Book descriptions

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Despite controversy over the literary merit of some of her work, including the use of outdated and offensive language, she remains one of the world’s most popular fiction authors, coming sixth in an all-time bestselling list by estimated sales (behind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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Dalene Matthee’s South African “Forest Novels”

A lifelong advocate for environmental rights, South African author Dalene Matthee is renowned for her “Forest novels” series. These four books, originally written in Afrikaans, present narratives set in the country’s Knysna Forests.

Dalene Matthee’s (1938 – 2005) books have achieved international acclaim. They have been translated into multiple languages, including English, Icelandic, French, and German. More than a million copies of her works have sold. Read More→

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7 Literary Cocktail Books: Boozy, Punny Tributes to Famous Authors

Some of us find that books are natural partners with coffee, but a small, feisty group of literary cocktail books prove that literature and booze are inextricably intertwined as well.

These literary cocktail books aren’t so much about the true history of famous authors and their drinking habits, but punny tributes to them and their works. I guess it makes sense — after all, many writers led booze-soaked lives. Read More→

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