2010 Book 2 - West with the Night - Beryl Markham

Where was Beryl Markham when I was growing up? As a young tomboy, I looked up to Katherine Hepburn for her ballzy though feminine ways, and always wondered why there weren't more women around who were like her, and, as an extension, like me (or at least the way I saw myself).
I was given West with the Night by a coworker, who thought I would enjoy the work - apparently he recommends it to just about everyone he knows. After finishing the piece, I can see why. Markham's prose flows smoothly over her accounts of her less-than-conventional upbringing in East Africa; she makes boar hunts, horse training, campfire congresses, and solo flights over uncharted swamps that could be smelled from a thousand feet become poetic. From her words, you can tell that Markham's relationship with Africa was a love affair - each anecdote was brought as vividly into my mind as the memories must have been in her own when she set them to paper.
From here, I am paying forward the favor done for me by my coworker by advising anyone and everyone to read this book. When you're done, I am fairly sure you will do exactly what I did, and seek out more information about the lively individuals she acted as biographer for in miniature, and the cities and towns she praised or condemned.
Book number two for the year has also been a big thumbs up - I hope the trend continues.

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