Category Archives: good

55 Books in 2021

I began the year with no reading goal and I hoped that along the way I would read some good books and boy did I. Also, I read some duds along the way and by about September, I figured that I might hit a book a week target – this I did and surpassed slightly. Previous year lists are available here: 2018, 2019 and 2020.

Photo by Christina Morillo on

Some overall thoughts, I got into audio books for the first time and since I also read ebooks, I don’t really care how the material is presented, books are books. I got into some new Australian authors (and podcasts but that’s another post altogether). I tried to read the Women’s Prize shortlist and got through 4.25 out of 6 of them. I also read some non-fiction, sometimes for work and others just out of interest.

Key: *** Highly Recommend ** Yeah, why not read it *Nah, only read if you have nothing else (No star) I have no feelings on the book

See the chronological list below and some thoughts I had as I finished the books.

  1. Sex and Vanity – Kevin Kwan *
  2. Destination Wedding – Diksha Basu – **
  3. Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows: A novel – Balli Kaur Jaswal ***
  4. The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters – Balli Kaur Jaswal **
  5. Dreamland – Sam Quinones ***
  6. A Bollywood Affair – Sonali Dev
  7. Pride and Prejudice, and other flavours – Sonali Dev **
  8. The Wedding Party – Jasmine Guillory *** LOVE ALL HER WORK
  9. Recipe for Persuasion- Sonali Dev **
  10. The Prenup: A Love Story – Lauren Layne
  11. The Windfall – Diksha Basu. HARD PASS. The book did not start, get better or finish. The only interesting side note is that she is the daughter of a superstar Economist, Kaushik Basu.
  12. Talking to Strangers – Malcolm Gladwell. Look I love Malcom’s books, all of them but this is THE WORST of his books. Wouldn’t recommend it.
  13. Nothing Ventured – Jeffrey Archer
  14. Hidden in Plain sight – Jeffrey Archer
  15. The Family Gift – Cathy Kelly
  16. The Fifth Letter – Nicola Moriarty ***
  17. Those Other Women – Nicola Moriarty ***
  18. Becoming Men – Malose Langa ***. Possibly one of the best non-fiction reads for 2021.
  19. The Perfect Mother – Aimee Molloy **
  20. The Hundred Wells of Salaga – Aysha Harun Atta **
  21. Grown Ups – Marian Keyes ***. LOVED IT. Therapeutic.
  22. Manchester Happened – Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi. *** Best Short Stories.
  23. Eating from one Pot: dynamics of survival in poor households in South Africa – Sarah Mosoetsa ***.
  24. How The One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House – Cherie Jones*. Didn’t like or get the story. I also think it could have been a short story.
  25. The Thursday Murder Club – Richard Osman ***. Lovely little read.
  26. Yellow Means Stay: An Anthology of Love Stores from Africa. DO NOT READ. Problematic collection that included a paedophile’s “love” as one of these love stories. Yuck, yuck and yuck. Reached out to the editors and their response was lukewarm at best.
  27. Transcendent Kingdom – Yaa Gyasi ***
  28. Unsettled Ground – Claire Fuller ***. Loved it! Finished it and immediately smiled. The book starts so slowly and there is build up but you can’t quite see it. I was rooting for Jeanie all along and it was nice seeing her develop through the course of the book.
  29. The Wives – Tarryn Fisher *. It’s like two books in one. First half great! The second, confused, hurried. Still not sure what actually happened at the end there.
  30. That Summer – Jennifer Weiner ***. It really got under my skin in a good way.
  31. Here Comes the Sun – Nicole Dennis-Benn *** This book sat in my heart really painfully. It was tragic, it felt like poverty porn, relentlessly painful.
  32. Privilege: The Making of an Adolescent Elite at Saint Paul’s School – Shamus Rahman Khan *** . A serious contender for Best Non-Fiction.
  33. The Weekend – Charlotte Wood ***. WOW. I did not expect to be enchanted by this book as much as I was. Please read it.
  34. Good Company – Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney ***
  35. The Nest – Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney *
  36. Risen Motherhood: Gospel Hope for Everyday Moments – Emily Jensen and Laura Wifler ***
  37. Love in Colour – Bolu Babalola *. This was one of those Bookstagram made me read this and it was honestly CRAP.
  38. People we meet on vacation – Emily Henry ***
  39. The Other Black Girl – Zakiya Dalila Harris *. I wanted to love this book but nah, I don’t get the hype.
  40. The Kindest Lie – Nancy Johnson *** READ IT, JUST READ IT.
  41. 491 Days – Winnie Madikizela Mandela. Another non-fiction read that was a total education for me, I realised I never understood or made up my own mind about Winnie Mandela.
  42. The Rose Code – Kate Quinn ***
  43. Snapped – Alexa Martin **
  44. The Huntress – Kate Quinn *
  45. Other Women – Cathy Kelly
  46. All Gomorrahs are the Same – Thenjiwe Mswane **
  47. How we get free – Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor *
  48. Apples Never Fall – Liane Moriarty *** (Definitely a top read contender)
  49. Party of Two – Jasmine Guillory ***
  50. The Mother In Law – Sally Hepworth ***
  51. The Secrets of Midwives – Sally Hepworth *
  52. The Man who Died Twice – Richard Osman
  53. The Family Next Door – Sally Hepworth **
  54. The Alice Network – Kate Quinn ***
  55. The Evening and the Morning – Ken Follet *** WOW

TL:DR version

Top five fiction:

Still being read

  1. No one succeeds alone – Robert Refkin
  2. The sum of small things – Elizabeth Currid-Halkett
  3. Long Bright River – Liz Moore
  4. Disappearing Church – Mark Sayers 

Couldn’t finish

  1. No one is talking about this – Patricia Lockwood. I do not get the writing style of this book and DO NOT UNDERSTAND how it made it onto so many long and short lists. AVOID.
  2. Black Buck – Mateo Askaripour. I HATED the narrator’s voice and could not get past the first ten pages.

Any books you read last year that stood out to you?

Sunday Listens (Podcast edition)

Over the holiday I got a bit tired of listening to the same subscribed podcast content so I challenged myself to listen to shows I wouldn’t normally do or I had heard but did not want to commit to full subscription just yet. So here are some of those fantastic episodes.

  • Young Love – Where should we begin by Esther Perel.
  • I felt my back stand up when I first listened to her views on infidelity so I wasn’t open at all but I liked it so much I listened to this other episode on sexlessness.
  • Radio Diaries’ Teenage Diariesrevisited. I love that kind of radio soooo much. I was hanging on the edge of my seat listening. Definitely subscribing.  As a teen I would have loved to participate in such an activity, to be honest, even now I would.
  • Other episode I loved was Thembi’s Diary.
  • BBC Woman’s Hour had a phone-in on Monday on #Megxit. Hot mess.
  • I love that Motherhood Sessions is back but jeez that first episode? Messy.
  • Borders Between Us by The Nod stressed to me how as parents we do the best for our kids and hope.
  • I have been listening to this podcast following three pregnant teens (ethics and judgment suspended) and in this episode we meet four generations of teen moms in one family. Give it a listen, it’s nothing like what you expect.
  • Still Processingdiscussed Michelle Obama’s book Becoming. JUST GO AND LISTEN. IT’S GOOD.

I know it’s a lot but do yourself a favour and just listen.

My City is Better than Yours

When I moved to Cape Town, I did not expect to like, or GASP love it, as much as I did Johannesburg. Two years on, I feel like I am cheating on my first love but here goes a list of things I love about the city.

  • Franschhoek and the annual literary festival
  • The Book Lounge
  • The Mountain View
  • Camps Bay – I don’t do this often because it gets touristy and it’s a big contrast to the daily inequality but occasionally, I do note its’ beauty and appreciate that.
  • Wine Farms
  • Unstuffy Markets – Mojo Market, Old Biscuit Mill and Oranjezicht. For some reason in Joburg, peeople need to dress up and then get to markets and look like they just walk up like that, URGGGH!!
  • An Evening BSF Class
  • The Promenade
  • Being able to walk around to most places
  • A main street that means not having to get into a mall unless you want to, Yay!!!
  • Off-street Parking
  • Kalk Bay
  • A gorgeous CBD
  • Love the pace of drivers and their general chill
  • It’s a very outdoors and family-oriented place

Interview with a 13 year old

Describe yourself in three words Happy, kind, mhhhh happy.

Favourite Activities Gaming, talking to friends and family, reading and watching TV.

Favourite Food Cheesecake

Favourite Colour Green, Blue

Favourite Book Body Guard – Chris Bradford

Favourite PSP Game FIFA 16

Favourite Movie Cars

Favourite Song Speaker Box

Favourite Artist Kendrick Lamar

Favourite Footballer Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Image result for zlatan ibrahimovic

What’s the best thing about your life right now?

That I know what school I am going to for high school. I was scared I would not get into a high school.

What don’t you like about your life right now?

Some of my school teachers because they are very rude and not nice to me.

What are you most looking forward to learning in the upcoming year?

Getting an iPad and a phone because I have never had either.


In ten years I will be …

23 years old. The youngest pilot ever.

Most important friendship trait? Kindness.


Why is the sky blue?

It is a reflection of the sea (apparently this question gauges maturity)

What do you know how to do that you can teach to others?

How to game and play play station (a bit contentious because he hardly plays with anyone but family or himself).

If you could be a sound, what would it be?

The speaker when it plays music because it is quite loud and the vibration sound it makes.

Who is your biggest hero at the moment?

My mom – she works hard. My grandparents – though old they still work hard (his grandma) and coz his granddad worked with planes.

Would you rather:

  • Travel for one week to a foreign country OR travel round your country for four weeks?  Travel round my country.
  • Be the best player in a team that always loses OR the worst player in the team that always wins? Worst player in the team that always wins.
  • Not be allowed to eat your favourite five foods for an entire year OR be allowed to eat only your favourite five foods for an entire year? Eat my favourite five foods daily.
  • Get to take a shower every day in cold water OR shower once a week in hot water? Every day in cold water.
  • Be given R1000 right now OR R50 monthly for the rest of your life? R50 for the rest of my life.

How much is a litre of petrol? R12.66 (It’s actually R14.01)

Would you ever break the rules for someone you loved or cared for. Why? Yes, it depends on what the thing is.

When you get to heaven what is one question you want to ask God? Where did you come from?

What fears have you got in your life at the moment? Contracting HIV and not waking up in the morning.

Enjoy xoxo

Also look back at an interview with a nine year old and an 11 year old .

Sunday Reads


My Positive Trait


The tenth prompt from this list asked me to talk of something about myself I like.

Just this week I was reminded that a compliment I often get from those dear and near is that I am a great encourager. I listen patiently and help people to see themselves in a more positive light, I offer solutions to problems and offer to assist with heavy burdens. I am good at strengthening people and getting them to see as strengths setbacks while pushing them upwards and forwards. I hope I never forget this or hold myself back when those in my presence need to be uplifted.

What’s a compliment you often receive?

Some of my (long) holiday reads ..

  1. If you are not a Longreads fan already, here is a list of their best articles of 2016.
  2. I am all about female friendships and stuff. I also love the authors idea of an article’s club.
  3. My friends and I have these kinds of conversations all the time. Why can’t I ever record them???
  4. Things people say after a miscarriage.
  5. Black Power!
  6. Kindness is the glue that holds couples together.
  7. What to choose when considering a Bible Study to join. We all need tips on how to improve our prayer life. Yep. At least me!!
  8. I guess con artistes are always looking to make a quick one so academia is also fair game.
  9. Short-run solutions to youth unemployment in South Africa. Can young offenders reform successfully?
  10. I love the aesthetics of this home!! This housing option seems quaint, but not for me.
  11. Helping kids to make New Year resolutions. Some help for adults too. More help from podcasts.
  12. Cool places to chill in Johannesburg. And in Uganda.
  13. On identity and what makes us, us. 
  14. I watched the movie Birth of a Nation and liked it.
  15. Recipes: Cooking with soy sauceFragrant Chickpea Basmati Rice with Fresh Coriander.

Sunday Reads

  1. Women, language, rites of passage and the khanga.
  2. Cobalt mining and the lost lives in The DR Congo.
  3. Rhino poaching in South Africa.
  4. Attitudes to marriage in certain communities.
  5. Nairobi’s art and culture scene.
  6. Pssst! Africans also migrate within the continent.
A reporter asked Williams whether she should be considered one of the greatest female athletes of all time. Her perfect response: “I prefer the words ‘one of the greatest athletes of all time.’”

Sunday Reads on Africa

  1. I have read ten of these 50 must-read books by African female writers.
  2. Exclusive Books publish their first newsletter focused on African Lit. Great start.
  3. A South African church in pictures.
  4. Hot jams to get you ready for the week ahead!
  5. Beyonce’s style of feminism is not my own.” Chimamanda Adichie.
  6. I would venture a guess that most black women have this growing up with black hair story.
  7. On intersectionality. Yaa Gyasi’s essay on what it means to be Ghanaian in America.
  8. Pettinah Gappah’s recent short story.
  9. Love and Johannesburg. The couple reminds me of the Mr and I.
  10. 21 gifts for the creative black woman in your life.
  11. A guide to Africa’s dictators. Here and Here.
  12. Rachel Strohm highlights work by the team at Democracy in Africa in putting together a long reading list of articles on African issues by African scholars.
  13. This page showing Everyday Africa.
  14. But why is my leader like this? Not sure we need mandarin studies in Uganda just yet.

A Wonder of the World

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I recently went to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and all I can say of the trip is heat, beauty and Vic Falls. Wow, just wow!!!



Travel Wanderlist

Image result for waiting at an airport image

Before I die, I would love to visit the following places:

  1. Lamu, Kenya.
  2. Africa: Morocco, Namibia and Senegal.
  3. Asia – India, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Singapore, Portugal, Thailand and Bangladesh.
  4. The US: New York, Washington DC
  5. Melbourne.
  6. Europe: London, Paris, Czech Republic, Spain and Portugal.

Here’s to safe and happy travelling!



According to WordPress, today is NINE YEARS since I started blogging. What? Where has time gone?

This here little blog really means so much to me and gives me an outlet to share about myself and some of my interests and I am grateful for this opportunity and for many of you guys that read, comment, like and follow.

Thanks and here’s to many more!!

Sunday Reads

  1. Do this to improve your potluck hosting game.
  2. Important subject matter (slavery in literature) and I definitely want to read the book, The Underground Railroad (Colson Whitehad)
  3. Interesting thoughts on appropriating food from another culture. Not unexpectedly, I am more chilled about it provided you show respect.
  4. So much I didn’t know about one of Brazil’s most iconic landmark.
  5. Green bean stir fry.

Where did July go?


Cooking Sukuma Wiki (Kales) for the first time at 31.5 years old


Sunset over Stellenbosch


Dinner at Asara Boutique Hotel, Stellenbosch


Trying to finish gloves before the worst of Winter is behind us.

Also read this book, didn’t really like it … 😦


Finishing this up now too …

Friday Tunes

At my first job, we had a dedicated “DJ” that would send us Friday Tunes to stop us hanging ourselves get us all into the weekend always with the title “Friday Tunes” and this post is definitely meant to be a shout-out to those good old days.

Enjoy and have a super duper weekend!

Sunday Reads

Afternoon me

Some lovely reads this week as you can see below.

  1. Goodbye Downton Abbey
  2. A Vietnamese coffee cake
  3. Cooking with cauliflower. Ten recipes.
  4. … specifically this cauliflower risotto. YUM!!
  5. Go big or go home in relation to Nigerian Weddings. Thank God we did not have that pressure way back when …
  6. Restoring the world’s oldest library.
  7. This broke my heart this week. Teenagers who kill in order to become famous or get a following. JUST SAD!!
  8. I am really keen for Fuller House. Nostalgia, much?
  9. Again, why women friendships are the bomb diggity!

Historically, friendships between women provided them with attention, affection and an outlet for intellectual or political exchange in eras when marriage, still chiefly a fiscal and social necessity, wasn’t an institution from which many could be sure of gleaning sexual or companionate pleasure.
For many women, friends are our primary partners through life; they are the ones who move us into new homes, out of bad relationships, through births and illnesses. Even for women who do marry, this is true at the beginning of our adult lives, and at the end — after divorce or the death of a spouse.

Enjoy and have a lovely Sunday.


Wednesday Love

A friend recommended NPR’s Tiny Desk and this week I gave it a go and discovered the most delightful band, The Suffers. I love the soulfulness of the lead singers voice, their lyrics are so dreamy and I just know that the lead singer and I would get on famously.

Below are some videos that have been entertaining me.





Reviewing 2015 through posts

I have enjoyed posting so much this year and pushing myself to write more, write in different formats or on different topics than the typical ones I would. Thanks for the reads, sharing and comments!

  1. My theme this year was on obedience.
  2. Listened to great music too!!
  3. Took care of myself!!
  4. Really got into podcasts.
  5. Ten little things I enjoyed this year (the first of many similar posts)
  6. I hurt when the Xenophobic attacks broke out! In February. Twice.
  7. Read a lot about women struggling with infertility.
  8. Cooked some nice things.
  9. Read some good and bad books!! The invention of wings was easily my book of the year.
  10. Made a personal announcement too!!

Enjoy and looking forward to 2016!!

Sunday Reads

  1. Interesting to read that Chartered schools do not do any better for children in more suburban areas.
  2. Planning an upcoming Cape Town city centre adventure.
  3. Cooking with sweet potatoes
  4. Celebrating love, marriage and all things in between. Also, check out their podcast, season 2 is coming up.
  5. How to help a friend going through a rough time.
  6. On meeting your biggest idol!

Sunday Reads

Better late than never ….

  1. Because we all need to be more productive at work.
  2. Liked some of these comments on the state of play between men and women and the chores at home.
  3. The (silent) perils of a PhD.
  4. I enjoyed this profile of Michael Phelps and congrats on the upcoming Baby.
  5. Fascinated by the paths that people that go to highly sought after schools take afterwards.
  6. Ain’t this life though?
  7. Alanis Morissette redoes “Ironic”. HILARS!!
  8. If you wish to read all of HONY’s stories on the Refugee plight in Europe.
  9. Love this story about revealed and stated preferences.
  10. Some great conversation starters
  11. If you have loads of tea and love to cook with it.
  12. Roasted green beans with hazelnuts