Book descriptions

10 Novels by Vera Caspary, Prolific Writer of Fiction & Screenplays

Vera Caspary (1899– 1987) was a remarkably prolific American novelist, screenwriter, and playwright. Over the course of her long  career, she became known as a writer of crime fiction and thrillers, though she created works in other genres as well. Widely praised in her lifetime, this roundup of ten Vera Caspary novels illuminates the work of a writer who has been unjustly forgotten.

Caspary had more than twenty novels published (plus others left unpublished), the best known of which remains Laura (1943). She also wrote long short stories and novellas, not to mention numerous screenplays for Hollywood films, some based on her own works.

Many Caspary works featured young, forward-thinking women (then called “career girls”) who fought for female autonomy and equality, and refused male protection. Though most of her work is out of print, many of her books can still be found. She’s an iconic writer whose work deserves rediscovery. Read More→


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8 Essential Novels by South African Author Nadine Gordimer

Nadine Gordimer (November 20, 1923 – July 13, 2013) was a South African activist and Nobel Prize-winning author. Following is a compilation of 8 essential novels by Gordimer, a good place to start when getting acquainted with her work.

Nadine Gordimer was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1991, three years before South Africa’s first free elections. Her work was especially relevant during the first free elections in 1994 – they remain relevant as the country moved into its next election date in March 2024.

She was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1991, three years before South Africa’s first free elections. Read More→


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The Long Journey of Poppie Nongena by Elsa Joubert

The Long Journey of Poppie Nongena by Elsa Joubert has been called one of the most important novels to emerge from the African continent. Published in 1979, the book has been translated into thirteen languages and was adapted to screen for the film Poppie Nongena (2009). 

Author Elsa Joubert was known for her travelogues, poetry, news features, and groundbreaking novels. She is considered part of the Sixtiers literary movement, which also included authors Ingrid Jonker, Breyten Breytenbach, and André Brink. 

Here’s more about the author, and why The Long Journey of Poppie Nongena is a story about struggle more readers should know.  Read More→


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Enid Blyton’s Top 5 Series: Mystery, Adventure & More

Enid Blyton (1897 – 1968) is one of the world’s most successful and prolific children’s authors. She wrote some seven hundred full-length books, many of which have never been out of print. Here is a selection of Blyton’s top 5 series.

Despite controversy over the literary merit of some of her work, including the use of outdated and offensive language, she remains one of the world’s most popular fiction authors, coming sixth in an all-time bestselling list by estimated sales (behind William Shakespeare, Agatha Christie, Danielle Steel, Harold Robbins, and Dr. Seuss, and well ahead of J.K. Rowling at number 10).

Her books were intended for children between the ages of about three and twelve, and many were part of a series — one of the most popular being “The Famous Five.” Read More→


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The Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder

The Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder are autobiographical series of novels for children reflecting her life on the American frontier. Though beloved by generations of young readers, they haven’t been without controversy, as we’ll soon discover.

Wilder (1967–1967) wrote these vivid tales — nine in the Little House series — that immediately appealed to readers of all ages. The books were an immediate critical and popular success, winning numerous awards and making their way into readers’ hearts with their message of endurance, simple living, and love of family.

Born in a log cabin on the edge of an area called “Big Woods” in Pepin, Wisconsin, Laura’s real-life experiences were the inspiration for her novels, and richly informed her memoirs as well. Read More→


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