6 Books to Cosy up to This Winter
By Nomali Cele
It’s that time of the year where everything begins to slow down. It’s getting dark outside far too early in the evening and the temperatures are so low. This slowdown in the pace of life is a great time to finally get into that pile of books you’ve had for months, just waiting for the day you could dig into it. If you have no pile of unread book and would like a few recommendations, here are six books you should cosy up to this winter. Each book is meaty, offers depth and will leave you thinking.
Being Chris Hani’s Daughter by Lindiwe Hani and Melinda Ferguson
When her father, SACP leader Chris Hani, was assassinated outside their home, Lindiwe Hani was 12 years old. For much of our South African history, public figures have been revered and loved. Because of the nature of our struggle, families have had, even in death, had to share their loved ones and Hani’s book seeks to change this.
She is Chris Hani’s daughter and here, she remembers him as her father and what it means to have a parent that big. What does it mean when your memories of riding your bicycle for the first time or being taught a new word by your parent is also mixed in with the memories of an entire nation? Hani and Ferguson explore this in 256 pages.
Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue
In over 300 pages, Imbolo Mbue details the lives of two Cameroonian Immigrants as they build their new lives in New York City. Also in the story are the Jongas’ employers and the beginnings of the world economic crisis in 2008. Behold the Dreamers tells the story of what it’s like to believe your dreams are coming true but then suddenly having to watch them crumble around you.
The Reactive by Masande Ntshanga
(L – R) South African, US and UK editions of The Reactive
Masande Ntshanga’s critically acclaimed 2014 debut has received publication deals internationally and it’s with great reason. The Reactive follows a group of young people dealing with different challenges that come with being young in post-apartheid South Africa: death, drug addiction and HIV.
Sigh the Beloved Country by Bongani Madondo
If you’re looking to take a break from fiction and completely switch off current affairs while dealing with real stories, then Bongani Madondo’s third book is for you. Described as “an adult lover and critic of a country, in conversation with its people” Sigh the Beloved Country features essays, interviews and memoir pieces that will have you enthralled by the cast of characters. Sigh the Beloved Country was recently shortlisted for the University of Johannesburg book prize.
The Woman Next Door by Yewande Omotoso
Two women live next door to each other in Cape Town and consider the other to be their nemesis. An unexpected twist brings the widows together and they find in each other a kinship. The Woman Next Door was long-listed for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction, which is the “UK’s most prestigious annual book award for fiction written by a woman.”
A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be?”
That’s the widely circulated quote from Marianne Williamson’s 1992 self-help opus A Return to Love, which encourages the reader to get uncomfortable and very familiar with themselves. Williamson is a spiritual activist and that informs this book wholly.