May 23, 2022

The Top 20 South African Books, 1994-2014: A New List From the Library and Information Association of South Africa

The Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA) released The Top 20 South African Books, 1994-2014 list earlier this week.

Thanks to LIASA for sharing and our best wishes for a wonderful South African Library Week (it begins tomorrow).

From the Introduction to the List:

The Library and Information Association of South African (LIASA) has adopted the theme “Celebrating libraries in 20 years of democracy” for its activities in 2014, which includes The Librarians Choice: Top 20 South African books, 1994 – 2014.

In celebrating this theme, librarians across South Africa were invited to identify the Top 20 books published during these 20 years that

  • were written by a South African author in one of our official languages
  • were published for the first time between 1994 and 2014
  • reflect South African life by South Africans
  • focus on issues of democracy or contribute to the consolidation of our democracy
  • examine who we are and where we are heading as a nation.

The nominations were open to all genres of literature from fiction to non-fiction, adult and children’s books.

The invitation to identity the Librarian’s Choice went out late last year and by mid-January 253 books were nominated by librarians across South Africa.

The first three titles on the list (in chronological order) are:

  • Long walk to freedom by Nelson Mandela, published by Macdonald Purnell, 1994
  • Country of my Skull  by Antje Krog,  published by Random House, 1998
  • I have life: Alison’s story by Marianne Thamm, published by Penguin, 1998

Review All 20 Titles Here

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.