Our list of books to look forward to in 2019.
Our list of books to look forward to in 2019.
Image: 123RF / Nataliya Arzamasova

1. THE ZULUS OF NEW YORK by Zakes Mda (Umuzi)

Mda tells the strange and compelling story of a group of Zulus who were sent to England and the US in the 1880s to perform as “human curiosities’’ in a popular circus.

2. BIG SKY by Kate Atkinson (Penguin Random House)

A new book from Atkinson is always an event, especially when it stars the shambling detective Jackson Brodie after an absence of nine years. Fans will be thrilled.

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3. AN ORCHESTRA OF MINORITIES by Chigozie Obioma (Little, Brown)

A clever twist of Homer's Odyssey, told in the mythic style of the Igbo literary tradition. Obioma is increasingly regarded as the heir to Chinua Achebe.

4. THE TESTAMENTS by Margaret Atwood (Penguin Random House)

The sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale is set in Gilead 15 years later and narrated by three female characters. Naught here for our comfort, I’m reckoning.

5. THE DISTANCE by Ivan Vladislavić  (Umuzi)

Vladislavić  is one of South Africa’s finest writers and this promises to be another tour de force. Threaded around the legend of Muhammad Ali is a subtle examination of the bond of brothers and the origins of a writing life.

6. DAISY JONES & THE SIX by Taylor Jenkins Reid (Penguin Random House)

There’s a buzz building around this unusual novel, about the whirlwind rise of an iconic ’70s rock group. Reese Witherspoon has raved about it: “Daisy and the band captured my heart, and they’re sure to capture yours, too.”

7. CITY OF GIRLS by Elizabeth Gilbert (Bloomsbury)

New York, 1940. A young woman arrives in the city to make her way, armed

only with a sewing machine and a quick wit. Early reviews are calling it “blazingly brilliant”.

Image: Supplied
Image: Supplied

8. THE STRAWBERRY THIEF by Joanne Harris

At last, the fourth book in the beloved Chocolat series. Life has settled down for Vianne Rocher in the village of Lansquenet-sous-Tannes but when a new shop opens a ripple of drama surges through the community.

9. TRIANGULUM by Masande Ntshanga (Penguin Random House)

An ambitious, genre-bending novel from one of the most interesting new writers in South Africa. It covers a period of over 40 years in the country’s recent past and near future.


A rousing telling of Gates’ journey from a partner working behind the scenes to one of the world’s foremost advocates for women, driven by the belief that no one should be excluded, all lives have equal value and gender equality is the lever that lifts everything.

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