Mister Snail by Christy Peacock: Struik Children, an imprint of Penguin Random House South Africa


This delightful children's book is also very much for adults - although it's about a snail who finds a new garden and happily feeds on garden plants it carries a universal message of acceptance and compassion. 

When the slow-moving creature's neighbours start to notice that snails leave something behind, a slimy trail, they become disgruntled and resent the snail's presence in their beautiful garden. 

The other animals ask Mister Snail to leave.This becomes a sad twist in the story but a perfect opportunity for a lesson. Mister Snail doesn’t try and change who he is. He attempts to educate his new neighbours about who he is and that it is not his choice. With beautiful illustrations by Nicci Nathanson

Unstoppable My Life So Far by Maria Sharapova (Penguin Books)


This is global tennis star Maria Sharapova's gripping and fearless autobiography, telling her story from her roots in the small Siberian town her parents fled to after the Chernobyl disaster, her arrival in America and her phenomenal rise to success - winning Wimbledon aged just 17 - to the events that threatened her career and her fight back. 

The five-time Grand-Slam winner offers candid insights into her relationship with her father, who gave up his job and life in Russia to dedicate himself to his daughter; the truth behind her famous rivalry with Serena Williams; the injuries and suspension controversy that threatened to end it all; and her recent battle to get back on court.

Always Another Country by Sisonke Msimang (Jonathan Ball Publishers)


The daughter of activist parents who lived in exile during the apartheid years, Msimang writes a tender and thought-provoking memoir of her coming of age when she lived as a child in Zambia, Kenya and Canada; her college years in America and her return to her own country. 

Beautifully told and speckled with a pithy humour, it's a compelling read of a woman's growth and development often against the odds of being an alien in a strange country to the euphoria of the birth our new democracy and coming to terms with her disappointment in the current regime.