[The JRB Daily] Listen to Read This!—a new show about books hosted by The JRB and Volume—out today!

The Johannesburg Review of Books and Volume have launched a new books show called Read This!, where we share news of what’s hot in the world of literature.

Read This! was launched in August, and the new episode comes out today—just after the new issue of The JRB is published.

In our second episode, we’re looking at two books that focus on the lives of immigrants: Beyond Babylon, by Italian–Somali author Igiaba Scego, and Travellers, the much anticipated new book by Nigerian author Helon Habila.

Beyond Babylon was published this year, and is the first of Scego’s books to be translated into English. It’s a heartbreaking and stylish book, which tells the story of two half-sisters who meet coincidentally in Tunisia, their mothers—one a white Argentine and the other a black Somalian—and the elusive father who ties them together.

Travellers, Habila’s fourth novel, focuses on the lives of contemporary African refugees, and is a powerful commentary on displacement, and a stark condemnation of the powers that be.

Read This! is released as a WhatsApp voice note—a groundbreaking new audio format being pioneered by Volume—as well as on iTunes.

To receive the show on Whatsapp, add the number 082 382 1222 to your phone’s contact list and send the number a message on WhatsApp.

After you’ve had a listen, tell us, via a quick text, what you are reading this month, and let us know what you think of our recommendations.

You can also share Read This! with your friends, by simply forwarding the voice note in WhatsApp.

Find Read This! on Apple Podcasts here—and give us a five star rating if you like the show!

The third episode of Read This!, in which we talk to Niq Mhlongo about the new collection of essays Black Tax: Burden Or Ubuntu?, will be out in two weeks. Don’t miss it!


Volume’s voice note show What’s Crap on WhatsApp?, which debunks the viral fake news and misinformation spread on the app, was the winner of the 2019 Poynter Institute’s Fact Forward Innovation Fund.

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