Born a Crime is a memoir which is not my favorite genre, I feel like I need to preface everything beyond this with that statement. BUT I didn’t hate it! I’m a member of book club in my neighborhood called Marne View Books and Bubbles, isn’t that so fun? Bubbles because sometimes we have champagne!! Anyway, this book was chosen for the September read. I love book clubs because I do have a tendency to stick with certain genres and authors and book clubs force me to venture out and try something new. All that to say I would not have chosen to read Born a Crime on my own but I’m happy that I read it.
Trevor Noah is a comedian from South Africa and Born a Crime is his written memories of being raised as a “colored” child in South Africa during the Apartheid. I will say, I had a hard time imagining that all the stories he told actually happened to him, but I wasn’t there and I don’t know him personally so I can only assume he is telling us the truth. There were so many moments in the book his comedian side was in the forefront and I was in hysterics but, there were also moments that despite the comedic flair my heart broke. My heart broke for him as a mom and I found myself not liking his mom AT ALL, but then again as a mom it’s easy to judge how another mom handles situations but we can only see their lives through out lenses of experience.
A few particular points really stuck out to me, some I even highlighted, mostly to remember for book club. If you take a peek at my “self-help” books you’ll see I’m not afraid of a highlight but not usually in a book like this. For example, when Trevor says, “I have to remember to be with people”, I felt that in my soul, especially after 7 months of Covid life!
Like I said before, I don’t think I would have picked this up on my own and because I do not really enjoy memoirs I gave this 3 stars. What I did enjoy was the storytelling and the look into a life I am not familiar with. I did take the time to educate myself a little on the Apartheid and particularly the education systems that were developed during that time in South Africa, I do love when a book takes me down rabbit whole like that. I would recommend this book to people that enjoy memoirs or non fiction but I would also encourage those that do not to give this book a try!