April's Angolan Read is...

Before now, I knew very little about Angola. I’d only known of its wars, its vast petroleum exports, & of the Portuguese influence.

I didn’t know about its beauty—that it’s a hidden gem just starting to be discovered by travelers. If you’re curious about the level of travel safety in Angola, you may be as shocked as I was to find out that as of today the US Dept. of State lists it only as a level 1 travel advisory. That’s “Exercise normal precautions. Some areas have increased risk.” This is on a scale where 0 is the lowest threat level (e.g., the US & Canada) & 4 is the highest level (e.g., North Korea). To put Angola’s low-level 1 rating into perspective, areas I personally consider safe—the UK, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Germany, & France—are all listed at a higher threat level (level 2 which is “Exercise increased precautions”)!

Because Angola is considered a safe country, I became very curious what a trip there could look like & found this alluring 6-minute video from The Road Chose Me that I just had to share.

Between the gorgeous vistas from the video above & the fact that there’s even some scuba diving in Angola, I’ve now added Angola to my list of countries to visit soon.


Winner of the Dublin International Literary Award & the English Pen Award, shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize, & shortlisted for the 3% Best Translated Book Award

“The story challenges what we imagine to be the clearly drawn lines between 'hero' and 'villain' and forces a reconsideration of history and our fictions. It does what the best of literature ought to do: keep us glued to our seats, unable to break away.“ - Words Without Borders

“On the eve of Angolan independence, Ludo bricks herself into her apartment, where she will remain for the next thirty years. She lives off vegetables and pigeons, burns her furniture and books to stay alive and keeps herself busy by writing her story on the walls of her home.

As the country goes through various political upheavals from colony to socialist republic to civil war to peace and capitalism, the world outside seeps into Ludo's life through snippets on the radio, voices from next door, glimpses of someone peeing on a balcony, or a man fleeing his pursuers. A General Theory of Oblivion is a perfectly crafted, wild patchwork of a novel, playing on a love of storytelling and fable.”

(A special thank you to book club member, Leslie Tchaikovsky for the suggestion.)

View on Amazon (US) | (UK)

Happy reading!