Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Trevor Noah's 10 Favorite Books
In 2016, Trevor Noah shared with The New York Times a list of his 10 favorite books. Read the article to discover why Trevor picked these particular books, and click on the book titles below to discover how to access them via Syracuse University Libraries.
The Little Prince by
Few stories are as widely read and as universally cherished by children and adults alike as The Little Prince.
My Traitor's Heart by
Rian Malan is an Afrikaner, scion of a centuries-old clan deeply involved in the creation of apartheid. As a young crime reporter, Malan covered the atrocities of an undeclared race war and ultimately fled the country, unhinged by what he had seen. Eight years later, he returns to confront his own demons, and those that are tearing his country apart. Written in the final years of apartheid’s bloody collapse, My Traitor’s Heart still resonates, offering a chilling—but ultimately redemptive—vision of the darkest recesses of the black and white South African psyches.
A novel of breathtaking sweep and emotional power that traces three hundred years in Ghana and along the way also becomes a truly great American novel. Extraordinary for its exquisite language, its implacable sorrow, its soaring beauty, and for its monumental portrait of the forces that shape families and nations, Homegoing heralds the arrival of a major new voice in contemporary fiction.
Born Standing Up by
The riveting, mega-bestselling, beloved and highly acclaimed memoir of a man, a vocation, and an era named one of the ten best nonfiction titles of the year by Time and Entertainment Weekly. In the mid-seventies, Steve Martin exploded onto the comedy scene. By 1978 he was the biggest concert draw in the history of stand-up. In 1981 he quit forever. This book is, in his own words, the story of “why I did stand-up and why I walked away.”
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by
After 10 miserable years with his aunt and uncle, Harry Potter is invited to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Each book follows another year in Harry's education while more of his frightening destiny is revealed.
Long Walk to Freedom by
Nelson Mandela is one of the great moral and political leaders of our time: an international hero whose lifelong dedication to the fight against racial oppression in South Africa won him the Nobel Peace Prize and the presidency of his country. Since his triumphant release in 1990 from more than a quarter-century of imprisonment, Mandela has been at the center of the most compelling and inspiring political drama in the world. He is revered everywhere as a vital force in the fight for human rights and racial equality. Here for the first time, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela tells the extraordinary story of his life–an epic of struggle, setback, renewed hope, and ultimate triumph.
But What If We're Wrong? by
But What If We're Wrong? visualizes the contemporary world as it will appear to those who'll perceive it as the distant past. Chuck Klosterman asks questions that are profound in their simplicity: How certain are we about our understanding of gravity? How certain are we about our understanding of time? What will be the defining memory of rock music, five hundred years from today? How seriously should we view the content of our dreams? How seriously should we view the content of television? Are all sports destined for extinction? Is it possible that the greatest artist of our era is currently unknown (or--weirder still--widely known, but entirely disrespected)? Is it possible that we "overrate" democracy? And perhaps most disturbing, is it possible that we've reached the end of knowledge?
Native Life in South Africa, Before and since the European War and the Boer Rebellion by
"Native Life in South Africa" is one of the most remarkable books on Africa, by one of the continent's most remarkable writers. It was written as a work of impassioned political propaganda, exposing the plight of black South Africans under the whites-only government of newly unified South Africa. It focuses on the effects of the 1913 Natives' Land Act which introduced a uniform system of land segregation between the races. It resulted, as Plaatje shows, in the immediate expulsion of blacks, as "squatters", from their ancestral lands in the Orange Free State now declared "white". But Native Life succeeds in being much more than a work of propaganda. It is a vital social document which captures the spirit of an age and shows the effects of rural segregation on the everyday life of people.
The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More by
Seven superb short stories from the bestselling author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The BFG! Meet the boy who can talk to animals and the man who can see with his eyes closed. And find out about the treasure buried deep underground. A cleaver mix of fact and fiction, this collection also includes how master storyteller Roald Dahl became a writer. With Roald Dahl, you can never be sure where reality ends and fantasy begins.
To Quote Myself: A Memoir by
Khaya Dlanga has established himself as one of the most influential individuals in South African media, particularly social media, a platform he uses to promote discussion on topics that range from the frivolous to the profound. In To Quote Myself, Khaya recounts entertaining and moving stories about his roots and upbringing in rural Transkei, how he made his mark at school as well as his time spent studying advertising and as a stand-up comedian. He also shares his political views, how he overcame homelessness to become one of the most influential marketers in South Africa and he gives the reader a dose of the truly weird and wonderful that is routinely a part of his life.
SU Libraries Staff Recommendations
The Mind of South Africa: The Rise and Fall of Apartheid by
A historical overview of racial conflict in South Africa traces the history of the Black African tribes, the colonial invasion of the Dutch and English, the impact of the discovery of gold and diamonds, and the evaluation of apartheid.
South Africa: The Rise and Fall of Apartheid by
South Africa: The Rise and Fall of Apartheid examines the history of South Africa from 1948 to the present day, covering the introduction of the oppressive policy of apartheid when the Nationalists came to power, its mounting opposition in the 1970s and 1980s, its eventual collapse in the 1990s, and its legacy up to the present day. This essential text provides students with a current, clear, and succinct introduction to the ideology and practice of apartheid in South Africa.
Rise and Fall of Apartheid by
Featuring some of the most iconic images of our time, this unique combination of photojournalism and commentary offers a probing and comprehensive exploration of the birth, evolution, and demise of apartheid in South Africa. Organized chronologically, it interweaves images and essays exploring the institutionalization of apartheid through the country's legal apparatus; the growing resistance in the 1950s; and the radicalization of the anti-apartheid movement within South Africa and, later, throughout the world. Finally, the book investigates the fall of apartheid, including Mandela's return from exile.
Jump and Other Stories by
Fifteen thematically and geographically wide-ranging stories from the Nobel Prize Winner, with settings ranging from suburban London to Mozambique.
She Plays with the Darkness by
In a remote mountain village in Lesotho, the beautiful Dikosha lives for dancing and for song, setting herself apart from her fellow villagers. Her twin brother, Radisene, works in the lowland capital of Maseru, struggling amid political upheaval to find a life for himself away from the hills. As the years pass, Radisene's fortunes rise and fall in the city, while Dikosha remains in the village, never leaving and never aging. And through it all, the community watches, comments, and passes judgment.
Sol Plaatje's Native Life in South Africa by
First published in 1916, Sol Plaatje's Native Life in South Africa was written by one of the South Africa's most talented early 20th-century black leaders and journalists. Plaatje's pioneering book arose out of an early African National Congress campaign to protest against the discriminatory1913 Natives Land Act. Native Life vividly narrates Plaatje's investigative journeying into South Africa's rural heartlands to report on the effects of the Act and his involvement in the deputation to the British imperial government.
Muriel at Metropolitan by
Banned when it was first published in South Africa in 1979, Muriel at Metropolitan is set in a bustling furniture and electronics store catering for poor whites and blacks and describes the daily experiences of Muriel, the accounts typist. Her relationship with her colleagues and her feelings about the stream of customers who come into the shop are depicted and illustrate life on the fringes of white society. this novel. She lives in Soweto and is now a professional writer. She has published a collection of short stories Mihloti, and a second novel, Amandla, in South Africa.