Unwrap the joy of reading this holiday season: book recommendations from the Pan Macmillan team

We asked the Pan Macmillan SA team to share the books that they have recently read and are sure you’ll love. The list caters for all ages and includes most genres, from crime thrillers, fantasy, historical fiction to contemporary romance. There is a book for everyone. Scroll to find what to read next this summer.

15/12/2020
21 minutes to read
Summer holiday reads-min.jpg


Wind down and relax with these titles:

Hollowpox by Jessica Townsend, recommended by Magdaleen Snyman, Marketing and PR Coordinator
I recommend the third book in the Nevermoor series, Hollowpox: the hunt for Morrigan Crow: The Nevermoor series is perfect for holiday reading because it offers escapism, adventure and magic. Opening a new book in this series feels like Christmas morning to me. Diving into the world of the magical Hotel Deucalion, riding the Brolly Rail and meeting Wunimals is exciting and enchanting. But there is also suspense and darkness in this story which sparks my curiosity and keeps me reading long after my bedtime. This is the third book in the series and features Morrigan battling a new evil as a strange, frightening illness has taken hold of Nevermoor. These books are fast-paced yet excellently constructed and filled with twists and turns. Morrigan is a complex and strong character and I can't wait for her next adventure.

Hollowpox

by Jessica Townsend

Book cover for Hollowpox

Discover the magical world of Nevermoor and the adventures of Morrigan Crow, in this bestselling, award-winning series for fans of Harry Potter and His Dark Materials.

'Exciting, mysterious, marvellous and magical ... quite simply one of the best children's books I've read in years' Robin Stevens, author of Murder Most Unladylike.

Morrigan Crow is determined, daring and ready for a new challenge: to step into her destiny as a Wundersmith, master the mysterious Wretched Arts, and control the power that threatens to consume her. She and her friends are proud to be in their second year of attendance at the magical Wundrous Society, and together they can face anything.

But a strange illness has taken hold of Nevermoor, turning its peaceable Wunimals into mindless, vicious unnimals on the hunt. As victims of the Hollowpox multiply, panic spreads. And with the city she loves in a state of fear, Morrigan quickly realises it is up to her to find a cure for the Hollowpox, even if it will put her - and the rest of Nevermoor - in more danger than ever before ...

Enter a world of hope and imagination in this Wundrous series, winner of the Waterstones Children's Book Prize and with film rights sold to Fox.

Praise for Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow: 'A full-speed joy of a book; funny, quick-footed, and wildly, magically inventive' Katherine Rundell, author of Rooftoppers


The Happiest Man on Earth by Eddie Jaku, recommended by Marianne Van Loggerenberg, Sales Representative & Product Manager: Macmillan Children's Books and Walker Books
Also, from Marianne
The Girl with the Lost Smile by Miranda Hart
Oi, Dog, Oi Cat, Oi Frog, Oi Book, which one shall I choose next? By Kes Gray, Jim Field.
I'm currently reading The Happiest Man on Earth - The Beautiful life of an Auschwitz Survivor, written by Eddie Jaku. And how happy can one be to celebrate 100 living years on this earth. His life story is an inspiration of the gift of life that can change in an instant and then, what do you choose, how will you live the rest of your life even when you are uncertain of what might or might not happen. And then of course next to this one stands another one, The Girl with the Lost Smile, written by Miranda Hart. These two books go hand in hand. One takes you on a real-life journey of hardship and darkness, moving towards the light. The other one takes you on a little girl’s imaginary journey, finding back the smile she thought was lost forever. Both books are flying together on a magic carpet. 😊

The Happiest Man on Earth

by Eddie Jaku

Book cover for The Happiest Man on Earth

'Eddie looked evil in the eye and met it with joy and kindness . . . [his] philosophy is life-affirming' – Daily Express

Holocaust survivor Eddie Jaku made a vow to smile every day and now believes he is the ‘happiest man on earth’. In his inspirational memoir, he pays tribute to those who were lost by telling his story and sharing his wisdom.

Life can be beautiful if you make it beautiful. It is up to you.

Eddie Jaku always considered himself a German first, a Jew second. He was proud of his country. But all of that changed in November 1938, when he was beaten, arrested and taken to a concentration camp.

Over the next seven years, Eddie faced unimaginable horrors every day, first in Buchenwald, then in Auschwitz, then on a Nazi death march. He lost family, friends, his country.

Published as Eddie turns a hundred, The Happiest Man on Earth is a powerful, heartbreaking and ultimately hopeful memoir of how happiness can be found even in the darkest of times.

'Australia's answer to Captain Tom . . . a memoir that extols the power of hope, love and mutual support' – The Times

The Girl with the Lost Smile

by

jacket not available

Oi Cat!

by Kes Gray

Book cover for Oi Cat!

The laughter never ends with Oi Frog and Friends!

This absurdly funny, rhyming read-aloud picture book is guaranteed to get children giggling!
From the bestselling, multi-award-winning creators of Oi Frog. *Over 1 million copies sold*

According to Frog ...
Cats sit on gnats,
Dogs sit on logs,
Alpacas sit on cream crackers,
Armadillos sit on pillows and
Chicks sit on bricks.

But wait! Cat doesn't like sitting on gnats, they keep biting his bottom! Will Frog and Dog help him change the rules?

'This animal rhyming silliness goes from strength to strength.' The Guardian
'Will have children in fits of giggles.' Parents in Touch

Can't get enough? Look out for: Oi Frog, Oi Dog, Oi Duck-billed Platypus, Oi Puppies

Oi Frog and Friends is a top ten bestselling series. Loved by children and parents, the books have won numerous awards, including the Laugh Out Loud Picture Book Award, and been shortlisted for many more!

Oi Dog!

by Jim Field

Book cover for Oi Dog!

The laughter never ends with Oi Frog and Friends!

The absurdly funny sequel to the bestselling Oi Frog, this hilarious rhyming story will have children rolling around with laughter!

*Winner of the Laugh Out Loud Picture Book Award* *Shortlisted for the Sainsbury's Book Award*

Cat is a stickler for rules: cats sit on mats, hares sit on chairs and, however irritating, dogs must sit on frogs.
That's until Frog decides to change the status quo ...
But will Cat want to sit on gnats instead of cushy mats? Will spiders like sitting on gliders? Will whales like sitting on nails? And, most importantly, where is FROG going to sit?

"This is a gigglingly delightful book, a perfect match of words and pictures to entertain again and again." Daily Mail

Can't get enough? Look out for: Oi Frog, Oi Cat, Oi Duck-billed Platypus, Oi Puppies

Oi Frog and Friends is a top ten bestselling series. Loved by children and parents, the books have won numerous awards, including the Laugh Out Loud Picture Book Award, and been shortlisted for many more!

Oi Frog!

by Kes Gray

Book cover for Oi Frog!

The laughter never ends with Oi Frog and Friends!

Jam-packed with the silliest of animals, this bestselling rhyming story will have the youngest of readers in fits of laughter. Over 1 million copies sold!

Cats sit on mats, hares sit on chairs, mules sit on stools and gophers sit on sofas. But Frog does not want to sit on a log. Jam-packed with animals and silliness, this original rhyming story is guaranteed to get children giggling!

'An absolute treat.' Daily Mail
'Hilarious.' Guardian
'The most outstanding children's book.' Jo Wiley, BBC Radio 2

Can't get enough? Look out for: Oi Dog, Oi Cat, Oi Duck-billed Platypus, Oi Puppies

Oi Frog and Friends is a top ten bestselling series. Loved by children and parents, the books have won numerous awards, including the Laugh Out Loud Picture Book Award, and been shortlisted for many more!



The Elephant Whisperer by Lawrence Anthony, Graham Spence, Naomi Clark, recommended by Liesbet Gelderblom, School Sales Representative
I'm finally reading The Elephant Whisperer. I've always been fascinated by elephants. Reading Anthony Lawrence's heart-warming story, I'm even more intrigued by these intelligent, emotionally complex, sentient beings. Remarkable, sad, magical - a great read.

The Elephant Whisperer

by Lawrence Anthony

Book cover for The Elephant Whisperer

With unforgettable characters and exotic wildlife, The Elephant Whisperer is an enthralling book that will appeal to animal lovers and adventurous souls everywhere.

When South African conservationist Lawrence Anthony was asked to accept a herd of 'rogue' elephants on his Thula Thula game reserve in Zululand, his common sense told him to refuse. But he was the herd's last chance of survival – dangerous and unpredictable, they would be killed if Anthony wouldn't take them in.

As Anthony risked his life to create a bond with the troubled elephants and persuade them to stay on his reserve, he came to realize what a special family they were, from the wise matriarch Nana, who guided the herd, to her warrior sister Frankie, always ready to see off any threat, and their children who fought so hard to survive.


The Four Winds (coming February 2021) by Kristin Hannah, recommended by Gadija Gordon, Sales Consultant
A heart-breaking novel and so beautifully written. The depiction of the characters really enthralled me.  Desolation, devastation, heartache, heartbreak, and loss. The Four Winds is a novel that encompasses all of those words and yet it is also about survival. The ability to survive during the absolute worst of times. Family, friendship, and love are also prevalent themes in this book and Kristin Hannah showcases them all beautifully. What resonated with me was this book’s underlying message which is that a human being can survive anything - which I think is especially true for all of us to remember right now.
**The Four Winds cover on the blog image is not the final cover.

The Four Winds

by Kristin Hannah

Book cover for The Four Winds

'Kristin Hannah is a classic storyteller and The Four Winds sees her at the top of her game' - Matt Haig

‘Powerful and compelling’ - Delia Owens, number one international bestselling author of Where The Crawdads Sing


'
The Four Winds seems eerily prescient in 2021 . . . Its message is galvanizing and hopeful' - New York Times

The Four Winds
is a deeply moving, powerful story about the strength and resilience of women and the bond between mother and daughter, by the multi-million copy number one bestselling author of The Nightingale, Kristin Hannah.

She will discover the best of herself in the worst of times . . .

Texas, 1934. Elsa Martinelli had finally found the life she’d yearned for. A family, a home and a livelihood on a farm on the Great Plains. But when drought threatens all she and her community hold dear, Elsa’s world is shattered to the winds.

Fearful of the future, when Elsa wakes to find her husband has fled, she is forced to make the most agonizing decision of her life. Fight for the land she loves or take her beloved children, Loreda and Ant, west to California in search of a better life. Will it be the land of milk and honey? Or will their experience challenge every ounce of strength they possess?

From the overriding love of a mother for her child, the value of female friendship and the ability to love again – against all odds, Elsa’s incredible journey is a story of survival, hope and what we do for the ones we love.

Praise for Kristin Hannah

‘A rich, compelling novel of love, sacrifice and survival’ - Kate Morton

‘A masterclass’ - Karen Swan


****

What readers LOVE about The Four Winds

'Everyone should read this book. This is the new American classic'

'It will break your heart and bring you to tears. It will also be one of the best books you read all year!'

'This is historical fiction at its best: compelling, compassionate, enraging and courageous. I absolutely loved this book!'

'Gripping and captivating . . . heartbreaking and inspiring'

'We fall in love with a warrior who finds her power and strength, surrounded by love. Beautiful'

'BRAVO to the author, this is her best work yet'


The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel, recommended by Veronica Napier, Senior Publicist
This beautifully crafted novel begins at the end and moves between breathtaking locations and complex characters to unravel the story. There is an underlying mystery and unease throughout the book. An imploding Ponzi scheme, terrible betrayal and the fallibility of the characters make this a very compelling read. In his book, he shares with you people’s stories. People who face a problem and think, ‘hmm, I can’t be the only one who faces this challenge - I should do something to solve this problem.’

The Glass Hotel

by Emily St. John Mandel

Book cover for The Glass Hotel

The New York Times bestselling novel, from the author of Station Eleven.
'A damn fine novel . . . haunting and evocative and immersive' George R R Martin, author of A Game of Thrones

Vincent is the beautiful bartender at the Hotel Caiette, a five-star glass-and-cedar palace on the northernmost tip of Vancouver Island. New York financier Jonathan Alkaitis owns the hotel. When he passes Vincent his card with a tip, it’s the beginning of their life together. That same day, a hooded figure scrawls a note on the windowed wall of the hotel: ‘Why don’t you swallow broken glass.’ Leon Prevant, a shipping executive for a company called Neptune-Avramidis, sees the note from the hotel bar and is shaken to his core. Thirteen years later, just after a massive Ponzi scheme implodes in New York, Vincent mysteriously disappears from the deck of a Neptune-Avramidis ship.

Weaving together the lives of these characters, Emily St. John Mandel's The Glass Hotel moves between the ship, the towers of Manhattan, and the wilderness of remote British Columbia, painting a breathtaking picture of greed and guilt, fantasy and delusion, art and the ghosts of our pasts.


Royal by Danielle Steel, recommended by Rhulani Netshivhera, Children's Product Assistant
I was engrossed in this story from the first page. All the elements that make the reader engaged. There is love, royalty, history, family ties, and much more. At what length would you go to protect someone? If you are a fan of historical fiction then you will enjoy this story. The war time setting adds a layer as well.

Royal

by Danielle Steel

Book cover for Royal

In this spellbinding tale from Danielle Steel, a princess is sent away to safety during World War II, where she falls in love, and is lost forever.

As the war rages on in the summer of 1943, causing massive destruction and widespread fear, the King and Queen choose to quietly send their youngest daughter, Princess Charlotte, to live with a trusted noble family in the Yorkshire countryside. Despite her fiery, headstrong nature, the princess's fragile health poses far too great a risk for her to remain in war-torn London.

Third in line to the throne, seventeen year-old Charlotte reluctantly uses an alias upon her arrival in Yorkshire, her two guardians the only keepers of her true identity. A talented horsewoman, Charlotte begins to enjoy life out of the spotlight, concentrating on training with her beloved horse. But no one predicts that in the coming months she will fall deeply in love with her protectors' son.

Far from her parents, a tragic turn of events leaves an infant orphaned. Alone in the world, that child will be raised in the most humble circumstances by a modest stable manager and his wife. No one, not even she, knows of her lineage. But when a stack of hidden letters comes to light, a secret kept for nearly two decades finally surfaces, and a long lost princess emerges.

A fascinating story of family and royalty, and an unforgettable portrait of an extraordinary young woman and the man who brings her home, Royal is an exhilarating work from the world’s favourite storyteller.

Also, from Rhulani
Critical But, Stable by Angela Makholwa
I really enjoyed reading this book and I was also checking if I could relate to some characters in the book but they are too glamorous. It is about love, challenges couples encounter in a marriage or a long-term relationship. Makholwa gives us a glimpse of what it really costs to maintain a lavish lifestyle and a perfect marriage appearance by letting us snoop into the lives of three glamorous couples. We get to follow the Jiyas, Manamelas, and Msibis, who belong to an elite social club, called Khula Society. We witness how they use success, wealth, luxury, extravagant parties, glitz and glamour to sugar-coat some of the truths behind their high walls and affluent lifestyles.

Critical But, Stable

by Angela Makholwa

Book cover for Critical But, Stable

No one ever tells you the cost of a perfect life …

The Msibis, the Manamelas and the Jiyas are high-flying married couples who belong to the Khula Society, a social club with investment and glitzy benefits.

The wives are smart, successful in their chosen careers and they lead lifestyles to match – jostling for pole position in the ‘Keeping up with the Khumalos’ stakes. The husbands have had their successes and failures, sometimes keeping dubious company and getting to the top of their fields by whatever means necessary.

Beneath the veneer of marital bliss, however, lie many secrets. What will happen to their relationships when a devastating event affects all their lives?

How I Built This by Guy Raz, recommended by Sherry Neville, Commercial Manager
I don’t consider myself an entrepreneur by any stretch of the imagination and I don’t normally read ‘business’ books but I’m a fan of the Guy Raz podcast where he interviews entrepreneurs.

How I Built This

by Guy Raz

Book cover for How I Built This

The #1 Wall Street Journal Business Book Bestseller & Top 10 New York Times Bestseller.

Based on the highly acclaimed NPR podcast, How I Built This with Guy Raz, his book offers priceless insights and inspiration from the world’s top entrepreneurs on how to start, launch and build a successful venture.

Great ideas often come from a simple spark: a football player on the New Zealand national team notices all the unused wool his country produces and figures out a way to turn them into shoes (Allbirds). A former Buddhist monk decides the very best way to spread his mindfulness teachings is by launching an app (Headspace). A sandwich cart vendor finds a way to reuse leftover pita bread and turns it into a multi-million dollar business (Stacy’s Pita Chips).

Award-winning podcast creator Guy Raz has interviewed more than 200 highly successful innovators from across the world, from the founders of Five Guys, Airbnb and Bumble to James Dyson and Reed Hastings of Netflix, to uncover amazing true stories like these. In How I Built This, he shares tips for every entrepreneur’s journey: from the early days of formulating your idea, to raising money and recruiting employees, to finding your market and, finally, to paying yourself a real salary. This is a must-read for anyone who has ever dreamed of starting their own business or wondered how trail-blazing go-getters made their own dreams a reality.

'A must read for anyone who wants to start a business, grow a business, or be inspired by those who do' – Adam Grant, author of Originals

'These stories of founders and their companies are told with the same energy and openness it takes to be an entrepreneur' – Eric Ries, author of The Lean Startup

'Guy Raz is supremely himself in this guide for aspiring entrepreneurs: brilliantly perceptive, incessantly curious, infectiously energetic and above all, a master storyteller' - Angela Duckworth, author of Grit

Three Bodies by N.R. Brodie, recommended by Precious Legoabe, Key Customer Supervisor
A thrilling suspense story based on JHB inner city with Alex, sangomas and police working together to catch a famous cash in transit heist gangs destroying the economy of SA known for using body parts as muthi to be strong and invisible or not caught in the act. Innocent unsuspecting lives are at risk and lost during the process. This is a book that has kept me on the edge of my bed for two days and opened my mind and understanding of our country, a country united amid to solve crime.

Three Bodies

by N.R. Brodie

Book cover for Three Bodies

Reshma Patel and Ian Jack are back

The first body was found in the Hartbeespoort Dam. An unidentified woman, presumably drowned, washed up on the banks of an exclusive golf estate. Next came the discovery of a grisly crime scene deep underground in Johannesburg, somehow connected to a second woman found dead in the Jukskei River where it ran through Alexandra.

When the body of a third woman is pulled out of the Vaal River, south of Joburg, Captain Reshma Patel starts to wonder if a serial killer is at work – or if the mutilated corpses have anything to do with the spate of cash-in-transit heists she’s busy investigating.

When a fourth woman goes missing Reshma and her partner, former police officer Ian Jack, have to figure out who is behind the killings – and to stop them, before they can strike again.


Also, from Precious
Two Months by Gail Schimmel
A Psychological crime book of mind, body and soul. The past will always catch up with you. When a teacher is framed by her former classmate for inappropriately touching a young boy at school her life gets turned upside down in this effect, she ends up not trusting her husband who has assured her all things will be back to normal. Two Months has many twists and turns, it is mind-opening and forces one to really apply one’s mind when on social media and the kind of friendships we keep.

Two Months

by Gail Schimmel

Book cover for Two Months

From the bestselling author of The Park and The Accident comes a new domestic thriller that will keep you turning the pages until the very end.

When Erica wakes up to discover that she can't remember two months of her life, she wants to know what she’s missed. She soon realises that she’s lost more than two months. She’s lost her job and her friends. And her husband won’t tell her why.

As Erica starts to put together the clues and pieces, a picture emerges of what has happened.

A picture that is fatally flawed.

Currently reading Find Them Dead by Peter James. Still not far in the book but as Peter James is one of my favourite crime authors, I have a good feeling that this will be another roller coaster ride with mysteries, facts and good detective work by Roy Grace. I have goosebumps just looking at the book.

Find Them Dead

by Peter James

Book cover for Find Them Dead

Detective Superintendent Roy Grace unearths a powerful criminal network in the sinister crime novel Find Them Dead, by award winning author Peter James.

Ending his secondment to London’s Met Police, Roy Grace gets a tip-off about a drugs mastermind operating out of Brighton. On his first day back in his old job, he is called to a seemingly senseless murder.

Gradually, Grace’s investigation draws him into the evil sphere of an utterly ruthless drug dealer on trial. A man prepared to order the death of anyone it takes to enable him to walk free from court.

Sitting in the jury is Meg Magellan, whose daughter's life is being threatened by a stranger who tells her that if she ever wants to see her alive again, it is very simple. At the end of the trial, all she has to do is make sure the jury says just two words . . . Not guilty.

Although the Roy Grace novels can be read in any order, Find Them Dead is the sixteenth title in the bestselling series. Discover more of the Brighton detective’s investigations with Left You Dead.

Now a major ITV series, Grace, starring John Simm.

Confessions of a Forty-Something F**k Up by Alexandra Potter, recommended by Frances Thorndike, Cape Sales Representative
An underrated, life-affirming read that I thoroughly enjoyed despite the title, namely: "Confessions of a Forty-Something F##k Up" which is a charming and insightful look at female friendship and the unrealistic expectations we have on achieving our life goals.

Confessions of a Forty-Something F**k Up

by Alexandra Potter

Book cover for Confessions of a Forty-Something F**k Up

The funniest WTF AM I DOING?! novel of the year

'The new Bridget Jones for our Covid-ridden times' - Celia Walden, Telegraph

'Say hello to a book that will have you laughing with every page, whether you're 20, 40 or 80' - Heat

'Brilliant! Laughing out loud' - Emma Gannon

'Funny but layered, light-hearted but surprisingly deep, this is a perfect and inspiring new year read' - Red

Nell Stevens’ life is a mess.

When her business goes bust and her fiancé with it, Nell’s happy ever after in California falls apart and she moves back to London to start over. But a lot has changed since she’s been gone. All her single friends are now married with children, sky-high rents force her to rent a room in a stranger’s house and in a world of perfect Instagram lives, she feels like a f**k up. Even worse, a forty-something f**k up.

But when she lands a job writing obituaries, Nell meets the fabulous Cricket, an eighty-something widow with challenges of her own, and they strike up an unlikely friendship. Together they begin to help each other heal their aching hearts, cope with the loss of the lives they had planned, and push each other into new adventures and unexpected joys.

Because Nell is determined. Next year things are going to be very different. It’s time to turn her life around.

An international bestseller, this is a book for anyone who’s ever worried life isn’t going to plan, Confessions of a Forty-Something F**k Up by Alexandra Potter will make you laugh and it might even make you cry. But most importantly, it will remind you that you’re not alone, because we’re all in this together.

'Feistily funny . . . and so relatable' - Fabulous magazine, The Sun on Sunday

'A warm, very funny read' - Bella


****

Why readers LOVE Confessions of a Forty-Something F**k Up:

'Just brilliant'
'I don't think there's a woman alive who couldn't associate themselves with this book'
'Entirely relatable and guaranteed to be a hit'
'If you've ever asked yourself "where has the time gone and why does everyone else have it together but me?!", then you'll love this book'
'A fun warm read with a lot of humour'


More Myself by Alicia Keys, recommended by Dee Miloa, Digital Communications Coordinator
Affirming and beautifully written with so much soul and authenticity, Alicia Keys’ More Myself is one of the best memoirs I’ve read recently. When Alicia Keys’ first album was released in 2001, I was in my pre-teen years. In the age of owning a music book and writing lyrics of popular songs. I was a huge fan, loved her look and music (influenced by my big sisters). Somewhere along my teen years, I stopped following through her music career. But I’ve always admired her. In every interview, she’s shown so much depth, raw presence and a peaceful spirit. Over the years, she’s successfully carved a unique style of music and built a strong brand. She’s managed to stay relevant and from my observations, she’s always been someone I’ve seen as true to herself, work and position in the industry and as an influencer.
Alicia writes, "truth in its rawest form is what resonates most powerfully", and in the book, she opens up about her past, music, family and experiences in the rawest and most truthful way. With every chapter, she takes us on her journey growing up in Hell’s Kitchen and Harlem, her phenomenal music career and shares about her complex relationship with her father, romantic relationships and personal struggles with conforming to modern-day beauty standards. She also talks about using her voice and platform to advocate for social justice and equality, and the various movements she’s co-founded and supports. If you are a fan of her music, you’ll appreciate the stories behind some of her greatest hits, her come up and encounters with her biggest musical influences and mentors.

One of the chapter’s I enjoyed reading, was on writing the smash-hit and one of my all-time favourites, Empire State of Mind with Jay-Z - a song they collaborated on in tribute to their hometown, New York. So, whether you are a fan of Alicia or looking for your next non-fiction read, you will enjoy the book and get a sense of who Alicia is, what inspires and fuels her passions." 

More Myself

by

jacket not available

Also, from Dee
We are One by Refiloe Moahloli
A beautifully illustrated book that every child should own. The book touches on kindness, love and the importance of recognizing that We are One. Simple yet so captivating.
I loved, loved reading Simunye, the isiZulu version with my nieces and nephew, and celebrating diversity. It’s important for my nieces and nephew to see themselves in books, but what I also appreciate about this book is the diverse representation. It’s also important for children to see other characters different from them so they can expand their worldview. Refiloe’s stories are beautiful, they’ve helped me teach the little ones about kindness and empathy.

We are One

by Refiloe Moahloli

Book cover for We are One

We may look different you and I,

sound different,

act different,

eat different food,

and live in different places

but when I look into your eyes, I see myself.

A comforting and lyrical book about friendship and ubuntu that celebrates both our and differences and similarities.

Also available in isiZulu and Afrikaans.


A Family Affair by Sue Nyathi, recommended by Tazmin Morgan, Sales & Marketing Coordinator
Sue Nyathi’s A Family Affair is the perfect book to keep you company over this holiday period. This book is packed with drama from chapter to chapter, that even when you are not reading – you will be wondering what a character will be doing next.
This book looks at the structure of the family and the picture-perfect façade that a family sometimes creates while under the surface there are tails of deceit. Even though the Mafu’s appear to be a tight-knit family, there are many conversations that need to be had and eventually bubble over in often sad and traumatic ways. I found myself giggling with mischief in some parts of the book, and in some cases, reading through paragraphs with tear-filled eyes.
This is a story of sisters trying to find the love they deserve, keep their family together while battling their internal and societal issues. We all know versions of Zandile, Xoliswa and Yandisa, and the Mafu family as a whole. Sue Nyathi crafted extremely relatable characters that will stick with you long after you have read the last sentence.
**Trigger Warning: There is domestic abuse that is discussed in A Family Affair

Also recommended by the Pan team:

  • Summerwater by Sarah Moss

From the acclaimed author of Ghost WallSummerwater is a devastating story told over twenty-four hours in the Scottish highlands, and a searing exploration of our capacity for both kinship and cruelty in these divided times. HERE, Sarah and her editor Kishani Widyaratna discuss how she approaches her writing, collective anxieties and how history has shaped us all.

Summerwater

by Sarah Moss

Book cover for Summerwater

The Sunday Times Top Ten Bestseller
'Superb' The Times
'Sharp, searching . . . utterly of the moment' Hilary Mantel, author of Wolf Hall
'So accomplished' Guardian
'A masterpiece' Jessie Burton, author of The Miniaturist
'One of her best' Irish Times
'Beautifully written, intense, powerful' David Nicholls, author of Sweet Sorrow

From the acclaimed author of Ghost Wall, Summerwater is a devastating story told over twenty-four hours in the Scottish highlands, and a searing exploration of our capacity for both kinship and cruelty in these divided times.

On the longest day of the summer, twelve people sit cooped up with their families in a faded Scottish cabin park. The endless rain leaves them with little to do but watch the other residents.

A woman goes running up the Ben as if fleeing; a retired couple reminisce about neighbours long since moved on; a teenage boy braves the dark waters of the loch in his red kayak. Each person is wrapped in their own cares but increasingly alert to the makeshift community around them. One particular family, a mother and daughter without the right clothes or the right manners, starts to draw the attention of the others. Tensions rise and all watch on, unaware of the tragedy that lies ahead as night finally falls.

Longlisted for the Orwell Prize for Political Fiction 2021.

‘Nothing escapes her sly humour and brilliant touch. Deft and brimming with life, Summerwater is a novel of endless depth. A masterpiece.’ Jessie Burton, author of The Miniaturist

'Summerwater may be her best so far.' The Times

'This latest display of Moss’s imaginative versatility shine[s] with intelligence' Sunday Times

  • These are not gentle people by Andrew Harding

These are not gentle people is the story of that night, and of what happened next. It’s a courtroom drama, a profound exploration of collective guilt and individual justice, and a fast-paced literary thriller. When a whole community is on trial, who pays the price? Read an extract HERE.

These are not gentle people

by Andrew Harding

Book cover for These are not gentle people

At dusk, on a warm evening in 2016, a group of forty men gathered in the corner of a dusty field on a farm outside Parys in the Free State. Some were in a fury. Others treated the whole thing as a joke – a game. The events of the next two hours would come to haunt them all. They would rip families apart, prompted an attempted suicide, breakdowns, divorce, bankruptcy, threats of violent revenge and acts of unforgivable treachery.

These are not gentle people is the story of that night, and of what happened next. It’s a courtroom drama, a profound exploration of collective guilt and individual justice, and a fast-paced literary thriller.

Award-winning foreign correspondent and author Andrew Harding traces the impact of one moment of collective barbarism on a fragile community – exposing lies, cover-ups, political meddling and betrayals, and revealing the inner lives of those involved with extraordinary clarity.

The book is also a mesmerising examination of a small town trying to cope with a trauma that threatens to tear it in two – as such, it is as much a journey into the heart of modern South Africa as it is a gripping tale of crime, punishment and redemption. When a whole community is on trial, who pays the price?

ANDREW HARDING is the author of the internationally acclaimed The Mayor of Mogadishu and a foreign correspondent for BBC News. He left Britain in 1991 and has since lived and worked in the former Soviet Union, Asia, Kenya, and – for the past decade – in South Africa. His radio and television reports have won him international recognition, including an Emmy. He currently lives in Johannesburg with his family.


  • Sermons of Soul by Iman Rappetti

Sermons of Soul brings you the best-loved opening segments from Iman Rappetti’s award-winning radio show, POWER Talk. With each daily sermon, Iman sought to reach out to her listeners and give them something special before the day’s tough subjects unfolded on the programme. She wanted to create a moment for them to feel appreciated, thought of, challenged or cared for. Watch Iman introducing her inspirational book HERE.

Sermons of Soul

by Iman Rappetti

Book cover for Sermons of Soul

Sermons of Soul brings you the best-loved opening segments from Iman Rappetti’s award-winning radio show, POWER Talk. With each daily sermon, Iman sought to reach out to her listeners and give them something special before the day’s tough subjects unfolded on the programme. She wanted to create a moment for them to feel appreciated, thought of, challenged or cared for.

Some days the sermon was a motivational letter, encouraging listeners to stay strong and confident, to have hope for themselves and the country. On other days it was different – a call to action, a sociopolitical critique, a powerfully moving assessment of how we were doing as a society.

These few minutes became one of the most-listened-to segments in radio, so popular that people frequently called in to comment on the impact of the messages or stopped Iman in the street to talk about them. More than once, the sermons have been called life changing.

Reading Iman’s labour of love will remind you of important issues at the same time as it will encourage and inspire you.

  • The 130-Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton

There are lots of laughs at every level in The 130-Storey Treehouse, the tenth book in the number one bestselling Treehouse series from Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton. Watch Andy introducing The 130-Storey Treehouse as well as answering questions from fans HERE.

The 130-Storey Treehouse

by

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Blog compiled by Khanyisile Zondo
Intern and Wits University Honours student (African Languages and Literature)