Stuck for something to buy that special person in your life? Or perhaps obliged to find something for Auntie Doris?? Got a Secret Santa at work??? The Book Lounge is here to help. With a swish of our velvet cape let us solve your gift problems with our specially chosen, Santa-approved smorgasbord of goodies, in no particular order…
F In Exams: The Funniest Test Paper Blunders
Q: How can you prevent milk turning sour?
A: Keep it in the cow.
Q: What is the highest frequency noise that a human can register?
A: Mariah Carey
These are all very funny and – scarily – all true!
Go the F*ck to Sleep by Adam Mansbach and Ricardo Cortes
One of the runaway successes of the year, and one of the funniest books I’ve ever read. A gleeful nod to the brilliant manipulations of a small child who doesn’t want to sleep, and the way it makes real parents feel. This is a must for anyone who has ever had a toddler – they will cry with laughter, recognition and sleep deprivation! (Also now available in Afrikaans)
The Art Museum from Phaidon
This is a simply gorgeous collection of over 2,700 works of art – the most comprehensive visual history of art ever published. Organised in to rooms, galleries and special exhibitions, you can wander through the biggest and most eclectic art gallery in the entire world – without leaving the comfort of your chair.
The Film Book by DK
A gorgeous, scholarly and comprehensive history of film – from the earliest silent films to the advent of 3-D, and covering every school of film-making – for the film buff in your life. Test your knowledge with the essential trivia section – how much do you know about Oscar winners, biggest flops, banned films and more? AND it comes in a snazzy tin!
The Last Sushi by Zapiro
Take a trip back through the year in the delightful company of South Africa’s finest political cartoonist. Biting and poignant as ever, Zapiro never loses his edge.
Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography by Walter Isaacson
The most talked-about biography of the year. Walter Isaacson was allowed exclusive access to Steve Jobs for over two years, and conducted extensive interviews with his friends and colleagues, as well as his competitors and adversaries. Jobs not only authorised the book, he agreed not to censor it. The result is an in-depth, ‘warts and all’ biography of the man who changed the way we view computers – from necessary tools to covetable ‘shiny things’. Compelling.
Van Gogh by Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith
This new biography, from a prize-winning team of authors, is meticulously reasearched and comprehensive. It is beautifully written and offers a controversial new theory challenging the widely-held belief that he took his own life.Drawing for the first time on all of his (and his family’s) extensive letters, which offer exquisite glimpses into his thoughts and feelings, this is the definitive portrait of one of the world’s cultural giants.
Great Railway Maps of the World by Mark Ovenden
A unique, beautifully illustrated and comprehensive history of the world’s greatest railway maps, and the railways behind them. The fabulous follow-up to the cult favorite (and Stocking Choice for 2010), Metro Maps of the World, Mark Ovenden’s new book is a wonderful compendium of historical and contemporary railway maps and posters from every corner of the world. Featuring hundreds of images, covering two centuries of advertising,surveyors’ maps, route guides, travel posters, photos, and Google Earth maps, this book brims with history, anecdotes, facts, and data. Utterly lovely.
Mapping South Africa by Andrew Duminy
And speaking of which – Andrew Duminy, Professor Emeritus at the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal, brings us a beautiful history of attempts to map this complex and often turbulent country. Beginning with the Portuguese voyages of exploration in the late 15th century, the book explores the attempts of the Dutch and then of the British to chart and lay claim to the vast and expanding landscape of the Cape Colony. There are chapters that illustrate the effects of frontier wars, colonialism and land exploitation, and close attention is given to the relation between science, exploration and cartography, as well as the colourful figures who developed them.
The Natural History Book by DK
A monumental and extraordinarily beautiful guide to the Earth’s natural wonders – 5 years in the making, covering over 5,000 species, The Natural History Book is the only book to offer a complete survey of the Earth’s natural history.Each geological and biological grouping is introduced and explained in an engaging and highly informative way and, as ever with Dorling Kindersley book, it is illustrated throughout with eye-wateringly beautiful photographs. A wonderful gift.
The Wars of Empire in Cartoons
At the beginning of the Victorian era it seemed that the sun would never set on the vast British Empire which spanned the globe. Well, we all know how that worked out. Any period of such extraordinary violence and insanity will always bring out the satirists and cartoonists – the Zapiros of the day – and this splendid volume brings together some of the best that were produced.
Can you Eat, Shoot & Leave? The Workbook by Lynne Truss
The punctuation workout for sticklers and rookies alike – this is one that is guaranteed to get the family into heated discussions over the Christmas turkey.The official workbook for the international bestseller Eats, Shoots and Leaves.
For established punctuation sticklers: Fine-tune existing skills, taking guilty pleasure from testing your (already somewhat unsettling) seventh sense.
For confused novices: Never again inflict flawed and perplexing punctuation on your innocent readers.
Gloomster by Axel Sheffler
Music depresses me. Dancing distresses me. Everything turns out wrong. That’s why, the whole day long, I feel so gloomy. Inspired by Ludwig Bechstein’s nineteenth-century poem, Axel Scheffler has created a set of delightfully dark depictions of misanthropic misery – a triumph of negativity, in the macabre yet merry spirit of the late, great Edward Gorey. Superbly miserable, brilliantly curmudgeonly and oddly cheering, gloominess has never been so appealing – Merry Christmas!
The Oxford Companion to Beer
The first reference work to fully investigate the history and vast scope of beer, from the agricultural makeup of various beers to the technical elements of the brewing process, local effects of brewing on regions around the world, and social and political implications of sharing a beer.Cultural entries on such topics as drinking songs or beer gardens offer vivid accounts of how our drinking traditions have shifted through history, and how these traditions vary in different parts of the world. The Companion is comprehensive, unprecedented, and of great value to anyone who has ever had a curiosity or appetite for beer.
Cape Winelands Cuisine by Hetta van Deventer
The Cape Winelands hold the combined history of many different nationalities who, over the centuries, travelled to this most southern part of Africa to start a new life. As they adapted the recipes of their homelands to new surroundings and shared their culinary skills with one another, a new cuisine was born. Cape Winelands Cuisine is the result of a culinary collaboration unique to this region.Set against the breathtaking scenery of the Cape Winelands, this book pays tribute to a unique heritage.
Heston’s Fantastical Feasts by Heston Blumenthal – Very special boxed and SIGNED edition
This beautiful book is a wild ride through the imagination of one of the most creative chefs in the world. The book consists of a Willy Wonka Feast, a Fairy Tale Feast, an Edwardian Feast, a Gothic Feast, a ’70s Feast and more. Delving deep into the world of each dish, Blumenthal creates poison apples, transforms pumpkins into carriages, and builds Edwardian gingerbread houses with sugar windows. Scouring Italy for rare mushrooms and Switzerland for wild boar, he records the journeys and inspiration behind each meal, laying it all out in grandly illustrated detail. Witness his delectable riffs on Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham and Roald Dahl’s Lickable Wallpaper, and even try the recipe if you dare! A number, limited edition, signed by the author himself.
Numpty! by Mike Haskins
a) Someone who confidently asserts themselves towards a false truth in the presence of others. Even when the rest of the people there know that they are completely wrong.
ie. Given the choice of a shovel or a ladder to get out of a hole, they have dug themselves, a numpty would confidently choose the shovel!
b) A good humoured admonition, a term of endearment – originating in Scotland
c) Scottish colloquialism, a stupid person, a figure of ridicule.
“Coca Cola is made from dried beetles”
“Of course not you numpty.”
We all know one – and this is a book for and about them!
Pilgrimage by Annie Liebowitz
This is an extraordinary new collection of photographs from Annie Leibovitz, taken with no agenda except for her own passions and inspirations. Her subjects were all chosen because of what they mean to her, and her deep personal connection to them is deeply felt in each image. This was a restorative project for Leibovitz – and her narrative is very personal. “From the beginning, when I was watching my children stand mesmerised over Niagara Falls, it was an exercise in renewal,” she says. “It taught me to see again.”
The Winston Churchill corner
Author, politician, Prime Minister, raconteur, prolific drinker, brilliant orator – Winston Churchill was a man of many talents, a perennial favourite who still intrigues and entertains us today. Famous for his wit and his insults, which are brought together in two new collections which bring together hundreds of his wittiest and wickedest quips as a record of all that was best about this lovable, infuriatingly conceited, wildly funny, and brilliantly talented Englishman. Choose from All will be Well and The Wicked Wit of Winston Churchill – perfect for the old curmudgeon in your life!
“An empty taxi arrived at 10 Downing Street, and when the door was opened, Attlee got out.” On Clement Attlee
“A lie gets halfway round the world before the truth gets a chance to put its pants on.”
“History will be kind to me…for I intend to write it”
Dos & Don’ts: 400 New Jokes from the Funniest Magazine Column to Ever Exist in the History of the Universe
In this new book of photographs – complete with sniping commentary – that document the dizzy heights and murky depths of street fashion, VICE magazine’s staple humour series is collected in its entire, unabashed glory. The DOs are put on a pedestal that soars way past God and the DON’Ts are so cruel they sound litigiously close to death threats. Very funny.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of very curious photographs. A beautiful and eerie mix of fiction and photography, which creates a dark atmosphere around the story of a young boy who believes his grandfather was killed by a monster only he can see…
America by Andy Warhol
Andy Warhol carried a camera with him everywhere he went and this stunning collection of 10 years of photography illuminates the stark contradictions of his country. Exploring his greatest obsessions – including image and celebrity – he photographs wrestlers and politicians, the beautiful wealthy and the disenfranchised poor, Capote with the fresh scars of a facelift and Madonna hiding beneath a brunette bob. He writes about the country he loves, wishing he had died when he was shot, commercialism, fame and beauty.
New Club Kids: London Party Fashion in the Noughties
Flamboyant, fabulous, trashy, beautiful, freaky – meet the New Club Kids. London’s Blitz Club was home to the new alternative scene and the chosen hangout of Siouxsie Sioux, Boy George and Leigh Bowery, who famously remarked “Dress as though your life depends on it or don’t bother”. A gorgeous collection of 10 years of being outrageously FABulous!
Bike Snob: Systematically and Mercilessly Realigning the World of Cycling by Eben Weiss
Cycling is exploding – in a good way. Urbanites everywhere, from ironic hipsters to earth-conscious commuters, are taking to the bike like aquatic mammals to water. BikeSnobNYC – cycling’s much-loved hilarious, and anonymous blogger – brings a fresh and humorous perspective to the most important vehicle to hit personal transportation since the horse.
Seeing Stars by Simon Armitage
The man whose wife drapes a border-curtain across the middle of the marital home; the English astronaut with a terrestrial outlook on life; an orgiastic cast of unreconstructed pie-worshipers at a Northern sculpture farm; the soap-opera supremacists at their zoo-wedding; the driver who picks up hitchhikers as he hurtles towards a head-on collision with Thatcherism; a Christian cheese-shop proprietor in the wrong part of town; the black bear with a dark secret, the woman who curates giant snowballs in the chest freezer. Celebrities and nobodies, all come to the ball.A beautiful new collection from the very talented Simon Armitage.
Mobile Art: Papers, Designs, and Instructions for Making Twenty Stunning Mobiles
Instant decor is just a few snips away with this gorgeous portfolio that contains everything crafters need to make twenty exquisite paper mobiles that will bring a special handmade touch to any space, occasion, or home!
Complete Peanuts by Charles Schulz
The next two volumes in the Canongate project to publish the entire chronological catalogue of one of the world’s best-loved strip comics cover 1967-1970, with introductions by John Waters and Mo Willems. Feel inspired by Snoopy, scared of Lucy and sorry for Charlie Brown. An absolute favourite!
Star Wars Moleskine
Yes, Moleskine have gone over to the Dark Side, and harnessed the powers of the Empire to bring you these Galactically awesome notebooks. The perfect present for the Sith Lord in your life, they would even make Jabba the Hut seem cool!
And speaking of the Dark Side…Granta 117 is a seasonably appropriate collection of the very best new horror writing, with gritty and gruesome new stories from Stephen King, Santiago Roncagliolo, Paul Auster, Will Self and a dark host of authors and artists – each with their own interpretation of this most popular of genres.
Mothballs & Elbow Grease/Salt of the Earth
Two charming, attractively illustrated collections of country and household sayings with their origins and meanings. Mothballs and Elbow Grease and Salt of the Earth explore the impact and influence of both the domestic and the country environment on our language.
Language of Flowers: A Miscellany by Mandy Kirby
All over the world, flowers are an integral part of human culture. But, while everyone knows that red roses signify love, few may realise that an entire language of flowers exists with every bloom, folliage and plant having a particular emotion attached. This unique language was created by the romantic early Victorians who carefully planned every bouquet and posy so as to deliver a desired message. This gift book is a novel present that any flower lover will want to own.
Parisian Chic: A Style Guide by Ines de la Fressange
Celebrity model Ines de La Fressange shares the well-kept secrets of how Parisian women maintain effortless glamour and timeless allure. The ultrachic red volume is flexi-bound and a must have for any woman who wants to add a touch of Paris to her own style.
Die TweedeReen – Bittercomix
Koos A. Kombuis is een van die swakste digters in Afrikaans, en tog het hy nog nooit ‘n literere prys gewin nie! Die feit dat sy boeke wyd gelees word is net nog ‘n bewys van sy totale gebrek aan talent!
O waar sal jy gaan
En met watter Skip?
Die Aarde is Branding
En oral is klip
Of as jy wil flug
Uit die Stad wat brand
Den flug ek saam
Soos ‘n Vrou aan jou hand
Light a Brief Candle: How Generosity Will Make you Shine and Your World Glow by Andre Oosthuizen
“It is better to light a brief candle, than to curse the darkness”.
Our 21st century society is focused almost entirely on acquisition – “the acquisition of assets, of knowledge, of social and business networks, of stuff”. In the process, we have forgotten that giving is as important as acquiring, and constitutes a vital component of a balanced lifestyle. This book is a locally produced guide to redressing that situation – a practical guide for all South Africans who want to help, but don’t know where to start.
It Chooses You by Miranda July
In the summer of 2009, Miranda July was struggling to finish writing the screenplay for her much-anticipated second film. During her increasingly long lunch breaks, she began to obsessively read the PennySaver, the iconic classifieds booklet that reached everywhere. Who was the person selling the “Large leather Jacket, $10″? It seemed important to find out – or at least it was a great distraction from the screenplay. July crisscrossed Los Angeles to meet a random selection of PennySaver sellers, glimpsing thirteen surprisingly moving and profoundly specific realities, along the way shaping her film, and herself, in unexpected ways. Elegantly blending narrative, interviews, and photographs with July’s off-kilter honesty and deadpan humor, this is a story of procrastination and inspiration, isolation and connection, and grabbing hold of the invisible world.
Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James
The inimitable P. D. James masterfully recreates the world of Pride and Prejudice, and combines it with the excitement and suspense of a brilliantly-crafted crime story. The year is 1803, and Darcy and Elizabeth have been married for six years. There are now two handsome and healthy sons in the nursery, and the orderly world of Pemberley seems unassailable. But all this is threatened when, on the eve of the annual autumn ball, a chaise appears from Pemberley’s wild woodland. As it pulls up, Lydia Wickham – Elizabeth’s younger, unreliable sister – stumbles out screaming that her husband has been murdered!
A perfect Christmas mystery, beautifully written, for all the family.
Highly Inappropriate Tales for Young People by Douglas Coupland and Graham Roumieu
Warning! This book contains:
Seven pants-peeingly funny stories featuring seven evil characters you can’t help but love.
A cast of unlovable miscreants who unleash their dark, unruly and antisocial desires on every page: They are Donald, the Incredibly Hostile Juice Box; Kevin, the Hobo Minivan with Extremely Low Morals; Brandon, the Action Figure with Issues; Sandra, the Truly Dreadful Babysitter; Hans, the Weird Exchange Student; Cindy, the Terrible Role Model; and Mr. Fraser, the Undead Substitute Teacher.
A lot of laughs-of the evil, twisted kind: Definitely inappropriate for young people.
Elmore Leonard’s Complete Western Stories
Before he turned his attention to the gritty landscapes of underworld Detroit and Miami, Elmore Leonard wrote brilliant adventure stories set in America’s nineteenth-century western frontier—elevating a popular genre with his trademark twisting plots, rich characterisations, and scalpel-sharp dialogue. These are rich and wonderful stories, a must for all Western and Leonard fans alike.
Phaidon Atlas of 21st Century Architecture
First there was the giant collection of the greatest buildings of the 21st Century, and now our friends at Phaidon have issued a teeny-sized version, just for our Christmas stocking! It still book contains over 1,000 buildings including 50 new projects, each of which is illustrated and has all the vital information for the architect in your life.
The Bird King and Other Sketches by Shaun Tan
What do the bird king, the thing in the bathroom and the paraffin-oil koala have in common? They all inhabit the unique and beautiful world of renowned artist, author and illustrator Shaun Tan. Collected from his working sketchbooks, with commentary by the artist, these ideas, studies and doodles offer a special insight into the imagination of this internationally acclaimed storyteller. We love Shaun Tan!
And if you can’t find what you are looking for here, do come in and ask one of our staff, who will be happy to help you find that perfect present – we offer a free gift wrapping service too.
See you soon, and wishing you a very Merry Christmas from all at The Book Lounge.