Five is not enough

Notes on Dreaming in Hindi
Notes on Dreaming in Hindi (Photo credit: brewbooks)


In the spirit of end-of-the-year listmania, here are my top books for the year. I started with five, but couldn’t stick to that number, hence the title. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I did.


A Watermelon, a Fish and a Bible by Christy Lefteri. I was deeply touched by this debut novel set in Cyprus during the Turkish invasion. Much of it was painful and shocking, but the evolution of the characters drew me in and kept me reading to the last page.


Dreaming in Hindi by Katherine Russel Rich. This memoir appealed to the teacher and language learner in me. I was fascinated with the author’s experiences as well as the insight she offers through her discussions with various language and science experts. There were a number of things I could identify with as well. Woven into the language learning experience is also the historical period, as the 9/11 terrorist attacks take place while she is in India, and she recounts her experience of the events as seen from that country.


25 Things You Need to Know about the Future by Christopher Barnatt. This book fascinated me and introduced me to technology and science of which I had previously had no knowledge. Have you heard of 3D printing, vertical farming, synthetic biology and quantum computing? If you haven’t, read the book. It’s written in a clear, down-to-earth style that makes you want to read on.


The Glassblower’s Daughter by Frances Clarke. Another debut novel that was well worth reading. It deals with a difficult topic in a sensitive way. I would certainly buy her next novel.


My final choice has to contain all the South African books I read this year because each one of them opened my eyes to my homeland in a different way:


South Africa’s Brave New World: The Beloved Country Since the End of Apartheid by R. W. Johnson.


The Bang-Bang Club by Greg Marinovich and Joao Silva.


Elections and Erections: A Memoir of Fear and Fun by Pieter-Dirk Uys.


The Unexploded Boer by Erich Rautenbach.


Touch My Blood by Fred Khumalo.