What We’re Reading-Born a Crime

The book was read by Courtney Bippley, a Reference Librarian at the Main Campus Library. The library copy of this book is currently available on the New Book shelf in the library.

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah

Why did you choose to read this book?

I watch The Daily Show on a fairly regular basis. When Trevor Noah took over from Jon Stewart I was unsure if this guy I’d never heard of before would be up to the challenge. I think he’s been doing a pretty good job so I wanted to know a little more about him.

What did you like about it?

All of the memories chosen for the book illustrated how and why Trevor became the comedian, and man, he is today. One of the chapters has the best Hitler story I’ve ever read; it was hilarious while also making me cringe in my living room. If that doesn’t make you want to read this book I’m not sure what will.

Was there anything noteworthy about the book?

I learned a lot about South Africa. I expected to learn about Trevor Noah, but his story requires some context of South African culture and politics that he provides in brief nuggets preceding each chapter. Now, I’m certainly not an expert after reading this book since the sum of what I learned about South Africa in school was:

  • It’s a country that exists.
  • It’s in Africa.
  • It had Apartheid.
  • Apartheid was bad.
  • But it’s over now.
  • Nelson Mandela was from South Africa.

Needless to say I didn’t have a whole lot of knowledge about South Africa to start with so your mileage may vary with how much you learn.

What feeling did the book leave you with?

Awe of Trevor Noah’s mother. Seriously. The whole book could be considered a love letter to her, and she deserves it.

Who would you recommend the book to?

Anyone who likes a good memoir, watches The Daily Show, or is just interested in South Africa’s transition to a post-apartheid country.

What would you pair this book with?

I would pair this book with a bowl full of Jell-O since its Trevor’s favorite food. And, a viewing of You Laugh but It’s True, a documentary about Trevor Noah before he became famous in the US.

About Courtney Bippley

Courtney is a Reference Librarian at the Main Campus Library. Her favorite genres are fantasy and science fiction. She loves dogs, coffee, and dancing.