Lockdown library: Women power and love in the time of corona

Since it looks like we are still going to be spending a lot of time indoors, we are going to need a game plan. Read, read and read some more…

Lockdown library: Women power and love in the time of corona

My game plan includes spending some much needed quality time with my family and my cat, catching up on some series and of course reading, reading and more reading. I always have a long list of books I recommend to others, and am now using this new “lifestyle” of self-isolation and quarantine to encourage everyone to read more.

The great escape

I will not get into the many benefits of reading because I think we can all agree it is just a good thing. But reading also serves as an escape from this crazy and scary time we are living in right now.

So, whether you are an avid reader and have a bookshelf spilling over with all the books you want to read or if your idea of recreational reading is glancing at the ingredient list on the back of the air-freshener when you forgot to bring your phone with you into the loo, the following list of books will have a book for everyone.

Inspirational female characters

Something that I feel we all need more of in this world is strong female characters and having their voices heard. These books were chosen with that in mind as they are all written by talented female writers and they all contain inspirational female characters.

Happy reading everyone and please remember to use this time to rest and enjoy your nearest and dearest (and wash your hands, obviously).

‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ by Margaret Atwood

This is a dystopian novel that follows the story of a handmaid, Offred, in the Republic of Gilead, a futuristic United States (US) in which fertility is low. Her only function is to reproduce, otherwise she will be killed.

We follow her everyday life and her resistance against a repressive state. This story is profoundly disturbing but necessary in our current political climate. All the characters are incredibly written, but the female ones leave a lasting impression.

‘Jane Eyre’ by Charlotte Bronte

This book has been considered a classic for many years and with good reason. It is a beautifully written historical fiction set in the 19th-century England. It follows the story of an orphan, Jane Eyre, her life as a governess and her struggle fighting a sexist and classist system. Need I say more?

‘The Herbalist’ by Niamh Boyce

Set in 1940s Ireland, this book follows the lives of three women and how their lives change when a dangerously charming herbalist arrives in their small town. This book had me in tears at many points just because it is heartrendingly beautiful and sad. It contains incredible characters, wonderful instances of women supporting women and so much more.

‘Where the Crawdads Sing’ by Delia Owens

For those of us who like a bit of murder mystery, this book is for you. Set in Barkley Cove, a small town on the North Carolina coast, it follows a social outcast dubbed the “Marsh Girl”. It deals with her childhood, her life as a social reject as well as her sexual awakening and her heartbreaks.

The way this book is written makes you fall in love with all the characters and the setting. One of my all-time favourites.

‘City of Girls’ by Elizabeth Gilbert

This book was written by the same person who wrote the amazing autobiography Eat Pray Love. This book is set in 1940s New York City and follows Vivian Morris, a seamstress who begins working in her aunt’s theatre.

Not only is this book wickedly funny and beautifully written, it takes the reader through Vivian’s life as she finds herself through the many ups and downs of life.

What I loved the most about this book is how it deals with passion, love and friendship. It explores these topics through a lens of reality which makes it both hilarious and relatable.

Source : The South African More   

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SA students in Russia panic as some test positive for COVID-19

The students from Mpumalanga have been staying in a hostel where several people tested positive for the virus.

SA students in Russia panic as some test positive for COVID-19

A group of Mpumalanga students in Russia say they are currently in a state of panic after some of them tested positive for COVID-19,  reports.

The group was awarded bursaries to go study in the country which has recorded well over 150 000 cases of the novel coronavirus, with the death toll closing in on 2 000.

Calls for government to repatriate SA students from Russia

They have called for the South African government to look into repatriating them or, at the very least, relocate them to safer accommodation amid fears of contracting the deadly virus.

“There have been three confirmed cases in this hostel and now this hostel is under full lockdown. No one is allowed to go out and at the moment, some of us don’t have food in our rooms. They just implemented this full lockdown without letting us know first. Now they locked us here to fight this invisible enemy on our own,” one of the students told the SABC.

“So it is difficult especially because hey, just found three guys, three rooms away from my room that were confirmed to the coronavirus and still we haven’t been tested or anything like that, it’s just a waiting game.”

Fears over the students’ bursaries

The calls for government to intervene have been echoed by the students’ parents, who fear that the students’ bursaries could be on the line should they express a desire to return home.

“There were some rumours that if you register your name to the list of the people who want to come back home, your bursary will be terminated. You need to stay until they say you need to come back home. “Instead of attending to this problem, these guys are threatening our children with terminating their contracts and all that which is not right during this …where we are faced with this pandemic.”

South Africa has repatriated citizens from several countries since the outbreak of the pandemic, including those in Wuhan, China – which was one of the hardest-hit regions in the world.

Globally, COVID-19 has infected close to four million people, with the death toll nearing 300 000. 

Source : The South African More   

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