Task 1: “Africa” was originally the name of the Roman province originating from the North African empire of Carthage, which was mythologically founded by Queen Dido and blossomed into Ancient Rome’s only lasting opponent and nemesis (until it was finally conquered by Rome in the Punic Wars). So: who are your five favorite book heroes and their respective nemeses?
1. Holmes vs. Moriarty Boredom
2. Poirot vs. No. 4
3. Death vs. The Auditors
4. Thursday Next vs. Acheron Hades
5. Granny & Nanny vs. "The Patriarchy"
Task 2: In Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose, the “Finis Africae” is the hidden center of the labyrinth which constitutes the monastery’s library, protected by a number of intricate, misdirecting devices. Tell us: Where have you recently encountered clever misdirection or a labyrinthine plot in a book?
Have His Carcasse included an unusual twist. And I am not even talking about the Russian connection which had me roll my eyes but also was quite clever as the whole of the plot could have developed quite differently and still would have made for a fun read.
No, I mean the, erm, "timing issue". Not saying more as it would be a spoiler.
Task 3: Tell us: If you could travel to Africa (for those living on the African continent: to a part of Africa that you don’t know yet): Where would you want to go?
I have been to Egypt, Nigeria, and Angola, but neither of these have ever been high on my list of places to visit in Africa, even tho all of these have certainly been experiences. Angola both surprised and impressed me, and I hope to go back at some point if an opportunity to travel with work comes up again.
As for the my actual list of places, there are a few that come to mind:
Tanzania, because I, too, grew up watching documentaries about the Serengeti National Park, and it's one place that I really, really want to see. And I would like to see Lake Victoria, too.
Also on the list are Namibia, South Africa. I have only been to the airport in Johannesburg, having a few hours lay-over but didn't have enough time to explore.
And there is Ghana, too, which I am still hoping will happen with work at some point.
Task 4: Have a meal involving vegetables (= crops) and / or corn, or another form of traditional Kwanzaa dinner. Recipe suggestions here: https://kwanzaaculinarians.com/
Book: Read a book set in Africa or the Caribbean, or by an African, Caribbean, or African-American author, or a book with a green, red, or black cover.
I read The Water Rat of Wanchai, which has no African connection but does have a very red cover.