A host of African inspired books and writers are in the running to become the UK’s favourite Global Read. Things Fall Apart (number 1) by winner of the Man Booker International Prize, Chinua Achebe, The Jive Talker: Or, Hoe to Get a British Passport (number 4) by Samson Kambalu, Half of a Yellow Sun (number 6) by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Heart of Darkness (number 9) by Joseph Conrad are currently riding high in the top 10, in an initiative set up to raise money for charity.
Global Reads was launched by the National Book Tokens in the UK as part of its campaign to raise £10,000 for Book Aid International. The money raised will be used to distribute 5,000 books to library users across 12 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. People from across the world are asked to vote for their favourite Global Read via www.globalreads.co.uk – a book with a global theme that has changed their perception of another country or introduced them to a different culture. Supporters are also following the campaign on Facebook and Twitter.
To support the campaign a range of high profile celebrities have also contributed their favourite Global Read. Celebrities include British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, comedian and travel-writer Michael Palin and author and former model, Sophie Dahl.
Book lovers visiting www.globalreads.co.uk will be encouraged to share the chance to win new Gift Cards with friends and in doing so, help National Book Tokens raise £10,000.
The results of the favourite Global Read will be announced on 12 May 2010.
Author Marina Lewycka has chosen The Jive Talker: Or, How to Get a British Passport by Samson Kambalu as her favourite Global Read. She says, “It captures the desperation of life in an impoverished African community with great humour and poignancy. Beauty, warmth, laughter and tragedy are all there in the pages of this lovely book."
The current top 10 Global Reads are:
1. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
2. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
3. Wild Swans by Jung Chang
4. The Jive Talker: Or, How to Get a British
Passport by Samson Kamabalu
5. Ancient Futures: Learning from Ladakh by
6. Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi
7. Small Island by Andrea Levy
8. Once Were Warriors by Alan Duff
9. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
10. A Passage to India by E.M. Forster