Rearranging her life – leaving behind her son, her dog, her friends, her valuables packed away and a new wardrobe bought – Karin Cronje waves Cape Town goodbye and sets off for Korea, where she plans to teach English … and to work out what to do with the rest of her life. There Goes English Teacher is a heart-warming, moving, and brilliantly written memoir … the perfect book to kick off the New Year. Modjaji Books, R280.
The Game Ranger, the Knife, the Lion and the Sheep – 20 tales about Curious Characters from Southern Africa is a collection of stories about the lesser-known characters from our country. People like Mevrou Maria Mouton, who prefers to socialise with the slaves on her Swartland farm rather than with her husband, and with them, conspires to murder him. And Coenraad De Buys, a man who marries many African women and fathers a small nation. Hugely entertaining (but we’d buy it for the title alone!). Jacana, R260.
François Levaillant was the first, and greatest, South African birder. He was also an explorer, naturalist, zoological collector and anthropologist of the Cape … his contribution to ornithology in Africa is said to be immeasurable, with some of his specimens still existing in museums in Europe. For more than a quarter of a century, Ian Glenn searched for his notebooks and the fate of his collection, digging into the mysteries of Levaillant’s life and times. The First Safari – Searching for François Levaillant is an exceptional book for lovers of natural history, for researchers, for those interested in the bush or birding. Jacana, R260.
Rose gardens. Wildlife gardens. Romantic gardens. Bush. Naturalistic. Coastal. If you’re looking for ideas, inspiration and guidance, Melanie Walker’s Garden Style – Creating beautiful gardens in South Africa is an excellent buy. Gorg photos by Connall Oosterbroek, along with sections on planning and planting, lists of key plants and loads of helpful tips, this book has 19 different gardens to choose from … fabulous! Sunbird, R340.