I occasionally stalk down Bill Gates’ reading list when I’m in a slump and it never lets me down. Most of his recommendations tend to be non-fiction, and that’s what I’ll usually reach for to mix things up. Gates gave Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime pretty high praise, and after also seeing the Poptimist’s review (my favourite Booktuber! Check him out here), I decided to give it a chance.
I had actually never heard of Trevor Noah before seeing these reviews – I don’t watch TV, let alone American TV (…or Australian TV) but man, his story was fantastic. Noah recounts short stories of his time growing up during the tail end of Apartheid in South Africa. Conceived at a time when it was illegal for whites and blacks to procreate, Noah was quite literally born a crime, and details his struggles with poverty, identity and his strong willed yet hilarious mother. Born a Crime has a loose plot – the starting scenes eventually wrap up in the last chapter – but everything between is a short story, each adding their own bit to the conclusion. The stories are not told in chronological order, but are tied together by common themes or characters.
Born a Crime is a hilarious, light read and I cannot stress how much better it gets if you consume it in audiobook format. There are so many pronunciations and accents you miss out on with the physical book – the most enjoyable to me was the way Noah impersonates his mother, hearing many traits I find in my own mother, making it all the more endearing. I really loved this one and definitely recommend it for anyone looking for an easy, lighthearted read.
Until next time,