Books Can Take You Places: Nairobi

Already this year, we’ve taken a trip to 10 different cities and our journey around the world is far from over! Nairobi This month let’s explore all that Nairobi has to offer.

No longer just a hub for safari tourism, Kenya’s capital city boasts a vibrant cultural scene encompassing music, film, art and literature. While many of the best-known books set here were written by Europeans during times of British colonization, Kenya has a long storytelling tradition of its own. Today, important Kenyan authors are increasingly making their voices heard around the globe.


music-note-21 Benga Blast!, Daniel Owino Misiani and Shirati Band • slate_film-512 Born Free book Coming to Birth, Marjorie Oludhe Macgoye • slate_film-512 The Constant Gardener book Dreams From My Father, Barack Obama • music-note-21 En Mana Kuoyo, Ayub Ogada • book The Flame Trees of Thika, Elspeth Huxley • book A Grain of Wheat, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o • music-note-21 Mama Africa, Suzzana Owiyo • slate_film-512 Nairobi Half Life book One Day I Will Write About This Place, Kenneth Binyavanga Wainaina • book Out of Africa, Isak Dinesen • book Unbowed, Wangari Maathai • music-note-21 Unbwogable, Gidi Gidi Maji Maji



  • Karen Blixen, who wrote Out of Africa under the pen name Isak Dinesen, was a Danish author who lived near Nairobi and operated a coffee plantation there from 1913 to 1931. Her former home now houses the Karen Blixen Museum.
  • Out of Africa was selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best nonfiction books of all time.
  • Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o’s Weep Not, Child (1964) was the first novel by an East African to be published in English. His In the House of the Interpreter was a 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist.
  • Kenyan author Kenneth Binyavanga Wainaina, born in 1971, was listed in the 2014 “Time 100,” Time magazine’s list of the world’s most influential people.

If you don’t want to miss a stop on this journey, join the Half Price Books Booklovers Survey Club and we’ll send you an email each month with a new city alongside a quick survey. Plus, you’ll receive coupons to save throughout the year when you travel to your favorite Half Price Books.




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