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January 2013

Sunday, January 27th 2013 at 1:37 PM

Hello loungers, and welcome to the first newsletter of this new year,

As ever at this time of year, we take a look at the months ahead, and the literary delights that await us, and 2013 is not going to disappoint…


My Brother’s Book by Maurice Sendak – Sendak’s final work, an homage to his beloved brother.

A Memory of Light by Robert Jordan – the eagerly awaited final installment of the Wheel of Time series.

Mad Girl’s Love Song: Sylvia Plath and Life Before Ted Hughes by Andrew Wilson – one of a number of new biographies marking the 50th anniversary of Plath’s death.

An Examined Life: How we Lose and Find Ourselves by Stephen Grosz – lots of buzz around this exploration of ordinary lives and relationships from acclaimed psychologist Grosz.


Fanny & Stella: The Young Men Who Shook Victorian England by Neil McCann – a colourful romp around the trial of two cross-dressing young men that scandalised and shocked Victorian England.

Bedsit Disco Queen: How I Grew up & Became a Pop Star by  Tracey Thorn – these reminiscences of the singer in Everything But The Girl will throw new light and perspective on the music scene in the 90s.

Daddy Love by Joyce Carol Oates – Oates’ new novel deals with a harrowing story of child abuse.

House of Earth by Woody Guthrie – a newly discovered novel about the hardships of the dustbowl from one of America’s greatest folk singer. With an introduction by Johnny Depp.


red doc> Anne Carson – a mythic story from the acclaimed poet.

Turned out Nice Again: On Living With the Weather by Richard Mabey – Britain’s greatest naturalist deals with Britain’s favourite subject.

The Childhood of Jesus by JM Coetzee – a novel of relocation and rites of passage from Mr Coetzee.

Fractured Times: Culture & Society in the Twentieth Century Eric Hobsbawm – the final book from the great historian.

The Infatuations by Javier Marias – a beautiful new novel about relationships, from the author of ‘Your Face Tomorrow’, deals with death and obsession.


Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris – a new collection of essays from a very funny man.

All That Is by James Salter – a major new novel, set in the Second World War, from the highly acclaimed PEN/Faulkner Award winner.

The Dark by Lemony Snicket and Jon Klassen – two favourites take on the ultimate enemy of nighttime imagination.

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngoze Adichie – a new novel set in Nigeria under a dictatorship.

A Delicate Truth by John le Carre – the latest from the master of the spy novel tells a story of duty and conscience.

The Last Train to Zona Verde: Overland  from Cape Town to Angola by Paul Theroux – and when he was in Cape Town he came into the Book Lounge – I wonder if we get a mention?!

The Silence of Animals: On Progress & Other Modern Myths by John Gray – the author of Straw Dogs turns his insightful and intelligent eye on forms of human extremity. Guaranteed and interesting read.

Granta Best of Young British Novelists edited by John Freeman – a very exciting event. Every 10 years Granta picks some relative unknowns as being ones to watch in the future – with startling accuracy. Previous choices have included Martin Amis, Julian Barnes, William Boyd, Louis de Berniéres, David Mitchell, Zadie Smith and Jeanette Winterson…

Levels of Life by Julian Barnes – Barnes covers a range of subject and emotions in his usual masterful prose, a mixture of essay and fiction.


Letters to a Young Scientist Edward O. Wilson – inspired by the Rainer Maria Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet, Wilson dissects his career, successes and failures in these 21 letters to students.

TransAtlantic by Colum McCann – McCann explores the boundaries between reality and imagination by weaving together stories from different generations and places.

Big Brother by Lionel Shriver – the author of We Need To Talk About Kevin takes on the topic of obesity in a book that is sure to be a harrowing must-read.

The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes – our very own shining girl Lauren’s hotly anticipated new novel will get huge international support – but not more than right here at the Book Lounge!

Constance by Patrick McGrath – a new McGrath is always exciting, and in Constance he tells the dark and intriguing story of a troubled young woman who marries an older man…

Satan’s Choice: My Life as an Outlaw Biker with Satan’s Choice and Hells Angels by Lorne Campbell – this promises to be a fascinating, no-holds-barred account of life inside the hardcore biker gangs by a former enforcer for the Satan’s Choice gang.

Children of the Days by Eduardo Galeano – the always original and elegant Galeano presents shining moments and people from history in the form of a calendar.

Deep Sea and Foreign Going: The Uncharted World of Freight by Rose George – there are 40,000 freighters on the seas. Between them they carry 80% of the world’s trade and 90% of its energy. Award-winning journalist Rose George looks into this previously unexamined global industry.

Here and Now by Paul Auster and JM Coetzee – these two writing giants first met in 2008, and hit it off immediately. They have been exchanging letters ever since, now collected for the first time.

And apparently somebody called Dan Brown has a new novel out too – no idea what that’s all about…


The Ocean at The End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman – a modern fable of dark creatures and unknowing heroes from this master storyteller.

A Place in the Country by W.G. Sebald – Sebald combines biography, history, fable and travelogue to bring to life six literary figures that that remained central to him throughout his life.


Perfect by Rachel Joyce – a new novel from the author of the highly acclaimed The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

Kiss Me First by Lottie Moggach – an unusual and original novel, highly anticipated, which looks at the extremes of online identity fraud.


Dr Sleep by Stephen King – this is the follow-up to The Shining, so will be huge. King revisits the little boy from the original.

Year of the Jungle by Suzanne Collins – How do you follow up a series like The Hunger Games? Suzanne Collins’s response is to write something for younger readers, about war and its impact. Doubtless going to be huge.

David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell – Gladwell looks at underdogs against corporations, and asks ‘Why are we always so surprised when the underdog wins?’

The Guts by Roddy DoyleCommitments hero Jimmy Rabbitte, now in his late 40s, with a wife and four children, a business resurrecting old bands (with the charming domain name, and bowel cancer.

The Message by Naomi Klein – the Canadian darling of literate social activists, author of No Logo and The Shock Doctrine, turns her attention to climate change.


(MaddAddam) by Margaret Atwood – the as yet untitled 3rd part in the MaddAddam trilogy, following on from Oryx and Crake and Year of the Flood

History of the Jews by Simon Schama – the book that Schama apparently always wanted to write. Guaranteed to be magnificent.


Think Like a Freak by Stephen Levitt and Stephen Dubner – the Freakonomics team return with another sure-fire bestseller, based on a recent lecture series.

(please note that publication dates are UK-led, and may change)

New magazines at the Book Lounge

We are delighted to have found a source for some really interesting magazines again at the Book Lounge.  From art and architecture to politics, feminism and literature, we have magazines to suit many different tastes. Among the titles already here:  Literary Review, Aesthetica, New Left Review, London Magazine, Soundings, Printmaking Today, Cineaste, Aperture and many more. Come and have a browse, and watch out for more new magazines to follow…


Merry Wives of Zuma – Pieter-Dirk Uys

This is a new play from one of our most beloved satirists, which nearly did not see the light of day and, like The Spear, had its availability to the public dramatically curtailed, due to pressure on the sponsors.

The play is set in a town called Zuma, the mayor of which, Mr Gedley, is expected to be re-elected for a fourth term. But his roving eyes and his desire to add two more wives to his herd of three, puts a spanner in the works of his campaign, which is marred by corrupt dealings and municipal dramas involving his sidekick, Juju. The play features characters such as comrade Blunt and unionist Vuva.

The Book Lounge is proud to support Mr Uys.


Merivel: A Man of his Time by Rose Tremain

The gaudy years of the Restoration are long gone. Robert Merivel, physician and courtier to Charles II, loved for his gift to turn sorrow into laughter, now faces the agitations and anxieties of middle age. Questions crowd his mind: has he been a good father? Is he a fair master? Is he the King’s friend or the King’s slave?

In search of answers, Merivel sets off for the French court. But Versailles – all glitter in front and squalor behind – leaves Merivel in despair, until a chance encounter with Madame de Flamanville, a seductive Swiss botanist, allows him to dream of an honourable future.

But will that future ever be his? Back home at Bidnold Manor, his loyalty and medical skill are tested to their limits, while the captive bear he has brought back from France begins to cause unlooked-for havoc in his heart and on his estate.

With a cascade of lace at his neck and a laugh that can burst out of him in the midst of torment, Merivel is a uniquely brilliant creation, soulful, funny, outrageous and achingly sad. He is Everyman. His unmistakable, self-mocking voice speaks directly to us down the centuries. Highly recommended.

Back to Blood by Tom Wolfe

As a police launch speeds across Miami’s Biscayne Bay – with officer Nestor Camacho on board – Tom Wolfe is off and running. Into the feverous landscape of the city, he introduces the Cuban mayor, the black police chief, an ambitious young journalist and his Yale-marinated editor; a psychiatrist who specialises in sex addiction and his Latina nurse by day, mistress by night – until lately, the love of Nestor’s life; a refined, and oh-so-light-skinned young woman from Haiti and her Creole-spouting, black-gang-banger-stylin’ little brother; a billionaire porn addict, crack dealers in the ‘hoods, ‘de-skilled’ conceptual artists at the Miami Art Basel Fair, ‘spectators’ at the annual Biscayne Bay regatta looking only for that night’s orgy, and a nest of shady Russians.

Based on the same sort of detailed, on-scene, high-energy reporting that powered Tom Wolfe’s previous best-selling novels, The Bonfire of the Vanities and A Man in Full, Back to Blood is another brilliant, spot-on, scrupulous, and often hilarious reckoning with our times.

Wool by Hugh Howey

In a ruined and hostile landscape, in a future few have been unlucky enough to survive, a community exists in a giant underground silo.

Inside, men and women live an enclosed life full of rules and regulations, of secrets and lies.

To live, you must follow the rules. But some don’t. These are the dangerous ones; these are the people who dare to hope and dream, and who infect others with their optimism.

Their punishment is simple and deadly. They are allowed outside.

Jules is one of these people. She may well be the last.

‘Well written, tense, and immensely satisfying, Wool will be considered a classic for many years in the future.”                    Wired

 “Howey’s Wool is an epic feat of imagination. You will live in this world.”               Justin Cronin

“Wool is frightening, fascinating, and addictive. In one word, terrific.”                    Kathy Reichs


 Two Brothers by Ben Elton

Berlin 1920

Two babies are born.

Two brothers. United and indivisible, sharing everything. Twins in all but blood.

As Germany marches into its Nazi Armageddon, the ties of family, friendship and love are tested to the very limits of endurance. And the brothers are faced with an unimaginable choice….Which one of them will survive?

Ben Elton’s most personal novel to date, Two Brothers transports the reader to the time of history’s darkest hour.

Standing in Another Man’s Grave by Ian Rankin

It’s twenty-five years since John Rebus appeared on the scene, and five years since he retired. Standing In Another Man’s Grave is a brilliant and welcome return for this maverick detective. Not only is Rebus as stubborn and anarchic as ever, but he finds himself in trouble with Rankin’s latest creation, Malcolm Fox of Edinburgh’s internal affairs unit. Added to which, Rebus may be about to derail the career of his ex-colleague Siobhan Clarke, while himself being permanently derailed by mob boss and old adversary Big Ger Cafferty. But all Rebus wants to do is discover the truth about a series of seemingly unconnected disappearances stretching back to the millennium. The problem being, no one else wants to go there – and that includes Rebus’s fellow officers. Not that any of that is going to stop Rebus. Not even when his own life and the careers of those around him are on the line. Wonderful.

Raised from the Ground by José Saramago

First published in 1980, Saramago’s prizewinning novel Raised from the Ground follows the changing fortunes of the Mau-Tempo family – poor, landless peasants not unlike the author’s own grandparents. Set in Alentejo, a southern province of Portugal known for its vast agricultural estates, Saramago charts the lives of the Mau-Tempos as national and international events rumble on in the background – the coming of the republic in Portugal, the First and Second World Wars, and an attempt on the dictator Salazar’s life. Yet, nothing really impinges on the grim reality of the farm labourers’ lives until the first communist stirrings.

Finally published for the first time in English, Raised from the Ground is highly political yet full of Saramago’s characteristic humour and humanity, and his most autobiographical and deeply personal novel. As full of love as it is of pain, it is a vivid, moving tribute to the men and women among whom Saramago lived as a child, and a fascinating insight into the early work of this literary giant.


Inventing the Enemy by Umberto Eco

Inventing the Enemy covers a wide range of topics on which Umberto Eco has written and lectured over the last ten years, from the discussion of ideas that have inspired his earlier novels – exploring lost islands, mythical realms, and the medieval world in the process – to a disquisition on the theme that runs through his most recent novel, The Prague Cemetery, that every country needs an enemy, and if it doesn’t have one, must invent it. Eco’s lively new collection examines topics as diverse as St Thomas Aquinas’s notions about the soul of an unborn child, indignant reviews of James Joyce’s Ulysses by fascist journalists of the 1920s and 1930s, censorship, violence and Wikileaks.

These are essays full of passion, curiosity, and obsessions by one of the world’s most esteemed scholars and critically acclaimed, bestselling novelists.

Through the Window (seventeen essays and one short story) by Julian Barnes

In these seventeen essays (and one short story) the 2011 Man Booker Prize winner examines British, French and American writers who have meant most to him, as well as the cross-currents and overlappings of their different cultures. From the deceptiveness of Penelope Fitzgerald to the directness of Hemingway, from Kipling’s view of France to the French view of Kipling, from the many translations of Madame Bovary to the fabulations of Ford Madox Ford, from the National Treasure Status of George Orwell to the despair of Michel Houellebecq, Julian Barnes considers what fiction is, and what it can do. As he writes in his preface, ‘Novels tell us the most truth about life: what it is, how we live it, what it might be for, how we enjoy and value it, and how we lose it.’

When his Letters from London came out in 1995, the Financial Times called him ‘our best essayist’. This wise and deft collection confirms that judgment.

 Waging Heavy Peace: A Hippie Dream by Neil Young

 Neil Young is a singular figure in the history of rock and pop culture in the last four decades, inducted not once but twice into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Reflective, insightful and disarmingly honest, Waging Heavy Peace is his long-awaited memoir. From his youth in Canada to his crazy journey out to California, through Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills & Nash, to his massively successful solo career and his re-emergence as the patron saint of grunge on to his role today as one of the last uncompromised and uncompromising survivors of rock ‘n’ roll – this is Neil’s story told in his own words.

Young presents a kaleidoscopic view of personal life and musical creativity; it’s a journey that spans the snows of Ontario to the LSD-laden boulevards of 1966 Los Angeles to the contemplative paradise of Hawaii today. Along the way he writes about the music, the victims, the girls and the drugs; about his happy family life but also about the health problems he and his children have experienced; about guitars, cars and sound systems; about Canada and California and Hawaii. Candid, witty and revealing, this book takes its place beside the classic memoirs of Bob Dylan and Keith Richards.

“Wryly funny, deeply moving, painfully honest.”                               Guardian

He’s talking to you, not at you, unravelling himself as well, and you don’t want it to end …You see rock and roll history from the inside out, and in the present tense.”                   Independent

Dryly hilarious…poignant…Waging Heavy Peace shows that Young is still in full possession of that stubborn, brilliant, one-of-a-kind instrument.”                  Rolling Stone

Paper: An Elegy by Ian Sansom

What do reading a book, smoking a cigarette, throwing confetti and voting in an election have in common? The answer, of course, is paper.

Paper serves nearly every function of our lives. It is the technology with which we have made sense of the world.

Yet the age of paper is ending. Ebooks now outsell their physical counterparts. Still, there are some uses of paper that seem unlikely to change – Christmas won’t be Christmas without wrapped presents or crackers. And the language of paper – documents, files and folders – has survived digitisation.

In Paper: An Elegy Ian Sansom builds a museum of paper and explores its paradox – its vulnerability and durability. This book is a timely meditation on the very paper it’s printed on.

Art, Pictures and Life

 Babel from Babylonstoren

Babylonstoren is a beautiful restaurant and traditional Cape Dutch farm set in the Drakenstein Valley, renowned for its stunning landscape and view, its laid-back and peaceful atmosphere and its exquisite food, and they have just published their own cookbook:

This book tells many stories – the vision of creating an extraordinary place that allows the lives and work of culinary artists, horticulturalists, winemakers, farmers and many other talented people to come together. Our own kind of cooking: simple, generous andhonest, with fresh, seasonal food that is closely tied to its origins – the garden.

But above all, it’s the people with whom I work, and who share the same passion, that has given me a new sense of purpose. My life – and my love for food, people, and now farming – is all the richer for it.” – Maranda Engelbrecht

On the Mines by David Goldblatt & Nadine Gordimer

On the Mines is a re-designed and expanded version of David Goldblatt’s influential book of 1973. Goldblatt grew up in the South African town of Randfontein, which was shaped by the social culture and financial success of the gold mines surrounding it. When these mines started to fail in the mid-sixties Goldblatt began taking photos of them, which form the basis of On the Mines. The book features an essay on the human and political dimensions of mining in South Africa by Nobel laureate Nadine Gordimer, whose writing has long influenced Goldblatt. The new version of the book maintains the original three chapters ‘The Witwatersrand: a Time and Tailings’, ‘Shaftsinking’ and ‘Mining Men’, but is otherwise completely updated, in Goldblatt’s words, “to expand the view but not to alter the sense of things“. There are thirty-one new mostly unpublished photos including colour images, eleven deleted images, a postscript by Gordimer to her essay, as well as a text by Goldblatt reflecting on his childhood and the 1973 book. On the Mines is the first of many titles in an ambitious collaboration between the photographer and Steidl that will publish Goldblatt’s life work in a series of re-prints and new books.

Big Up by Ben Watts

Hip-hop playaz. Street punks. Supermodels. Plenty of tattoos and lots of bling bling. Big Up is a photographic scrapbook of Americas raucous youth culture, created by one of the brightest young photographers in the fashion industry. Reissued after an almost instant pre-publication sell-out — in a handy and inexpensive paperback format that’s sure to once again capture the imagination.

Big Up, a hectic insider’s view of the past dozen years of urban youth culture by London-born, Australian-raised Ben Watts, is too wild and too idiosyncratic to go unmentioned. The spontaneity and verve Watts packs into his pictures are perfectly mirrored in the book’s…scrapbook-style design. Cut up, collaged, crayoned, and tagged with markers, the photos feel less like fixed, flattened documents than little time bombs about to explode. This sense of terrific, barely contained energy makes Big Up big fun, and the ideal time capsule for a style moment that just won’t quit.”                       Village Voice

John Robshaw Prints

Design enthusiasts and armchair travelers will love circling the globe with celebrated textile designer John Robshaw. From batiks in Java to ikats in Thailand and indigo printing in India, Robshaw reveals the lush inspiration behind his signature style while highlighting step-by-step block printing techniques from local artisans and masters. Robshaw provides a rare glimpse into his creative process, wherein he blends traditional methods with his own painterly style for entirely unique creations, and shares tips for incorporating textiles into any space. Brimming with beautiful photographs of covetable textiles, far-flung destinations, and eye-catching interiors, this luxe fabric-covered book is an eclectic visual tour of the rich tradition of textile printing.

Flower by Andrew Zuckerman

In this latest collection, Andrew Zuckerman, famed for his previous books Creature, Bird and Wisdom, moves from fauna to flora, turning his lens onto the most beautiful specimens of the plant kingdom. Spectacular close-up images of 150 flower species, both exotic and familiar, are captured in Zuckerman’s bold yet sensitive signature style. Showcased against pure white backgrounds, the complexity of color and structure in each specimen is revealed. Zuckerman’s award-winning minimalism serves as the perfect foil for these lush natural wonders. A rich visual tour of nature’s most beloved beauties, this substantial tome is a timeless treasure for flower lovers, garden enthusiasts, photography buffs, and collectors of Zuckerman’s work.

And now for something completely…odd

Suri’s Burn Book

Based on the popular blog of the same name, “Suri’s Burn Book” is a work of satire told from the harsh yet clever perspective of Suri Cruise, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes’ five-year-old daughter-and one of the youngest fashionistas in America today. The witty and snarky commentary are straight out of ‘Mean Girls’ and cover everything celeb-obsessed, ranging from celebrity culture and fashion mistakes to celebs who are “annoyingly pregnant.” This odd and very funny book will include Suri’s best advice, commentary on selected topics ranging from fashion mistakes to celebrities who should mate, and approximately 100 full-color photos throughout. For all you dedicated followers of fashion!

That’s all folks – happy reading!

A is for Ant, B is for Book, C is for Chocolate Storytime

Saturday, January 26th 2013 at 11:00 AM

Learning our ABC is a part of going to school and more important it is VITAL for reading, which we are obviously very fond of here at the Book Lounge.

Today we will read some funny and interesting alphabet stories and practice some letters of our own. Which letter does your name start with?


Going to School Story Time

Saturday, January 19th 2013 at 11:00 AM

Going to school for the first time can be a bit scary, but it is also very exciting. Maybe it is your first day at big school, or your first day at play school, either way, a new chapter in your life is starting.

Today we will read stories about going to school and all the excitement that goes hand in hand with it.


The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies? by Jared Diamond

Tuesday, January 15th 2013 at 1:40 PM

Most of us take for granted the features of our modern society, from air travel and telecommunications to literacy and obesity. Yet for nearly all of its six million years of existence, human society had none of these things. While the gulf that divides us from our primitive ancestors may seem unbridgeably wide, we can glimpse much of our former lifestyle in those largely traditional societies still or recently in existence. Societies like those of the New Guinea Highlanders remind us that it was only yesterday – in evolutionary time – when everything changed and that we moderns still possess bodies and social practices often better adapted to traditional than to modern conditions.

The World Until Yesterday provides a mesmerising first-hand picture of the human past as it had been for millions of years – a past that has mostly vanished – and considers what the differences between that past and our present mean for our lives today.
This is Jared Diamond’s most personal book to date, as he draws extensively from his decades of field work in the Pacific islands, as well as evidence from Inuit, Amazonian Indians, Kalahari San people, and others. Diamond doesn’t romanticise traditional societies – after all, we are shocked by some of their practices – but he finds that their solutions to universal human problems such as child rearing, elder care, dispute resolution, risk, and physical fitness have much to teach us. A characteristically provocative, enlightening, and entertaining book, The World Until Yesterday will be essential and delightful reading.

We are offering 20% off all pre-publication orders as follows:

Paperback: Published price R215, special price R172

Hardback: Published price R350, special price R280

Offer valid until January 15th 2013. Published by Penguin Books.

To take advantage of any of these special offers just email us on and we will mail you an invoice. Or you can pay in-store or over the phone.

Who said there is no such thing as a Gruffalo?

Saturday, January 12th 2013 at 11:00 AM

Fairuse Gruffalo.jpgThe Gruffalo is coming to visit us today. so wear your clean t-shirt and get ready for an amazing experience! Not everyday we have such a big visitor coming to our story time…