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Landscape Architecture Cape Town launch

Wednesday, October 31st 2012 at 5:30 PM

Landscape Architecture Cape Town at The Book Lounge


October 2012

Tuesday, October 30th 2012 at 12:52 PM


What a Month For Fiction!



Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan


Serena Frome, the beautiful daughter of an Anglican bishop, has a brief affair with an older man during her final year at Cambridge, and finds herself being groomed for the intelligence services. The year is 1972. Britain, confronting economic disaster, is being torn apart by industrial unrest and terrorism and faces its fifth state of emergency. The Cold War has entered a moribund phase, but the fight goes on, especially in the cultural sphere.

Serena, a compulsive reader of novels, is sent on a ‘secret mission’ which brings her into the literary world of Tom Haley, a promising young writer. First she loves his stories, then she begins to love the man. Can she maintain the fiction of her undercover life? And who is inventing whom? To answer these questions, Serena must abandon the first rule of espionage – trust no one.

McEwan’s mastery dazzles us in this superbly deft and witty story of betrayal and intrigue, love, and the invented self.

A thoroughly clever novel…a sublime novel about novels, about writing them and reading them and the spying that goes on in doing both…very impressive…rich and enjoyable.”                       Financial Times

The Cutting Season by Attica Locke


Just after dawn, Caren walks the grounds of Belle Vie, the historic plantation house in Louisiana that she has managed for the past four years. Today she sees nothing unusual, apart from some ground that has been dug up by the fence bordering the sugar cane fields. Assuming an animal has been out after dark, she asks the gardener to tidy it up. Not long afterwards, he calls her to say it’s something else. Something terrible. At a distance, Caren missed her. The body, the dirt and the blood. Now she has police on site, an investigation in progress, and a member of staff no one can track down. And Caren keeps uncovering things she will wish she didn’t know. As she’s drawn into the dead woman’s story, she makes shattering discoveries about the plantation’s past, its future, and a killer who may be a lot closer than she thinks…A magnificent, sweeping story of the south, The Cutting Season brings history face-to-face with modern America. Attica Locke once again provides an unblinking commentary on politics, race, the law, family and love, all within a thriller every bit as gripping and tragic as her first novel, Black Water Rising.

Winter Journal by Paul Auster


On January 3, 2011, exactly one month before his sixty-fourth birthday, Paul Auster sat down and wrote the first entry of Winter Journal, his unorthodox, beautifully wrought examination of his own life, as seen through the history of his body.

Composed in the manner of a musical fugue, the journal advances from one autobiographical fragment to the next, jumping backward and forward in time as the various themes intersect, bounce off one another, and ultimately merge in a great chorus of multiple voices, of one voice multiplied into many.

Writing in the second person, as if addressing himself as a stranger, which at the same time establishes an uncanny intimacy with the reader, Auster takes us from childhood to the brink of old age as he summons forth a universe of physical sensation, of pleasures and pains, moving from the awakening sexual desire as an adolescent to the ever deepening bonds of married love, from the shocks of violent accidents to an account of his mother’s sudden death in 2002, from meditations on eating and sleeping to the “scalding, epiphanic moment of clarity” in 1978 that set him on a new course as a writer.

Thirty years after the publication of The Invention of Solitude, his first book of prose, Paul Auster has now given us a second memoir of uncommon power and grace. Winter Journal is a book that looks straight into the heart of what it means to be alive.

NW by Zadie Smith

North West London comes vividly to life in NW, the new novel by the author of the bestselling White Teeth and Man Booker-shortlisted On Beauty.

This is the story of a city.

The north-west corner of a city. Here you’ll find guests and hosts, those with power and those without it, people who live somewhere special and others who live nowhere at all. And many people in between.

Every city is like this. Cheek-by-jowl living. Separate worlds.

And then there are the visitations: the rare times a stranger crosses a threshold without permission or warning, causing a disruption in the whole system. Like the April afternoon a woman came to Leah Hanwell’s door, seeking help, disturbing the peace, forcing Leah out of her isolation . . .

Zadie Smith’s brilliant tragi-comic new novel follows four Londoners – Leah, Natalie, Felix and Nathan – as they try to make adult lives outside of Caldwell, the council estate of their childhood. From private houses to public parks, at work and at play, their London is a complicated place, as beautiful as it is brutal, where the thoroughfares hide the back alleys and taking the high road can sometimes lead you to a dead end.

Depicting the modern urban zone – familiar to town-dwellers everywhere – Zadie Smith’s NW is a quietly devastating novel of encounters, mercurial and vital, like the city itself.

Undeniably brilliant…rush out and buy this book before the summer is out.”                      Observer

Intensely funny, richly varied, always unexpected. A joyous, optimistic, angry masterpiece. No better English novel will be published this year’ Philip Hensher.”              Daily Telegraph

A hilarious and lyrical love letter to north-west London . . . Like Dickens, Smith not only has a playwright’s gift for dialogue, she also employs a powerful social outrage with great humour to create thrilling works of literary fiction. This is a very big book.”                      Sunday Telegraph

Absolutely brilliant…So electrically authentic, it reads like surveillance transcripts.”                      Time Magazine

A Possible Life by Sebastian Faulks

A Possible LifeTerrified, a young prisoner in the Second World War closes his eyes and pictures himself going out to bat on a sunlit cricket ground in Hampshire.

Across the courtyard in a Victorian workhouse, a father too ashamed to acknowledge his son.

A skinny girl steps out of a Chevy with a guitar; her voice sends shivers through the skull.

Soldiers and lovers, parents and children, scientists and musicians risk their bodies and hearts in search of connection – some key to understanding what makes us the people we become.

Provocative and profound, Sebastian Faulks’s dazzling novel journeys across continents and time to explore the chaos created by love, separation and missed opportunities. From the pain and drama of these highly particular lives emerges a mysterious consolation: the chance to feel your heart beat in someone else’s life.

This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz

Pulitzer Prize-winner Junot Díaz’s first book, Drown, established him as a major new writer with “the dispassionate eye of a journalist and the tongue of a poet” (Newsweek). His first novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, was named #1 Fiction Book of the Year” by Time magazine and spent more than 100 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, establishing itself – with more than a million copies in print – as a modern classic. In addition to the Pulitzer, Díaz has won a host of major awards and prizes, including the National Book Critic’s Circle Award, the PEN/Malamud Award, the PEN/O. Henry Prize, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and the Anisfield-Wolf Award.

Now Díaz turns his remarkable talent to the haunting, impossible power of love – obsessive love, illicit love, fading love, maternal love. On a beach in the Dominican Republic, a doomed relationship flounders. In the heat of a hospital laundry room in New Jersey, a woman does her lover’s washing and thinks about his wife. In Boston, a man buys his love child, his only son, a first baseball bat and glove. At the heart of these stories is the irrepressible, irresistible Yunior, a young hardhead whose longing for love is equaled only by his recklessness–and by the extraordinary women he loves and loses: artistic Alma; the aging Miss Lora; Magdalena, who thinks all Dominican men are cheaters; and the love of his life, whose heartbreak ultimately becomes his own. In prose that is endlessly energetic, inventive, tender, and funny, the stories in the New York Times-Bestselling This Is How You Lose Her lay bare the infinite longing and inevitable weakness of the human heart. They remind us that passion always triumphs over experience, and that “the half-life of love is forever.”

The Spinoza Problem by Irving D Yallom

The Spinoza ProblemWhen sixteen-year-old Alfred Rosenberg is called into his headmaster’s office for anti-Semitic remarks he made during a school speech, he is forced, as a punishment, to memorize passages about Spinoza from the autobiography of the German poet Goethe. Rosenberg is stunned to discover that Goethe, his idol, was a great admirer of the Jewish seventeenth -century philosopher Baruch Spinoza. Long after graduation, Rosenberg remains haunted by this “Spinoz problem”: how could the German genius Goethe have been inspired by a member of a race Rosenberg considers inferior to his own, a race he was determinded to destroy? Spinoza himself was no stranger to punishment during his lifetime. Because of his unorthodox religious views, he was excommunicated from the Amsterdam Jewish community in 1656, at the age of twent-four, and banished form the only world he had ever known. Though his life was short and he lived without means in great isolation, he nonetheless produced works that changed the course of history. Ove the years, Rosenberg rose through the ranks to become an outspoken Nazi ideologue, a faithful servant of Hitler, and the main author of racial policy for the Third Reich. Still, his Spinoza obsession lingered. By imagining the unexpected intersection of Spinoza’s life with Rosenberg’s, internationally bestselling novellist Irvin D. Yalom explores the mindsets of two men separated by 300 years. Using his skills as a psychiatrist, he explores the inner lives of Spinoz, the saintly secular philosopher, and of Rosenberg, the godless mass murderer.

The Daylight Gate by Jeanette Winterson

The Daylight GateCan a man be maimed by witchcraft?

Can a severed head speak?

Based on the most notorious of English witch-trials, this is a tale of magic, superstition, conscience and ruthless murder.

It is set in a time when politics and religion were closely intertwined; when, following the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, every Catholic conspirator fled to a wild and untamed place far from the reach of London law.

This is Lancashire. This is Pendle. This is witch country.

Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon

From Michael Chabon, the bestselling author of The Amazing Adventures Of Kavalier And Clay – his first novel in five years is a lovingly painted pop-culture epic.

One street in Oakland, California. As the summer draws to a close, Archy Stallings and Nat Jaffe are hanging in there, co-regents of Brokeland Records. Their wives, Gwen and Aviva, are the Berkeley Birth Partners, a pair of legendary midwives.

When former star quarterback Gibson Goode announces plans to dump his latest Dogpile megastore on Telegraph Avenue, Nat and Archy fear the worst for their vulnerable little enterprise, as behind Goode’s proposal lurks a nefarious scheme.

While their husbands struggle to mount a defence, Aviva and Gwen find themselves caught up in a professional battle that tests their friendship. And into their already tangled lives comes Titus Joyner, the teenage son Archy has never acknowledged.

An intimate epic set to the laid-back beat of classic soul-jazz and pulsing with a virtuosic, pyrotechnical style all of its own, Telegraph Avenue is Michael Chabon’s most dazzling book yet.

Flight Behaviour by Barbara Kingsolver

Flight BehaviourFlight Behavior transfixes from its opening scene, when a young woman’s narrow experience of life is thrown wide with the force of a raging fire. In the lyrical language of her native Appalachia, Barbara Kingsolver bares the rich, tarnished humanity of her novel’s inhabitants and unearths the modern complexities of rural existence. Characters and reader alike are quickly carried beyond familiar territory here, into the unsettled ground of science, faith, and everyday truces between reason and conviction.

Dellarobia Turnbow is a restless farm wife who gave up her own plans when she accidentally became pregnant at seventeen. Now, after a decade of domestic disharmony on a failing farm, she has settled for permanent disappointment but seeks momentary escape through an obsessive flirtation with a younger man. As she hikes up a mountain road behind her house to a secret tryst, she encounters a shocking sight: a silent, forested valley filled with what looks like a lake of fire. She can only understand it as a cautionary miracle, but it sparks a raft of other explanations from scientists, religious leaders, and the media. The bewildering emergency draws rural farmers into unexpected acquaintance with urbane journalists, opportunists, sightseers, and a striking biologist with his own stake in the outcome. As the community lines up to judge the woman and her miracle, Dellarobia confronts her family, her church, her town, and a larger world, in a flight toward truth that could undo all she has ever believed.

Flight Behavior takes on one of the most contentious subjects of our time: climate change. With a deft and versatile empathy Kingsolver dissects the motives that drive denial and belief in a precarious world.



Zoo Time by Howard Jacobson


Novelist Guy Ableman is in thrall to his vivacious wife Vanessa, a strikingly beautiful red-head, contrary, highly strung and blazingly angry. The trouble is, he is no less in thrall to her alluring mother, Poppy. More like sisters than mother and daughter, they come as a pair, a blistering presence that destroys Guy’s peace of mind, suggesting the wildest stories but making it impossible for him to concentrate long enough to write any of them. Not that anyone reads Guy, anyway. Not that anyone is reading anything. Reading, Guy fears, is finished. His publisher, fearing the same, has committed suicide. His agent, like all agents, is in hiding. Vanessa, in the meantime, is writing a novel of her own. Guy doesn’t expect her to finish it, or even start it, but he dreads the consequences if she does. In flight from personal disappointment and universal despair, Guy wonders if it’s time to take his love for Poppy to another level. Fiction might be dead, but desire isn’t. And out of that desire he imagines squeezing one more great book. By turns angry, elegiac and rude, Zoo Time is a novel about love – love of women, love of literature, love of laughter.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn


“What are you thinking, Amy? The question I’ve asked most often during our marriage, if not out loud, if not to the person who could answer. I suppose these questions stormcloud over every marriage: What are you thinking? How are you feeling? Who are you? What have we done to each other? What will we do?”

Just how well can you ever know the person you love? This is the question that Nick Dunne must ask himself on the morning of his fifth wedding anniversary, when his wife Amy suddenly disappears. The police immediately suspect Nick. Amy’s friends reveal that she was afraid of him, that she kept secrets from him. He swears it isn’t true. A police examination of his computer shows strange searches. He says they aren’t his. And then there are the persistent calls on his mobile phone. So what did really did happen to Nick’s beautiful wife? And what was left in that half-wrapped box left so casually on their marital bed? In this novel, marriage truly is the art of war…

Very highly recommended – not to be missed!

Flynn, an extraordinarily good writer, plays her readers with the finesse and delicacy of an expert angler. She wields her unreliable narrators to stunning effect, baffling, disturbing and delighting in turn, practically guaranteeing an immediate reread once her terrifying, wonderful conclusion is reached… an early contender for thriller of the year, and an absolute must-read.”                       Observer

These voices are wonderfully authentic, to the point where the reader becomes a gawker at the full-spectrum of marital dysfunction. Excellent. “                                Guardian

Gone Girl is superbly constructed, ingeniously paced and absolutely terrifying… a Five-star suspense mystery.”                                AN Wilson

Immensely dark and deeply intelligent, Gone Girl is a book about how well one person can truly know another.”             Metro

Flynn is a brilliantly accomplished psychological crime writer and this latest book is so dark, so twisted and so utterly compelling that it actually messes with your mind.”                Daily Mail

You think you’re reading a good, conventional thriller and then it grows into a fascinating portrait of one averagely mismatched relationship…Nothing’s as it seems – Flynn is a fabulous plotter, and a very sharp observer of modern life in the aftermath of the credit crunch.”             The Times


Revolution: Book Two of the Africa Trilogy by Ejersbo


Revolution is a collection of eleven short stories that act as a vital bridge between the novels Exile and Liberty. But it is also so much more than that. Ejersbo had a remarkable and unaffected talent for getting inside the heads of his characters: Moses, a worker in a Tanzanite mine who lives in hope of striking it rich; Sofie, a Greenlander who joins a French conman on his trip around the world; Rachel, who tries to make a life for herself in a city where everyone sees her as a whore in waiting. You feel that Ejerbso could have written from the heart of every person living in Tanzania; and that you could go on reading them forever.

John Saturnall’s Feast by Lawrence Norfolk


From the bestselling author of Lemprière’s Dictionary, Lawrence Norfolk is back with an astounding novel of seventeeth-century life, love and war; the story of an orphan who becomes the greatest cook of his age. The village of Buckland, 1625. A boy and his mother run for their lives. Behind them a mob chants of witchcraft. Taking refuge among the trees of Buccla’s Wood, the mother opens her book and tells her son of an ancient Feast kept in secret down the generations. But as exquisite dishes rise from the page, the ground beneath them freezes. That winter, the boy’s mother dies. Taken to Buckland Manor, John is put to work in the house’s vast subterranean kitchens where his talent raises him from the scullery to the great house above. A complex dish served to King Charles brings him before Lady Lucretia Fremantle, the headstrong daughter of the house. He must tempt her from her fast. But both encounters will imperil him. As the Civil War begins and the New Order’s fanatical soldiers march, John and Lucretia are thrown together into a passionate struggle for survival. To keep all he holds most dear, John must realise his mother’s vision. He must serve the Saturnall Feast.

Glorious…The whole book is an extended fantasia on the idea of taste itself. Like all the best historical novels, John Saturnall’s Feast is not just a novel set in some point in history…but a novel about how histories infect stories.”                  The Times

Lawrence Norfolk is just about ahead of everyone in his generation of English novelists.”              Observer

As vivid as it is mouth-watering…This glorious, multilayered banquet of a book is clever and finely wrought, and the prose, steeped in the arcane language of 17th-century cuisine, brings it vividly and sensually to life.”                      Metro

In Norfolk’s skilful hands, there is no danger of verbal indigestion. John Saturnall’s Feast is the most accessible of his works. A grown-up fairy tale…Fantastical architecture and weird botany are a vivid background to the bloody conflict and swooning romance. Norfolk is an expert on obscure sources as well as sauces. His blend of horrid history and oddly credible fantasy deserves to be consumed by the masses.”                    Sunday Telegraph


The Heart Broke In by James Meek

Would you betray someone you love to give them what they want?

Bec Shepherd is a malaria researcher struggling to lead a good life. Ritchie, her reprobate brother, is a rock star turned TV producer. When Bec refuses an offer of marriage from a powerful newspaper editor and Ritchie’s indiscretions catch up with him, brother and sister are forced to choose between loyalty and betrayal. The Heart Broke In is an old-fashioned story of modern times, a rich, ambitious family drama of love, death and money in the era of gene therapy and internet blackmail. From the author of the ‘spellbinding’ (Guardian), ‘quite extraordinary‘ (Philip Pullman), ‘startlingly original’ (Mail on Sunday) novel, The People’s Act of Love.


Toby’s Room by Pat Barker


Pat Barker returns to the First World War and to the characters of Life Class with her new novel Toby’s Room, a dark, compelling story of human desire, wartime horror and the power of friendship.

When Toby is reported ‘Missing, Believed Killed’, another secret casts a lengthening shadow over Elinor’s world: how exactly did Toby die – and why? Elinor determines to uncover the truth. Only then can she finally close the door to Toby’s room. Moving from the Slade School of Art to Queen Mary’s Hospital, where surgery and art intersect in the rebuilding of the shattered faces of the wounded, Toby’s Room is a riveting drama of identity, damage, intimacy and loss. Toby’s Room is Pat Barker’s most powerful novel yet.

Heart-rendering return to the Great War…On every level, Toby’s Room anatomises a world where extreme emotion shatters the boundaries of identity, behaviour, gender. Through the mask of Apollo bursts an omnipresent Dionysus.”                        Independent

Once again Barker skilfully moves between past and present, seamlessly weaving fact and fiction into a gripping narrative.”                   Sunday Telegraph

The Hanging Garden by Patrick White

Two children are brought to a wild garden on the shores of Sydney Harbour to shelter from the Second World War. The boy’s mother has died in the Blitz. The girl is the daughter of a Sydney woman and a Communist executed in a Greek prison. In wartime Australia, these two children form an extraordinary bond as they negotiate the dangers of life as strangers abandoned on the far side of the world.

With the tenderness and rigour of an old, wise novelist, Patrick White explores the world of these children, the city of his childhood and the experience of war. The Hanging Garden ends as the news reaches Sydney of victory in Europe, and the children face their inevitable separation.

White put the novel aside at this point and how he planned to finish the work remains a mystery. But at his death he left behind a masterpiece in the making, published here for the first time.

The Thief by Fuminori Nakamura

Nishimura is a seasoned pickpocket. Anonymous in his tailored suit, he weaves through the crowded Tokyo streets, stealing wallets from strangers so smoothly sometimes even he doesn’t remember the snatch. To him, people are just nameless faces from whom he chooses his victims; he has no family, no friends, no connections…But he does have a past, which finally catches up with him when his old partner-in-crime reappears and offers him a job he can’t refuse. It should have been easy: break into an apartment, tie up an old rich man, steal the contents of his safe, no-one gets hurt. But the day after the job, Nishimura learns that the old man was a prominent politician – and that he has been brutally murdered. Suddenly, Nishimura finds himself caught in a tangle so tight that even he might not be able to escape.

A Smörgåsbord of Non-fiction

In Another World: Among Europe’s Dying Villages by Tom Pow

In one of the great defining moments in human history, more people now live in cities than in rural areas, and the effects of this depopulation and the plummeting birthrate are being felt keenly throughout Europe, which has the fastest-declining population in the world. Tom Pow sets out to explore what this means in some of the most rapidly vanishing areas of Europe. From Spain to Russia, he uses the tools of his trade – travelogue, essay, story and poem – to make connections, not only with what he encounters in numerous dying villages, but to reflect on his own experiences of memory, identity and loss. In Another World is an open book: not an argument, but an invitation to remember, to reflect and to engage with one of the most significant social issues affecting Europe today.

History of the World in 12 Maps by J Brotton


Throughout history, maps have been fundamental in shaping our view of the world, and our place in it. But far from being purely scientific objects, world maps are unavoidably ideological and subjective, intimately bound up with the systems of power and authority of particular times and places. Mapmakers do not simply represent the world, they construct it out of the ideas of their age.

In this scintillating book, Jerry Brotton examines the significance of 12 maps – from the mystical representations of ancient history to the satellite-derived imagery of today. He vividly recreates the environments and circumstances in which each of the maps was made, showing how each conveys a highly individual view of the world – whether the Jerusalem-centred Christian perspective of the 14th century Hereford Mappa Mundi or the Peters projection of the 1970s which aimed to give due weight to ‘the third world’.

Although the way we map our surroundings is once more changing dramatically, Brotton argues that maps today are no more definitive or objective than they have ever been – but that they continue to make arguments and propositions about the world, and to recreate, shape and mediate our view of it. Readers of this book will never look at a map in quite the same way again.

This is Improbable: Cheese String Theory, Magnetic Chickens and Other WTF Research by Marc Abrahams


Thinking seriously about outlandish problems has yielded many advances in science.


Sometimes, not.

Marc Abrahams, the mind behind the internationally renowned Ig Nobel Prizes, is on a mission to gather the bizarre, the questionable, the brilliant, the downright funny, the profound – everything improbable – from the research annals:

What’s the best way to slice a ham sandwich, mathematically?

What makes Bobs look especially Bob-like?

Is the right or left ear better at discerning lies?

Could mice be outfitted with parachutes to kill tree snakes?

Abrahams’ wry tour through these strangest of strange investigations of animals, plants, and minerals (including humans) will first make you laugh, and then make you think about your world in a completely new way.

Moranthology by Caitlin Moran


Possibly the only drawback about the bestselling How To Be A Woman was that its author, Caitlin Moran, was limited to pretty much one subject: being a woman.

Moranthology is proof that Caitlin can actually be ‘quite chatty’ about many other things, including cultural, social and political issues which are usually the province of learned professors, or hot-shot wonks – and not a woman who once, as an experiment, put a wasp in a jar, and got it stoned.

These other subjects include:

Caffeine | Ghostbusters | Being Poor | Twitter | Caravans | Obama | Wales | Marijuana Addiction |Paul McCartney | The Welfare State | Sherlock | David Cameron Looking Like Ham | Amy Winehouse | Elizabeth Taylor’s Eyes | Michael Jackson’s Funeral | ‘The Big Society’ | Big Hair | Nutter-letters | Failed Nicknames | Wolverhampton | Squirrels’ Testicles | Sexy Tax | Binge-drinking | Chivalry | Rihanna’s Cardigan | Boris Johnson – Albino Shag-hound | Party Bags | Hot People| Transsexuals | The Gay Moon Landings | My Own, Untimely Death.

Brother Mendel’s Perfect Horse by Frank Westerman

‘When you touch a Lipizzaner,’ Frank Westerman was told as a child, ‘you are touching history.’

In Brother Mendel’s Perfect Horse he explores the history of these unique creatures, an extraordinary troop of pedigree horses first bred as personal mounts for the Emperor of Austria-Hungary. Following the bloodlines of the studbook, he reconstructs the story of four generations of imperial steeds as they survive the fall of the Habsburg Empire, two world wars and the insane breeding experiments conducted under Hitler, Stalin and Ceausescu.

But what begins as a fairytale becomes a chronicle of the quest for racial purity. Carrying the reader across Europe, from imperial stables and stud farms to the controversial gene labs of today, Westerman asks, if animal breeders are so good at genetic engineering, why do attempts to perfect the human strain always end in tragedy?

Brother Mendel’s Perfect Horse, a unique and engrossing fusion of history and travel writing, is a modern fable in which the pure-blood horse ends up revealing man’s own shortcomings.

The Boxer and the Goal Keeper: Sartre versus Camus by Andy Martin

Jean-Paul Sartre is the author of possibly the most notorious one-liner of twentieth-century philosophy: ‘Hell is other people’. Albert Camus was The Outsider. The two men first came together in Occupied Paris in the middle of the Second World War, and quickly became friends, comrades, and mutual admirers. But the intellectual honeymoon was short-lived. In 1943, with Nazis patrolling the streets, Sartre and Camus sat in a cafe on the boulevard Saint-Germain with Simone de Beauvoir and began a discussion about life and love and literature that would finally tear them apart. They ended up on opposite sides in a war of words over just about everything: women, philosophy, politics.Their friendship culminated in a bitter & very public feud that was described as ‘the end of a love-affair’ but which never really finished.

Sartre was a boxer and a drug-addict; Camus was a goalkeeper who subscribed to a degree-zero approach to style and ecstasy. Sartre, obsessed with his own ugliness, took up the challenge of accumulating women; Camus, part-Bogart, part-Samurai, was also a self-confessed Don Juan who aspired to chastity. Sartre and Camus play out an epic struggle between the symbolic and the savage. But what if the friction between these two unique individuals is also the source of our own inevitable conflicts? Martin reconstructs the intense and antagonistic relationship that was (in Sartre’s terms) ‘doomed to failure’. Weaving together the lives and ideas and writings of Albert Camus and Jean-Paul Sartre, he relives the existential drama that binds them together and remixes a philosophical dialogue that speaks to us now.

Carl Jung by C Dunne

This beautifully illustrated biography tells the story of one of the most influential thinkers of the 20th century. Carl Jung continues to be revered today as a true revolutionary who changed our views of psychology, introduced the West to Eastern spirituality and brought into general awareness such important concepts as archetypes, the collective unconscious and synchronicity. In this book lecturer, author and broadcaster Claire Dunne chronicles Jung’s journey of self-discovery from his childhood, filled with visions both terrifying and profound, through to his early adulthood when he pursued more material goals, to his rediscovery of spirituality at mid-life. Special attention is paid to the tumultuous relationship between Jung and his one-time mentor Sigmund Freud, the unconventional yet vital role performed by his student Toni Wolff, and the revelatory visions Jung experienced following a close brush with death. The words of Jung himself and those who shared his work and private life are presented verbatim, interspersed with Claire Dunne’s lively and accessible commentary and an evocative array of illustrations including photos of Jung, his associates and the environments in which he lived and worked, as well as art images both ancient and contemporary that reflect Jung’s teachings. Jung emerges as a healer whose skills arose from having first attended to the wounds in his own soul. This is an essential book for everyone interested in psychology, spirituality and personal development.

From the Ruins of Empire Asia by Pankaj Mishra

From Pankaj Mishra, author the successful Temptations of the West and Butter Chicken in Ludhiana, comes a provocative account of how China, India and the Muslim World are remaking the world in their own image.

The Victorian period, viewed in the West as a time of self-confident progress, was experienced by Asians as a catastrophe. As the British gunned down the last heirs to the Mughal Empire, burned down the Summer Palace in Beijing, or humiliated the bankrupt rulers of the Ottoman Empire, it was clear that for Asia to recover a vast intellectual effort would be required.

Pankaj Mishra’s fascinating, highly entertaining new book tells the story of a remarkable group of men from across the continent who met the challenge of the West. Incessantly travelling, questioning and agonising, they both hated the West and recognised that an Asian renaissance needed to be fuelled in part by engagement with the enemy. Through many setbacks and wrong turns, a powerful, contradictory and ultimately unstoppable series of ideas were created that now lie behind everything from the Chinese Communist Party to Al Qaeda, from Indian nationalism to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Mishra allows the reader to see the events of two centuries anew, through the eyes of the journalists, poets, radicals and charismatics who criss-crossed Europe and Asia and created the ideas which lie behind the powerful Asian nations of the twenty-first century.

Not Me: Memoirs of a German Childhood by Joachim Fest

Few others have determined our understanding of the Third Reich as Joachim Fest. Fierce and intransigent, German born Fest was a relentless interrogator of his nation’s modern history. His analysis, The Face of the Third Reich, his biographies of Adolf Hitler and Albert Speer and his descriptions of the last days in the Fuhrer’s bunker have all reached a worldwide audience of millions – but how did Fest, the contemporary historian born in 1926 – personally experience National Socialism, the Second World War and a defeated Germany?
In this memoir of his childhood and youth, Joachim Fest chronicles his own extraordinary life, providing an intimate picture of his immediate experiences of those dark years of conflict. Whether describing his Catholic home in a Berlin suburb, his father’s early working ban, his own expulsion from school – or ‘Aunt Dolly’s’ introductions to the operatic world, the precocious wisdoms of his elder brother, his readings during his military service or his 7-day flight in a wooden box from imprisonment by the Americans – these are the long-awaited personal reflections of a born observer.

JM Coetzee: A Life in Writing by JC Kannemeyer

In spite of his world-wide eminence as a novelist and a literary scholar, the Nobel laureate JM Coetzee has not yet been the subject of a comprehensive biography. For  JM. Coetzee: A Life in Writing, JC Kannemeyer, known for his two-volume history of Afrikaans literature, and biographies of Afrikaans authors, had the cooperation of Coetzee himself, who granted him interviews and put him in touch with family, friends and colleagues. Coetzee also provided him with comprehensive documentation in his private possession. Kannemeyer also studied the enormous body of literature on Coetzee, unearthing information not previously accessed. Kannemeyer completed this biography before his unexpected death on 25 December 2011. It has been translated by Michiel Heyns from Afrikaans to English.

The book journeys through Coetzee’s life, starting with an exploration of his genealogy, followed by a chronicle of his childhood in Cape Town and Worcester. After an account of his schooling, the biography traces Coetzee’s career through his student days at the University of Cape Town and time as a computer programmer in Britain. After this, he studied for his doctorate at the University of Texas in Austin, followed by three years as a lecturer at the State University of New York at Buffalo. His participation in a peaceful protest against the presence of police on the Buffalo campus led to the refusal of his application for a visa for an extended stay in the country, obliging him to return to the country of his birth.

Upon his return in 1971, Coetzee was appointed as a lecturer in English at the University of Cape Town, where for the next thirty years he enjoyed an illustrious academic career, encompassing spells as a visiting professor at American universities, and many lectures and readings at a wide variety of conferences and institutions. In 1974 his debut novel, Dusklands, appeared, followed by a number of novels that established him as a leading English-language novelist.

The biography for the first time introduces into the public domain information about an author known for only very exceptionally granting interviews to journalists, and not readily discussing his private life. The biographer had the opportunity to correct many misconceptions still prevailing, and to provide information shedding light on the genesis and implications of the novels. All in all, this biography is an indispensible source for everybody concerned with the work of JM Coetzee.



All About Africa

The Kebble Collusion: The Story of the World’s Greatest Unprosecuted Fraud by Barry Sergeant

There are some who would say that the Brett Kebble ‘saga’ is over – or at least that it’s been fully explained. The Kebble Collusion shows that nothing could be further from the truth. This is a story that starts unfolding 15 years ago, in 1997, and which stretches out to the present day. And it is a story of the world’s biggest unprosecuted fraud. How is it that not a single person has been prosecuted where damages of R26 billion can be proven? The narrative unravels this remarkable story, which covers the period of Brett Kebble’s reign as a ‘Randlord’, from around September 1997 until his death on 27 September 2005, and then continues to unravel the cover ups which continue to this day.

The book shows in detail how and why the various individuals and entities that conspired with Brett Kebble to hide and benefit from this mind-boggling fraud have failed to be brought to account, either in the civil or criminal courts. The narrative speaks truth to power, exposing as it does the tender underbelly of South Africa’s young democracy. It is essential reading for all those dedicated to building a better country.

External Mission: The ANC in Exile 1960-1990 by Stephen Ellis

Nelson Mandela’s release from prison in February 1990 was one of the most memorable moments of recent decades. It came a few days after the removal of the ban on the African National Congress; founded a century ago and outlawed in 1960, it had transferred its headquarters abroad and opened what it termed an External Mission. For the thirty years following its banning, the ANC had fought relentlessly against the apartheid state. Finally voted into office in 1994, the ANC today regards its armed struggle as the central plank of its legitimacy. External Mission is the first study of the ANC s period in exile, based on a full range of sources in southern Africa and Europe. These include the ANC s own archives and also those of the Stasi, the East German ministry that trained the ANC’s security personnel. It reveals that the decision to create the Umkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation) — a guerrilla army which later became the ANC’s armed wing – was made not by the ANC but by its allies in the South African Communist Party after negotiations with Chinese leader Mao Zedong. In this impressive work, Ellis shows that many of the strategic decisions made, and many of the political issues that arose during the course of that protracted armed struggle, had a lasting effect on South Africa, shaping its society even up to the present day.

The Last Afrikaner Leaders by Hermann Giliomee

Renowned historian Hermann Giliomee challenges the conventional wisdom on the downfall of white rule: Instead of impersonal forces, or the resourcefulness of an indomitable resistance movement, he emphasises the role of Nationalist leaders and of their outspoken critic, Van Zyl Slabbert. What motivated each of the last Afrikaner leaders, from Verwoerd to De Klerk? How did each try to reconcile economic growth, white privilege and security with the demands of an increasingly assertive black leadership and unexpected population figures?

In exploring each leader’s background, reasoning and personal foibles, Giliomee takes issue with the assumption that South Africa was inexorably heading for an ANC victory in 1994. He argues that historical accidents radically affected the course of politics.

Drawing on primary sources and personal interviews, this book sheds dramatic new light on many key moments: Verwoerd’s offer to the urban black leadership in 1950, the incursion into Angola in 1975, the unexpected breakthrough that made possible the labour reforms, Botha’s secret attempt in 1984 to forge a pact with the Soviet Union, the background to the disastrous Rubicon speech and the National Party backtracking in the negotiations.

Giliomee offers a fresh and stimulating political history which attempts not to condemn, but to understand why the last Afrikaner leaders did what they did, and why their own policies ultimately failed them.

Intimately informed … invaluable.”               RW Johnson

 “Breaks new ground…illuminating and judicious.”               David Welsh

Forgotten People: Political Banishment Under Apartheid by Saleem Badat

In 2001, in Unfinished Business: South Africa, Apartheid and Truth, Dumisa Ntsebeza and Terry Bell complained that ‘like so much of South Africa’s recent brutal history, we shall probably never know exactly how many people were banished and what happened to all of them’. Saleem Badat’s The Forgotten People answers many questions about banishment and shines a bright and welcome light on a largely hidden and unknown aspect of our indeed ‘brutal history’. It shows how apartheid’s political opponents from rural areas were condemned to the living hell of banishment: a weapon used to expel rural opponents to distant and often arid and desolate places for unlimited periods. These rural opponents were plucked from their families and communities and cast, in the late Helen Joseph’s words, ‘into the most abandoned parts of the country, there to live, perhaps to die, to suffer and starve, or to stretch out a survival by poorly paid labour, if and when they could get it’. They were strangers in strange areas who could not speak the local language, and often had little in common with the locals and even less in common with those under whose surveillance they fell.

This is the first study of an important but hitherto neglected group of opponents of apartheid set in a global, historical and comparative perspective. It looks at the reasons why people were banished, their lives in banishment and the efforts of a remarkable group of activists, led by Helen Joseph, to assist them. Indeed, this book originated in a promise made by the author to Helen Joseph, who had undertaken an epic journey in 1962 to visit all those banished across the length and breadth of South Africa. The work is illustrated with stunning photographs by Ernest Cole, Peter Magubane and others.


Kgalema Motlanthe by Ebrahim Harvey

Ebrahim Harvey’s superb account of a man characterised by his reticence provides a rare and thorough insight into this most private and yet among the most powerful of men in South Africa. We learn about his ancestral family and his political awakenings as he discovers the ANC. From here we come to understand the importance of his time on Robben Island, and the friendships and alliances which would follow his political career. In 1997 he succeeded Cyril Ramaphosa as ANC Secretary General and the mark of this reserved but often courageously independent politician was beginning to be noticed. Just over 10 years later, Motlanthe had risen to become the third President of the Republic of South Africa, though under exceptional circumstances. It was Gwede Mantashe who said that it was a measure of the man that he could allow a strong critic of the ANC to write his biography. With impeccable timing and a real sense of history this book for the first time allows the public to get to know and understand Motlanthe. This biography contains wide ranging interviews with Kgalema, his family, his friends and comrades at Cosatu, the NUM, the SACP, the ANC and government. It also includes interviews with leading figures in other political organisations, civil society, academia and the media. Unsparing in its scope, detailed in its revelations and with a rigorously critical analysis this book will reveal not only the complex politician but also the very human nature of the man.

Radio Congo: Signals of Hope from Africa’s Deadliest War by Ben Rawlence

Brash hustlers, sinister colonels, resilient refugees, and intrepid radio hosts: meet the future of Congo. While poring over dusty photographs of colonial Congo, Ben Rawlence stumbled upon the image of a lost city a glistening metropolis fuelled by tin and European capital. Today, that city, Manono, lies inside the Triangle of Death, an area rarely reached by outsiders since war broke out in Congo more than a decade ago. Rawlence, a senior researcher at Human Rights Watch, set out to gather news of Manono and of Congo’s uneasy peace. Rather than taking the direct flight suggested by aid workers and mercenaries, he travels by foot, bike, and boat, taking his time to meet the people who are making a new life in one of the world’s most dangerous places. We meet Colonel Ibrahim, a guerrilla turned army officer; Benjamin, the kindly father of the most terrifying Mai Mai warlord; the Lebanese cousins Mohammed and Mohammed, young tin traders making their fortune; and the talk-show host Mama Christine, who dispenses counsel and courage in equal measure. Along the way, Rawlence hears the real stories of Congo, during and after the war, and finds beacons of hope for the future.

Ivory, Apes and Peacocks: Animals, Adventures and Discovery in the Wild Places of Africa by Alan Root

Alan Root is one of Africa’s most bitten. In the course of his adventures he has been mauled by a leopard, a silverback gorilla and a hippo, and almost lost his life to a deadly puff adder, which claimed one of his fingers. Root’s unmatched experience of East African wildlife and his appetite for risk have made him a world-class naturalist and film-maker. He’s one of the great wildlife pioneers.

In Ivory, Apes & Peacocks, Alan tells the story of his life’s work, from his arrival in Kenya as a young boy (furious at having to leave behind Britain’s birds) to the making of his game-changing films. Instead of sticking to the Big Five animals, these looked up close at whole ecosystems – baobab trees, termite mounds, natural springs – and involved firsts such as tracking the wildebeest migration from a balloon, then flying it over Kilimanjaro, filming inside a hornbill’s nest and diving with hippos and crocodiles.

Along the way we meet Sally the pet hippo and Emily the house-proud chimp, watch as Dian Fossey catches sight of her first mountain gorilla and have sundowners with George and Joy Adamson. And here, too, is Joan Root, Alan’s wife and collaborator for over thirty years, who was brutally murdered in retaliation for her environmental campaigning.

In this extraordinary memoir we look at Africa’s wonders through the eyes of a visionary, live through hair-raising adventure and personal sorrow, and also bear witness to a natural world now largely lost from view.

Black Man’s Medicine by Muzi Kuzwayo

Controversial? Thought-provoking? True? Stimulating? Offensive?

The title of this book comes from the African adage: ‘The Black Man’s Medicine is the White Man’. It implies that black people won’t do anything right, unless there is a white man around, or that black people won’t be satisfied with anything unless it has been done by a white man.

Black Man’s Medicine is about economic freedom. It introduces the idea that SEE (self-economic empowerment) is the new BEE. Most importantly, it insists that apartheid was a terrible and unfortunate part of our shared history but should no longer define our present challenges and myriad opportunities for success. In essence this book is about moving from mud and dust, through the boardroom and on to a new Africa, where people work hard and life is decent.

Kuzwayo’s self-professed goal is help us see our own, familiar truths differently, just in case they have passed their sell-by date, and to question the righteousness of our rituals and to test the accuracy of our adages.

Is the black man’s medicine really the white man?

This is the third book written by Muzi Kuzwayo and it follows the roaring successes of Marketing through Mud and Dust and There’s a Tsotsi in the Boardroom. It is a fun, easy read that will challenge the way we all think about our roles in South Africa today.

Don’t Forget Christmas is Coming…!

Nigellissima: Instant Italian Inspiration by Nigella Lawson

Nigellissima takes inspiration from Italian cooking to bring the spirit of Italy into the kitchen and onto the plate, pronto. At the heart of Italian cookery lies a celebration of food that is fresh, tasty and unpretentious; Nigella Lawson reflects this in recipes that are simple and speedy, elevating everyday eating into no-fuss feasts.

Italian food has colonised the world. Nigellissima shows us how and why in over 100 delicious dishes – from telephone-cord pasta with Sicilian pesto to the crustless Meatzza, from Sardinian couscous to Venetian stew, from penne to papardelle, from ragù to risotto, from Italian apple pie and no-churn ices to panna cotta and sambuca kisses – in a round-Italy quickstep that culminates in a festive chapter of party food, with an Italian-inspired Christmas feast as its mouthwatering centrepiece. From the traditional to the unfamiliar, here are recipes to excite the taste buds and the imagination, without stressing the cook.

Nigella’s gastronomic heart is in Italy, and in this new book she conjures up, with passionate relish, the warmth, simplicity and directness of Italian cooking, with an Anglo-twist. Illustrated with gorgeous photographs to instruct and delight.

Jamie’s 15-Minute Meals by Jamie Oliver

Following the record-breaking success of 30-Minute Meals, Britain’s most-popular cookbook of all time, Jamie Oliver brings us the even-better 15-Minute Meals.

This book is completely devoted to what we are asking for – super quick, tasty, nutritious food that you can eat everyday of the week.

In creating these recipes Jamie’s made sure they’re methodical, clever, sociable, fun, with beautiful food full of big flavours. It’s a classic book that will arm you with the skills to create wonderful meals, shockingly fast.

He’s taken inspiration from all over the world, embracing the tastes that we all love, playing on classic chicken, steak and pasta dishes, looking at Asian-inspired street food and brilliant Moroccan flavours, putting together great salads and so much more. And these are some of the quickest and easiest meals Jamie’s ever done.

These recipes have been tested and tested to ensure that this book is a reliable companion for you and your family.

Simply brilliant cooking, and Jamie’s recipes are a joy.”      Nigel Slater

Jane’s Delicious Herbs: Growing and Using Healing Herbs in South Africa by Jane Griffiths

Jane’s Delicious Herbs covers everything you need to know about herbs. Jane Griffiths, South Africa’s organic gardening guru, provides a wealth of practical information on growing and using nearly eighty different herbs. From creative ideas for herb garden design, to hands-on advice for setting up and maintaining an organic herb garden, this definitive guide is clearly laid out with hundreds of beautiful colour photographs. Along with a quick reference guide to healing plants, Jane’s Delicious Herbs also includes over a hundred fun and useful recipes for making the most of the herbs in your garden, whether for cooking, healing, cleaning, pet care or feeling good. This is essential reading for those looking for a healthier lifestyle

The Art Book: New Edition by Phaidon

The art book that has introduced millions of people around the globe to art An accessible, informative and fun A – Z guide to artists from medieval times to the present day Updated and expanded with 100 new works, including paintings, photographs, sculptures, video, installations and performance art Each artist is represented on a full page with a definitive work and explanatory and illuminating information on each image and its creator A celebrated and award-winning title published in over 20 languages Debunks art historical classifications by juxtaposing brilliant examples of all periods, schools, visions and techniques Includes glossaries of artistic movements and technical terms Sensational value and an essential family reference book

The Must-Have Accessory for 2013…


Faber Poetry Diary 2013

The selection of forty poems encompasses some of the greatest poets of English literature, ranging from Chaucer through the Romantics and the Modernists to acclaimed Faber poets who are writing today. The Faber poetry list, originally founded in the 1920s, was shaped by the taste of T. S. Eliot who was its guiding light for nearly forty years. Since the sixties, each passing decade has seen the list grow with the addition of poets who were arguably the finest of their generation. In recent years the creation of the Poet to Poet series has further broadened the scope of Faber poetry by including the work of great poets from the past selected and introduced by the contemporary poets they have inspired.

Happy Reading!

Say BOO!!! Story time

Saturday, October 27th 2012 at 11:00 AM

Halloween is around the corner and today we will read some ghastly tales of ghosts and spooky creatures that make us laugh and sometimes make us jump when we don’t see them coming around the corner! You are more than welcome to dress up and join us for story time. Booooooo!


Blood Parchment : Horrorfest at the Book Lounge

Friday, October 26th 2012 at 5:30 PM

 Join us for this year’s SA HorrorFest Bloody Parchment event when a selection of Cape Town’s top local and upcoming authors thrill and spook us with their horror-themed drabbles (a short story of exactly 100 words). Contributors include Sarah Lotz, Dave Chislett, Louis Greenberg, Cat Hellisen, Joan De La Haye, Maya Teresa Fowler and others. Dress up like your favourite ghoul and join us for cupcakes and thrills.
Be afraid.


Launch of From Me to Me by editor, Samantha Page

Thursday, October 25th 2012 at 5:30 PM

If you could send a letter to yourself aged 16½, what would you say in it?

From Me To Me: Letters to my 16½-year-old-self is a collection of just such letters written by some of South Africa’s best-loved and ordinary personalities to their younger selves and published with photographs of them as teenagers.

From Me To Me is for the teenager wondering what life is all about, someone looking back on their youth, or seeking unpretentious wisdom, or just a chance to meet some of your favourite personalities, before the fame.

About the Editor
The book is compiled and edited by Samantha Page. Samantha Page is currently the editor of O, The Oprah Magazine, and it is under her leadership that the magazine celebrated its 10th anniversary in April 2012.

Excerpts from some of the letters:

Make sure you have fun, no matter what you do. And, regardless of what your friends may tell you, hard work can be fun, too. – Alan Knott-Craig

You are still mourning the untimely passing of your mother and brother. You curse God and wonder why such unrelenting calamity has befallen you. – Bob Mabena

You love your dad, but I have to ask whether you’ve told your mommy lately that you love her? – Elana Afrika

I know you are socially awkward, plagued by a nagging feeling of being unloved and ugly. – Thulisile Madonsela

Most people and institutions don’t embrace non-conformity. It makes them feel uncomfortable, but don’t let them suppress your true nature. – Jodi Bieber

While we’re being honest – you’re a beautiful, graceful and quirky girl, and you have an individual sense of style, but I’m not so sure about your peroxided hair. It may be one of the things you’ll live to regret. – Bonnie Henna

To this day, I still rehearse and play saxophone for at least an hour every day because I want to be the best I can be. – Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse

More Contributors:

Loyiso Bala
Melanie Bala
Lauren Beukes
Elvis Blue
Rehad Desai
Nkulee Dube
Christian Gabriel Du Toit
Saskia Falken
Nicky Greenwall
William Gumede
Vanessa Haywood
Jonathan Jansen
Rhoda Kadalie
Katy Katopodis
Malcolm Klûk
Sarah Lotz
Sindiwe Magona
Noeleen Maholwana-Sangqu
Moky Makura
Vanessa Marawa
Louise Marsland
Lindiwe Mazibuko
Ayanda Mbanga
Uyanda Mbuli
Osiame Molefe
Ravi Naidoo
Zama Ndlovu
Nkensani Nkosi
Neo Ntsoma
Margie Orford
Samantha Page
MacIntosh Polela
Hanli Prinsloo
Reuben Riffel
Gus Silber
Elinor Sisulu
Doreen Southwood
Lee Swan
Redi Tlhabi
Jann Turner
Jason Xenopoulos


Pre-order special offer on new memoir by Chinua Achebe – ‘There was a Country: A Personal History of Biafra’

Thursday, October 25th 2012 at 10:32 AM

Chinua Achebe, the author of Things Fall Apart, is a writer whose moral courage and storytelling gifts have left an enduring stamp on world literature. There Was a Country is his long-awaited account of coming of age during the defining experience of his life: the Nigerian Civil War, also known as the Biafran War of 1967-1970. It became infamous around the world for its impact on the Biafrans, who were starved to death by the Nigerian government in one of the twentieth century’s greatest humanitarian disasters.
Caught up in the atrocities were Chinua Achebe and his young family. Achebe, already a world-renowned novelist, served his Biafran homeland as a roving cultural ambassador, witnessing the war’s full horror first-hand. Immediately after the war, he took an academic post in the United States, and for over forty years he has maintained a considered silence on those terrible years, addressing them only obliquely through his poetry. Now, years in the making, comes his towering reckoning with one of modern Africa’s most fateful experiences, both as he lived it and he has now come to understand it.
Marrying history and memoir, with the author’s poetry woven throughout, There Was a Country is a distillation of vivid observation and considered research and reflection. It relates Nigeria’s birth pangs in the context of Achebe’s own development as a man and a writer, and examines the role of the artist in times of war.
Publication price is R280, but we are offering a pre-publication price of R224

Published by Penguin.

Mamphela Ramphele will be launching her new book Conversations with my Sons and Daughters

Wednesday, October 24th 2012 at 5:30 PM

‘Where did we lose our idealism and why and at what cost?’

In these conversations with people of a younger generation Mamphela Ramphele responds to the growing despair among young South Africans about the cracks that are appearing in our system of governance and threatening the idealism of the country that reinvented itself with the dawn of democracy in 1994.

She shows incisively how successive post-apartheid ANC governments have betrayed the nation for a culture of impunity among those close to the seat of power, where corruption goes unremarked and accountability has been swept aside. Enduring poverty, inequity and a failing public service, most notably in health and education, are the results.

At once challenging and encouraging, Ramphele urges young South Africans – our future leaders – to set aside their fears; to take control of their rights and responsibilities as citizens in upholding the values of the constitution; and to confront the growing inequality that is undermining good governance, social justice and stability.


Edward-John Bottomley will be launching Poor White (in discussion with Martin Welz) / Edward-John Bottomley stel bekend Armblankes (in gesprek met Martin Welz)

Tuesday, October 23rd 2012 at 5:30 PM

Two weeks before the Soccer World Cup an article ran in the New York Times showing the new and invisible problem in South Africa: poor whites. According to this article this problem grew – if not started – after South Africa become a democracy in 1994. Edward-John Bottomley takes a look at this idea and finds that poor whites have always been a part of the South African landscape.


But even more than that: they have always been seen as some sort of special problem to be solved. The book traces the  response of those in power – both government and the Christian church – to this problem.


From the late 19th Century to the inquests on white poverty in the early 20th Century to the apartheid government’s response to the problem, Bottomley traces the history of poor whites in South Africa. In the end, he finds that the problem isn’t the existence of white poverty, but the response of those in positions of power.

Edward-John Bottomley is a well-known journalist. His work is published in Afrikaans as well as English, in newspapers and magazines and on a number of websites.

Bottomley holds degrees in geography and journalism from the University of Stellenbosch. Most recently, he completed his master’s degree at the University of Cambridge, achieving a summa cum laude for his research on the geographical history of poor whites in South Africa. This book is a popular version of his fascinating findings. He hails from the Northwest province, but currently lives in Cape Town.



What are you wearing? Story time

Saturday, October 20th 2012 at 11:00 AM

Sometimes we like to only wear one colour…hmmm…like pink! Sometimes we want to dress up like Batman or a Firefighter. Other times we want to wear all the clothes we like best, even if it means we are wearing three skirts at the same time.

Today we will read stories about gettting dress and the clothes we choose to wear. You can wear whatever you want to today!


Launch of Die Aanspraak van Lewende Wesens by Ingrid Winterbach (in conversation with Louise Viljoen)

Thursday, October 18th 2012 at 5:30 PM

Wenner van NB-uitgewers se Groot Afrikaanse Romanwedstryd 2012:

Komies, hartroerend, meditatief, verruimend! Hierdie kick-ass roman bied ’n priemende blik op twee parallelle reise: ’n man en ’n vrou elk op soek na die oorsake van ’n broer en ’n suster se ondergang.

Na ’n onthutsende oproep van ene Josias Brandt, vertrek Karl Hofmeyr teësinnig om sy broer, Iggy, wie se kop skynbaar uitgehaak het, te hulp te snel. Karl – heavy-metal-fan de luxe – se reis word vertraag deur sy obsessies wat hom in verskillende situasies lelik kniehalter.

Maria Volschenk word op ’n dag oorval deur ’n groot leegte. Sy reis na die Wes-Kaap op ’n sending waarteen sy lankal opsien, in ’n poging om hierdie beleërende leegte af te weer. Die twee verhaallyne vloei saam op ’n onwaarskynlike stadsplaas iewers in Kaapstad, waar die broer, Ignatius Hofmeyr, in ’n bitter tweestryd met die onpeilbare Brandt-kêrel gewikkel is.

Die beoordelaars se lof:

“Die roman se krag is geleë in die digte tekstuur … [dit] bereik ’n uitsonderlike kompleksiteit.” – Louise Viljoen

“… die opwindendste taalgebruik: skreeusnaaks soms, altyd raak, altyd gepas vir die aard van die prosa. – Willie Burger

“Wat mens bybly, is die uitreik na die boweaardse, die worsteling om nuwe dimensies van die gees. ’n Roman wat ’n durende verwysingspunt in die Afrikaanse letterkunde kan wees. – Linda Rode