A superb novel of a travelling library, the Kenyan landscape - and the threat to a fragile way of life.
Perfect for fans of Alexander McCall Smith
Deep in the heart of the dusty Kenyan desert a train of heavily laden camels wind their way slowly through the bush. The camels are not carrying grain or medical supplies, but books of every imaginable variety.
Into the remote nomadic settlement of Mididima comes an unexpected wealth of literature - tips for surviving an avalanche, the adventures of Tom Sawyer, vegetarian cookbooks - and all are eagerly devoured under the blazing Kenyan sunshine.
Volunteer Fi Sweeney, her heart filled with passion and possibilities, is surprised to discover that the project divides friends and neighbours. To Kanika, who reads every book she can lay her hands on, the Camel Bookmobile brings hope. But to some it represents the inevitable destruction of a fragile way of life ...
Hamilton vividly sketches the landscape of Africa ... the novel's greatest strength is in the way it puts forward a balanced argument about the significance of the written word, capturing its power to delight and liberate at the same time as acknowledging its limitations in a world where shelter and food are not certainties - NEW STATESMAN
A warm and humorous novel, packed with bold characters, both human and animal - WATERSTONE'S QUARTERLY
A vivid, thought-provoking and uplifting novel - GOOD BOOK GUIDE
Captivating ... weaves memorable characters and elemental emotions in artful prose - PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
Vivid, absorbing ... Richly peopled, full of conflicts and surprises, THE CAMEL BOOKMOBILE made me think and feel in all the best ways. My only regret was that the book had to end
Masha Hamilton worked as a foreign correspondent for The Associated Press for five years in the Middle East, where she covered the intefadeh, the peace process and the partial Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon. Then she spent five years in Moscow, where she was a Moscow correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, wrote a newspaper column, "Postcard from Moscow," that ran in about 35 U.S. newspapers, and reported for NBC/Mutual Radio. She wrote about Kremlin politics as well as life for average Russians under Gorbachev and Yeltsin during the coup and collapse of the Soviet Union. She traveled to Afghanistan in the spring of 2004 as a freelance journalist to interview women in prison, child brides and war widows and report on the country's reconstruction efforts.