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New pre-order special – 20% off the new Arundhati Roy novel!

Wednesday, May 31st 2017 at 5:35 PM

Brand new pre-order! We have another fantastic pre-order special offer for you – 20% off all advance payments of the new Arundhati Roy!

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy

The long-awaited new novel from Arundhati Roy – 20 years after her Booker Prize-winning, internationally celebrated debut, The God of Small Things.

Image result for ministry of utmost happiness

We are offering 2 different editions of the book, each at 20% discount:
Trade paperback – Retails at R295, but you pay only R236 if you order and pay before May 31st
Hardback – Retails at R435, but you pay only R348 if you order and pay before May 31st.

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness takes us on an intimate journey across the Indian subcontinent – from the cramped neighbourhoods of Old Delhi and the glittering malls of the burgeoning new metropolis to the snowy mountains and valleys of Kashmir, where war is peace and peace is war, and from time to time ‘normalcy’ is declared.

Anjum unrolls a threadbare Persian carpet in a city graveyard that she calls home. We encounter the incorrigible Saddam Hussain, the unforgettable Tilo and the three men who loved her – including Musa whose fate as tightly entwined with hers as their arms always used to be. Tilo’s landlord, another former suitor, is now an Intelligence officer posted to Kabul. And then there are the two Miss Jebeens: the first born in Srinagar and buried, aged four, in its overcrowded Martyrs’ Graveyard; the second found at midnight, in a crib of litter, on the concrete pavement of New Delhi.

At once an aching love story and a decisive remonstration, a heart-breaker and a mind-bender, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness is told in a whisper, in a shout, through tears and sometimes with a laugh. Its heroes are people who have been broken by the world they live in and then rescued, patched together by acts of love-and by hope. For this reason, fragile though they may be, they never surrender. Braiding richly complex lives together, this ravishing and deeply humane novel reinvents what a novel can do and can be. And it demonstrates on every page the miracle of Arundhati Roy’s storytelling gifts.
The book will be released worldwide on June 6th.
To order mail us on booklounge@gmail.com, or call on 021 462 2425.

Published by Penguin Random House

April 2017

Tuesday, April 25th 2017 at 9:56 AM

Fiction

The Patriots by Sana Krasikov

 
Growing up in 1930s Brooklyn, Florence Fein will do anything to escape the confining values of her family and her city, and create a life of meaning and consequence. When a new job and a love affair lead her to Moscow, she doesn’t think twice about abandoning America – only to discover, years later, that America has abandoned her.

Now, as her son Julian travels back to Moscow – entrusted to stitch together a murky transcontinental oil deal – he must dig into Florence’s past to discover who his mother really was and what she became. He must also persuade his own son, Lenny, to abandon his risky quest for prosperity in the cut-throat Russian marketplace. As he traces a thread from Depression-era America, through the collective housing and work camps of Stalin’s USSR, to the glittering, oil-rich world of New Russia, Julian finally begins to understand the role he has played – as a father, and as a son.

Urgently relevant, The Patriots asks huge, complex questions about identity, loyalty, truth and self-deception, and explores tangled historical connections between Russia and the US… At the heart of this weighty and engaging novel are true stories: hundreds of Americans living in the USSR in the 1930s … The Patriots contains elements of family saga, corporate thriller, historical novel and philosophical bildungsroman. Krasikov writes with a poetic ear for sound and cadence.”  Guardian

“[An] outstanding historical saga [and] a dazzling and addictive piece of work… Accomplished and packed with believable detail and entertaining dialogue [The Patriots] also feels curiously relevant, tip-toeing around the complicated relationship between the United States and Russia during and after the Cold War… As an intelligent literary commentary on Russo-American relations of the past century, it’s unparalleled.”             Spectator
“The Patriots is a masterwork, a Dr Zhivago for our times. It is a novel rooted in characters so real you weep over their tragic fates, so realized you think you’re watching a movie, with sentences so sharp and wise they stop you in your tracks. The story of dreamy Florence Fein, from Flatbush, Brooklyn, will break your heart.” Yann Martel

A sweeping, ambitious kaleidoscope of family, faith, identity, idealism, and displacement… I found on every page an observation so acute, a sentence of such truth and shining detail, that it demanded re-reading for the sheer pleasure of it. The Patriots has convinced me that Krasikov belongs among the totemic young writers of her era.”            Khaled Hosseini
Compelling… Krasikov’s characters are so vivid that you almost think you are watching events unfold on a movie screen… The Patriots is a novel which encompasses many themes – identity, family, love, self-deception and the dangers of political ideology. it’s a beautifully written epic novel, and it will certainly be one of my stand-out reads of the year.”    Culture Life

“[The Patriots] draws you in and envelops you completely, [with] characters who are as vivid as friends. Krasikov tackles huge themes with aplomb, her writing as confident as a veteran’s. Particularly in the anniversary year of the Revolution, what she has to say on the compromises we make for idealism – for love of country – is worth reading.”         Elle

 

 

Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal

 

Image result for Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal“Big-hearted, earthy and funny… A rattlingly good story.”   Deborah Moggach

 

Every woman has a secret life…

When Nikki takes a creative writing job at her local temple, with visions of emancipating the women of the community she left behind as a self-important teenager, she’s shocked to discover a group of barely literate women who have no interest in her ideals.

Yet to her surprise, the white dupatta of the widow hides more than just their modesty – these are women who have spent their lives in the shadows of fathers, brothers and husbands; being dutiful, raising children and going to temple, but whose inner lives are as rich and fruitful as their untold stories. But as they begin to open up to each other about womanhood, sexuality, and the dark secrets within the community, Nikki realises that the illicit nature of the class may place them all in danger.

East meets west and tradition clashes with modernity in a thought-provoking cross-cultural novel that might make you look again at the women in your life…

 

Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows balances darkness and light, social commentary and ecstatic escapism… funny and moving tale of desire and its discontents.”                     Economist

Poignant, intelligent yet wickedly funny – a delightful read that reignites one’s belief in the power of sisterhood.”                        June Sarpong

 

 

 

The Witchfinder’s Sister by Beth Underwood

 
Vivid and Terrifying.”             Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train

The number of women my brother Matthew killed, so far as I can reckon it, is one hundred and six…

  1. When Alice Hopkins’ husband dies in a tragic accident, she returns to the small Essex town of Manningtree, where her brother Matthew still lives.

But home is no longer a place of safety. Matthew has changed, and there are rumours spreading through the town: whispers of witchcraft, and of a great book, in which he is gathering women’s names.

To what lengths will Matthew’s obsession drive him?
And what choice will Alice make, when she finds herself at the very heart of his plan?

At once a feminist parable and an old-fashioned, check-twice-under-the-bed thriller.”     Patrick Gale

A tense, surprising and elegantly-crafted novel.”    Ian McGuire, author of The North Water

A richly told and utterly compelling tale, with shades of Hilary Mantel.”  Kate Hamer, author of The Girl in the Red Coat

A clever, pacey read that blends truth and fiction.”                        The Times

“A clever novel with a slow burn of horror.”             Guardian

‘A haunting, brooding debut’ (Psychologies)

In the Name of the Family by Sarah Dunant

 

Image result for In the Name of the Family by Sarah DunantIn the Name of the Family – as Blood and Beauty did before – holds up a mirror to a turbulent moment of history, sweeping aside the myths to bring alive the real Borgia family; complicated, brutal, passionate and glorious. Here is a thrilling exploration of the House of Borgia’s doomed years, in the company of a young diplomat named Niccolo Machiavelli.

It is 1502 and Rodrigo Borgia, a self-confessed womaniser and master of political corruption is now on the Papal throne as Alexander VI. His daughter Lucrezia, aged twenty-two, already thrice married and a pawn in her father’s plans, is discovering her own power. And then there is Cesare Borgia: brilliant, ruthless and increasingly unstable; it is his relationship with the diplomat Machiavelli which offers a master class on the dark arts of power and politics. What Machiavelli learns will go on to inform his great work of modern politics, The Prince.

But while the pope rails against old age and his son’s increasing maverick behavior it is Lucrezia who will become the Borgia survivor: taking on her enemies and creating her own place in history.

A thrilling period vividly brought to life.”                 Woman & Home

In the end, what’s a historical novelist’s obligation to the dead? Accuracy? Empathy? Justice? Or is it only to make them live again? Dunant pays these debts with a passion.”              Washington Post

Which one of us will go down in history?” asks Cesare of Machiavelli. There are many words written about both men in fiction and non-fiction. However Dunant has a storyteller’s instincts for the telling detail and the broad sweep of history. This, and her glorious prose make Dunant’s version irresistible.”                         The Times

Dunant has made completely her own the story of Italy’s most infamous ruling family. Retaining the knack for plotting and pacing from the crime novels that began her career, she depicts history in a way that we can see, hear and smell . . . Dunant’s Italian novels are an enthralling education.”              Mark Lawson, Guardian

Being Kari by Qarnita Loxton

 
For Kari du Toit, Valentine’s Day will never be the same again. When the love of her life reveals he’s been unfaithful to her, life, romance, and everything in-between come crashing down. Suddenly it seems as if her previous life – one far removed from Bloubergstrand’s sandy beaches – is slowly catching up with her.

After ten years of silence, Kari receives a call from her estranged brother. At the foot of Devil’s Peak, where neighbourly salaams and burkas are as ordinary as yellow polka-dot bikinis in Blouberg, she once again becomes Karima Essop, daughter of Amina and Farouk Essop. Daughter, sister, deserter.

For Kari, sometimes finding love means going back to where you came from.

 

An outstanding debut, and definitely an author to watch.

 

 

 

Blackout by Marc Elsberg

 

A dazzling debut.”     Marcel Berlins, The Times

The Global Million-Copy Bestseller. Published In 15 Languages Worldwide. A 21st-Century High-Concept Disaster Thriller

Fast, tense, thrilling – and timely: this will happen one day. Highly recommended.”         Lee Child

Tomorrow will be too late.

A cold night in Milan, Piero Manzano wants to get home.

Then the traffic lights fail. Manzano is thrown from his Alfa as cars pile up. And not just on this street – every light in the city is dead.

Across Europe, controllers watch in disbelief as electricity grids collapse.

Plunged into darkness, people are freezing. Food and water supplies dry up. The death toll soars.

Former hacker and activist Manzano becomes a prime suspect. But he is also the only man capable of finding the real attackers.

Can he bring down a major terrorist network before it’s too late?

 

 

A Line Made by Walking by Sara Baume

 

When I finished Sara Baume’s new novel I immediately felt sad that I could not send it in the post to the late John Berger. He, too, would have loved it and found great joy in its honesty, its agility, its beauty, its invention. Baume is a writer of outstanding grace and style. She writes beyond the time we live in.”    Colum McCann

Struggling to cope with urban life – and with life in general – Frankie, a twenty-something artist, retreats to the rural bungalow on ‘turbine hill’ that has been vacant since her grandmother’s death three years earlier. It is in this space, surrounded by nature, that she hopes to regain her footing in art and life. She spends her days pretending to read, half-listening to the radio, failing to muster the energy needed to leave the safety of her haven. Her family come and go, until they don’t and she is left alone to contemplate the path that led her here, and the smell of the carpet that started it all.

Finding little comfort in human interaction, Frankie turns her camera lens on the natural world and its reassuring cycle of life and death. What emerges is a profound meditation on the interconnectedness of wilderness, art and individual experience, and a powerful exploration of human frailty.

 

A fascinating portrait of an artist’s breakdown in rural Ireland … a remarkable ability to generate narrative pace while eschewing plot, making it enough for the reader to observe a mind observing the world … it’s fascinating, because of the cumulative power of the precise, pleasingly rhythmic sentences, and the unpredictable intelligence of the narrator’s mind … Art may also require a willingness to question the ordinary that is incompatible with conventional criteria of sanity. One of the most radical aspects of this novel is its challenge to received wisdom about mental illness … There are no answers here, but there is a reminder of the beauty that can be found when you allow yourself to look slowly and sadly at the world.”                Guardian

After a remarkable and deservedly award-winning debut, here is a novel of uniqueness, wonder, recognition, poignancy, truth-speaking, quiet power, strange beauty and luminous bedazzlement.”      Joseph O’Connor

“Extraordinarily compelling … What makes it so gripping as that the reader is trapped in Frankie’s mind as much as she is; every tiny detail is magnified into metaphysical significance that she cannot understand and that the reader cannot parse … Frankie’s surreal and yet understandable mind-patterns are eloquent as well as awful.”            Spectator

Baume’s mixing of the visual arts and fiction is as satisfying as Ali Smith’s … [a] raw-nerved and wonderful novel.”                          New Statesman

 

 

 

 

Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo

 
Shortlisted For The 2017 Baileys Women’s Prize For Fiction

There are things even love can’t do … If the burden is too much and stays too long, even love bends, cracks, comes close to breaking and sometimes does break. But even when it’s in a thousand pieces around your feet, that doesn’t mean it’s no longer love …

Yejide is hoping for a miracle, for a child. It is all her husband wants, all her mother-in-law wants, and she has tried everything – arduous pilgrimages, medical consultations, appeals to God. But when her relatives insist upon a new wife, it is too much for Yejide to bear. It will lead to jealousy, betrayal and despair.

Unravelling against the social and political turbulence of 1980s Nigeria, Stay With Me sings with the voices, colours, joys and fears of its surroundings. Ayobami Adebayo weaves a devastating story of the fragility of married love, the undoing of family, the wretchedness of grief, and the all-consuming bonds of motherhood. It is a tale about our desperate attempts to save ourselves and those we love from heartbreak.

 

Scorching, gripping, ultimately lovely.”       Margaret Atwood

 

Affecting and powerful … Adebayo’s prose is a pleasure: immediate, unpretentious and flecked with whip-smart Nigerian-English dialogue. There are only three first-time novelists on this year’s Baileys longlist; Adebayo deserves her spot among them.”       Sunday Times

 

A thoroughly contemporary style that is all her own … clever and funny … despite the intense sadness of her subject matter, she has produced a bright, big-hearted demonstration of female spirit, as well as the damage done by the boundlessness of male pride.”                        Guardian

 

Colourful, vibrant, energetic – a stunning tale of what happens when societal expectations collide with reality.”                        Tendai Huchu, author of The Hairdresser of Harare

 

 

All Our Wrong Todays by Elam Mastai

 
When Tom loses the love of his life, time travel seems like the only answer. . . what could possibly go wrong?

So, the thing is, I come from the world we were supposed to have.

That means nothing to you, obviously, because you live here, in the crappy world we do have.

But it never should’ve turned out like this. And it’s all my fault – well, me and to a lesser extent my father.

And, yeah, I guess a little bit Penelope.

In both worlds, she’s the love of my life. But only a single version of her can exist.

I have one impossible chance to fix history’s greatest mistake and save this broken world.

Except it means saving one Penelope and losing the other forever – and I have absolutely no idea which to choose …

A mind-bending time travel caper.”             Guardian

A thrilling tale of time travel and alternate timelines with a refreshingly optimistic view of humanity’s future.”             Andy Weir, author of international bestseller The Martian

All Our Wrong Todays is elaborately constructed and incredibly emotionally intelligent; it’s a story with super high stakes that genuinely makes you feel every part of Tom’s awful predicament.”                 SciFiNow

A timeless, if mind-bending, story about the journeys we take, populated by friends, family, lovers and others, that show us who we might be, could be – and maybe never should be – that eventually leads us to who we are.”                        USA Today

 

 

Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel

 

Underneath the Roanoke Girls’ perfect exterior lies a chilling secret…

Beautiful.
Rich.
Mysterious.

The Roanoke girls seem to have it all. But there’s a dark truth about them which is never spoken. Every girl either runs away, or dies.

Lane is one of the lucky ones. When she was fifteen, over one long, hot summer at her grandparents’ estate in rural Kansas, she found out what it really means to be a Roanoke girl. Lane ran, far and fast. Until eleven years later, when her cousin Allegra goes missing – and Lane has no choice but to go back.

She is a Roanoke girl.

Is she strong enough to escape a second time?
I was immediately drawn into The Roanoke Girls, a haunting and riveting look at one family’s tangled legacy. You won’t stop reading until you’ve unraveled the darkest of Roanoke’s shocking secrets.”               Laura McHugh, author of The Weight of Blood

Dark and intense… with a compelling twist which will remain with you long after the book’s last sentence.”    L.S. Hilton, author of Maestra

 

The Accusation by Bandi

 
In 1989, a North Korean dissident writer, known to us only by the pseudonym Bandi, began to write a series of stories about life under Kim Il-sung’s totalitarian regime. Smuggled out of North Korea and set for publication around the world in 2017, The Accusation provides a unique and shocking window on this most secretive of countries.

Bandi’s profound, deeply moving, vividly characterised stories tell of ordinary men and women facing the terrible absurdity of daily life in North Korea: a factory supervisor caught between loyalty to an old friend and loyalty to the Party; a woman struggling to feed her husband through the great famine; the staunch Party man whose actor son reveals to him the absurd theatre of their reality; the mother raising her child in a world where the all-pervasive propaganda is the very stuff of childhood nightmare.

The Accusation is a heartbreaking portrayal of the realities of life in North Korea. It is also a reminder that humanity can sustain hope even in the most desperate of circumstances – and that the courage of free thought has a power far beyond those seek to suppress it.

A must-read! The first book of fiction to come out of North Korea. (Smuggled.) Fascinating and chilling. Heartfelt and heartbreaking.”               Margaret Atwood

If poetry, as Wordsworth said, can be glossed as powerful emotion recollected in tranquillity, The Accusation reads like powerful emotion felt right now, in a condition of ongoing crisis … In its scope and courage, The Accusation is an act of great love.”                 Guardian

A collection of courageous and confounding short stories … It’s a quiet privilege to be given access to the voiceless by listening to such vivid and uncompromised storytelling … this collection of stories seems both a flickering light in North Korea’s darkness and an unintentional reminder that it is getting darker here, too.”                  New Statesman

 

 

 

Georgia: A Novel of Georgia O’Keeffe  by Dawn Tripp

 
In a dazzling work of historical fiction in the vein of Nancy Horan’s Loving Frank, Dawn Tripp brings to life Georgia O’Keeffe, her love affair with photographer Alfred Stieglitz, and her quest to become an independent artist.

This is not a love story. If it were, we would have the same story. But he has his, and I have mine. 

In 1916, Georgia O’Keeffe is a young, unknown art teacher when she travels to New York to meet Stieglitz, the famed photographer and art dealer, who has discovered O’Keeffe’s work and exhibits it in his gallery. Their connection is instantaneous. O’Keeffe is quickly drawn into Stieglitz’s sophisticated world, becoming his mistress, protégé, and muse, as their attraction deepens into an intense and tempestuous relationship and his photographs of her, both clothed and nude, create a sensation.

Yet as her own creative force develops, Georgia begins to push back against what critics and others are saying about her and her art. And soon she must make difficult choices to live a life she believes in.

Complex and original . . . Georgia conveys O Keeffe s joys and disappointments, rendering both the woman and the artist with keenness and consideration.”             New York Times Book Review
As magical and provocative as O Keeffe s lush paintings of flowers that upended the art world in the 1920s . . . [Dawn] Tripp inhabits Georgia s psyche so deeply that the reader can practically feel the paintbrush in hand as she creates her abstract paintings and New Mexico landscapes. . . . Evocative from the first page to the last, Tripp s Georgia is a romantic yet realistic exploration of the sacrifices one of the foremost artists of the twentieth century made for love.”                      USA Today

 

 

Invisible Planets: Collected Fiction by Hannu Rajaniemi

 

Mindblowingly inventive and beautifully written short stories from the most exciting new name in SF.

Hannu Rajaniemi exploded onto the SF scene in 2010 with the publication of his first novel The Quantum Thief. Acclaimed by fellow authors such as Charles Stross, Adam Roberts and Alastair Reynolds and brilliantly reviewed everywhere from Interzone to the Times and the Guardian he swiftly established a reputation as an author who could combine extraordinary cutting edge science with beautiful prose and deliver it all with wit, warmth and a delight in the fun of storytelling.

It is exactly these qualities that are showcased in this his first collection of short stories. Drawn from antholgies, magazines and online publications and brought together in book form for the first time in this collection here is a collection of seventeen short stories that range from the lyrical to the bizarre, from the elegaic to the impish. It is a collection that shows one of the great new imaginations in SF having immense fun.

 

A collection that combines the hard science smarts of Gregory Benford with the hipster speak-infected experimentation of M John Harrison, it’s the perfect starting point for Rajaniemi’s fiction.”                     SFX

 

 

New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson

 


“Robinson is one of the world’s finest working novelists, in any genre. New York 2140 is a towering novel about a genuinely grave threat to civilisation.”                     
 Guardian

The waters rose, submerging New York City.

But the residents adapted and it remained the bustling, vibrant metropolis it had always been. Though changed forever.

Every street became a canal. Every skyscraper an island.

Through the eyes of the varied inhabitants of one building Kim Stanley Robinson shows us how one of our great cities will change with the rising tides.

And how we too will change.

Like all great sci-fi, New York 2140 is as much inward-looking as it is forward- . . . Robinson’s work has a strong, intelligent social conscience.”                         GQ

Robinson seamlessly binds together characters and narrative strands . . . An immensely enjoyable reading experience.”               SciFiNow

It’s near impossible to capture the vibrance of the entire city in the span of one single novel, yet Kim Stanley Robinson manages to do just that and more.”           Newsweek

 

The Djinn Falls in Love & Other Stories edited by Jared Shurin and Mahvesh Murad

 

Image result for The Djinn Falls in Love & Other Stories edited by Jared Shurin and Mahvesh MuradA fascinating collection of new and classic tales of the fearsome Djinn, from bestselling, award-winning and breakthrough international writers.
Imagine a world filled with fierce, fiery beings, hiding in our shadows, in our dreams, under our skins. Eavesdropping and exploring; savaging our bodies, saving our souls. They are monsters, saviours, victims, childhood friends.

 

These are the Djinn. And they are everywhere. On street corners, behind the wheel of a taxi, in the chorus, between the pages of books. Every language has a word for them. Every culture knows their traditions. Every religion, every history has them hiding in their dark places.
There is no part of the world that does not know them. They are the Djinn. They are among us.
With stories from Neil Gaiman, Nnedi Okorafor, Amal El-Mohtar, Helene Wecker, Catherine Faris King, Claire North, E.J. Swift, Hermes (trans. Robin Moger), Jamal Mahjoub, James Smythe, J.Y. Yang, Kamila Shamsie, Kirsty Logan, K.J. Parker, Kuzhali Manickavel, Maria Dahvana Headley, Monica Byrne, Saad Hossain, Sami Shah, Sophia Al-Maria, and Usman Malik.

 

Exquisite and audacious, and highly recommended.”         New York Times

Ignites like the creature it profiles… a rich and illuminating cultural experience.”           Washington Post

 

 

Graphic

Sticks Angelica: Folk Hero by Michael deForge

 

Image result for Graphic    Sticks Angelica: Folk Hero by Michael deForgeSticks Angelica is, in her own words, 49 years old. Former: Olympian, poet, scholar, sculptor, minister, activist, Governor General, entrepreneur, line cook, head- mistress, Mountie, columnist, libertarian, cellist. After a high-profile family scandal, Sticks escapes to the woods to live in what would be relative isolation were it not for the many animals that surround and inevitably annoy her. Sticks is an arrogant self-obsessed force who wills herself on the flora and fauna. There is a rabbit named Oatmeal who harbours an unrequited love for her, a pair of kissing geese, a cross- dressing moose absurdly named Lisa Hanawalt. When a reporter named, ahem, Michael DeForge shows up to interview Sticks for his biography on her, she quickly slugs him and buries him up to his neck, immobilizing him. Instead, Sticks narrates her way through the forest, recalling formative incidents from her storied past in what becomes a strange sort of autobiography. Deforge s witty dialogue and deadpan narration create a bizarre yet eerily familiar world. Sticks Angelica plays with autobiography, biography, and hagiography to look at how we build our own sense of self and how others carry on the roles we create for them in our own personal dramas.

 

A surreal trip into the Canadian wilderness.”           Vice

Toying with autobiography, biography, and hagiography, DeForge examines both how we build our own sense of self and how others take on the roles we create for them.”             Guardian

“[Sticks Angelica is] a meditation on fame… a beautiful, disturbing daydream in pink-and-black ink.”                  Publishers Weekly Starred Review

 

 

Terms & Conditions by R. Sikoryak

 

Image result for Terms & Conditions by R SikoryakFor his newest project, R. Sikoryak tackles the monstrously and infamously dense legal document, iTunes Terms and Conditions, the contract everyone agrees to but no one reads. In a word for word 94-page adaptation, Sikoryak hilariously turns the agreement on its head each page features an avatar of Apple cofounder and legendary visionary Steve Jobs juxtaposed with a different classic strip such as Mort Walker’s Beetle Bailey, or a contemporary graphic novel such as Craig Thompson’s Blankets or Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis. Adapting the legalese of the iTunes Terms and Conditions into another medium seems like an unfathomable undertaking, yet Sikoryak creates a surprisingly readable document, far different from its original, purely textual incarnation and thus proving the accessibility and flexibility of comics. When Sikoryak parodies Kate Beaton’s Hark A Vagrant peasant comics with Steve Jobs discussing objectionable material or Homer Simpson as Steve Jobs warning of the penalties of copyright infringement, Terms and Conditions serves as a surreal record of our modern digital age where technology competes with enduringly ironclad mediums.

 

The juxtaposition is hilarious, and we see a Steve Jobs-like character as a stand-in for the heroes of each original work, with the scenes peppered with Apple devices and references alike.”             Macworld

It’s a prodigious feat of pastiche that gives rise to multiple interpretations… Sikoryak (Masterpiece Comics) is an undeniably talented artist with a keen ability to capture different styles, as well as a sly conceptual satirist and prankster. Few will ever actually read these terms and conditions, but that’s basically the point.”                        Publishers Weekly Starred Review

Each page is a loving tribute to a comic book that Sikoryak loves or respects… Sikoryak hasn’t just thrown the text at random pictures; he appears to have actually read this thing through and selected from the vast historic tapestry of comic book imagery a highly appropriate sequence that seems to suit the relevant quoted words perfectly.”                   Independent

 

 

 

Non-Fiction

Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

 

From the best-selling author of Americanah and We Should All Be Feminists comes a powerful new statement about feminism today – written as a letter to a friend.

I have some suggestions for how to raise Chizalum. But remember that you might do all the things I suggest, and she will still turn out to be different from what you hoped, because sometimes life just does its thing. What matters is that you try.

In We Should All be Feminists, her eloquently argued and much admired essay of 2014, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie proposed that if we want a fairer world we need to raise our sons and daughters differently. Here, in this remarkable new book, Adichie replies by letter to a friend’s request for help on how to bring up her newborn baby girl as a feminist. With its fifteen pieces of practical advice it goes right to the heart of sexual politics in the twenty-first century.

 

“Dear Ijeawele reminds us that, in the history of feminist writing, it is often the personal and epistolary voice that carries the political story most powerfully – For me, the most powerful sentence in the book is its simplest, and comes in only the third paragraph. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie urges Ijeawele to remember to transmit to her daughter “the solid unbending belief that you start off with . . . Your feminist premise should be: I matter. I matter equally. Not ‘if only’. Not ‘as long as’. I matter equally. Full stop.”..there is no doubt that if we raised all of our daughters to believe completely that they “matter equally”, to trust what they feel and think and to worry less about how they look and come across, we would soon find new ways to challenge the multiple injustices and indignities that still limit, and even wreck, so many women’s lives.”                       New Statesman

Personal and urgent . . . Adichie is passionate about equality. Her new book offers 15 ways that we can encourage girls to be strong, to plant seeds of feminism. But more than that, Adichie hopes the book will help ‘move us toward a world that is more gender equal.’ Doing so means knocking down ingrained assumptions about how men and women think and behave.”                      Washington Post

 

 

On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century by Timothy Snyder

 
The New York Times Bestseller

These 128 pages are a brief primer in every important thing we might have learned from the history of the last century, and all that we appear to have forgotten.”              Observer

History does not repeat, but it does instruct.

In the twentieth century, European democracies collapsed into fascism, Nazism and communism. These were movements in which a leader or a party claimed to give voice to the people, promised to protect them from global existential threats, and rejected reason in favour of myth. European history shows us that societies can break, democracies can fall, ethics can collapse, and ordinary people can find themselves in unimaginable circumstances.

History can familiarise, and it can warn. Today, we are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to totalitarianism in the twentieth century. But when the political order seems imperilled, our advantage is that we can learn from their experience to resist the advance of tyranny.

Now is a good time to do so.

 

Timothy Snyder reasons with unparalleled clarity, throwing the past and future into sharp relief. He has written the rare kind of book that can be read in one sitting but will keep you coming back to help regain your bearings. Put a copy in your pocket and one on your bedside table, and it will help you keep going for the next four years or however long it takes.”           Masha Gessen
Easily the most compelling volume among the early resistance literature. . . . A slim book that fits alongside your pocket Constitution and feels only slightly less vital. . . . Clarifying and unnerving. . . . A memorable work that is grounded in history yet imbued with the fierce urgency of what now.”                   Washington Post

We are rapidly ripening for fascism. This American writer leaves us with no illusions about ourselves.”                        Svetlana Alexievich, Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature
Please read this book. So smart, so timely.”                        George Saunders
As Timothy Snyder explains in his fine and frightening On Tyranny, a minority party now has near-total power and is therefore understandably frightened of awakening the actual will of the people.”                     Adam Gopnik,  New Yorker
 

The Islamic Enlightenment: The Modern Struggle between Faith and Reason by Christopher de Bellaigue

 

Image result for The Islamic Enlightenment: The Modern Struggle between Faith and Reason by Christopher de BellaigueThe best sort of book for our disordered days: timely, urgent and illuminating.”  Pankaj Mishra
The Islamic Enlightenment: a contradiction in terms?

The Muslim world has often been accused of a failure to modernise, reform and adapt. But, from the beginning of the nineteenth century to the present day, Islamic society in its Middle Eastern heartlands has in fact been transformed by modern ideals and practices, including the adoption of modern medicine, the emergence of women from purdah and the development of democracy.

Who were the scholars and scientists, writers and politicians that brought about these remarkable changes? And why is their legacy now under threat?

Beginning with the dramatic collision of East and West following Napoleon’s arrival in Egypt, and taking us through 200 tumultuous years of Middle Eastern history, Christopher de Bellaigue introduces us to key figures and reformers; from Egypt’s visionary ruler Muhammad Ali to brave radicals like Iran’s first feminist Qurrat al-Ayn and the writer Ibrahim Sinasi, who transformed Ottoman Turkey’s language and literature.

This book tells the forgotten story of the Islamic Enlightenment. It shows us how to look beyond sensationalist headlines to foster a genuine understanding of modern Islam and Muslim culture, and is essential reading for anyone engaged with the state of the world today.

 

It strikes a blow … for common humanity.”  Sunday Times
This book is an enlightenment in itself, and a salient one in this age when everyone seems to feel entitled to a firm opinion about Islam and Muslims.”        David Aaronovitch, The Times

A highly original and informative survey of the clashes between Islam and modernity in Istanbul, Cairo and Tehran in the last two hundred years. Brilliant.” (Orhan Pamuk)

A refreshingly optimistic counterpoint to the idea that Muslim and Western world-views are doomed to clash.”                          Economist

Timely, thoughtful and provocative.”           Peter Frankopan

A brilliantly learned and entertaining study of a topic that is of far more than merely antiquarian interest: the encounter between the Islamic world and the post-Enlightenment West.”              Tom Holland

 

Cleverlands: The Secret Behind the Success of the World’s Education Superpowers by Lucy Crehan

 
As a teacher in an inner-city school, Lucy Crehan was exasperated with ever-changing government policy claiming to be based on lessons from ‘top-performing’ education systems. She became curious about what was really going on in classrooms of the countries whose teenagers ranked top in the world in reading, maths and science.

Determined to dig deeper, Lucy set off on a personal educational odyssey through Finland, Japan, Singapore, Shanghai and Canada, teaching in schools, immersing herself in their very different cultures and discovering the surprising truths about school life that don’t appear in the charts and graphs.

Cleverlands documents her journey, weaving together her experiences with research on policy, history, psychology and culture to offer extensive new insights and provide answers to three fundamental questions:

How do these countries achieve their high scores? What can others learn from them? And what is the price of this success?

 

Lucy Crehan’s book is refreshingly fair-minded and makes a case that there is a lot to learn about how other countries learn.”                     Books of the Year, Economist

Audacious and important . . . Cleverlands is not just for specialists: it’s a wry and accessible narrative of personal enterprise.”                 Prospect

 

 

 

Republic of Gupta: A Story of State Capture by Pieter-Louis Myburgh

 
The Guptas rose to national infamy when a commercial airliner packed with guests for a family wedding was allowed to land at Air Force Base Waterkloof in 2013, sparking an onslaught of public outrage. Since then, they have become embroiled in allegations of state capture, of dishing out cabinet posts to officials who would do their bidding, and of benefiting from lucrative state contracts and dubious loans.

 

The Republic of Gupta  investigates what the Gupta brothers were up to during Thabo Mbeki’s presidency and how they got into the inner circle of President Jacob Zuma. It shines new light on their controversial ventures in computers, cricket, newspapers and TV news, and coal and uranium mining. And it explores their exposure by public protector Thuli Madonsela, their conflict with finance minister Pravin Gordhan, and the real reasons behind the cabinet reshuffle of March 2017.

 

Pieter-Louis Myburgh delves deeper than ever before into the Guptas’ business dealings and their links to prominent South African politicians, and explains how one family managed to transform an entire country into the Republic of Gupta.

 

 

Black Like You: An Autobiography by Herman Mashaba

 

Image result for Black Like You: An Autobiography by Herman MashabaHerman Mashaba rose from humble beginnings to become one of South Africa’s wealthiest and best-known entrepreneurs.

His remarkable story begins in a small village in Gauteng, where we meet the cocky youngster who refused to settle for a future that offered nothing. Forced to drop out of university, the determined young man fought to establish the first black-owned haircare company in South Africa. Mashaba struggled every day of his life – against apartheid, with its demeaning laws, and against his competitors to grab market share for his business. In the process, Mashaba learnt lessons that few business schools teach today.

This is a story of survival, and of determination in adversity. It is also a love story between Herman and Connie, his wife of 30 years, who embarked on this journey together. Mashaba shows the importance of having a vision, daring to dream it, and then making it happen.

This inspiring book will leave you with the question: “If he did it, why can’t I?”

The experiences reflected in this book are real and the manner in which he rose above the hurdles he faced is a reliable framework to self-actualisation and achievement.”                         Dr Thami Mazwai

After reading Black Like You … I appeal to the government to save taxpayers money and stop writing more reports and instead study Herman Mashaba’s autobiography.”                    Moeletsi Mbeki

A better role model, truer patriot and son of the soil I can hardly imagine. At a time when somewhat limited and even rapacious young business leaders descend on the trough of public tenders, our youth would do well to read Black Like You.”          Justice Dikgang Moseneke

He tells sometimes uncomfortable truths and shares moments of inspiration which have led to his becoming one of this country’s enduring role models. If this modest little book doesn’t inspire you, nothing will!”                       Jenny Crwy-Williams

 

 

A Crime in the Family by Sacha Batthyány

 
A memoir of brutality, heroism and personal discovery from Europe’s dark heart, revealing one of the most extraordinary untold stories of the Second World War

In the spring of 1945, at Rechnitz on the Austrian-Hungarian border, not far from the front lines of the advancing Red Army, Countess Margit Batthyany gave a party in her mansion. The war was almost over, and the German aristocrats and SS officers dancing and drinking knew it was lost. Late that night, they walked down to the village, where 180 enslaved Jewish labourers waited, made them strip naked, and shot them all, before returning to the bright lights of the party. It remained a secret for decades, until Sacha Batthyany, who remembered his great-aunt Margit only vaguely from his childhood as a stern, distant woman, began to ask questions about it.

A Crime in the Family is Sacha Batthyany’s memoir of confronting these questions, and of the answers he found. It is one of the last untold stories of Europe’s nightmare century, spanning not just the massacre at Rechnitz, the inhumanity of Auschwitz, the chaos of wartime Budapest and the brutalities of Soviet occupation and Stalin’s gulags, but also the silent crimes of complicity and cover-up, and the damaged generations they leave behind.

Told partly through the surviving journals of others from the author’s family and the vanished world of Rechnitz, A Crime in the Family is a moving and revelatory memoir in the vein of The Hare with the Amber Eyes and The House by the Lake. It uncovers barbarity and tragedy but also a measure of peace and reconciliation. Ultimately, Batthyany discovers that although his inheritance might be that of monsters, he does not bear it alone.

 

 

What We Do Now: Standing Up For Your Values in Trump’s America  edited by Dennis Johnson & Valerie Merians

 

Image result for What We Do Now: Standing Up For Your Values in Trump’s America  edited by Dennis Johnson & Valerie MeriansThe election of Donald Trump to be the 45th President of the United States of America shocked and dismayed progressives across the country. What We Do Now, a collection of passionate manifestos by some of the country’s leading progressives, aims to provide a blueprint for how those stunned progressives can move forward. Its powerful contributions — from economists, environmentalists, activists, artists, politicians, and novelists — will offer encouragement and guidance to practicing constitutionally protected acts of resistance throughout the unprecedented upcoming administration.

Among the contributors are Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Gloria Steinem, Paul Krugman, Robert B. Reich, George Saunders and Dave Eggers as well the heads of the ACLU, the NAACP, the Sierra Club, the Arab American Association, the National GLBTQ Task Force, the Freedom of the Press Association, and other prominent activists.

 

Eloquent literary and political essays on propaganda and resistance… the collection’s most important function may be to simply remind readers that showing up has worked before.”      Economist

 

 

Cast Away: Stories of Survival from Europe’s Refugee Crisis by Charlotte McDonald-Gibson

 
Riot police are shutting down borders, 800 lives are lost in a single shipwreck, a boy’s body washes up on a beach: this is the European Union in summer 2015. But how did a bloc founded upon the values of human rights and dignity for all reach this point? And what was driving millions of desperate people to risk their lives on the Mediterranean? Charlotte McDonald-Gibson has spent years reporting on every aspect of Europe’s refugee crisis, and Cast Away offers a vivid glimpse of the personal dilemmas, pressures, choices and hopes that lie beneath the headlines. We meet Majid, a Nigerian boy who exchanges the violence of his homeland for Libya, only to be driven onto a rickety boat during Colonel Gaddafi’s crackdown on migrants. Nart is an idealistic young lawyer who risks imprisonment and torture in Syria until it is no longer safe for him to stay. Sina has to leave her new husband behind and take their unborn son across three continents to try and escape the Eritrean dictatorship. Mohammed is a teenager who dreams of becoming the world’s best electrician until he is called to serve as a foot-soldier in the Syrian army. And Hanan watches in horror as the safe life she built for her four children in Damascus collapses, and she has to entrust their lives to people smugglers. While the politicians wrangle over responsibility, and the media talk in statistics, Cast Away brings to life the human consequences of the most urgent humanitarian issue of our time.

 

McDonald-Gibson’s gripping storytelling has a cinematic quality… At times it’s easy to forget that these are experiences of real people, not fictional characters, as the reader becomes immersed in harrowing stories of danger, deception and disillusionment. But McDonald-Gibson also balances individual stories with a wider historical sweep [and] offers insights into the extraordinary political and historical contexts of the migrants’ home countries… [One of] the most important books you will read this year.”                 Irish Times

A closely reported, passionately argued, often deeply moving account of five refugees’ journeys to Europe. The unapologetically narrative style creates an effect similar to that of the photograph of the corpse of three year old Alan Kurdi in his red T shirt in 2015. It yanks away the anonymous screen of numbers and brings you face to face with real people – people you can recognise, in situations you can’t. [Cast Away] start[s] to do for the refugees what British abolitionists did for the slave trade… mobilise eyewitness testimony to promote empathy, and through empathy, better policy.”                     Guardian

March 2017

Monday, April 10th 2017 at 11:21 AM

Fiction

You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine by Alexandra Kleeman

 
An existential thriller written in prose that points the way to the future.’               Zadie Smith

 

‘Fight Club for girls’                 Vogue

 

A lives with B.

B seems to be becoming more and more like A.

If A’s boyfriend, C, likes A because A is A, but now B is the same as A, where does that leave A?

And what has happened to the family across the street, who left one afternoon out of nowhere, covered in sheets with holes cut out for the eyes?

 

Comical, malignant and addictive.’               Adam Thirlwell

 

This book will unsettle you; this book will make you feel intensely alive.’               Buzzfeed

 

‘A powerful allegory of our civilization’s many maladies, artfully and elegantly articulated, by one of the young wise women of our generation.’                    New York Times Book Review

‘This debut novel by future superstar Alexandra Kleeman will be the thing to be seen reading this summer… Funny, perfectly weird, a hyperintelligent commentary on a culture obsessed with you and fame.’                                  Vanity Fair

‘This frequently impressive debut has some of George Saunders’ loony satire and some of Don DeLillo’s bone-deep paranoia… Kleeman has a singular, off-kilter style, and a distinct vision of the absurd horrors that can come with being trapped in a body.’                    New York Times

‘The smartest, strangest novel I’ve read in a while.’                         Paris Review, Staff Pick

Lonely Hearts Hotel by Heather O’Neill

 

Joyful, funny and vividly alive.’                      Emily St John Mandel
‘The Lonely Hearts Hotel sucked me right in and only got better and better . . . I began underlining truths I had hungered for.’             Miranda July
Makes me think of comets and live wires . . . raises goosebumps.’             Helen Oyeyemi

 

The Lonely Hearts Hotel is a love story with a difference. Set throughout the roaring twenties, it is a wicked fairytale of circus tricks and child prodigies, radical chorus girls, drug-addicted musicians and brooding clowns, set in an underworld whose economy hinges on the price of a kiss.

It is the tale of two dreamers, abandoned in an orphanage where they were fated to meet. Here, in the face of cold, hunger and unpredictable beatings, Rose and Pierrot create a world of their own, shielding the spark of their curiosity from those whose jealousy will eventually tear them apart.

When they meet again, each will have changed, having struggled through the Depression, through what they have done to fill the absence of the other. But their childhood vision remains – a dream to storm the world, a spectacle, an extravaganza that will lift them out of the gutter and onto a glittering stage.

Heather O’Neill’s pyrotechnical imagination and language are like no other. In this she has crafted a dazzling circus of a novel that takes us from the underbellies of war-time Montreal and Prohibition New York, to a theatre of magic where anything is possible – where an orphan girl can rule the world, and a ruined innocence can be redeemed.

 

Because this book is so filled with delightful things – bold and complex sex; heartache and wickedness and glittering hearts – it would be easy to overlook how finely it is made. The Lonely Hearts Hotel sucked me right in and only got better and better, ultimately becoming much tougher, wiser than I was prepared for. I began underlining truths I had hungered for but never before read. By the end I was a gasping, tearful mess.’              Miranda July

A fairy tale laced with gunpowder and romance and icing sugar, all wrapped round with a lit fuse. Each of Heather O’Neill’s sentences pricks or delights. If you haven’t read her other books, start with this one and then read all of the rest.’                Kelly Link

A love story of epic proportions…this novel will cast a spell upon readers from page one.’                      Publisher’s Weekly

O’Neill is a mistress of metaphor and imagery … This is brilliant tragicomedy … in a melancholy love story that brings to life the bygone days of theatrical revues. It’s a little weird and a lot of fun.’                        Booklist

 

 

Retribution Road by Antonin Varenne

 

Image result for Retribution Road by Antonin VarenneBurma, 1852. Arthur Bowman, a sergeant in the East India Company, is sent on a secret mission during the Second Anglo-Burmese War. But the expedition is foiled – his men are captured and tortured. Throughout their ordeal, a single word becomes Bowman’s mantra, a word that will stiffen their powers of endurance in the face of unimaginable suffering: “Survival”. But for all that, only a handful escape with their lives.

Some years later in London, battling his ghosts through a haze of alcohol and opium, Bowman discovers a mutilated corpse in a sewer. The victim appears to have been subjected to the same torments as Bowman endured in the Burmese jungle. And the word “Survival” has been daubed in blood by the body’s side. Persuaded that the culprit is one of the men who shared his captivity, Bowman resolves to hunt him down.

From the Burmese jungle to the slums of London to the conquest of the Wild West, Antonin Varenne takes us on a thrilling journey full of sound and unabated fury, reviving the lapsed tradition of the great writers of boundless adventure. Sergeant Bowman belongs to that breed of heroes who inhabit the imaginations of Conrad, Kipling, Stevenson . . . Lost soldiers who have plunged into the heart of darkness and will cross the globe in search of vengeance and redemption.

 

Antonin Varenne’s Retribution Road is part Bernard Cornwell, part John le Carré and all of a hell of a read. Few authors have the chops to take on a historical epic, a serial killer thriller and an intimate character study but Varenne’s latest novel should place him at the very top of every reading list.”            Craig Johnson

 

 

 

4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster

 
On March 3, 1947, in the maternity ward of Beth Israel Hospital in Newark, New Jersey, Archibald Isaac Ferguson, the one and only child of Rose and Stanley Ferguson, is born. From that single beginning, Ferguson’s life will take four simultaneous and independent fictional paths. Four Fergusons made of the same genetic material, four boys who are the same boy, will go on to lead four parallel and entirely different lives. Family fortunes diverge. Loves and friendships and intellectual passions contrast. Chapter by chapter, the rotating narratives evolve into an elaborate dance of inner worlds enfolded within the outer forces of history as, one by one, the intimate plot of each Ferguson’s story rushes on across the tumultuous and fractured terrain of mid twentieth-century America. A boy grows up-again and again and again.

As inventive and dexterously constructed as anything Paul Auster has ever written 4 3 2 1 is an unforgettable tour de force, the crowning work of this masterful writer’s extraordinary career.

 

Auster truly is a master of his art.’                Harper’s Bazaar

‘[Auster is] … A joy to read.’               Economist

A master of the modern American fable.’                Independent

Auster’s writing is stunning.’             Spectator

A remarkable writer whose work needs to be read in totality.’                   Sunday Herald

 

 

The Shallows by Ingrid Winterbach

 
Painter Nick Steyn moves to the City Bowl in Cape Town after separating from his partner, Isabel. A young boarder moves in with Nick and they soon become friends. But one night she does not come home, and his attempts to trace her come to nothing. A few weeks later the prosperous artist Buks Verhoef makes an offer on Nick’s house. Is there a connection between these events, and if so, could Nick’s former friend, Victor Schoeman, the author of the outrageous novel The Shallows, have a hand in them? A parallel narrative concerns a nameless Stellenbosch woman who is writing a monograph on the famous Olivier brothers. One day she witnesses the murder of Buks Verhoef in a coffee shop; soon thereafter a sinister man starts stalking her. Could this also be Victor Schoeman? A fantastical, absurd yet haunting novel by the award-winning novelist Ingrid Winterbach. Translated as always by Michiel Heyns.

 

 

The Ninth Grave by Stefan Ahnhem

 
On the coldest day of the year, Sweden’s Minister for Justice steps out of Parliament House and into a blizzard – and disappears. That same night, across the Baltic Sea, a Danish celebrity finds a stranger lurking in her snow-bound home.

 

TWO KILLERS STALK THE STREETS.

One is a surgeon who carefully dissects his victims. The other is a brutal predator who targets women. Police in Stockholm and Copenhagen are closing in on their suspects. But as winter darkens and more people die, their investigations begin to unravel.

 

SOMETIMES MURDER IS JUST THE BEGINNING…

 

‘More gripping than Jo Nesbo, blacker than Stieg Larsson and more bleakly human than Henning Mankell.’                   Tony Parsons.

‘Atmospheric and complicated … with great cop characters and some imaginatively grisly perps.’                      Star Pick – The Sunday Times.

‘Swedish crime writer of the year. Bliss‘                     Irish Times.

‘Grips like a vice.’ Irish Independent.

 

The Bear & the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

 

Image result for The Bear & the Nightingale by Katherine ArdenFrost-demons have no interest in mortal girls wed to mortal men. In the stories, they only come for the wild maiden.

In a village at the edge of the wilderness of northern Russia, where the winds blow cold and the snow falls many months of the year, an elderly servant tells stories of sorcery, folklore and the Winter King to the children of the family, tales of old magic frowned upon by the church.

But for the young, wild Vasya these are far more than just stories. She alone can see the house spirits that guard her home, and sense the growing forces of dark magic in the woods…

Atmospheric and enchanting, with an engrossing adventure at its core, The Bear and the Nightingale is perfect for readers of Naomi Novik’s Uprooted, Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, and Neil Gaiman.

 

Stunning . . . will enchant readers from the first page. . . . with an irresistible heroine who wants only to be free of the bonds placed on her gender and claim her own fate.’                Publishers Weekly (starred review)
An extraordinary retelling of a very old tale . . . A Russian setting adds unfamiliar spice to the story of a young woman who does not rebel against the limits of her role in her culture so much as transcend them. The Bear and the Nightingale is a wonderfully layered novel of family and the harsh wonders of deep winter magic.’              Robin Hobb
A beautiful deep-winter story, full of magic and monsters and the sharp edges of growing up.’               Naomi Novik

The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker

 

From age eighteen on, I had a partner, a kindred spirit. I had a friend. Someone bound and determined to keep me from the worst in myself.

 

At a private East Coast college, two young women meet in art class. Sharon, ambitious but lacking confidence, arrives from rural Kentucky. Mel, brash and wildly gifted, brings her own brand of hellfire from the backwaters of Florida. Both outsiders, Sharon and Mel become fervent friends, bonding over their love of classic cartoons, their dysfunctional working-class families, and – above all – their craft: drawing. Mel, to understand her tumultuous past, and Sharon, to lose herself altogether.

A decade later, Sharon and Mel are an award-winning animation duo, living and working in Brooklyn, and poised on the edge of even greater success after the release of their first full-length feature. But with this success comes self-doubt, and cracks in their relationship start to form. When unexpected tragedy strikes, long-buried resentments rise to the surface, hastening a reckoning no one sees coming.

Funny and heartbreaking by turn, The Animators is a dazzling story of female friendship, the cost of a creative life, and the secrets that can undo us.

 

A compulsively readable portrait of women as incandescent artists and intimate collaborators.’              Elle
An engrossing, exuberant ride through all the territories of love familial, romantic, sexual, love of friends, and, perhaps above all, white-hot passion for the art you were born to make . . . I wish I’d written The Animators.’                 Emma Donoghue, author of Room and The Wonder 


A wildly original novel that pulses with heart and truth . . . That this powerful exploration of friendship, desire, ambition, and secrets manages to be ebullient, gripping, heartbreaking, and deeply deeply funny is a testament to Kayla Rae Whitaker s formidable gifts. I was so sorry to reach the final page. Sharon and Mel will stay with me for a very long time.’                    Cynthia D Aprix Sweeney, author of The Nest
A mix of Beaches, Girls, and Thelma & Louise . . . a complicated, sensual, sexy, raw nerve of a roller coaster through a tumultuous friendship . . . If you let this story happen to you, you’re gonna love it.’                    Glamour
“[A] tender, lively debut . . . [Kayla Rae] Whitaker’s nimbly created characters are as vibrant as the novel’s title suggests.”                    New Yorker

 

 

Human Solutions by Avi Silberstein

 
Chile, 1988. The Human Solutions team (a detective, a psychologist, and an actor) work together to engineer social situations to help their clients with anything they might need – until a case leaves one of them tangled in a cult run by an ex-Nazi with torturous ties to the Pinochet dictatorship.

To most people, Javier Gonzalez is an ordinary man. If you were to ask him, he would tell you that he runs an acting studio in Santiago, Chile, which is the truth, but not the whole story. Only a handful of people know that Javier also runs an unusual sort of business. With the help of a team of actors, Javier engineers social situations that meet the unique needs of his clients. If you want your boss to like you, he can help; if you want the weatherman to fall in love with you, he can arrange it. He calls his business Human Solutions, and that is exactly what he provides.

And he is good. Javier’s manipulations never fail because he controls every moment of every interaction – he is precise, observant and emotionally ruthless —and this has served him well. But then one day he slips. He falls for a woman, and against his better judgment, and the council of his associates, Javier takes on her case – a case he would never touch under ordinary circumstances. The woman’s name is Elena, and her son is locked behind the well-armed walls of a cult masquerading as an educational institution. She wants him out, so Javier agrees to go in.

Once behind the walls of the compound, Javier meets a man who is running a larger-scale social manipulation than he ever thought possible. The man is Peter Wenzel—or Uncle Peter, as he insists on being called—and as the charismatic leader of the cult he deftly manipulates his followers through a complicated system of fear, deception and brutality. Uncle Peter is an ex-Nazi, expelled from Germany for molesting children, and his ties with General Pinochet—Chile’s barbarous dictator—are extensive and terrifying. He is a man with no conscience or fear—and Javier quickly realizes that he may have met his match.

Avi Silberstein’s stunning debut is gripping, disturbing, darkly funny, and impossible to put down. The writing is taut and spare, creating a sharply etched portrait of 1980s Chile. Triumphant.”                 Carmen Aguirre, author of Something Fierce

 

 

The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen

 


‘A powerful antidote to all the fearmongering and lies out there . . . A rich exploration of human identity, family ties and love and loss, never has a short story collection been timelier
.’                 Independent

In The Refugees, Viet Thanh Nguyen gives voice to lives led between two worlds, the adopted homeland and the country of birth. From a young Vietnamese refugee who suffers profound culture shock when he comes to live with two gay men in San Francisco, to a woman whose husband is suffering from dementia and starts to confuse her for a former lover, to a girl living in Ho Chi Minh City whose older half-sister comes back from America having seemingly accomplished everything she never will, the stories are a captivating testament to the dreams and hardships of immigration. The second piece of fiction by a major new voice, The Refugees is a beautifully written and sharply observed book about the aspirations of those who leave one country for another, and the relationships and desires for self-fulfillment that define our lives.
‘Nguyen’s eight heart-wrenching and hopeful stories ought to be required reading for every politician in this era of wall-building and xenophobia.’                      Guardian
‘Beautiful and heartrending.’                         Joyce Carol Oates in the New Yorker

 

‘[A] superb collection . . . exquisite stories . . . Nguyen crafts dazzlingly lucid prose.‘                     Observer

 

Poignant . . . Nguyen writes most movingly of the debt of safety and freedom . . . Nguyen’s stories are to be admired for their ability to encompass not only the trauma of forced migration but also the grand themes of identity, the complications of love and sexuality, and the general awkwardness of being. For all their serious qualities, they are also humorous and smart . . . The form of the short story seems to come to Nguyen effortlessly.’                         Financial Times

 

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

 
A NO. 1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

‘It would be an understatement to call this novel an extraordinary tour de force.’              Sunday Times

The extraordinary first novel by the bestselling, Folio Prize-winning, National Book Award-shortlisted George Saunders, about Abraham Lincoln and the death of his eleven year old son, Willie, at the dawn of the Civil War

The American Civil War rages while President Lincoln’s beloved eleven-year-old son lies gravely ill. In a matter of days, Willie dies and is laid to rest in a Georgetown cemetery. Newspapers report that a grief-stricken Lincoln returns to the crypt several times alone to hold his boy’s body.

From this seed of historical truth, George Saunders spins an unforgettable story of familial love and loss that breaks free of realism, entering a thrilling, supernatural domain both hilarious and terrifying. Willie Lincoln finds himself trapped in a transitional realm – called, in Tibetan tradition, the bardo – and as ghosts mingle, squabble, gripe and commiserate, and stony tendrils creep towards the boy, a monumental struggle erupts over young Willie’s soul.

Unfolding over a single night, Lincoln in the Bardo is written with George Saunders’ inimitable humour, pathos and grace. Here he invents an exhilarating new form, and is confirmed as one of the most important and influential writers of his generation. Deploying a theatrical, kaleidoscopic panoply of voices – living and dead, historical and fictional – Lincoln in the Bardo poses a timeless question: how do we live and love when we know that everything we hold dear must end?

 

A luminous feat of generosity and humanism.”                   Colson Whitehead, The New York Times Book Review

A masterpiece.”                     Zadie Smith

Ingenious . . . Saunders–well on his way toward becoming a twenty-first-century Twain – crafts an American patchwork of love and loss, giving shape to our foundational sorrows.”                  Vogue

Saunders is the most humane American writer working today.”                 Harper’s Magazine

The novel beats with a present-day urgency–a nation at war with itself, the unbearable grief of a father who has lost a child, and a howling congregation of ghosts, as divided in death as in life, unwilling to move on.”              Vanity Fair .

 

 

The Draughtsman by Robert Lautner

 
Speak out for the fate of millions or turn a blind eye? We all have choices.

 

1944, Germany. Ernst Beck’s new job marks an end to months of unemployment. Working for Erfurt’s most prestigious engineering firm, Topf & Sons, means he can finally make a contribution to the war effort, provide for his beautiful wife, Etta, and make his parents proud. But there is a price.

Ernst is assigned to the firm’s smallest team – the Special Ovens Department. Reporting directly to Berlin his role is to annotate plans for new crematoria that are deliberately designed to burn day and night. Their destination: the concentration camps. Topf’s new client: the SS.

As the true nature of his work dawns on him, Ernst has a terrible choice to make: turning a blind eye will keep him and Etta safe, but that’s little comfort if staying silent amounts to collusion in the death of thousands.

This bold and uncompromising work of literary fiction shines a light on the complex contradictions of human nature and examines how deeply complicit we can become in the face of fear.

 

Absolutely exceptional. So beautifully written, with precision and wisdom and real emotional acuity…A remarkable achievement.’                 Stephen Kelman, author of Pigeon English

 

 

 

Migrations edited by Helen Moffett and Bongani Kona

 
From our ancestors’ first forays through the continent, to the contemporary diaspora spread around the world, people are eternally moving in, out and about the African continent. Not everyone leaves of their own volition, and not everyone comes with the best intentions: nevertheless, the story of Africa is the story of souls migrating, settling, unsettling, fleeing, seeking, resting, nesting and sharing stories, experiences and myths.

From treks both physical and spiritual, journeys both internal and across continents, from the comfort of ancient myth to the desperation of those currently fleeing their homes, Short Story Day Africa latest collection brings a fresh, urgent perspective to one of our most profound phenomena, and the basis of all our greatest stories.

The twenty-one exciting voices, both new and established, including Mirette Bhagat Eskaros, TJ Benson, Arja Salafranca, Sibongile Fisher, Fred Khumalo and Karen Jennings, make Migrations a moving, informative and immersive read.

 

 

 

Local Stories

Spy: Uncovering Craig Williamson by Jonathan Ancer

 
In 1972 Craig Williamson, a big, burly, bearded man, walked onto Wits University and registered as a student. He joined the National Union of South African Students (Nusas), and was on the frontline in the war against apartheid. At one march he was beaten up, arrested and spent a year on trial. Williamson rose up through the student movement’s ranks to become the Nusas vice president. After being harassed by security police and having his passport seized, he decided to flee the country to continue his activism with the International University Exchange Fund (IUEF), an anti-apartheid organisation in exile. He was eventually appointed the Fund’s deputy director. As the IUEF’s money man, Williamson had access to powerful ANC and Black Consciousness leaders. He joined the ANC and formed his own unit to carry out clandestine work to topple the National Party government. But Williamson was not the anti-apartheid activist his friends and comrades thought he was. In January 1980, Captain Williamson was unmasked as a South African spy. His handler, Colonel Johan Coetzee, the head of South Africa’s notorious security branch, flew to Switzerland to bring him and his wife back home. Williamson was described as South Africa’s superspy who penetrated the KGB. Williamson returned to South Africa and during the turbulent 1980s worked for the foreign section of the South African Police’s security branch. Two years after he left Switzerland he returned to Europe under a false name and with a crack squad of special force officers to blow up the ANC’s headquarters in London. He was also responsible for a parcel bomb that killed Ruth First in Mozambique and the bomb that killed Jeanette Schoon and her 6-year-old daughter Katryn in Angola. He left the security branch to join Military Intelligence and finally the State Security Council. Apartheid’s spies didn’t have to appear before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and a lot of information about the spies has been buried, burnt or shredded. This episode of our country’s bitter past remains murky…

 

 

Being Chris Hani’s Daughter by Lindiwe Hani and Melinda Ferguson

 
When Chris Hani, leader of the South African Communist Party and heir apparent to Nelson Mandela, was brutally slain in his driveway in April 1993, he left a shocked and grieving South Africa on the precipice of civil war. But to 12-year-old Lindiwe, it was the love of her life, her daddy, who had been shockingly ripped from her life.

In this intimate and brutally honest memoir, 36-year-old Lindiwe remembers the years she shared with her loving father, and the toll that his untimely death took on the Hani family. She lays family skeletons bare and brings to the fore her own downward spiral into cocaine and alcohol addiction, a desperate attempt to avoid the pain of his brutal parting.

While the nation continued to revere and honour her father’s legacy, for Lindiwe, being Chris Hani’s daughter became an increasingly heavy burden to bear.

For as long as I can remember, I’d grown up feeling that I was the daughter of Chris Hani and that I was useless. My father was such a huge figure, such an icon to so many people, it felt like I could never be anything close to what he achieved – so why even try? Of course my addiction to booze and cocaine just made me feel my worthlessness even more.

In a stunning turnaround, she faces her demons, not just those that haunted her through her addiction, but, with the courage that comes with sobriety, she comes face to face with her father’s two killers – Janus Walus, still incarcerated, and Clive Derby Lewis, released in 2015 on medical parole. In a breathtaking twist of humanity, while searching for the truth behind her father’s assassination, Lindiwe Hani ultimately makes peace with herself and honours her father’s gigantic spirit.

 

 

Change: Organising Tomorrow Today by Jay Naidoo

 

Image result for Change: Organising Tomorrow Today by Jay NaidooUnless there is significant change, the world is heading for an explosion. The growing gap between rich and poor is dangerous and unsustainable. The plundering of resources is damaging our planet. Something has to be done.
In this book, Jay Naidoo harnesses his experience as a labour union organiser, government minister, social entrepreneur and global thought leader, and explores ways of solving some of the world’s biggest problems. Drawing from his experiences in South Africa, Nigeria, Brazil, Bangladesh and other countries, he presents a variety of options for ending poverty and global warming, with a focus on organising in our communities and building change from below and beyond borders.
Naidoo’s message is unequivocal: significant action must be taken immediately if we want future generations to live in a world that we take for granted today.

 

 

Turning Point: South Africa at a Crossroads by Theuns Eloff

 

Living in South Africa isn’t easy − with crime, unemployment, poverty, racism, state capture, unrest at our universities …

Tempers flare. People take their anger to the streets.  As a country we are at a crossroads and the future is uncertain. How do we make sense of what is happening around us, and how can we help build the society we would like? Using the latest research and his years of experience in politics and business, Theuns Eloff asks critical questions:

What does South Africa’s balance sheet look like?

Are we already a failed state?

How strong is our democracy really?

What can we, as ordinary South Africans do?

This book gives perspective on burning issues, including education, the rule of law, lack of service delivery, the ailing economy, corruption, cronyism and the predator state. Eloff’s fresh, fact-based analysis tells us how South Africa really works  –  and how we can all pitch in to make it better.

 

A crucial book which opens up a conversation South Africa desperately needs.” – Ralph Mathekga

 

 

Memories of Love and Struggle by Fatima Meer

 
At just 17, Fatima Meer threw herself into resisting racism, the first public act of defiance in a long and pioneering political life. Despite assassination attempts, petrol bombs and the constant harassment of her family, she persevered on the courageous path she had chosen. In this intimate memoir, Fatima Meer shares her personal story of growing up and of love, joy, longing and loss. As Meer openly reflects on her regrets as well as her triumphs, an enchanting tale emerges of a rebellious, revolutionary woman who never shied away from the truth. “As long as we have persons of her calibre, South Africa will shine.” Nelson Mandela

 

 

 

Cult Sister: My Decade in a Secret Sect by Lesley-Anne Smailes

 
After matric Lesley took a gap year to the United States. Before she left, her mother, in jest or premonition, said: “Don’t get married and don’t join a cult” – but Lesley ended up in what is considered one of the most dangerous existing cults in America. In this book Lesley shares the story of her life-changing years with this group – living out of a backpack, an arranged marriage to a Brother, having home births, threats of losing her children and surviving in strange, glorious ways.

 

The book is told largely through a series of letters exchanged between Smailes and her mother.

 

 

 

 

Non-Fiction

Istanbul: A Tale of Three Cities by Bettany Hughes

 
Istanbul has always been a place where stories and histories collide and crackle, where the idea is as potent as the historical fact. From the Qu’ran to Shakespeare, this city with three names – Byzantium, Constantinople, Istanbul – resonates as an idea and a place, and overspills its boundaries – real and imagined. Standing as the gateway between the East and West, it has served as the capital of the Roman, Byzantine, Latin and Ottoman Empires. For much of its history it was known simply as The City, but, as Bettany Hughes reveals, Istanbul is not just a city, but a story.

In this epic new biography, Hughes takes us on a dazzling historical journey through the many incarnations of one of the world’s greatest cities. As the longest-lived political entity in Europe, over the last 6,000 years Istanbul has absorbed a mosaic of micro-cities and cultures all gathering around the core. At the latest count archaeologists have measured forty-two human habitation layers. Phoenicians, Genoese, Venetians, Jews, Vikings, Azeris all called a patch of this earth their home. Based on meticulous research and new archaeological evidence, this captivating portrait of the momentous life of Istanbul is visceral, immediate and scholarly narrative history at its finest.

 

This is historical narrative brimming with brio and incident. Hughes’s portraits are written with a zesty flourish … Istanbul is a visceral, pulsating city. In Bettany Hughes’s life-filled and life-affirming history, steeped in romance and written with verve, it has found a sympathetic and engaging champion.’                     Justin Marozzi, Guardian

Her latest book, Istanbul: A Tale of Three Cities, is a particular stroke of genius… The book is littered with historical echoes that…are impossible to ignore…there are wonderful anecdotes…She concludes with an encomium to Istanbul as a world city – literally, a cosmo-polis – where faiths and ethnicities are brought together by learning or trade.’              Richard Spencer, The Times

With a broadcaster’s delight, Bettany Hughes…throws herself into the gargantuan task of capturing the history of a city that spans 3,000 years, and whose story has been woefully neglected compared with other great urban centres…Hughes reconstructs Byzantium, Constantinople and Istanbul as living, breathing landscapes…her scholarship is impressive…her enthusiasm radiates…Her subject…is irresistibly rich…The tale she tells of the metropolis at the crossroads of the Earth is textured, readable and often compelling.’                 Louise Callaghan, Sunday Times

A magisterial new biography…Bettany Hughes transports the reader on a magic-carpet-like journey through 8,000 years of history…in a vivid narrative dotted with colourful characters and fascinating tangents…the quintessential historical overview of a city racing up the modern political agenda.’                      The Lady
 

 

 

How to Murder Your Life by Cat Marnell

 


I was twenty-six years old and an associate beauty editor at Lucky, one of the top fashion magazines in America. That’s all that most people knew about me. But beneath the surface, I was full of secrets: I was a drug addict, for one. A pillhead. I was also an alcoholic-in-training who guzzled warm Veuve Clicquot after work alone in my boss’s office with the door closed; a conniving and manipulative uptown doctor-shopper; a salami-and-provolone-puking bulimic who spent a hundred dollars a day on binge foods when things got bad (and they got bad often); a weepy, wobbly, wildly hallucination-prone insomniac; a tweaky self-mutilator; a slutty and self-loathing downtown party girl; and – perhaps most of all – a lonely weirdo. But, you know, I had access to some really fantastic self-tanner
.

By the age of 15, Cat Marnell longed to work in the glamorous world of women’s magazines – but was also addicted to the ADHD meds prescribed by her father. Within 10 years she was living it up in New York as a beauty editor at Condé Nast, with a talent for ‘doctor-shopping’ that secured her a never-ending supply of prescriptions. Her life had become a twisted merry-go-round of parties and pills at night, while she struggled to hold down her high-profile job during the day.

Witty, magnetic and penetrating – prompting comparisons to Bret Easton Ellis and Charles Bukowski – Cat Marnell reveals essential truths about her generation, brilliantly uncovering the many aspects of being an addict with pin-sharp humour and beguiling style.

‘New York’s enfant terrible…Her talent has resided in her uncanny ability to write about addiction from the untidy, unsafe, unhappy epicentre of the disease, rather than from some writerly remove.’                     Telegraph

‘An unputdownable, brilliantly written rollercoaster.’                        Shappi Khorsandi

‘Brilliantly written and harrowing and funny and honest.’                 Times Magazine

‘Easily one of the most anticipated memoirs of the year…[Marnell’s] got an inimitable style (and oh my god, so many have tried) and a level of talent so high, it’s impossible not to be rooting for her.’                Nylon

 

Jaw dropping.”                      New York Post

“[Marnell’s] memoir brims with all the intoxicating intrigue of a thriller and yet all the sobering pathos of a gifted writer’s true life journey to recover her former health, happiness, ambitions and identity.”                      Harper’s Bazaar

A gutting, riveting read that peels back the shiny facade that often cloaks the fashion publishing business. At its core, How to Murder Your Life is a cautionary tale about how even the most gifted, determined talents can fall victim to the grip of addiction, but it’s also a peek behind the curtain at the inner workings of this competitive industry, and how the shiny world of magazines isn’t as glamorous as it often appears. At the end, one thing is for certain: Marnell’s storytelling abilities prove why so many of her editors took a chance on her despite the liability she became, and why she’s cemented her spot as one of the internet generation’s cult favorite writers.”                        Fashionista
 

The President’s Book of Secrets: The Untold Story of Intelligence Briefings to America’s Presidents by David Priess

 
Every president has had a unique and complicated relationship with the intelligence community. While some have been coolly distant, even adversarial, others have found their intelligence agencies to be among the most valuable instruments of policy and power.

Since John F. Kennedy’s presidency, this relationship has been distilled into a personalized daily report: a short summary of what the intelligence apparatus considers the most crucial information for the president to know that day about global threats and opportunities. This top–secret document is known as the President’s Daily Brief, or, within national security circles, simply “the Book.” Presidents have spent anywhere from a few moments (Richard Nixon) to a healthy part of their day (George W. Bush) consumed by its contents; some (Bill Clinton and George H. W. Bush) consider it far and away the most important document they saw on a regular basis while commander in chief.

The details of most PDBs are highly classified, and will remain so for many years. But the process by which the intelligence community develops and presents the Book is a fascinating look into the operation of power at the highest levels. David Priess, a former intelligence officer and daily briefer, has interviewed every living president and vice president as well as more than one hundred others intimately involved with the production and delivery of the president’s book of secrets. He offers an unprecedented window into the decision making of every president from Kennedy to Obama, with many character–rich stories revealed here for the first time.

 

Turns the potentially dour history of the president’s daily intelligence briefing into a stimulating, if uncritical, account… Readers accustomed to CIA skullduggery will be surprised to find it admiringly portrayed as an organization of experts devoted to delivering unbiased information to a grateful president.”                   Publishers Weekly

 

 

Megatech: Technology in 2050 edited by Daniel Franklin

 
Technology moves fast – so where will it have taken us by 2050? How will it affect the way we live? And how far are we willing to let it go?
In Megatech, distinguished scientists, industry leaders, star academics and acclaimed science-fiction writers join journalists from The Economist to explore answers to these questions and more.
Twenty experts in the field, including Nobel prize-winner Frank Wilczek, Silicon Valley venture-capitalist Ann Winblad, philanthropist Melinda Gates and science-fiction author Alastair Reynolds identify the big ideas, fantastic inventions and potentially sinister trends that will shape our future. Join them to explore a brave new world of brain-computer interfaces, vat-grown cruelty-free meat, knitted cars and guided bullets.
The writers predict the vast changes that technology will bring to everything from food production to health care, energy output, manufacturing and the military balance. They also consider the impact on jobs, and how we can prepare for the opportunities, as well as the dangers, that await.
Thought-provoking, engaging and full of insight from the forefront of tech innovation, Megatech is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand tomorrow’s world.

 

 

 

The Age of Anger: A History of the Present by Pankaj Mishra

 


‘His vision is unusually broad, accommodating and resistant to categorisation. It is the kind of vision the world needs right now…Pankaj Mishra shouldn’t stop thinking.’               
Christopher de Bellaigue, Financial Times
How can we explain the origins of the great wave of paranoid hatreds that seem inescapable in our close-knit world – from American ‘shooters’ and ISIS to Trump, from a rise in vengeful nationalism across the world to racism and misogyny on social media? In Age of Anger, Pankaj Mishra answers our bewilderment by casting his gaze back to the eighteenth century, before leading us to the present.

He shows that as the world became modern those who were unable to fulfil its promises – freedom, stability and prosperity – were increasingly susceptible to demagogues. The many who came late to this new world or were left, or pushed, behind, reacted in horrifyingly similar ways: intense hatred of invented enemies, attempts to re-create an imaginary golden age, and self-empowerment through spectacular violence. It was from among the ranks of the disaffected that the militants of the 19th century arose – angry young men who became cultural nationalists in Germany, messianic revolutionaries in Russia, bellicose chauvinists in Italy, and anarchist terrorists internationally.

Today, just as then, the wider embrace of mass politics, technology, and the pursuit of wealth and individualism has cast many more millions adrift in a literally demoralized world, uprooted from tradition but still far from modernity – with the same terrible results

Making startling connections and comparisons, Age of Anger is a book of immense urgency and profound argument. It is a history of our present predicament unlike any other.

 

In this urgent, profound and extraordinarily timely study, Pankaj Mishra follows the likes of Isaiah Berlin, John Gray and Mark Lilla by delving into the past in order to throw light on our contemporary predicament, when the neglected and dispossessed of the world have suddenly risen up in Nietzschean ressentiment to transform the world we thought we knew.’              John Banville

With a deep knowledge of both Western and non-Western history, and like no other before him, Pankaj Mishra comes to grips with the malaise at the heart of these dangerous times. This is the most astonishing, convincing, and disturbing book I’ve read in years.’                     Joe Sacco

Incisive and scary.. a wake-up call.’               Guardian

Around the world, both East and West, the insurrectionary fury of militants, zealots and populists has overturned the post-Cold-War global consensus. Where does their rage come from, and where will it end? One of the sharpest cultural critics and political analysts releases his landmark “history of the present”.’                    Boyd Tonkin, Newsweek

An original attempt to explain today’s paranoid hatreds…Iconoclastic…Mr. Mishra shocks on many levels.’                   Economist

 

 

 

Why I March: Images from the Women’s March Around the World

 

Image result for Why I March:9781419728853On January 21st, 2017, five million people in 82 countries and on all seven continents stood up with one voice. The Women’s March began with one cause, women’s rights, but quickly became a movement around the many issues that were hotly debated during the 2016 U.S. presidential race immigration, health care, environmental protections, LGBTQ rights, racial justice, freedom of religion, and workers’ rights, among others. In the mere 66 days between the election and inauguration of Donald J. Trump as the 45th President of the United States, 673 sister marches sprang up across the country and the world. ABRAMS Image presents Why I March to honour the movement, give back to it, and promote future activism in the same vein. All royalties from the sale of the book will be donated to non-profit organisations affiliated with the March.

 

 

 

The Vaccine Race: How Scientists Use Human Cells to Combat Killer Viruses by Meredith Wadman

 
The epic and controversial story of a major breakthrough in cell biology that led to the creation of some of the world’s most important vaccines.

Until the late 1960s, tens of thousands of children suffered crippling birth defects if their mothers had been exposed to rubella, popularly known as German measles, while pregnant; there was no vaccine and little understanding of how the disease devastated foetuses. In June 1962, a young biologist in Philadelphia, using tissue extracted from an aborted foetus from Sweden, produced safe, clean cells that allowed the creation of vaccines against rubella and other common childhood diseases. Two years later, in the midst of a devastating German measles epidemic, his colleague developed the vaccine that would one day wipe out homegrown rubella. The rubella vaccine and others made with those foetal cells have protected more than 150 million people in the United States, the vast majority of them preschool children. The new cells and the method of making them also led to vaccines that have protected billions of people around the world from polio, rabies, chicken pox, measles, hepatitis A, shingles and adenovirus.

Meredith Wadman’s masterful account recovers not only the science of this urgent race, but also the political roadblocks that nearly stopped the scientists. She describes the terrible dilemmas of pregnant women exposed to German measles and recounts testing on infants, prisoners, orphans and the intellectually disabled, which was common in the era. These events take place at the dawn of the battle over using human foetal tissue in research, during the arrival of big commerce in campus labs, and as huge changes take place in the laws and practices governing who ‘owns’ research cells and the profits made from biological inventions. It is also the story of yet one more unrecognized woman whose cells have been used to save countless lives.

With another frightening virus imperilling pregnant women on the rise today, no medical story could have more human drama, impact, or urgency today than The Vaccine Race.

 

An extraordinary story and Wadman is to be congratulated, not just for uncovering it but for relaying it in such a pacy, stimulating manner. This is a first-class piece of science writing.”                 Observer

Extraordinary…The Vaccine Race is a tremendous feat of research and synthesis, its lucid technical explanations combined with forays into the business politics of big pharma, and portraits of the scientists whose work has saved untold lives.”               Steven Poole, Daily Telegraph

Marvellous…fascinating…Wadman doesn’t shy away from some very difficult and unpleasant truths…The Vaccine Race bears comparison with Richard Rhodes’s Pulitzer Prize-winning The Making of the Atomic Bomb. I can pay no higher compliment to Meredith Wadman and her fine book”                      Manjit Kumar, The Literary Review

A riveting tale of scientific infighting, clashing personalities, sketchy ethics and the transformation of cell biology from a sleepy scientific backwater to a high-stakes arena where vast fortunes are made.”                       Wall Street Journal

Riveting… invites comparison to Rebecca Skloot’s 2007 The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks… Wadman stands back from the sources and material to guide the reader through a narrative that is no less captivating.”                        Nature

Meticulously researched and carefully crafted . . . The Vaccine Race, is an enlightening telling of the development of vaccines in the mid-20th century. . . . an intelligent and entertaining tome . . . [and] a comprehensive portrait of the many issues faced in the race to develop vaccines.”                   Science

Excellent… an important story, well told.”                Scotsman

“The Vaccine Race is an important read―for scientists, politicians, physicians, parents and everyone interested in how the world of medical research works… it is so important to read this book, to see how science works and how politics can and does interfere with what science does best and what is best for us.”                                 Huffington Post

 

 

 

Lenin the Dictator: An Intimate Portrait by Victor Sebestyen

 
Victor Sebestyen’s intimate biography is the first major work in English for nearly two decades on one of the most significant figures of the twentieth century. In Russia to this day Lenin inspires adulation. Everywhere, he continues to fascinate as a man who made history, and who created a new kind of state that would later be imitated by nearly half the countries in the world.

Lenin believed that the ‘the political is the personal’, and while in no way ignoring his political life, Sebestyen focuses on Lenin the man – a man who loved nature almost as much as he loved making revolution, and whose closest ties and friendships were with women. The long-suppressed story of his ménage a trois with his wife, Nadezhda Krupskaya, and his mistress and comrade, Inessa Armand, reveals a different character to the coldly one-dimensional figure of legend.

Told through the prism of Lenin’s key relationships, Sebestyen’s lively biography casts a new light on the Russian Revolution, one of the great turning points of modern history.

 

An excellent, original and compelling portrait of Lenin as man and leader.”                    Simon Sebag Montefiore
Richly readable … enthralling but appalling.”                     Francis Wheen
Victor Sebestyen brings the man’s complexities to life in Lenin the Dictator, balancing personality with politics in succinct and readable prose … Sebestyen describes particularly keenly how this ruthless, domineering, often vicious man depended on three women to sustain him.”                  David Reynolds, New Statesman

The attention to detail is flawless.”     Observer

The story of the Bolshevik revolution is fascinating in several ways, and Sebestyen does a good job of telling it … entertaining.”                         Tibor Fischer

 

 

 

Caught in the Revolution: Petrograd 1917 by Helen Rappaport

 

Image result for Caught in the Revolution: Petrograd 1917 by Helen Rappaport“[The] centenary will prompt a raft of books on the Russian Revolution. They will be hard pushed to better this highly original, exhaustively researched and superbly constructed account.”                     Saul David, Daily Telegraph

A gripping, vivid, deeply researched chronicle of the Russian Revolution told through the eyes of a surprising, flamboyant cast of foreigners in Petrograd, superbly narrated by Helen Rappaport.”                     Simon Sebag Montefiore, author of The Romanovs

Between the first revolution in February 1917 and Lenin’s Bolshevik coup in October, Petrograd (the former St Petersburg) was in turmoil. Foreign visitors who filled hotels, bars and embassies were acutely aware of the chaos breaking out on their doorsteps. Among them were journalists, diplomats, businessmen, governesses and volunteer nurses. Many kept diaries and wrote letters home: from an English nurse who had already survived the sinking of the Titanic; to the black valet of the US Ambassador, far from his native Deep South; to suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst, who had come to Petrograd to inspect the indomitable Women’s Death Battalion led by Maria Bochkareava.

Drawing upon a rich trove of material and through eye-witness accounts left by foreign nationals who saw the drama unfold, Helen Rappaport takes us right up to the action – to see, feel and hear the Revolution as it happened.

 

Chronicles the events of 1917 through the eyes of foreigners resident in Petrograd ― diplomats, journalists, merchants, factory owners, charity workers and simple Russophiles… a wonderful array of observations, most of them misguided, some downright bizarre. What makes this book so delightful and enlightening is the depth of incredulity it reveals… [A] wonderful book.”                          The Times

Thoroughly-researched and absorbing… this book offers a compelling picture of life in Petrograd in this momentous and often terrible year… One gets a wonderful picture of the extraordinary and beautiful city… and a keen sense of the really grotesque inequality that has always existed there.”                     Allan Massie, Scotsman

 

 

 

The Boys in the Trees: A Memoir by Carly Simon

 

Image result for The Boys in the Trees: A Memoir by Carly Simon“A sensational memoir . . . brilliantly well written. Carly Simon is incapable of writing a boring sentence . . . you can forgive anything for the unparalleled brilliance of her writing.”           Lynn Barber, Sunday Times

 

Hugely affecting memoir . . . heartfelt and remarkable.”                Independent

 

Carly Simon is a household name. She was the staple of the ’70s and ’80s Billboard charts and was famously married to James Taylor with whom she has two children. She has had a career that has spanned four decades, resulting in thirteen top 40 hits, including the Number 1 song ‘You’re So Vain’, numerous Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe and an Academy Award. She was the first artist in history to win a Grammy Award, an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award for her song ‘Let the River Run’ (from the film Working Girl).

Boys in the Trees is a rhapsodic, beautifully composed memoir of a young woman’s coming of age amongst the glamorous literati and intelligentsia of Manhattan (her father was Richard Simon, co-founder of publishing giant Simon & Schuster), a reflection on a life begun amidst secrets and shame, and a powerful story of the strength to leave that all behind and forge a path of art, music and love in the Golden Age of folk and rock.

At once an insider’s look into a life in the spotlight, a lyric reflection on a particular time in our culture’s history, and a beautiful memoir about the pains and joys of love and art, Boys in the Trees is the story Carly Simon has long been waiting to tell the world.

 

One of the best celebrity memoirs of the year … elegantly written and revealing.”                       Hollywood Reporter

 

Carly Simon could have gotten away with just the name-dropping. In her life, she’s crossed paths with an astonishing range of famous people, from Cat Stevens and Jimi Hendrix to Benny Goodman and Albert Einstein. So it’s a pleasant surprise that in her compelling new autobiography, Boys in the Trees, she lays out her naked emotions and insecurities, and that she proves to be a supple writer with a gift for descriptions.”                        Rolling Stone

 

 

Pre-order special – ‘From Bacteria to Bach & Back’ by Daniel C. Dennett

Saturday, April 1st 2017 at 10:48 AM

From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds by Daniel Dennett
Image result for from bacteria to bach and back‘One of the world’s most original and provocative thinkers’ Daily Telegraph

What is human consciousness and how is it possible? These questions fascinate thinking people from poets and painters to physicists, psychologists, and philosophers.

This is Daniel C. Dennett’s brilliant answer, extending perspectives from his earlier work in surprising directions, exploring the deep interactions of evolution, brains and human culture. Part philosophical whodunnit, part bold scientific conjecture, Dennett shows how culture enables reflection by installing a profusion of thinking tools, or memes, in our brains, and how language turbocharges this process. The result: a mind that can comprehend the questions it poses, has emerged from a process of cultural evolution. From Bacteria to Bach and Back is essential for anyone who hopes to understand human creativity in all its applications.

The book retails at R570, but if you order and pay before publication of 1st April 2017, you will get a 20% discount and pay only R456! To order email us on booklounge@gmail.com or call 021 462 2425.

Published by Penguin Random House

Pre-order special – ‘Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls’

Saturday, April 1st 2017 at 10:46 AM

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo
What if the princess didn’t marry Prince Charming but instead went on to be an astronaut? What if the jealous step sisters were supportive and kind? And what if the queen was the one really in charge of the kingdom? Illustrated by sixty female artists from every corner of the globe, Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls introduces us to one hundred remarkable women and their extraordinary lives, from Ada Lovelace to Malala, Elizabeth I to Serena Williams. Empowering, moving and inspirational, these are true fairy tales for heroines who definitely don’t need rescuing.

The book will retail at R385, but if you order and pay before publication date of 1st April 2017, you will get a 20% discount and pay only R308. To order email us on booklounge@gmail.com or call 021 462 2425.

Published by Penguin Random House

February 2017

Tuesday, February 21st 2017 at 9:16 AM

Fiction

Idaho by Emily Ruskovich

One hot August day a family drives to a mountain clearing to collect birch wood. Jenny, the mother, is in charge of lopping any small limbs off the logs with a hatchet. Wade, the father, does the stacking. The two daughters, June and May, aged nine and six, drink lemonade, swat away horseflies, bicker, sing snatches of songs as they while away the time.

But then something unimaginably shocking happens, an act so extreme it will scatter the family in every different direction.

In a story told from multiple perspectives and in razor-sharp prose, we gradually learn more about this act, and the way its violence, love and memory reverberate through the life of every character in Idaho.

 

Writing that has the cool sharpness of lemonade… Unflinching, unfrilly, multi-layered storytelling that is both beautiful and devastating”                 Rachel Joyce

“Idaho, Emily Ruskovich’s debut novel, is about not only loss, grief and redemption, but also, most interestingly, the brutal disruptions of memory… you’re in masterly hands here… will remind many of the great Idaho novel, Marilynne Robinson’s Housekeeping… wrenching and beautiful.”                           New York Times Book Review

Devastating… a textured, emotionally intricate story of deliverance… Ruskovich’s writing is a deft razor.”                    O, The Oprah Magazine

In this stunning debut novel, Emily Ruskovich introduces us to Ann and Wade, who have carved out a life for themselves from a rugged landscape in northern Idaho. But as Wade’s memory begins to fade, Ann becomes determined to learn more about her husband’s first wife, Jenny, and their daughters. What Ann discovers is a mysterious and shocking act that fractured Wade and Jenny’s lives. Hauntingly brilliant, this book will stay with you for days after you’ve put it down.”                 Evening Standard, 2017 Books of the Year

Haunting, propulsive and gorgeously written, this is a debut not to be missed.”                People Magazine

Riveting… exquisitely rendered with masterful language and imagery. You leave Idaho feeling as though you have been given a rare glimpse into the souls of genuinely surprising and convincing people, as E.M. Forster would have characterized the inhabitants of this world. Idaho is a powerful and deeply moving book, an impressive debut that portends good, even great, things to come”                          Washington Post

 

 

Everybody’s Fool by Richard Russo

National Bestseller and a New York Times 2016 Notable Book
In these pages, Richard Russo returns to North Bath, the Rust Belt town first brought to unforgettable life in Nobody’s Fool. Now, ten years later, Doug Raymer has become the chief of police and is tormented by the improbable death of his wife–not to mention his suspicion that he was a failure of a husband. Meanwhile, the irrepressible Sully has come into a small fortune, but is suddenly faced with a VA cardiologist’s estimate that he only has a year or two left to live.
As Sully frantically works to keep the bad news from the important people in his life, we are reunited with his son and grandson . . . with Ruth, the married woman with whom he carried on for years . . . and with the hapless Rub Squeers, who worries that he and Sully aren’t still best friends. Filled with humor, heart, and hard-luck characters you can’t help but love, Everybody’s Fool is a crowning achievement from one of the great storytellers of our time.

 

Buoyantly unsentimental . . . You hold his books to your heart.”                Boston Globe

Elegiac but never sentimental. . . . Russo s compassionate heart is open to the sorrows, and yes, the foolishness of this lonely world, but also the humor, friendship and love that abide.”                   San Francisco Chronicle

A writer of great comedy and warmth, Russo is living proof that a book can be profound and wise without aiming straight into darkness. [His] voice can play in any register, any key, any style [in this] portrait of an entire community, in all its romance and all its grit.”                     USA Today

A delightful return . . . to a town where dishonesty abounds, everyone misapprehends everyone else and half the citizens are half-crazy. It’s a great place for a reader to visit, and it seems to be Russo s spiritual home.”                       New York Times

How could twenty-three years have slipped by since Nobody s Fool? . . . Russo is probably the best writer of physical comedy that we have [but] even the zaniest elements of the story are interspersed with episodes of wincing cruelty. . . . The abiding wonder [is that] Russo s novel bears down on two calamitous days and exploits the action in every single minute . . . mudslides, grave robbery, collapsing buildings, poisonous snakes, drug deals, arson, lightning strikes and toxic goo. North Bath is a sleepy little town that never sleeps [and] no tangent ever feels tangential. Ron Charles, The Washington Post

The Fool books represent an enormous achievement, creating a world as richly detailed as the one we step into each day of our lives. . . . Sully in particular emerges as one of the most credible and engaging heroes in recent American fiction. . . . Bath is real, Sully is real, and so is Hattie s and the White Horse Tavern and Miss Peoples s house on Main, and I can only hope we haven t seen the last of them. I’d love to see what Sully’s going to be up to at 80.”             T. Coraghessan Boyle,  New York Times Book Review

 

 

 

Kingdom of Twilight by Steven Uhly

HISTORICAL FICTION BOOK OF THE MONTH – THE TIMES

One night in autumn 1944, a gunshot echoes through the alleyways of a small town in occupied Poland. An S.S. officer is shot dead by a young Polish Jew, Margarita Ejzenstain. In retaliation, his commander orders the execution of thirty-seven Poles – one for every year of the dead man’s life. First hidden by a German couple, Margarita must then flee the brutal advance of the Soviet army with her new-born baby. So begins a thrilling panorama of intermingled destinies and events that reverberate from that single act of defiance. Kingdom Of Twilight follows the lives of Jewish refugees and a German family resettled from Bukovina, as well as a former S.S. officer, chronicling the geographical and psychological dislocation generated by war. A quest for identity and truth takes them from Displaced Persons camps to Lübeck, Berlin, Tel Aviv and New York, as they try to make sense of a changed world, and of their place in it. Hypnotically lyrical and intensely moving, Steven Uhly’s epic novel is a finely nuanced and yet shattering exploration of universal themes: love, hatred, doubt, survival, guilt, humanity and redemption.

 

A novel about the aftermath of the war, the tribulations of uneasy peace and the violent birth of Israel . . . Kingdom Of Twilight is powerful and original.”                       Antonia Senior, The Times

Uhly skilfully unrolls an epic canvas yet rarely loses sight of the individual details that bring his characters to life.”                         Sunday Times
A gripping, thoroughly researched novel . . . Steven Uhly’s Kingdom of Twilight should be at the centre of literary debate.”                      Süddeutsche Zeitung

 

Dancing the Death Drill by Fred Khumalo

Paris, 1958. An Algerian waiter at the world famous restaurant, La Tour d’Argent, is arrested for the murder of two customers. As he awaits trial, his long-time friend, celebrated jazz musician and artist Jerry Moloto, is hounded by an opportunistic and ambitious journalist hoping to make a name for himself by being the first to reveal the real story behind the waiter’s sudden extreme act of violence. Culling details from memory and from the waiter’s own journals, the story emerges that he is actually Pitso Motaung, a mixed race South African who had volunteered to fight for the British army in the First World War. Through a tragic twist of fate, Pitso finds himself enlisted aboard the ill-fated SS Mendi the formidable warship sunk off the coast of the Isle of Wight, killing 646 people, including many black South African soldiers. Pitso witnesses many tragic events during the crossing and at the time of the sinking but one particularly cruel moment will stay with him for the rest of his life, resurfacing decades later to devastating effect. Commemorating the 100th year anniversary of the sinking of the SS Mendi, Dancing the Death Drill paints a brilliant picture of a moment in history and brings to life some of the stories from the many who perished as well as of those who survived.

 

 

Dark Circle by Linda Grant

 

Image result for dark circle linda grantThe Second World War is over, a new decade is beginning but for an East End teenage brother and sister living on the edge of the law, life has been suspended. Sent away to a tuberculosis sanatorium in Kent to learn the way of the patient, they find themselves in the company of army and air force officers, a car salesman, a young university graduate, a mysterious German woman, a member of the aristocracy and an American merchant seaman. They discover that a cure is tantalisingly just out of reach and only by inciting wholesale rebellion can freedom be snatched.

 

Exhilaratingly good . . . This is a novel whose engine is flesh and blood, not cold ideas . . . Grant brings the 1950s – that odd, downbeat, fertile decade between war and sexual liberation – into sharp, bright, heartbreaking focus.”                        Guardian

A writer whose language crackles with vitality and whose descriptive powers are working at such a high level.”                        Spectator

 

The Dark Circle is, beneath its narrative surface, fiercely political. She poses a large, naggingly relevant, question. What would (will?) privatisation of the NHS mean? Read this fine, persuasive, moving novel and contemplate – if you can dare to – that awful possibility.”                   The Times

Fascinating . . . a revealing insight: both funny and illuminating, it is a novel about what it means to treat people well, medically, emotionally and politically.”                        Observer

Contemporary issues linger ominously in Grant’s margins, silently enriching what’s already an astonishingly good period piece.”                Independent

 

Welcome to Lagos by Chibundu Onuzo

When army officer Chike Ameobi is ordered to kill innocent civilians, he knows that it is time to leave. As he travels towards Lagos, he becomes the leader of a new platoon, a band of runaways who share his desire for a better life.

Their arrival in the city coincides with the eruption of a political scandal. The education minister, Chief Sandayo, has disappeared and is suspected of stealing millions of dollars from government funds.

After an unexpected encounter with the Chief, Chike and his companions must make a choice. Ahmed Bakare, editor of the failing Nigerian Journal, is desperate for information. But perhaps the situation is more complex than it appears.

As moving as it is mesmerising, Welcome to Lagos is a novel about the power of our dreams for the future and the place of morality in a sometimes hostile world.

 

“[A] fine novel … worlds―rich and poor, urban and rural, privileged and powerless, Muslim and Christian, Igbo and Yoruba―collide to spectacular effect as their paths cross and power shifts hands in surprising and unexpected ways, and then does so again, and again. It is an unlikely plot, but Ms Onuzo pulls it off, revealing the fault lines in her country’s society―or indeed those of any half-formed democracy. Though drenched in Lagosian atmosphere, the book wears its Nigerian setting lightly: it is clearly the work of a pan-African and an internationalist―and is all the better for it.”                    Economist

“[A] hugely accomplished tragicomic farce about life in Nigeria, written by one of the country’s brightest young stars. Nothing evades Onuzo’s biting prose and whipsmart humour. From the allegedly corrupt ministers who run the country, to the BBC journalists covering breaking news, and from the idealistic newspaper editor trying in vain to hold the country to account, to the beleaguered army officer who would rather be homeless than follow orders, all show the multifaceted shades of humanity that creates the kaleidoscope of Lagos.”                Herald

With Nollywood-like storylines and clever turns in plot, the book paints an entertaining and funny picture of Lagos life and Nigerian politics … impressive.”                   Guardian

“[H]ugely accomplished…Nothing evades Onuzo’s biting prose and whipsmart humour.”              Independent

 

 

Golden Hill by Francis Spufford

New York, a small town on the tip of Manhattan Island, 1746. One rainy evening, a charming and handsome young stranger fresh off the boat from England pitches up to a counting house on Golden Hill Street, with a suspicious yet compelling proposition — he has an order for a thousand pounds in his pocket that he wishes to cash. But can he be trusted? This is New York in its infancy, a place where a young man with a fast tongue can invent himself afresh, fall in love, and find a world of trouble . . .

 

Golden Hill is a novel of gloriously capacious humanity, thick-woven with life in all its oddness and familiarity, a novel of such joy it leaves you beaming, and such seriousness that it asks to be read again and again … this novel is verifiable gold.”                       Sunday Telegraph

The intoxicating effect of Golden Hill is much more than an experiment in form. [Spufford] has created a complete world, employing his archivist skills to the great advantage of his novel … This is a book born of patience, of knowledge accrued and distilled over decades, a style honed by practice. There are single scenes here more illuminating, more lovingly wrought, than entire books.”                 Financial Times

A cunningly crafted narrative that, right up to its tour de force conclusion, is alive with tantalising twists and turns … This is a dazzlingly written novel. Little brilliances of metaphor and phrasing gleam everywhere.”                  Sunday Times

Like a newly discovered novel by Henry Fielding with extra material by Martin Scorsese. Why it works so well is largely down to Spufford’s superb re-creation of New York … His writing crackles with energy and glee, and when Smith’s secret is finally revealed it is hugely satisfying on every level. For its payoff alone Golden Hill deserves a big shiny star.”                                    The Times

Splendidly entertaining and ingenious … Throughout Golden Hill, Spufford creates vivid, painterly scenes of street and salon life, yet one never feels as though a historical detail has been inserted just because he knew about it. Here is deep research worn refreshingly lightly … a first-class period entertainment.”                  Guardian

Golden Hill shows a level of showmanship and skill which seems more like a crowning achievement than a debut … [Spufford] brings his people and situations to life with glancing ease … They all live and breathe with conviction … His descriptive powers are amazing … Spufford’s extraordinary visual imagination and brilliant pacing seems to owe more to the movies than anything else.”                       Evening Standard

A Horse Walks into a Bar by David Grossman

The setting is a comedy club in a small Israeli town. An audience that has come expecting an evening of amusement instead sees a comedian falling apart on stage; an act of disintegration, a man crumbling, as a matter of choice, before their eyes. They could get up and leave, or boo and whistle and drive him from the stage, if they were not so drawn to glimpse his personal hell. Dovaleh G, a veteran stand-up comic – charming, erratic, repellent – exposes a wound he has been living with for years: a fateful and gruesome choice he had to make between the two people who were dearest to him.

A Horse Walks into a Bar is a shocking and breathtaking read. Betrayals between lovers, the treachery of friends, guilt demanding redress. Flaying alive both himself and the people watching him, Dovaleh G provokes both revulsion and empathy from an audience that doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry – and all this in the presence of a former childhood friend who is trying to understand why he’s been summoned to this performance.

 

This is a virtuoso piece of writing, a whirlwind of laughter and tears that sucks you in and makes you holds your breath.”                        Daily Mail

A writerly tour de force that would be unbearably painful, were it not also so generously humane.”                               New Statesman, Book of the Year

A short, shocking masterpiece.”                   Adam Lively, Sunday Times

David Grossman’s new novel runs on a high voltage line, operated by a frantic, mesmerising and almost unbearable energy. An ongoing feeling of astonishment accompanies you throughout the read, and it is linked to Grossman’s bravado and to his innovation as a storyteller… A Horse Walks into a Bar…is unlike anything Grossman has written, or anything I have read. It is a packed explosive, multi-resonant, daring and exciting.”                      Ha’aretz

A fine Israeli writer… It takes an author of Mr Grossman’s stature to channel not a failed stand-up but a shockingly effective one.”                    Economist

 

 

Graphic

Troll Bridge by Neil Gaiman & Colleen Doran

 


Troll Bridge, 
a tale from the mind of Sunday Times bestselling writer Neil Gaiman, has been beautifully adapted for the first time by Eisner Award-winning writer/artist Colleen Doran. This striking graphic novel will delight fans of Alan Moore, Dave McKean and beyond.

Young Jack’s world is full of ghosts and ghouls, but one monster – a ravenous and hideous troll – haunts him long into manhood. As the beast sups upon a lifetime of Jack’s fear and regret, Jack must find the courage within himself to face the fiend once and for all.

 

 

Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation by Octavia E. Butler & John Jennings

 


Kindred
, Octavia Butler’s literary science-fiction masterpiece first published in 1979, tells the story of Dana, a young black woman who is suddenly and mysteriously transported from her home in 1970s California to the antebellum South. Dana moves between worlds: one in which she is a free woman and another where she is part of a complicated familial history on a southern plantation, forced to interact with and save the life of Rufus, a conflicted white slaveholder and one of her ancestors. Frightening, compelling and richly detailed, Kindred takes an imagined yet unstinting look at our complicated social history. Adapted as a graphic novel by celebrated academics Damian Duffy and John Jennings with the full co-operation of the Butler estate, Kindred explores the violence, sexuality, loss of humanity and twisted relationships engendered by slavery, in a format that introduces the work to a new generation of readers.

 

Everything the literature of science fiction can be.”                       Walter Mosley

 

That rare magical artifact . . . the novel one returns to again and again.”                        Harlan Ellison

 

 

 

Non-fiction

Hidden Figures: The Untold Story of the African American Women Who Helped win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly

#1 New York Times Bestseller

NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE – Oscar Nominated For Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay

 

Set amid the civil rights movement, the never-before-told true story of NASA’s African-American female mathematicians who played a crucial role in America’s space program.

Before Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of professionals worked as ‘Human Computers’, calculating the flight paths that would enable these historic achievements. Among these were a coterie of bright, talented African-American women. Segregated from their white counterparts, these ‘colored computers’ used pencil and paper to write the equations that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space.

Moving from World War II through NASA’s golden age, touching on the civil rights era, the Space Race, the Cold War, and the women’s rights movement, Hidden Figures interweaves a rich history of mankind’s greatest adventure with the intimate stories of five courageous women whose work forever changed the world.

 

Clearly fueled by pride and admiration, a tender account of genuine transcendence and camaraderie. The story warmly conveys the dignity and refinements of these women.”                  New York Times Book Review

 

Much as Tom Wolfe did in ‘The Right Stuff’, Shetterly moves gracefully between the women’s lives and the broader sweep of history … Shetterly blends impressive research with an enormous amount of heart in telling these stories … Genuinely inspiring book.”                Boston Globe

 

Exploring the intimate relationships among blackness, womanhood, and 20th-century American technological development, Shetterly crafts a narrative that is crucial to understanding subsequent movements for civil rights.”                        Publishers Weekly

 

This an is incredibly powerful and complex story, and Shetterly has it down cold. The breadth of her well-documented research is immense, and her narrative compels on every level. The timing of this revelatory book could not be better, and book clubs will adore it.”                Booklist

 

 

Conversations with a Gentle Soul by Ahmed Kathrada

Without much fanfare Ahmed Kathrada worked alongside Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu and other giants in the struggle to end racial discrimination in South Africa. He faced house arrest and many court trials related to his activism until, finally, a trial for sabotage saw him sentenced to life imprisonment alongside Mandela and six others.

Conversations with a Gentle Soul has its origins in a series of discussions between Kathrada and Sahm Venter about his opinions, encounters and experiences. Throughout his life, Kathrada has refused to hang on to negative emotions such as hatred and bitterness. Instead, he radiates contentment and the openness of a man at peace with himself. His wisdom is packaged within layers of optimism, mischievousness and humour, and he provides insights that are of value to all South Africans.

 

 

 

A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women by Siri Hustvedt

The essays in this volume – all written between 2011 and 2015 – are in three parts. A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women brings together penetrating pieces on particular artists and writers such as Picasso, Kiefer and Susan Sontag as well as essays investigating the biases that affect how we judge art, literature, and the world in general. The Delusions of Certainty is an essay about the mind/body problem, showing how this age-old philosophical puzzle has shaped contemporary debates on many subjects and how every discipline is coloured by what lies beyond argument-desire, belief, and the imagination. The essays in the final section, What Are We? Lectures on the Human Condition, tackle such elusive neurological disorders as synesthesia and hysteria. Drawing on research in sociology, neurobiology, history, genetics, statistics, psychology and psychiatry, this section also contains a profound consideration of suicide and a towering reconsideration of Kierkegaard. Together they form an extremely stimulating, thoughtful, wide-ranging exploration of some of the fundamental questions about human beings and the human condition, delivered with Siri Hustvedt’s customary lucidity, vivacity and infectiously questioning intelligence.

 

It is obvious that hers is a great mind that is constantly exploring, searching, “becoming” . . . An impressive collection by a novelist who clearly loves the humanities, the sciences and the ancient art of storytelling. But Hustvedt is not only a writer. She is also a passionate reader and therein lies the secret of this book . . . Here is a great book that invites reading . . . not only to ‘look at a woman writer looking at men looking at women’, but also to look within, deep inside the recesses of our minds, so as to recognise the fascinating complexity but also the heartbreaking fragility of human existence.”                        Elif Shafak, Observer

“Few writers eviscerate bias and flawed logic as elegantly and ruthlessly as Hustvedt . . . she expertly flays assertions about biological and psychological sex differences . . . Hustvedt does not resolve her many questions, but her exhilarating conclusion testifies to the virtues of doubt . . . Her work is cerebral but also warm, deeply felt.”                Washington Post

 

 

Of All That Ends by Günther Grass

The final work of Nobel Prize-winning writer Günter Grass – a witty and elegiac series of meditations on writing, growing old, and the world.

Suddenly, in spite of the trials of old age, and with the end in sight, everything seems possible again: love letters, soliloquies, scenes of jealousy, swan songs, social satire, and moments of happiness.

Only an ageing artist who had once more cheated death could get to work with such wisdom, defiance and wit. A wealth of touching stories is condensed into artful miniatures. In a striking interplay of poetry, lyric prose and drawings, Grass creates his final, major work of art.

A moving farewell gift, a sensual, melancholy summation of a life fully lived.

 

As subtle and as delicate as the many feathers depicted through its pages, Of All That Ends is a glorious gift, a final salute true to the singular creativity of the most human, and humane, of artists.”                 Irish Times

There is a lovely diversity to these pieces… His intelligence and intellectual engagement remain fiercely undimmed.”                 Financial Times

This beautiful, ironic and often funny final collage of asides and meditations sums up the fabulist’s genius.”                 Irish Times, Book of the Year

Autumnal, elegiac and tinged with a twilight charm.”                     Boyd Tonkin

 

 

 

The Great Soul of Siberia by Sooyong Park

There are five races of tiger on our planet and all but one live in tropical regions: the Siberian Tiger Panthera tigris altaica is the exception. Mysterious and elusive, and with only 350 remaining in the wild, the Siberian tiger remains a complete enigma. One man has set out to change this.

Sooyong Park has spent twenty years tracking and observing these elusive tigers. Each year he spends six months braving sub-zero temperatures, buried in grave-like underground bunkers, fearlessly immersing himself in the lives of Siberian tigers. As he watches the brutal, day-to-day struggle to survive the harsh landscape, threatened by poachers and the disappearance of the pristine habitat, Park becomes emotionally and spiritually attached to these beautiful and deadly predators. No one has ever been this close: as he comes face-to-face with one tiger, Bloody Mary, her fierce determination to protect her cubs nearly results in his own bloody demise.

Poignant, poetic and fiercely compassionate, The Great Soul of Siberia is the incredible story of Park’s unique obsession with these compelling creatures on the very brink of extinction, and his dangerous quest to seek them out to observe and study them. Eloquently told in Park’s distinctive voice, it is a personal account of one of the most extraordinary wildlife studies ever undertaken.

 

If you read one nature book this year, make it this one.”                Mark Cocker, Spectator

 

Wonderful … deserves to become a classic of wildlife literature.”             The Times

 

A wonderful evocation of the land and the habits of the desperately endangered Siberian tiger.”                       Independent

 

Subtly intense … Park has a deep sense of oneness with the world around him. His close engagement with the forest ecology is the most extraordinary element of this remarkable book.”                      New Statesman

 

It’s a masterpiece. One of the most moving outdoor texts I’ve read in years. This is a book about love – one exceptional human being’s love for the wild, beautiful and persecuted creatures to which his life is dedicated. It also comprehends a fortitude and hardihood so far beyond the everyday I was left shaking my head in astonished admiration.”               Great Outdoors

 

Sooyong’s magical prose led me into little-known and breathtakingly beautiful forests, exposed me to the bitter cold of long winter months, and revealed the secret life of that most mysterious of cats, the Siberian tiger.”                  Jane Goodall

 

The book is a love letter … To read it is to hear the voice of a remarkable man.”             Daily Telegraph

 

 

We Do Things Differently: The Outsiders Rebooting Our Brain by Mark Stevenson

 

Our systems are failing. Old models – for education, healthcare and government, food production, energy supply – are creaking under the weight of modern challenges. As the world’s population heads towards 10 billion, it’s clear we need new approaches. Futurologist Mark Stevenson sets out to find them, across four continents.

From Brazilian favelas to high tech Boston, from rural India to a shed inventor in England’s home counties, We Do Things Differently travels the world to find the advance guard re-imagining our future. At each stop, he meets innovators who have already succeeded in challenging the status quo, pioneering new ways to make our world more sustainable, equitable and humane.

Populated by extraordinary characters, We Do Things Differently paints an enthralling picture of what can be done to address the world’s most pressing dilemmas, offering a much needed dose of down-to-earth optimism. It is a window on (and a roadmap to) a different and better future.

 

 

 

Solidarity Road by Jan Theron

The events leading to the Marikana massacre not only shattered South Africa’s image of itself as a democracy in which workers had a respected place, but also the image of Cosatu and its largest affiliate at the time. Subsequent events confirm that South Africa’s pre-eminent trade union federation has lost its way. To understand why this has happened, Theron argues, it is necessary to understand the choices made by the trade unions that formed it in the 1980s.

The Food and Canning Workers’ Union (FCWU) was perhaps the most famous of these, and had produced some of the country’s most prominent labour leaders. But by 1976, when Theron became its general secretary, it was on its last legs and riddled with corruption. Solidarity Road is an uncompromising account of a struggle to overcome corruption, as well as to revive a tradition of non-racial solidarity. A demonstration of non-racial solidarity by the workforce of Fatti’s and Moni’s in Cape Town catapulted the union into national prominence, in the same week as government tabled its race-based labour “reforms” in Parliament.

FCWU’s unprecedented victory in this strike meant it was well-placed to initiate the talks that eventually led to the formation of Cosatu. This was to be an independent federation, allied to political organisations fighting to end apartheid. However, for FCWU the basis of independence was always financial self-sufficiency coupled with zero tolerance of corruption. In this regard it was unlike the other trade unions involved in these talks. This is a story about the values that shaped the trade union struggle and the decisions and practices which undermined them.

 

 

Afrikaner Odyssey: The Life and Times of the Reitz Family by Martin Meredith

In the first half of the nineteenth century, Southern Africa was a jumble of British colonies, Boer republics and African chiefdoms, a troublesome region of little interest to the outside world. Into this frontier world came the Reitz family, Afrikaner gentry from the Cape, who settled in Bloemfontein and played a key role in the building of the Orange Free State.

Frank Reitz, successively chief justice and modernising president of the young republic, went on to serve as State Secretary of the Transvaal Republic. In 1899, he stood shoulder to shoulder with President Paul Kruger to resist Britain’s war of conquest in Southern Africa. At the heart of this tale is the extraordinary life of Deneys Reitz, third son of Frank Reitz and Bianca Thesen. The young Reitz’s account of his adventures in the field during the Anglo-Boer War (1899–1902), published as Commando, became a classic of irregular warfare. After a period of exile in Madagascar, he went on become one of South Africa’s most distinguished lawyers, statesmen and soldiers. Martin Meredith interweaves Reitz’s experiences, taken from his unpublished notebooks, with the wider story of Britain’s brutal suppression of Boer resistance.

Concise and readable, Afrikaner Odyssey is a wide-ranging portrait of an aristocratic Afrikaner family whose achievements run like fine thread through these turbulent times, and whose presence is still marked on the South African landscape.

 

 

The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher

 


The Princess Diarist
 is Carrie Fisher’s intimate, hilarious and revealing recollection of what happened behind the scenes on one of the most famous film sets of all time, the first Star Wars movie.

When Carrie Fisher recently discovered the journals she kept during the filming of the first Star Wars movie, she was astonished to see what they had preserved―plaintive love poems, unbridled musings with youthful naiveté, and a vulnerability that she barely recognized. Today, her fame as an author, actress, and pop-culture icon is indisputable, but in 1977, Carrie Fisher was just a (sort-of) regular teenager.

With these excerpts from her handwritten notebooks, The Princess Diarist is Fisher’s intimate and revealing recollection of what happened on one of the most famous film sets of all time―and what developed behind the scenes. And today, as she reprises her most iconic role for the latest Star Wars trilogy, Fisher also ponders the joys and insanity of celebrity, and the absurdity of a life spawned by Hollywood royalty, only to be surpassed by her own outer-space royalty. Laugh-out-loud hilarious and endlessly quotable, The Princess Diarist brims with the candour and introspection of a diary while offering shrewd insight into the type of stardom that few will ever experience.

 

It’s an eye-opener for fans, but it also shows a gifted writer even at a young age. There was a lot going on between Princess Leia’s hair buns.”               USA Today

Smart and funny…the pages crackle with one-liners.”                     Guardian

Fisher offers a thoughtful, sardonic meditation on the price of fame, cost-of-living adjustments included.”                    New York Times Book Review

The Secret Lives of Colour by Kassia St Clair

 


The Secret Lives of Colour 
tells the unusual stories of the 75 most fascinating shades, dyes and hues. From blonde to ginger, the brown that changed the way battles were fought to the white that protected against the plague, Picasso’s blue period to the charcoal on the cave walls at Lascaux, acid yellow to kelly green, and from scarlet women to imperial purple, these surprising stories run like a bright thread throughout history. In this book Kassia St Clair has turned her lifelong obsession with colours and where they come from (whether Van Gogh’s chrome yellow sunflowers or punk’s fluorescent pink) into a unique study of human civilisation. Across fashion and politics, art and war, The Secret Lives of Colour tell the vivid story of our culture.

 

A mind-expanding tour of the world without leaving your paintbox. Every colour has a story, and here are some of the most alluring, alarming, and thought-provoking. Very hard painting the hallway magnolia after this inspiring primer.”                      Simon Garfield

 

 

Ayesha’s Gift: A Daughter’s Search for the Truth about Her Father by Martin Sixsmith

From the author of the bestselling Philomena, made into the award-winning film starring Steve Coogan and Judi Dench, comes the story of a young woman, born in Pakistan, living in Britain, whose life is thrown into desperate turmoil by the violent death of her father.  The Pakistani authorities talk of suicide, but why would Ayesha’s happy, gentle father kill himself?
Ayesha’s quest to find the truth takes her right away from her safe London existence.  She meets with threats, intimidation and smiling perjurers who resent her intrusion into their world. She is warned that her life is in danger; powerful, ruthless men have reasons to want her silenced.   But there are things she needs to know, that compel her to press on with her search for the truth.
Was her father an innocent victim?  Can she continue to revere the image of him she grew up with, that of a good, loving parent?  Or will she be forced to accept that her father was not the person she thought he was?
Ayesha decides that the only way forward is to fly to Pakistan and confront his killers.    When she goes, Martin Sixsmith goes with her.   The denouement of their journey together is extraordinarily moving, with unforeseen repercussions for them both.

 

Written at thriller pace, Ayesha’s Gift . . . exposes a terrifying web of gangsters and terrorists.”                         Telegraph

Martin Sixsmith, of Philomena fame, has done it again with a wonderful new book, Ayesha’s Gift, which mixes autobiography with the story of a hunt to reveal a dark mystery in Pakistan…  What I find so striking about Ayesha’s Gift is that it’s a book in which the writer is changed by the writing of the book. I’m trying to think of other examples of that but I can’t come up with any at all.”                      Andrew Marr

 

 

Hanging on a Wire – Photographs by Sophia Klaase

Sophia Klaase first used a camera in 1999, as a teenage participant in a photography project in Paulshoek, a village in Namaqualand. She continued with the project for the next sixteen years, chronicling her life in this arid northwest corner of South Africa. Her images are a frank exploration of her relationship to family, community and the landscape.

A foreword by Zoë Wicomb, and essays by Ben Cousins, Timm Hoffman, Siona O’connell, Virginia MacKenny and Rick Rohde describe the environmental, socio-economic and political contexts in which Klaase’s work was produced. Her photographs and this book demonstrate the intellectual and aesthetic rewards of true collaboration and sustained investigation, and introduce Sophia Klaase’s name into the tradition of South African documentary and vernacular photography.

 

The Holocaust: A New History by Laurence Rees

Groundbreaking … You might have thought that we know everything there is to know about the Holocaust but this book proves there is much more.”                  Andrew Roberts, Mail on Sunday

 

By far the clearest book ever written about the Holocaust, and also the best at explaining its origins and grotesque mentality, as well as its chaotic development.”    Antony Beevor

 

This landmark work answers two of the most fundamental questions in history – how, and why, did the Holocaust happen?

Laurence Rees has spent twenty-five years meeting survivors and perpetrators of the Holocaust. Now, in his magnum opus, he combines their enthralling eyewitness testimony, a large amount of which has never been published before, with the latest academic research to create the first accessible and authoritative account of the Holocaust in more than three decades.

This is a new history of the Holocaust in three ways. First, and most importantly, Rees has created a gripping narrative that that contains a large amount of testimony that has never been published before. Second, he places this powerful interview material in the context of an examination of the decision making process of the Nazi state, and in the process reveals the series of escalations that cumulatively created the horror. Third, Rees covers all those across Europe who participated in the deaths, and he argues that whilst hatred of the Jews was always at the epicentre of Nazi thinking, what happened cannot be fully understood without considering the murder of the Jews alongside plans to kill millions of non-Jews, including homosexuals, ‘Gypsies’ and the disabled.

Through a chronological, intensely readable narrative, featuring enthralling eyewitness testimony and the latest academic research, this is a compelling new account of the worst crime in history.

 

Anyone wanting a compelling, highly readable explanation of how and why the Holocaust happened, drawing on recent scholarship and impressively incorporating moving and harrowing interviews need look no further than Laurence Rees’s brilliant book.”                     Professor Ian Kershaw

A fine book. Rees is a gifted educator, who can tell a complex story with compassion and clarity, without sacrificing all nuances…it comes alive through the voices of victims, killers and bystanders.”                   Guardian

Absorbing, heart-breaking…he has drawn skilfully on speeches, documents and diaries of the Third Reich, and on the vast library of secondary literature, to weave together a powerful, inevitably harrowing revelation of the 20th century’s greatest crime.”                  Sunday Times

Rees has distilled 25 years of research into this compelling study, the finest single-volume account of the Holocaust. It is not a book for the faint-hearted. Some of the first-hand testimony is both shocking and heart-rending. Yet it has important things to say about human nature – what our species is capable of doing if not prevented by civilized laws – and demands to be read.”                   Saul David, Telegraph

 

LGBTQ Stats by David Deschamps & Bennett L. Singer

 

LGBTQ STATS chronicles the ongoing LGBTQ revolution, providing critical statistics, and draws upon and synthesizes newly collected data. Deschamps and Singer provide chapters on family and marriage, workplace discrimination, education, youth, criminal justice, and immigration, as well as evolving policies and laws affecting LGBTQ communities. A lively, accessible, and eye-opening snapshot, LGBTQ STATS offers an invaluable resource for activists, journalists, lawmakers, and general readers who want the facts and figures on LGBTQ lives in the twenty-first century.

 

The Road to Ruin: The Global Elite’s Secret Plan for the Next Financial Crisis by Jason Rickards

 

The New York Times bestseller that reveals how investors can prepare for the next financial panic – and why it’s coming sooner than you think.

The global economy has made what seems like an incredible comeback after the financial crisis of 2008. Yet this comeback is artificial. Central banks have propped up markets by keeping interest rates low and the supply of money free-flowing. They won’t bail us out again next time. And there will be a next time – soon.

In The Road to Ruin, bestselling author James Rickards identifies how governments around the world are secretly preparing an alternative strategy for the next big crisis: a lockdown. Instead of printing money to reliquify markets and prop up assets, governments are preparing to close banks, shut down exchanges and order powerful asset managers not to sell. They’re putting provisions in place that will allow them to do so legally. What’s more, the global elite has already started making their own preparations, including hoarding cash and hard assets.

When the next one comes, it will be the average investor who suffers most – unless he or she heeds Rickards’ warning and prepares accordingly.

 

 

 

Poetry

Like the Untouchable Wind: An anthology of Poems edited by Makhosozana Xaba

 

A slim volume it may be, but it is full of the life, experience and visions of African lesbians. These seven women take a chance on the reader, that we are curious about their journeys and are willing to engage with the lives they choose to share with us. Sometimes humorous, sometimes angry, they are defiant and resolute in defending themselves and their communities from violence, attack and marginalization. On these pages, I’ve met women who have loved, who have suffered but also women who have stood firm in their sexuality and activism. Freedom fighters. They are women who are living their lives and building a movement, they are women I want to know. Read this work and wake up to their world.

 

Happy reading!

2017 Preview

Tuesday, January 24th 2017 at 10:38 AM

A fantastic year for both local and international fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Publication dates are as currently given by the publisher, but very much subject to change. Expect a slew of titles commemorating the centenary of the Russian Revolution – publishers do love an anniversary!

January

 

Fiction

 

Paul Auster: 4 3 2 1 – New novel from the hugely-respected  author of New York Stories, again echoing Auster’s own life.

Otessa Moshfegh: Homesick for Another World – Short stories from the author of the Booker-shortlisted Eileen.

Ismail Kadare: The Traitor’s Niche – A lyrical tale of the Ottoman Empire.

Roxanne Gay: Difficult Women – Short stories from the author of Bad Feminist.

Peter Swanson: Her Every Fear – New psychological thriller from author of brilliant The Kind Worth Killing.

Chibundu Onozo: Welcome to Lagos – From the author of The Spider King’s Daughter.

 

Non-fiction

Laurence Rees: The Holocaust – The holocaust expert’s magnum opus, the product of 25 years’ work.

Melissa Fleming: A Hope More Powerful than the Sea – The extraordinary story of one refugee, by the Chief Spokesperson at the United Nations High Comission for Refugees

Michael Rosen: The Disappearance of Émile Zola: Love, Literature and the Dreyfus Case. The story of Emile Zola’s exile from France in 1898, after his infamous ‘J’accuse’ letter.

Michel Houellebecq: Unreconciled: Poems 1991-2013 – Drawing on similar themes as his novels, Unreconciled is a journey into the depths of individual experience and universal passions.

Bettany Hughes: Istanbul: A Tale of Three Cities – The historian and broadcaster tells the story of one of the world’s great cities through its Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman eras and into the present day.

 

February

 

Fiction

Sara Baume: A Line Made by Walking – New from the author of Spill, Simmer, Falter, Wither; a meditation on the interconnectedness of wilderness, art and individual experience.

John Burnside: Ashland and Vine – A novel of love and loss from the acclaimed novelist and poet.

Fred Khumalo: Dancing the Death Drill –  The extraordinary story of Pitso Motaung, a young South African who volunteered to serve with the Allies in the First World War; and of the tragic sinking of the Mendi, in which so many young black soldiers died.

Graeme Simsion: The Best of Adam Sharp – New fiction from the author of The Rosie Project. A settled, middle-aged man revisits a passionate affair from his youth.

Neil Gaiman: Norse Mythology – The wonderful Neil Gamin retells the Norse myths which have inspired his (and many others’) writings.

John Boyne: The Heart’s Invisible Furies – The eclectic  author’s biggest project to date. A story of growing up lost in rural Ireland.

Mick Herron: Spook Street – The fourth part of the excellent Slow Horses series, will appeal to le Carré and Spooks fans.

China Miéville: The Last Days of New Paris – A thriller of a war that never was – of survival in an impossible city – of surreal cataclysm.

Shane Kuhn: The Asset – A man dedicates himself to airline security after his sister dies in 9/11 – until the CIA get wind of it…

Viet Thanh Ngugyen: The Refugees – Short stories from the Pulitzer prize-winning author of The Sympathizer.

Richard Russo: Everybody Falls – Russo returns to the rich and intimate lives of the characters of Empire Falls.

Emily Ruskovich: Idaho – An already highly acclaimed debut novel, centering around a violent event at a family gathering.

Sam Shepard: The One Inside – First full-length novel from the actor and writer. With a foreword by Patti Smith.

 

Poetry

Nathan Trantraal: Alles het niet kom wod – A powerful, vibrant new collection from the author of Chokers & Survivors, and winner of the Ingrid Jonker Prize.

Antjie Krog: Lady Anne: A Chronicle in Verse – From one of our most respected writers and poets. In an attempt to make sense of her own existence, Krog compares her own life in the midst of racial injustice to that of Lady Anne Barnard.

Francine Simon: Thungachi – this debut collection blends ancestral Catholic mysticism and ancient folk Hinduism to create new and essential portraits of modern South African-Indian identity and womanhood.

 

Non-fiction

Paul Bloom: Against Empathy: The Case for Rational Compassion – A controversial treatise which argues that empathy is the problem, not the solution.

Ahmed Kathrada with Sahm Venter: Conversations with a Gentle Soul – The revered struggle veteran talks about his life and experiences with wit, optimism and enlightenment.

Michael Symons Roberts and Paul Farley: Deaths of the Poets – Two poets explore the melancholic, dissolute image that often goes with their craft.

Daniel Dennett: From Bacteria to Bach & Back:  The Evolution of Minds – The respected philosopher explores how our minds developed throughout history.

 

March

 

Fiction

Helen Dunmore: Birdcage Walk – Historical fiction set in 18th century England, from the prize-winning author of The Siege.

Tim Parks: In Extremis – Tim Parks’ tour de force. A searing, darkly hilarious novel about family and what it means to be an adult.

Moshin Hamid: Exit West – A story of love and hope, travelling from the Middle East to London and beyond, from the bestselling, Man Booker-shortlisted author of The Reluctant Fundamentalist

Patty Yumi Cottrell: Sorry to Disrupt the Peace – A debut novel already receiving a huge amount of praise.

George Saunders: Lincoln in the Bardo – Highly anticipated debut novel from the bestselling short story writer, author of the award-winning Tenth of December.

Makhosazana Xaba and Karen Martin: Queer Africa II – New queer short stories from a wide range of African countries. Follow on from the award-winning first Queer Africa published in 2013.

Sarah Dunant: In the Name of the Family – Follow-up to the much lauded Blood & Beauty, a fascinating fictional look at the Borgia family.

Katie Kitamura: A Separation – Already being praised by literary heavyweights – promises to be one of the must-reads of the year.

Dan Chaon: Ill Will – A new thriller from the National Book Award finalist, already garnering enthusiastic reviews. Two unsolved crimes are linked by one man’s memory.

 

Non-fiction

PJ O’Rourke: How the Hell Did This Happen? – The ever-caustic and very entertaining O’Rourke turns his view on US Election of 2016 – which he says demonstrates “the most severe outbreak of mass psychosis since the Salem witch trials of 1692”.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions – The fantastic Adichie’s cogent and heartfelt advice to a friend on raising a daughter.

Jay Naidoo: Change: Organising Tomorrow Today – The veteran political activists examines human values and social innovation. He reflects the voices of courageous communities that are fighting their way out of poverty and building the better life they want for themselves and their children.

Martin Meredith: Afrikaner Odyssey: The Life & Times of the Reitz Family – A wide-ranging portrait of an aristocratic Afrikaner family whose lives form a fine thread through the turbulent times after the discovery of diamonds in South Africa.

Elena Favilli & Francesca Cavallo: Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls – In this anti fairytale collection, 60 female artists illustrate and celebrate the lives of 100 inspirational women.

Fatima Meer: Fatima Meer: Memories of Love and Struggle – An enchanting tale of a rebellious, revolutionary woman who never shied away from the truth. With a foreword by Winnie Madikizela Mandela.

Kids

Refiloe Moahloli: How May Ways Can You Say Hello? – Local author Refiloe tells the story of one little girl’s journey around South Africa in a hot air balloon, and all the incredible sights she sees. Beautifully illustrated.

 

April

 

Fiction

Hari Kunzru: White Tears – A feverish new tale from the bestselling author of The Impressionist: two ambitious young musicians are drawn into a dark underworld, haunted by the ghosts of a repressive past

Lisa McInerney: The Blood Miracles – New fiction from the author of the Baileys Prize–winning The Glorious Heresies.

Mariana Enriquez: Things We Lost in the Fire – Dark short stories already much praised by Dave Eggers and Helen Oyeyemi. Not for the faint of heart!

John Darnielle: Universal Harvester – From the cult author of Wolf in White Van comes a horror-infused thriller set in a tiny Midwestern town; Clerks meets Cormac McCarthy.

Lidia Yuknavitch: The Book of Joan – Set in the near future, a reimagining of the Joan of Arc story.  Already highly praised by, amongst others, Roxanne Gay and Chuck Palahniuk.

Alain Mabanckou: Black Moses – The Man Booker International Prize-shortlisted novelist returns to the Congolese city of Pointe-Noire.

 

Poetry

Kuleka Putuma: Collective Amnesia – the long-awaited debut collection from this inspired and talented local performance poet.

 

 

Non-Fiction

Tariq Ali: The Dilemmas of Lenin: Terrorism, War, Empire, Love, Revolution – This book examines Lenin’s leadership, and asks important questions related to political representation and the popular institutions necessary to challenge capitalism today.

Mamphela Ramphele: Dreams, Betrayal and Hope – A searing critique of what has gone wrong in the public and private sectors, under the governance of the ANC, by the celebrated activist, medical doctor, academic, businesswoman and political thinker. ‘It is time,’ she says, ‘to reimagine the country and its future. We owe this to our children’s children. We dare not fail.’

Allen Ginsberg: The Best Minds of My Generation: The Literary History of the Beat Generation – Edited from a series of lectures given by Ginsberg exploring one of the most popular and enduring of literary movements.

Teju Cole: Blind Spot – In this innovative synthesis of words and images, the award-winning author of Open City and photography critic for The New York Times Magazine combines two of his great passions.

Thandeka Gqubule: No Longer Whispering to Power: The Tenure of Thuli Madonsela – sure to be explosive and revealing, the book examines Madonsela’s seven years in the hotseat: the highs and lows, but also something of the personal beliefs and values that have assisted her through her term of office.

Anne Lamott: Hallelujah Anyway: Rediscovering Mercy – The author of the hugely popular Bird by Bird explores life beyond pain.

Arundhati Roy: The Doctor and the Saint – In the run up to the new novel (see June) the fearless Roy examines caste in India through a critique of Gandhi.

Ariel Levy: The Rules Do Not Apply – Devastating memoir of a young woman who believed that life could be led outside convention. Already generation a lot of praise.

 

 

.

May

 

Fiction

Paula Hawkins: Into the Water – At last! The follow up to the huge The Girl on the Train. Another tense thriller, about the power our secrets hold over us.

Tracy Chevalier: New Boy – In the latest of the Hogarth Shakespeare series, Chevalier retells the Othello story in a 1970s suburban schoolyard.

SJ Naudé: The Third Reel – First novel from the author of the hugely successful and highly acclaimed Alphabet of Birds. Published simultaneously in English and Afrikaans.

Fred Strydom: The Inside Out Man – Strydom’s second novel, The Inside Out Man, is about a pianist named Bent who is offered a Faustian proposition by a rich old man. Strydom weaves the themes of consumption, power and privilege into an edgy and gripping tale.

Jo Nesbo: The Thirst – The eleventh in the hugely popular Harry Hole series.

Laurent Binet: The Seventh Function of Language – a literary conspiracy theory, from the author of the extraordinary HHhH, which asks what if Roland Barthes’ death wasn’t an accident…?

Haruki Murakami: Men Without Women  – Murakami’s first short story collection in a decade, focusing on how men live life without women.

Colm Tóibín: House of Names – The masterful Tóibín draws on Greek mythology to tell the story of Agamemnon, and the tragedy his murderous deeds bring upon his children Electra and Orestes.

Scott Fitzgerald: I’d Die for You and Other Lost Stories – The last of the unpublished stories from the iconic master of the form.

Dennis Lehane: Since We Fell – The hugely successful author of Mystic River and Shutter Island returns. Expect a film in the not too distant…

M.R. Carey: The Boy on the Bridge – Carey returns to the world of his phenomenal The Girl With All The Gifts.

Hanif Kureishi: The Nothing – Kureishi vividly explores helplessness, revenge, lust and power with his characteristic dark humour.

Elizabeth Strout: Anything is Possible – A novel in stories, which returns to the characters of the much-loved My Name is Lucy Barton.

Ken Barris: The Life of Worm and Other Misconceptions – A lyrical and humorous collection of short stories combining the quotidian with the surreal.

Dawn Garisch: Accident – a novel about the complicated relationship between mothers and sons, the everyday heaviness of regret, the pleasure and pain of intimacy, and the mystery of life that science and logic can’t always explain.

 

Non-fiction

Robert Sapolsky: Behave: The Biology of Humans at our Best and Worst – The author of the brilliant A Primate’s Memoir examines the entire science of human behaviour.

Peter Ackroyd: Queer City: Gay London from the Romans to the Present Day – The preeminent chronicler of London looks at the history of the city through its gay population.

Jonathan Jansen: As by Fire – Jansen examines the root causes of the 2015-16 student protests, including interviews with 11 of the most affected Vice Chancellors.

Redi Tlhabi: Khwezi: The Story of Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo – The moving and tragic story of the woman who accused Jacob Zuma of rape.

Richard Ford: Between Them: Remembering My Parents – The Pulitzer Prize-winner writes a deeply personal account of his parents – an intimate portrait of American mid-twentieth century life, and a celebration of family love.

China Miéville: October: The Story of the Russian Revolution – The renowned sci fi and fantasy author explores the story of the Russian Revolution, and how it came about.

Slavoj Žižek: The Courage of Hopelessness: Chronicles of a Year of Acting Dangerously – The global challenges of the world today, as eviscerated by the popular Hegelian philosopher and Lacanian psychoanalyst.

Mark Heywood: Get Up, Stand Up – The campaigner, and founder of the TAC, recounts the personal story behind his public persona in a gripping, readable tale.

 

Kids

Giles Andreae: Winnie-The-Pooh: The Great Heffalump Hunt – The award-winning and much-loved children’s author turns his attention on our favourite bear, in a heartwarming story about the strength of friendship.

 

 

June

 

Fiction

Arundhati Roy: The Ministry of Utmost Happiness – Probably the publishing event of the year. The very long-awaited second novel from the author of The God of Small Things, coinciding with the 20th anniversary of that publication.

Adam Thorpe: Missing Fay – The story of a missing girl and tangled lives, from the author of the extraordinary Ulverton.

Will Self: Phone – New, darkly humorous fiction from the author of Umbrella and Shark.

Joshua Ferris: The Dinner Party & Other Stories – Stories looking at the comic and strange realities of modern life, as we journey through the lives of the unlovable, the unloved, and those who love too much.

Rachel Joyce: The Music Shop – A story of music and love from the author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry.

Barbara Boswell: Grace – Grace tracks a young woman’s experience of domestic violence within the intimate space of her family home while she negotiates the state violence inflicted upon her community during the dying days of apartheid.

Rachel Seiffert: A Boy in Winter – Seiffert returns to the territory of her devastating novel The Dark Room, with a story of survival against the odds in war-torn Ukraine.

Elif Batuman: The Idiot – First novel from author of The Possessed. Already receiving huge amounts of praise from the likes of Miranda July.

 

Non-fiction

Robbie Robertson: Testimony – The brilliant guitarist and founder of The Band tells the story of his extraordinary journey, and the music legends he met along the way.

Andrew O’Hagan: The Secret Life: Three True Stories – The novelist examines the porous border between cyberspace and the ‘real world’ with three very different tales of the ‘disruption’ of self.

Hedley Twidle: Firepool – a collection of non-fiction that is intellectually engaged, comic, personable and colloquial, but also engaged in tackling serious questions, emerging out of a difficult place at a difficult time.

David Sedaris: Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977-2016)From the bestselling author of Me Talk Pretty One Day, for the first time in print: selections from the diaries that are the source of his remarkable autobiographical essays. 

Mark Shaw: Hitmen for Hire: The Making of South Africa’s Underworld – an in-depth look at the hitman and assassination industry in South Africa.

Roxanne Gay: Hunger – A Memoir of (My) Body – From the author of Bad Feminist a searingly honest memoir of food, weight, self-image, and learning how to feed your hunger while taking care of yourself.

 

Graphic

Thibault Damour & Mathieu Burniat: Mysteries of the Quantum Universe – The bestselling French graphic novel about the wonders of quantum physics, translated for the first time.

 

July

 

Fiction

Nicola Barker: H(a)ppy – A new novel (as yet no details) from the author of The Yips and In the Approaches.

Otessa Moshfegh: McGlue – From the Booker-shortlisted author of Eileen, the story of an unforgettable blackguard on a knife-sharp voyage through the fogs of recollection.

Maxine Case: Softness of the Lime – New novel from the author of All We Have Left Unsaid, winner of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book.

Sarah Hall: Madame Zero – Short stories, from the author of Wolf Border, embracing the darkness, eroticism, and absurdity of human existence.

 

Poetry

Jolyn Philips: Radbraak – A very strong debut in Afrikaans poetry. The title refers to the act of bending and reshaping – which is exactly what she does in her creative use of language.

 

Non-fiction

Svetlana Alexeivich: The Unwomanly Face of War: An Oral History of Women in World War II – A long-awaited English translation of the classic oral history of women in World War II across Europe and Russia from Nobel Prize-winner Svetlana Alexievich.

Karina Szczurek: The Fifth Mrs Brink – André Brink’s fifth and last wife talks about the 10 years they spent together.

Glynnis Breytenbach with Nechama Brodie: The Rule of Law – The former prosecutor for the NPA reflects on her career, and the challenges faced today.

 

August

 

Fiction

Bernard Maclaverty: Midwinter Break – Sixteen years on from his last novel, MacLaverty reminds us why he is regarded as one of the greatest living Irish writers in this profound examination of human love and how we live together.

Achmat Dangor: Dikeledi – New fiction from the author of Bitter Fruit.

Amit Chaudhuri: Friend of My Youth – A novelist named Amit Chaudhuri visits his childhood home of Bombay. The city weighs heavily on Amit’s mind, as does the unexpected absence of his childhood friend Ramu, who is Amit’s last remaining connection to the city he once called home.

Karl Ove Knausgaard: Autumn – The first book in the Seasons quartet, the major new project from the author of the international literary phenomenon, My Struggle.

Deon Meyer: Fever – The latest Deon Meyer, finally translated. A stunning standalone from a master of suspense, a compelling story of survival and betrayal set in a world after ‘The Fever’.

Alex van Tonder: The Last Memory – New fiction from the author of This One Time.

 

 

September

 

Fiction

Roddy Doyle: Smile – A razor sharp novel from the Booker Prize-winner, about the memories we try to suppress, lest they destroy our lives.

Kamila Shamsie: Home Fire – From the internationally acclaimed author of Burnt Shadows, a suspenseful and heartbreaking story of a family driven to pit love against loyalty, with devastating consequences.

Jenny Erpenbeck: Go, Went, Gone – In this radical, exquisite novel, Jenny Erpenbeck, author of Visitation, turns her attention to the contemporary refugee crisis and our responsibility in its creation.

Orhan Pamuk: The Red-Haired Woman – From the Nobel Prize-winner and best-selling author of Snow and My Name Is Red, a fable of fathers and sons and the desires that come between them.

 

Non-fiction

Richard Rogers: Inside Out: There is More to Architecture than Architecture – The engaging and inspirational story of Richard Rogers’ life as an architect and simultaneously a book about creating a better society by creating better places to live.

Iain Sinclair: The Last London – The urban shaman and psychogeograper’s last tilt at the city that has fascinated him all his life.

Norman Davies: Native Lands: A Global Journey into History and Memory – the renowned historian’s account of a global circumnavigation, of the places he visited and the history he found there. He asks the question – to whom are these lands really native?

Anne Applebaum: Red Famine: Stalin’s War on Ukraine – The historian and journalist on the political causes of the 1930s famine, in which approximately five million people died.

 

 

October

 

Fiction

Armistead Maupin: Logical Family: A Memoir – The much-loved author of the Tales of the City series turns his wit, humour and insight on to his own life.

Alan Hollinghurst: The Sparsholt Affair – A new novel from the Booker Prize-winning author of A Line of Beauty.

Nick Harkaway: Gnomon – New fiction from the author of The Gone Away World, which the author himself describes as “a novel bigger than the mind it came out of”. We’re excited!

 

Non-fiction

Nelson Mandela  with Mandla Langa: Dare Not Linger: The Presidential Years – The long-awaited, much anticipated sequel to Long Walk to Freedom. This will be huge.

Jenny Uglow: Edward Lear: A Life of Art & Nonsense – The historian and publisher examines the wild, dark and comic work and life of the much-loved nonsense writer.

Rebecca Solnit: The Mother of All Questions: Further Reports from the Feminist Revolutions – A timely follow-up to the bestseller Men Explain Things to Me; a commentary on women who refuse to be silenced, misogynistic violence, the fragile masculinity of the literary canon, the gender binary, the recent history of rape jokes, and much more.

Erik Naki: Bantu Holomisa: My Story – The President of the United Democratic Movement talks about his life and politics.

Alice Walker: Gathering Blossoms Under Fire – Extracts from fifty years of journals and letters by the author of the classic The Color Purple.

 

 

November

 

Fiction

Ali Smith: Winter – The follow-up to Autumn, and the second in a series of four.

Han Kang: The White Book – New fiction from the author of the Man Booker International Prize-winning The Vegetarian.

William Boyd: The Dreams of Bethany Mellmoth & Other Stories – A short story collection from an absolutely outstanding author.

 

Non-fiction

Martin Amis: The Rub of Time: Bellow, Nabokov, Hitchens, Travolta, Trump. Essays and Reportage, 1986-2016 – Essays from the irrepressible Amis.

 

December

Terry Hayes: Year of the Locust – An eagerly awaited new novel from the author of the phenomenal bestseller I Am Pilgrim.

Cormac McCarthy: The Passenger – Long-awaited new novel from author of The Road. Publication date not set yet, though rumoured to be late 2017.

 

Christmas 2016

Tuesday, December 13th 2016 at 10:32 AM

The Book Lounge Santa is back! Here to help you find the perfect present for your loved ones – and even the most difficult second cousin twice removed. Come in to the store and get our staff to help you choose, then relax with a coffee while we gift-wrap your presents.

But first, here is a small selection of some of the best to start inspiring you!

 

 

Fiction

The Wangs vs the World by Jade Chang

 

Charles Wang has just lost the cosmetics fortune he built up since emigrating to the US. Gone are the houses, the cars, and the incredible lifestyle. Faced with this loss, he decides to take his family on a trip to China and attempt to reclaim his ancestral lands.

But first they must go on a cross-country journey from their foreclosed Bel-Air home to the Upstate New York retreat of his eldest daughter, Saina. Charles takes his other two children out of schools that he can no longer afford and packs them into the only car that wasn’t repossessed-along with their wealth-addicted stepmother, Barbra.

But with his son waylaid by a much-older temptress in New Orleans, his wife ready to defect for a set of 1,000-thread-count sheets, and an epic smash-up in North Carolina, Charles may have to choose between the old world and the new, between keeping his family intact and finally, finally fulfilling his dream of China.

 

“[A] richly entertaining debut . . . smart and engaging.”              Guardian

 

 

 

Thin Air by Michelle Paver

 

The Himalayas, 1935.

Kangchenjunga. Third-highest peak on earth. Greatest killer of them all.

Five Englishmen set off from Darjeeling, determined to conquer the sacred summit. But courage can only take them so far – and the mountain is not their only foe.

As the wind dies, the dread grows. Mountain sickness. The horrors of extreme altitude. A past that will not stay buried.

And sometimes, the truth does not set you free.

 

A ghost story to chill and thrill…Like Touching the Void rewritten by Jack London, Thin Air is a heart-freezing masterpiece.”         Amanda Craig, The Observer

 

 

 

Three Daughters of Eve by Elif Shafak

 

Peri, a wealthy Turkish housewife, is on her way to a dinner party at a seaside mansion in Istanbul when a beggar snatches her handbag. As she wrestles to get it back, a photograph falls to the ground – an old polaroid of three young women and their university professor. A relic from a past – and a love – Peri had tried desperately to forget.

The photograph takes Peri back to Oxford University. To her dazzling, rebellious Professor and his life-changing course on God. To her home with her two best friends, Shirin and Mona, and their arguments about Islam and femininity. And finally, to the scandal that tore them all apart.

 

 

 

The Dispossessed by Szilàrd Borbély

 

A literary sensation on its original publication in Hungary, this hypnotic, hauntingly beautiful first novel from the acclaimed, award-winning poet and author Szilárd Borbély depicts the poverty and cruelty experienced by a partly-Jewish family in a rural village in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

 

No one has ever written so beautifully and at the same time so without pity about the suffering in the isolated provincial villages of Hungary…His sentences have a surgical precision, and their sustained rhythm only reinforces the power of what they evoke.”                      Nicole Henneberg, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

 

 

 

Slipping: Stories, Essays & Other Writings  by Lauren Beukes

 

A Punk Lolita fighter-pilot rescues Tokyo from a marauding art installation. Corporate recruits harvest poisonous plants on an inhospitable planet. An inquisitive adolescent ghost disrupts the life of a young architect. Product loyalty is addictive when the brand appears under one’s skin.

Award-winning Cape Town author and journalist Lauren Beukes (Zoo City, Moxyland, Broken Monsters) spares no targets in this edgy and satiric retrospective collection. In her fiction and nonfiction, ranging from Johannesburg across the galaxy, Beukes is a fierce, captivating presence throughout the literary landscape.

 

Lauren Beukes is one of the best we’ve got, and this fierce collection, showing the full breadth of her remarkable talent, is a pure dark joy.”                  Warren Ellis

 

 

Karolina’s Twins by Ronald H Balson

 

Lena Woodward, an elderly woman, enlists the help of both lawyer Catherine Lockhart and private investigator Liam Taggart to appraise the story of her harrowing past in Nazi occupied Poland. At the same time, Lena’s son Arthur presents her with a hefty lawsuit under the pretense of garnering her estate and independence for his own purposes. A tale of survival, love, and resilience in more ways than one.

 

A heartbreaking tale of a mother’s love, friendship, and family in the face of increasingly brutal conditions and the constant threat of imminent death in Nazi-occupied Poland… compelling.”                       Library Journal

 

 

The Brother by Joakim Zander

 

From the author of the internationally acclaimed The Swimmer. Growing up poor, Yasmine vowed she would always protect her little brother from harm. She broke her promise on the day she left home, abandoning Fadi to his life in the Stockholm slums.

Now, five years later, Yasmine still carries the guilt of leaving him behind. Then she hears a rumour that he is dead, killed by a US drone in Syria. What happened to turn her sweet-natured brother into one of the CIA’s most wanted men?

 

A prime slice of Nordic Noir. Zander is part of the influx of new blood into the genre, and this third novel is both forceful and subtle … What we have here are the two crucial ingredients of Scandicrime: powerfully orchestrated tension set against a strong dose of social commentary.”                       Independent.

 

Some notable 2016 titles…

Nutshell by Ian McEwan

The Woman Next Door by Yewande Omotoso

Tjieng Tjang Tjerries & Other Stories by Jolyn Phillips

Swing Time by Zadie Smith

Period Pain by Kopano Matlwa

Affluenza by Niq Mhlongo

The Yearning by Mohale Mashigo

The Gustav Sonata by Rose Tremain

Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist by Sunil Yapa

The Girls by Emma Cline

The Portable Veblen by Elizabeth McKenzie

Pleasure by Nthikeng Mohlele

This Must be the Place by Maggie O’Farrell

 

 

 

Gift

Vogue: The Shoe by Condé Nast

 

More than 300 fabulous images from a century of British Vogue, featuring remarkable styles that range from the humble clog to exquisite hand-embroidered haute couture stilettoes via fetishistic cuissardes and outrageous statement heels. The images are grouped into five thematic chapters devoted to dazzling Cinderella heels; Town & Country classics; Cult Style inspiration; the escapism of Summer Dreaming and the extreme heels of Fetish & Fantasia.

 

 

Unemployable: 30 Years of Hardcore, Skate and Street by Jason Boulter and Rodney Mullen

 

From the 1970s underground Melbourne skate scene to a company with a presence in over one hundred countries, Unemployable is the story of how three Australian brothers – Stephen, Peter and Matt Hill – founded one of the world’s biggest skate, street, and surf companies, Globe International. A story about following your dreams, Unemployable will resonate with a broad range of readers beyond a purely skate/surf/street audience.

 

 

 

 

Map Stories: The Art of Discovery by Francisca Mattéoli

 

Through this magnificent collection of historical maps, travel writer Francisca Mattéoli takes us on a geographical adventure, telling the stories of twenty-three places and voyages that inspired her, as they inspired the creation of these fascinating charts.

Discover some of the world’s most magical places and how they revealed themselves, from the lost trails of the first colonies of the American West to Amundsen’s exploration of the South Pole, and the rediscoveries of Petra and Angkor Wat. This unexpected volume will let the curious mind roam the contours of the planet, and discover how the world we know today was made, and un-made.

 

 

 

Let Them Eat Chaos by Kate Tempest

 

both a powerful sermon and a moving play for voices. Tempest argues that our alienation from one another has bred a terrible indifference to our own fate, but she counters this with a plea to challenge the forces of greed which have conspired to divide us, and mend the broken home of our own planet while we still have time.

 

Thrillingly good . . . Ms. Tempest stitches together words with such animate grace that language acquires an almost tactile quality, and the drama she unfolds . . . soars to operatic dimensions. . . . [An] hypnotically persuasive vision.”               Charles Isherwood, New York Times

 

 

Gardenista: The Definitive Guide to Stylish Outdoor Spaces by Michelle Slatalla

 

Our homes’ outdoor spaces can and should be as welcoming and carefully considered as our living rooms; when treated as extensions of our homes, these spaces enrich our lives immeasurably. This book contains lushly photographed tours of 12 enviable gardens; planting guides for a variety of climates and colour palettes; do-it-yourself projects; easy-to-implement design ideas; plus advice from landscape professionals. Equal parts inspiration and expert intel, Gardenista is both a perfect starting point and an all-in-one manual when questions arise.

 

 

 

Atlas Obscura by Joshua Foer, Dylan Thuras and Ella Morton

 

It’s time to get off the beaten path. Inspiring equal parts wonder and wanderlust, Atlas Obscura celebrates over 700 of the strangest and most curious places in the world.

Atlas Obscura revels in the weird, the unexpected, the overlooked, the hidden and the mysterious. Every page expands our sense of how strange and marvelous the world really is. And with its compelling descriptions, hundreds of photographs, surprising charts, maps for every region of the world, it is a book to enter anywhere, and will be as appealing to the armchair traveller as the die-hard adventurer. Anyone can be a tourist. Atlas Obscura is for the explorer.

 

I thought I had seen most of the interesting bits of the world. Atlas Obscura showed me that I was wrong. It’s the kind of book that makes you want to pack in your workaday life and head out to places you’d never have dreamed of going, to see things you could not even have imagined. A joy to read and to reread.”              Neil Gaiman

 

Illustrated Dictionary of Southern African Plant Names by Michael Charters and Hugh Gascoyne Clarke

 

The Illustrated Dictionary of Southern African Plant Names is aimed at keen gardeners, plant collectors, amateur and professional botanists, academics, and many other people who wish to have an answer to the question: “What do generic plant names mean?” This easy-to-use dictionary enables readers to find out how plants have got their names. It provides a wealth of information that opens up a new world of understanding for all plant lovers. The book has nearly 5 000 entries and will include approximately 400 beautiful full-colour photographs of plants taken by top botanical photographers.

 

 

Fragments by Lionel Smit

 

Lionel Smit is a South African artist renowned for his larger-than-life portraiture works. Primarily a painter and sculptor, Smit is also no stranger to silkscreen printing and public installations in a variety of mediums.

Smit’s work has been exhibited in prestigious galleries and art fairs both locally and abroad. His work is currently on show in a solo exhibition at the Didrichsen Art Museum in Helsinki, while one of his monumental sculptures is proudly featured in New York City’s Union Square.

This absolutely beautiful book is a compilation of Lionel Smit’s paintings, sculptures and installations from 2009 to 2016. Includes full colour images of works beautifully displayed with details of the artworks and a written description about the artist’s journey.

 

 

Cheap Novelties: The Pleasures of Urban Decay by Ben Katchor

 

The classic graphic novel by the landmark cartoonist is back in print for its twenty-fifth anniversary Cheap Novelties is an early testament to Ben Katchor’s extraordinary prescience as both a gifted cartoonist and an astute urban chronicler. Rumpled, middle-aged Julius Knipl photographs a vanishing city–an urban landscape of low-rent apartment buildings, obsolete industries, monuments to forgotten people and events, and countless sources of inexpensive food. In Katchor’s signature pen and ink wash style, Cheap Novelties is a portrait of what we have lost to gentrification, globalization, and the malling of America that is as moving today as it was twenty-five years ago.

 

Ben Katchor s sublime collection chronicles the wanderings of Julius Knipl, a rumpled photographer-for-hire taking pictures of buildings in a gently surreal streetscape that vaguely resembles Manhattan s financial district of old. Knipl laments a fading world of dairy cafeterias, tchotchke salesmen and trophy manufacturers.”                    Wall Street Journal

 

 

Country Music Hair by Erin Duvall

 

Country music’s greatest mullets, bobs, beehives, and bouffants collected together in one entertaining volume, illustrated with dozens of color and black-and-white photographs.

“The higher the hair, the closer to god.”

Some follow the trends and others set them. Some have stylists on the tour bus and others rely on God and hair-spray. As Dolly Parton famously said, “People always ask me how long it takes to do my hair. I don’t know, I’m never there.”

 

“…this collection is a fabuously illustrated sociocultural commentary on how the Nashville sound is reflected through its hair.”               Elle

 

 

 

The Shipping Forecast: A Miscellany by Nic Compton

 

The rhythmic lullaby of ‘North Utsire, South Utsire’ has been lulling the nation’s insomniacs to sleep for over 90 years. It has inspired songs, poetry and imaginations across the globe – as well as providing a very real service for the nation’s seafarers who might fall prey to storms and gales. In 1995, a plan to move the late-night broadcast by just 12 minutes caused a national outcry and was ultimately scrapped.
The Shipping Forecast is the official miscellany for seafarers and armchair travellers alike. From the places themselves – how they got their names, what’s happened there through the ages – to the poems and parodies that it’s inspired, this is a beautifully evocative tribute to one of Britain’s best-loved broadcasts.

 

 

Signs of Our Times: From Calligraphy to Calligraffiti

 

Signs of Our Times covers six decades of an art trend led by artists from the Arab world and Iran. Starting in the early 1950s, this alternative and original approach to modernism began with artists who took inspiration from their own cultural sources and combined them with international aesthetics and concepts. This publication considers the work of 50 key artists, ranging from important pioneers of the calligraphic movement to those who use the written word in their work today. The artworks, in a variety of media, are also interspersed with poems and relevant literature, putting into personal and historical contexts the innovative use of words in art.

 

Some Notable 2016 titles

The Initiation by Mogorosi Motshumi

The Survivor’s Club by Lauren Beukes and Dale Halvorsen

Monstress by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda

A History of Pictures by David Hockney and Martin Gayford

Patience by Daniel Clowes

Black Panther by Ta-Nehisi Coates

The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck by Sally Knight

Modern Rasputin by Rosa Lyster

Nomme 20 Delphi Straat by Shirmoney Rhode

 

 

Non-Fiction

Keeping On Keeping On by Alan Bennett

 

‘I seem to have banged on this year rather more than usual. I make no apology for that, nor am I nervous that it will it make a jot of difference. I shall still be thought to be kindly, cosy and essentially harmless. I am in the pigeon-hole marked ‘no threat’ and did I stab Judi Dench with a pitchfork I should still be a teddy bear.’

 

Alan Bennett’s third collection of prose Keeping On Keeping On follows in the footsteps of the phenomenally successful Writing Home and Untold Stories, each published ten years apart. his is an engaging, humane, sharp, funny and unforgettable record of life according to the inimitable Alan Bennett.

 

Cleverer and funnier than any one person has a right to be … inexhaustibly fascinating; Bennett has an eager, enquiring mind and a sharp way with words that can break your ideas open.”                      Sunday Times

 

 

 

Do Humankind’s Best Days Lie Ahead? By Stephen Pinker, Matt Ridley, Alain de Botton and Malcolm Gladwell

 

Four of the world’s most renowned thinkers take on one of the biggest debates of the modern era.

 

It’s just a brute fact that we don’t throw virgins into volcanoes any more. We don’t execute people for shoplifting a cabbage. And we used to.” – Steven Pinker

“The idea that because things have gotten better in the past they will continue to do so in the future is a fallacy I would have thought confined to the lower reaches of Wall Street.” – Malcolm Gladwell

 

 

 

Ties That Bind: Race and the Politics of Friendship in South Africa edited by Shannon Walsh and Jon Soske

 

What does friendship have to do with racial difference, settler colonialism and post-apartheid South Africa? While histories of apartheid and colonialism in South Africa have often focused on the ideologies of segregation and white supremacy, Ties that Bind explores how the intimacies of friendship create vital spaces for practices of power and resistance.

 

“Ties that Bind is an intriguing and long overdue book about race and friendship. It marks a time worldwide when virtual friendships are fast becoming the norm. And yet, after reading the chapters, one is left with a clearer sense of what it takes – or might take in the future – to actually be friends across race.”
Sarah Nuttall author of Entanglement: Literary and Cultural Reflections on Post-apartheid

 

 

The Exodus Down South by Oswald Kuchera

 

The Exodus Down South wrestles with the horror and triumph of life as a migrant. Oswald Kucherera manages to capture the promise and brutality of hope. Kucherera writes candidly of his own journey from Zimbabwe to South Africa – his flight from a certain untenable future to an uncertain one. His journey is rich with stories and characters, compassion and comradeship, and the struggles of all migrants.

 

 

Get a Life: The Diaries of Vivienne Westwood

 

Vivienne Westwood began Get A Life, her online diary, in 2010 with an impassioned post about Native American activist Leonard Peltier. Since then, she has written two or three entries each month, discussing her life in fashion and her involvement with art, politics and the environment. Reading Vivienne’s thoughts, in her own words, is as fascinating and provocative as you would expect from Britain’s punk dame – a woman who always says exactly what she believes.

 

Fees Must Fall edited by Susan Booysen

 

This book maps the contours of student discontent a year after the start of the #FeesMustFall revolt. Student voices dissect coloniality, improper compromises by the founders of democratic South Africa, feminism, worker rights and meaningful education. In-depth assessments by prominent scholars reflect on the complexities of student activism, its impact on national and university governance, and offer provocative analyses of the power of the revolt.

 

 

The Face of Britain: The Stories Behind the Nation’s Portraits by Simon Schama

 

In the age of the hasty glance and the selfie, Simon Schama has written a tour de force about the long exchange of looks from which British portraits have been made over the centuries: images of the modest and the mighty; of friends and lovers; heroes and working people. Each of them – the image-maker, the subject, and the rest of us who get to look at them – are brought unforgettably to life. Together they build into a collective picture of Britain, our past and our present, a look into the mirror of our identity at a moment when we are wondering just who we are.

 

Schama’s greatest gift is a sure eye for an extraordinary story…This isn’t what you get from conventional historians or conventional art writers, more’s the pity…Schama has written books which will still be bought and talked about a century from now and he hasn’t lost an ounce of zest or intelligence. Damn him…”               Andrew Marr

 

Into a Raging Sea by Tony Weaver

 

The waters off South Africa’s coastline are regarded as some of the most dangerous on earth. Sudden changes in weather, rip currents and freak waves all play their part in putting humans in peril, which sometimes ends in tragedy. No matter the danger, however, the brave volunteers of the NSRI are always willing to risk their lives to save others. Setting out, often in ‘dirty weather’ and in dark and icy conditions, they do their utmost to bring the victims back safe.

This collection of short stories – thrilling, heart-stopping and moving – have been published to commemorate 50 years of Sea Rescue (1967-2017).

 

 

 

The Undoing Project: A Friendship that Changed the World by Michael Lewis

 

From Michael Lewis, the No.1 bestselling author of The Big Short and Flash Boys, this is the extraordinary story of the two men whose ideas changed the world.

Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky met in war-torn 1960s Israel. Both were gifted young psychology professors: Kahneman a rootless son of holocaust survivors who saw the world as a problem to be solved; Tversky a voluble, instinctual blur of energy. In this breathtaking new book, Michael Lewis tells the extraordinary story of a relationship that became a shared mind: one which created the field of behavioural economics, revolutionising everything from Big Data to medicine, from how we are governed to how we spend, from high finance to football.

 

It’s good to be reminded every now and again what genius looks like.”                    Malcolm Gladwell

 

 

The Book of Joy by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama

 

Nobel Peace Prize Laureates His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu have survived more than fifty years of exile and the soul-crushing violence of oppression. Despite their hardships – or, as they would say, because of them – they are two of the most joyful people on the planet.

In April 2015, Archbishop Tutu travelled to the Dalai Lama’s home in Dharamsala, India, to celebrate His Holiness’s eightieth birthday and to create this book as a gift for others. They looked back on their long lives to answer a single burning question: how do we find joy in the face of life’s inevitable suffering?

 

 

Some Notable 2016 titles…

Safe House: An Anthology of Creative Non-Fiction edited by Ellah Wakatama Allfrey

Under Nelson Mandela Boulevard by Sean Christie

We Write What We Like: A New Generation Speaks edited by Yolisa Qunta

Second Hand Time by Svetlana Alexeivich

Make or Break by Richard Calland

Free Fall by Malcolm Ray

Fordsburg Fighter by Amin Cajee

East West Street by Philippe Sands

The Pigeon Tunnel by John le Carré

Not Without a Fight by Helen Zille

Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari

Good Cop Bad Cop by Andrew Brown

Student Comrade Prisoner Spy by Bridget Hilton-Barber

Hitler, Verwoerd, Mandela and Me by Marianne Thamm

My Own Liberator by Dikgang Moseneke

Letters of Stone by Steven Robins

History Matters by Bill Nasson

 

 

 

For the Food Lover

District Six Huis Kombuis

 

The District Six Huis Kombuis cookbook commemorates the rich fusion of food and cultural heritage in District Six through personal stories, recipes, historical images and craft work. The book is a culmination of memories and narrative. It weaves through the days of a typical week in District Six, focusing on traditional family recipes that were prepared with love and often limited resources. This is a visual celebration of the vibrancy and warmth of the community – who foraged, preserved, baked and cooked together. Portraits of 23 former District Six residents, accompany recollections of lives lived in a significant time. Artifacts, food and anecdotes bring the spirit of District Six alive again.

 

 

 

Monocle Guide to Drinking and Dining

 

Make the most of your food – and discover the best places to shop, drink and dine – with this brand new guide from Monocle. This is a handbook for anybody who enjoys simple, honest food but can do without the foam, fuss and trickery it’s often served with. It’s also about the other elements that make a great meal: honed hosting skills, sourcing the best produce and using the sharpest kitchen kit. Plus, Monocle offer a global hit-list of must-visit restaurants from Adelaide to Zürich and the freshest markets, shops and producers. It is essential reading for anyone who wants to turn their love of food into a livelihood.

 

 

The Chef’s Library: Favourite Cookbooks from the World’s Greatest Kitchens by Jenny Linford

 

All chefs love and cherish cookbooks, and increasingly, cookbooks have become treasured manuals of the trade, as well as beautiful art objects. The Chef s Library is the first attempt to bring together in a single volume a comprehensive collection of cookbooks that are highly rated and actually used by more than 70 renowned chefs around the world. Readers will discover the books that have inspired brilliant culinary talents such as Daniel Humm, Jamie Oliver, Sean Brock, Michael Anthony, Tom Kerridge and many others.

Appetites: A Cookbook by Anthony Bourdain

 

Brash, wild, original and badass. This is Anthony Bourdain’s interpretation of a normal cookbook.

As a restaurant professional, Bourdain spent his life on the fringes of normality – he worked while normal people played, and played while normal people slept. Since then he has settled (kind of) into family life and is cooking for the people he loves rather than people who pay. These are the recipes he turns to when called in for pancake service at sleepover parties or when preparing a violence-free family dinner.

With a striking Ralph Steadman illustration for the cover and photography that somehow manages to be both strangely beautiful and utterly grotesque, this cookbook – Bourdain’s first in ten years – is a home-cooking, home-entertaining cookbook like no other.

 

 

 

Leafy Greens Café: Recipes from Our Organic Garden by Antonia de Luca

 

Antonia de Luca has a love for seasonal, natural, vegan-friendly food. And goodies straight out the garden are even better. In The Leafy Greens Recipe Book, she shares recipes for the healthy and varied vegan delights she serves up at her popular Leafy Greens Café in Muldersdrift. From delectable strawberry cheesecake, to spinach croquettes and goji berry bars, The Leafy Greens Recipe Book has a recipe to suit every culinary mood or occasion.

 

Some notable 2016 cookbooks…

Jamie Oliver’s Christmas Cookbook

Reuben at Home by Reuben Riffel

Simplissime by Jean-François Mallet

Jan: A Breath of French Air by Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen

 

 

For Children and the Young at Heart

What’s Hidden in the Sea? by Aina Bestard

 

At first glance, all is still and quiet under the sea. But look closely through the glasses’ three coloured transparent sheets and amazing scenes unfold. As if by magic, fish and fauna come to life!

 

 

The Giant’s Necklace by Michael Morpurgo and Briony May Smith

 

A tense and thrilling ghost story from the internationally acclaimed author of War Horse. It all began with a necklace, made of glistening pink cowrie shells. A long, long necklace that had taken Cherry days – weeks – of careful, painstaking work. Cherry was determined it would be the longest necklace she had ever made; that it would be fit for a giant! But the end of the holidays had arrived. “You’ve only got today, Cherry,” said her mother. “Just today, that’s all.” Cherry didn’t mind, a day would be enough – she only needed a few more shells. So, amidst the taunts of her older brothers, she set out to search for them. Then the clouds grew dark and the waves grew large, and as the storm blew in, Cherry realised, to her horror, that she was cut off from the shore. From then on, events began to take a decidedly dark turn. One from which there was no turning back…

 

 

Pinocchio: The Origin Story by Alessandro Sanna

 

Told as a story of cosmic beginnings, this version of Pinocchio is about the formative energy and magic that reside in the wood that becomes the boy. This version is also about life on the molecular level and what it means to think about our composition as human beings from the point of view of energy and cosmic matter.

 

 

The Journey by Francesca Sanna

 

With haunting echoes of the current refugee crisis this beautifully illustrated book explores the unimaginable decisions made as a family leave their home and everything they know to escape the turmoil and tragedy brought by war. This book will stay with you long after the last page is turned.

 

Sanna s crisp-edged, screenprintlike forms strike a careful balance between representing visceral dangers and offering tiny measures of hope. Given the ongoing refugee crisis in Europe and immigration debates in the U.S. and abroad, Sanna s story is well poised to spark necessary conversations about the costs of war.”             Publishers Weekly

 

 

The Story Cure: An A-Z of Books to Keep Children Healthy, Happy and Wise by Ella Berthoud

 

From tantrums to tummy aches to teenage mood swings, there are times when a book is the best medicine of all. The Story Cure is a manual for grown-ups who believe that the stories which shape children’s lives should not be left to chance.

 

 

Story of Life: Evolution (Welcome to the Museum) by Katie Scott

 

Help children to understand the process of evolution with this stunning fold-out book, one of the Big Picture Press’ superb Welcome to the Museum series. It starts with the first single-cell organisms, 541 million years ago in the Pre-Cambrian era and ends with modern life forms in the Neocene and Quaternary eras. On the reverse there is information about developments in each period. Beautifully illustrated and full of detail, this really helps put evolution into context.

 

 

The Hair Fair by CA Davids

 

On the busiest street in a welcoming part of town stands a glorious hair salon, owned by Uncle Jamal and Mrs Brown.

The Hair Fair is a wonderful and warm celebration of ALL kinds of hair!

 

 

Ready Steady Mo! by Mo Farah and Kes Gray

 

From Olympic gold medal winner Mo Farah and bestselling author of Oi Frog, Kes Gray, comes a fun and action-packed picture book that will get kids reading – and running too!

So, what are you waiting for? Warm up, do the MOBOT, and then …

Run on the pavement
Run on the grass
Run in the playground
Perhaps not in class!

 

This picture book, … will inspire kids to run everywhere, around the house, the park, across country — even into outer space.”                    Sunday Times

 

The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat

 

On one very special day an imaginary friend is born on an island far away. Here, he and his other imaginary friends play all day and each night they sit beneath the stars, hoping and waiting for their turn to be picked, to be imagined, by a real child. But this particular imaginary friend waits and waits, and still no child imagines him. So he does the unimaginable – he sets off into the real world.

 

Bursting at the seams with charm”                      Huffington Post

 

 

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas: 10th Anniversary Collectors by John Boyne illustrated by Oliver Jeffers

 

Bruno doesn’t like his new house. He had to leave all his friends behind in Berlin, and there are no children to play with here – until Bruno meets Shmuel, a boy who lives on the other side of the wire fence near Bruno’s house, and who wears a strange uniform of striped pyjamas.

A stunning anniversary edition of John Boyne’s powerful classic bestseller, with illustrations from award-winning artist Oliver Jeffers.

 

 

 

The Moonlight Dreamers by Siobhan Curham

 

An inspirational, heart-warming book about four girls trying to find their place in the world. Siobhan Curham celebrates very different but like-minded friends in this captivating novel.

Amber craves excitement and adventure. Instead, she’s being bullied at school for having two dads, and life at home isn’t much better. Inspired by Oscar Wilde, Amber realizes that among the millions of people in London, there must be others who feel the same as she does; other dreamers – moonlight dreamers. After chance encounters with Maali, Sky and Rose, Amber soon recruits the three girls to the Moonlight Dreamers. It’s high time they started pursuing their dreams, and how better than with the support of friends?

 

 

 

The Graces by Laure Eve

 

Everyone said the Graces were witches.
They moved through the corridors like sleek fish, ripples in their wake. Stares followed their backs and their hair.
They had friends, but they were just distractions. They were waiting for someone different.
All I had to do was show them that person was me.

Like everyone else in her town, River is obsessed with the Graces, attracted by their glamour and apparent ability to weave magic. But are they really what they seem? And are they more dangerous than they let on?

This beautifully-written thriller will grip you from its very first page.

 

“The Graces.will have you turning the pages all night.”             Irish Independent

 

 

 

There’s a Snake in My School by David Walliams and Tony Ross

 

From Number One bestselling picture book duo, David Walliams and Tony Ross, comes this ssssspectacularly funny picture book for children of 3 and up.

Miranda loves to be different, and on Bring-your-pet-to-school Day she introduces everyone to her very DIFFERENT pet…

Penelope the snake.

Miss Bloat the headmistress doesn’t think snakes should be allowed in school. But Penelope has other ideas…

Introducing a spectacularly slithery new picture book packed with mischief and mayhem from two superstars!

 

Part Aesop, part Spike Milligan… this is rollicking stuff” – Big Issue

 

 

 

 

Games and Stocking Fillers

Top Trumps and Games

 

A favourite card game for all the family, in assorted from Adventure Time to Star Wars, from Frozen to Dinosaurs.

 

We also have a small selection of board games – from the traditional to the modern.

 

 

 

Truth Facts: The Truthiest Truths and Factiest Facts of Everyday Life by Mikael Wulff and Anders Morgenthaler

 

Playfully teasing readers even as it explores themes like perception vs. reality, this compendium of life’s truthiest facts prods us to laugh at ourselves, own up to our shortfalls, accept the strangeness of the world we live in, and continue on—happier and more connected to one another than ever before.

 

 

Keep Walking…This Doesn’t Concern You

 

Keep Walking, This Doesn’t Concern You brings together some of the internet’s laugh-out-loud and ridiculously stupid memes to help you make sense…

#parenting, #relationships, #winning, #fails, #work, #drinking and #lols whatever the occasion, you’ll never have to worry about expressing yourself again.

 

 

Ladybird Book of the Zombie Apocalypse…and others

 

This delightful book is the latest in the series of Ladybird books which have been specially planned to help grown-ups with the world about them.

The large clear script, the careful choice of words, the frequent repetition and the thoughtful matching of text with pictures all enable grown-ups to think they have taught themselves to cope. Featuring original Ladybird artwork alongside brilliantly funny, brand new text.

 

Perfect stocking fillers and Secret Santa gifts – other new titles include

How it Works: The Student
How it Works: The Cat
How it Works: The Dog
How it Works: The Grandparent 
The Ladybird Book of the Meeting
The Ladybird Book of Red Tape
The Ladybird Book of the People Next Door
The Ladybird Book of the Sickie

 

 

Rules for My Son/Daughter

 

Two beautifully presented collections of quotes featuring advice to our children – tips, tricks and wisdom to get them through the challenges of life.

 

Penguin Little Black Classics

 

Some of the best stocking fillers around – give your loved ones a slice of classic literature for only R35 each!

 

Secret Cape Town by Justin Fox and Alison Westwood

 

Table Mountain’s most exclusive hiking, a restaurant in a maximum security prison, the arboreal evidence of apartheid’s earliest manifestation, a woman disguised as a man for 56 years in order to be a doctor, a beach on top of Table Mountain, a fascinating secret collections of vintage and classic cars, a magical tree renowned for its spiritual healing properties, a heated pool on a military base that’s open to the public, a secret night-time nature tour, a hamster wheel for humans …

Far from the crowds and the usual clichés, Cape Town is still a reserve of well-concealed treasures that only reveal themselves to those who know how to wander off the beaten track, whether residents or visitors.

 

Scorn: The Wittiest and Wickedest Insults in Human History by Matthew Parris

 

There’s no pleasure like a perfectly-turned put-down (when it’s directed at somebody else, of course) but Matthew Parris’s Scorn is sharply different from the standard collections. Here are the funniest, sharpest, rudest and most devastating insults in history, from ancient Roman graffiti to the battlefields of Twitter.

Encompassing literature, art, politics, showbiz, marriage, gender, nationality and religion, Matthew Parris’s sublime collection is the perfect companion for the festive season, whether you’re searching for the perfect elegant riposte, the rudest polite letter ever written, or a brutal verbal sledgehammer.

 

The ideal stocking-filler – miniature in size and big on malevolence.”            Francis Wheen, Mail on Sunday

 

 

Suzelle DIYary by Suzelle DIY

A creative do-it-yourself diary to DIY your way through any year! Write, doodle, make lists and plan your life in Suzelle style. Be inspired by DIY stickers, fun crafts and of course, some new tips and tricks from Suzelle’s sleeves.

 

November 2016

Tuesday, November 22nd 2016 at 10:33 AM

Fiction

Swing Time by Zadie Smith

Two brown girls dream of being dancers – but only one, Tracey, has talent. The other has ideas: about rhythm and time, about black bodies and black music, what constitutes a tribe, or makes a person truly free. It’s a close but complicated childhood friendship that ends abruptly in their early twenties, never to be revisited, but never quite forgotten, either…

Dazzlingly energetic and deeply human, Swing Time is a story about friendship and music and stubborn roots, about how we are shaped by these things and how we can survive them. Moving from north-west London to West Africa, it is an exuberant dance to the music of time.

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Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz

When editor Susan Ryeland is given the tattered manuscript of Alan Conway’s latest novel, she has little idea it will change her life. She’s worked with the revered crime writer for years and his detective, Atticus Pund, is renowned for solving crimes in the sleepy English villages of the 1950s. As Susan knows only too well, vintage crime sells handsomely. It’s just a shame that it means dealing with an author like Alan Conway…

From Sunday Times bestseller Anthony Horowitz comes Magpie Murders, his deliciously dark take on the cosy crime novel, brought bang- up-to-date with a fiendish modern twist.

An ingenious novel-within-a-novel…part crime novel, part pastiche, this magnificent piece of crime fiction plays with the genre while also taking it seriously.”                   Sunday Times

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A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

Image result for A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor TowlesOn 21 June 1922 Count Alexander Rostov is escorted out of the Kremlin, across Red Square and through the elegant revolving doors of the Hotel Metropol. But instead of being taken to his usual suite, he is led to an attic room with a window the size of a chessboard. Deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, the Count has been sentenced to house arrest indefinitely. While Russia undergoes decades of tumultuous upheaval, the Count, is forced to question what makes us who we are. And with the assistance of a glamorous actress, a cantankerous chef and a very serious child, Rostov unexpectedly discovers a new understanding of both pleasure and purpose.

Elegant… as lavishly filigreed as a Fabergé egg.”                      O, the Oprah Magazine

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The Wonder by Emma Donoghue

An eleven-year-old girl stops eating, but remains miraculously alive and well. A nurse, sent to investigate whether she is a fraud, meets a journalist hungry for a story.

Set in the Irish Midlands in the 1850s, Emma Donoghue’s The Wonder – inspired by numerous European and North American cases of ‘fasting girls’ between the sixteenth century and the twentieth – is a psychological thriller about a child’s murder threatening to happen in slow motion before our eyes. Pitting all the seductions of fundamentalism against sense and love, it is a searing examination of what nourishes us, body and soul.

Donoghue mines material that on the face of it appears intractably bleak and surfaces with a powerful, compulsively readable work of fiction.”                Irish Times

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Commonwealth by Ann Patchett

A powerful story of two families brought together by beauty and torn apart by tragedy, the new novel by the Orange Prize-winning author of Bel Canto and State of Wonder is her most astonishing yet.

Told with equal measures of humour and heartbreak, Commonwealth is a powerful and tender tale of family, betrayal and the far-reaching bonds of love and responsibility. A meditation on inspiration, interpretation and the ownership of stories.

An outstanding novel … The opening is a show stopper . Patchett is a pleasure to read: there is a no-fuss casualness to the prose that is only possible when a writer is in control of every word and she is master of her art . What is so skilful is the way Patchett makes no moral judgments … Brilliant.”                   Observer

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Last Days of Night by Graham Moore

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A thrilling novel based on actual events, about the nature of genius, the cost of ambition, and the battle to electrify America—from the Oscar-winning screenwriter of The Imitation Game and author of The Sherlockian.

New York, 1888. Gas lamps still flicker in the city streets, but the miracle of electric light is in its infancy. The person who controls the means to turn night into day will make history—and a vast fortune. A young untested lawyer named Paul Cravath, fresh out of Columbia Law School, takes a case that seems impossible to win. Paul’s client, George Westinghouse, has been sued by Thomas Edison over a billion-dollar question: Who invented the light bulb and holds the right to power the country?

A model of superior historical fiction . . . Graham Moore digs deep into long-forgotten facts to give us an exciting, sometimes astonishing story of two geniuses locked in a brutal battle to change the world. . .[A] brilliant journey into the past.”                  Washington Post

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S.N.U.F.F by Victor Pelevin

Image result for S.N.U.F.F by Victor PelevinS.N.U.F.F. is a hard-hitting and timely satirical story about war, revolution and their relationship with the media. S.N.U.F.F. is a superb post-apocalyptic novel, exploring the conflict between the nation of Urkaine, its causes and its relationship with the city ‘Big Byz’ above. Contrasting poverty and luxury, low and high technology, barbarity and civilisation – while asking questions about the nature of war, the media, entertainment and humanity.

Invention bubbles out of every paragraph; metaphors are pushed until they fall over; pantomime slips into nuanced parody and back again…there are so many good jokes, and conceits and notions.”                        M. John Harrison, TLS

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Rotten Row by Petina Gappah

In her wonderful new story collection, Petina Gappah crosses the barriers of class, race, gender and sexual politics in Zimbabwe to explore the causes and effects of crime, and to meditate on the nature of justice. Rotten Row represents a leap in artistry and achievement from the award-winning author of An Elegy for Easterly and The Book of Memory. With compassion and humour, Petina Gappah paints portraits of lives aching for meaning to produce a moving and universal tableau.

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Death’s End (Three Body Problem) by Cixin Liu

Half a century after the Doomsday Battle, the uneasy balance of Dark Forest Deterrence keeps the Trisolaran invaders at bay. With human science advancing and the Trisolarans adopting Earth culture, it seems that the two civilizations can co-exist peacefully as equals without the terrible threat of mutually assured annihilation. But peace has also made humanity complacent.

Cheng Xin, an aerospace engineer from the 21st century, awakens from hiber­nation in this new age. She brings knowledge of a long-forgotten program dating from the start of the Trisolar Crisis, and her presence may upset the delicate balance between two worlds. Will humanity reach for the stars or die in its cradle?

A breakthrough book … a unique blend of scientific and philosophical speculation, politics and history, conspiracy theory and cosmology, where kings and emperors from both western and Chinese history mingle in a dreamlike game world, while cops and physicists deal with global conspiracies, murders, and alien invasions in the real world.”              George RR Martin

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Seconds by Bryan Lee O’Malley

Image result for Seconds by Bryan Lee O'MalleyFrom the mind and pen behind the acclaimed Scott Pilgrim graphic series comes a madcap new tale of existential angst, everyday obstacles, young love, and ancient spirits that s sharp-witted and tenderhearted, whimsical and wise.

In Seconds, Bryan Lee O Malley plays the angst of youth against the fabric of a larger epic. In doing so, he enriches both. A great ride!”                      Guillermo del Toro

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About Us

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Empires in the Sun: The Struggle for Mastery in Africa by Lawrence James

In this compelling history of the men and ideas that radically changed the course of world history, Lawrence James investigates and analyses how, within a hundred years, Europeans persuaded and coerced Africa into becoming a subordinate part of the modern world. His narrative is laced with the experiences of participants and onlookers and introduces the men and women who, for better or worse, stamped their wills on Africa.

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Confronting the Corrupt: Accountability Now’s Battle Against Graft in South Africa by Paul Hoffman

The infamous Seriti Commission into the arms deal. The Glenister case following the disbanding of the Scorpions. Busting open the bread manufacturers’ cartel. High drama; high stakes brought to South Africa courtesy of the Accountability Now NGO and its founder, Paul Hoffman. Join him in his journey from jaded silk to corruption buster – a fly-on-the-wall account of courtroom clashes, influential personalities, secrets and lies in the battle to speak truth to power. Confronting the Corrupt tells of Accountability Now’s biggest battles, leading to landmark decisions in jurisprudence and earning its place in the small but determined group of organisations protecting and upholding the rule of law in South Africa.

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We the People: Insights of an Activist Judge by Albie Sachs

The stirring collection of essays, talks and extracts by activists and former judge Albie Sachs marks more than 25 years of thinking about constitution making and non-racialism. Following the Constitutional Court’s landmark Nkandla ruling in March 2016, it serves as a powerful reminder of the tenets of the Constitution, the rule of law and the continuous struggle to uphold democratic rights and freedoms. .

Subjective experience and objective analysis interact powerfully in a personalised narrative that reasserts the value of constitutionality not just for South Africans, but for people striving to advance human dignity, equality and freedom across the planet today.

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Non-Fiction

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Blitzed: Drugs in Nazi Germany by Norman Ohler

Image result for Blitzed: Drugs in Nazi Germany by Norman OhlerThe sensational German bestseller on the overwhelming role of drug-taking in the Third Reich, from Hitler to housewives.

The Nazis presented themselves as warriors against moral degeneracy. Yet, as Norman Ohler’s gripping bestseller reveals, the entire Third Reich was permeated with drugs: cocaine, heroin, morphine and, most of all, methamphetamines, or crystal meth, used by everyone from factory workers to housewives, and crucial to troops’ resilience – even partly explaining German victory in 1940.

The promiscuous use of drugs at the very highest levels also impaired and confused decision-making, with Hitler and his entourage taking refuge in potentially lethal cocktails of stimulants administered by the physician Dr Morell as the war turned against Germany.

The most brilliant and fascinating book I have read in my entire life.”           Dan Snow

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Girl Trouble: An Illustrated Memoir by Kerry Cohen

Image result for Girl Trouble: An Illustrated Memoir by Kerry CohenBestselling memoirist and psychotherapist Kerry Cohen (Loose Girl: A Memoir of Promiscuity) explores complicated female friendships in Girl Trouble. Beginning with her relationship with her sister Tyler Cohen, who illustrates the memoir, Kerry examines the many ways female friendships can affect a girl’s life. From bullying and failed friendships to competition and painful break ups, Girl Trouble brings forth a story of how one girl learned to navigate the many difficulties of girls’ and women’s friendships. Girls and women everywhere will relate to the confusion, the hurt feelings, and they will also learn along with Kerry how she had to make better choices over the years

Cohen’s memoir is a deeply poignant, desperately sad account . . . commendably honest and frequently excruciating to read.”                      Publishers Weekly

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Birth of a Dream Weaver: A Writer’s Awakening by Ngǔgî wa Thiong’o

Image result for Birth of a Dream Weaver: A Writer’s Awakening by Ngǔgî wa Thiong’oAs a young student, internationally renowned author Ngugi wa Thiong’o found his voice as a playwright, journalist and novelist, writing his first, pivotal works just as the countries of East Africa were in the final throes of their independence struggles.

Birth of a Dream Weaver is a moving and thought-provoking memoir of the birth of one of the most important writers today, and the death of one of the most violent periods in global history.

Ngugi has written an autobiographical masterpiece… a riveting read in African history and literature.”                         Library Journal

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In the Darkroom by Susan Faludi

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and bestselling author, an astonishing confrontation with the enigma of her father and the larger riddle of identity consuming our age.

When the feminist writer learned that her 76-year-old father – long estranged and living in Hungary – had undergone sex reassignment surgery, that investigation would turn personal and urgent. How was this new parent who identified as “a complete woman now” connected to the silent, explosive, and ultimately violent father she had known, the photographer who’d built his career on the alteration of images?

Faludi’s struggle to come to grips with her father’s metamorphosis takes her across borders – historical, political, religious, sexual – to bring her face to face with the question of the age: Is identity something you “choose,” or is it the very thing you can’t escape?

An absolute stunner of a memoir ― probing, steel-nerved, moving in ways you’d never expect.”                        New York Times

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Where the Jews Aren’t by Masha Gessen

The previously untold story of the Jews in twentieth-century Russia that reveals the complex, strange, and heart-wrenching truth behind the familiar narrative that begins with pogroms and ends with emigration.

Masha Gessen gives us a haunting account of the dream of Birobidzhan and how it became the cracked and crooked mirror in which we can see the true story of the Jews in twentieth-century Russia.

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Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need to Know About Global Politics by Tim Marshall

All leaders are constrained by geography. Their choices are limited by mountains, rivers, seas and concrete. Yes, to follow world events you need to understand people, ideas and movements – but if you don’t know geography, you’ll never have the full picture.

If you’ve ever wondered why Putin is so obsessed with Crimea, why the USA was destined to become a global superpower, or why China’s power base continues to expand ever outwards, the answers are all here.

Quite simply, one of the best books about geopolitics you could imagine: reading it is like having a light shone on your understanding… Marshall is clear-headed, lucid and possessed of an almost uncanny ability to make the broad picture accessible and coherent … the book is, in a way which astonished me, given the complexities of the subject, unputdownable… I can’t think of another book that explains the world situation so well.”                 Nicholas Lezard, Evening Standard

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Genghis Khan: The Man Who Conquered the World by Frank McLynn

Genghis Khan was by far the greatest conqueror the world has ever known, whose empire stretched from the Pacific Ocean to central Europe, including all of China, the Middle East and Russia. So how did an illiterate nomad rise to such colossal power, eclipsing Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar and Napoleon? Credited by some with paving the way for the Renaissance, condemned by others for being the most heinous murderer in history, who was Genghis Khan?

Combining fast-paced accounts of battles with rich cultural background and the latest scholarship, Frank McLynn brings vividly to life the strange world of the Mongols, describes Temujin’s rise from boyhood outcast to become Genghis Khan, and provides the most accurate and absorbing account yet of one of the most powerful men ever to have lived.

This powerful and comprehensive study of the great Mongol takes your breath away with the sheer scale and fury of the man’s conquests and cruelties. Told with chilling relish.”                   Melvyn Bragg, Observer Books of the Year

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Universal: A Guide to the Cosmos by Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw

Image result for Universal: A Guide to the Cosmos by Brian Cox and Jeff ForshawWe dare to imagine a time before the Big Bang, when the entire Universe was compressed into a space smaller than an atom. And now, as Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw show, we can do more than imagine: we can understand. Over the centuries, the human urge to discover has unlocked an incredible amount of knowledge. What it reveals to us is breathtaking.

Science reveals a deeper beauty, connects us to each other, to our world, and to our Universe; and, by understanding the groundbreaking work of others, reaches out into the unknown. What’s more, as Universal shows us, if we dare to imagine, we can all do it.

There is still much to learn about our universe. Universal will help inspire those who share my fascination with our planets, the solar system and beyond.”                        Buzz Aldrin

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Reality is Not What it Seems by Carlo Rovelli

From the bestselling author of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics comes a new book about the mind-bending nature of the universe

Do space and time truly exist? What is reality made of? Can we understand its deep texture? Scientist Carlo Rovelli has spent his whole life exploring these questions and pushing the boundaries of what we know. In this mind-expanding book, he shows how our understanding of reality has changed throughout centuries, from Democritus to loop quantum gravity. Taking us on a wondrous journey, he invites us to imagine a whole new world where black holes are waiting to explode, spacetime is made up of grains, and infinity does not exist — a vast universe still largely undiscovered.

Rovelli writes with elegance, clarity and charm… A joy to read, as well as being an intellectual feast.”              New Statesman

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The Cyclist Who Went Out In the Cold: Adventures Along the Iron Curtain Trail by Tim Moore

Image result for The Cyclist Who Went Out In the Cold: Adventures Along the Iron Curtain Trail by Tim MooreScaling a new peak of rash over-ambition, Tim Moore tackles the 9,000km route of the old Iron Curtain on a tiny-wheeled, two-geared East German shopping bike.
Asking for trouble and getting it, he sets off from the northernmost Norwegian-Russian border at the Arctic winter’s brutal height, bullying his plucky MIFA 900 through the endless and massively sub-zero desolation of snowbound Finland.

After three months, 20 countries and a 58-degree jaunt up the centigrade scale, man and bike finally wobble up to a Black Sea beach in Bulgaria, older and wiser, but mainly older.

Bill Bryson on two wheels.”           Independent

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Time Travel: A History by James Gleick

From the acclaimed author of The Information and Chaos, here is a mind-bending exploration of time travel: its subversive origins, its evolution in literature and science, and its influence on our understanding of time itself.

In his enthralling new book, James Gleick mounts H.G. Wells’s time machine for an invigorating ride through the most baffling of the four dimensions. In these pages, time flies.”                        John Banville, author of The Sea

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Gift Books

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South Africa: The Art of a Nation

This beautiful book begins with the first artistic stirrings of our earliest ancestors and the first African kingdoms through to the creation of 3D figurative art and specialised artisans. It then considers the influence of Dutch, British, Malay, Chinese and Indian settlers from the 16th century onwards and the ensuing conflicts, followed by a focus on the British colonial period and the European obsession with the exotic and the objectification of African bodies. A chapter on segregation after the Union of South Africa in 1910 and Resistance Art during the apartheid era of c.1970 to 1989 is followed by a final section looking at South Africa’s transformation from an apartheid state to the ‘Rainbow Nation’, and the country’s current artistic optimism.

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Obie: A Photographic Story by Obie Oberholzer

Obie encompasses a decades-long sweep of his life’s work and covers the globe. It is part coffee-table book, part travelogue, part autobiography and part storybook, with a bit of philosophy thrown in for good measure. Obie captures the rare, the human, the wonderful, the cosmic even. And he doesn’t just take pictures; he also meticulously records it all in words. His descriptions are often as intriguing, as beautiful or as crazy as his photographs.

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Oh So Pretty: Punk in Print 1976-1980 by Rick Poynor and Toby Mott

A compelling visual portrait of a time, place, and subculture that raised a middle finger to modern society.

Oh So Pretty: Punk in Print 1976-80 is an unrivalled collection of visually striking ephemera from Britain’s punk subculture. It presents 500 artefacts – ‘zines,’ gig posters, flyers, and badges – from well-known and obscure musical acts, designers, venues, and related political groups. While punk was first and foremost a music phenomenon, it reflected a DIY spirit and instantly recognizable aesthetic that was as raw and strident and irrepressible as the music. As disposable as the items in this book once were, together they tell a story about music, history, class, and art, and document a seismic shift in society and visual culture.

The appeal of punk ephemera is growing among wealthy collectors… Mott points out another reason to carry on collecting: in the internet age the physical evidence of punk is even more precious.”                   Financial Times Wealth

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Non-Stop Metropolis: A New York city Atlas by Rebecca Solnit and Joshua Jelly-Schapiro

Image result for Non-Stop Metropolis: A New York city Atlas by Rebecca Solnit and Joshua Jelly-SchapiroNonstop Metropolis conveys innumerable unbound experiences of New York City through twenty-six imaginative maps and informative essays. Bringing together the insights of dozens of experts-from linguists to music historians, ethnographers, urbanists, and environmental journalists-amplified by cartographers, artists, and photographers, it explores all five boroughs of New York City and parts of nearby New Jersey.

In orienting oneself in this atlas…one is invited to fathom the many New Yorks hidden from history s eye…thoroughly terrific.”                Maria Popova, Brain Pickings

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The Odditorium by David Bramwell

Image result for The Odditorium by David BramwellThe Odditorium is a celebration of history’s lesser known creative mavericks; the tricksters, subversives and pioneers whose passion and obsession proved there are no limits or rules when it comes to human potential. From the Victorian prankster who sent 30,000 objects through the Royal Mail (including his Irish Terrier) to the housewife who grew giant peanuts using atomic energy, you’ll find inspiring stories of originality, energy and eccentricity, and learn how these heroic failures and visionaries re-invigorated culture and helped us find new ways to understand ourselves and the world around us.

Outsider artists, linguists, scientists, time travellers and architects all feature in The Odditorium, each of whom risked ostracism, ridicule and even madness in pursuit of carving their own esoteric path, changing the world in wonderful ways.

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Faber Poetry Diary 2017

Related imageThe Faber poetry list, originally founded in the 1920s, was shaped by the taste of T.S. Eliot, who was its guiding light for nearly forty years. Since the sixties, each passing decade has seen the list grow with the addition of poets who were arguably the finest of their generation. In recent years the creation of the Poet-to-Poet series has further broadened the scope of Faber poetry to include the work of great poets from the past, selected and introduced by the contemporary poets they have inspired.

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Release Your Anger/Memos to Shitty People – Colouring for Adults!

Incompetent co-worker? Annoying neighbour? Rubbish friend? Colour away your frustration with over thirty-five delightful and vulgar phrases you wish you’d said out loud.
Each single-sided page includes such tension-busting phrases as, ‘Seriously, Bitch?’ and ‘Oh look … the fuck-up fairy has visited’ alongside friendly critters and intricate flora to calm your nerves.

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Zapiro/Madam and Eve

Image result for madam and eve take us to your leader         Image result for zapiro annual

The annual offerings from some of our favourite cartoonists.

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Bookshops by Jorge Carrion/Browse: The World in Bookshops by Henry Hitchings

 . . . Image result for Browse: The World in Bookshops by Henry Hitchings

Two love letters to bookshops of the world (one featuring, ahem, The Book Lounge).

One is the travelogue of a lucid and curious observer, filled with anecdotes and stories from the universe of writing, publishing and selling books. A bookshop in Carrion’s eyes never just a place for material transaction; it is a meeting place for people and their ideas, a setting for world changing encounters, a space that can transform lives.

The other is a celebration of bookshops around the world, by an award-winning cast of writers including Ali Smith, Pankaj Mishra, Elif Shafak and Daniel Kehlmann

All these writers convey the magic of bookshops, while also making their vulnerability in recent times a recurrent theme.”                 Guardian

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Fashion: 150 Years/150 Designers

Image result for Fashion: 150 Years/150 DesignersCovering everyone from Azzedine Alaïa to Yohji Yamamoto, and everything from Boho Chic to Space Age style, this is an indispensible and delightful guide to the creative world of fashion. This encyclopedic volume contains over 150 entries on designers and styles, with multiple images and a comprehensive text for each one. This guide includes all of the designers, movements and style icons that have created the history of international fashion from the 1860s all the way to today.

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The Earth and I by James Lovelock et al

Image result for The Earth and I by James Lovelock et alHuman beings are extraordinary creatures. So great is the extent of our influence on the planet, that many speak of a new geological era, the Anthropocene, an age defined by human-induced change to the blue and green globe we call home.
Our lofty status comes with responsibility as much as possibility: How should we approach our present and future? Conceived by James Lovelock, inventor of the Gaia theory, this illustrated essay collection brings together an all-star line-up of thinkers and scientists to offer essential understanding about who we are, how we live, and where we might be going.

The book s world-class contributors include quantum physicist Lisa Randall, Astronomer Royal Martin Rees, Pulitzer Prize-winning biologist Edward O. Wilson, and Nobel Prize-winning neuroscientist Eric Kandel. With lively illustrations from British artist Jack Hudson, the result is an inspiration for curious minds young and old, and a trusted tool kit for an informed and enlightened future.

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Overview: A New Perspective by Benjamin Grant

Image result for Overview: A New Perspective by Benjamin GrantA stunning and unique collection of satellite images of Earth that offer an unexpected look at humanity, derived from the wildly popular Daily Overview Instagram account.
More than 200 images of industry, agriculture, architecture, and nature highlight incredible patterns while also revealing a deeper story about human impact. This extraordinary photographic journey around our planet captures the sense of wonder gained from a new, aerial vantage point and creates a perspective of Earth as it has never been seen before.

Stunning, surprising and intriuging photographs of Earth from the skies.”   Guardian

Absolutely gorgeous, yet absolutely gut-wrenching.”    Wired

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Planet Earth 2 by Stephen Moss & David Attenborough

Image result for 978-184990965510 years on from the first, groundbreaking, Planet Earth, the BBC uses the most incredible advances in technology and scientific discovery to bring you the most exciting and immersive picture of our world’s wildlife yet.

With over 250 breathtaking photographs and stills from the BBC Natural History Unit’s spectacular footage, this is an extraordinary new look at the complex life of some of the most amazing places on Planet Earth.

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Letters of Note: Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience compiled by Shaun Usher


Letters of Note
 is a collection of over one hundred of the world’s most entertaining, inspiring and unusual letters, based on the seismically popular website of the same name – an online museum of correspondence visited by over 70 million people. From Virginia Woolf’s heart-breaking suicide letter, to Queen Elizabeth II’s recipe for drop scones sent to President Eisenhower; from the first recorded use of the expression ‘OMG’ in a letter to Winston Churchill, to Gandhi’s appeal for calm to Hitler; and from Iggy Pop’s beautiful letter of advice to a troubled young fan, to Leonardo da Vinci’s remarkable job application letter, Letters of Note is a celebration of the power of written correspondence which captures the humour, seriousness, sadness and brilliance that make up all of our lives.

Quite literally the most enjoyable volume it is possible to imagine. Every page is a marvel.” (Spectator)

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Plant: Exploring the Botanical World

Image result for Plant: Exploring the Botanical WorldThe ultimate gift for gardeners and art-lovers, featuring 300 of the most beautiful and pioneering botanical images ever. This fresh and visually stunning survey celebrates the extraordinary beauty and diversity of plants. It combines photographs and cutting-edge micrograph scans with watercolours, drawings, and prints to bring this universally popular and captivating subject vividly to life. This stunning compilation of botanically themed images includes iconic work by celebrated artists, photographers, scientists, and botanical illustrators, as well as rare and previously unpublished images.

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How It Works: The Cat (Ladybird Books for Grown-ups)

Image result for How It Works: The Cat (LadybirdThis delightful book is the latest in the series of Ladybird books which have been specially planned to help grown-ups with the world about them.

The large clear script, the careful choice of words, the frequent repetition and the thoughtful matching of text with pictures all enable grown-ups to think they have taught themselves to cope. Featuring original Ladybird artwork alongside brilliantly funny, brand new text. Look out for more new titles in this hilarious series!

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Bedtime Stories for Grown-Ups compiled by Ben Holden

There are few more precious routines than that of the bedtime story. So why do we discard this invaluable ritual as grown-ups to the detriment of our well-being and good health?

Poems and short stories, fairy tales and fables, reveries and nocturnes – from William Shakespeare to Haruki Murakami, Charles Dickens to Roald Dahl, Rabindranath Tagore to Nora Ephron, Vladimir Nabokov to Neil Gaiman – are all woven together to replicate the journey of a single night’s sleep.

I have been charmed by this collection, so unlike any other…It is truly enjoyable. Not only has it crept at once onto my bedside table, but it is also going to solve my Christmas present problem.”                                     Diana Athill

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In the Kitchen

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Reuben at Home by Reuben Riffel

Image result for Reuben at Home by Reuben RiffelReuben at Home offers readers a glimpse into the life and loves of Reuben Riffel when he’s not cooking in restaurant kitchens, running successful restaurants or appearing in front of the TV cameras. This is a personal, honest account of how Reuben feels about food and the way in which he chooses to feed his family and friends in his own home.

These recipes, all created by Reuben, were inspired by his memories of happy family meals and his favourite flavours from childhood. These are tastes he remembers from his past and which he now chooses to share with those he loves.

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Hoxton Street Monster Supplies Cookbook: Everyday Recipes for the Living, the Dead & the Undead

For hundreds of years, the Hoxton Street Monster Supplies shop has been supplying quality goods for the monster community from its premises in east London – and this, its classic recipe book, has been in use for just as long.

Now, for the first time, it has been adapted for use by humans as well as monsters. So whether you’re entertaining trolls, hosting a vampire soirée or expecting zombies round for tea, you can make delicious treats to suit every occasion.

– Fallen out with a friend? Bake them some 1000-year Curse Cookies!
– Want to woo a zombie? Try our After-Gorging Breath Mints!
– Unexpected ogre guests? Make our Fresh Maggot Brownies or Spiced Earwax Pie!

With recipes and handy hints for monster housekeeping, this classic tome is an essential addition to every home, lair, cave, swamp or fiery pit.

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Giving Back Childhood

Image result for Giving Back ChildhoodIn Giving Back Childhood, South African celebrities from the world of sport, music, media, academia, business, politics, literature, food and entertainment, as well as unsung heroes at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, share some of their own personal memories of food and childhood, as well as the recipes that are the on-going connection to those memories.

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Provence to Pondicherry: Recipes from France to Faraway by Tessa Kiros

Tessa Kiros, renowned for her exquisite food and travel books, takes us on a fascinating journey across the globe to explore French culinary influences in far-flung destinations. Her journey begins in Provence, where Tessa first fell in love with French food. She then takes the path of early French explorers, travelling to the island of Guadeloupe in the Caribbean; Vietnam in South-east Asia; Pondicherry on the Bay of Bengal, India; La Reunion, a French island in the Indian Ocean. The result is an intriguing collection of recipes that will appeal to all those with a broad interest in food and culture.

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For youngsters

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Picture/Gift Books

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A Child of Books by Oliver Jeffers and Sam Winston

In this inspiring, lyrical tale about the rewards of reading and sharing stories, a little girl sails her raft “across a sea of words” to arrive at the house of a small boy. There she invites him to come away with her on an adventure. Guided by his new friend, the boy unlocks his imagination and a lifetime of magic lies ahead of him. But who will be next? Elegant illustrations by Oliver Jeffers are accompanied by Sam Winston’s astonishing typographical landscapes, beautifully shaped from excerpts of children’s classics including Treasure Island, Little Women and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, creating a gorgeous gift book perfect for readers of all ages, and this year’s must-have Christmas gift.

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We Found a Hat by Jon Klassen

Image result for We Found a Hat by Jon KlassenTwo turtles have found a hat. The hat looks good on both of them. But there are two turtles. And there is only one hat… Evoking hilarity and sympathy, the shifting eyes tell the tale in this perfectly paced story in three parts, highlighting Jon Klassen’s visual comedy, deceptive simplicity and deliciously deadpan humour.

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Botanicum (Welcome to the Museum) by Katie Scott

Image result for Botanicum (Welcome to the Museum) by Katie ScottBotanicum is a stunningly curated guide to plant life. With artwork from Katie Scott of Animalium fame, Botanicum gives readers the experience of a fascinating exhibition from the pages of a beautiful book.

From perennials to bulbs to tropical exotica, Botanicum is a wonderful feast of botanical knowledge complete with superb cross sections of how plants work.

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Freedom in Congo Square by Carole Boston Weatherford

Image result for Freedom in Congo Square by Carole Boston WeatherfordThis poetic, nonfiction story about a little-known piece of African American history captures a human s capacity to find hope and joy in difficult circumstances and demonstrates how New Orleans’ Congo Square was truly freedom s heart.
Mondays, there were hogs to slop,
mules to train, and logs to chop.
Slavery was no ways fair.
Six more days to Congo Square. 

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Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty and David Roberts

Iggy Peck and Rosie Revere have earned their places among the most beloved children s characters and have inspired countless kids and adults to follow their passions. Determined Ada Twist, with her boundless curiosity for science and love of the question Why?, is destined to join these two favourites. Like her classmates Iggy and Rosie, Ada has always been hopelessly curious. She embarks on fact-finding missions and conducts scientific experiments, all in the name of discovery. When her house fills with a horrific, toe-curling smell, Ada knows it’s up to her to find the source. But, this time, her experiments lead to trouble.

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Age 9-12

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The Midnight Gang by David Walliams

Image result for midnight gangWelcome to the Midnight Gang! Midnight is the time when all children are fast asleep, except of course for… the Midnight Gang. That is when their adventures are just beginning…

When Tom gets hit on the head by a cricket ball, he finds himself at Lord Funt Hospital, and is greeted by a terrifying-looking porter. Things go from bad to worse when he meets the wicked matron in charge of the children’s ward… But Tom is about to embark on the most thrilling journey of a lifetime!

The Midnight Gang tells an extraordinarily heartwarming and, of course, funny story of five children on a hospital ward – and on a quest for adventure! It is a story of friendship and magic – and of making dreams come true. Readers are set to be utterly spellbound by this heartfelt story that will bring magic to everyone’s Christmas.

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Teens

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Kids of Appetite by David Arnold

Kids of Appetite by David Arnold is a tragicomedy of first love and devastating loss for fans of Rainbow Rowell and Jennifer Niven.

In the Hackensack Police Department, Vic Benucci and his friend Mad are explaining how they found themselves wrapped up in a grisly murder. But in order to tell that story, they have to go way back…

It all started when Vic’s dad died. Vic’s dad was his best friend, and even now, two years later, he can’t bring himself to touch the Untouchable Urn of Oblivion that sits in his front hall. But one cold December day, Vic falls in with an alluring band of kids that wander his New Jersey neighbourhood, including Mad, the girl who changes everything. Along with his newfound friendships comes the courage to open his father’s urn, the discovery of the message inside, and the epic journey it sparks.

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Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven

From the author of the New York Times bestseller All the Bright Places comes a heart-wrenching story about what it means to see someone – and love someone – for who they truly are. Jennifer Niven delivers another poignant, exhilarating love story about finding that person who sees you for who you are – and seeing them right back.

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Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley

Image result for Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin TalleyIt’s 1959. The battle for civil rights is raging. And it’s Sarah’s first day of school as one of the first black students at previously all-white Jefferson High.
No one wants Sarah there. Not the Governor. Not the teachers. And certainly not the students – especially Linda, daughter of the town’s most ardent segregationist.
Sarah and Linda are supposed to despise each other. But the more time they spend together, the less their differences matter. And both girls start to feel something they’ve never felt before. Something they’re determined to ignore.

Because it’s one thing to stand up to an unjust world – but another to be terrified of what’s in your own heart.

Happy reading and Christmas shopping!

 

 

October 2016

Monday, October 24th 2016 at 10:41 AM

Fiction

 

 

Bright, Precious Days by Jay McInerney

 

Image result for Bright, Precious Days by Jay McInerneyRussell and Corrine Calloway have spent half their lives in the bright lights of New York. Theirs is the generation that flew too close to the sun on wings of cocaine – and whose lives changed irrevocably when planes crashed into the Twin Towers. Now, in 2008, Russell runs his own publishing house and Corrine manages a food redistribution programme. He clings to their loft and the illusion of downtown bohemia, while she longs to have more space for their twelve-year-old twins.

Although they try to forget each other’s past indiscretions, when Jeff Pierce’s posthumous, autobiographical novel garners a new cult following, the memory of their friend begins to haunt the couple, and their marriage feels increasingly unstable. Not helped by the reappearance of Corrine’s former lover, Luke McGavock, whose ardour seems no cooler despite having a beautiful new wife in tow.

Acutely observed and brilliantly told, Bright, Precious Days dissects the moral complexities of relationships, while painting a portrait of New York as Obama and Clinton battle for leadership and the collapse of Lehman Brothers looms. A moving, deeply humane novel about the mistakes we make, persistence in struggle and love’s ability to adapt and survive, it confirms McInerney as a great chronicler of our times.

 

Don’t miss Jay McInerney at the Book Lounge on Tuesday November 8th!

 

“One of the most gifted writers of his generation … Whatever he does makes fascinating reading.””                  Observer

“No contemporary author quite matches Jay McInerney.”               Mail on Sunday

“Not only a brilliant stylist but a master of characterization, with a keen eye for the incongruities of urban life.”                        New York Times

“McInerney joins a small number of dissident novelists, headed by Norman Mailer, who change the way we look at American history.”                  Sunday Telegraph

“A scabrously scintillating stylist.”                 Guardian

“McInerney has a gift for the simultaneous perception of the glamour and tawdriness of city life.”                     Evening Standard

“Our modern-day Fitzgerald evokes New York’s fading glamour in Bright, Precious Days.”                       Vanity Fair

 

 

The Nix by Nathan Hill

Meet Samuel: stalled writer, bored teacher at a local college, obsessive player of online video games. He hasn’t seen his mother, Faye, in decades, not since she abandoned her family when he was a boy. Now she has suddenly reappeared, having committed an absurd politically motivated crime that electrifies the nightly news, beguiles the Internet, and inflames a divided America. The media paints Faye as a radical hippie with a sordid past, but as far as Samuel knows, his mother was an ordinary girl who married her high-school sweetheart. Which version of his mother is true? Two facts are certain: she’s facing some serious charges, and she needs Samuel’s help.

As Samuel begins to excavate his mother’s – and his country’s – history, the story moves from the rural Midwest of the 1960s, to New York City during Occupy Wall Street, back to Chicago in 1968 and, finally, to wartime Norway, home of the mysterious Nix. Samuel will unexpectedly find that he has to rethink everything he ever knew about his mother – a woman with an epic story of her own, a story she has kept hidden from the world.

 

“Nathan Hill is a maestro, a maestro of being terrific.”       John Irving

“Hill has so much talent to burn that he can pull off just about any style, imagine himself into any person and convincingly portray any place or time. The Nix is hugely entertaining and unfailingly smart, and the author seems incapable of writing a pedestrian sentence or spinning a boring story.”                  New York Times Book Review

“We’re in the presence of a major new comic novelist . . . a brilliant, endearing writer . . . Readers . . . will be dazzled.”                    
Washington Post

“There is an accidental topicality in Hill’s debut, about an estranged mother and son whose fates hinge on two mirror-image political events – the Democratic Convention of 1968 and the Republican Convention of 2004. But beyond that hook lies a high-risk, high-reward playfulness with structure and tone: comic set pieces, digressions into myth, and formal larks that call to mind Jennifer Egan’s A Visit From the Goon Squad.”                     New York Magazine

“Nathan Hill Is Compared to John Irving. Irving Compares Him to Dickens.”                                  
New York Times

 

 

 

Conclave by Robert Harris

Unputdownable.”                   Guardian
Gripping.”                   Sunday Times 

The Pope is dead.

Behind the locked doors of the Sistine Chapel, one hundred and eighteen cardinals from all over the globe will cast their votes in the world’s most secretive election.

They are holy men. But they have ambition. And they have rivals.

Over the next seventy-two hours one of them will become the most powerful spiritual figure on earth.
Gripping . . . like an ecclesiastical version of House of Cards.”                    The Times

Well-researched, intelligently observed and highly credible . . . Fast-moving and suspenseful, it’s elegantly written entertainment from a first-rate storyteller.”                         Mail on Sunday

“Grips like a vice and manages to convey all the drama of an election without resorting to melodrama”                         Jake Kerridge

“An electric read, like a shot of adrenalin to the heart…rollicking and literate…an insightful and witty thriller”              
 Literary Review

 

 

 

Judas by Amos Oz

Shmuel, a young, idealistic student, is drawn to a mysterious handwritten note on a campus noticeboard. This takes him to a strange house, where an elderly invalid man requires a paid companion, to argue with and read to him. But there is someone else in the house, too… A woman, who is trailed by ghosts from her past. Shmuel is captivated by her, a sexual obsession which evolves into gentle love and devotion; and he is pulled to the old man, an intellectual obsession which also evolves into gentle love and devotion. Shmuel begins to uncover the house’s tangled history and, in doing so, reaches an understanding that harks back not only to the beginning of the Jewish-Arab conflict, but also the beginning of Jerusalem itself – to Christianity, to Judaism, to Judas.

Set in the still-divided Jerusalem of 1959–60, Judas is an exquisite love story and coming-of-age tale, and a radical rethinking of the concept of treason. It is a novel steeped in desire and curiosity from one of Israel’s greatest living writers.

 

“[Judas is] many-layered, thought-provoking and – in its love story – delicate as a chrysalis, this is an old-fashioned novel of ideas that is strikingly and compellingly modern.”              Peter Stanford, Observer

“A very absorbing addition to his remarkable oeuvre”          Andrew Motion, Guardian

“This book is compassionate as well as painfully provocative, a contribution to some sort of deeper listening to the dissonances emerging from deep within the politics and theology of Israel and Palestine.”                        New Statesman

“After almost two dozen books that track changes in both heart and state with untiring strength and subtlety, the Israeli master has delivered one of the boldest of all his works… Nicholas de Lange, Oz’s distinguished translator, steers these virtuoso transitions between debate and domesticity with unerring skill… Oz can imagine, and inhabit, treachery of every stripe. But he keeps faith with the art of fiction.”                       Boyd Tonkin, Financial Times

 

 

 

Darktown by Thomas Mullen

 


Darktown
 is a relentlessly gripping, highly intelligent crime novel set in Atlanta in 1948, following the city’s first black police force investigating a brutal murder against all the odds.

‘Magnificent and shocking’                Sunday Times

Atlanta, 1948. In this city, all crime is black and white.

On one side of the tracks are the rich, white neighbourhoods; on the other, Darktown, the African-American area guarded by the city’s first black police force of only eight men. These cops are kept near-powerless by the authorities: they can’t arrest white suspects; they can’t drive a squad car; they must operate out of a dingy basement.

When a poor black woman is killed in Darktown having been last seen in a car with a rich white man, no one seems to care except for Boggs and Smith, two black cops from vastly different backgrounds. Pressured from all sides, they will risk their jobs, the trust of their community and even their own lives to investigate her death.

Their efforts bring them up against a brutal old-school cop, Dunlow, who has long run Darktown as his own turf – but Dunlow’s idealistic young partner, Rakestraw, is a young progressive who may be willing to make allies across colour lines . . .

Mullen blends the classic ingredients of det-fic noir with a well-researched and searing portrayal of pre-civil rights racial division. Magnificent and shocking (Sunday Times)

“One incendiary image ignites the next in this highly combustible procedural, set in the city’s rigidly segregated black neighborhoods during the pre-civil-rights era and written with a ferocious passion that’ll knock the wind out of you.”                       New York Times

“A terrific story that raises issues that have not vanished.”              Marcel Berlins, The Times

“From the very first page of Darktown, I was stunned, mesmerized, and instantly a huge fan of Tom Mullen. Beyond the history and the thrilling mystery, the book’s soul lies in the burgeoning partnership (and dare I say friendship) at the center of the book. It’s a reminder of the ties that cut across race in America. There is nothing I love more in a book than hope.”                    Attica Locke, author of Black Water Rising

“A fine, unflinching example of the increasingly widespread use of crime fiction to explore social issues; its plot is gripping.”                AD Miller, The Economist

“Fine Southern storytelling meets hard-boiled crime in a tale that connects an overlooked chapter of history to our own continuing struggles with race today.”               Charles Frazier, author of Cold Mountain

 

 

Inch Levels by Neil Hegarty

 

Patrick Jackson lies on his deathbed in Derry and recalls a family history marked by secrecy and silence, and a striking absence of conventional pieties. He remembers the death of an eight-year-old girl, whose body was found on reclaimed land called Inch Levels on the shoreline of Lough Swilly. And he is visited by his beloved but troubled sister Margaret and by his despised brother-in-law Robert, and by Sarah, his hard, unchallengeable mother.

Each of them could talk about events in the past that might explain the bleakness of their relationships, but leaving things unsaid has become a way of life. Guilt and memory beat against them, as shock waves from bombs in Derry travel down the river to shake the windows of those who have escaped the city.

 

A perceptive and moving study of remorse and resilience, of the legacy violence leaves behind, and of the intricacies of family life; in the world as Neil Hegarty conjures it, old secrets never die, and what’s past is never past.”               John Banville.

Unsettling and thought-provoking, with just enough ambiguity and nuance to convince, this is a bold and well-crafted debut.”                        Irish Times

Hegarty has a gift for lyrical description, and his authorial detachment adds to a pervading sense of bleakness.”                         Daily Mail

 

 

 

Selection Day by Aravind Adiga

The most exciting novelist writing in English today.”                      A. N. Wilson

 

Manjunath Kumar is fourteen. He knows he is good at cricket – if not as good as his elder brother Radha. He knows that he fears and resents his domineering and cricket-obsessed father, admires his brilliantly talented sibling and is fascinated by the world of CSI and by curious and interesting scientific facts. But there are many things, about himself and about the world, that he doesn’t know . . . Sometimes it seems as though everyone around him has a clear idea of who Manju should be, except Manju himself.

When Manju begins to get to know Radha’s great rival, a boy as privileged and confident as Manju is not, everything in Manju’s world begins to change and he is faced with decisions that will challenge both his sense of self and of the world around him . . .

 

“Selection Day is at its heart an engrossing and nuanced coming-of-age-novel . . . intriguing and subtly developed . . . [Adiga] has succeeded in composing a powerful individual story that, at the same time, does justice to life’s (and India’s) great indeterminacies.”                     Sunday Times

“[A] finely told, often moving, and intelligent novel . . . Adiga’s novel takes in class, religion and sexuality – all issues that disrupt the dream of a sport that cares for nothing but talent and temperament. Because Adiga is a novelist, and one who has grown in his art since his Booker prizewinning debut, The White Tiger, he knows how to talk about all these matters through his characters and their compelling stories.”             Kamila Shamsie, Guardian

“[Adiga] has always been drawn to that gap between the glitter and gleam of India Shining and the violence, inequality and social misery that give a partial lie to the nation’s desire to rebrand itself . . . [he] has written another snarling, witty state-of-the-nation address about a country in thrall to values that 19th-century moralists would have damned as “not cricket”.            
Observer

“Top-rate fiction from a young master . . . Adiga’s plot is gripping.”                       The Times

“Selection Day is a captivating and sensitive coming-of-age story . . . Adiga’s characters are getting more complex with each book, and this complexity makes his indictment of the contemporary world all the more urgent and convincing.”                Hirsh Sawhney, TLS

 

 

 

Resolution by A.N. Wilson

 

A.N. Wilson’s powerful new novel explores the life and times of one of the greatest British explorers, Captain Cook, and the golden age of Britain’s period of expansion and exploration.
Wilson’s protagonist, witness to Cook’s brilliance and wisdom, is George Forster, who travelled with Cook as botanist on board the HMS Resolution, on Cook’s second expedition to the southern hemisphere, and penned a famous account of the journey. Resolution moves back and forth across time, to depict Forster’s time with Cook, and his extraordinary later life, which ended with his death in Paris, during the French Revolution.
Wilson once again demonstrates his great powers as a master craftsman of the historical and the human in this richly evoked novel, which brings to life the real and the extraordinary, brilliantly drawing together a remarkable cast of characters in order to look at human endeavour, ingenuity and valour.

 

 

 

 

Fairy Tales

Beyond the Woods: Fairy Tales Retold edited by Paula Guran

Once upon a time, the stories that came to be known as fairy tales were cultivated to entertain adults more than children; it was only later that they were tamed and pruned into less thorny versions intended for youngsters. But in truth, they have continued to prick the imaginations of readers at all ages.
Over the years, authors have often borrowed bits and pieces from these stories, grafting them into their own writing, creating literature with both new meaning and age-old significance. In the last few decades or so, they ve also intentionally retold and reinvented the tales in a variety of waysdelightful or dark, wistful or wicked, sweet or satiricalthat forge new trails through the forests of fantastic fiction.
This new anthology compiles some of the best modern fairy-tale retellings and reinventions from award-winning and bestselling authors, acclaimed storytellers, and exciting new talents, into an enchanting collection. Explore magical new realms by traveling with us, “Beyond the Woods” . . .

Non-fiction

Memories from Moscow to the Black Sea by Teffi

 

Image result for teffi memories from moscowWonderfully idiosyncratic, coolly heartfelt and memorable.” William Boyd

I never imagined such a memoir could be possible… enthralling.” Antony Beevor

A vividly idiosyncratic personal account of the disintegration of Tsarist Russia after the Revolution, as alive to the farcical and the ridiculous as it is to the tragic; a bit like what Chekhov might have written if he had lived to experience it.”            Michael Frayn

 

The writer and satirist Teffi was a literary sensation in Russia until war and revolution forced her to leave her country for ever. Memories is her blackly funny and heartbreaking account of her final, frantic journey into exile across Russia-travelling by cart, freight train and rickety steamer-and the ‘ordinary and unheroic’ people she encounters. From refugees setting up camp on a dockside to a singer desperately buying a few ‘last scraps’ of fabric to make a dress, all are caught up in the whirlwind; all are immortalized by Teffi’s penetrating gaze.

Fusing exuberant wit and bitter horror, this is an extraordinary portrayal of what it means to say goodbye, with haunting relevance in today’s new age of diaspora. Published in English for the first time, it confirms the rediscovery of Teffi as one of the most humane, perceptive observers of her time, and an essential writer for ours.

 

Darkly funny… she did write in this very charming, humorous and light way that allowed her to slip in these satirical points in a way that was acceptable.”                       BBC Radio 4 Open Book

Memories might have been relentlessly bleak if it were not for its humour and Teffi’s indestructible positivity… Teffi’s world becomes somewhere we do not want to leave.”                                   Guardian

“Highly readable… she is not afraid to look into the depths of what human beings can do to one another and what happens when civilisation breaks down.”       Financial Times

“She always finds the funny but never loses sight of the sadness in the madness. Awesome.”                    Big Issue

“[Teffi] succeeds in conveying the sense of claustrophobia and disorientation that are the refugee condition.”                           New York Times Book Review

“[A] remarkable memoir… perhaps this is the essence of Teffi, the quality that makes her writing both potent and endearing: she pitches in.”                  New Statesman

 

 

 

Science & the City: The Mechanics Behind the Metropolis by Laurie Winkless

Cities are a big deal. More people now live in them than don’t, and with a growing world population, the urban jungle is only going to get busier in the coming decades. But how often do we stop to think about what makes our cities work?

Cities are built using some of the most creative and revolutionary science and engineering ideas – from steel structures that scrape the sky to glass cables that help us communicate at the speed of light – but most of us are too busy to notice. Science and the City is your guidebook to that hidden world, helping you to uncover some of the remarkable technologies that keep the world’s great metropolises moving.

Laurie Winkless takes us around cities in six continents to find out how they’re dealing with the challenges of feeding, housing, powering and connecting more people than ever before. In this book, you’ll meet urban pioneers from history, along with today’s experts in everything from roads to time, and you will uncover the vital role science has played in shaping the city around you. But more than that, by exploring cutting-edge research from labs across the world, you’ll build your own vision of the megacity of tomorrow, based on science fact rather than science fiction.

Science and the City is the perfect read for anyone curious about the world they live in.

 

“Offers a unique insight into the revolutionary thinking that is shaping big cities around the world.”                   Sunday Times

“Provides a fun and engaging insight into how cutting-edge technology is shaping our cities. Winkless’s love of science and curiosity shines through.”                       Irish Independent

 

“Fascinating, lucid and entertaining; her infectious enthusiasm for the subject lights up every page.”                  John O’Farrell, comedy scriptwriter and author of The Man Who Forgot His Wife

 

 

Take Six Girls: The Lives of the Mitford Sisters by Laura Thompson

 

Image result for take six girls mitfordThe eldest was a razor-sharp novelist of upper-class manners; the second was loved by John Betjeman; the third was a fascist who married Oswald Mosley; the fourth idolized Hitler and shot herself in the head when Britain declared war on Germany; the fifth was a member of the American Communist Party; the sixth became Duchess of Devonshire.

They were the Mitford sisters: Nancy, Pamela, Diana, Unity, Jessica and Deborah. Born into country-house privilege in the early years of the 20th century, they became prominent as ‘bright young things’ in the high society of interwar London. Then, as the shadows crept over 1930s Europe, the stark – and very public – differences in their outlooks came to symbolize the political polarities of a dangerous decade.

The intertwined stories of their stylish and scandalous lives – recounted in masterly fashion by Laura Thompson – hold up a revelatory mirror to upper-class English life before and after WWII.

 

“I was enthralled and charmed by this group biography of all six Mitford sisters, which tells the intertwined stories of their stylish scandalous lives in a fresh and admirably concise way – and with a striking contemporary sensibility too.”                 Bookseller, Editor’s Choice

“Engaging … Thompson’s is an astute, highly readable and well assembled book, and she writes with particular intelligence about the sisters’ self-mythologising and their ongoing hold on the public imagination.”                   Observer

“Thompson is marvellous at mapping and explicating the webs or skeins of sibling rivalry [in this] gripping and appalling family saga.”                        The Times

“The first book to consider “the whole six-pack” in the post-Mitford age. And what a remarkable story it is … Thompson retells the story with great style and illuminating detail.”                        Independent

 

 

Feminist Fight Club by Jessica Bennett

Engaging, hilarious and practical – I will proudly proclaim myself a card-carrying member of the FFC.”             Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and bestselling author of Lean In

This is a call to arms.

Are you aged zero to infinity? Finished with the sexist status quo? Ready to kick ass and take names?

Welcome to the Feminist Fight Club. You have lifetime membership.

Feminist Fight Club provides an arsenal of weapons for surviving in an unequal world. You will learn how to fight micro-aggressions, correct unconscious bias, deal with male colleagues who can’t stop ‘manterrupting’ or ‘bro-propriating’ your ideas – and how to lean in without falling the f*ck over.

Every woman needs this book – and they needed it yesterday.

This is not a drill.

 

“I’ll be buying this for any young woman I know starting out on her career … It is invaluable wisdom.”               Sunday Times

“Funny and fresh … One of those books that every person, not just every woman, should read.”              Glamour

“A classic, f*ck-you feminist battle guide, with unapologetic strategies for how to get down and strength up with female comrades to fight patriarchy on the daily. Every woman should have a Feminist Fight Club.”                   Ilana Glazer, comedian and co-creator of BROAD CITY

“This book offers the weapons that women need to win the war on inequality. With mighty wit, Jessica Bennett shows women how to defeat the enemies – and men how to stop being enemies. I was not prepared to laugh out loud so many times while learning so much about a serious topic. “                      
Adam Grant, bestselling author of ORIGINALS and GIVE AND TAKE

 

 

Why It’s Not All Rocket Science: Scientific Theories and Experiments Explained by Robert Cave

In Why It’s Not All Rocket Science , Robert Cave examines 100 extraordinary projects, theories and experiments that have been conducted in the name of science. Some, including various nuclear tests, have attracted controversy and hostility; others, such as Johann Wilhelm Ritter’s erotic self-experiments with a voltaic pile, seem downright weird. But Cave demonstrates, thoroughly and informatively, that it is only by doggedly asking awkward questions, and paying close attention to the answers, that scientists have been able to make progress.
From spider monkeys to human cyborgs, and from swimming in syrup to chaos theory, Cave places each experiment and discovery in its scientific context to present an entertaining guide to some of the most jaw-dropping entries in the history of science. Why It’s Not All Rocket Science contains chapters on the brain, the body, society and communications, planet Earth and the Universe, and to read it is to gain startling insights into why scientists seem to behave so oddly, and how their brilliant if sometimes bizarre work benefits all of society.

 

 

Lara: The Untold Love Story that Inspired Doctor Zhivago by Anna Pasternak

The heartbreaking story of the passionate love affair between Boris Pasternak and Olga Ivinskaya – the tragic true story that inspired ‘Doctor Zhivago’.

‘Doctor Zhivago’ has sold in its millions yet the true love story that inspired it has never been fully explored. Pasternak would often say ‘Lara exists, go and meet her’, directing his visitors to the love of his life and literary muse, Olga Ivinskaya. They met in 1946 at the literary journal where she worked. Their relationship would last for the remainder of their lives.

Olga paid an enormous price for loving ‘her Boria’. She became a pawn in a highly political game and was imprisoned twice in Siberian labour camps because of her association with him and his controversial work. Her story is one of unimaginable courage, loyalty, suffering, tragedy, drama and loss.

Drawing on both archival and family sources, Anna Pasternak’s book reveals for the first time the critical role played by Olga in Boris’s life and argues that without Olga it is likely that Doctor Zhivago would never have been completed or published.

 

Meticulously researched.”                Sunday Times

 

Anna Pasternak has produced an irresistible account of joy, suffering and passion.”                    Financial Times

 

A story with enough romance and suffering to make a moving novel or film in its own right.”                Observer

 

Anna Pasternak does not spare an ounce of drama nor detail from the story of her great uncle’s love affair with Olga Ivinskaya, the inspiration for Doctor Zhivago’s Lara. The result is a profoundly moving meditation on love, loyalty, and, ultimately, forgiveness.”                        Amanda Foreman

 

 

When Zuma Goes by Ralph Mathekga

 

Image result for When Zuma Goes by Ralph MathekgaWhen Jacob Zuma retires to Nkandla, what will be left behind?

South Africa has been in the grip of the “Zunami” since May 2009: Scandal, corruption and allegations of state capture have become synonymous with the Zuma era, leaving the country and its people disheartened.

But Jacob Zuma’s time is running out. Whether he leaves the presidency after the ANC’s national conference in 2017, stays on until 2019, or is forced to retire much sooner, the question is: what impact will his departure have on South Africa, its people and on the ruling party? Can we fix the damage, and how?

Ralph Mathekga answers these questions and more as he puts Zumaʼs leadership, and what will come after, in the spotlight.

 

 

Student, Comrade, Prisoner, Spy by Bridget Hilton-Barber

 

Image result for Student, Comrade, Prisoner, Spy by Bridget Hilton-BarberWhen Bridget Hilton-Barber got on a train to Grahamstown in 1982 to study journalism at Rhodes University, she had no idea of the brutal drama that would unfold.

 

A rebellious young woman, she became politically involved in anti-apartheid organisations and was caught up in the massive resistance and repression sweeping the Eastern Cape at the time. She ended up spending three months in detention without trial, and after her release discovered she had been betrayed by one of her best friends, Olivia Forsyth, who was a spy for the South African security police.

 

Thirty years later, a horrific flashback triggers Bridget’s journey back to the Eastern Cape to see if she can forgive her betrayer and finally let go of the extraordinary violence she encountered in the final days of apartheid. This is her powerful story.

 

 

Field Guide to Lies and Statistics by Daniel Levitin

 

Image result for Field Guide to Lies and Statistics by Daniel LevitinThe bestselling author of The Organized Mind explains and debunks statistics in the information age

We live in a world of information overload. Facts and figures on absolutely everything are at our fingertips, but are too often biased, distorted, or outright lies. From unemployment figures to voting polls, IQ tests to divorce rates, we’re bombarded by seemingly plausible statistics on how people live and what they think. In a world where anyone can become an expert at the click of a button, being able to see through the tricks played with statistics is more necessary than ever before. Daniel Levitin teaches us how to effectively ask ourselves: can we really know that? And how do they know that?

In this eye-opening, entertaining and accessible guide filled with fascinating examples and practical takeaways, acclaimed neuroscientist Daniel Levitin shows us how learning to understand statistics will enable you to make quicker, better-informed decisions to simplify your life.

 

“A Field Guide to Lies by the neuroscientist Daniel Levitin lays out the many ways in which each of us can be fooled and misled by numbers and logic, as well as the modes of critical thinking we will need to overcome this.”                    The Wall Street Journal 

 

 

 

Virago Book of Women Gardeners edited by Deborah Kellaway

 

Image result for Virago Book of Women Gardeners edited by Deborah KellawayFrom diggers and weeders, to artists and colourists, writers and dreamers to trend-setters, plantswomen to landscape designers, women have contributed to the world of gardening and gardens. Here Deborah Kellaway, author of The Making of an English Country Garden and Favourite Flowers , has collected extracts from the 18th century to the present day, to create a book that is replete with anecdotes and good-humoured advice. Colette, Margery Fish, Germaine Greer, Eleanor Sinclair Rohde, Vita Sackville-West, Rosemary Verey, Edith Wharton and Dorothy Wordsworth are some of the writers represented in this book.

 

“A glorious and fertile compendium”.                        Independent

“Kellaway’s intelligent and tender book enlarges the sense of human possibility.”                         Observer

“Boldly editied, the equivalent of a well-planted border with not a gap of bare earth, all season-colour interest, and no visible pea-sticks.”                   Lynne Truss, Sunday Times

 

 

The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer

 

Image result for The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy SchumerThe highly anticipated first book from award-winning comedian, writer, producer and actress, Amy Schumer.

In The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo, Amy shares stories about her family, her relationships, her career, good – and bad – sex, recounting the experiences that have shaped who she is today: from the riches to rags story of her childhood to her teenage quest for popularity (and boys) to becoming one of the most sought-after comedians on the planet and an outspoken advocate for women’s rights.

Whether she’s experiencing lust at first sight in the queue at the airport, discovering her boot camp instructor’s secret bad habit, or candidly discussing her father’s multiple sclerosis, Amy Schumer proves to be a fearless, original, and always entertaining storyteller. Her book will move you, make you laugh, catch you completely off guard, and answer this burning question: is it okay for a 35 year-old woman to still sleep with her childhood teddy bears?

 

Amy Schumer’s deadpan honesty shines through in these hilarious, moving vignettes about life, love and her early years.”             Observer

 

This book is soulful, hilarious and deeply necessary.”                     Lena Dunham

 

Schumer has written a probing, confessional, unguarded, and, yes, majorly humanizing non-memoir, a book that trades less on sarcasm, and more on emotional resonance.”           Vogue

 

Schumer is a talented storyteller. She’s known for standing in a spotlight and sharing every corner of her soul with thousands of strangers. So it’s no surprise that her book is packed with hilarious, honest and often vulnerably raw details of her life… Readers will laugh and cry, and may put the book down from moments of honesty that result in uncomfortable realistic details from her life.”                    Washington Post

 

 

 

Emily Hobhouse: Beloved Traitor by Elsabé Brits

 

Image result for Emily Hobhouse: Beloved Traitor by Elsabé BritsA fresh, nuanced look at an extraordinary woman and her lifelong fight for justice. Defying the constraints of her gender and class, Emily Hobhouse travelled across continents and spoke out against oppression. A passionate pacifist and a feminist, she opposed both the 1899-1902 Anglo-Boer War and World War One, which led to accusations of treason. Despite saving thousands of lives in two wars, she died alone – an unsung hero in her own country. Elsabé Brits travelled in Emily Hobhouse’s footsteps, retracing her inspirational, often astonishing story. In Canada the author discovered Hobhouse’s handwritten notebooks, scrapbooks and letters in a trunk. With Emily Hobhouse: Beloved Traitor, she brings to life a colourful story of war, heroism and passion, spanning three continents.

 

 

 

 

 

Graphic and Art

 

A History of Pictures by David Hockney and Martin Gayford

 

Image result for hockney history of picturesThe making of pictures has a history going back perhaps 100,000 years to an African shell used as a paint palette. Two-thirds of it is irrevocably lost, since the earliest images known to us are from about 40,000 years ago. But what a 40,000 years, explored here by David Hockney and Martin Gayford in a brilliantly original book. They privilege no medium, or period, or style, but instead, in 16 chapters, discuss how and why pictures have been made, and insistently link ‘art’ to human skills and human needs.
Each chapter addresses an important question: What happens when we try to express reality in two dimensions? Why is the ‘Mona Lisa’ beautiful and why are shadows so rarely found in Chinese, Japanese and Persian painting? Why are optical projections always going to be more beautiful than HD television can ever be? How have the makers of images depicted movement? What makes marks on a flat surface interesting?
Energized by two lifetimes of looking at pictures, combined with a great artist’s 70-year experience of experimentation as he makes them, this profoundly moving and enlightening volume will be the art book of the decade.

 

“What makes some pictures a masterpiece? Who better to explain than our greatest living artist, as he teams up with art critic Martin Gayford to open your eyes to the works of genius he holds dear.”                Mail on Sunday 

“His sharp and often delightfully slanted take on pictures, explained in clear terms, crisps up perceptions and help readers to look anew.”                       Rachel Campbell-Johnston, The Times

 

“Reality,” Hockney says, “is a slippery concept.” And that is why this book is so utterly fascinating. It is why, when I had finished reading it through, I immediately sat down to read it again. And why I keep dipping into it. Whether they are telling us about the history of scientific instruments, such as the telescope (Gayford is especially good on this), or revisiting images we thought were familiar, such as the mirror in Jan van Eyck’s The Arnolfini Portrait, or the Mona Lisa, they always have something original to say.”                       AN Wilson, Sunday Times

 

 

Black Panther by Ta-Nehisi Coates

 

Image result for Black Panther by Ta-Nehisi CoatesMacArthur Genius and National Book Award-winner T- Nehisi Coates (Between the World and Me) takes the helm, confronting T’Challa with a dramatic upheaval in Wakanda. When a superhuman terrorist group that calls itself The People sparks a violent uprising, the land famed for its incredible technology and proud warrior traditions will be thrown into turmoil. If Wakanda is to survive, it must adapt – but can its monarch survive the necessary change? Collecting: Black Panther 1-4

 

 

 

Survivor’s Club by Lauren Beukes

 

Image result for Survivor's Club by Lauren BeukesWhat if the horror movies of the 1980s were real?
Where are those kids today?

The haunted house, the demonic doll, the cursed video game, the monstrous neighbor, the vengeful ghost, the killer imaginary friend…in 1987 a wave of horrors struck six communities around the globe. Six traumatized kids survived those events, and grew up haunted by what happened to them.

Almost 30 years later, the six survivors are drawn together in Los Angeles to confront a terrifying childhood nightmare that has returned, bringing up their own traumas and dragging their dark secrets into the light. Somehow, they’re all connected. But when personal horrors collide, they’ll be forced to confront one another’s demons.

And then they’ll discover that staying alive was only the beginning…

Award-winning novelist Lauren Beukes and co-writer Dale Halvorsen join artist Ryan Kelly for a bloody journey of self-discovery in SURVIVORS’ CLUB, a terrifying new vision of horror in an inescapably interconnected world. Collects #1-9.

 

 

Happy Reading!