Select Books: Cape Town 2013 book run 1

In three months Mark and I will be returning to Iceland for a two-week holiday. Aside from blogging about our upcoming vacation experiences, I will also be blogging about all the new books I will have bought. Which reminds me…I still have to write about all the books I bought while in Cape Town after I returned from Tristan da Cunha. I gave a sneak peek in this post but didn’t write about everything. So this post will focus on all the books I bought at Select Books. I’m starting off small: in this store I picked up a smaller haul.

no title

Shelter from the Spray by Eric Rosenthal was published in 1952 and tells the story of two brothers and their attempt to settle on Inaccessible Island, located 40 km southwest of Tristan da Cunha, in 1871. I read this book earlier this year, so click on the book title for a full description.

African Switzerland: Basutoland of To-Day, also by Eric Rosenthal. The subtitle on the dust jacket does not match what is on the formal title page (which is the page that counts, when lacking a CIP page). This book was written in 1948, eighteen years before Basutoland achieved independence from the United Kingdom and renamed itself Lesotho.

A Short History of Lesotho: From the Late Stone Age Until the 1993 Elections by Stephen J. Gill. One cannot just walk into a bookstore in Toronto and find a history of Lesotho. However in Cape Town, one can walk out with two of them. I plan to read the Rosenthal history first. I also bought a gigantic map of Lesotho at Exclus1ve Books.

A History of Swaziland by J. S. M. Matsebula, the third edition from 1988. This edition was written six years after the death of King Sobhuza II, so I would be interested in the perspective of the author and the Swazi people following Sobhuza’s 82-year reign.

Bophuthatswana at Independence: 6 December 1977 by the Bureau for Economic Research re Bantu Development (Benbo). In 1977 South Africa granted independence to its bantu homeland state of Bophuthatswana. This book celebrates the creation of the republic. Bophuthatswana was like Baarle-Hertog/Baarle-Nassau but on a smaller scale: it was a “nation” comprised of seven individual non-contiguous pieces. Finding a detailed outline of the country was near impossible until I found this book, because much to my delight, it came with an enormous pull-out map.

Any trip to a second-hand South African bookstore is going to turn up books about apartheid, whether they’re books celebrating the independence of the quasi-nation of Bophuthatswana, or this: The Learning Ability of the South African Native Compared with that of the European by J. A. Jansen van Rensburg, from 1938. Why is it that I already know what the results will be like before I even open this book? (I’ve thumbed through it and you can guess who exceeds on every test.) I wanted to read it as a document of how the Union of South Africa used to be, warts and all.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *