Books To Read This Month November 2017 Edition

This one’s for all the bibliophiles out there… Sit back and get lost in one of these latest book releases.


How to be Happy by Eva Woods (Little Brown), R295


Annie has been sad for so long that she’s forgotten how to be any other way. She’s trudging miserably through every day, sheer determination keeping her going. Until she meets Polly. Polly is everything that Annie is not. She’s colourful, joyful, happy. And Polly is also facing the greatest challenge of her life: how to die well. Polly has one hundred days to help Annie find happiness. Annie’s convinced it’s impossible, but so is saying no to Polly. And on an unforgettable journey, Annie begins to realise that maybe, just maybe, there’s still colour to be found in the world. But then it becomes clear that Polly’s about to need her new friend more than ever... and Annie will have to decide once and for all whether letting others in is a risk worth taking.

The Last Hours by Minette Walters (Penguin Random House), R295


It’s June, 1348, and the Black Death enters England through the port of Melcombe in the county of Dorsetshire. Unprepared for the virulence of the disease, and the speed with which it spreads, the people of the county start to die in their thousands.

In the estate of Develish, Lady Anne takes control of her people's future – including the lives of two hundred bonded serfs. Strong, compassionate and resourceful, Lady Anne chooses a bastard slave, Thaddeus Thurkell, to act as her steward. Together, they decide to quarantine Develish by bringing the serfs inside the walls. With this sudden overturning of the accepted social order, conflicts soon arise. Ignorant of what is happening in the world outside, they wrestle with themselves, with God and with the terrible uncertainty of their futures.

New Times
by Rehana Rossouw (Jacana Media), R250


Award-winning journalist and writer Rehana Rossouw is back with her second offer, New Times, which follows the life and career of Aaliyah “Ali” Adams, who is trapped with her family and friends in a tangle of razor-wire politics and culture. Ali is a political reporter in Parliament. She discovers that the newly elected ANC government is veering off the path to freedom and drafting a new economic policy that makes no provision for the poor. She follows the scent of corruption wafting into the new democracy’s politics and uncovers a major scandal. She compiles stories that should be heard when the Truth Commission gets underway, reliving the recent brutal past. Aaliyah lives with her devout Muslim family in Bo-Kaap. Her mother is buried in religion after losing her husband, and there is little tolerance for alternative lifestyles in the close-knit community.

Darker by EL James (Penguin Random House), price TBC


Though this will only be published at the end of November, we had to include it in our round-up – it will make the perfect Christmas gift for Fifty Shades fans. In Darker, Fifty Shades Darker is retold from Christian Grey’s point of view. So, expect new insights into his character and motivations, which make him one of the most compelling, conflicted and charismatic heroes of modern fiction. And that’s not all – this new book is full of surprises, as Ana and Christian confront some seemingly insuperable challenges.

Bare Ground by Peter Harris (Pan Macmillan), R260


As the head of Wits Mining, the last major mining company to do an empowerment deal, Max Sinclair has a mandate from the board and a clear directive: to sell a share of the company to a black consortium. There is no shortage of takers for the deal. A shareholding spells possible riches for some – like Sifiso Lesibe, geologist and newest member of the board – and increased influence for others. Politics, power and money are an irresistible combination yet mistrust is everywhere and nothing is as it seems. Former human rights lawyer Musa Madondo has seen the rise and fall of many a former comrade and he knows he is not immune to the tug of temptation. When Walter Berryman, a former client and friend, comes to Musa for professional advice. After having stumbled across evidence of large-scale industry collusion, he finds himself drawn into an underworld of intrigue and sophisticated espionage every bit as ruthless and deadly in the present day as it was during the country’s struggle for liberation.

Running Wild: The Story of Zulu, an African Stallion by David Bristow (Jacana Media), R240

Natural History

The story of Zulu is based on the life of a real stallion that lived on the Mashatu Game Reserve. The versions of the story of Zulu are about as numerous as the people who recount them. The horse and the myth were at times indistinguishable. This account of his life has been stitched together from all those stories. In February 2000, tropical Cyclone Leon-Eline resulted in a storm so severe that the horses of Mashatu broke out of their enclosure and roamed wild and free for days before returning. Zulu was the only one that did not return. He was thought to be lost to the scourges of the Bushveld. Years pass before Zulu is discovered to be not only alive and well, but running as the lead stallion of a herd of wild zebras. He is recaptured and returned to the safari stables as a much bolder and wiser stallion – knowledge he passes on to the other horses as well as the humans of Limpopo Valley.

Alex Cross 25: The People vs Alex Cross by James Patterson (Penguin Random House), R290


Alex Cross has never been on the wrong side of the law – until now. Charged with gunning down followers of his nemesis Gary Soneji in cold blood, Cross is being turned into the poster child for trigger-happy cops who think they're above the law. Cross knows it was self-defence. But will a jury see it that way? As the prosecution presents its case, even those closest to Cross begin to doubt his innocence…

Heartbreaker: Christiaan Barnard and the first heart transplant by James Styan (Jonathan Ball), R240


In this new biography of Chris Barnard, we learn about the life of South Africa’s most famous surgeon and the impact of the historic heart transplant on Barnard’s personal life and South African society at large, where apartheid legislation often made the difficulties of medicine even more convoluted. The role of black medical staff like Hamilton Naki is explored, as is the intense rivalry that arose between other famous heart surgeons and Barnard.


Magnus Chase 03: The Ship of the Dead by Rick Riordan (Penguin Random House), R230


Loki the trickster god is free from his chains. Now he's readying Naglfar, the Ship of the Dead, armed with a host of giants and zombies, to sail against the Norse gods and begin the final battle of Ragnarok. It's up to Magnus Chase and his friends to stop Loki's plans, but to do so they will have to sail across the oceans of Midgard, Jotunheim and Niflheim in a desperate race to reach Naglfar before it's ready to sail on Midsummer's Day. Along the way, they will face angry sea gods, hostile giants and an evil fire-breathing dragon who happens to be a former acquaintance...

Diary of a Wimpy Kid 12: The Getaway by Jeff Kinney (Penguin Random House), R230


Get ready, book 12 in the phenomenally hilarious Diary of a Wimpy Kid series is coming! To escape the stress of the holidays, the Heffleys decide to get out of town and go to a resort instead of celebrating Christmas at home. But what's billed as a stress-free vacation becomes a holiday nightmare.

Father Christmas and Me by Matt Haig (Penguin Random House), R230


It isn’t always easy growing up as a human in Elfhelm, even if your adoptive parents are the newly married Father Christmas and Mary Christmas. For one thing, Elf School can be annoying when you have to sing Christmas songs every day – even in July – and when you fail all your toy-making tests. Also, it can get very, very cold. But when the jealous Easter Bunny and his rabbit army launch an attack to stop Christmas, it’s up to Amelia, her new family and the elves to keep Christmas alive.