Michelle Hattingh is the online editor at Marie Claire SA where she’s worked for two years, and she’s a published author. “I live in Cape Town with my boyfriend and our two cats, Domino and Gambit. I published my first book ‘I’m the girl who was raped’ in April this year.” says Michelle.

Michelle and I have had a budding internet friendship for a while, so when I finally got to meet her earlier this year I was super excited. Turns out we like each other as much in person as we do online. Michelle’s book ‘I’m the girl who was raped’ is powerful and personal. I finished it in two days because I could not put it down- I held it out in front of me while I made food and did chores, like an obsessed reader in a cheesy montage from a 00’s film where the protagonist’s romance novel sells well.  And I felt like I’d known Michelle for years after reading her book. I encourage every single person out there to read it; it’s honest and deals with questions that are difficult but so necessary if society is ever going to begin to end the complex rape crisis that we’re faced with.

Here are Michelle’s top five reading recommendations at the moment!

The Stylist's Notebook Fashion Bookclub Michelle's Reads

House of Leaves- Mark Z. Danielewski

You don’t read this cult classic, you experience it. The author makes use of ergodic literature with an unusual layout and style that forces you to engage with it physically while it tricks, pokes and prods your mind. Danielewski is a master with words – the way they are formatted on the page evokes what is happening in the story in shocking original ways.

Do NOT buy the e-book version, you will be robbing yourself of the tactile experience.


Available at

The Stylist's Notebook Fashion Bookclub Michelle's Reads

Fugitive Pieces- Anne Michaels

You might think that you don’t need to read another novel about World War II. You’re wrong. This book is pure poetry – read it our loudly, slowly, and savour it. The beauty of the prose heartbreakingly highlights the horrific events. When I read some of my favourite lines it can still make me cry.

 Available at

The Stylist's Notebook Fashion Bookclub Michelle's Reads

The girl with all the gifts- Mike Carey

I’m a sci-fi nerd at heart but it’s often difficult to find a book with diverse characters. This one nails it. It’s a zombie apocalypse as you’ve never read it before – smart, fun, piercing.
Available at
The Stylist's Notebook Fashion Bookclub Michelle's Reads

We are all completely beside ourselves- Karen Joy Fowler

I just finished this book and was blown away by it. The book’s protagonist, Rosemary, was raised as a ‘twin’ with her chimpanzee sister Fern. Now, Fern is gone and her brother Lowell is wanted by the FBI.
It’s hard to read at times, and raises questions about animal rights that we desperately need to talk about. It’s a dramady and part of the joy of reading it is finding yourself laughing out loud on one page only to be traumatised on the next.

Available at

The Stylist's Notebook Fashion Bookclub Michelle's Reads

Currently reading-

Rape a South African nightmare by Pumla Dineo Gqola

The winner of 2016 Sunday Times Alan Paton award, this book  addresses the question that haunts us as a nation: Why are there so many rapes in SA? Although it’s an academic work, it’s easy to read and smartly cuts through all the rape myths we encounter every day.

Available at The Book Lounge in CT/ Love Books in JHB

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