Book Reviews: Entertaining, eye-opening, provocative … a choice of weekend reads

Need a good book to sink your teeth into, or something light which you can open up when you’ve a spare half an hour … here’s our choice of weekend reads.  

In A Coat of Many Colours, award-winning author Fred Khumalo presents a patchwork of various vibrant stories befitting the collection’s title.  A boy plays detective, investigating the case of a goat and a coat; a woman takes revenge; an inhlabi bites off more than he can chew; teenage enmity rears its head in a prestigious school for girls; a man is cursed with an ever-growing sexual appetite; and more thoughtful stories with an entertaining zing!  

Written with Matt Eversmann, the decorated war hero immortalised in the film  Black Hawk Down,  James Patterson brings us firsthand wartime experiences of life on the battlefront in WALK IN MY COMBAT BOOTS. Soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines speak in their own words about real life in today’s armed forces. These are the brutally honest stories usually only shared amongst comrades in arms. Here, in the voices of the men and women who’ve fought overseas from Vietnam to Iraq and Afghanistan, is a rare eye-opening look into what wearing the uniform, fighting in combat, losing friends and coming home is really like. It’s a powerful collection of never-before-told war stories crafted from hundreds of original interviews by James Patterson and First Sergeant US Army (Ret.) Matt Eversmann, part of the Ranger unit involved in the infamous Battle of Mogadishu portrayed in the movie Black Hawk Down.  

Provocative, insightful and brilliantly written by Professor Wahbie Long, NATION ON THE COUCH explores life in our beloved country through the lens of psychoanalysis. By focusing on the idea of a ‘political unconscious’, it argues that there is much to be learnt from excavating the inner life of South Africans, which can illuminate the external problems that beset us from all sides. It will challenge readers to rethink the way we see ourselves, why we do what we do and why we are who we are.    

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