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Monday, July 30th 2012 at 10:23 AM

  Thankyou to all who took part in the Book Lounge Art Auction on Friday – we raised a brilliant R14,110 for the Parkhurst Primary Library, and had a great time too!

Woof! Tweet! Pets

Saturday, July 28th 2012 at 11:00 AM

When I was little I had budgies and goldfish. Other children have cats or dogs, some people hamsters or even snakes.

Today we will read stories about pets and making up our own animals to take home.

Unfortunately the Book Lounge has no pets of our own, unless you count the bears who live downstairs.


Beatenburg + Art Auction for Library Project

Friday, July 27th 2012 at 5:30 PM


Discussion of 2 publications by STIAS at Stellenbosch University: The Humanist Imperative and Democracy Under Stress

Thursday, July 26th 2012 at 5:30 PM

Stias publications Humanist Imperative and Democracy Under Stress at The Book Lounge


Man Booker Prize 2012 – Longlist announced

Thursday, July 26th 2012 at 11:05 AM

The 12 books were chosen by a panel of judges chaired by Sir Peter Stothard, Editor of the Times Literary Supplement. The longlisted books were selected from a total of 145 titles, 11 of which were called in by the judges

The longlist is:

Author, Title (Publisher)

Nicola Barker, The Yips (Fourth Estate)
Ned Beauman, The Teleportation Accident (Sceptre)
André Brink, Philida (Harvill Secker)
Tan Twan Eng, The Garden of Evening Mists (Myrmidon Books)
Michael Frayn, Skios (Faber & Faber)
Rachel Joyce, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry (Doubleday)
Deborah Levy, Swimming Home (And Other Stories)
Hilary Mantel, Bring up the Bodies (Fourth Estate)
Alison Moore, The Lighthouse (Salt)
Will Self, Umbrella (Bloomsbury)
Jeet Thayil, Narcopolis (Faber & Faber)
Sam Thompson, Communion Town (Fourth Estate)

Peter Stothard, Chair of judges, comments:
Goodness, madness and bewildering urban change are among the themes of this year’s longlist. In an extraordinary year for fiction the ‘Man Booker Dozen’ proves the grip that the novel has on our world. We did not set out to reject the old guard but, after a year of sustained critical argument by a demanding panel of judges, the new has come powering through.”

The 2012 longlist includes four debut novels, three small independent publishers and one previous winner. Of the 12 writers, seven are men and five women; nine are British, one Indian, one South African and one Malaysian. The eldest on the list is Michael Frayn at 78 and the youngest is Ned Beauman at 27.

The shortlist of six authors will be announced at a press conference at the Man Group headquarters on Tuesday 11 September 2012. The winner of the 2012 prize will be announced at a dinner at London’s Guildhall on Tuesday 16 October, in a ceremony covered by the BBC. Each of the six shortlisted writers is awarded £2,500 and a specially commissioned beautifully handbound edition of his/her book. The winner receives a further £50,000.

Peter Stothard is joined on the 2012 Man Booker Prize for Fiction judging panel by: Dinah Birch, academic and literary critic; Amanda Foreman, historian, writer and broadcaster; Dan Stevens, actor and Bharat Tandon, academic, writer and reviewer.

2012 marks the 44th year of the prize, which began in 1969. A full history of the prize, including an interactive timeline, can be found on the Man Booker Prize website – – which has just been re-launched, allowing visitors to experience the prize across a variety of new platforms and formats.

News about the prize can also be found on Twitter @ManBookerPrize, which now boasts over 15,500 followers.

For further information about the prize please visit or follow us on Twitter at

Ubuntu & the Law; African Ideals and Postapartheid Jurisprudence with Drucilla Cornell

Wednesday, July 25th 2012 at 5:30 PM

Ubuntu and the Law with Drucilla Cornell at The Book LoungeJoin us for the launch of Ubuntu and the Law: African Ideals and Postapartheid Jurisprudence by Drucilla Cornell and Noko Muvangua.

Drucilla Cornell Professor of Political Philosophy at Rutgers University will be in conversation with Dr Sindiso Minisi-Weeks, senior lecturer in the Department of Private Law at the University of Cape Town where she co-teaches and conducts research in African Customary Law. The event will be chaired by Prof Jaco Barnard-Naudé, also from the Department of Private Law at UCT, where he teaches Critical Jurisprudence.


In My Element by Theodore Yach

Tuesday, July 24th 2012 at 5:30 PM

In My Element by Theodor Yach at The Book Lounge


July 2012

Monday, July 23rd 2012 at 8:43 AM

A Fantastic Month for Fiction

The Dream of the Celt by Mario Vargas Llosa

As The Dream of the Celt opens, it is the summer of 1916 and Roger Casement awaits the hangman in London’s Pentonville Prison. Dublin lies in ruins after the disastrous Easter Rising led by his comrades of the Irish Volunteers. He has been caught after landing from a German submarine. For the past year he has attempted to raise an Irish brigade from prisoners of war to fight alongside the Germans against the British Empire that awarded him a knighthood only a few years before. And now his petition for clemency is threatened by the leaking of his private diary and his secret life as a gay man….

Vargas-Llosa, with his extraordinary gift for powerful historical narrative, takes the reader on a journey back through a remarkable life dedicated to the exposure of barbaric treatment of indigenous peoples by European predators in the Congo and Amazonia. Casement was feted as one of the greatest humanitarians of the age. Now he is about to die ignominiously as a traitor.

Home by Toni Morrison

An angry and self-loathing veteran of the Korean War, Frank Money finds himself back in racist America after enduring trauma on the front lines that left him with more than just physical scars. His home — and himself in it — may no longer be as he remembers it, but Frank is shocked out of his crippling apathy by the need to rescue his medically abused younger sister and take her back to the small Georgia town they come from, which he’s hated all his life.

As Frank revisits the memories from childhood and the war that leave him questioning his sense of self, he discovers a profound courage he thought he could never possess again. Toni Morrison’s deeply moving novel reveals an apparently defeated man finding his manhood — and, finally, his home. This is a stunning new novel, by the author of Beloved.

Gold by Chris Cleave

Usually, this is where we’d tell you what this book is about.

But with Chris Cleave, it’s a bit different.

Because if you’ve read The Other Hand or Incendiary, you’ll know that what his books are about is only part of the story – what really matters is how they make you feel.

Gold is about the limits of human endurance, both physical and emotional.

It will make you cry.

Gold is about what drives us to succeed – and what we choose to sacrifice for success.

It will make you feel glad to be alive.

Gold is about the struggles we all face every day; the conflict between winning on others’ terms, and triumphing on your own.

It will make you count your blessings.

Gold is a story told as only Chris Cleave could tell it. And once you begin, it will be a heart-pounding race to the finish!

The Autobiography of Mrs Tom Thumb by Melanie Benjamin

“Never would I allow my size to define me. Instead, I would define it.”

She was only two-foot eight-inches tall, but her legend reaches out to us more than a century later. As a child, Mercy Lavinia “Vinnie” Bump was encouraged to live a life hidden away from the public. Instead, she reached out to the immortal impresario P. T. Barnum, married the tiny superstar General Tom Thumb in the wedding of the century, and transformed into the world’s most unexpected celebrity.

Here, in Vinnie’s singular and spirited voice, is her amazing adventure – from a showboat “freak” revue where she endured jeering mobs to her fateful meeting with the two men who would change her life: P. T. Barnum and Charles Stratton, AKA Tom Thumb. Their wedding would captivate the nation, pre-empt coverage of the Civil War, and usher them into the White House and the company of presidents and queens. But Vinnie’s fame would also endanger the person she prized most: her similarly-sized sister, Minnie, a gentle soul unable to escape the glare of Vinnie’s spotlight.

A barnstorming novel of the Gilded Age, and of a woman’s public triumphs and personal tragedies, The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb is the irresistible epic of a heroine who conquered the country with a heart as big as her dreams – and whose story will in over many readers’ hearts too.

Dirt by David Vann


The year is 1985 and twenty-two-year-old Galen lives with his emotionally dependent mother in a secluded old house with a walnut orchard in a suburb of Sacramento, California. He doesn’t know who his father is, his abusive grandfather is dead, and his grandmother, losing her memory, has been shipped off to a nursing home. Galen and his mother survive on old family money – an inheritance that his Aunt Helen and seventeen-year-old cousin, Jennifer, are determined to get their hands on.

A bulimic vegetarian who considers himself an old soul, Galen is a New Age believer on a warpath toward transcendence. He yearns for transformation: to free himself from the corporeal, to be as weightless as air, to walk on water. But he’s powerless to stop the manic binges that overtake him, leading him to gorge on meat and other forbidden desires, including sex. A prisoner of his body, he is obsessed with thoughts of the boldly flirtatious Jennifer, and dreams of shedding himself of the clinging mother whose fears and needs also weigh him down.

When the family takes a trip to an old cabin in the Sierras, tensions crescendo. Caught in a compromising position, Galen will discover the shocking truth of just how far he will go to attain the transcendence he craves.

A powerful and shocking account of a family imploding: a story of hatred, sex and violence, Dirt will cement David Vann’s reputation as one of the most original and powerful writers of his generation.

Flight by Adam Thorpe


Bob Winrush used to fly passengers, then worked for years as a ‘freight dog’, flying consignments of goods and sometimes people to all the corners of the world – including bush-strips in war zones: ‘real flying,’ as he called it. Until, one day, he walked away from a deal that didn’t smell right – something a freight dog should never do.

Now working as a private pilot for an Emirate prince in Dubai, he finds that moment of refusal catching up with him. Caught between those who want to find out more and those who want to cover their traces, he becomes a marked man, and flees to a remote Scottish island. Pursued by both armed assassins and a ruinous, bitter divorce, he struggles to re-fashion himself in this barren, beautiful place, taking on another identity.

But back in the world of smuggled AK-47s and heroin, the stakes are rising. Despite the presence of Judith, the alluring environmentalist, memories of his uglier flights return to haunt him. Even in the furthest Hebrides his past is with him, and the predators are closing in.

Adam Thorpe’s tenth novel is an extraordinary amalgam: a vertiginous, page-turning thriller and a masterful work of literary fiction. Fast, funny and very frightening, Flight shows a new facet of this most brilliant of writers.

A Hologram for the King by Dave Eggers


In a rising Saudi Arabian city, far from weary, recession-scarred America, a struggling businessman pursues a last-ditch attempt to stave off foreclosure, pay his daughter’s college tuition, and finally do something great. In A Hologram for the King, Dave Eggers takes us around the world to show how one man fights to hold himself and his splintering family together in the face of the global economy’s gale-force winds. This taut, richly layered, and elegiac novel is a powerful evocation of our contemporary moment — and a moving story of how we got here.

This is the special, limited print-run McSweeney edition of this book, which will only be published by a mainstream publisher in 2013.

Mr. Eggers uses a new, pared down, Hemingway-esque voice to recount his story… he demonstrates in Hologram that he is master of this more old-fashioned approach as much as he was a pioneering innovator with A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius….[This] sad-funny-dreamlike story unfolds to become an allegory about the frustrations of middle-class America, about the woes unemployed workers and sidelined entrepreneurs have experienced in a newly globalized world in which jobs are being outsourced abroad…. A comic but deeply affecting tale about one man’s travails that also provides a bright, digital snapshot of our times.”
Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

The Watch by Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya


Following a desperate night-long battle, a group of beleaguered soldiers in an isolated base in Kandahar are faced with a lone woman demanding the return of her brother’s body. Is she a spy, a black widow, a lunatic or what she claims to be: a grieving sister intent on burying her brother according to local rites? As she persists, single-minded in her mission, the camp’s tense, claustrophobic atmosphere comes to a boil as the men argue about what to do next.

The Watch takes an age-old story – the myth of Antigone – and hurls it into present-day Afghanistan. The result is an unputdownable, deeply affecting book that brilliantly exposes the realities of war. It is also our most powerful expression to date of the nature and futility of this very contemporary conflict. A tense, powerful and intriguing novel. Highly recommended.

States of mind, both fractured and lucid, dominate this serious and honourable novel about war… Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya has fashioned a beautiful and heartfelt lamentation.”               Irish Times

“Scorching, tightly wired…It’s a reminder that blood feuds are as old as humanity itself.”                Metro

“His lyrical prose captures superbly the brutal realities of combat.”                 Sunday Times

The Russian Affair by Michael Wallner


Twenty-nine-year-old Anna Viktorovna lives in Moscow with her young son and her father, a once popular and respected poet who has fallen into disgrace because of his dissident views. Her husband, a junior officer in the Red Army, is on active duty and living seven time zones away. Anna struggles gamely through her difficult existence, doing the best she can amidst the long lines, bureaucratic inferno, and corruption and incompetence of the police state. When she meets and makes an impression on a pow­erful Soviet official – Alexey Bulgyakov – her life begins to look a little brighter. Alexey is married and nearly twice her age, but he turns out to be a man of infinite patience and forbearance, and gradually a strange but solid bond grows between them. Though Anna still loves her mostly absent husband and harbours no illusions about the future, she and Alexey become lovers.

Soon Anna and Alexey’s burgeoning romance is irrevocably threatened when a KGB colonel forces Anna to spy on Alexey, who is suspected of disloyalty to the state. Though Anna loathes the notion of double-crossing the man she has come to love, when her family is threatened she must com­ply. But Anna isn’t the only character playing a double game.

With bravura storytelling, authenticity, and com­plex yet sympathetic characterisations, The Russian Affair depicts a love that struggles to survive against all odds and despite its many-layered deceptions.

History and Reportage


The Second World War by Antony Beevor


The Second World War began in August 1939 on the edge of Manchuria and ended there exactly six years later with the Soviet invasion of northern China. The war in Europe appeared completely divorced from the war in the Pacific and China, and yet events on opposite sides of the world had profound effects. Using the most up-to-date scholarship and research, and writing with clarity and compassion, Beevor assembles the whole picture in a gripping narrative that extends from the North Atlantic to the South Pacific, from the snowbound steppe to the North African Desert, to the Burmese jungle, SS Einsatzgruppen in the borderlands, Gulag prisoners drafted into punishment battalions, and to the unspeakable cruelties of the Sino-Japanese War. Moral choice forms the basis of all human drama, and no other period in history has presented greater dilemmas both for leaders and ordinary people, nor offered such examples of individual and mass tragedy, the corruption of power politics, ideological hypocrisy, the egomania of commanders, betrayal, perversity, self-sacrifice, unbelievable sadism and unpredictable kindness. Although filling the broadest canvas on a heroic scale, Beevor’s The Second World War never loses sight of the fate of the ordinary soldiers and civilians whose lives were crushed by the titanic forces unleashed in this, the most terrible war in history.

His singular ability to make huge historical events accessible to a general audience recalls the golden age of British narrative history, whose giants include Gibbon, Macaulay and Carlyle.”                   Independent

Beevor can be credited with single-handedly transforming the reputation of military history.”                   Guardian

His accounts of the key moments in the second world war have a sense of colour, drama and immediacy that few narrative historians can match.”              Sunday Times

If you want to understand the war as military struggle, this book is all you really need. However well you thought you knew the subject, you will learn something new on every page.”           We Love This Book

Brocaded with details of the great campaigns and thoughtful explanations of Hitler’s murderous belligerence, The Second World War is an absorbing, unsparingly lucid work of military history.”                        Spectator

The myriad pieces of this intricate kaleidoscope are pieced together with exemplary skill. This is a splendid book, erudite, with an admirable clarity of thought and expression.”                                   Independent on Sunday

Beevor’s book is a pleasure to read and an example of intelligent, lively historical writing at its best.”                Financial Times

This is as comprehensive and objective an account of the course of the war as we are likely to get, and the most humanly moving to date.”                       New Statesman

Just Send Me Word: A True Story of Love and Survival in the Gulag by Orlando Figes


Almost everything we know about the terrible experience of the Gulag has been based on survivor memoirs, in many cases written decades later. For obvious reasons there is very little authentic, contemporary material.

Just Send Me Word is a uniquely powerful and moving experience. It is the story of the relationship between Lev and Sveta, two young Muscovites separated by the Second World War and then the Gulag, where the Soviet state sent Lev for ten years on absurd and arbitrary charges. Extraordinarily, during Lev’s long exile in an Arctic camp they were able to smuggle letters to each other and even meet. Both sides of the entire correspondence have survived and these letters (of which there are some 1,500) form a detailed and agonizing account of life in Stalin’s Soviet Union. They are a testament to human constancy under impossible circumstances – a love story like no other.

This powerful narrative by a distinguished historian will take its place not just in history but in literature.”                        Robert Massie

A poignant record illuminating the experiences of the millions who suffered untold miseries in Stalin’s grinding system of repression – and throughout the history of Russia as a whole. But, more than anything, this is a book about love … as fascinating and inspiring as it is heartbreaking; a unique contribution to Gulag scholarship as well as a study of the universal power of love, as relevant now as it was then. It is impossible to read without shedding tears.”                    Simon Sebag Montefiore, Financial Times

Electrifying, passionate, devoted, despairing, exhilarating…a tale of hope, resilience, grit and love.”                  The Times

Remarkable…moving…possesses extraordinary value…a notable contribution to Gulag literature.”                                Max Hastings, Sunday Times

Figes has achieved something extraordinary…the gulag story lacks individuals for us to sympathise with: a Primo Levi, an Anne Frank or even an Oskar Schindler. Just Send Me Word may well be the book to change that … the kind of love that most of us can only dream of.”                  Independent

Remarkable…Figes, selecting and then interpreting this mass of letters, makes them tell two kinds of story. The first is a uniquely detailed narrative of the gulag, of the callous, slatternly universe which consumed millions of lives…The second is about two people determined not to lose each other.”                       Neal Ascherson Guardian

Higher Gossip: Essays & Criticism by John Updike


‘Gossip of a higher sort’ was how the incomparable John Updike described the art of the review. Here then is the last collection of his best, most dazzling gossip. Influential reviews of Toni Morrison, John le Carré and Ann Patchett and expert critique on exhibitions of El Greco, Van Gogh and Schiele are included alongside previously uncollected short stories, poems and essays on his ‘pet topics’.

Following earlier prose collections More Matter and Due Considerations, Updike began compiling Higher Gossip shortly before his death in 2009. Displaying his characteristic humour and insight on subjects as varied as ageing, golf, dinosaurs, make-up and his own fiction, the delightful Higher Gossip bookends a legacy of over fifty celebrated titles.

This is essential reading for admirers of the deeply missed John Updike, and for any who profess a love for art and literature.

Broken Republic: Three Essays by Arundhati Roy


Three new essays by India’s fiercest, most outspoken and fearless political activist

War has spread from the borders of India to the forests in the very heart of the country. Combining brilliant analysis and reportage by one of India’s iconic writers, Broken Republic examines the nature of progress and development in the emerging global superpower, and asks fundamental questions about modern civilisation itself. In three incisive essays Roy lays bare the corruption at the centre of government and industry, explores life with the Maoist guerrilla movement and reveals the thwarted search for justice and democracy in India.

India Rising: Tales from a Changing Nation by Oliver Balch


India is on the up. Historically derided as the lumbering elephant of Asia, this vast sub-continent has quickened its pace. The economy is booming. Tens of millions have been pulled out of poverty. Software and service companies abound. Millionaire entrepreneurs are springing up at every turn. Bollywood is going global and Indian expats are flooding back home. What’s more, these changes are occurring within the world’s largest democracy – a far cry from neighbouring China. But who and what lies behind India’s apparent ascendency?

In India Rising Oliver Balch takes the voices and stories of everyday Indians and presents a fresh, vivid, highly personalised account of the changes as they are unfolding. Travelling the length and breadth of the country, Balch leads readers off the tourist trail and onto the streets of modern day India. From cricket stadiums and shopping malls to rural schools and shanty towns, the book blends the best of reportage and travel writing to get under the skin of this nation in transition.

What emerges is a captivating portrait of a country at a crossroads. Old versus New. Global versus local. India’s march into the twenty-first century is full of tensions and uncertainties. But so too is it brimming with optimism and hope. With over half of its billion plus population under the age of twenty-five, India’s future will be written by its youth. In describing their hopes and exploring their fears, India Rising unpicks what makes this vast nation tick and asks where it’s heading.

Missing Out: In Praise of the Unlived Life by Adam Phillips


All of us lead two parallel lives: the life we actually live and the one that we wish for and fantasise about. And this life unlived (the one that never actually happens, the one we might be living but for some reason are not) can occupy an extraordinary part of our mental life. We share our lives, in a sense, with the people we have failed to be – and this can become itself the story of our lives: an elegy to needs unmet, desires sacrificed and roads untaken.

In this elegant, compassionate and absorbing book, acclaimed psychoanalyst Adam Phillips demonstrates that there might in fact be much to be said for the unlived life. Drawing deeply on the works of Shakespeare and of Freud, amongst other writers and thinkers, he suggests that in missing out on one experience we always open ourselves to the potential of another, and that in depriving ourselves of the frustration of not getting what we think we want, we would be depriving ourselves of the possibilities of satisfaction.

Poems for all


June Fourth Elegies by Liu Xiaobo


Liu Xiaobo is a pre-eminent Chinese literary critic, professor and humanitarian activist. Since his hunger strike in Tiananmen Square in June 1989 he has been a thorn in the side of the Chinese government, helping to write the Charter 08 manifesto calling for free speech, democratic elections and basic human rights. He was arrested and convicted on charges of ‘incitement to subversion’, and sentenced to eleven years in prison. The following year, 2010, during this fourth prison term, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for ‘his prolonged non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China’. Neither he nor his wife was allowed to travel to Oslo, and the Chinese government blocked all news stories of the prize and intimidated Liu’s friends and family. He is the only Nobel Laureate in detention.

June Fourth Elegies is a collection of the poems Liu Xiaobo has written each year on the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989. An extraordinarily moving testimony and an historical document of singular importance, it is dedicated to ‘the Tiananmen Mothers and for those who can remember’. In this bilingual volume, Liu’s poetry is for the first time published freely in both English translation and in the Chinese original.

Groundwork by Rustum Kozain


In Rustum Kozain’s new collection this leading South African poet raises his own bar way above ordinary expectations.

 Kozain has intentionally retained connections with his early work while simultaneously introducing a group of poems that indicate the promise of work still to come. His voice has strengthened and has a new confidence making the poems (paradoxically) lighter without losing their characteristic trademark seriousness. This is a thoughtful, pitch-perfect collection that resonates with the reader long after the last poem is read.

 His 2005 debut collection This Carting Life was widely acclaimed for its gravitas and vigour. With poems such as “Kingdom of rain” and “Talking jazz” Kozain firmly established himself as a brilliant new poet in the South African constellation.

 Several of his poems have been anthologised, and Kozain won both the Ingrid Jonker Prize (2006) and the Olive Schreiner Prize (2007) for This Carting Life.

He is a poet to watch, to read and enjoy.” Gus Ferguson

Two Cool Zines


The Believer 88 – Film Issue 2012


Each year, McSweeney’s The Believer devotes an entire issue to film. This year’s March/April Film Issue features a free DVD of Laurel Nakadate’s haunting and controversial feature film The Wolf Knife. Following two teen girls on a doomed journey that takes them from the Florida suburbs to Nashville, Nakadate’s work (introduced here by Deb Olin Unferth) examines desire, domination, and voyeurism. The issue also includes original essays by Michael Atkinson on the defunct pulp magazine The Monster Times, Adrian Van Young watching entire horror-movie franchises in a 24-hour period, Claire Harlan Orsi on slapstick as it appears in the films of the Marx Brothers – and the work of Nabokov; Theodore McDermott on the completely unacceptable films of Bobcat Goldthwait; and Lili Anolik on Deep Throat and the mainstreaming of porn. There are interviews with director Nora Ephron, actor Jeffrey Wright, and video artist Mika Rottenberg, Geoff Dyer on Tarkovsky, as well as horrible advice by Lena Dunham, columns by Nick Hornby, Daniel Handler, and Greil Marcus, and the announcement of the editors’ shortlists for the Believer Book Award and the second annual Believer Poetry Award. The Believer is a must for all serious film-lovers.

Lucky Peach Issue 4


David Chang presents many topics in this issue on different foods, which makes you hungry as you crave for more. Each page contains interesting food choices and how-to put it to good use with fun ideas. This issue is creative, colorful, and fun-filled from beginning to end on selection of various food. A wonderful issue to sit on your coffee-table and the Perfect Gift for friends and family. Highly Recommended!

In this issue…

David Simon, creator of The Wire and Treme, remembers his father via pickles and cream
Jonathan Gold and Robert Sietsema in Kansas City, talking Teletubbies
• Writer/producer/director Brian Koppelman (Rounders, etc.) writes about what the movie Diner means to him
• There’s a “Choose Your Own Adventure”-style hunt for tacos through Texas and California
• Need recipes for mortadella, seaweed burgers, or monkfish tripe? Marco Canora, Wylie Dufresne, and Jonathan Benno are here to help
• Plus stuff from Harold McGee, Anthony Bourdain, Elvis Mitchell and more!

Beautiful books


The Hand of the Graphic Designer by Moleskine


The Hand of the Graphic Designer is the completion of a path that was first undertaken in 2009 with architecture with the title The Hand of the Architect” and followed up in 2010 with design with “The Hand of the Designer”. The book is curated by Pietro Corraini and collects 367 pieces donated by 108 international graphic designers such as Glazer, Godard, Lamarche, Guarnaccia, House Industries, Lupi, Steiner and more, offering a sample of the current state of graphic design and an array of significant examples of the art of designing letters, words, signs and images.




Cycle Chic by Mikael Colville-Andersen


Against the background of rising mass-transit fares and an unhealthy planet, the liberation and efficiency of getting around by bike has made city cycling one of the most popular pursuits in urban life. From gritty messengers to tweed-sporting bankers, from Pashley princesses to high-tech roadies, cycle chic is everywhere you look. No one is more attuned to the explosion of these new trends than Mikael Colville-Andersen, who launched the first cycling fashion blog, Copenhagen Cycle Chic, more than five years ago. The blog went viral, and there are now cycle chic blogs from São Paulo to Mexico City, from Tokyo to Vancouver, and from New York to Budapest. Published in a compact format targeted at the style-conscious and urban tribes of all stripes, hundreds of images in this ingenious collection curated by Colville-Andersen present the most charismatic combinations of individual style and practical function and demonstrate how far cycle attire has moved beyond lycra.

Mugaritz: A Natural Science of Cooking by Andoni Luis Aduriz


Mugaritz in northern Spain, has long been considered one of Spain’s most influential restaurants, and Andoni Aduriz one of its most talented and creative chefs. Mugaritz was recently voted number three in the S. Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards. Aduriz has been called a “genius” by ‘Food and Wine Magazine’, and “a cult figure among Europe’s young avant-garde Chefs.” In Mugaritz, his first major cookbook, Aduriz reveals for the first time the creative process behind his dishes, while featuring 70 recipes sure to inspire chefs and food lovers around the world. Aduriz is well known for his interest and knowledge of nature, his embracing of new techniques, and his collaborations; all visible in this beautiful, richly illustrated cookbook. Mugaritz is organized into thematic chapters about the history of the restaurant, it’s relationship with nature, the new culinary language that Aduriz has developed, the techniques behind the dishes, and the experience of the guest. Each chapter is illustrated with exclusive Mugaritz archive material, and atmospheric recipe photographs. This is a must have book for anybody interested in fine dining, avant garde cusine, creativity and food culture, and is absolutely beautiful too!

Show Me a Story: Why Picture Books Matter: Conversations with 21 of the World’s Most Celebrated Illustrators edited by Leonard S. Marcus


 Pictures are one of the first things that draws a child to books and starts to interest them in reading – they make any book more enjoyable.
This is a book that interviews 21 picture book illustrators. There is a photograph and a short introduction to each and then a series of questions. For each author the questions are different. They are ones such as; what were they like as children? Did they like to draw? The illustrators range from Robert McCloskey and Rosemary Wells to Maurice Sendak and Quentin Blake.
There is an index and a bibliography for each illustrator and a section with colour examples of some of the illustrations.

This is a charming book that will tell you much about these illustrators that have graced many children’s books. Those who love books and the illustrations in them will learn much about the people who have enriched them.



Restless Nation: Making Sense of Troubled Times by William Gumede


Our rainbow nation has become a restless nation. Citizens are faced with poor service delivery and corruption, while a new bling culture has infected both politics and business.
William Gumede takes a fearless look at these and other burning issues which threaten our democracy: self-interested leadership battles within the ANC, attacks on the constitution, black economic empowerment strategies which only benefit a few, racism and moral bankruptcy. Does the government have the ability – as well as the will – to lead us out of this malaise? Gumede is not convinced.
Yet in his distinctive style, he not only criticises but also offers solutions to our unique challenges. Restless Nation brings together some of his best writing.

The Story of Life and the Environment: A South African Perspective


The Story of Life & the Environment: An African Perspective is about the fragile miracle of life. It’s a celebration of the Earth’s rich and wonderful diversity – the species, populations, communities and ecosystems that surround us – and of nature’s resilience. It unpacks the three major ecosystems: fresh water, the ocean and the land, and the teeming life each supports on and around Africa. It discusses evolution and the ever-branching tree of life; how systems work, how populations expand and contract, and how all the elements of life interact. And it tells the story of how humans originated in Africa, and how we have evolved to become modern people.

The book sounds a warning about our human impact on the planet, which is fostering rapid climate change, as well as massive over-consumption and depletion of resources.

The book is also about responsible planning and management of our environment and natural resources to redress damage and ensure sustainability. This is the story of life and the environment in Africa.

For Children of All Ages…


Chowder by Peter Brown


As hard as he tries, Chowder has never managed to fit in with the other neighbourhood dogs. While the neighbourhood dogs are content to fetch newspapers and take walks, Chowder spends his days on the computer, dancing with his headphones, and using his favourite toy of all, his telescope. But being different makes Chowder lonely. When a petting zoo opens, Chowder is determined to make friends with the zoo animals. And with a strong kick and a flying leap, Chowder finally finds a place where he can be comfortable being his silly, slobbery self. Chowder is a hilarious and heartwarming story that introduces an endearing new character: a weird but completely loveable bulldog who learns to make friends by being true to his quirks.

Happy Reading!

Storytime: Octopi!

Saturday, July 21st 2012 at 11:00 AM

Octopi Storytime at The Book LoungeDid you ever wish you had eight legs? Well, an octopus has eight legs or is that eight arms? Today we will read some stories about octopuses and draw our own. Bring all your arms and legs for this one.


Groundwork by Rustum Kozain

Thursday, July 19th 2012 at 5:30 PM

Groundwork by Rustum Kozain at The Book Lounge