Follow @book_lounge
Subscribe here to receive invitations to our events and our monthly Newsletter
* = required field

Storytime: Madeline

Saturday, November 27th 2010 at 11:00 AM

Children’s literature is full of little girls who had great adventures. Today we will be reading the stories of the adventurous Madeline (a bit of nostalgia for parents) and colouring in our own Madelines to take home.


Nick Norman: The Extraordinary World of Diamonds

Friday, November 26th 2010 at 5:30 PM

The diamond is the brilliant emblem of endurance, the essence of romance, the stuff of legend. But behind the mystery lies an extraordinary and fascinating story, which is captured in this book.

The stories of exploration and discovery are here recounted with close attention to the larger-than-life characters who prospected often against the odds, finally struck it lucky and then built mines, companies or even empires out of their finds. Nor does the book ignore the practical aspects of its subject: it describes in graphic detail how geologists search for diamonds and miners extract them; explains the geometrically precise art of cutting and polishing the finished gems; explores the development of a single global supply chain which for almost a hundred years was controlled exclusively by De Beers and the Oppenheimer dynasty; and looks at the underworld of illicit diamond buying and how ‘conflict diamonds’ have fuelled some of Africa’ s bloodiest rebellions.

Nick will be in conversation with author and journalist Jenny Hobbs.

 Published by Jacana


Joint launch of In the Dark With My Dress on Fire by Blanche La Guma and Alex La Guma by Roger Field @ Lobby Books

Thursday, November 25th 2010 at 5:30 PM

During the struggle to end apartheid, many women lived complicated and demanding lives as activists, wives and mothers. In the Dark with My Dress on Fire is the story of Blanche La Guma, who lived out her passionate commitment to justice providing care as nurse-midwife in poor black communities, supporting her writer-activist husband Alex La Guma, raising two sons in trying circumstances, and operating as an underground activist within a clandestine Communist cell.

Told vividly and passionately, this is the story of a courageous woman who paid dearly for her commitments, yet lived to see the day when she would return to her country with dignity and freedom

Roger Field’s biography of Alex La Guma draws on a very wide range of his writing and artwork, some previously unpublished, Alex la Guma: A Literary Political Biography combines biography with literary and political analyses to offer fresh insights into his major texts. Roger is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of English at the University of the Western Cape. 

Guest Speaker will be Former Constitutional Court Judge Albie Sachs

Please note this event will take place at Lobby Books, Spin Street, Cape Town. Please RSVP to


Zapiro: Combined Launch of Do You Know Who I Am and ZA News 2 @ The ZA News Studio, 80 Jordaan Street

Thursday, November 25th 2010 at 5:30 PM

Join Zaprock Productions and Both Worlds to celebrate another year of comic excess with the genius that is Zapiro, with the launch of his 15th annual collection Do You Know Who I Am and the second ZA News DVD

At the ZA News Studio, 80 Jordaan Street, Cape Town

Published by Jacana


Finuala Dowling: Difficult to Explain @ The Book Lounge

Thursday, November 25th 2010 at 5:30 PM

Difficult to Explain is more than just an anthology of highly accessible, striking, funny, quirky, tender and moving poems. It is also a much-needed companion for poets and teachers, offering a series of inspirational exercises as well as memorable reflections on the art of teaching creative writing. An essential book for readers, writers and teachers of poetry.The collection includes a new, unpublished poem by Finuala as well as contributions by established writers who have attended her classes – Beverly Rycroft, Colleen Higgs, Kerry Hammerton, Karin Schimke and Consuelo Roland.

Join Finuala and some of the contributors for a delicious poetry reading, and a look at the inspiration behind some of the poems.

Published by Modjaji


James Clelland: Deeper than Colour

Wednesday, November 24th 2010 at 5:30 PM

Join us to celebrate the Winner of the 2010 EU Literary Award.

Angus has been traumatised by his time on the Border and now begins to film himself doing ordinary things, to try to understand his life. It is impossible, he says, for an abnormal person to have a normal life in an abnormal city like Johannesburg. The effect of the Border War on young white males has received little attention from novelists. Many troubled people are roaming our deeply divided country.

Comments from the EU Literary Award Jury:

Deeper than Colour tells a tale that is seldom told in the new South Africa: the effects of supporting apartheid on the white population. A bitter and disturbing but compulsively readable book, Deeper than Colour raises unsettling questions about our socially fractured society.”

Published by Jacana.


Celebrating the 2009 Sanlam Prize for Youth Literature

Tuesday, November 23rd 2010 at 6:00 PM

Celebrating the winners of the 2009 Sanlam Prize for Youth Literature. Alex Smith, author of Agency Blue and Adeline Radloff, author of Sidekick will be in discussion with Sam Wilson, editor of, about writing for young people.


Kerry Hammerton: These are the Lies I Told You

Monday, November 22nd 2010 at 5:30 PM

Kerry Hammerton is a poet, writer and alternative health practitioner. She is a graduate of The University of the Witwatersrand and The College of Integrated Chinese Medicine. Her poetry has been published in South African literary journals such as Carapace, New Contrast and New Coin, online at Litnet and Incwadi. She has also been a contributor to The Empty Tin Readings (May 2010) and The Poetry Project. These are the lies I told you is her first poetry collection.

Kerry Hammerton is an anatomist of romantic love, from the rumpled hotel sheets of lust to the shared tattoos of intimacy. With its roller-coaster ride of erotica, sensuality, heartbreak and laugh out loud hilarity, These are the lies I told you is a debut volume destined to break sales records in this country. The Marian Keyes of poetry has arrived.”                                Finula Dowling

Kerry will be in conversation with Finuala Dowling, author of What Poets Need.

Published by Modjaji.


Fresh in at the Book Lounge…

Sunday, November 21st 2010 at 11:11 AM

In the run-up to our exciting 3rd Birthday (of which more anon) there is no November newsletter – but here are a few of the lovely things that have come in of late…

New novels


Nemesis by Philip Roth

Long-awaited new title from Pulitzer winner Roth, a claustrophobic and searing account of the  polio epidemic in 1940s Newark.

Stray Sod Country by Patrick McCabe

A hilarious and dazzling tale of small-town Ireland in 1958 with, as ever, a most colourful cast of characters!

Luka and the Fire of Life by Salman Rushdie

In the same vein as Haroun and the Sea of Stories, Rushdie weaves a magical story of Luka, who must embark on a dangerous and magical journey to save the life of his storyteller father.

The Empty Family by Colm Tóibín

A collection of tender and captivating stories from the author of the brilliant Brooklyn.

The Water Theatre by Lindsay Clarke

A new novel from the author of the magical The Chymical Wedding. A war reporter returns home, still damaged from his experiences, and embarks on a mission to find two friend from his distant past. 

The Death Instinct by Jed Rubenfeld

From the author of the hugely popular The Interpretation of Murder comes another gripping thriller set in 1920s New York.

It’s that time again…

We now have, hot off the press (and the plane) the 2010 editions of –

The Best American Nonrequired Reading edited by Dave Eggers

The Best American Essays edited by Christopher Hitchens

The Best American Travel Writing edited by Bill Buford

The Best American Magazine Writing compiled by The American Society of Magazine Editors

The Best American Short Stories edited by Richard Russo

The Best American Comics edited by Neil Gaiman

and more….!

Come in and have a look

Storytime: Dinosaurs

Saturday, November 20th 2010 at 11:00 AM

“Raah!” said the Dinosaur. We are reading new dinosaur stories, which remain the bestest ever. We will be making our own dinosaur mobiles, and people thought only pterodactyls could fly!