Book of the Month
At Home: A Short History of Private Life
by Bill Bryson
“Enchanting…a book about reinventing the ordinary, and finding the extraordinary in the humdrum business of living…Bryson tackled science in his brilliant A Short History of Nearly Everything. This new book could as easily be categorised as ‘a short history of nearly everything else’…extraordinarily entertaining.” The Times
Celebrating The Orange Prize with the Book Lounge and Book Promotions
We have 3 copies of this year’s winner – The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver – to give to 3 lucky winners. Just email us on firstname.lastname@example.org to be entered in the draw on August 12th.
“Every few years, you read a book that makes everything else in life seem unimportant … Tender, tragic, always compelling.” Independent on Sunday
“Breathtaking…dazzling…Kingsolver gives voice to truths whose teller could express them only in silence.” New York Times Book Review
“I was both smiling and crying when I reached The Lacuna’s conclusion … A novel worth waiting a decade for.” Literary Review
A Feast of Stories
Tooth and Nailed
by Sarah Lotz
by Jim Lynch
In the Company of Angels
by Thomas E Kennedy
edited by Shveta Sarda
“Trickster City is a groundbreaking collection of writings about the South Asian city, its authors so free in their intelligence and imagination that they put conventional, pious analysis to shame and demonstrate, ultimately, that even the most pressing material circumstances can never constrain the kind of intelligence that lives in them.” Rana Dasgupta
by Chuck Palahniuk
Our Tragic Universe
by Scarlett Thomas
Learning to Lose
Secrets of Eden
by Chris Bohjalian
Short Stories of the Month
by Henrietta Rose-Innes
by Louise Stern
“Wry, deceptively gauche, and gets better with each piece.” Guardian
Food for Thought
The Marginal Safari
by Justin Fox
A Truth Universally Acknowledged: 33 Reasons Why We Can’t Stop Reading Jane Austen
by Susannah Carson
This book brings together 33 writers, past and present, on just what it is about Jane Austen that continues to delight, amuse, console and provoke us. Here Jay McInerny confesses to serial crushes on most of Austen’s heroines, and celebrates her belief in true love. Amy Hecherling reveals how she transformed Emma into the hit romantic comedy Clueless, and Martin Amis muses on Pride and Prejudice as a divine comedy of love – and imagines a twenty-page sex scene between Lizzy and Darcy. Susanna Clarke shows how happiness depends on a good marriage in Austen’s world, while Fay Weldon wonders whether the ˜bad’ girls in Mansfield Park have more fun. Whether discussing Austen’s gift for comedy, why men and women respond to her differently, or why she would be an ideal dinner guest (although she wouldn’t want to come), A Truth Universally Acknowledged shows that there is much more to Jane than ladies in empire-line dresses admiring the roses – and reminds us why we still love the author who wrote about love better than anyone else in the world.
E.M. Forster: A New Life
by Wendy Moffat
“Moffat isn’t gossipy or reductive – the Forster who emerges from her work is a more human and satisfying figure then we’ve known.” Time Magazine
The South Bank Show: The Final Cut
by Melvyn Bragg
“I think we owe more to Melvyn Bragg than to any, other single person when it comes to promoting arts and culture, and increasing our pleasure in them, it’s always been pleasurable.” P D James
“The beauty of The South Bank Show in its heyday was its eclectic mix of subjects: from the high priests and priestesses of modern art, the Francis Bacons and Germaine Greers, to popular entertainers such as Billy Connolly, Dolly Parton and Dusty Springfield.” Telegraph
“These 25 vignettes offer intriguing comments on the film-making process and present valuable new insights into their subjects. Most have the shape and phrasing of short stories and his meetings with the gravest maestros read like mini-epics. Bragg’s book is a thesaurus of delights…” Spectator
The Last Dance: 1936 The Year of Change
by Denys Blakeway
1936 was to be an extraordinary year: at home social and constitutional crisis threatened, while in Europe, the dictators were on the march. It was the year of the abdication and civil war in Spain. The tectonic plates of history were shifting – Britain would never be the same again.
The Last Dance is told using the accounts of those who lived through this turbulent period. Through extracts from diaries of shopkeepers, socialites, bishops, and volunteers in Spain, and the memoirs of the unemployed, housewives and hostesses, as well as the contemporary accounts of politicians, journalists and poets, Blakeway offers a compelling and vivid account of a turning point in our nation’s story.
Norman Foster: A Life
by Deyan Sudjic
“It is an extraordinary story of a truly self-made man who seems a kickback to the great Victorians, the engineers and industrialists who made the Manchester he came from and conquered the world with their machines.” Financial Times
Full Circle: How the Classical World Came Back to Us
by Ferdinand Mount
“A readable, stylish, expansive, occasionally sharp and stimulating series of reflections ranging widely over the modern world.” Literary Review
“An author of obvious erudition with a great flair for anecdote.” Guardian
Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook
by Anthony Bourdain
Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs…and more
by Chuck Klosterman
Priceless: The Myth of Fair Value (and How to Take Advantage of It)
by William Poundstone
Why do text messages cost money while e-mails are free? How does Apple persuade people to pay for music instead of downloading it for nothing? In Priceless, bestselling author William Poundstone reveals how we perceive value and why businesses set the prices we pay. Rooted in the emerging field of behavioural decision theory, Poundstone reveals the secrets that multinationals – including Microsoft, Coca-Cola, Nestle, Nokia and Mercedes – are willing to pay millions for from so-called price consultants. Revealing how conventional economics gets it all wrong, this is a brilliant exposÃ© of how irrational we all are and how global businesses are taking advantage.
Poundstone dives into the latest psychological findings to investigate how and why prices are allocated. Beginning with the controversial lawsuit in which a jury awarded $2.9 million in damages to a woman who had spilled a scalding cup of McDonald’s coffee on herself, the author presents a very readable history of how we are subtly manipulated into paying more (or less) for goods and services – and the research that attempts to explain our baffling and irrational susceptibility to pricing. The idea of anchoring and adjustment – setting an arbitrary number to subconsciously drive higher or lower estimates – is just one of many research areas explained at length. The scope of the analysis – its attention to economic abstractions as well as real-world consequences – braids together theory and practice to leave an indelible impression on the reader. Grocery shopping will never seem so simple again when one realizes how much work goes into assigning a price to a box of cereal.
by Agatha Christie
Peter Pan’s First XI: The Extraordinary Story of J.M. Barrie’s Cricket Team
by Kevin Telfer
“We have an increasing need for Edwardian idylls in the 21st century, and Barrie’s idyll, which involved the creation of a cricket team who tried very hard indeed never to grow up, is lovingly recorded in Peter Pan’s First XI, by Kevin Telfer. The tragedy is that we all have to grow up, but at least we have cricket to keep the process at bay.” The Times
Letters to My Torturer
by Houshang Asadi
25 Years of the Mail & Guardian
edited by Shaun de Waal
Past editors of the M&G – Anton Harber, Irwin Manoim, Philip van Niekerk, Howard Barrell, Mondi Makhanya and Ferial Haffajee – tell the story of this iconic paper by reflecting on the pressures and the triumphs of the past, including bannings, court battles and financial problems. Current editor Nic Dawes discusses the state of South African media and how being critical of the government today is both different and the same as in the in the darkest days of the past. The story of the paper’s progress from a tiny ˜alternative’ paper to the successful M&G of today is set against the backdrop of a changing South Africa, from the oppressive 1980s of States of Emergency and ˜unrest’, into the time of democratising and moving up to the complex South Africa of today.
The lavishly illustrated book has sidebars written by some of the best known journalists and commentators at work today, comments from long-time readers, and a fascinating section called Where are they now?, updating readers on the current status of people featured in the M&G. A front-page picture of Firoz Cachalia being dragged off by the police in the late 1980s is for instance juxtaposed with a picture of him as Gauteng MEC for security and leader of the police, showing just how much South Africa has changed.
Red Card: The Very Best of Hayibo.com
This is it. Red Card is the best of the best from Hayibo.com. In print. On the page. In your own hands. Take a breath. Take a break. Have a laugh. Fresh, irreverent, topical news that’ll tickle your twisted South African funny bone.
“Instant millionaire, Julius Malema, says his last few tax returns are not available for scrutiny because the dog ate them. Meanwhile he has accused a reporter of faking his signature, despite testimony from skeptical forensic experts who say that it is almost impossible to forge a thumbprint.”
Hayibo.com is South Africa’s second best source of made up news after the SABC!
Something Different and Lovely…
Veld Sketchbook: Wildlife Portraits and Essays
by Jeff Huntly
The Wavewatcher’s Companion
by Gavin Pretor-Pinney
by Mem Fox
An Education of Sorts
Do Try This At Home
by Punk Science
How To Speak Zombie
Toeris in Hillbrow
by Andries Bezuidenhout
Congratulations to Imraan Coovadia (and his publishers Umuzi at Random House Struik) for scooping the Sunday Times Literary Award 2010 for his brilliant novel High Low In-Between.
Congratulations too to Judge Albie Sachs (and his publisher Oxford University Press) for winning the 2010 Alan Paton Award for Non-Fiction for The Strange Alchemy of Life and Law.