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Podcast: Launch of Operation Lock & the War on Rhino Poaching by John Hanks

Sunday, May 31st 2015 at 3:13 PM

The aggressive poaching of rhinos needs to be countered with equal aggression.
So argued Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, the founder president of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), at a 1987 meeting with John Hanks, conservation expert and WWF’s head in Africa. The result was Operation Lock: A secret initiative funded by Prince Bernhard and staffed by former SAS operatives.

Operation Lock set up headquarters in Johannesburg and extended its reach into neighbouring states: Namibia, Zambia, Botswana, Swaziland and Mozambique. Its operatives planned to train game rangers, to pose as rhino horn traders in order to entrap buyers, and to expose the kingpins who were driving the trade. It was a controversial approach, all the more because it was working within apartheid South Africa in the late 1980s. When the existence of the project was finally leaked, WWF denied any involvement, and John Hanks took the fall.

In Operation Lock and the War on Rhino Poaching, John Hanks finally tells the story of these explosive events from 25 years ago. As a leading international authority on conservation, he also deals with the scourge of rhino poaching up to the present, and gives powerful and controversial criticism of some of the current policies to curb poaching.

John was in conversation with author Tony Weaver on the 11 May 2015.

Published by Zebra Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House.

Download podcast here:

Thomas and Friends Story Time

Saturday, May 30th 2015 at 11:00 AM

thomas train invite BOOK LOUNGE


Launch of It Might Get Loud by Ingrid Winterbach

Thursday, May 28th 2015 at 5:30 PM

Ingrid Winterbach2


Launch of Baking for Pleasure & Profit by Christine Capendale @ The Tides Restuarant, The Bay Hotel

Wednesday, May 27th 2015 at 5:30 PM

baking for pleasure new


Launch of Best White & Other Anxious Delusions by Rebecca Davis

Wednesday, May 27th 2015 at 5:30 PM

Rebecca Davis


Launch of Green Lion by Henrietta Rose-Innes

Tuesday, May 26th 2015 at 5:30 PM

green lion invite BOOK LOUNGE


Podcast: International Bestselling Author Hugh Howey visits the Lounge

Saturday, May 23rd 2015 at 4:44 PM

Hugh Howey is the American author of the hugely popular science fiction series Wool, which he published independently through Amazon’s direct publishing, where it became a huge bestseller before being picked up by a publisher. He has subsequently published a standalone novel, Sand.

The old world is buried. A new one has been forged atop the shifting dunes. Here in this land of howling wind and infernal sand, four siblings find themselves scattered and lost. Palmer has never been the same since his father walked out twelve years ago. His elder sister, Vic, is trying to run away from the past; his younger brothers, Connor and Rob, are risking their lives to embrace it. His mother, left with nothing but anger, is just trying to forget.

Palmer wants to prove his worth, not only to his family, but to himself. And in the barren, dune-covered landscape of his home, there is only one way to earn respect: sand-diving. Plunging deep below the desert floor in search of relics and scraps of the old world. He is about to embark on the most dangerous dive of his young life, aiming to become the first to discover the rumored city below. Deep within the sand lies the key to bringing his family together – and tearing their world apart.

Hugh was in conversation with Sally Partridge on the 21st May 2015.

Download podcast here:

Published by Penguin Random House.

Podcast: Paula Hawkins, author of Girl on the Train at the Book Lounge

Saturday, May 23rd 2015 at 4:24 PM

Zimbabwean-born Paula’s first novel is The Girl on the Train, which was published to huge acclaim earlier this year. Compared favorably to Gone Girl, it is an electrifyingly tense thriller, with twists and turns aplenty. It has been a runaway bestseller in every country of publication.

Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She’s even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. ‘Jess and Jason’, she calls them. Their life – as she sees it – is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she’s only watched from afar. Now they’ll see; she’s much more than just the girl on the train.

Paula was in conversation with Jacqui L’Ange on Wednesday 20th May 2015.

Download podcast here:

Published by Penguin Random House

Podcast: Launch of The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters

Saturday, May 23rd 2015 at 4:04 PM

‘There came the splash of water and the rub of heels as Mrs Barber stepped into the tub. After that there was a silence, broken only by the occasional echoey plink of drips from the tap…

‘Frances had been picturing her lodgers in purely mercenary terms – as something like two great waddling shillings. But this, she thought, was what it really meant to have paying guests: this odd, unintimate proximity, this rather peeled-back moment, where the only thing between herself and a naked Mrs Barber was a few feet of kitchen and a thin scullery door. An image sprang into her head: that round flesh, crimsoning in the heat.’

It is 1922, and London is tense. Ex-servicemen are disillusioned, the out-of-work and the hungry are demanding change. And in South London, in a genteel Camberwell villa, a large silent house now bereft of brothers, husband and even servants, life is about to be transformed, as impoverished widow Mrs Wray and her spinster daughter, Frances, are obliged to take in lodgers.

For with the arrival of Lilian and Leonard Barber, a modern young couple of the ‘clerk class’, the routines of the house will be shaken up in unexpected ways. And as passions mount and frustration gathers, no one can foresee just how far-reaching, and how devastating, the disturbances will be.

This is vintage Sarah Waters: beautifully described with excruciating tension, real tenderness, believable characters, and surprises. It is above all a wonderful, compelling story.

Sarah was in conversation with academic Megan Jones on the 13 May 2015.

Download podcast here:

Published by Virago, distributed by Jonathan Ball.

Frog Story Time

Saturday, May 23rd 2015 at 11:00 AM

frog veldhuisShort and sweet, a story time about Frog. Max Velthuijs created the lovely Frog and his friends Duck and Hare. Frog are great creatures, often rather heard than seen and they do give us a fright if we don’t see them and then suddenly they jump across our path.

Join Tao as she read some of Frog’s best stories and colour in some pictures.

Would be great if you came along.