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Storytime: Christmas

Saturday, December 19th 2015 at 11:00 AM

It’s that time of year again, Christmas time! Come and join us for some lovely Christmas stories and to make your very own paper Christmas stories


Christmas Stocking 2015 Part Deux

Thursday, December 17th 2015 at 9:13 AM

Literary Stocking Fillers

There are some great choices for stocking fillers and Secret Santa gifts. A chilling new short story – The Grown-up – by Gillian Flynn of Gone Girl fame, for all the fans who are still waiting patiently for a new novel. Shaking Hands with Death is the moving lecture that Terry Pratchett gave at the BBC Richard Dimblebly Lecture, about the right to choose both a good life and a good death. Neil Gaiman’s beautiful short story How the Marquis got his Coat Back is now also available as a single volume, and Chimamande Ngozi Adichie’s TED Talk about feminism – We Should All Be Feminists – is hugely popular.



Great reads – fiction

If you are looking for a great read for the holidays, there is a lot of choice. If you like a good thriller to curl up with, I’m Travelling Alone by Samuel Bjork is a page turner from a new writer who definitely has a claim on Jo Nesbo’s crown. A phenomenal bestseller and brilliant white knuckle ride is I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes – a race against time to track down a terrorist who may be committing the perfect crime. David Lagercrantz was chosen to pick up the reins for Stieg Larsson, and has brought us The Girl in the Spider’s Web – a hugely well received follow-up to Larssen’s Millennium Trilogy. And perennial favourite Ian Rankin has a new novel out featuring gruff and almost loveable detective John Rebus – Even Dogs in the Wild – and it’s one of his finest yet!

John Connolly’s Night Music is a second collection of spine-chilling short stories – that were so popular in his first volume Nocturnes. Fans of Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts are rewarded for their patience with Mountain Shadow, which picks up two years after Shantaram ended.

I Love Dick by Chris Kraus is a welcome reissue of a seminal feminist work that combines fiction, memoir and essay, and has had a cult following since its first publication in 1997.

Local writer Joanne Hichens is back with – Sweet Paradise – another fantastically dark page-turner featuring Rae Valentine and a host of unsavoury characters.

And one of our favourite’s – Philip Kerr – has just brought out the third in his Scott Manson thrillers featuring football manager Scott Manson – False Nine.

Lauren Groff‘s extraordinary Fates & Furies has just been published to huge acalaim – even being chosen by President Obama as his book of the year! A layered Nabokovian look at relationships.

For the Sci-fi fan there is plenty to choose from too. Ann Leckie has just brought out the final part in the highly acclaimed Ancillary series – Ancillary Mercy. Gripping fantasy comes in the form of Traitor by Seth Dickinson, in which one woman fights and schemes to save her people.

In the mysterious Girl in the Road by Monica Byrne, a young woman wakes up in the road covered in blood and snakebite, with no idea how she got there…

City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett is a beautifully written, many layered murder mystery from a highly acclaimed fantasy author.

Becky ChambersThe Long Way to a Small Angry Planet asks what happens when you are stuck on a chaotic, patched-up spaceship with a crew who all have more secrets than you do…?

The Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu is a vivid and imaginative look at online gaming that involves cutting edge science and astounding ideas – a must.

Some brilliant and original graphic novels in stock too. Lumberjanes is friendship to the max! Jo, April, Mal, Molly and Ripley are five best pals determined to have an awesome summer together…and theyre not gonna let any insane quest or an array of supernatural critters get in their way!

Kate Beaton’s hugely popular Hark a Vagrant cartoons feature in the New Yorker, Harpers and the LA Times to name a few. Praised for their expression, intelligence and comic timing, her cartoons are best known for their wonderfully light touch on historical and literary topics. Her second collection, Step Aside Pops, has just been published.

In Killing and Dying, his first full-length work since Shortcomings in 2007, and working with colour for the first time, Adrian Tomine has produced a darkly funny and deeply moving collection of stories which showcases his exceptional range of focus and technique.

Here is Richard McGuire’s unique graphic novel based on the legendary 1989 comic strip of the same name. The groundbreaking comic strip was published under Art Spiegelman’s editorship at RAW in 1989.

Great reads – Non-fiction

It’s been an incredibly rich year for non-fiction and there is plenty to keep the most ardent reader gripped over the holidays. Ten Million Aliens by Simon Barnes is an astonishing and intimate look as the creatures and organisms we share our world with. Written in short, pithy chapters, it is informative and always surprising. In a similar vein the bestselling Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari takes a funny, intriguing and fascinating look at – us. How did Homo Sapiens become the dominant species? And how well do we really know ourselves?

The late and sadly missed neurologist Oliver Sacks, author of Awakenings, led an extraordinary life. His autobiography, On the Move, published shortly before he died, is infused with his restless energy and lust for life.

Peter Frankopan’s Silk Roads: A New History of the World reassesses world history and looks at the forces that have shaped the global economy and the political renaissance in the re-emerging east.

The wonderful Bill Bryson follows up Notes from a Small Island (the bestselling travel book of all time) with The Road to Little Dribbling, in which he ponders how the UK has changed in the intervening years. Very, very funny!

Ben Goldacre’s I Think You’ll Find it’s a Bit More Complicated Than That is the very best journalism from the author who wrote Bad Science and Bad Pharma.

The Pelican Introductions Series has been hugely popular, and the latest, The Meaning of Science by Tim Lewens is a provocative introduction to the philosophy of science, and the impact it has on our lives.

The House by the Lake: A Story of Germany by Thomas Harding is a superb portrait of twentieth century Germany seen through the prism of a house which was lived in, and lost, by five different families – heart-wrenching yet uplifting history at its best.

The Story of Maps by Anne Rooney is a beautiful history of human advancement seen through the development of mapping – very lovely!

Book Lounge favourite Best White & Other Anxious Delusions is a collection of essays by Rebecca Davis – one of the funniest writers in South Africa today.


In the Kitchen

If you are looking for something delicious, we have plenty to offer. The Nordic Cookbook, richly illustrated with the personal photography of internationally acclaimed chef Magnus Nilsson, unravels the mysteries of Nordic ingredients and introduces the region’s culinary history and cooking techniques. If you’re being good this Christmas but still feel like a treat then The Banting Baker is for you – written by local author Catherine Speedie, founder of Gingko Restaurant. The wonderful Yotam Ottolenghi has now brought us the cookbook of his London restaurant – NOPI – dishes to impress and enchant. The inimitable Nigella Lawson is back with Simply Nigella: Feel Good Food – the perfect antidote to our busy lives. Similarly Lorraine Pascale has a delicious selection of healthy recxipes in Eating Well Made Easy. The beautifully illustrated Anatolia: Adventures in Turkish Cooking is an exploration of classic Turkish cuisine and culture, adapted for modern life.

Russell Norman’s Spuntino: Comfort Food (New York Style) pays homage to the energy, dynamism and extraordinary cuisine that the world’s greatest melting pot has inspired.

And finally, to wash down all that delicious food we have Lucy Corne’s Beer Safari, which takes readers on a journey through the microbreweries of South Africa, stopping to chat to each brewer along the way and perfectly captures the exciting and unpretentious nature that characterises the South African craft beer scene.

The annual collections of fantastic writing that are the Best American series are with us again. If you need to get that gift for that difficult person then the variety of a collection is always a great idea. They include Magazine Writing, Sports Writing, Essays, Non-Required Reading, Travel Writing and more…


And some general gift ideas for you too…

Grace: 30 Years of Fashion at Vogue is a beautiful edition showcasing the definitive collection of work by the legendary fashion stylist Grace Coddington. The edition includes a special, illustrated and autographed letter by Grace.

Would I Lie to You? Presents the 100 Most Popular Lies of All Time. Based on the UK TV series – very, very funny.

Ultimate Book of Trivia. Did you know that cats can be left-handed? Trivia fans will be eager to dive into this book for an edifying and entertaining tour of all the things they didn’t know that they didn’t know.

Kinfolk Home. Interest in home design has been on the rise for some time, but Kinfolk’s focus on slowing down and creating a more intentional, beautiful home is where the attention is shifting. Through luscious photographs and insightful interviews, the author takes us into 40 homes around the world.

Photowisdom: Master Photographers on Their Art – Through the extraordinary images and insights of the world’s master photographers, Photowisdom explores the richness of contemporary photographic practice.

Polar – Take a stunning journey to the ends of the earth through the colorful, fluid motion of Photicular® technology. A phenomenon first seen in the bestsellers Safari and Ocean, Photicular technology uses sliding lenses and video imagery to display realistic living motion in the pages of a book. It’s like a movie in your hand.

Crap Colouring In: Mindless Art Therapy for Modern Life – Because real life isn’t an Enchanted Kingdom! From shopping trolleys to speed-bumps, leaves on the line and detailed grey clouds, here are all life’s little annoyances for you to brighten up. Classic British humour with a colouring-in twist, pick up those colouring pencils and get venting!

The Explorers Guild Volume 1: A Passage to Shambhala by Kevin Costner (!) – The golden age of adventure stories returns with this splendidly designed, action-packed, globe-trotting tale that combines the bravura storytelling of Kipling with the irresistible style of The Adventures of Tintin.

Little Black Classics Boxed Set – In celebration of Penguin’s 80th birthday, this box set of the 80 books in the Little Black Classics series showcases the many wonderful and varied writers in Penguin Black Classics.


We have a wide range of stationery for those who still love to put pen to paper! From beautiful journals, to Moleskines, postcard sets, stickers, labels and more, there’s something for everyone. Whether it be a handmade genuine leather journal, or a thrifty stocking filler, we will help you find just what you need!


Historium – Welcome to the museum! Here you will find a collection of objects from ancient civilisations. Objects of beauty, functionality, war, life, death and burial. As you wander from room to room, explore the magnificence of what civilisations have left behind over thousands of years of human history!

Neil Gaiman & Chris Riddell box set – The editions of Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book, Coraline and Fortunately, the Milk in this collector’s edition box set are illustrated in trademark inspired, hilarious and moving style by acclaimed artist Chris Riddell, Children’s Laureate and two-time winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal, among other awards and honours.

LEGO Star Wars Free the Galaxy – Discover a thrilling battle to overthrow the evil Empire, in LEGO® Star Wars™: Free the Galaxy, that will help children learn how to read – and learn to love reading.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid 10: Old School – Life was better in the old days. Or was it? That’s the question Greg Heffley is asking as his town voluntarily unplugs and goes electronics-free. But modern life has its conveniences, and Greg isn’t cut out for an old-fashioned world.

Mister Cleghorn’s Seal by Judith Kerr – An exquisite new story to delight readers young and old, from a much-loved writer and illustrator. What do you do if you find an abandoned seal pup on a rock in the middle of the sea? Well, take it home with you to your flat, of course.

Braids Step by Step – For centuries, the art of braiding has been passed down through generations. Braids are adorable, they do not cost anything to make and nothing is as relaxing as braiding new techniques with your girlfriends.

Sam & Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett (illustrated by Jon Klassen) – From the award-winning team behind Extra Yarn, and illustrated by Jon Klassen, the Kate Greenaway-winning creator of This Is Not My Hat and I Want My Hat Back, comes a perfectly paced, deadpan tale full of visual humour.

Swan: The Life & Dance of Anna Pavlova by Laurel Snyder & Julie Morstad – One night, young Anna s mother takes her to the ballet and everything is changed. So begins the journey of a girl who will one day grow up to be the most famous prima ballerina of all time, inspiring legions of dancers after her: the brave, the generous, the transcendently gifted Anna Pavlova.

Greenling by Levi Pinfold – What is this growing on Barleycorn land, and is it intended for Barleycorn hands? Mr. and Mrs. Barleycorn live a quiet life, alone and forgotten by the world. But something is growing on Barleycorn land, something that Mr. Barleycorn decides it would be best to take. And with this, for better or worse, he brings the outside…inside.

The Bear Who Went BOO – From Number One bestselling picture book duo, David Walliams and Tony Ross, comes this bear-illiantly funny adventure for children of 3 and up. At the top of the world, surrounded by snow and ice, lives a very cheeky polar bear cub who loves to go… BOO!

The Bear’s Surprise by Benjamin Chaud – Hibernation is over and Little Bear is ready for another adventure! But where is Papa Bear? Never fear, Little Bear will find him! Follow the curious cub through interactive cutouts on every page of this detail-rich extravaganza: into a bustling forest, deep beneath a mysterious cave, and en route to a rollicking circus in full swing.

Guinness Book of World Records – The perennial favourite full of amazing, astonishing and sometimes slightly icky feats!


Happy Holiday Reading!


Storytime: Holidays and Summer Fun

Saturday, December 12th 2015 at 11:00 AM

No homework, no waking up early, no school uniform. Don’t you wish summer holidays could last forever? Today we’ll read some of our favourite stories with a summer fun


Launch of Tyhini 2015

Friday, December 11th 2015 at 5:30 PM



Launch of Death by Carbs a Novel by Paige Nick

Thursday, December 10th 2015 at 5:30 PM



Launch of God, Spies & Lies by John Matisonn

Wednesday, December 9th 2015 at 5:30 PM



Launch of Nelson Mandela A Jacana Pocket Biography

Tuesday, December 8th 2015 at 5:30 PM

Colin Bundy 2


Christmas Stocking Part I

Tuesday, December 8th 2015 at 9:52 AM

Great Gifts

Vargic’s Miscellany of Curious Maps by Martin Vargic is a beautifully presented collection of maps of our world – but as you’ve never seen it before! Behold the Map of Stereotypes, the Map of Technology, Maps of Literature, Gaming and Sport. Endlessly fascinating, enchanting and slightly surreal, with 2 pull-out posters.

Acclaimed writer and geographer Nick Middleton’s Atlas of Countries that Don’t Exist takes us on a tour of countries that lack diplomatic status or UN membership and inhabit a world of shifting borders, visionary leaders and forgotten peoples. Wonderfully designed and produced, captivating and surprising.

Daniel Ost (compiled by Paul Geerts and Kengo Kuma with an introduction by Cees Nooteboom) is a comprehensive monograph of the exquisite floral art creations of the renowned Belgian designer. So beautiful!

Faber Poetry Diary 2016 – a stylish diary featuring poems from one of the world’s most renowned publishers.

Robot Takeover: 100 Iconic Robots of Myth, Popular Culture and Real LifeAna Matronic of Scissor Sisters fame indulges her life-long passion for all things robotic with a collection of 100 of the very best!

More Letters of Note – Shaun Usher presents another beautiful collection of letters deserving a wider audience. Poignant, sad, funny, enlightening and sometimes astonishing.

Dorling Kindersley adds 2 new titles to their fantastic illustrated reference range with the Sherlock Holmes Book (for the Moriarty in your life) and the Movie Book – a must for film buffs.

If your Asterix fan has read them all several times then rescue comes in the form of a brand new story – Asterix and the Missing Scroll.

365 Postcards for Ants – Cape Town artist Lorraine Loots’ collection of exquisite tiny paintings – each one barely bigger than a R5 coin but incredibly detailed. Quite unique!

Killing Me Soufflé: 90 rocking recipes: the tastiest acts in rock’n’roll, pop and hip hop is the perfect present for your food and music lover – a hilarious pastiche on recipe books with some delicious food too!

Going from the sublime to the ridiculous and back again we have Where’s Karl – a Where’s Wally for Karl Lagerfeld fans and fashionistas, and the Periodic Table of Heavy Rock – 118 rock bands presented in an essential and organised fashion. ‘ Jimi Hendrix was not so much an element in a Periodic Table of Heavy Rock as an entire elemental spectrum in a parallel universe.’


Best Stocking Fillers

Ladybird Books for Grown-ups – anyone who grew up reading Ladybird books will howl with laughter at these brilliant pastiche titles. Choose from the Ladybird Book of The Hangover, Mindfulness, The Midlife Crisis, The Husband and The Wife. And our personal favourite – The Ladybird Book of The Hipster – ‘This is a hipster. He is childless, unaccountably wealthy and always well turned out. He likes art, porridge, scarves, and anything reclaimed from French factories, like this dog rack.’



Penguin 80s – Penguin Books turned 80 this year and to celebrate they published 80 wonderful little books – each extracted from some of the classics they are famous for. You’ll find essays, short stories, poetry from Tolstoy, Nietsche, Marx, Poe, Plato, Darwin, Austen, Wilde and 72 more. And if you have a very special literary fan in your life there is a boxed set of all 80!


Adult Colouring Books are all the rage at the moment and we have a wide selection. Mindfulness, Oceans, Plants, Tattoos, Typography, Gardens, Cities – all available to colour in now. Two that deserve a special mention – Animorphia takes colouring to a whole new art form, and our good friend Chris Riddell has his very own and very lovely Doodle a Day book.

Some great local comedy too with the regular annuals from Zapiro and Madam and Eve, as well as the brilliant parody of Goodnight Moon – Goodnight Zzzzuma!


Ubiquitous Cats and Dogs


Well yes, it’s a truism that dog and cat books unnacountably do well at Christmas, and if you feel the urge we can satisfy it with a selection of the very best – The Dogist, If it Fits I Sits, Tails from the Booth, Grumpy Cat, Cats Galore and the rather adorable Tails from the Booth.


Great Holiday Reads – Fiction

There are some brilliant reads available for the holidays. From heavyweights such as David Mitchell, Orhan Pamuk, Jonathan Franzen, Margaret Atwood, Booker winner Marlon James, Jonathan Coe, Jeanette Winterson, Ali Smith, Salman Rushdie and Sebastian Faulks to two spectacular novels that offer new perspectives on actual historical situations from Ryan Gatiss (All Involved) and Garth Risk Hallberg (City on Fire).

For short story lovers look no further than Philip Hensher’s huge new project The Penguin Book of the British Short Story.

Italian author Elena Ferrante has now completed her hugely popular Neapolitan Novels with Number 4 – Story of the Lost Child.

Death by Carbs is the hilarious new novel by Paige Nick – a thrilling who-donut? (yes, really) that begins with the murder of Tim Noakes. It’s as smart as it is funny…


Exciting new local imprint Blackbird has recently published 3 new titles. Novels Sweet Medicine by Panashe Chigumadzi and Piggy Boy Blues by musician Nakhane Touré, as well as the inspiring memoir of Joburg’s Pavement BookwormPhilani Dladla.


Great Holiday Reads – Non-fiction

The long awaited letters between André Brink and Ingrid JonkerFlame in the Snow/Vlaam in die Sneeu have just been published to much excitement. There are limited gift editions available too.

Award winning naturalist Brent Westwood presents Natural Histories: 25 Species that have Changed our World – a fascinating social history told through our relationship with 25 extraordinary animals.

100 Documents that Changed the World – from Magna Carta to Wikileaks, from Shakespeare’s First Folio to the Declaration of Independence – an engaging history of the world from a new perspective.

Rosemary Sullivan’s Stalin’s Daughter is an award-winning and brilliant study of the tumultuous life of Svetlana Alliluyeva – who never managed to fully escape the legacy of her monstrous father.

In Winter is Coming, former chess Grandmaster Garry Kasparov, a long-standing critic of Vladimir Putin, urges a forceful stand – both diplomatic and economic – against him. Strong stuff.

David Eagleman’s The Brain: The Story of You is a journey into the heart of our existence from a renowned neuroscientist.

Tom Michell’s The Penguin Lessons tells the incredible story of the life-long friendship between the author and Juan Salvador, the penguin. You couldn’t make it up.

M Train is Patti Smith’s long-awaited memoir. Extraordinarily talented, visionary and controversial – this is one wild read!


There is also some brilliant South African Non-fiction around. Eusebius McKaiser’s Run Racist Run takes a long hard look at the racism that is still endemic in South Africa today. Looking at the same issue from a different angle, journalist Ferial Haffajee asks What if There Were No Whites in South Africa? Justice Malala takes a close look at a South Africa being torn apart by Zuma’s corrupt governance in We Have Now Begun Our Descent. And don’t miss the explosive revelations contained in God, Spies & Lies by journalist John Matisonn.


Another exciting new imprint is Nick Mulgrew’s uHlanga which has already garnered great acclaim with three volumes of poetry – Matric Rage by Genna Gardini, Failing Maths & My Other Crimes by Thabo Jijana and Nick’s own The Myth of This is That We’re All in it Together.


There are new Games at the Book Lounge. From Top Trumps – perfect for keeping the kids occupied – to the brand new Cape Town Monopoly, Dinosaur Trivial Pursuit and DC Universe Monopoly. Brilliant holiday fun!


For Kids of All Ages

The Doldrums is Nick Gannon’s beautiful story of a little boy whose grandparents have gone missing on an iceberg.

I See All is an inventive activity book packed full of fun spotting games to train your brain.

Michael Morpurgo’s My Father is a Polar Bear is based on his own experience of first seeing his birth father on television!

Entertainer and comedian Jimmy Fallon tells the inside story of how dad manipulates baby’s first word in Your Baby’s First Word will be Dada.

The Day the Crayons Came Home – the hilarious sequel to the prize-winning, international bestseller The Day the Crayons Quit!

From Auzou editions come two brilliant interactive learning experiences – My First Interactive Atlas of the World and The Human Body and How it Works. Both come with informative booklets and giant magnets! So much fun!

Rules of Summer is the latest from the wonderful Shaun Tan – all about the games we play in the long summer months

Tinder by Sally Gardner is a beautiful novel about love and loss – sometimes fairy tales are the crruellest stories.

From the incomparable Russell Hoban comes Jim’s Lion, a moving, unflinching tale of a boy who finds bravery during illness, beautifully re-imagined as a graphic-novel by award-winning illustrator Alexis Deacon.

The Story of Antigone is Ali Smith‘s masterful retelling of Sophocles’ tragedy about a young Theban princess, who decides to bury her dishonoured brother Polynices against King Creon’s express orders – with heart-breaking consequences.

Harry Potter & the Philosopher’s Stone has a new lease of life in a gorgeous gift edition with beautiful illustrations by Jim Kay – a collector’s item for fans!

Imaginary Fred is a fabulous collaboration between Eoin Colfer and Oliver Jeffers – ometimes, with a little electricity, or luck, or even magic, an imaginary friend might appear when you need one. An imaginary friend like Fred…


If you want to get your teens reading more in the holidays, we have some brilliant reads for them – Fangirl author Rainbow Rowell is back with Carry On – a novel of vampires, monsters, mystery and kissing! I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson is the story of what happens when families fall out – and what can bring them back together again.

Goodreads’ Best YA novel of 2015 is Jennifer Niven’s All the Bright Places a compelling and beautiful story about a girl who learns to live from a boy who wants to die.

Queen of Shadows is the 4th part of Sarah J. Maas’ hugely popular Throne of Glass series – and was voted Best YA fantasy and science fiction of 2015 on Goodreads.

And finally Rick Riordan of Percy Jackson fame is back with a new series – meet Magnus Chase (Sword of Summer) – ‘My name is Magnus Chase. I’m orphaned and living rough on the streets of Boston. And things are about to get much worse.’




Storytime: Pets

Saturday, December 5th 2015 at 11:00 AM

pets web

Pets are great. Cats and dogs can be pets, and so can snakes and spiders. Do you have any crazy pets? Come and tell us about them and we’ll read some lovely stories.

Launch of The Myth of This Is That We’re All In This Together by Nick Mulgrew

Friday, December 4th 2015 at 5:30 PM