Book Review: Immersed in West Africa by Terry Lister

Today’s book takes us to several places in West Africa which I do not think I have ever read about before. To my surprise and delight, I learned several tidbits of history while enjoying hearing about the author’s journey. This is the most enjoyable travelogue I have ever read; read on for my full review!

filligree page divider51775851. sy475 About the Book

Title: Immersed in West Africa

Author: Terry Lister

Genre: Nonfiction, Travelogue

Synopsis: This is the powerful on-the-ground diary of one man’s solo journey through West Africa. For roughly 60 days, Terry Lister traveled across Senegal, Mauritania, the Gambia, Guinea and Guinea Bissau. What he experienced touched both his spirit and his soul. The ups and downs of travel, the people, the transport, the weather, the food, the haggling...he welcomed it all.

From harrowing experiences with border police, to day-long travel on crowded mini-buses, Lister’s accounts of daily life shed light on the real side of Africa, and are sure to both entertain and educate you.

 

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My Thoughts

Immersed in West Africa is the most enjoyable nonfiction book I have read so far in 2020. It’s not often that I read travelogues, though also not entirely unheard-of. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I decided to read Immersed in West Africa, and it far surpassed my (nonexistent) expectations!

This is a quick book to read through. The stories are told with such a boisterous and pleasant tone that reading it is like listening to a friend talk about something they are excited about. Even though I had absolutely no reference point for anything about Africa, I was instantly pulled in and wanted to hear more. The author truly makes it enjoyable for the reader to learn both about his experiences and about the countries themselves, without falling back on a list of facts. The author’s enthusiasm is so contagious that I was sad to come to the end of the book!

 

The Verdict

I highly recommend Immersed in West Africa to anyone who enjoys traveling, reading about places you have never been, or quick and easy-to-digest nonfiction. This book is a joy to read and teaches the reader quite a bit of African history without even seeming to try. I give it four out of five stars; a truly good book, just shy of the perfection that a five-star rating would necessitate. There were a few times where I felt that I might be missing something, as if there were a previous book of earlier travels that I should be able to reference in order to better understand some of the stories in this one, but I cannot find one online. My only other criticism is that the formatting could have been a little more user-friendly. On the whole, I am so glad that I read Immersed in West Africa and look forward to virtually traveling to more places I have never visited through similar books!

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Have you enjoyed any books set in Africa? I’m only making slow progress on my goal of reading books set in different countries this year. Still, slow progress is better than no progress! This book really caught me by surprise with how much I enjoyed reading it. Hopefully, I will find a few more like this in the second half of the year.

Until the next chapter,

Jana

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