Before we start posting book stacks for this year, I decided to do a roundup post from last year… all the books we read and reviewed in one place.

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If you want to read a particular review, just click through on the link below the image… And if you want to know our absolute best, five star reads of the year, look no further:

Our Favourite Reads of 2021


Best Adult Read: The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams

Honourable Mention: The Whistling by Rebecca Netley and Lenni and Margot by Marianne Cronin

Best Local Read: The Tea Room by Gretchen Hayley

Best Teen Read: The Supreme Lie by Geraldine McCaughrean

Best Middle Grade: Felix Unlimited by Andrew Norris

Best Kids’ Non-Fiction: Mary Anning’s Grewsome Beasts.

Best Afrikaans Read: Wat Werner Doen Met Sy Drie Miljoen

Best Picture Book: I am Every Good Think by Derrick Barnes and Gordon C. James

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A Stack of Extremely Giftable Books from Struik Nature: and our favourite in the mix… The Karoo, it is an outstanding book, not just as a coffee table book filled with incredible photography… but the words tell a story of a land that appears to be vanishing, and yet packed with corners that are literally hidden gems.

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Exceptional Middle Grade Reads from Jonathan Ball Publishers: Too much brilliance in this stack to choose a favourite, there is literally something for every one here… We Loved Felix Unlimited, it is a book that every child and their adults would love to read, about entrepreneurship and making real money, in fact every start up business owner should read this one. We loved Danny Chung does not do Math and his feisty granny… and Utterly Dark was a special kind of wild ocean, adventure loving mystery.

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This Week’s Book Stack from Penguin Random House South Africa… Loved The Whistling, if you love a creepy gothic tale on a remote Scottish Island then this is a great one… But the absolute stand out winner is Richard Osman, The Man Who Died Twice, is the second in the Thursday Murder Club Mystery Series… listen both of them on audible, absolute winner of a series about a group of octogenarians who find themselves solving murder cases for fun.

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Se7en Afrikaans Books We Read for School this Year: Wat Werner Does Met Sy Drie Miljoen, this book is an absolute winner. It took us all year and little bit by little bit, and we loved it… It is the story of Werner and his two best friends, and how they decide to help Werner’s mum out financially by entering the lottery. It is a lovely story we really enjoyed it, little bit by little bit. I’ve pre-read A Klein Bietjie Magic is just as good and we will be reading it for school this year.

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Plenty of Picture Books from Jonathan Ball Publishers: We loved the Goods, a picture/activity book for adults and kids… it’s great.

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This Week’s Book Stack Bought to you by Penguin Kids South Africa: So many fabulous books in this stack… Harklights is just beautiful. And the Supreme Lie, has to be my favourite teen read of the year.

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Se7en Study Really Ancient Times with Mary Anning and Anusuya Chinsamy-Turan: We absolutley loved Mary Anning’s read… it is a book for every single history lover, fossil lover, ancient times lover and story lover… it was a fantastic read and the illustrations are out of this world.

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An Author Interview with Gretchen Hayley of The Tearoom: A local read, set in Natal… that I loved loved loved… it is full of food and South African flavors, it is a light read and wonderful story about dreams and life and love… it is sweet, in places bittersweet, I really loved it.

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This Week’s Book Stack, Brought to you by Penguin Random House, South Africa: If you are looking for a thriller of the extremely creepy variety… then Not a Happy Family is the way to go, the twists and turns and the madness that can be family relationships literally blew me away till the end. Similarly, The Night She Disappeared, oh my word… as the mom of a teenage daughter, I could hardly breathe… just saying keeping track of your kids and their relationships is tricky business.

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Parenting World Changers with Mandi Hart: If ever I needed to read an excellent and encouraging parenting book, it was this year… after trailing several teenagers behind me through a pandemic, I was at the lowest of low, in terms of I am the worst mother on earth, this book kept me talking to my kids and pulled me out of the spiral.

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Se7en Great Books That I Have Been Reading from Penguin Random House South Africa: I loved every single book in this stack… ALL of them. If you didn’t read Lenni and Margot this past year… put it onto your to read list!!! Meanwhile, The Dictionary of Lost Words goes onto my best books ever stack… I loved this book through and through, the whole of it, absolutely and everything about it.

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A Stack of Reads for Kids from Jonathan Ball Publishers: So much goodness here, we loved Lost in Dreamland, Sky Pirates was an absolute epic… and a Girl called Joy was delightful.

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Se7en Great Reads I Have Been Reading from Penguin Random House Lately: Fragile Monsters was a beautiful read, hard in places… if not a little triggering. But the best book in this stack, I felt, was You Never Really Know by John Hunt. This book was hard, it is the story of a boy called Cappuccino, and his role as the coffee maker in the all powerful game of life in the presidents compound. It is a tragedy, an important read… it completely grabbed my heart.

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A Pile of Picture Books and Easy Readers from Penguin Kids South Africa and LAPA Publishers: Honestly, Storm Dragon is exactly my kind of picture book… absolutely loved this one.

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Se7en + 1 Great Kids Reads from PanMacmillan South Africa: There are two series here that have absolutely grabbed our heart. Firstly, Cressida Cowell’s Wizard of Once… Astoundingly Good!!! And M.G.Leonard and Sam Sedgman… oh my goodness what a team, their train series is one of our all time favourites… EVER.

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Se7en Create Butterflies for Nature Study, Using a Field Guide: We absolutely love using field guides for nature study, but when we can add art into the mix as well… then we are really winning.

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Se7en Reviews Sarah Graham’s Super Natural Recipe Book: I really love all her crisp and clean living cookbooks. There were so many recipes in this book that have become family favourites… click through and take a look.

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Nature Study with Struik Nature… And Mushrooms: Another book where science and nature and art gathered together… lovely!!!

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World Book Day and South African Stories for South African Children: There are so many fantastic South African stories out and the collection just keeps on growing. We Read Small Mercies over the whole of this year, learning about South Africa as we went along.

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Pangolins: Scales of Injustice, and World Pangolin Day: This is one of the best books I have ever read on poaching and the bigger issues that African Wildlife is threatened with, and pangolins, of course.

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What I Have Been Reading Lately from PanMacmillan South Africa: This book stack, in the middle of a pandemic, felt like a holiday away… Loved them, honestly a great escape.

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Let’s Talk About Series for Kids… and all the Good Reads from Penguin Random House South Africa: The best way to get kids reading is to get them hooked on a series… look no further!!!

Publishers Referred to in This Post.

Massive thank you to all these publishers for supplying us with books for review purposes… what a year for reading… definitely looking forward to 2022…

  1. Jonathan Ball Publishers.
  2. Penguin Random House, South Africa.
  3. Penguin Random Kids, South Africa.
  4. Lapa Uitgewers.
  5. Struik Nature.
  6. PanMacmillan, South Africa
  7. PanMacmillan Kids, South Africa.

Wishing ALL our followers a wonderful year of reading, our book stacks will start rolling out again next week!!!

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