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Holiday Time Story Time

Saturday, December 20th 2014 at 11:00 AM

seasonIt is December and that means holidays for most of us. There are more cakes and going to the beach and for some of us even some presents.

Although we don’t all celebrate this time in the same way, we all believe in spending this time with those people we love the best and telling them how special they are to us.

Today we will read some stories about sharing and family and this holiday time called Christmas.

Today is our last story time for the year. Thank you for being part of our Book Lounge family and coming along to listen to all the stories.

We will see you again in the New Year.

RSVP

Great Reads for the Young of Heart and Limb

Wednesday, December 17th 2014 at 1:46 PM

It’s a week before the Christmas Festivities are upon us and if you are looking for a great gift or just a holiday read, here are some of the current Book Lounge favourites to indulge in.

Books for little ones

mu's wolfMu’s Wolf Problem

A charming story by local girl, Maria Lebedeva, Mu’s mother has to leave her alone at home when she goes off to work. When Mu suspects there is a wolf in her house, she bravely declares herself fearless and soon, despite initial uncertainty, the two become fast friends. A beautifully illustrated little gem for those of us who sometimes feel a little bit scared and alone.

 

 

SparkySparky!

All she ever wanted was a pet and all her mom said, was only if it will be no trouble what so ever.  After some library research our little girl knows exactly which animal she wants to spend her time with and asks for a sloth. If you were going to have a sloth as a pet, would Sparky not be the best name? And yes, Sparky can’t play fetch, and he does not roll over, but he is really really very good at playing dead. But Mary’s bunny can do tricks and Mary’s bunny is mostly awake… when a Trained Sloth Extravaganza is organised to show off Sparky’s skills, things don’t go as planned, but in the end, that’s all okay, because Sparky is who he is, and that is actually okay.  Jenny Offill’s text with Chris Applehans’s gorgeous watercolour sketches makes this the perfect book about friendship.

 

LuckyLucky

Book Lounge hearts David Mackintosh, ever since his first picture book, Marshall Armstrong is New in our School. With his latest offering, Lucky, we meet Leo and his brother who at breakfast hear that there will be a surprise later that day. David Mackintosh shows us just how crazy imaginations can get with his excellent drawings and collages, and eventually Leo and his brother are convinced that they know all about the trip their parents are planning for them. Or was there just a misunderstanding? A hilarious look at family life and children’s jumping-to-conclusion minds!

 

bear escapeThe Bear’s Sea Escape

Last year we saw the first in this series and yeah for Benjamin Chaud for bringing us more Bear adventures. His illustration style is an intrigued doodle with lots of subplot in the detail of his work. It is like a modern Richard Scarry with all the characters getting a their own tiny story to act out. When it starts to snow Papa Bear decides it is time to find a better place to nap and so the journey to the sea starts. There’s ocean liners, puffer fish, jungles and a masquerade ball : adventure indeed!

 

 

orlandoOrlando the Marmalade Cat : A Camping Holiday

First published in the late 30s, Kathleen Hale’s cat family have always been considered classic. Available again for the first time in a while, the first Orlando story is now in paperback, with the family going off on a camping holiday in the country. Although some of the adventures might seem old-fashioned, Orlando tries so hard to be a good cat father, how can he not be loved? The illustrations are amazing pencil sketches and the style from a time long forgotten. Especially Grace’s, (the wife) outfits with aprons and hats, are very classy!

 

13 words13 Words

A book created by Lemony Snicket and Maria Kalman… come on, how could it not be great? They have taken thirteen words and created a story around them. Kalman’s sketching style is as brilliant as ever. If word number 6 is convertible, then of course number 9 would be haberdashery. All in all it is a story of great friendship and cake with a song.

And it is beautiful in a kind of I-want-to-have-it-now kind of way.

 

I’ve got the Alphabet Down

squishySquishy McFluff : The Invisible Cat and Supermarket Sweep

Is an imaginary friend not the best to have any adventures with? Ava thinks so, she thinks that her invisible cat, Squishy McFluff will ensure that she is never bored again. And bonus, imaginary cat food is incredibly cheap, so there is no problem there! Pip Jones has created two books so far in the series, in the first one we meet Squishy and soon realise that invisible or not, he needs to work on his manners if he wants to stay with Ava, not sure it is working because in the second book, Squishy goes with to the supermarket and soon there is chaos in the shop.

Don’t sulk, don’t get in a huff, because nothing is boring with Squishy McFluff!

 

foxyFoxy Tales : The Cunning Plan and The Road to Fame and Fortune

Meet Foxy Dubois. A girl who knows what she wants. Well, a girl who is a fox. Unfortunately, the same idiot always stands in her way, Alphonso the Alligator! So Foxy constantly has to use her best skills to get rid of Alphonso. Told in the same way as the Mr Gum books, this is the start of an excellent series of adventures with attitude. Alex T. Smith’s black and white illustrations add flair and subtle humour to be enjoyed by any age of reader.

Two books available so far in chapter book format and two in picture book format.

 

mimiMimi and the Mountain Dragon

Michael Morpurgo is the master of tenderhearted stories, and this is the perfect Christmas read. In her castle lair high in the mountains of Switzerland lives a terrible dragon. And one morning when she wakes up, her little baby seems to have disappeared. In the village below lives a little girl called Mimi. When she finds a baby dragon in the woodshed, she makes a brave decision to return the baby to her mother as soon as the snow settles and she can risk to go up to the castle.  Mimi’s bravery to reunite the two brings peace to the little village and for the first time they get to have a joyful Christmas. A beautiful little hardcover read with illustrations by Helen Stephens.

 

goth girlGoth Girl and the Fete Worse Than Death

The sequel to the beautiful Goth Girl and Ghost of a Mouse, is finally here, with its red shiny finish and all. Poor Ada, between the planning for the big Bake Off and the annual Fete and her father being away on a book tour, it seems that everyone has forgotten her birthday. When Marylebone, her wardrobe dwelling ladies’ maid, gets a marriage proposal and Maltravers is (still) acting strangely as we’ve learned by now, Ada feels it is time to get right in the middle of the intrigue and make sure that it all runs smoothly. Well, as close as possible.

And yes, Chris Riddell draws pictures too beautiful and intriguing to ever forget.

 

A few issues, but-still-a-kid

moon boyMoone Boy : The Blunder Years

Poor Martin Moone, he is the only boy in a family of girls. He’s desperate for a wingman to help him navigate his awkward life. And so he gets himself an IF (imaginary friend) to help out. His first attempt fails, because Loopy Lou is hyperactive and writes terrible rap songs, but then we meet Sean Caution Murphy, a lazy man with a head full of jokes and it seems that Sean is the perfect man to guide Martin through the messy maze of life. If only there was an easy way to get rid of Loopy Lou… Written by Chris O’Dowd and Nick Murphy, the humour is a sophisticated mix of grown up and silly school boy, but beware, a lot of out loud laughing will take place!

This is Adrian Mole for a new generation.

 

summer and birdSummer and Bird

It was Tolkien who said that a book set in an imaginary world should not only show the darkness, but share the joy. Katherine Catmull has definitely accomplished this with her debut novel. There is the story of two sisters who wake up one morning to find their parents missing and they set out on a journey to look for them. However, there is also the simple yet complex relationship of two sisters, the pure but hardly selfless love of children for their mother, the selfless but sometimes conflicted love of a mother for her children, and a strained relationship between parents, and how it affects their children. All these topics are dealt with with honesty, but through the filter of a magical world, written without talking down to her readers. It is a story about heroism, about love in all forms, and about the magic in the world that is always there.

 

tiger mothTiger Moth

Sometimes all we need is one friend., Alice always believed she was born, she was chosen and therefore the safest place in the world was always at home with her adoptive parents. Everything’s perfect. Until it isn’t. When she finds out her Mum is going to have a baby, Alice’s world turns upside down. Will they love their real baby more than her? Why isn’t she enough for them anymore? Not knowing how to say what she feels, she stays silent that day and the day after that, until six months have passed without her saying one single word. Zack has everything he could want. His dad’s a film stuntman, he lives in the best house on the best street and is Mr Popular at school. Everything’s perfect. Until it isn’t. Zack’s dad is killed on set and he and his mum are forced to sell their house and move to a tiny cottage by the sea. Ripped from the life he once knew, Zack is angry at the world and looking for trouble. Then he meets Alice, the girl who doesn’t speak, and together they begin to realise that sometimes it’s when life seems less than perfect that the most magical things can happen. A bit funny, a bit mysterious, but mostly just a heart-warmingly gorgeous read.

 

nine livesThe 9 Lives of Alexander Baddenfield

Alexander is no ordinary boy, he has cunningly stolen the 9 lives from his cat and now he can have as many adventures as possible. Right? He jumps off the Empire State Building, he gets swallowed by a giant python and even manages to get himself electrocuted. It’s all fun and death until Alexander realises that he is running out of extra lives, in fact he only has one left and suddenly he becomes rather obsessed with keeping this one. Sophie Blackall has done beautiful line drawings between the chapters and gives us a perfect picture of a spoilt boy about to learn the lesson of the value of life.

My favourite is his seventh life, a short chapter that pretty much just says “Bull. Hooves. Dead.”

 

tabithaThe Rise and Rise of Tabitha Baird

A comedian and a scriptwriter, Arabella Weir, is successfully trying her hand at writing for younger readers. When 13-year old Tabitha Baird’s parents split up, she moves with her mom and brother to London to live with Gran (who mostly talks to her dog, Basil) and tries to reinvent herself as the coolest, most popular girl in her new school. But with her mom’s blog about her and her gran’s dog’s knitted jumpers, how will she juggle her not-cool family life and still get the attention of the hottest boys.

This is a hilarious beach read if I’ve ever seen one (and, if  you are wondering, I have).

 

 

violetViolet Ink

Rebecca Westcott is definitely carving out a spot for her in the Cathy Cassidy/Jacqueline Wilson crowd. With her tender hand she introduces us to two sisters, Alex and the younger Izzy. Izzy has always admired her older sister, but now that she spends most of her time with her new boyfriend, there is suddenly the chance that he will spoil their bond. The reader gets swept along with Alex’s letters written to Izzy, all in a violet pen, until one of them brings unwanted news. A beautiful teary read.

Also have a look at her other book, Dandelion Clocks, when you are in the shop. Also a gorgeous read.

 

Stop-treating-me-like-a-child Reads

 

hackedHacked

Once Dan discovers computers, his ADHD mind seems to settle down. In the beginning the hacking was harmless; free phone credit, free movie tickets, nothing too serious, but by the time Dan is contacted online by Angel, he is eager for the challenge laid before him to create more advanced code. When Dan begins to suspect that something more nefarious may be planned for his code than he thought, he realises that he might not be able to control it all anymore. He will have to decide what truly matters more, protecting his anonymity and freedom, or preventing a deadly terror attack.

Tracy Alexander has written a very fast-paced, very nail-biting book, basically like a double espresso first thing in the morning.

 

Naonaomi 2mi and Ely’s No Kiss List

Naomi and Ely have been friends for, like, ever. Besties, soul mates. And just to be sure, they have a NO KISS LIST, a list of people neither of them are allowed to kiss. Bruce is Naomi’s boyfriend, so there is no reason for him to be on the list, right? When Ely kisses Bruce, their carefully constructed world falls apart. Did I mention that Ely is a boy? David Levithan and Rachel Cohn have beautifully constructed a very real world held together with love and trust and figuring out who we really are.

David Levithan is an amazing author of many books that look at gender and love and how the soul of a person is not always defined by what you see. If you have never read one of his books, please do, he is magic.

 

atlantiaAtlantia

At the beginning of the dystopian craze, Allie Condie brought us the Matched-series, which we all loved. This week saw the arrival of her brand new series, Atlantia. This is an underwater refuge built when the earth above became too polluted for humans to survive there for long. But Atlantia is crumpling and our heroine, Rio, is dreaming of leaving this underwater city and living in the world above. Rio has a twin sister, Bay, and when she realises that they might not have the same vision of their future, she feels stranded and alone.  Rio has to figure out who to listen to in order for her to make the right choices to ensure she has a fighting chance of survival.

 

 

castleKeeping the Castle

Seventeen-year-old Althea is the sole support of her entire family and their old home, Crawley Castle, the only option is that she must marry well. But there are few suitors of any kind in their small town of Lesser Hoo. Then, the young and attractive (and very rich) Lord Boring arrives, and Althea sets her plans in motion. There’s only one problem; his friend and business manager Mr. Fredericks keeps getting in the way. And, as it turns out, Fredericks has his own set of plans . . . Patrice Kindl’s first novel in a decade takes a heroine with money problems, puts her in a crumbling castle, adds two stepsisters and some suitors and viola, it’s a very funny charming read!

If you’re a fan of I Capture the Castle you will love this sharply comic tale of courtship.

 

skinkSkink No Surrender

Richard is the quiet one in the family, not like his crazy cousin, Malley, who seems to have run away with some guy she met online.  And when no one seems to realise that Malley is in danger, he decides that he might have to man up and find her. Enter, Wild Skink, a ragged, one-eyed wandering vigilante, who use to be a former governor but now goes around protecting the innocent, mostly animals. As Skink believes in lost causes he decides to help Richard and together they go on one crazy roadtrip with alligators, bullets and mysterious clues to find Malley.

Carl Hiaasen is a well-known author for adults, but with this his 4th YA book, he has definitely shown his commitment and passion to writing good books, regardless of age. He is a big nature lover and his work always has a strong environmental feel to it.

 

thousand piecesA Thousand Pieces of You

As the daughter of two brilliant physicists, Marguerite grew up surrounded by some wild scientific theories, always encouraged to imagine the impossible. When her father is suddenly murdered, and all the evidence points to his protege, Paul, Marguerite’s world is turned upside down. With no way out, Paul escapes with a device that allows him to leap through alternate dimensions, called the Firebird. Marguerite has no choice but to follow. Will she capture her father’s killer or will she discover that all is not what it seemed at first? Claudia Gray’s writing sweeps us up in an epic love murder mystery that will making you want to hack her laptop to get to book two as soon as possible.

 

 

jewelThe Jewel

Violet Lasting is no longer a human being. Her name and her body is no longer her own. Tomorrow she becomes Lot 197, auctioned to the highest royal bidder in the Jewel of the Lone City. Tomorrow she becomes the Surrogate of the House of the Lake, her sole purpose to produce a healthy heir for the Duchess. Imprisoned in the opulent cage of the palace, Violet learns the brutal ways of the Jewel, where the royal women compete to secure their bloodline and the surrogates are treated as disposable commodities. Destined to carry the child of a woman she despises, Violet fights to hold onto any sanity, until she meets Ash Lockwood, another captive, the royal Companion. Drawn together, Violet and Ash become puppets in a deadly game of court politics, until they become each other’s jeopardy – and salvation. This is the first book in a series by Amy Ewing, with a good dash of dystopian, politics and love, what more can we ask for?

 

messenger fearMessenger of Fear

Michael Grant (from Gone and BZRK) brings us the a new adventure, and what a ride! Will you play or will you pay? Mara wakes in a field of dead grass, a heavy mist pressing down on her. She is terrified, afraid that she is dead. Then a beautiful young man dressed in black appears. He calls himself Messenger of Fear. This boy is able to move effortlessly through space and time. He also sees the darkness in human hearts. He sees the evils done: the destructive lies, the cruelty, the bullying, the violence. And if the world does not bring justice to those who do evil, he will. He offers the wicked a game. If they win, they go free. If they lose, they will live their greatest fear. Either way, their sanity will be challenged. It is a world of fair but harsh justice. Of retribution and redemption. And mystery. Why was Mara chosen to be the Messenger’s apprentice? What has she done to deserve this terrible fate? She won’t find out until three of the wicked receive justice. And when she does, she will be shattered. So good. So very very good.

We of course also have other books, a whole section full, so find parking and come and find what you are looking for.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stocking Part the Second

Wednesday, December 17th 2014 at 9:35 AM

By the Book by Pamela Paul

 

Every Sunday, readers of The New York Times Book Review turn with anticipation to see which novelist, historian, short story writer, or artist will be the subject of the popular By the Book interview feature. A selection of the best have been brought together here – with literary luminaries such as David Sedaris, Hilary Mantel, Michael Chabon, Khaled Hosseini, James Patterson and many more. These questions and answers admit us into the private worlds of these authors, as they reflect on their work habits, reading preferences, inspirations, pet peeves, and recommendations. By the Book is a way to invite sixty-five of the most interesting guests into your world. It’s a book party not to be missed.

 

Dali Pop-Ups

Dali Pop-Ups

Some of the best of the very wonderful Salvador Dali’s paintings are brought to spectacular 3D life in this book of pop-ups.

 

The Frood: The Authorised and Very Official History of Douglas Adams & The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Jem Roberts (with an introduction by Douglas Adams)

   

As a wise ape once observed, space is big – vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly so. However, if you look too closely at space, it becomes nothing but lumps of rock and sundry gases. Sometimes it’s necessary to take a step back, and let a few billion years go by, before any of the true wonder and scope of the cosmos becomes apparent.

Similarly, the late 20th century author, humorist and thinker Douglas Adams was big – vastly, hugely and thoroughly mind-bogglingly so, both in physical terms, and as a writer who has touched millions of readers, firing up millions of cerebellums all over planet Earth, for over 35 years – and for nearly half of that time, he hasn’t even been alive.

An all-new approach to the most celebrated creation of Douglas Adams is most welcome for his many fans, and The Frood tells the story of Adams’s explosive but agonizingly constructed fictional universe, from his initial inspirations to the posthumous sequel(s) and adaptations, bringing together a thousand tales of life as part of the British Comedy movements of the late 70s and 80s along the way. With the benefit of hindsight and much time passed, friends and colleagues have been interviewed for a fresh take on the man and his works.

 

Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s Learned by Lena Dunham

 

If I could take what I’ve learned and make one menial job easier for you, or prevent you from having the kind of sex where you feel you must keep your sneakers on in case you want to run away during the act, then every misstep of mine was worthwhile. I’m already predicting my future shame at thinking I had anything to offer you, but also my future glory in having stopped you from trying an expensive juice cleanse or thinking that it was your fault when the person you are dating suddenly backs away, intimidated by the clarity of your personal mission here on earth. No, I am not a sexpert, a psychologist, or a dietician. I am not a mother of three or the owner of a successful hosiery franchise. But I am a girl with a keen interest in having it all, and what follows are hopeful dispatches from the frontlines of that struggle.”

 

Mikhael Subotzky – Patrick Waterhouse: Ponte City by Ivan Vladislavic and Ramon Pez

   

Mikhael Subotzky and Patrick Waterhouse worked at Ponte City, the iconic Johannesburg apartment building which is Africa’s tallest residential skyscraper, for more than six years. They photographed the residents and documented the building every door, the view from every window, the image on every television screen. This remarkable body of photographs is presented here in counterpoint with an extensive archive of found material and historical documents. The visual story is integrated with a sustained sequence of essays and documentary texts. In the essays, some of South Africas leading scholars and writers explore Ponte Citys unique place in Johannesburg and in the imagination of its citizens. What emerges is a complex portrait, a single, unavoidable building seen as refuge and monstrosity, dreamland and dystopia, and always a beacon to navigate by.

 

 

Be Safe I Love You by Cara Hoffman

 

A tense and stunning novel . . . exactly what a war novel should be: a tale of refreshing honesty about the harm war does to us all.”                                             Guardian

A finely tuned piece of fiction… Be Safe I Love You is a painful exploration of the devastation wrought by combat even when the person returns from war without a scratch. The story – written with such lucid detail it’s hard to believe the main character is an invention – suggests the damage starts long before the soldier reports for duty . . . In crystalline language that conveys both the desolation of the Iraqi desert and the north country of New York State… this book is a reminder that art and love are all that can keep us from despair.”                          New York Times Book Review
Hoffman’s prose is near perfect: intense and imaginative, each sentence heavy with meaning without feeling overwritten. She balances the tightrope of not flinching away from violence, but also not lovingly describing it . . . you’ll find Be Safe I Love You to be brave, intelligent and unflinching.”                            List

Through Lauren, Cara Hoffman’s thoroughly researched and carefully crafted heroine, Be Safe I Love You illuminates the distaff side of military service and the ways that life in uniform are at once different and, at times, uncannily similar for men and women.”                    Washington Post

Unflinching … Hoffman’s skill is to embed her sleek sentences with hard-hitting themes … a vivid depiction of life for a female warrior.”                               Observer

The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami

   

Fully illustrated and beautifully designed, this is a unique and wonderfully creepy tale that is sure to delight Murakami fans.

‘All I did was go to the library to borrow some books’.

On his way home from school, the young narrator of The Strange Library finds himself wondering how taxes were collected in the Ottoman Empire. He pops into the local library to see if it has a book on the subject. This is his first mistake.

Led to a special ‘reading room’ in a maze under the library by a strange old man, he finds himself imprisoned with only a sheep man, who makes excellent donuts, and a girl, who can talk with her hands, for company. His mother will be worrying why he hasn’t returned in time for dinner and the old man seems to have an appetite for eating small boy’s brains. How will he escape?

 

 

Yes Please by Amy Poehler

The New York Times Number One Bestseller

In Amy Poehler’s highly anticipated first book, Yes Please, she offers up a big juicy stew of personal stories, funny bits on sex and love and friendship and parenthood and real life advice (some useful, some not so much). Powered by Amy’s charming and hilarious, biting yet wise voice, Yes Please is a book full of words to live by.

 

 

Saga Vol 1, 2 & 3

From award – winning writer Brian K. Vaughan (Y: the Last Man, television’s Lost) and critically acclaimed artist Fiona Staples (Mystery Society, North 40), Saga is the sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the universe. Fantasy and science fiction are wed like never before in this sexy, subversive ongoing epic.

 

Ms Marvel written by G. Willow Wilson and Illustrated by Adrian Alphona

Kamala Khan is an ordinary girl from Jersey City – until she’s suddenly empowered with extraordinary gifts. But who truly is the new Ms. Marvel? Teenager? Muslim? Inhuman? Find out as she takes the Marvel Universe by Storm! One of the most important superhero comics to come out of 2014.

 

Mexico: The Cookbook by Margarita Carrillo Arronte

This absolutely gorgeous giant pink book brings you the very very best of the glorious cuisine of Mexico, from one of its leading practitioners, Margarita Carillo Arronte. As always with Phaidon (for it is they), the production is superb, and full of vivid illustrations.

 

Wheatfields and Windmills: The Old Homesteads and Farms of Observatory by Jim Hislop

   

This fascinating and beautifully produced book is a labour of love by local historian Jim Hislop. A detailed history of the early homesteads of Observatory (taking in Mowbray as well) – home to some of South Africa’s very first European farmers. Did you know that Oude Molen was used by Khoi herdsman to graze cattle before the first European settlers of 1652? No, I thought not.

 

All or Nothing: One Chef’s Appetite for the Extreme by Jesse Schenker

Blending Kitchen Confidential, Blood, Bones & Butter, and Breaking Bad, a culinary memoir that illuminates the highs and lows of addiction, anxiety, and ambition in the world of haute cuisine.

Thirty-one-year-old Jesse Schenker has rocketed to the top of the culinary world. An Iron Chef winner and James Beard nominee, he was voted Best New Chef by New York Magazine, and his acclaimed Recette was named Best New Restaurant by the New York Times. But Jesse’s epic rise masks a little-known past filled with demons and obsession, genius and mania.

Jesse learned to channel his obsessiveness and need to get ever “higher” into his career. But his growing success fueled his anxiety, leading to panic attacks and hypochondria. In this startling and down to earth memoir, Jesse lays it all on the table for the first time, reflecting on his insatiable appetite for the extreme—which has led to his biggest triumphs and failures—and shares the shocking story of his turbulent life.

 

 

Finding Jesus by Winston Rowntree

   

You found Wally – hallelujah! Now go find Jesus…

God may move in a mysterious way, but his son is a real devil to track down. Seek and ye shall find Jesus in a multitude of unexpected places – crowded rock concerts, bustling supermarkets and packed weddings, to name but a few.

It might take a miracle, but the clear-sighted can spot him if they keep the faith. Readers of all ages will be in raptures with this eternally enjoyable gift book that your neighbour is sure to covet!

 

 

Adult Colouring Books

         

Colouring isn’t just for kids! Get creative during the holidays with some of our beautiful colouring books for grown-ups. From traditional Mexican and Islamic patterns to Wild Flowers and Art Deco – this is an immensely satisfying past-time!

 

The Stone Mattress: Nine Tales by Margaret Atwood

 

A recently widowed fantasy writer is guided through a stormy winter evening by the voice of her late husband. An elderly lady with Charles Bonnet syndrome comes to terms with the little people she keeps seeing, while a newly formed populist group gathers to burn down her retirement residence. A woman born with a genetic abnormality is mistaken for a vampire, and a crime committed long ago is revenged in the Arctic via a 1.9 billion-year-old stromatalite.

In these nine tales, Margaret Atwood ventures into the shadowland earlier explored by fabulists and concoctors of dark yarns such as Robert Louis Stevenson, Daphne du Maurier and Arthur Conan Doyle – and also by herself, in her award-winning novel Alias Grace. In Stone Mattress, Margaret Atwood is at the top of her darkly humorous and seriously playful game.

 

 

Hawley Book of the Dead by Chryzler Szaran

 

In the tradition of The Night Circus and A Discovery of Witches, The Hawley Book of the Dead is the kind of novel that makes you believe that magic really exists.

 

An old house surrounded by acres of forest.

A place of secrets, mysteries and magic.

This is where Reve Dyer hopes to keep herself and her children safe.

But a mysterious figure has haunted Reve for over a decade. And now Reve knows that this person is on her trail again.

In Hawley, where the magic of her ancestors reigns, Reve must unlock the secrets of the Hawley Book of the Dead before it’s too late…

 

 

The Book with No Pictures by BJ Novak

  

You might think a book with no pictures seems boring and serious. Except . . . here’s how books work. Everything written on the page has to be said by the person reading it aloud. Even if the words say . . .

BLORK. Or BLUURF. And even if the words include things like BLAGGITY BLAGGITY and MY HEAD IS MADE OF BLUEBERRY PIZZA!

That’s the rule. That’s the deal.

 

Brilliantly irreverent and very, very silly, The Book With No Pictures will delight kids and have them begging for more. From award-winning US comic writer and actor, B.J. Novak.

 

 

Madam and Eve: Send in the Clowns by Stephen Francis and Rico

  

Well it wouldn’t be Christmas without a Madam and Eve Annual Collection. This is the 22nd volume which chronicles the madcap goings on of yet another crazy South African household!

 

Ballad of a Small Player by Lawrence Osborne

 

I waited patiently for the next hand to be played out, and I had a feeling it was going to be a Natural, a perfect nine.’

His name is Lord Doyle.

His plan: to gamble away his last days in the dark and decadent casino halls of Macau.

His game: baccarat punto blanco — ‘that slutty dirty queen of casino card games.’

Though Doyle is not a Lord at all. He is a fake; a corrupt lawyer who has spent a career siphoning money from rich clients. And now he is on the run, determined to send the money – and himself – up in smoke.

So begins a beguiling, elliptical velvet rope of a plot: a sharp suit, yellow kid gloves, another naughty lemonade and an endless loop of small wins and losses. When Lady Luck arrives in the form of Dao-Ming, a beautiful yet enigmatic lost soul, so begins a spectacular and unnatural winning streak in which millions come Doyle’s way. But in these shadowy dens of risk and compulsion, in a land governed by superstition, Doyle knows that when the bets are high, the stakes are even greater.

The Ballad of a Small Player is a sleek, dark-hearted masterpiece: a ghost story set in the land of the living, and a decadent morality tale of a Faustian pact made, not with the devil, but with fortune’s fickle hand.

 

 

The 21st Century Art Book by Phaidon

     

Another stunning piece of production. Phaidon keeps its finger on the pulse with an A-Z collection of the best art around the world in the first 15 years of the 21st Century. A must for anyone with a serious interest in contemporary art.

 

The Very Hungover Caterpillar: A Parody by Josie Lloyd and Emlyn Rees

    

Ha ha. A lovely parody of one of the best-loved children’s books of all time. This one tackles the realities of adulthood by following the main (hungover) character as he crawls through the day eating different things to cure his hangover.

 

The Photography Book (2nd edition) by Phaidon

     

A revised and updated edition of Phaidon’s bestselling book, which brings this landmark work fully up-to-date with new additions covering the latest developments in photography. The Photography Book is an unsurpassed collection of over 550 superb images that represent the world’s best photographers from the mid-nineteenth century to today. Arranged alphabetically by photographer, it showcases pioneers such as Gustave Le Gray and Daguerre, icons like Robert Capa and contemporary names such as Richard Wentworth and Carolee Schneemann. The selection encompasses fashion, sport, natural history, reportage, society portraiture, documentary and art.

 

 

H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald

  

Winner of the 2014 Samuel Johnson Prize.

This beautiful book is at once heartfelt and clever in the way it mixes elegy with celebration: elegy for a father lost, celebration of a hawk found – and in the finding also a celebration of countryside, forbears of one kind and another, life-in-death. At a time of very distinguished writing about the relationship between human kind and the environment, it is immediately pre-eminent.”          Andrew Motion

As a child Helen Macdonald was determined to become a falconer. She learned the arcane terminology and read all the classic books, including T. H. White’s tortured masterpiece, The Goshawk, which describes White’s struggle to train a hawk as a spiritual contest.

When her father dies and she is knocked sideways by grief, she becomes obsessed with the idea of training her own goshawk. She buys Mabel for £800 on a Scottish quayside and takes her home to Cambridge. Then she fills the freezer with hawk food and unplugs the phone, ready to embark on the long, strange business of trying to train this wildest of animals.

H is for Hawk is a record of a spiritual journey – an unflinchingly honest account of Macdonald’s struggle with grief during the difficult process of the hawk’s taming and her own untaming. At the same time, it’s a kaleidoscopic biography of the brilliant and troubled novelist T. H. White, best known for The Once and Future King. It’s a book about memory, nature and nation, and how it might be possible to try to reconcile death with life and love.

 

Parfums: A Catalogue of Remembered Smells by Philippe Claudel

 

From the sizzling sharpness of freshly cut garlic to the cool tang of a father’s aftershave; the heady intoxication of a fumbled first kiss to the anodyne void of disinfectant and death, this is a decadently original olfactory memoir.

In sixty-three elusive episodes we roam freely across the countryside of Lorraine, North-East France, from kitchen to farm to a lover’s bed. Recognising the bittersweet nostalgia of a scent that slips away on the summer breeze, Claudel demonstrates again his impeccable grasp of the personal and the universal, interweaved with a rare self-deprecating charm.

This is an evocative patchwork at once earthy and ethereal, erotic and heart-breaking. Claudel permits us a glimpse of moments that have driven him to delight or despair, creating through the fading aromas of the past fragments of humour, insight and quite intangible beauty.

 

 

Philosophy Bites Again by David Edmonds & Nigel Warburton

 

Philosophy Bites Again is a brand new selection of interviews from the popular podcast of the same name. It offers engaging and thought-provoking conversations with leading philosophers on a selection of major philosophical issues that affect our lives. Their subjects include pleasure, pain, and humour; consciousness and the self; free will, responsibility, and punishment; the meaning of life and the afterlife. Everyone will find ideas in this book to fascinate, provoke, and inspire them.

Philosophy Bites was set up in 2007 by David Edmonds and Nigel Warburton. It has, to date, over 20 million downloads, and is listened to all over the world.

 

Zip Zap DVDs

    

The wonderful and irrepressible Zip Zap Circus bring joy to thousands of adults and children every year. Based in Cape Town but performing all over the world, the Zip Zap Circus trains children from all walks of life in the art of circus entertainment, and the results are truly magical. Captured on DVD they make for excellent holiday entertainment!

 

 

The Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help by Amanda Palmer

Imagine standing on a box in the middle of a busy city, dressed as a white-faced bride, and silently using your eyes to ask people for money. Or touring Europe in a punk cabaret band, and finding a place to sleep each night by reaching out to strangers on Twitter. For Amanda Palmer, actions like these have gone beyond satisfying her basic needs for food and shelter – they’ve taught her how to turn strangers into friends, build communities, and discover her own giving impulses. And because she had learned how to ask, she was able to go to the world to ask for the money to make a new album and tour with it, and to raise over a million dollars in a month.

In the New York Times bestseller The Art of Asking, Palmer expands upon her popular TED talk to reveal how ordinary people, those of us without thousands of Twitter followers and adoring fans, can use these same principles in our own lives.

 

I Think You’ll Find it’s a Bit More Complicated Than That by Ben Goldacre

The very best journalism from one of Britain’s most admired and outspoken science writers, author of the bestselling Bad Science and Bad Pharma.

In Bad Science, Ben Goldacre hilariously exposed the tricks that quacks and journalists use to distort science. In Bad Pharma, he put the $600 billion global pharmaceutical industry under the microscope. Now the pick of the journalism by one of our wittiest, most indignant and most fearless commentators on the worlds of medicine and science is collected in one volume. A perfect gift for his legions of fans and followers.

 

 

The World’s War by David Olusoga

      

A unique account of the millions of colonial troops who fought in the First World War, and why they were later air-brushed out of history.

David Olusoga quotes extensively from soldiers’ diaries and other eye-witness sources, bringing to life the searing experiences of these non-white troops.

The World’s War unveils shocking truths such as:

– The first soldier of the British Army to fire a shot in World War One was a black African.
– By the end of 1914 one third of the British sector of the Western Front was held by Indian soldiers.
– By 1917 the Western Front was the most multi-national, multi-racial, multi-faith place that had ever existed – a strange portent of Europe’s future.
– Germany created a special camp with a mosque and halal food in an attempt to persuade Muslim P.O.W.s to defect.

This is excellent and incisive writing from the co-author of The Kaiser’s Holocaust.

 

 

Miss Carter’s War by Sheila Hancock

It is 1948 and Britain is struggling to recover from the Second World War. Half French, half English, Marguerite Carter, young and beautiful, has lost her parents and survived a terrifying war, working for the SOE behind enemy lines. Leaving her partisan lover she returns to England to be one of the first women to receive a degree from the University of Cambridge.

Now she pins back her unruly auburn curls, draws a pencil seam up her legs, ties the laces on her sensible black shoes, belts her grey gabardine mac and sets out towards her future as an English teacher in a girls’ grammar school. For Miss Carter has a mission – to fight social injustice, to prevent war and to educate her girls.

Through deep friendships and love lost and found, from the peace marches of the fifties and the flowering of the Swinging Sixties, to the rise of Thatcher and the battle for gay rights, to the spectre of a new war, Sheila Hancock has created a powerful, panoramic portrait of Britain through the life of one very singular woman.

 

 

Wisdom of Trees by Max Adams

A passionate and informative celebration of trees and of man’s ingenuity in exploiting their resources: the perfect gift for anyone who cares about the natural world.

Trees are marvels of nature, still-standing giants of extraordinary longevity. In a beautifully written sequence of essays, anecdotes and profiles of Britain’s best-loved species (from yew to scots pine), Max Adams explores both the amazing biology of trees and humanity’s relationship with wood and forest across the centuries.

Embellished with images from John Evelyn’s classic Sylva (1664), The Wisdom of Trees is a gift book that will delight anyone who cares about the natural world and our interaction with it.

 

 

Moomin: Deluxe Anniversary Edition

      

Tove Jansson’s Moomin stories made her one of the most loved Scandinavian authors of the twentieth century. Jansson’s whimsical tales of Moominvalley resonate with children for their light-hearted spirit, and with adults for their incisive com-mentary on the banality of everyday life. 2014 marks the cente–nary of her birth, and Moomin: The deluxe anniversary edition, is a slipcased, hardcover collection of the complete Tove Jansson-penned Moomin comic strip, with all of her most popular storylines and original pencil sketches.

 

 

21 Icons of South Africa

        

An acclaimed project inspired by, and featuring, Nelson Mandela, 21 Icons is an intriguing visual journey celebrating the lives, achievements and essential goodness of some of South Africa’s greatest citizens. This candid collection of their personal stories and unique portraits reflects our country, its tapestry and, above all, its people.

As varied as the Rainbow Nation is colourful, 21 Icons offers exclusive access to a remarkable spread of characters. FW de Klerk in the lotus position, Philip Tobias before his passing, Desmond Tutu with a tutu, Nelson Mandela’s last portrait sitting… From those who navigated South Africa out of the darkness of apartheid, to life-saving crusaders, inspirational artists and others fighting to converse South Africa’s rich natural and cultural heritage, Adrian Steirn’s portraits display a unique, trusting exchange of energy between a photographer and his subjects, capturing the essence of these incredible stalwarts with both creative wit and due respect.

 

Last – but by NO means least…

 

HOT Guys and Kittens!

It’s a gift book with pictures of hot guys holding kittens! Need we say more…??

   

 

Happy Christmas Shopping!

Olivia Story Time

Saturday, December 13th 2014 at 11:00 AM

olivia in actionThere are many great pigs in children’s stories, there’s Babe, the one who can talk, there is Peppa who has her own TV show and of course, our favourite, Olivia, the most stylish pig in literature.

Today we will read Olivia stories and make Olivia mobiles for our rooms.

And of course we will all be fabulous!

 

RSVP

Join us for a Book Dash Bash

Thursday, December 11th 2014 at 5:30 PM

bookdashbookdash2 South Africa has a childhood literacy crisis. Book Dash are in the business of ending knowledge poverty, by giving away vast quantities of free children’s books. Thereby putting them in the hands of kids, so that they can own their own. On a Book Dash day, teams of three – designer, writer, illustrator – work together to each create a finished children’s book. Because these books have no publisher, their only cost is printing. The best part is that the bigger the print-run, the cheaper the book. Which is why they’re crowdfunding print costs through Thundafund.
They have already raised almost R50 000, but we want to do more! Please join us for the last push on the Thundafund campaign, which closes on 18 December.

Book Dash children’s books will be on sale, with proceeds going to the 15000-books-for-kids crowdfunding campaign.

Arthur Attwell, co-founder of Book Dash, will facilitate a panel of our creative volunteers, who will share their experiences of Book Dash and why they took part.

RSVP

Christmas Stocking 2014

Wednesday, December 10th 2014 at 8:21 AM

Ho ho ho! Christmas is the time for giving and, if you can’t give your nearest and dearest a Caribbean island, then surely books are the next best thing.
So here, in no particular order, is the Book Lounge Christmas stocking – gift ideas for every taste!

Infographic Guide to Literature/Sport/Music/Life, the Universe and Everything

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Infographics are the new black – could there be a more fun way of imparting knowledge and useless information??
These books celebrate their chosen subject with graphs, Venn diagrams and charts, and provide a unique overview of the key figures involved, boasting over 100 original artworks and illustrations and at-a-glance facts to amaze and astound readers!

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Thug Kitchen: Eat Like You Give a F**K

                                                       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Holy guacamole! Thug Kitchen started their wildly popular website to inspire people to eat some Goddamn vegetables and adopt a healthier lifestyle. With half a million Facebook fans and counting, Thug Kitchen wants to show everyone how to take charge of their plates and cook up some real f*cking food. Plus they’re going to arm you with all the info and techniques you need to shop on a budget and go and kick a bunch of ass on your own. No more ketchup and pizza counting as vegetables. No more drive-thru lines. No more avoiding the produce corner of the supermarket. Sh*t is about to get real!

 

Are You Sh*tting Me?: 1,004 Facts That Will Scare the Crap Out of You!

An all-new collection of entertaining and horrifying truths about us, our world, and why we’re totally screwed. With more disturbing facts and fun new topics, including weird celebrities, boobs, the internet, clowns, serial killers, sexual fetishes, bacon, Elvis, things that will eat you, and more. What more could you need to know?

 

Serving the Reich: The Struggle for the Soul of Physics by Philip Ball

Serving the Reich tells the story of physics under Hitler. While some scientists tried to create an Aryan physics that excluded any ‘Jewish ideas’, many others made compromises and concessions as they continued to work under the Nazi regime. Among them were three world-renowned physicists:

Max Planck, pioneer of quantum theory, regarded it as his moral duty to carry on under the regime.
Peter Debye, a Dutch physicist, rose to run the Reich’s most important research institute before leaving for the United States in 1940.
Werner Heisenberg, discovered the Uncertainty Principle, and became the leading figure in Germany’s race for the atomic bomb.

After the war most scientists in Germany maintained they had been apolitical or even resisted the regime: Debye claimed that he had gone to America to escape Nazi interference in his research; Heisenberg and others argued that they had deliberately delayed production of the atomic bomb.
Mixing history, science and biography, Serving the Reich is a gripping exploration of moral choices under a totalitarian regime. Here are human dilemmas, failures to take responsibility, three lives caught between the idealistic goals of science and a tyrannical ideology.

 

Spark by John Twelve Hawks

Jacob Underwood is not like other people. He has Cotard’s Syndrome. He believes he is dead. Which makes his job as a hired assassin neutralising ‘problems’ for DBG, a massive multinational corporation, very simple. He carries out the task – and feels nothing.
Now DBG has such a problem. A key employee, Emily Buchanan, has disappeared, taking with her a fortune and priceless information which could destroy the company. Jacob must track her down. In previous assignments, he had worked with cold logical precision, but this time he has to confront a threat that he first must understand before it destroys him…

 

The Martian by Andy Weir

    

The Sunday Times bestseller – Robinson Crusoe on Mars, a survival story for the 21st Century.

I’m stranded on Mars.
I have no way to communicate with Earth.
I’m in a Habitat designed to last 31 days.
If the Oxygenator breaks down, I’ll suffocate. If the Water Reclaimer breaks down, I’ll die of thirst. If the Hab breaches, I’ll just kind of explode. If none of those things happen, I’ll eventually run out of food and starve to death.

So yeah. I’m screwed.

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It Never Rains: Poems by Roger McGough

Roger McGough has been charming and tickling young and old alike with his poems for many years. He is one of the UK’s best loved poets, and this lovely little edition with his own line drawings makes a wonderful stocking filler.

While up at Magdalen
Spent the time dagdalen.

Moved on to Caius
Became the baius knaius

 

 

Ladybird: A Cover Story: 500 Covers from the Ladybird Archives

 

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Many of us grew up learning to read with the iconic Ladybird books. The company was founded in 1867 and has illustrated children’s lives ever since. This gorgeous little hardback collects together 500 covers from their history. A touch of nostalgia, a trip down memory lane, a history of children’s illustration – a lovely present!

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Best American…

Comics, Essays, Infographics, Mystery Stories, Non-Required Reading, Poetry, Science and Nature Writing, Sports Writing, Short Stories, Travel Writing

 

The Best American series has been bringing out these annual collections for some years. Each one involves an illustrious guest editor (think Dave Eggers, Jennifer Egan, Lemony Snicket, Paul Theroux, Elizabeth Strout, Otto Penzler, Deborah Blum) gathering together the very best of the year’s writing in their field.
Brilliant for the passionate reader as well as those looking for new avenues to explore.

The Jedi Doth Return by Ian Doescher

Following on from the very funny and fabulous William Shakespeare’s Star Wars and The Empire Striketh Back, comes the final installment of this treat for all Star Wars fans,
Return to the star-crossed galaxy far, far away as the brooding young hero, a power-mad emperor, and their jesting droids match wits, struggle for power, and soliloquize in elegant and impeccable iambic pentameter. Illustrated with beautiful black-and-white Elizabethan-style artwork, these two plays offer essential reading for all ages. Something Wookiee this way comes!

 

You Have to F*cking Eat by Adam Mansbach

   
Having exorted your children to Go the F*ck to Sleep, Mr Mansbach now tackles that other soul destroying challenge that all parents face – eating!

“Your cute little tummy is rumbling
And pancakes are your favourite treat.
I’m kind of surprised that you suddenly hate them.
That’s bullshit. Stop lying and eat.”

An absolute must for all parents who will spend Christmas lunch crying into their eggnog while their kids run around totally ignoring the meal they just spent 6 hours cooking!

 

Ocean: A Photicular Book


A follow up to Safari, and with the same fantastic Scanimation techniques as Gallop – watch angler fish, tiger sharks, sea horses and more glide and move  through the depths of the ocean, as you turn the pages.
Complete with text about the nature and habitat of all of these animals, this book is fascinating and beautifully presented.

KP: The Autpbiography by Kevin Pietersen


Love him or hate him – no cricket fan is indifferent to this maverick and controversial cricket player. This book has caused a storm both here and in the UK and, true to form, he has not minced his words. A fantastic read for the cricket fan in your life!

Who, What, When: 65 Artists illustrate the Secret Sidekicks of History

      
In the bestselling tradition of The Where, the Why, and the How, this offbeat illustrated history reveals 65 people you’ve probably never heard of, but who helped shape the word as we know it. Muses and neighbours, friends and relatives, accomplices and benefactors, such as Michael and Joy Brown, who gifted Harper Lee a year’s worth of wages to help her write To Kill a Mockingbird. Or John Ordway, the colleague who walked with Lewis and Clark every step of the way. Each eye-opening story of these unsung heroes is written by a notable historian and illustrated by a top indie artist, making The Who, the What, and the When a treasure trove of word and image for history buffs, art lovers and anyone who rejoices in unexpected discovery.

What the Dinosaurs Did Last Night by Refe and Susan Tuma

         
Every November, writer and social media master Refe Tuma and his wife Susan work into the night to bring their four children scenes from the secret lives of their toys – specifically the nighttime antics of their plastic dinosaurs. The dinosaurs wreck bathrooms, destroy vases, rock out, encounter terrifying hot irons, even do the dishes with hilarious, magical results. Each scene is photographed in meticulous detail, letting viewers joyfully suspend belief and think to themselves – just LOOK what the dinosaurs did last night!

Crap Taxidermy by Kat Su

       
Ha ha ha – ok this is very, very weird! You won’t know whether to laugh or cry at these spectacularly horrible attempts at taxidermy – including a squirrel riding a rattlesnake like a cowboy, and various anatomically imaginative renderings of all creatures great and small. It’s truly disturbing and yet  utterly compelling. It’ll certainly be a conversation piece on Christmas morning!

Get Shit Done by Lauris Liberts


The new year is coming and we all have our resolutions. This handy little book will help with all and any of them.
If you are searching for happiness, inspiration or the way forward – this is the book for you. Gleaning wise bon mots from cultural and business leaders in all walks of life, there are mantras in here that led to the birth of Facebook, Twitter and any number of hugely successful start-ups. Go get ‘em and Get Shit Done!!

Working on My Novel by Cory Arcangel


Simple but brilliant! Artist Cory Arcangel has spent more time than any normal person would trawling Twitter for tweets from those who want the world to know that they are busy slaving over their magnum opus. They are MUCH funnier that the original tweeters meant them to be, and this book is a little gem. Pretentious? Moi?

“Currently working on my novel and listen to really nice music. Yeah I’m a writer deal with it.”

“I’m working on my novel again, and it feels good, you guys. I love my mind.”

 

Lists of Note by Shaun Usher

       
Humans have been making lists for even longer than they’ve been writing letters. They are the shorthand for what really matters to us: our hopes and aspirations; likes and dislikes; rules for living and loving; records of our memories and reminders of the things we want to do before we die. From a to-do list of Leonardo da Vinci’s to Charles Darwin on the pros and cons of marriage or Julia Child’s list of possible titles for what would later become an American cooking bible, Lists of Note is a constantly surprising A-Z of what makes us human.

1. A shopping list written by two 9th-century Tibetan monks
2. A handwritten list of the BFG’s favourite words by Roald Dahl
3. The 19 year-old Isaac Newton’s list of the 57 sins he’d already committed
4. Galileo’s list of parts needed to build his telescope
5. Einstein’s punitive list of conditions imposed on his first wife
6. 29-year-old Marilyn Monroe’s inspirational set of New Year’s resolutions
7. Martin Luther King’s advice for black people starting to use buses
8. Johnny Cash’s list of ‘things to do today’

Beautifully presented – a lovely gift.

 

How to Survive Sharknado and Other Unnatural Disasters by Andrew Shaffer


Sharks Are Flying at Your Head at 300 mph. How Will You Survive?

This ESSENTIAL book will tell you how to deal with every imaginable (and imagined) attack by vicious Nature known (and unknown) to man.
As well as the probably imminent Sharknado, there is vital information on how to deal with and Arachnoquake, a Bataclysm, a Whalestrom, a Stonehenge Apocalypse, a Swamp Volcano, a Dinomani and much, MUCH more!

With vital tips for avoiding a bloody doom with bad special effects, this will prepare you and yours for the most unlikely apocalypse!

 

Moriarty by Anthony Horowitz


Sherlock Holmes is dead.

Days after Holmes and his arch-enemy Moriarty fall to their doom at the Reichenbach Falls, Pinkerton agent Frederick Chase arrives in Europe from New York. The death of Moriarty has created a poisonous vacuum which has been swiftly filled by a fiendish new criminal mastermind who has risen to take his place.
Ably assisted by Inspector Athelney Jones of Scotland Yard, a devoted student of Holmes’s methods of investigation and deduction, Frederick Chase must forge a path through the darkest corners of the capital to shine light on this shadowy figure, a man much feared but seldom seen, a man determined to engulf London in a tide of murder and menace.

From the author of the truly wonderful The House of Silk – he manages to emulate Conan Doyle’s rich tones and vivid storytelling, while making it all his own. Marvellous!

 

 

Funny Girl by Nick Hornby

Make them laugh, and they’re yours forever . . .
It’s the swinging 60s and the nation is mesmerized by unlikely comedy star Sophie Straw, the former Blackpool beauty queen who just wants to make people laugh, like her heroine Lucille Ball.
Behind the scenes, the cast and crew are having the time of their lives. But when the script begins to get a bit too close to home, and life starts imitating art, they all face a choice.
The writers, Tony and Bill, comedy obsessives, each harbour a secret. The Oxbridge-educated director, Dennis, loves his job but hates his marriage. The male star Clive, feels he’s destined for better things. And Sophie Straw, who’s changed her name and abandoned her old life, must decide whether to keep going, or change the channel.
Nick Hornby’s new novel is about popular culture, youth and old age, fame, class and teamwork. It offers a wonderfully captivating portrait of youthful exuberance and creativity, and of a period when both were suddenly allowed to flourish.

 

 

Confessions by Jaume Cabré

Drawing comparisons with Shadow of the Wind, The Name of the Rose and The Reader, and an instant bestseller in more than 20 languages, Confessions is an astonishing story of one man s life, interwoven with a narrative that stretches across centuries to create an addictive and unforgettable literary symphony.
Confessions is a consummate masterpiece in any language, with an ending that will not just leave you thinking, but quite possibly change the way you think forever.

 

 

Marvel Comics: 75 Years of Art

    
Dorling Kindersley does it again – this time turning to the world of Marvel’s Comic Art, and producing a lush tribute to one of the greats in the world of comics. Absolutely beautiful.

The Mammoth Book of Cult Comics: Lost Classics from Underground Independent Comic Strip Art


And at the opposite end of the spectrum, the underground comics – the cult classics. The Mammoth Book of Cult Comics brings together for the first time in a single volume lost classics from recent decades of underground and independent British and American comic strip art. Beautifully produced, this is a wonderful chance to catch up on those lost treasures that haven’t made it to the mainstream.

January Window by Philip Kerr

Everyone knows football is a matter of life and death.
But this time, it’s murder.
Scot Manson: team coach for London City FC and all-round fixer for the lads. Players love him, bosses trust him.
But now the team’s manager has been found dead at their home stadium.
Even Scott can’t smooth over murder… but can he catch the killer before he strikes again?

A fantastic holiday read – and the first in a new series of thrillers from the always wonderful Mr Kerr.

 

 

 

Mr Mac and Me by Esther Freud

It is 1914, and Thomas Maggs, the son of the local publican, lives with his parents and sister in a village on the Suffolk coast. He is the youngest child, and the only son surviving. Life is quiet – shaped by the seasons, fishing and farming, the summer visitors, and the girls who come down from the Highlands every year to gut and pack the herring.

Then one day a mysterious Scotsman arrives. To Thomas he looks for all the world like a detective, in his black cape and hat of felted wool, and the way he puffs on his pipe as if he’s Sherlock Holmes. Mac is what the locals call him when they whisper about him in the inn. But Mac isn’t a detective, he’s the architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh, and he soon becomes a source of fascination and wonder to Thomas.

In this tender and compelling story of an unlikely friendship, Esther Freud paints a vivid portrait of a home front community during the First World War, and of a man who was one of the most brilliant and misunderstood artists of his generation. It is her most beautiful and masterful work.

 

 

Black Sabbath: The Vault

      
SABBATH! One of the most successful, influential and provocative bands of all time, Black Sabbath – dubbed “The Beatles of Heavy Metal” by Rolling Stone magazine – changed the landscape of popular music forever.
Fronted by irrepressible, idiosyncratic and frequently terrifying singer Ozzy Osbourne, Black Sabbath began their bumpy road to fame with a harder, deeper and “uglier” sound that stemmed from the industrial heartland of Birmingham.

Written by a leading music journalist and illustrated throughout with rare and previously unpublished photographs, Black Sabbath: The Vault will take it back to basics, in a beautiful way, for any metal fan.

 

 

Mammoth Book of Skulls: Exploring the icon from Fashion to Street Art

Skulls have always captured the human imagination. This extraordinary collection of the most engaging and intriguing images of the skull from pop culture around the world, presents a visual feast of the ultimate doom-laden image.

Here you will find the skull in graphic novels, manga, graphic design, art, costume, make-up, vintage advertising and popular culture, along with the just plain weird.

Page after page of stunning photographs reveal an incredible diversity of interpretations of the iconic image. Very beautiful.

 

 

Lamentation by CJ Sansom

A new Sansom is always exciting, and here is one just in time for holiday reading – another Shardlake thriller.
Summer, 1546. King Henry VIII is slowly, painfully dying. His Protestant and Catholic councillors are engaged in a final and decisive power struggle; whoever wins will control the government of Henry’s successor, eight-year-old Prince Edward. As heretics are hunted across London, and the radical Protestant Anne Askew is burned at the stake, the Catholic party focus their attack on Henry’s sixth wife, Matthew Shardlake’s old mentor, Queen Catherine Parr.
Brilliant historical evocation and a rip-roaring story – an excellent read!

Sudden Light by Garth Stein

From the author of the million-copy bestselling The Art of Racing in the Rain comes the long-awaited new novel. This novel centres on four generations of a once terribly wealthy and influential timber family who have fallen from grace; a mysterious yet majestic mansion, crumbling slowy into the bluff overlooking Puget Sound in Seattle; a love affair so powerful it reaches across the planes of existence; and a young man who simply wants his parents to once again experience the moment they fell in love, hoping that if can feel that emotion again, maybe they won’t get divorced after all.

 

The Ugly Renaissance: Sex, Disease and Death in an Age of Beauty by Alexander Lee

              

Featuring the beauties of Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, combined with the dark and hidden side of the Renaissance.
Renowned as an age of artistic rebirth, the Renaissance is cloaked with an aura of beauty and brilliance. But behind the Mona Lisa’s smile lurked a seamy, vicious world of power politics, perversity and corruption that has more in common with the present day than anyone dares to admit. Enter a world of corrupt bankers, greedy politicians, sex-crazed priests, rampant disease, and lives of extravagance and excess. Enter the world of the ugly Renaissance.

 

Game of Thrones Board Game

    

It’s a board game! For Game of Thrones fans! Awesome!

 

History of the World in 1000 Objects

 

     

Another gorgeously illustrated volume from Dorling Kindersley. Exploring all of history through the minutae of objects – from the every day and domestic, to the valuable, religious and world-changing.
A fascinating look at history, and the objects that people hold so dear.

 

Lives of the Famous and Infamous: Everything You Need to Know About Everyone That Mattered by The Week

From the brilliant and authoritative The Week magazine, here is a compendium of everyone you need to know about who ever mattered.

Read about the man who convinced Einstein there was a God, the newspaper publisher who brought down a president and the code-cracking genius who helped foil the Nazis, and remember the lives of those that created the extraordinary moments in our modern history.

Based on the obituaries that appear in every issue of The Week, here is a book that brings together the famous and infamous figures of our generation. From the world’s influential leaders and thinkers of the day, such as Nelson Mandela, Steve Jobs, Margaret Thatcher and Sir Patrick Moore, to the more infamous and eccentric, this is a fascinating compendium of the lives of our times.

Encyclopedia of Goddesses and Heroines by Patricia Monaghan

Patricia Monaghan is both a scholar and an award-winning poet, who has spent years researching goddesses and heroines from every region of the globe. From the beginning, there have been goddesses who reigned alongside their male counterparts as figures of inspiration and awe. Today, even the most modern among us still speak of Mother Earth and Mother Nature, yet few books offer the depth and breadth of knowledge and information about the feminine divine as this encyclopaedia. The Encyclopedia of Goddesses and Heroines provides a comprehensive introduction to the ways these figures have been viewed through the ages, covering the myths and attributes of goddesses and female spiritual powers from around the world. They are organized by culture, region, and religion, exploring the role of women in each culture s religious life and introducing readers to the background of each pantheon, as well as the figures who peopled it.

 

 

Merchant Adventurers: The Voyage of Discovery that transformed Tudor England by James Evans

    

In the spring of 1553 three ships sailed north-east from London into uncharted waters. The scale of their ambition was breathtaking. Drawing on the latest navigational science and the new spirit of enterprise and discovery sweeping the Tudor capital, they sought a northern passage to Asia and its riches.

This long-neglected endeavour was one of the boldest in British history, and its impact was profound. Although the ‘merchant adventurers’ failed to reach China as they had hoped, their achievements would lay the foundations for England’s expansion on a global stage. As James Evans’ vivid account shows, their voyage also makes for a gripping story of daring, discovery, tragedy and adventure.

 

Life is Meals: A Food Lover’s Book of Days by James Salter and Kay Salter

     

From the award-winning author James Salter and his wife, Kay – amateur chefs and terrific hosts – here is a lively, beautifully illustrated food lover’s companion.

With an entry for each day of the year, Life Is Meals takes us from a Twelfth Night cake in January to a champagne dinner on New Year’s Eve. This is a book rich with culinary wisdom, history, recipes, literary pleasures, and the authors’ own stories of their triumphs – and catastrophes – in the kitchen.

Entries include:

The menu on the Titanic on the fatal night
The seductiveness of a velvety Brie or the perfect martini
How to decide whom to invite to a dinner party – and whom not to
The greatest dinner ever given at the White House
Where in Paris Samuel Beckett and Harold Pinter had French onion soup at 4:00 a.m.
How to cope with acts of god and man-made disasters in the kitchen

Sophisticated, practical, opinionated and indispensable, Life Is Meals is a tribute to the glory of food and drink, and the joy of sharing them with others.

 

Africa 39: New Writing From Africa South of the Sahara

Africa has produced some of the best writing of the twentieth century from Chinua Achebe, Ayi Kwei Armah, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, and the Nobel Laureates Wole Soyinka, Nadine Gordimer, J.M. Coetzee and Doris Lessing, to more recent talents like Nuruddin Farah, Ben Okri, Aminatta Forna and Brian Chikwava. Who will be the next generation?

Following the successful launch of Bogotá39, which identified many of the most interesting upcoming Latin American talents, including Daniel Alarcon, Junot Diaz (Pulitzer Prize), Santiago Roncagliolo (Independent Foreign Fiction Prize) and Juan Gabriel Vásquez (short-listed for the IFFP), and Beirut39 which published Randa Jarrar, Rabee Jaber, Joumana Haddad, Abdellah Taia and Samar Yazbek, Africa39 will bring to worldwide attention the best work from Africa and its diaspora.

A fantastic view into the next generation of great African writing.

 

 

That Glimpse of Truth: The 100 Greatest Stories Ever Written compiled by David Miller

Profound, lyrical, shocking, wise: the short story is capable of almost anything. This collection of 100 of the finest stories ever written ranges from the essential to the unexpected, the traditional to the surreal. Wide in scope, both beautiful and vast, this is the perfect companion for any fiction lover.

Here are childhood favourites and neglected masters, twenty-first century wits and national treasures, Man Booker Prize winners and Nobel Laureates. From the earliest days of fiction to the best writers around today. This is a large, gorgeous tome to treasure forever.

Special Deluxe: A Memoir of Life and Cars by Neil Young

Special Deluxe is the second installment of the iconic musician’s memoirs.

Quirky and wonderfully candid, Neil Young’s new book of reminiscences is as compelling as his first book. He returns with more unforgettable stories about his six decades in the music business – but this is not your average rock biography. He centres this new work on one of his life’s passions, cars, using the framework of all the cars he’s ever owned to construct a narrative of his life and career, exploring and demonstrating how memories are attached to objects. Young also expresses regret for the environmental impact of his past cars, and now passionately advocates the use of clean energy.

Special Deluxe is a mix of memoir and environmental politics by one of the most gifted and influential artists of our time.

 

Death Sentences: Stories of Deathly Books, Murderous Booksellers and Lethal Literature by Otto Penzler – Introduced by Ian Rankin

To leave you in true festive spirit – a collection of dark writing about deadly books from the very best crime writers around today.

Sigmund Freud deals with an unwelcome visitor; Columbo confronts a murderous bookseller; a Mexican cartel kingpin with a fatal weakness for rare books; deadly secrets deep in the London Library: who knew literature could be so lethal? Here are 15 short stories to die for from the world’s best crime writers.

With an introduction from Ian Rankin, Death Sentences includes original, specially commissioned stories about deadly books from Jeffrey Deaver, Andrew Taylor, Laura Lippman, C.J. Box, Anne Perry, Ken Bruen, Thomas H. Cook, Micky Spillaine & Max Adam Collins, Nelson DeMille and John Connolly.

 

 

Happy Festive Reading!!

Launch of Books That Matter: David Philip Publishers during the apartheid years a Memoir by Marie Philip

Tuesday, December 9th 2014 at 5:30 PM

Marie Philip

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Going to the Beach Story Time

Saturday, December 6th 2014 at 11:00 AM

beachSummer is here again and the city is buzzing with all the people who have come to enjoy the sun and the sea and just the magic of summer in our beautiful city.

Today we will read some stories about characters who are off to build castles in the sand and catch a wave and mostly just have a great time on the beach.

Remember the sunscreen!

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Launch of Secrets of a French Cooking Class by Marlene van der Westhuizen

Thursday, December 4th 2014 at 5:30 PM

secrets invite for greenpoint

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Launch of Crossroads by the Trantraal Brothers & Koni Benson

Wednesday, December 3rd 2014 at 5:30 PM

Crossroads flyer

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