South African books you didn’t know you needed…

A while back I did a post on South African books you need to get for your kids. This time around I thought I’d share the South African books that caught my attention in the last few months.

It’s been a while since I’ve been this obsessed with the books I’m reading. Walking around like a modern day Belle from Beauty and the Beast with my nose in a book and my head in the clouds. I’ve always been a reader but found that recently I could not concentrate for the duration of some people’s Facebook statuses. So I’m rather happy to be devouring books again.

The South African books in question


1. Kinnes by Chase Rhys

This is what got me started, looking out for specifically local novels. The book is such a fresh take on the South African narrative – I could not put it down. The author tells the story of a group of youngers living in the Cape flats, it touches on drug and alcohol abuse, gangsterism, teenage pregnancy and even the lives of innocent children lost to gang violence. The Afrikaans book is written with a strong Cape dialect and leaves you hoping for a second installment. I did a full review for The Herald Live which you can see here

2. Being Kari by Qarnita Loxton

This debut novel is the perfect read for a lazy day off. It’s quirky, fun and intelligent with a lot of South African symbolism and scenarios. The book follows the life of a staunch Muslim girl Kariema who trades burkas for bikinis and is now known as Kari. With infidelity, death and painful secrets from her past coming to light, it’s no wonder I burnt myself while trying to make coffee without putting the book down.

3. Being Lilli by Qarnita Loxton

With this book set three years after Being Kari, Qarnita shows that she is not a one trick pony. The book is as smart and funny as the first, but as it deals with different characters there is a distinct “voice change”. This time you see a pampered poppie about to lose everything during the run up to her wedding. Her fiance’s family who hail from the Cape Flats aren’t exactly the in laws she invisioned and the supermodel looking woman on her doorstep (with a child who could be her future step daughter) is not at all part of her wedding plans.

I reviewed both of those for the Helald Live

Non fiction

1. And then Mama Said… By Tumi Morake

I like Tumi Morake, she’s funny and quick witted, but in an intelligent way that makes you feel like you could have great laughs over a glass of wine. I always thought of her as relatable and strong, and this book proves me right. Wow! This autobiography pulls no punches, she is open and honest about every detail of her life from he parents’ incarceration due to apartheid to financial hardships, sexual abuse and even infidelity. She shares her story in such a candid way you can’t help but respect her even more… I will admit I had to put the book down at points because I was feeling too many feelings but wow, such a must read.

2. Letters to my son by Mignonne Breier

I know that some of my readers found this blog due to a sad thing we have in common. The death of a child. I wrote letters to Logan as a healing mechanism so this book really spoke to me. After the unexpected death of her son Mathew at age 25, Mignonne goes on a journey of healing. Her letters will hit you in the feels and make you hug your loved ones a little tighter. Her conversational style is peppered with so much emotion that her healing somehow helped me heal. (this book is not as brand new as the others Infact it was first published in 2013)

So those are the South African books that have really spoken to me recently. Please do share other titles you think I might enjoy.

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