Renate Engelbrecht
Content producer
4 minute read
6 Aug 2021
12:43 pm

Five female authors for your bucket list

Renate Engelbrecht

If you enjoy reading, these female authors and their books are certainly worth adding to your book bucket list.

Books to read. Picture: iStock

If you have been looking for the best books to read in the last half of 2021, here are the books from five female authors that will have you glued to the couch, the bed and wherever else you enjoy reading most.

Read Liane Moriarty’s latest book

The author behind Nine Perfect Strangers certainly has a way with words. Nine Perfect Strangers will be launching as a series starring Melissa McCarthy and Nicole Kidman on Amazon Prime on 20 August.

In her latest book, though, there is nothing scarier than the people next door. Apples Never Fall is a thrilling domestic novel with a lot of tenderness and humanity and boasts the perfect escape from reality.

Many say that 2021 might be the year of Liane Moriarty, a brilliant female author.

‘The Tearoom’, a heartwarming book by Gretchen Haley

Gretchen Haley’s The Tearoom introduces you to Tubby Reddy, the proud proprietor of The Tearoom in KwaZulu-Natal. He is married to hypochondriac and roving-eyed Lynette but he falls in love with Yogi and her exceptional rotis and samosas. He decides to run away to London with her, but Lynette throws a spanner in the wheels that might just turn his scheme to ashes.

Haley says The Tearoom – a book which she has written years ago – is a tonic. The tragic comedy is a light read in which you can’t help but root for Tubby. This female author sure has a way of warming the heart with words.

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Erika Bornman’s story of hope

Another one of the best books to read this year, is Erika Bornman’s powerful memoire, Mission of Malice.

The book tells the story of her and her family’s involvement in a Christian mission, KwaSizabantu which is touted as a nirvana founded on egalitarian values, but she soon realised that something sinister was going.

At KwaSizabantu, Christianity is used to justify harsh punishments and congregants are forced to repent. She was completely cut off from the world and says that the community are told that they will go to hell if they don’t obey and that they were ruled by fear.

At the age of 17, the female author’s grooming at the hands of a senior mission councillor began and for five years she faced emotional, psychological, and sexual warfare until she found the courage to break free.

As she found her feet in the world outside of the mission, she realised that what she had been experiencing is pure abuse and from there she started creating awareness about KwaSizabantu. Her mother and sister still live there and Bornman has been disowned, but she says she will keep going.

Mission of Malice is a story of hope and redemption, but also one that wants accountability and justice.

Female author, Julia Albu’s solo travel journey

The brave and bold travel writer, Julia Albu, 84, who died at home on Monday morning is one female author who undoubtedly inspired many with her epic Cape-to-Cairo road trip in her 20-year-old Toyota Conquest with almost 400,000km on the clock in 2017 and 2018.

On 2 August her children posted on social media, confirming that she “went without pain, at home, at her time and that she wasn’t taken by Covid”.

Julia Albu decided to do the road trip alone after none of her friends took her up on the offer to join her on the journey. She soon became a social media sensation with fans following her journey digitally from June 2017 to February 2018.

Her book, My African Conquest, was launched in October 2019 and shares a grandmother’s journey from the Cape to Cairo as she experienced it, proving that there is still much to see and learn even when you’re 80 years of age.

Getting your hands on this book will be an ode to one of the country’s best female authors when it comes to travel writing.

Sydda Essop’s book, a collection of recipes and stories

If you are a recipe book collector, the Beaufort-West-based gender activist, Sydda Essop’s Karoo Kitchen is the prefect addition for your kitchen collection. The female author’s journey as a collector of recipes and stories about the unique and varied culinary traditions of the Karoo resulted in this beautiful, coffee table type of cookbook.

The book is filled with heritage recipes and true stories from the heart of South Africa, as well as beautiful imagery that will make you feel as if you are in the middle of the Karoo.

Sydda Essop
Sydda Essop, female author of the recipe book, Karoo Kitchen. Picture: Supplied