IOL's books editor shares her top picks for the week.

Rhino Revolution: Searching for New Solutions by Clive and Anton Walker (Jacana Media)

In South Africa, the horrific rhino war has now entered its 10th year. Last year saw 662 rhino killed in the Kruger Park alone and more than a total of 1 000 in the whole of the country.

Clive and Anton Walker, authors of the bestselling Rhino Keepers (2012), offer an updated look at the frightening and ongoing rhino crisis.


Backed by explicit photos, some disturbing, some showing the beauty of what we stand to lose (and have lost), the book begs the question: how is South Africa going to sustain the cost of securing rhino, while the belief continues to persist that the enemy lies in Southeast Asia?

The Walkers are of the opinion that the root of the problem is actually in South Africa’s own backyard. The pair examine rampant corruption, the criminal justice system and the dire need for more community engagement and funding for protection.

In their conclusion, they say we have to shift from the negative to focusing on the positive.

Rather than being shown pictures of dead and dying rhino, there is a lot to be optimistic about. Rhino Revolution testifies to the many people doing excellent work in that regard.

Lavishly illustrated with magnificent photographs and afterwords by John Hanks and Yolan Friedman, it’s a must-read.

12 Rules for LifeL: An Antidote to Chaos by Jordan B Peterson (Penguin Books)

Jordan B Peterson’s work as a clinical psychologist has reshaped the modern understanding of personality. One of the world’s most popular public thinkers, his lectures range from topics on the Bible to romantic relationships.


In this book, he combines ancient wisdom with decades of experience to provide 12 profound and challenging principles for how you can live a meaningful life.

There are many books on self-improvement and as a cynic, this does actually stand above the rest - it’s gripping and somehow rewarding.

Soweto, Under the Apricot Tree by Niq Mhlongo (Kwela)

If those apricot trees of Soweto could talk, what stories would they tell? In this charming collection of short stories about the bustling township, skilled writer Mhlongo writes, “This apricot tree has multiple souls that fill me with wonder every morning and enchant me by afternoon. This tree has bitter-sweet memories, just like the fruit it bears.”


Mhlongo, who was born in 1973 in Soweto, provides an imaginative answer to what the tree could say if it talked. Imbued with a vivid sense of place, it captures the utter vibrancy of the township and surrounds. Told with a delightful satirical flair, life and death are intertwined in these tales where funerals and the ancestors feature strongly; where cemeteries are places to show off your new car and catch up on the latest gossip.

Mhlongo’s latest collection will take you on a enthralling journey in tales that are entertaining and thought-provoking. -