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Starry Night Story Time

Saturday, December 21st 2013 at 11:00 AM

illustration-starry-nightToday is our last story time for the year.

It is nearly Christmas time for many. It is mostly a time for families to get together and to remember that those that we love are the most important treasures in the world to us.

Today we are reading starry stories, we all have wishes and dreams and we often look up at the stars at night and wonder what the future holds.

Join us for our last story time for the year and make a wish with us 🙂


Holiday Programme: Art

Wednesday, December 18th 2013 at 2:30 PM

drawingFor the last of our holiday programme afternoons, we thought that we want to read stories about art and being artists and how we can draw pictures and make collages. So please come along and join us for an artistic storytime and then we will be creative and use all the colours we want to.

It will be great to have you here…


Christmas Stocking Part Deux

Tuesday, December 17th 2013 at 11:18 AM

Another delicious helping of Christmas shopping cheer to set you on your way, lighten your load and help you find the very best presents for your nearest and dearest – and not a mall in sight!

The Most Forbidden Knowledge: 151 Things NO ONE Should Know How to Do by Michael Powell & Matt Forbeck

Oh my! What a naughty book this is. It will teach you all SORTS of things that perhaps you shouldn’t know – like how to make the perfect getaway, go AWOL from the Armed Forces, find the Ark of the Covenant, build an atom bomb, survive an alien abduction, summon a demon, create crop circles, light a fart, land a plane in Red Square and SO much more. Oh my!

Marian Bantjes Pretty Pictures: The Complete Graphic Art

This is such a beautiful chronicle of the last 10 years of graphic designer and book typsetter Marian Bantjes’ extraordinary work. Stefan Sagmeister calls Bantjes “one of the most innovative typographers working today.” This deeply personal journey is full of fabulous illustrations and makes a perfect present for anyone interested in the visual.


Moustache Up: A Playful Game of Opposites

Because moustaches are so cool, right? This is lots of fun – try on lots of different moustaches and match them to the funny faces in the book. There are 12 press-out moustaches included in the book – suitable for any dress-up occasion.

Well Read Women: Portraits of Fiction’s Most Beloved Heroines by Samantha Hahn

Seeing the faces of literature’s most memorable female characters – from Anna Karenina’s icy grey gaze to Scarlett O’Hara’s sensual open-lipped pout – will stir up treasured memories for every reader who has been dazzled by a well-written woman. Celebrated artist Samantha Hahn brings these bookish beauties vividly to life in 50 watercolour portraits and hand-lettered quotations straight from the lips of the leading ladies. This collection will become a new classic in every nostalgic book lover’s library.

Dangerous Women: The Guide to Modern Life by Clare Conville

With over 600 entries, from ‘Accepting a compliment’ and ‘Affairs’ to ‘Entering a covent’, ‘Family therapy’, ‘I don’t’, ‘Teenagers’ and ‘Wolf-whistling’, this is the perfect bedside companion for the modern woman.

Life-enhancing, packed with poetry and philosophical bon mots, Dangerous Women draws on the experience of three dangerously knowledgeable women to offer practical but humorous advice, with an understanding of the finer art of living.

Dead Interviews: Living Writers Meet Dead Icons edited by Dan Crowe

These ingenious interviews will amuse, provoke and delight. Veering from the intensely serious to the wildly silly, Dead Interviews grants writers the chance to sit down with their heroes and flex their cerebral muscles, or simply indulge in some bookish gossip with a deceased icon. Pitch-perfect mimesis meets razor sharp literary criticism in the book that refuses to let dead writers lie.
Rick Moody on Jimi Hendrix, Cynthia Ozick on Henry James, Douglas Coupland on Andy Warhol, Sam Leith on John Berryman, Geoff Dyer on Friedrich Nietzsche, A. M. Homes on Richard Nixon, David Mitchell on Samuel Johnson and James Boswell, John Burnside on Rachel Carson, ZZ Packer on Monsieur de Saint-George, Michel Faber on Marcel Duchamp, Rebecca Miller on the Marquis de Sade, Ian Rankin on Arthur Conan Doyle and Joyce Carol Oates on Robert Frost.

Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Sally-Ann  Creed, David Grier and Jonno Proudfoot

This book is already a huge hit. A scientist, a nutritionist, and two chef-athletes – the crack squad behind Real Meal Revolution have walked or in some cases run the hard yards through the gauntlets of nutritional science and self-experimentation. The revelatory stance and the mouth-watering recipes in this book is the result of their experience combined with overwhelming scientific evidence.

The 100 Most Influential  People Who Never Lived

We know them better than we know our friends: brilliant Sherlock Holmes; stingy Ebenezer Scrooge; the idealistic Don Quixote; the obsessed Captain Ahab. Hamlet is indecisive and world-weary; Romeo and Julief are young, lusty and impulsive; Indiana Jones is dashing, learned and courageous. We speak of men with Oedipus Complexes or Peter Pan Syndromes. We know women who dream of being Cinderella – or Madame Bovary. Yet all of these unforgettable icons are imaginary characters!  Time Magazine has brought in some of the best writers to examine their influence – imagine  David Sedaris sizing up the Marlboro Man, Gloria Steinem dressing down the Barbie doll, and Chris Rock ripping the reign of Jim Crow.

The Conquest of the Ocean by Brian Lavery

Conquest of the Ocean tells the 5,000 year history of the remarkable individuals who sailed seas, for trade, to conquer new lands, to explore the unknown.  You can explore the lives and maritime adventures, many with first person narratives, of land seekers and globe charters such as Christopher Columbus, Captain James Cook and Vitus Bering. This beautiful book is filled with paintings, logbooks, maps, sketches and diagrams that bring these events and locations to life. Stunning.

Classic Put–downs: Insults with Style collected by Michael Blake

Do words fail you just when you need them most? If so, you need a few pointers from the past masters of put-down to keep others firmly in their place. This book brims over with stinging comments, verbal face-slappings and subtle insults for dealing with every kind of person, featuring contributions from some of history’s greatest word-slingers, including Oscar Wilde, Samuel Johnson, Woody Allen, Dorothy Parker, John Kennedy, Truman Capote, Bette Davis, Frank Sinatra, John Lennon, Winston Churchill, Gore Vidal, Joan Rivers and Stephen Fry.

The Secret Lives of Men & Women: A Postsecret Book by Frank Warren founder Frank Warren is back with an irresistible addition to his hugely popular PostSecret series. Created using photographs, collages, illustrations and more, the handmade cards offer a compelling dialogue on some of today’s most provocative topics from marriage and infidelity, to parenting, office politics, repressed fantasies, and even abortion; daring us to consider how well we really know our friends, family, even ourselves.

Vogue on…

The Vogue on Designers series are individual small hardbacks, beautifully illustrated, each dedicated to an icon of fashion design. We have Vogue on Vivienne Westwood, Hubert de Givenchy, Ralph Lauren, Christian Dior and Alexander McQueen. British Vogue has charted the careers of designers through the decades. Its unique archive of photographs, taken by the leading photographers of the day from Cecil Beaton to Mario Testino, and original illustrations, together with its stable of highly respected fashion writers, make British Vogue the most authoritative and prestigious source of reference on fashion.

Stuff I’ve Been Reading/Ten Years in the Tub by Nick Hornby

Two new collections from our favourite reader – the charming Nick Hornby. Stuff I’ve Been Reading is his new collection of columns from The Believer Magazine, and Ten Years in the Tub collects the highlights of a decade of reading. He takes us through his reading year, and ponders a biography of Dickens whilst his children are destroying something in the room next door as well as devouring a whole series of children’s books whilst on holiday. Hornby is the intelligent, committed but sceptical reader we’d all like to be. Admiring Ian McEwen’s On Chesil Beach, he points out a surprising anachronism. Reading Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, he wonders why ‘unflinching’ is a term of praise among critics. And who but Nick Hornby could successfully juxtapose a discussion of a book on the Band with one on the Stasi?

Minus Times Collected: Twenty Years /  Thirty Issues

The alternate universe that Hunter Kennedy has built around The Minus Times stands apart and stands the test of time. The Minus Times Collected features all 30 nearly-impossible-to-find issues over the past 20 years, with work from authors like Dan Clowes, David Berman, Sam Lipsyte and Patrick deWitt, as well as an interview with a then-unknown Stephen Colbert. The Minus Times has earned a fervent following for its lack of literary pretension. Now, finally, every issue of this improvised literary almanac can be bought together, typos and all.

American Smoke: Journeys to the End of the Light by Iain Sinclair

Iain Sinclair, the always fascinating psychogeographer, breaks for the border with American Smoke, his first full engagement with the memory-filled landscapes of the American Beats and their fellow travellers. In a book filled with bad journeys and fated decisions, this is a a delirious expedition in the footsteps of Malcolm Lowry, Charles Olson, Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs, Gary Snyder and more, heated by obsession (the Old West, volcanoes, Mexico) and enlivened by false memories, broken reports and strange adventures.

Not just for fans of the Beats – Sinclair is a treasure and an institution, and looks at everything so very differently from us mere mortals.

Adventurer’s Handbook: From Surviving an Anaconda Attack to Finding Your Way Out of the Desert by Mick Conefrey

How do you survive a charging elephant? What’s the best way to serve polar bear meat? How do you find water in a desert? These are things we need to know! Learn the answers to these questions and more from the best instructors possible: a cast of famous explorers, including Livingston, Shackleton and John Hunt. In this irreverent yet inspiring look at the history of adventure, Mick Conefrey delves into the original diaries and logs of great expeditions to provide a winning combination of intrepid stories of yester-year and hilarious retro tips. Fully illustrated and replete with fascinating text boxes of trivia, The Adventurer’s Handbook is the perfect gift for both seasoned explorers and office workers dreaming of that next big trip abroad.

Book of Jezebel: An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Lady Things by Anna Holmes

From, the popular website for women, comes a must-read encyclopedic guide to pop culture, feminism, fashion, sex, and much more.   With contributions from the writers and creatives who give the site its distinctive tone and broad influence, The Book of Jezebel is an encyclopedia of everything important to the modern woman. Running the gamut from Abzug, Bella and Baby-sitters Club, to Xena, Yogurt, and Zits, and filled with entertaining sidebars and arresting images, this is a must-read for the modern woman.

Art as Therapy by Alain de Botton and John Armstrong

This beautiful collaboration between Alain de Botton and John Armstrong approaches art from a new way – as therapy. The authors propose that the squeamish belief that art should be ‘for art’s sake’ has unnecessarily held back art from revealing its latent therapeutic potential. This book involves reframing and recontextualising a series of art works from across the ages and genres, so that they can be approached as tools for the resolution of difficult issues in individual life.

Super Graphic: A Visual Guide to the Comic Book Universe by Tim Leong

The comic book universe is adventurous, mystifying and filled with heroes, villains and ComicCon attendees. This book by one of Wired magazine’s art directors traverses the graphic world through a collection of pie charts, bar graphs, timelines, scatter plots and more. Super Graphic offers readers a unique look at the intricate and sometimes contradictory storylines that weave their way through comic books and shares advice for navigating the pages of some of the most popular, longest-running and best-loved comics and graphic novels out there. From a colourful breakdown of the DC Comics reader demographic to a witty Venn diagram of superhero comic tropes and a Chris Ware sadness scale, this book charts the most arbitrary and monumental characters, moments and equipment of the wide world of comics. LOVE this book!

Who Touched Base in My Thought Shower? A Treasury of Unbearable Office Jargon by Steven Poole

Do you hate going forward? Do you shudder when a colleague wants to reach out? Are you disgusted by low-hanging fruit, sick of being on the team, and reluctant to open the kimono?

Does the phrase blue-sky thinking make you see red?

Do you really want to drill down or take a helicopter view?

Are you past caring whether the key drivers are going to move the needle? Should anyone really punch a puppy?

And can you bear to hear about a big hairy audacious goal?

If modern office jargon makes you want to throw up, this book is for you. Taking a hilarious and scathing deep dive into the most hated and absurd examples of corporate-speak it is a come to Jesus moment for verbally downtrodden workers everywhere.


Bartlett’s Familiar Black Quotations: 5,000 Years of Literature, Lyrics, Poems, Passages, Phrases and Proverbs from Around the World by Retha Powers

Five thousand quotes are culled from the time of Ancient Egypt through American slavery, Jim Crow, the Civil Rights Era, Apartheid, to the present day. With passages from authors, artists, scientists, philosophers, theologians, activists, politicians, and many others, Bartlett’s Familiar Black Quotations will appeal not only to quote aficionados and researchers, but also to history buffs. Aesop’s Fables and the Holy Bible are in the same company as Nelson Mandela and President Obama; Maya Angelou and Toni Morrison; Bob Marley and Jay-Z. A wonderful reference tool and gift.


The Edible Balcony: Growing Fresh Produce in the Heart of the City by Alex Mitchell

Just because you don’t have any soil doesn’t mean you can’t eat delicious fruit and vegetables every day of the year. From an easy edible balcony that can be set up over a weekend, to using recycled and salvage materials, growing exotic fruit and creating a futuristic salad and herb wall, ‘The Edible Balcony‘ mixes inspirational ideas with practical advice on how to achieve beautiful, flourishing outdoor areas however many floors up you maybe and however small your space. Packed with detailed planting and growing advice on all the crops featured, including the best varieties for sunny, shady, windy and dry balconies, plus how to make a self-watering container, create a salad cascade using guttering and grow beans and tomatoes on a hatstand, it is the essential guide for both beginner and experienced gardeners alike.


Grumpy Cat: A Grumpy Book for Grumpy Days by Grumpy Cat

In the style of the hugely popular meme that has grown up around Grumpy Cat, the book offers a tour of Grumpy Cat’s least favourite things (that is, everything) along with her scathing commentary throughout. The book will include cameos by some of the other animals in her life–a friendly dog, her brother, Pokey and other hapless bystanders who wither when faced with her epic frown.  The perfect gift for someone who’s having a bad day (or year) and needs some cheering up (or commiseration), this grumpy little book is also a natural self-buy for the thousands who appreciate this cat’s hilarious expression and ill humour toward all.


The 100 Most Pointless Arguments in the World by Alexander Armstrong and Richard Osman

From the presenters of the hit BBC One television series Pointless and authors of The 100 Most Pointless Things in the World comes a hilarious collection of answers to some of life’s biggest questions. We’ve all had them, those pointless arguments that are seemingly impossible to solve. We’ve been round in circles trying to work out what came first, the chicken or the egg? Don’t get us started on the debate of what we are all here for? And you’re bound to have had sleepless nights pondering which ingredient you simply can’t do without in a full English Breakfast – sausage or bacon. Well worry no more, here to help you solve some of life’s biggest – and most pointless – conundrums, Alexander Armstrong and Richard Osman attempt to answer the trickiest of teasers that we all face. So, does God exist? and what is the most pointless sport – ballet or darts? With a witty and intelligent collection of stand-up pieces, quizzes, cryptic brainteasers and pointless facts and questions, Alexander Armstrong and his pointless friend Richard Osman will put the world to rights and finally answer the 100 Most Pointless Arguments in the World…Ever.

Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Saints, Angels, Fairies, Demons and Ghosts by Judika Illes

Spirits permeate our culture. We flatter a woman by calling her a goddess, a man by calling him an “Adonis.” Describe being stuck in an elevator as “hell,” and you’ve just evoked Hel, the Norse guardian of the realm of death. “Nemesis” is named for the Greek goddess of justice and vengeance. An aphrodisiac evokes the power of Aphrodite, the goddess of love and sex. And “frickin'” is not a substitute for a stronger obscenity, it’s the name of another Norse goddess spelled Frika.There are spirits in pop culture, too, like Neil Gaiman’s “American Gods”, in Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings”, “The Ring” series of horror movies, in Bob Dylan’s “Isis”, Fleetwood Mac’s hit “Rhiannon”, and Shocking Blue’s “Venus in Blue Jeans”. Even in prison, inmates tattoo Our Lady of Guadalupe on their backs, because no one would stick a knife into Our Lady, would they? Spirits permeate every corner of our culture, and the “Encyclopedia of Spirits” explains who they are and how we can persuade them to help us land a job, find our true love, conceive a child, protect our distant loved ones, or heal our ailments.

And don’t forget there is new fiction in from Zadie Smith, Donna Tartt, Justin Cartwright, Robert Harris, Jumpha Lahiri, Amy Tan, Thomas Pynchon, Peter Ackroyd, Mitch Albom, Douglas Coupland, Sebastian Faulks, William Boyd, Alexander McCall Smith, Deon Meyer (in Afrikaans), Margaret Atwood, Jonathan Coe, Philip Kerr, Helen Fielding, Elizabeth Gilbert, Mitch Albom, Dave Eggers and Margaret Drabble…..phew!

Have a cool Yule y’all!

Summer Time Story Time

Saturday, December 14th 2013 at 11:00 AM

summer timeSummer is finally here and most of you are on holiday, spending days outside playing, going to the beach, building sand castles, maybe learning to surf for the first time. It is time for ice cream and watermelons and swimming costumes and maybe even going to bed a bit later.

Today we will read some stories about summer time and beaches and just enjoying the sun.

Last one in the water is a dinosaur!


Join the Lounge at a Night Market

Friday, December 13th 2013 at 3:00 PM

aJoin us on Thursday and Friday afternoon and evening at the Gifting Night Market at the Oranjezicht City Farm.

We will take a selection of nature friendly reading along.

It will be great to see you there.


Join us and the good folk from Prufrock for the launch of Issue Three: A Tall Drink of Water

Thursday, December 12th 2013 at 5:30 PM




Max Price speaks to John Higgins about Academic Freedom in a Democratic South Africa.

Wednesday, December 11th 2013 at 5:30 PM

Acacemic freedom


Holiday Programme: In the Garden

Wednesday, December 11th 2013 at 2:30 PM

garden doodleThis is the second part of our Holiday programme, and this afternoon we are reading some great stories about being out and about in the garden, digging, weeding,  playing on the grass, planting vegetables.

Join us for a great afternoon of stories and making our own paper gardens.


Join James Whyle as he discusses his new novel Walk with journalist and writer Andrew Donaldson

Tuesday, December 10th 2013 at 5:30 PM


Walk tells the story of a deadly scramble down the wild coastline of what would become present-day South Africa and should be required reading for anyone interested in the early history of this complex nation and impeccably crafted literary fiction alike. This length of coastline is a hike that every South African should have the privilege of taking. But for the survivors of the wreck of the Grosvenor as they clambered onto the rocks on 5 August 1782, they might as well have crash-landed on Mars. The shipwrecked decided to walk to the Cape of Good Hope, though their ordeal starting at Lambasi in northern Pondoland ended in the dune deserts not far from what we now know as Port Elizabeth – for those few who survived it.

Walk takes the reader, step by step, day by day, on William Hubberly’s horrific trek. While indisputably fiction, Walk sails a good deal closer to the historical truth than most nonfiction you will read and is a haunting parable on the meeting of Europe and Africa.

About the Author

James Whyle grew up in the Amatole Mountains of the Eastern Cape. After being conscripted into the apartheid army, he was discharged on the grounds of insanity. He did everything in his power to assist the authorities in arriving at this diagnosis. His play about the experience, National Madness, has been called “a simple, subtle and frequently satirical portrait of the condition of militarism”. It was performed at the Market and Baxter theatres and published in Market Plays.

Whyle has since published poetry, short stories and journalism. His radio dramas, commissioned by the BBC, include A Man Called Rejoice which was published as Rejoice Burning in the UK in New South African Plays. His screenplay for the film Otelo Burning has been nominated for achievement in screenplay by the Africa Movie Academy Awards. His story, “The Story”, was chosen by JM Coetzee as winner of the 2011 Pen/Studzinski competition.

James Whyle’s first full-length novel, The Book of War, was published to critical acclaim by Jacana in 2012. It was shortlisted for the preeminent South African literary award, the Sunday Times Fiction Prize for 2012, as well as the 2013 M-Net Literary Award for English. Rian Malan called the book “a very good book, possibly great” and according to William Kentridge it is a “rare feast”


Join us for the launch of Sam the Toad in the Hole

Saturday, December 7th 2013 at 11:00 AM

sam the toadWe have had many books by Lulu and Tee, there was Percy,  Pamela and Peter the Penguins that get saved after the oil spill; then we had Eric the Baboon with his birthday cake and not to forget Nicole the Shark.

Now Linda Fellowes will come along and read for us from her new book, Sam, the Toad in the Hole about what happens when we don’t look after our wetlands.

With our wetlands being eaten up by development, our tiny wildlife, which are crucial for a healthy eco-system, are constantly put under threat.

Sam is the true story of Skilpadsvlei and a toad whose wetland dries up and disappears due to development. Wally comes to the rescue …

Join us for a great morning of not only hearing a new story, but also learning how to look after the world around us.