Don’t hit the beach or the bushveld without packing the perfect holiday read for 2016 – we’ve got a short reading list sorted with some classics and new reads.
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The Littera Team.
“One of the greatest productions of the human mind”. (Leo Tolstoy). When a Kentucky farmer faces financial ruin, he reluctantly sells his slaves, and Uncle Tom finds himself the property of a cruel plantation owner, fighting for his freedom and ultimately, for his right to live. With a rich narrative and wonderfully realised characters, this is a panoramic, incredibly accomplished work. Originally published to much acclaim in 1852, it quickly established Harriet Beecher Stowe as one of America’s most influential female novelists and was crucial in helping to secure the abolition of slavery. R195
As delightfully wry and witty as his bestselling debut, ‘The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared’, this is a tale of how one woman’s attempt to change her future ended up changing everything. Nombeko Mayeki is on the run from the world’s most ruthless secret service – with three Chinese sisters, twins who are officially one person and an elderly potato farmer. Oh, and the fate of the King of Sweden – and the world – rests on her shoulders. Born in a Soweto shack in 1961, Nombeko was destined for a short, hard life. When she was run over by a drunken engineer her luck changed. R220
Pindar glimlag. “Moenie my misverstaan nie. Daar’s niks mee verkeerd om geld te maak nie. Sommer baie daarvan! Dit is egter nie ‘n doelwit wat jou suksesvol sal maak nie.” Hy sien die verwarring op Joe se gesig, knik instemmend en lig sy hand as teken dat hy gaan verduidelik. “Jy sien”, gaan Pindar voort, “die meerderheid mense se koppe werk so dat hulle vir die kaggel se, ‘gee my eers hitte, dan gooi ek hout op’ maar vanselfsprekend werk dit nie so nie.” Joe frons en probeer die logika van Pindar se redenasie begryp. “Jy sien? Jy kan nie gelyktydig in twee rigtings reis nie. Om suksesvol geld te maak as doelwit is soos om op ‘n snelwegbaan teen 120 kilometer per uur te ry met jou oe vasgenael op die truspieeltjie.” R65
“The Third Wave” makes startling sense of the violent changes now battering our world. Its sweeping synthesis casts fresh light on our new forms of marriage and family, on today’s dramatic changes in business and economics. It explains the role of cults, the new definitions of work, play, love, and success. It points toward new forms of twenty-first-century democracy. A Powerful Book. R150
An unforgettable historical romance based on an astonishing true story from international bestseller Mariano Fiorato. Irish beauty Kit Kavanagh has everything she could want in life. Newly married, she runs a successful alehouse with her beloved husband Richard. Kit realizes that her husband has been taken for a soldier. Kit follows Richard’s trail across the battlefields of Italy in the Duke of Marlborough’s regiment. Living as a man, risking her life in battle, she forms a close bond with her wry and handsome commanding officer Captain Ross. Read more. R220
The Arab Revolt against the Turks in World War One was, in the words of T.E. Lawrence, ‘a sideshow of a sideshow’. Amidst the slaughter in European trenches, the Western combatants paid scant attention to the Middle Eastern theatre. As a result, the conflict was shaped to a remarkable degree by a small handful of adventurers and low-level officers far removed from the corridors of power. At the centre of it all was Lawrence. In early 1914 he was an archaeologist excavating ruins in the sands of Syria; by 1917 he was battling both the enemy and his own government to bring about the vision he had for the Arab people. Operating in the Middle East at the same time, but to wildly different ends, were three other important players: a German attache, an American oilman and a committed Zionist. The intertwined paths of these four young men – the schemes they put in place, the battles they fought, the betrayals they endured and committed – mirror the grandeur, intrigue and tragedy of the war in the desert. R230