Booking a Little Time with Trevor Noah

Believe it or not, it’s the third Saturday in March already. That means…

  1. If your name isn’t Julius Caesar, you have probably survived the Ides of March;
  2. you may now be wondering what to do with all that green beer from yesterday; and
  3. it’s book review time, which is good because I’ve been looking forward to telling you about my favorite read from the past month: Trevor Noah’s Born A Crime.

Read Me A Story, Trevor.

Trevor Noah, as you may know, took over the reins of Comedy Central’s Daily Show from Jon Stewart. Trevor had a tough act to follow, especially with everyone moaning and groaning about no one being able to replace Jon Stewart. Well, in little time, Trevor was a huge hit and now people are saying, “Jon who?”

Born A Crime is Trevor’s autobiographical book about growing up as a mixed race kid in South Africa. When I learned about this book I knew I had to read it because I’ve heard him talk about his childhood a tiny bit before and wanted to hear more, and because I simply adore Trevor Noah.

I was all geared up to check the book out from the library. Then I found out Trevor himself did the reading for the audiobook version. I mean, c’mon, seven hours of that cute little South African accent? Audiobook was the only way to go!

Beyond Expectations

Since he’s a comedian, I expected Trevor’s book to be funny. From tales of what a five-year-old does when he doesn’t want to go to the outhouse, to stories of not realizing his prom date couldn’t speak English (even after hanging out with her many times beforehand), the book is damn funny.

But Born A Crime is so much more than a string of funny anecdotes. Without getting too heavy-handed, Trevor discusses – among other topics – the absurdity of classing people in or judging people by race, the need and importance of learning languages, and the strength of women.

I can’t emphasize enough how much I loved this book. Normally, when listening to an audiobook, I get annoyed if my player “rewinds” and replays a section I already heard, but with Born A Crime, I was purposely “rewinding” to give certain parts a re-listen.

So, go out and find this book NOW (I got mine from the library – yay, free books!!). And if you can, definitely opt for the audiobook version.

The Loser of the Month

Of course, not everything I read over the past month was a winner. My least favorite book I read, or tried to read, was Edward Rutherfurd’s London. I’ve enjoyed a few of Rutherfurd’s other books, but, despite my love of London the place, London the book just never grabbed me.

If you’ve never read them, Rutherfurd’s books cover a long period of a location’s history. In the books he follows a few families as they progress through this history. It’s usually interesting and educational.

Not London. Okay, it may be educational, but even after a couple hundred pages, I just couldn’t get interested in the lives of any of the families he presented. The characters and their stories just felt bland, and even the history (which I normally love) didn’t grab my attention. If you want to try Rutherfurd out (which I do recommend), just don’t start with this book or you may be put off his work forever.

Any thoughts on either of these books? Go ahead and leave a comment or a recommendation! I’ll be back next Wednesday with some new art to show off and an update on how my show prep is proceeding. See you then!!

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8 thoughts on “Booking a Little Time with Trevor Noah

  1. Jackie says:

    I completely agree with you about Trevor Noah’s book. Though, unfortunately, i read the ebook, but I keep thinking i should listen to the audiobook, because as you say, that accent of his is very appealing. He does tackle serious issues in an amusing an entertaining way and though I’d read some stuff about apartheid, I learned even more through this book. I wonder if he’s going to write more books about subsequent years?
    I read London a long time ago and liked it, but I don’t think it was the first book of Rutherfurd’s that I’d read. I remember the Russian one being very interesting.

    • painterwrite says:

      I may have to try London again sometime in the future because, as I said, I like Rutherfurd’s other books, but right now, it just didn’t appeal. Definitely do locate the audiobook…if only to hear him speaking in the variousAfrican languages he knows. I knew a little about apartheid, but never realized the utter ridiculousness and illogic of it…like people “becoming” a different race if they pass the test. 🙄

  2. crawcraftsbeasties says:

    Iiiiinteresting! I’ll have to see if I can track this down… I wonder if they’ve got around to publishing it on this side of the pond yet? And I remember those Rutherfurd books from my bookstore days – jeebus! They’re enormous! Tough going if the subject matter isn’t grabbing you 😆

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