5 local books to read this World Book Day

Woman reading a book (PHOTO: 
Goodboy Picture Company/Getty Images)
Woman reading a book (PHOTO: Goodboy Picture Company/Getty Images)
Goodboy Picture Company

It’s World Book Day, and despite the disruptions to our schedules, bookworms celebrate books and the power of reading.

Today, spend time going through your collection and see if there are any reads you’d be willing to donate to a local library, an organisation or a person once the lockdown is lifted. Use this time to go fall back in love with some of your favourite reads, re-read one book, or a few.

And while you can’t go to your fave bookstore to stock up on more reads, here’s a list of what we’re getting stuck into, including some of our favourite local authors.

1.       Khamr: The Makings of a Waterslams by Jamil F Khan

This is a true story that maps the author’s experience of living with an alcoholic father and the direct conflict of having to live a Muslim life that taught him that nearly everything he called home was forbidden. A detailed account from his childhood to early adulthood, Jamil lays bare the experience of living in a so-called middle-class coloured home in a neighbourhood called Bernadino Heights in Kraaifontein, a suburb north of Cape Town.

To purchase an ebook, click here.


2.       The Yearning by Mohale Mashigo

How long does it take for scars to heal? How long does it take for a scarred memory to fester and rise to the surface? For Marubini, the question is whether scars ever heal when you forget they are there to begin with.

Marubini is a young woman who has an enviable life in Cape Town, working at a wine farm and spending idyllic days with her friends . . . until her past starts spilling into her present. Something dark has been lurking in the shadows of Marubini’s life from as far back as she can remember. It’s only a matter of time before it reaches out and grabs at her.

The Yearning is a memorable exploration of the ripple effects of the past, of personal strength and courage, and of the shadowy intersections of traditional and modern worlds.

To purchase an ebook, click here.

3.       Vagabond: Wandering Through Africa on Faith by Lerato Mogoatlhe

Vagabond is Lerato's story of her travels through 21 African countries. Vagabond is a poetic, raw and honest diary of Lerato's travels. From meeting President Mbeki at an event in Timbuktu to hanging out with one of her favourite artists, Habib Koité, Vagabond is a love letter of Lerato's discovery of herself, her home, Africa and its people that readers will witness through her uncensored curiosity and with none of the glamour of a guidebook. Out of the 21 countries visited over the five years she travelled through the continent, Lerato names Sudan, Mali, Egypt, Uganda and Kenya as her top five to must-visits.

To purchase an ebook, click here.

4.       If You Keep Digging by Keletso Mopai 

This is a moving collection of short stories, which will resonate with a South African audience. The selection of stories highlights marginalised identities and looks at the daily lives of people who may otherwise be forgotten or dismissed. Monkeys is a skilful commentary on domestic violence, toxic masculinity, patriarchy (and how it is racialised), power dynamics between white and black men and how children come to “know” that they are white or black. Skinned, whose protagonist is a woman with albinism, is a powerful story about learning to accept that you deserve love when the world constantly tells you otherwise. In Fourteen, the author deftly demonstrates the ability to play with concepts of time and reality. It is a compelling story about potential and how one can feel unfulfilled despite having hopes and ambitions. The collection is also deeply concerned with covering the early post-democracy years in South Africa.

To purchase an ebook, click here.

5.       Miss Behave by Malebo Sephodi

Upon encountering historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich's quote, “Well-behaved women seldom make history”, Malebo knew she was tired of everyone else having a say on who and what she should be. With this quote in mind, Malebo boldly renounces societal expectations placed on her as a black woman and shares her journey towards misbehaviour. According to Malebo, it is the norm for a black woman to live in a society that prescribes what it means to be a well-behaved woman. Acting like this prescribed woman equals good behaviour. But what happens when a black woman decides to live her own life and becomes her own form of who she wants to be? She is often seen as misbehaving. Miss Behave challenges society's deep-seated beliefs about what it means to be an obedient woman. In this book, the author tracks her journey on a path towards achieving total autonomy and self-determinism.

To purchase an ebook, click here.

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