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False msafiri PICK OF THE BEST books KQ REVIEWS Andrew Littlefield picks out the best new books HHHHHHHHHH habariinspiration 36 elephants, lionS and eagles Nick Sagan, Mark Frary, Andy Walker ( Icon Books) Half the fun of science fiction is seeing which outlandish inventions eventually become science fact. We might now have video phones, rocket ships and robotic production lines, but the transporters of Star Trek, or The Six Million Dollar Man’s cyborg superpowers, are still some way from becoming reality. In Future Proof, science fiction author Nick Sagan ( son of the famous astronomer and futurologist Carl Sagan) and two equally qualified colleagues give us the definitive top fifty list of science fiction gizmos – everything from Back to the Future’s time travelling De Lorean car to the faster- than- light warp drives featured in the Star Wars movies. The authors go into the history and technical specifications for each gadget and assess how likely it is that jetpacks, remote controlled robots or android pets will also become part of 21st- century living. future proof Daoud Hari ( Penguin) Daoud Hari, the author of The Translator, grew up as a Zaghawa tribesman in the Dafur region of Sudan. He raced camels across the desert, attended colourful weddings and played games under the moonlight with his family and friends. This way of life was shattered forever in 2003, when Sudanese government- backed militias attacked Hari’s village and drove the tribesmen from their lands. Unlike many of his relatives, Hari managed to escape the carnage, living a nomadic existence on the battlefield deserts while trying to aid the weak and vulnerable. Eventually he found a new calling, working as a guide and translator for international aid groups and foreign journalists drawn to the region, often at great risk to his own personal safety. The skills Hari learned during this time ultimately led him to write The Translator, an inspiring true life tale of courage and survival in the face of unimaginable peril. According to Terry Waite, “ If you read nothing else about Africa this year, read this book.” the translator HHHHH MSAFIRI’S TOP3 READS Filippo Ricci ( WSC Books) With typically self- deprecating wit, When Saturday Comes bills itself as “ The Half- Decent Football Magazine”. First launched as a fanzine in 1986, WSC is famous both for the quality of its writing and for looking beyond the hype and hysteria of the English Premiership. In recent years there have been a series of excellent spin- off WSC Books devoted to the beautiful game in Spain, Germany and the USA. Now comes the latest instalment, Elephants, Lions and Eagles, which tackles the current state of soccer in Africa. Journalist Filippo Ricci is the ideal man to pen such a survey, having written about African football since 1993. He travels to Burkina Faso, where European scouts check out players at the African Cup of Nations, joins a packed bar in downtown Douala to watch Cameroon on TV and he is also present at FIFA headquarters when a World Cup is awarded to Africa for the first time. This is an amusing, opinionated and even cautiously optimistic book about the future of football across the continent. THINKERS OF THE JUNGLE Gerd Schuster, Willie Smits, Jay Ullal ( Ullmann Publishing) The orang- utan is one of the world’s most intelligent creatures, sharing an astonishing 97% of their genes with humans – their very name means ‘ man of the forest.’ Tragically, around 6,000 orang- utans die every year, and they are now numbered among the world’s most endangered species, due to climate change and the erosion of their natural habitats. This beautiful new volume combines the latest in- depth research into the desperate plight of orang- utans in the rainforests of Borneo and Sumatra with a wealth of heart- breaking photos that capture the great apes in all their poignant, dignified charm. The authors use an impressive array of facts and figures to argue that extinction can only be averted by active species protection. TANZANIA Mary Fitzpatrick ( Lonely Planet) Lonely Planet’s authoritative guide to Tanzania has been thoroughly updated for this new 2008 edition. It offers detailed maps, a colour wildlife section that might help you to spot wildebeest migrating across the Serengeti National Park, a guide to the country’s best accommodation and sensible advice on trekking and ‘ slow safaris.’ Special consideration is paid to the benefits of community tourism and sustainable travel, but you’ll also learn plenty about the country’s history, culture, food and drink. And should you feel brave enough to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, that’s covered here too. 2 MORE GREAT reads