – one with a deeply personal meaning for McClanahan – and it may be one that will leave even the Night Stalkers powerless.

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Nora Roberts. Hot Ice/Madagascar

Rich, gorgeous Whitney MacAllister likes fast cars, vintage movies, and dangerous men. But even this jaded, high-living Manhattan socialite is taken by surprise when a stranger in black leather hijacks her Mercedes–just before the bullets start flying. International jewel thief Douglas Lord is used to living life on the run–part of the lure of his chosen profession is the thrill of the chase. But he has one iron-clad rule: he always works alone. Until now. Wounded and in desperate need of cash for what could be the glittering crown of his dazzling career, Doug reluctantly accepts the wealthy, well-connected Whitney as his new partner in crime. With the papers screaming headlines about the missing New York heiress, and a gang of cunning criminals in hot pursuit, Doug and Whitney take off for the sultry wilds of Madagascar in search of a fabulous treasure dating back to the French Revolution. For Whitney, what began as a high-speed adventure becomes a race between life and death as she tries to outmaneuver a pack of merciless killers who coolly eliminate anyone in their way. For Doug, who has been betrayed one time too many, it’s a chance to capture the elusive pot of gold and perhaps one final shot at redemption. For both of them, it’s an exotic quest for meaning–and a surrender to an irresistible passion worth any risk–as a deadly high-stakes game is played out to its terrifying conclusion, one that may have no winners or losers. Or survivors. 

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Tahar Ben Jelloun. Leaving Tangier/Morocco

Azel, a native of Tangier, escapes to Barcelona by becoming the lover of an older man, Miguel, but as Azel becomes disillusioned, his sister, Kenza, agrees to marry Miguel to gain Spanish citizenship, only to become drawn to a troubled expatriate.

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Ronald Hardy. Rivers of Darkness/Mozambique

Arriving in Mozambique in 1973 to battle a terrifying disease causing blindness, Dr. Harry Lynd and his band of medical missionaries, which includes a former nun now in love with him, are torn between medical ethics and the instinct to survive.

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Helon Habila. Oil on Water/Nigeria

Two journalists, a young upstart and a disillusioned veteran, are sent to find the missing wife of a British oil executive in the environmentally devastated Nigerian Delta where they must contend with the brutality of government soldiers and militants.

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Clive Cussler. Skeleton Coast/Namibia

Narrowly escaping following a mission on the Congo River, Juan Cabrillo and the crew of the Oregon rescue beautiful Sloane Macintyre–who is looking for a lost ship that may be carrying a fortune in diamonds–when her boat is attacked off the African coast and find themselves up against a deranged militant who plans to launch a devastating force of nature against those who oppose him. 

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Elisabeth Combres. Broken Memory/Rwanda

After hearing her mother being murdered, a young girl must find the strength to survive on her own amidst the massacres of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

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Jon Land. Blood Diamonds/Sierra Leone

Palestinian-American detective Ben Kamal and Israeli sleuth Danielle Barnea once again join forces when they find themselves caught up in the vicious violence and terrorism of the diamond-rich West African country of Sierra Leone as they take on rebels led by a charismatic female fanatic known as the Dragon, who is planning a coup that could topple Western governments.

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DiAnn Mills. When the Lion Roars/Sudan

An American female doctor, an Arab Christian man, and an officer of the Sudanese Liberation Army must work together to find and liberate a young girl who’s been abducted into slavery by the Northern Sudanese. These unlikely partners face the reality of a nation in turmoil, and the rampant hostility that exists between Christians and Muslims.

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Giles Foden. The Last King of Scotland/Uganda

The reluctant personal physician to Idi Amin, Scottish civil servant Nicholas Garrigan, is drawn despite himself to the charismatic but brutal dictator, until a plot against Amin awakens him to the unspeakable horror and cruelty of the regime.

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One thought on “Africa

  1. Pingback: Around the World in 80 Books | Reading Suggestions

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