The readers have spoken


We chat to five amazing readers, who give us a little glimpse into their reading lives...

Your best book of 2017? Joni Janice Mielke: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman.

Sergio Pereira: The Last Day of Jack Sparks by Jason Arnopp. Technically, it's a 2016 book but I read it last year, so whatever. It's a unique book - quite unlike anything I've ever read - and it's funny. Oh, so funny. Like pee-yourself-every-few-pages funny.

Angelique Pacheco: The Empty Jar by M. Leighton.

Nandipha Bheqezi: Definitely “Collective Amnesia” by Koleka Putuma.

Stuart Murless: The Upstarts - it's the story of how Uber and Airbnb started.

What book are you most looking forward to this year? Joni Janice Mielke: The next book/s to follow JT Lawrence's Grey Magic.

Sergio Pereira: There are tons, but off the top of my head, here are two: Tales from the Lake Volume 5 and The Last Jedi novelisation by Jason Fry. With regards to the former, I contributed a short to the third volume and have been a big fan of the series. Every single edition introduces me to new voices in horror and the stories are always of the highest quality. In terms of the latter, it promises to reveal more details about The Last Jedi, which weren't in the film. I loved the film, so come at me, Internet.

Angelique Pacheco: Dark Whispers by Joanne Macgregor.

Nandipha Bheqezi: I read on social media that Yrsa Daley-Ward is releasing a book in June. Super excited about that.

Stuart Murless: I just bought a copy of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. What I'm looking forward to is reading a physical book for the first time in a while. I generally read on Kindle but recently found The Book Lounge in Roeland Street. It was nostalgic to browse the shelves and pick something out at random rather than based on the Amazon recommendation algorithm.

Roughly how many books do you read a month? Joni Janice Mielke: 10 - 12

Sergio Pereira: 2 novels and way too many graphic novels and comics.

Angelique Pacheco: Depending on how busy I am, it can range between 3 and 10 per month.

Nandipha Bheqezi: If I’m lucky, 4.

Stuart Murless: I'm battling to find as much time to read for pleasure since starting Feastfox but I still usually manage a book a month.

What book brings back the best childhood memories for you? Joni Janice Mielke: The Folk of the Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton

Sergio Pereira: Matilda by Roald Dahl. It captures the magic of childhood and falling in love with reading for the first time. Angelique Pacheco: Anything written by Enid Blyton.

Nandipha Bheqezi: The Enchanted Island by Ian Serraillier; it was a prescribed book in my grade 8 English class. It is a collection of simplified versions of Shakespeare’s stories. That’s probably when I fell in love with reading.

Stuart Murless: The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole. It was hilarious and very relatable.

If you could have dinner with a fictional character, who would it be? Joni Janice Mielke: Mr Wednesday from Neil Gaiman's American Gods.

Sergio Pereira: Sandman Slim, so he could tell me how to conjure magic to get an increase at work.

Angelique Pacheco: Mary Broad from Remember Me by Lesley Pearse.

Nandipha Bheqezi: All the characters from the book The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy.

Stuart Murless: Any of the characters in Lord of the Rings. I'm a bit of a Lord of the Rings nerd.

If you could have dinner with an author, who would it be? Joni Janice Mielke: Neil Gaiman.

Sergio Pereira: Neil Gaiman. I'd ask him why he didn't become an accountant instead.

Angelique Pacheco: Dinner with Mary Higgins Clark at Neary's in New York.(A restaurant/pub she always mentions in her books).

Nandipha Bheqezi: Warsan Shire.

Stuart Murless: Bill Bryson, I love his sense of humour and he has travelled extensively so should have some great stories which he hasn't shared in his books.

Do you have a specific place you like to read? Joni Janice Mielke: Lying stretched out on my bed or in a semi-secluded area of the school I work at when I'm on my 15 minute tea break.

Sergio Pereira: Not really. As long as I can hang upside down while doing it, I'm okay.

Angelique Pacheco: I've turned a corner of my office into a book nook.

Nandipha Bheqezi: On the couch, no doubt.

Stuart Murless: I love reading on the couch on my balcony in Green Point. Preferably with a cold beer close at hand.

Ever read in coffee shops? If so, where would we most likely find you, and what would you be having? Joni Janice Mielke: No, coffee shops are generally too noisy and distract me from whatever it is I'm trying to read BUT I have been known to enjoy a cocktail, a shot of tequila, platter of prawns and a good audio book.

Sergio Pereira: Nope. Normally when I'm at coffee shops, parents have their screeching kids around and I struggle to even sip my coffee without bursting an eardrum.

Angelique Pacheco: Not in years, but I used to sit in Mugg and Bean during lunch - Flapjack and Bacon breakfast with bottomless coffee, need I say more?

Nandipha Bheqezi: I’m not one to frequent coffee shops to read but the few times I’ve been there… a Chai Latte is my choice of beverage.

Stuart Murless: A recent discovery which is a perfect spot for reading good books is The Strangers Club in Green Point. Lots of quiet spots to hide away and great coffee.

What are you reading right now? Joni Janice Mielke: I'm listening to The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon and re-reading The Fifth Elephant by Terry Pratchett. Am about to get started on The View From The Cheap Seats, a selection of non-fiction pieces by (surprise, surprise!) Neil Gaiman.

Sergio Pereira: Supergods by Grant Morrison. It's a non-fiction title that explores the history of superheroes in society and why the characters are summaries of their respective period. It's incredibly interesting, philosophical, and explores the wants and needs of the human psyche.

Angelique Pacheco: Memoirs of a Guardian Angel by Graham Downs. (Coming out in April 2018)

Nandipha Bheqezi: The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy.

Stuart Murless: I'm reading Walking the Kiso Road by William Scott Wilson which follows his trek along an ancient route in the Japanse Alps. I usually read more than one book at a time. I'm also reading The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck and Grinding It Out, the McDonalds founders autobiography.