Saturday, June 30th 2012 at 3:00 PM
Saturday, June 30th 2012 at 11:00 AM
Currently everyone is cycling around and it is good for you and the environment.
Today we will read stories about bicycles and getting around on two wheels.
Friday, June 29th 2012 at 5:30 PM
Thursday, June 28th 2012 at 5:30 PM
Wednesday, June 27th 2012 at 5:30 PM
Wednesday, June 27th 2012 at 2:30 PM
This Wednesday we will be reading great stories about beautiful trees and decorating our own notebooks with collage.
Suitable for ages 5+
Tuesday, June 26th 2012 at 5:30 PM
Monday, June 25th 2012 at 3:08 PM
Book of the Month
Sharp Sharp: South African Street Style by Ed Suter
Sharp Sharp is an absolutely beautiful full colour exploration of the South African street. Photographer Ed Suter brilliantly captures the off-beat, the quirky, the contemporary and the traditional that make South Africa such a gloriously beautiful place.
Sharp Sharp celebrates what makes the South African street distinctive; it captures the energy, the fashion and the fun, all in onegloriously diverse and kaleidoscopic collection. It’s a book that will be treasured by those who love design, fashion and travel – and South Africa!
In One Person by John Irving
John Irving returns with a compelling novel of desire, secrecy, and sexual identity, In One Person is a story of unfulfilled love – tormented, funny, and affecting – and an impassioned embrace of our sexual differences. Billy, the bisexual narrator and main character, tells the tragicomic story of his life as a ‘sexual suspect’, a phrase first used by John Irving in 1978 – in his landmark novel of ‘terminal cases’, The World According to Garp.
His most political novel since The Cider House Rules and A Prayer for Owen Meany, John Irving’s In One Person is a poignant tribute to Billy’s friends and lovers – a theatrical cast of characters who defy category and convention. Not least, In One Person is an intimate and unforgettable portrait of the solitariness of a bisexual man who is dedicated to making himself ‘worthwhile’.
The Lower River by Paul Theroux
Ellis Hock never believed he would ever return to Africa – to his isolated village where he was happiest. He runs an old-fashioned menswear store in a small town in Massachusetts but still dreams of his eden in Africa, the four years he spent in Malawi with the Peace Corps, cut short when he had to return to take over the family business. When his wife leaves him, taking the family home, and his daughter demands her share of his eventual will, he realises that there is one place for him to go: back to Malawi, on the remote Lower River, where he will be happy again
Arriving at the dusty village he finds it transformed: the school he built is a ruin, the church and clinic are gone, and poverty and apathy have set in among the people. They remember him – the foreigner with no fear of snakes – and welcome him back. But is his new life, his journey back, an escape or a trap?
McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern: 40
The first McSweeney’s of 2012 features all kinds of amazing stuff—so much, from so many good people, that they turned it into two beautiful little books. There are new stories from Neil Gaiman and Etgar Keret and David Vann (can you guess which one contains pterodactyls and Aztecs?), there is Saïd Sayrafiezadeh awaiting the uprising at Occupy Wall Street and a special compendium of the incredible writing that inspired the Egyptian Revolution, and, in its own volume, there is Rick Bass’s extraordinary account of a week in Rwanda – the most ambitious nonfiction piece McSweeney’s has ever run, and probably one of the best essays of the year. You don’t want to miss this one!
With work from Alaa El Aswany, Ahmad Fouad Negm, Asmaa Mahfouz, Gene Sharp, Amir Eid and Hany Adel, Adel Iskandar, Youssef Rakha, Tamim al-Bargouti, Hosni Mubarak, Bilal Fadl, Sarah Carr, and Alaa Abd El Fattah, and more…
The Marlowe Papers by Ros Barber
On May 30th, 1593, a celebrated young playwright was killed in a tavern brawl in London. That, at least, was the official version. Now Christopher Marlowe reveals the truth: that his ‘death’ was an elaborate ruse to avoid being convicted of heresy; that he was spirited across the Channel to live on in lonely exile; that he continued to write plays and poetry, hiding behind the name of a colourless man from Stratford – one William Shakespeare.
With the grip of a thriller and the emotional force of a sonnet, this remarkable novel in verse gives voice to a man who was brilliant, passionate and mercurial. A cobbler’s son who counted nobles among his friends, a spy in the Queen’s service, a fickle lover and a declared religious sceptic, he was always courting trouble.
Memoir, love letter, confession, settling of accounts and a cry for recognition as the creator of some of the most sublime works in the English language, The Marlowe Papers brings Christopher Marlowe and his era to vivid life. Written by a poet and scholar, it is a work of both erudition and imagination.
The Humorist by Russell Kane
Survivor, genius, critic. Murderer. Meet Benjamin Davids White, blessed since his infancy with an extraordinary gift: to understand humour at its deepest level. Yet Benjamin is cursed, too: in all his life, he has never laughed or smiled. At the height of his profession as a comedy critic, yet lacking any kind of human empathy, Benjamin discovers a formula that will allow him to construct the most powerful joke the world has ever known. A joke that has the power to kill…
The debut novel from stand-up comedian and winner of the 2010 Edinburgh Comedy Award Russell Kane mixes metaphor, simile and imagery in a clever, sometimes gory, sometimes ribald romp that looks deep into the heart of humour and asks, what sort of a person are you if you are devoid of humour…
The Panopticon by Jenni Fagan
Pa`nop´ti`con ( noun). A circular prison with cells so constructed that the prisoners can be observed at all times. [Greek panoptos 'seen by all'].
Anais Hendricks, fifteen, is in the back of a police car, headed for the Panopticon, a home for chronic young offenders. She can’t remember the events that led her here, but across town a policewoman lies in a coma and there is blood on Anais’s school uniform. Smart, funny and fierce, Anais is a counter-culture outlaw, a bohemian philosopher in sailor shorts and a pillbox hat. She is also a child who has been let down, or worse, by just about every adult she has ever met. The residents of the Panopticon form intense bonds, heightened by their place on the periphery, and Anais finds herself part of an ad hoc family there. Much more suspicious are the social workers, especially Helen, who is about to leave her job for an elephant sanctuary in India but is determined to force Anais to confront the circumstances of her birth before she goes. Looking up at the watchtower that looms over the residents, Anais knows her fate: she is part of an experiment, she always was, it’s a given – a fact. And the experiment is closing in. The Panopticon introduces us to a heartbreaking young heroine and an assured new voice in fiction.
“Jenni Fagan is the real thing, and The Panopticon is a real treat: maturely alive to the pains of maturing, and cleverly amused as well as appalled by what it finds in the world.” Andrew Motion
Light Between Oceans by ML Stedman
Tom Sherbourne, released from the horrors of the First World War, is now a lighthouse keeper, cocooned on a remote island with his young wife Izzy, who is content in everything but her failure to have a child.
One April morning, a boat washes ashore carrying a dead man – and a crying baby. Safe from the real world, Tom and Izzy break the rules and follow their hearts.
It is a decision with devastating consequences.
“An extraordinary and heart-rending book about good people, tragic decisions and the beauty found in each of them.” Markus Zusak
“What an extraordinary book … as inevitable as Hardy at his most doom-laden. And as unforgettable.”‘ Guardian
“Persuasive and tender.” Sunday Times
“M L Stedman, a spectacularly sure storyteller, swept me to a remote island nearly a century ago, where a lighthouse keeper and his wife make a choice that shatters many lives, including their own. This is a novel in which justice for one character means another’s tragic loss, and we care desperately for both. Reading The Light Between Oceans is a total-immersion experience, extraordinarily moving.” Monica Ali
Release by Eric Miyeni
“Someone has to pay.”
Jeremy Hlungwani has a gun and an unquenchable violent thought has lodged in his mind.Today he will drive his luxury car from his big-shot job and life in the suburbs to his childhood home in Meadowlands, Soweto. Along the way he will recall the moments in his life that got him here, on the wrong track. Today, Jeremy’s desperate attempt to reconcile his black life with his life in white Johannesburg will end in a dramatic culmination.The Release is a powerful anthem of a post-apartheid South African life, a reminder that the legacy of the past runs deeper than the bling-blinded present would have us believe.
The Killing by David Hewson
The novelisation of the phenomenally successful Danish TV series.
Through the dark wood where the dead trees give no shelter Nanna Birk Larsen runs…There is a bright monocular eye that follows, like a hunter after a wounded deer. It moves in a slow approaching zigzag, marching through the Pineseskoven wasteland, through the Pentecost Forest. The chill water, the fear, his presence not so far away…There is one torchlight on her now, the single blazing eye. And it is here…
Sarah Lund is looking forward to her last day as a detective with the Copenhagen Police department before moving to Sweden. But everything changes when nineteen-year-old student, Nanna Birk Larsen, is found raped and brutally murdered in the woods outside the city. Lund’s plans to relocate are put on hold as she leads the investigation along with fellow detective Jan Meyer. While Nanna’s family struggles to cope with their loss, local politician, Troels Hartmann, is in the middle of an election campaign to become the new mayor of Copenhagen. When links between City Hall and the murder suddenly come to light , the case takes an entirely different turn. Over the course of twenty days, suspect upon suspect emerges as violence, political intrigue cast their shadows over the hunt for the killer.
“This adaption of The Killing is a huge success…So how does it survive this possibly awkward transmutation? The answer, in short, is extremely well. David Hewson – the author of more than a dozen detective novels set in Italy and with no need to stoop to anything too hurriedly commercial – has taken what was television gold and turned it into literary gold…This is one of the most engrossing detective novels I’ve read in a long time.” Daily Telegraph
“As gripping as the TV series. It will keep you pinned to very last page.” Jens Lapidus
“David Hewson has achieved the seemingly impossible…just as gripping as the television serial…this book is worth reading.” Literary Review
“David Hewson’s literary translation is far more than a cheap tie-in…the book allows the characters more room to breathe. It means the emotional heart of the show is much more clearly defined: it’s less a whodunnit in Hewson’s hands…And yet in changing the ending he also makes a bold statement about the techniques required for satisfying drama on the page. All of which makes The Killing an excellent stand-alone novel – but perhaps Hewson’s greatest achievement is that it’s compelling reading.” Observer
Beautiful Truth by Belinda Seaward
Catherine never knew her father. A Polish exile, he disappeared when she was a small child, leaving her only a pair of binoculars and a lifelong love of the stars. Now in her forties, she leads a settled academic life in Cambridge – until one day she receives a letter with a Polish postmark from an American film-maker who is in Krakow to research the wartime experiences of his aunt. What Konrad has uncovered will send Catherine on a voyage of discovery not only into Poland’s past, but into her own history. And what she uncovers there will change her life in ways she could not possibly have imagined.
Moving between present-day Krakow and wartime Poland, The Beautiful Truth tells a passionate and moving story of the way ordinary lives are swept up in extraordinary events. Heartbreaking and uplifting in equal measure, it will not be easily forgotten.
Books to make you Think…
The Economics of Killing: How the West Fuels War and Poverty in the Developing World by Vijay Mehta
Globalisation has created an interconnected world, but has not diminished violence, militarism and inequality. The Economics of Killing describes how the power of global elites, entrenched under globalisation, has created a deadly cycle of violence.
In this groundbreaking work, Vijay Mehta shows how attempts at peaceful national development are routinely blocked by Western powers. He locates the 2008 financial crisis in US attempts to block China’s model of development. He shows how Europe and the US conspire with regional dictators to prevent countries from developing advanced industries, and how this system has fed terrorism.
Mehta argues that a different world is possible, based on policies of disarmament, demilitarisation and sustainable development. This original and thought-provoking book will be of great interest to anyone concerned about the consequences of endless war fuelled by the West.
Occupy by Noam Chomsky
Since its sudden appearance in September 2011, the Occupy Movement has spread to thousands of towns and cities across the world. For some it’s the economy. For others, it’s something deeper. Through relentless organising and ongoing civil disobedience, the movement now occupies the global conscience as its influence spreads from street assemblies and protests to op-ed pages and the corridors of power. From the movement’s onset, Noam Chomsky was there, offering his voice, his support, and his detailed analysis of what’s been going down and what might be done.
In Occupy, Chomsky presents his latest thinking on the core issues, questions and demands that are driving ordinary people to protest. How did we get to this point? How do the wealthiest 1% influence society? How can we separate money from politics? What would a genuine democracy look like? How can we create new institutions to increase freedom and equality for all?
Following the old course, says Chomsky, isn’t going to work. He argues that if we continue to follow the model of growth set for us by the 1%, we will be like lemmings walking off a cliff. The only alternative is to get involved and fight for a better future. If not now, when? If not us, who? This is a book for those who want to do something to protect freedom, democracy, and the economy from further corporate influence and control.
Boredom: A Lively History by Peter Toohey
In the first book to argue for the benefits of boredom, Peter Toohey dispels the myth that it is simply a childish emotion or an existential malaise like Jean-Paul Sartre’s Nausea. He shows how boredom is, in fact, one of our most common and constructive emotions and is an essential part of the human experience. This informative and entertaining investigation of boredom – what it is and what it isn’t, its uses and its dangers – spans more than 3,000 years of history and takes readers through fascinating neurological and psychological theories of emotion, as well as recent scientific investigations, to illustrate its role in our lives. There are Australian aboriginals and bored Romans, Jeffrey Archer and caged cockatoos, Camus and the early Christians, Dürer and Degas. Toohey also explores the important role that boredom plays in popular and highbrow culture and how over the centuries it has proven to be a stimulus for art and literature. Toohey shows that boredom is a universal emotion experienced by humans throughout history and he explains its place, and value, in today’s world. Boredom is for anyone interested in what goes on when supposedly nothing happens.
Farther Away: Essays by Jonathan Franzen
Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom was a huge success in 2010 – an ambitious and searching engagement with life in America in the 21st century. Now, a new collection of Franzen’s non-fiction brings fresh demonstrations of his vivid, moral intelligence, confirming his status not only as a great novelist but also as a social critic, and self-investigator.
In Farther Away, which gathers together essays and speeches written mostly in the past five years, the writer returns with renewed vigour to the themes, both human and literary, that have long preoccupied him. Whether recounting his violent encounter with bird poachers in Cyprus, examining his mixed feelings about the suicide of his friend and rival David Foster Wallace, or offering a moving and witty take on the ways that technology has changed how people express their love, these pieces deliver on Franzen’s implicit promise to conceal nothing from the reader. Taken together, these essays trace the progress of unique and mature mind wrestling with itself, with literature, and with some of the most important issues of our day
Land’s Edge: A Coastal Memoir by Tim Winton
On childhood holidays to the western coast, Tim Winton’s days followed a joyous rhythm. In the mornings, the sun and surf kept him outside, in the water. In the afternoons, as the horizon wobbled with mirages and the wind came in from the ocean, he was driven inside, to books. In the ‘simple, peculiar shack’ that his family borrowed each year there was a small library: a room with four walls of books, a world unto itself. In this beautifully delicate memoir, Winton writes about his obsession with what happens where the water meets the shore – about diving, dunes, beachcombing – and the sense of being on the precarious, wondrous edge of things that haunts his novels. It is a book about the ebb and flow that became a way of life, and that shaped one of our finest writers.
“Both a serial romantic and a truly gifted novelist.” Mariella Frostrup
Antonio Gramsci: Prison Notebooks in 3 Volumes
Columbia University Press’s multivolume Prison Notebooks is the only complete critical edition of political theorist and linguist Antonio Gramsci’s seminal writings in English. Based on the authoritative Italian edition of Gramsci’s work, Quaderni del Carcere, this comprehensive translation presents the intellectual as he ought to be read and understood, with critical notes that clarify Gramsci’s history, culture, and sources; an index of names; and a contextualisation of the thinker’s ideas against his earlier writings and letters. This set includes notebooks 1 through 8 with all attendant notes and materials and is an indispensible resource for scholars in the humanities and social sciences.
This Must be the Place by Pieter Hugo
This Must Be the Place presents nearly ten years of work by award-winning South African photographer Pieter Hugo. This book includes a selection of over 100 seminal images from before and after The Hyena & Other Men, the series that catapulted him into the spotlight in 2007. Perceptive essays by TJ Demos and Aaron Schuman situate Hugo’s extraordinary career within the realm of contemporary photography and the larger historical context of his native continent, Africa. As Schuman writes, Hugo’s images offer an arresting argument for the untrustworthiness of photography, and at the same time reveal the striking vitality that remains at the heart of the medium when a practitioner bravely dares to pose difficult questions.
The Grand Tour: Letters and photographs from the British Empire Expedition of 1922 by Agatha Christie
Unpublished for 90 years, Agatha Christie’s extensive and evocative letters and photographs from her year-long round-the-world trip to South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and America as part of the British trade mission for the famous 1924 Empire Exhibition.
In 1922 Agatha Christie set sail on a 10-month voyage around the British Empire with her husband as part of a trade mission to promote the forthcoming British Empire Exhibition. Leaving her two-year-old daughter behind with her sister, Agatha set sail at the end of January and did not return until December, but she kept up a detailed weekly correspondence with her mother, describing in detail the exotic places and people she encountered as the mission.
The extensive and previously unpublished letters are accompanied by hundreds of photos taken on her portable camera as well as some of the original letters, postcards, newspaper cuttings and memorabilia collected by Agatha on her trip.
Edited and introduced by Agatha Christie’s grandson, Mathew Prichard, this unique travelogue reveals a new side to Agatha Christie, demonstrating how her appetite for exotic plots and locations for her books began with this eye-opening trip, which took place just after only her second novel had been published (the first leg of the tour to South Africa is very clearly the inspiration for the book she wrote immediately afterwards, The Man in the Brown Suit). The letters are full of tales of seasickness and sunburn, motor trips and surf boarding, and encounters with welcoming locals and overbearing Colonials.
The Grand Tour is a book steeped in history, sure to fascinate anyone interested in the lost world of the 1920s. Coming from the pen of Britain’s biggest literary export and the world’s most widely translated author, it is also a fitting tribute to Agatha Christie and is sure to fascinate her legions of worldwide fans.
Books about South Africa
Shakespeare and the Coconuts by Natasha Distiller
The term “coconut” is one of several edible designations used to describe someone who, due to his or her behavior, identifications, or because they have been raised by whites, is black on the outside and ‘white’ on the inside. In this book Natasha Distiller explores historic and contemporary uses of Shakespeare in South African society which illustrate the complexities of colonial and post-colonial realities as they relate to iconic Englishness. Shakespeare and the Coconuts offers an alternative vision that reformulates simplistic racial binaries through an interrogation of the relationship between “Shakespeare” and a particular construction of what it means to be “South African” and “African.”
Beginning with Solomon Plaatjie, the author looks at the development of an elite group educated in English and able to use Shakespeare to formulate South African works and identities. Distiller then explores the South African Shakespearian tradition postapartheid. Shakespeare and the Coconuts engages with aspects of South Africa’s complicated political and cultural worlds, and their intersections.
Perspectives: Search for Tomorrow’s Leaders
Perspectives: The Search for Tomorrow’s Leaders, a book that features leaders and those that are committed to shaping the next generation. The book was compiled by Leigh Meinert, managing director of TSiBA – a non-profit higher education institution. Through working closely with the youth and being aware of their potential, Leigh wanted to challenge the belief that there is a leadership crisis by looking at the emerging leaders of the next generation.
Leigh and her team set out to interview thought leaders who have committed themselves to nurturing our country’s next generation. They interviewed politicians, business people, activists, social entrepreneurs, university vice-chancellors and high school principals. Some were well-known names like Jonathan Jansen and Ferial Haffajee, but others were ordinary South Africans. “What we discovered was that these were thought-and-action leaders. Many did not see themselves as leaders, but simply saw a need and addressed it,” says Meinert.
Jacana Pocket Histories
Three further titles in the series which aims to provide brief, well-researched but lively introductions to topics which are relevant to South Africa.
The ANC Youth League by Clive Glasler
The Youth League’s foundation in 1944 by Ashley Peter Mda, Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu and Oliver Tambo marked the rise of a new generation of leadership of South Africa’s black African population. Clive Glaser’s The ANC Youth League presents the first overview of the ANC Youth League from its origins in the 1940s to the controversies of the present Malema era, providing implicit and explicit comparisons between earlier Youth League and contemporary Youth League. It analyses the ideology and tactics of its founders, some of whom (notably Mandela and Tambo) later became iconic figures in South African history. Throughout its history the Youth League tried to ‘dynamise’ and criticise the ANC from within while remaining devoted to, and dependent on, the mother body. The ANC Youth League showcases that throughout its history the Youth League has struggled to find a balance between loyalty and rebellion.
Plague, Pox & Pandemics by Howard Philips
Howard Phillips provides the first look into the history of epidemics in South Africa, probing lethal episodes which significantly shaped this society over three centuries. Focusing on devastating diseases such as smallpox, bubonic plague, Spanish influenza, polio and HIV/Aids, Plague, Pox and Pandemics probes their origin, their catastrophic course and their consequences in both the short and long term. Their impact ranges from the demographic to the political, the social, the economic, the spiritual, the psychological and the cultural.
As each of these epidemics occurred at crucial moments in the country’s history – early in European colonisation, in the midst of the mineral revolution, during the South African War and World War I, as industrialisation was getting under way, and within the eras of apartheid and post-apartheid – the book also examines how these processes affected and were affected by the five epidemics. To those who read this book, South African history will not look the same again.
Govan Mbeki by Colin Bundy
This is a pocket biography of Govan Archibald Mvuyelwa Mbeki (9 July 1910 – 30 August 2001) an intellectual giant who radiated an unfailing commitment and devotion to the struggle for freedom. During his lifetime he set a sterling example of dedication to the rural poor and the working class of South Africa. A disciplined and hardworking member and leader of the ANC and SACP, he devoted his life to the struggle for the liberation of his people.
Generally the outlines of Mbeki’s life are fairly well-known; author Colin Bundy goes beyond that outline by presenting a book drawing on lengthy interviews with Mbeki and paying particular attention to his ideas, expressed in journalism, pamphlets, essays and books written over half a century, establishing why Mbeki was seen by many as a true compatriot and pure-blooded democrat. Bundy goes further and directs attention to the short-comings and contradictions of ‘struggle’ politics as well as its advances. He also explores controversial aspects of Mbeki’s personality and career: his reputation as a hard-liner, the personal and psychological price paid for militancy, and his role in the tensions within the ANC leadership on Robben Island, especially between himself and Nelson Mandela.
Let’s Spend the Night Together
Rolling Stones: Fifty Years by Christopher Sandford
In 1962 Mick Jagger was a bright, well-scrubbed boy (planning a career in the civil service), while Keith Richards was learning how to smoke and to swivel a six-shooter. Add the mercurial Brian Jones (who’d been effectively run out of Cheltenham for theft, multiple impregnations and playing blues guitar) and the wryly opinionated Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts, and the potential was obvious.
During the 1960s and 70s the Rolling Stones were the polarising figures in Britain, admired in some quarters for their flamboyance, creativity and salacious lifestyles, and reviled elsewhere for the same reasons. Confidently expected never to reach 30 they are now approaching their seventies and, in 2012, will have been together for 50 years. In The Rolling Stones, Christopher Sandford tells the human drama at the centre of the Rolling Stones story.
Sandford has carried out interviews with those close to the Stones, family members (including Mick’s parents), the group’s fans and contemporaries – even examined their previously unreleased FBI files. Like no other book before The Rolling Stones will make sense of the rich brew of clever invention and opportunism, of talent, good fortune, insecurity, self-destructiveness, and of drugs, sex and other excess, that made the Stones who they are.
Books for Children of all ages…
South African ABC by Alex Latimer
The South African Alphabet started out as a poster a few years ago and has now become a fantastic alphabet book for kids, with a wonderful local flavour. With boerewoers and vuvuzelas, penguins and fynbos, potjies and ostriches, Orlando Pirates and Shaka Zulu – there is a wealth of South African colour to introduce anyone to the alphabet and the country.
And here’s a bit of mind-bending trivia for you – both the English and Afrikaans books share the same images. So each illustration in the book (and there are two per letter) had to start with the same letter in both languages. Which just goes to show how very clever our Mr Latimer is!
The Hueys in ‘The New Jumper’ by Oliver Jeffers
Introducing the Hueys – a fabulously quirky group of characters from internationally bestselling, award-winning author/illustrator, Oliver Jeffers, creator of Book Lounge favourites How to Catch a Star and Lost and Found.
The thing about the Hueys is that they are all the same… They all look the same, think the same and do the same things. Until one day, Rupert knits himself a new jumper…
How will the other Hueys react?
A hilarious story about individuality.
Saturday, June 23rd 2012 at 11:00 AM
We will make snowflake mobiles and snuggle closely on the carpet.
Friday, June 22nd 2012 at 5:30 PM