msafi ri PICK OF THE BEST BOOKS KQ REVIEWS Andrew Littlefi eld picks out the best new books ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? HABARIINSPIRATION 36 AYA OF YOP CITY Malcolm Gladwell ( Allen Lane) Now that the global economic downturn is in full effect, it's hard these days to fi nd many success stories. Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell's new examination of how and why business people and artists are successful, therefore arrives at something of an opportune moment, for the book's message is one of hope and encouragement. Gladwell's central argument is that upbringing, good timing and sheer hard work from an early age are the common factors in high achievers throughout history. He offers us such famous ' outliers' ( literally, a person or thing that and Bill Gates, both of whom benefi ted from being in the right place at the right time in history, but were also savvy enough to make the most of their own talents. Gladwell also suggests that such success can be replicated globally if the will and effort to succeed is present. Read and be inspired to ' seize the day' and join those entrepreneurs for whom every circumstance, however diffi cult, represents an opportunity to prosper. OUTLIERS: THE STORY OF SUCCESS Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher ( National Geographic Books) This outstanding collection is subtitled ' Thirty Years of Photography', indicating the long- term commitment of Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher to their chosen subject – the people of Africa. Over the last three decades the two award- winning photographers have travelled some 270,000 miles, capturing for posterity unforgettable images from across the continent. 250 of their best pictures are collected within these pages, where, amongst others, you'll encounter the Wodaabe charm painted faces, and the beaded bodices of the Dinka from particular attention to the way that ceremonies and rituals, many of them centuries old, have long united African families and communities. With so many native traditions and customs in danger of vanishing forever, this book serves as an important and deeply humane cultural record. FACES OF AFRICA ? ? ? ? ? Marguerite Abouet and Clement Oubrerie ( Drawn and Quarterly) The graphic novel ( basically a fancy term for a comic strip collected in book form) has been one of the publishing success stories of recent years. Until recently, however, there have been few graphic novels that refl ect the African experience, which is why the release last year of Aya, a graphic novel set in the Ivory Coast, was a cause for celebration, not least because of the extremely high quality of its words and pictures. Now Canadian publishers Drawn and Quarterly bring us Aya of Yop City, the much- anticipated sequel. The time is the 1970s, something of a golden era for the Ivory Coast, as we follow the continuing saga of our bookish nineteen year- old heroine Aya, her father and brother and her good friends Adjoua and Bintou. The format may be relatively new, but the literary pleasures offered are thoroughly traditional – good humour, period detail and a cast of captivating characters whose small triumphs and disasters make for vivid, believable reading. PLAYING THE ENEMY: NELSON MANDELA AND THE GAME THAT MADE A NATION John Carlin ( Atlantic Books) It's 1995, and the Rugby World Cup is won by the Springboks, a mostly Afrikaner team previously banned from the competition. They are enthusiastically embraced by ANC leader and South African president Nelson Mandela, who uses the victory to help heal the scars of a divided country slowly emerging from apartheid. In this riveting new book, John Carlin, a former South Africa correspondent whose pioneering journalism won high praise from Mandela himself, puts the sporting and political triumphs in their historical context. Mandela naturally emerges as a towering fi gure, a natural leader of people who uses charm and inner strength effectively to avert a civil war. 2 MORE GREAT READS stands apart) as the Beatles dancers of Niger, the Ethiopian Karo people with their brightly Sudan. Beckwith and Fisher have paid MSAFIRI'S TOP3 READS AFRICA: ALTERED STATES, ORDINARY MIRACLES Richard Dowden ( Portobello Books) Richard Dowden, director of the Royal African Society, has been called " the fi nest living Africa correspondent". For thirty- fi ve years, he's travelled throughout Africa, living with different communities, interviewing ordinary men and women and reporting on every historical event for The Independent ( UK) newspaper, The Economist and the BBC. For Africa, Dowden has at last gathered together his thoughts and memories and given us an authoritative, multi-faceted portrait of the continent, sharing the people's triumphs and disappointments, celebrating their joy and companionship and offering a generous but clear- sighted analysis of the many challenges that still lie ahead, as Africa deals with rapid, remorseless change.