What book should I read next?

For parents this is usually a null and void question. I mean, who has time to read anything more than the instructions on your Woolies ready-meal (spoiler alert: take off the cardboard cover, prick the plastic and blast for 2 minutes in the microwave)?

Trying to choose a book in Exclusive or on Kindle is like looking for something to watch on Netflix: endless scrolling, scrolling, scrolling until you’ve read an entire chapter’s worth of blurbs and reviews and you’re too tired to actually read anything else.

So let me give you some book recommendations for 2024.

These are book recommendations for both fiction and non-fiction books. They could be book recommendations for your book club, your mother-in-law, or you. In other words, they cover a range of topics and a range of literary styles – genres, if you will.

How did I come up with these incredible book recommendations?

If I were to ask you, what is Franschhoek famous for? You’d probably answer the wine tram. Or food and wine festivals. Or Bastille Day. But of all the Franschhoek events on the calendar, my favourite has to be the Franschhoek Literary Festival. 

Or the FranLitFest as it is also known by those in the, uh, know. Which is not, as a friend thought, a wine festival, but a remarkable gathering of authors and speakers and bookworms of all ages.

There were so many talks and readings and events happening that I can’t list them all, but you can check out the Franschhoek Literary Festival 2024 programme here.

And if you’re keen to check it out next year, keep an eye out for tickets – they sell out fast. [This year the Franschhoek Literary Festival ticket prices were mostly R100 per event, which is a pretty good deal when you realise you’re listening to the likes of David Walliams.]

Book Recommendations From

The Franschhoek Literary Festival 2024


Here goes. These are not book reviews – obviously, because I haven’t finished reading some of them yet. But I went to talks with each of these authors and was so inspired by their stories that I bought their books. And I think you should too.


 Alexandria Procter






Alexandria is one of the co-founders of DigsConnect. Since it’s been years since I’ve even thought about university, I hadn’t even heard about this app. But this is such an inspiring and entertaining story about a young South African woman’s journey to startup success.




Prescription: Ice Cream – A Doctor’s Journey To Discover What Matters

Alastair Mcalpine




I’ve now seen Alastair speak twice and both times I was fascinated. He’s relatable and endearing, and I imagine his book his an easy-to-read page-turner which will have you thinking long after you put the book down.

PS I Love You

Cecilia Ahern


I haven’t read the book but I’ve seen the movie! Now, having seen Cecilia speak in person, I’ve totally put this on my reading list. She’s funny, humble and gives an interesting insight into the creative process.

In A Thousand Different Ways

Cecilia Ahern


Her latest novel, this story appeals to me on a personal level. Following the journey of a sensitive child with a mother with mental illness, I won’t be surprised if I find any similarities between this book and my life. (Me as the mother, not my mother, if you know what I mean).


Sinead O Connor


Cecilia spoke of how this book was an inspiration for her. And I don’t think I really know the true extent of Sinead O’Connor’s life. As a massive of hers when I was a teen, I’m excited to find out more about her troubled life. Is that weird?

Maria’s Keepers

Sam Human






Give me a C! Give me a U! Give me an L! Give me a T! Give me anything cult-y and I’m obsessed! And the fact that this is a well-known “cult” right here in South Africa is mind-bending.

Sizzlers – The Hate Crime That Tore Sea Point Apart

Nicole Engelbrecht




Being a Cape Townian, I remember the Sizzlers attack in 2003. Nicole was a speaker at one of the talks I attended. Just from how she spoke I knew this is a book I want to read.

A Soft Landing

Wisani Mushwana



This is a novel I knew nothing about before the festival. By a young South African, it’s a coming-of-age story with ties to a traditional South African childhood. It sounds like a remarkable first novel










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