Bryson, Bill "Bill Bryson's African Diary. A Short Trip for a Worthy Cause" - 2002
I had a hard time obtaining this book. I usually try to find my foreign literature in local bookshops that carry them. And there are lots of Bill Bryson books to be had. However, not the "African Diary". So I ordered it at that online book shop everyone orders all their stuff from, you know, the one named after a South American river. ;) Even they couldn't deliver, After a year it was still on back order.
But I was lucky and found it in the end. Of course, a hardback that is smaller than a paperback but costs at least as much as a hardback. Maybe that's what holds people back. However, about the money: ALL the money goes to CARE International, so you make a donation AND get a book for FREE.
And it was totally worth it. Even describing the poorest people, refugees, slum dwellers, Bill Bryson finds such a gentle way of describing it, even makes you laugh from time to time. Not that this is the aim of the book, he just can't help himself.
I still think it is sad that the book is so short but he covers everything and it might get people to read him or at least read about the subject who are not much into reading. If that is the idea and it works, I'm totally behind one of my favourite authors.
In any case, even though it is so short, it's a MUST read for any Bryson fan.
From the back cover:
"Bill Bryson goes to Kenya at the invitation of CARE International, the charity dedicated to working with local communities to eradicate poverty around the world.
Kenya, generally regarded as the cradle of mankind, is a land of contrasts, with famous game reserves, stunning landscapes, and a vibrant cultural tradition. It also provides plenty to worry a traveller like Bill Bryson, fixated as he is on the dangers posed by snakes, insects and large predators. But on a more sober note, it is a country that shares many serious human and environmental problems with the rest of Africa: refugees, AIDS, drought and grinding poverty.
Travelling around the country, Bryson casts his inimitable eye on a continent new to him, and the resultant diary, though short in length, contains the trademark Bryson stamp of wry observation and curious insight.
All the author's royalties from Bill Bryson's African Diary, as well as all profits, will go to CARE International."