February’s reading pleasure brings book lovers 25 fiction, non-fiction, young adult and children’s titles.
Six fiction titles will appeal across any flavour of reader: The City of Tears by Kate Mosse is a gorgeously written, utterly absorbing epic novel. The Four Winds by Kristen Hannah is powerful and compelling and in Outlawed by Anna North, R.O Kwon quotes “I’m dazzled by this feminist western… A masterpiece.”
The Funny Thing about Norman Foreman by Julietta Henderson is “Gorgeous” says Ruth Jones. There’s No Such Thing as an Easy Job by Kikuko Tsumura, translated by Polly Barton is “Surreal and unsettling.” According to the Observer, Three Women and a Boat by Anne Youngson is “Full of grace and humanity.”
There are 13 non-fiction titles that have been selected for February. Jacob Dlamini says “Remarkable. Read it!” of 1986 by William Dicey. Chatter by Ethan Ross is “Groundbreaking.” “Unflinchingly honest and remarkably candid, Matthew McConaughey’s book Greenlights invites us to grapple with the lessons of his life as he did – and to see that the point was never to win, but to understand” quotes Mark Manson. The bestselling author Douglas Kruger of Is Your Thinking Keeping You Poor? and Poverty Proof, returns with his hardest-hitting book yet How to Grow Rich. This take-no-prisoners exploration of how money works will challenge you on everything you think you know while arming you with economically sound principles for growing your prosperity. In Leading in the 21st Century by Tshilidzi Marwala we get comprehensive overview of how the world is changing and lessons we can draw from leaders, particularly in the African context. From Charlotte Maxeke and the Rain Queen Modjadji, to Mangaliso Robert Sobukwe, Eric Molobi and Richard Maponya, there is much to learn from great leaders.
Unconventional Wisdom edited by Tom Standage is another bestselling collection of astonishing explainers from The Economist. The world can be an amazing place if you know the right questions to ask. What does ‘success’ mean to you? If you are an entrepreneur, this probably feels like a straightforward question with a simple answer: you want your business to thrive. You want to make a profit; stand out; be noticed. But then what? Are you done? Are you fulfilled? Are you happy? All the answers are in Life Profitability by Adii Pienaar. Mediocre by Ijeoma Oluo deftly combines history and sociological study with personal narrative, and the result is both uncomfortable and illuminating. In Parting Words by Benjamin Ferencz, Heather Morris quotes “I don’t know where to stop praising Benny and this amazing book.”
Stressproof by Richard Sutton perfectly captures the influencing factors and environment we all are confronting; it brilliantly unravels solutions for leadership, stress-influenced behaviours and relationships. The Awareness Effect by Lerato Gunguluza is a departure from the norm – it shows how you can sink or swim, purely on the basis of what you choose to occupy your thoughts with. The world is asking for leaders with growth mindsets, who are willing to do the hard work of building more inclusive teams and organizations. Unconscious Bias by Pamela Fuller and Mark Murphy with Anne Chow will help you answer the call. The Pan-African Pantheon edited by Adekeye Adebajo is a collection that explores the history and pioneers of the movement; the quest for reparations; politicians; poets; activists, as well as Pan-Africanism in the social sciences, philosophy, literature, and its musical activists.
The last six titles are YA and Children’s. Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas is a blistering, unputdownable look at black boyhood in the US, and what it means to be a man. It can be read as a standalone, but knowledge of The Hate U Give will make for a richer reading experience. In the second book in the Baxter Family Children series Finding Home, Karen Kingsbury and Tyler Russell tell the funny and poignant tale of the Baxter children finding home! The fast-moving, action-packed plot makes Notorious by Gordon Korman a great choice for reluctant readers… A diverting read full of suspense and historical intrigue.
The Cousins by Karen M. McManus a slow-burn, uneasy beginning ultimately makes way for a frantically paced end peppered with twists that genre fans will happily take in stride. The Violet Veil Mysteries: A Case of Grave Danger by Sophie Cleverly is a breakout new detective series, from the author of the spine-tingling Scarlet and Ivy series, beautifully illustrated by Hannah Peck. Tyd om te Skaats deur Jacolet van den Berg “Sy is moeg vir wegkruip, moeg om die enigste agter-die-klip-tiener te wees en te vries wanneer sy moet vlieg. Tot Lua onverwags ‘n paar ou rolskaatse vir Hannah gee…”