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Celebrating Diversity with South African Books


Celebrating Diversity with South African Books

SA Diversity Ready

I’ve interpreted diversity a little loosely by featuring South African authors, a minority country in the publishing industry. All these books are also set in South Africa.

I hope you’re up to taking a chance by supporting our local authors…

Just a note, the only children’s book on this list is the first one, Herd Boy. Some of the others contain violence that may not be suitable for younger readers.

Herd Boy by Nikki Daly

A children’s picture book written and illustrated by Nikki Daly, a well-loved children’s author/illustrator in South Africa. His books are found in homes and schools across the country. This is his latest publication and one of my favourites. It is an inspiring read which promotes self-esteem as well as highlighting our South African spirit.
Goodreads     Amazon.com     Amazon.co.uk     Book Depository     Loot.co.za

Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela

Non-Fiction. Nelson Mandela’s autobiography. Need I say more? It is a long book, but it’s worth it, the abridged version just doesn’t do it justice. An amazing man and South Africa’s most loved leader.
Goodreads     Amazon.com     Amazon.co.uk     Book Depository     Loot.co.za

If The Cat Fits by Crystal Sharp

Non-Fiction. I loved this laugh-out-loud book which follows the life of a vet’s wife in South Africa and is full of humorous antidotes. Crystal Sharp has running conversations with her pets, something we have in common!

The physical books are already out of print, so if you can get hold of a copy of this, or one of her other books: Dog in My Footprints and In Fool Flight, you are very lucky! Fortunately for everyone else, the Kindle editions are available.
Goodreads     Amazon.com     Amazon.co.uk

The Elephant Whisperer: My Life with the Herd in the African Wild by Lawrence Anthony

Non-Fiction. These elephants will stay in your heart forever. Previously reviewed here.
Goodreads     Amazon.com     Amazon.co.uk     Book Depository     Loot.co.za

The Smell of Apples by Mark Behr

Fiction. Brutal in its subtlety, a sinister story which has haunted me over the years. This book has won both local and international awards. Recommended age 16+
Goodreads     Amazon.com     Amazon.co.uk     Book Depository     Loot.co.za

Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton

Fiction. Alan Paton is one of our most renowned authors and this book, also adapted into a movie, has been read across the world. It is an excellent portrayal of hope, endurance and above all humanity.
Goodreads     Amazon.com     Amazon.co.uk     Book Depository     Loot.co.za

Postmortem: The Doctor Who Walked Away by Maria Phalime

Non-Fiction. A story that highlights the inadequacies in South Africa’s public health sector and the inner struggle of the individual health professionals.

I met Maria Phalime earlier this year at a conference and was struck by her humble honesty, which was evident during her address to a gathering of South African school librarians.  Sharing a table at dinner that night, I experienced her friendliness and down-to-earth personality first hand. I am fortunate to own a personalised signed copy of this book!
Goodreads     Amazon.com     Amazon.co.uk     Book Depository     Loot.co.za

The Madonna of Excelsior by Zakes Mda

Fiction. Well-known author and playwright of contemporary classics,  Zakes Mda’s books and plays are studied in high schools across South Africa.
Goodreads     Amazon.com     Amazon.co.uk     Book Depository     Loot.co.za

Dear Bullet: Or a Letter to My Shooter by Sixolile Mbalo

Non-Fiction. Simply told, this personal account of a young girl who survived unspeakable violence will leave you reeling in shock at the brutality of humanity and the power of forgiveness. Recommended age 16+
Goodreads     Amazon.com     Amazon.co.uk     Book Depository     Loot.co.za

Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee

Fiction. I read this very disturbing book several years ago, and it still haunts me today. Although well acclaimed, award-winning J.M. Coetzee is not one of my favourite authors, mostly because he is not afraid to display humanity with all its flaws, and I am a fan of the happily ever after. But he is undoubtedly an excellent writer and deserves his acclaim. Recommended age 16+
Goodreads     Amazon.com     Amazon.co.uk     Book Depository     Loot.co.za

A bonus: The 11th title on the list is a fantasy graphic novel

Rebirth by Daniel Browde & Josh Ryba (Illustrator)

Graphic novel. Fiction. Included for its beautiful colour illustrations and originality.
Goodreads     Amazon.com     Amazon.co.uk

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish at http://www.brokeandbookish.com/p/top-ten-tuesday-other-features.html



  1. This is so belated but I love your list! I actually haven’t heard of some of these titles so I’ll definitely be checking a few out. Thank you for visiting my blog. 🙂

  2. Great list. I’ve always thought I should read Cry, the Beloved Country. Think I’ll add it to my TBR now!

  3. I don’t think I’ve read anything by a South African author before, I’ll definitely have to check some of these books out!

  4. Great list, I liked your take on this week’s TTT. I’ve always meant to read a couple of the one’s on here, I’ll have to check them out! Thanks for stopping by our TTT.

  5. It’s sad, but I’ve never read any of these. I guess I have some catching up to do and some great books to look forward to. 😀 Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  6. Nice way of spinning the topic! I haven’t heard of most of these, but it’s nice to see some different books on these TTT lists!

  7. I haven’t read any of these books but Long Walk to Freedom was recommended to me by my friend and I’m really thinking about reading it. Will check out the rest later.
    Lovely list.

  8. These are new to me, but I’m glad to see so many diverse books in South Africa 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  9. I love your take on this topic! Very creative and unique. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever read a South African author, although I did love Bryce Courtenay’s The Power of One, which was set in South Africa, but I’m not sure if he’s South African. My mom used to work for a couple of South African lawyers who had immigrated to Canada, but I loved their accents, and one even spoke Zulu, which was so amazing to hear because it’s unlike any other language that I’ve ever heard. Thanks for stopping by my blog, and I’ll pop by yours again soon!

  10. I think it is great you choose such a specific route for this ttt.

  11. I love what you have done with this week’s meme! Unfortunately, I haven’t read any of these books before. Some of these sound really sad and confronting about the ugliness of humanity but I hope to try them one of these days. Thanks for sharing!

    Thanks for stopping by my TTT earlier 🙂

    Obsessive Compulsive Reader

  12. These are all new to me. I’m not familiar with a lot of South African books, thank you for sharing these and giving me a place to start! This is a fantastic list with a lot of variety!

    Michelle @ Michelle’s Minions

  13. Postmortem sounds really interesting! I took a class on medicine in college and this looks like it could’ve been on the curriculum. Thanks for this list!

  14. This is so awesome! I love this topic and seeing everyone’s interpretation of diversity. Rebirth and If the Cat Fits really caught my eye. Thanks for sharing your recs 🙂

  15. YES! I love recommending South African books. I feel very strongly about the poor marketing of South African books, even by our own publishers and bookstores… but that’s a rant for another day.
    I read the Smell of Apples when I was still in high school and it was definitely one of those books that ripped the carpet out from underneath me. But I recommend it in anycase.
    Postmortem and Disgrace are also favourites of mine.
    So happy to have found your blog. I have a spot soft fro school libraries. My high school librarian is still one of my favourite people and we meet regularly!.

  16. Rebirth wasn’t on my radar before but I can’t wait to read it now! Thanks for the rec!

  17. I love your take on this week’s topic! I haven’t read any of these books yet. The Nelson Mandela autobiography sounds fascinating. I will have to check that out when I have a good amount of time to devote to it.

    Check out my TTT: https://greenishbookshelf.wordpress.com/2015/07/21/top-10-tuesday-celebrating-diversitydiverse-characters/

  18. Disgrace and Dear Bullet Sound Amazing I will definitely be checking them out!! Awesome Post Check out my Top Ten Tuesday

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