Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood - Trevor Noah
Let’s be honest: when a celebrity puts out a memoir it often seems nothing more than an easy way to cash in on their moment. I confess I wasn’t expecting that much from Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime (Spiegel & Grau, $28) outside of a few laughs. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Born a Crime is a revelation, and easily one of my favorite books of 2016. Noah tells his extraordinary story of growing up bi-racial in apartheid South Africa, and while there are gut-busting set pieces involving bad dates and cultural misunderstandings, the true heartbeat of this memoir is Noah’s complex and fiercely devoted mother who guides him through a childhood of painful—and sometimes violent—situations. Superstar editor Chris Jackson (Just Mercy, Between the World and Me) has worked his magic again—the prose here is raw and wrenchingly smart and it flows beautifully from one section to the next. Born a Crime is the book to take on a family vacation this year: pass it all around the cabin—everyone, from the pre-teen son to the family matriarch, will find something to connect to in this heartbreaking, hysterical, warm, and unforgettable book.