Brain Porn: The Best of Daily Maverick

Daily Maverick, the country’s leading online news service, has been making sense of the madness that is South African reality for the past five years. Brain Porn offers the best of their irreverent writing.


Its team of highly respected journalists and contributors includes Stephen Grootes, Ranjeni Munusamy, Pierre de Vos, Jay Naidoo, Ivo Vegter and Alex Eliseev. With their anti-establishment attitude and a “stuff you” approach to political spin-doctoring, they spare no-one as they dissect daily news events and people in the news. Expect well-argued opinions and fresh analysis on the issues that move people.

All the usual suspects are on the list: the President, the Commander-in-Chief, the Blade Runner, the Public Protector, the DA’s election dramas, the firepool at Nkandla, etolls, Marikana, but this time written about in a way that will challenge your accepted beliefs and dare you to think differently.

These superbly written essays offer insight into not only the wheeling and dealing that goes on in politics, but also into our societal dynamics and why we get up to the crazy things we sometimes do as a nation.

Whether you’re a news junkie or just want to hold your own over lunchtime conversation, you can’t afford not to read this book.

View the Daily Maverick website HERE

Follow the Daily Maverick on Twitter @dailymaverick and like their Facebook page HERE

Published by Tafelberg (An imprint of Random House Struik)

ISBN: 9780624070672

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The Reactive by Masande Ntshanga

In a city that has lost its shimmer, Lindanathi and his two friends Ruan and Cecelia sell illegal pharmaceuticals while chasing their next high.


Lindanathi, deeply troubled by his hand in his brother’s death, has turned his back on his family, until a message from home reminds him of a promise he made years before.

When a puzzling masked man enters their lives, Lindanathi is faced with a decision: continue his life in Cape Town, or return to his family and to all he has left behind.

Rendered in lyrical, bright prose and set in a not-so-new South Africa, The Reactive is a poignant, life-affirming story about secrets, memory, chemical abuse and family, and the redemption that comes from facing what haunts us most.

About the Author


Masande Ntshanga is the winner of the 2013 pen International New Voices Award. He was born in East London in 1986 and graduated with a degree in Film and Media and an Honours degree in English Studies from UCT, where he became a creative writing fellow, completing his Masters in Creative Writing under the Mellon Mays Foundation. He received a Fulbright Award and an NRF Freestanding Masters scholarship. His stories have appeared in Laugh It Off, itch, Imago and Habitat. He has also written for Rolling Stone magazine.

Follow Masande on Twitter @Mntshanga

Published by Umuzi (An imprint of Random House Struik)

ISBN: 9781415207192

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Comedy Club by Jeremy Nell

Jeremy Nel - Comedy Club LR

Award-winning cartoonist Jerm’s spot-on analysis and commentary provide a highly entertaining way to digest the buffoonery of politics in South Africa. No one, neither left nor right, in government or opposition, can escape the acerbic observations of this provocative artist.

Jeremy Nell’s work has appeared in several online and offline publications, such as the Sunday Times, eNCA, TIME, The Star, and others.

About the Author

Jeremy Nel

Jerm (Jeremy Nell) is an award-winning cartoonist, satirist, and social commentator, with work featuring in publications online and offline, like Sunday Times, The StarCity PressRapport, Beeld,The Times, FHMPlayboyRolling StoneTIMEDaily MaverickThe New AgeCosmopolitanEyewitness News and others. His work has also appeared in Belgian, Spanish, Dutch, and Indian publications.

Click HERE to visit the Jerm website and HERE to like his Facebook page.

Or, follow him on Twitter HERE.

Published by Penguin Books SA

ISBN: 9780143539162

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Weeping Waters by Karin Brynard

Karin Brynard - Weeping Waters LR

Inspector Albertus Beeslaar has left the ruthless city, only to have his hopes of finding peace and quiet in the Kalahari shattered by the brutal murder of artist Freddie Swarts and her adopted daughter.

But Freddie’s journalist sister Sara is not convinced that this was a typical farm attack.

Amid a spate of stock thefts, Beeslaar must solve this high-profile crime, all the while training his two rookie partners, Ghaap and Pyl.

After more murders, the disturbing puzzle grows increasingly sinister, as age-old secrets and hostilities surface, spurring the local inhabitants to violent action. No one is above suspicion, not least the mysterious Bushman farm manager and falconer, Dam.

Weeping Waters is Maya Fowler and Isobel Dixon’s translation of the Afrikaans bestseller Plaasmoord, a novel that peels away the layers of a landscape steeped in conflict, and hails the arrival of a bright new voice in South African crime fiction available in English.

About the Author


Karin Brynard is the author of the novels Plaasmoord and Onse vaders. She has won several literary awards, including the University of Johannesburg Debut Prize and two M-Net Awards. She is a journalist and has worked as political correspondent for Rapport for many years. She lives in Stellenbosch. 

Photo credit: Ansie Zondagh du Toit

View Karin‘s Facebook page HERE

Follow Karin on Twitter @karinbrynard

Published by Penguin Books

ISBN: 9780143539124

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Third World Child by GG Alcock

Third World Child is about living in South Africa in the time of apartheid and also living here today – about being truly African even as a white person.  It is about the adventures, the cultural challenges and the future possibilities of South Africa. 

Cover - Third World Child LR

Says GG, ‘This is the story of my world or, more accurately, the worlds in which I live.’

GG Alcock’s story mirrors that of many of his people, the journey of a tribal society learning to embrace the first world. He does not shy away from the violence and death that coloured his childhood years surrounded by savage faction fighting, nor how they affected his adult life. His story is one of heartbreak and tragedy and, paradoxically, of vibrant hope and compassion. A restless energy and sardonic humour permeate his writing, which is compelling in its honesty and spontaneity.

GG’s parents, Creina and Neil, were humanitarians who gave up comfortable lives to move to rural Zululand. In a place called Msinga they lived and worked among the Mchunu and Mthembu tribes, fighting for the rights of people displaced by the apartheid government’s policy of ‘forced removals’. They also fought against the corruption of police and government officials, as well as local farmers, which did not sit well with their white fellow citizens.

When GG was fourteen his father was assassinated by rival tribesmen.

GG’s early life in rural Zululand in the 1970s and 80s can only be described as unique. He and his brother Khonya, both initially home-schooled by their mother, grew up as Zulu kids, herding goats and playing with the children of their neighbours, learning to speak fluent Zulu, learning to become Zulu men under the guidance of Zulu elders, and learning the customs and history of their adopted tribes. Armed with their father’s only legacy – the skills to survive in Africa – both young men were ultimately forced to move into the ‘white’ world which was largely unknown to them.

Astonishing. Alcock has written the first report from the next South Africa. You might think you know South Africa, but this book will show you otherwise.’RIAN MALAN, author of My Traitor’s Heart

View the Third World Child website HERE

About the Author

GG Alcock Photo-01

GG Alcock has been at times a shebeen owner, political activist, community worker and African adventurer. Today he is the CEO of Minanawe Marketing, a division of The Creative Counsel. Minanawe is the leading activations agency in the South African mass market, where GG’s singular upbringing has given him the ability to unearth unique insights and creatively apply these to marketing solutions for a number of multi-national companies.

GG is very happily married to Sue, and has two beautiful blonde daughters, Zandi and Consi, for whom he insists in Zulu fashion he can expect a lot of lobola one of these days. GG lives in Joburg although his love of Africa leads him on many explorations of the continent. His staff is convinced that he never works but spends as much time as possible on one or other adventure – motorcycling across deserts and mountains, mountain biking among Zulu villages, paragliding or kayaking. ‘It’s not true,’ says GG. ‘I don’t spend enough time doing this!’

Courtesy of Tracey McDonald Publishers, view the official book trailer below: 

View GG‘s travel blog HERE

View GG‘s Facebook page HERE

Published by Tracey McDonald Publishers

ISBN: 9780620595346

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Terroir The Cookbook by Michael Broughton


Terroir is one of the Cape Winelands’ most acclaimed restaurants. It is located on the beautiful, family-owned Kleine Zalze wine farm in Stellenbosch where its oak tree-shaded setting is ideal for enjoying an elegant and refined, yet leisurely meal. The chalkboard menu reflects Chef Michael Broughton’s ethos: what you leave off the plate is just as important as what you put on it. His deceptively ‘simple’ dishes – using quality, seasonal ingredients of local, traceable, and ethical provenance – are a sublime marriage of texture and colour, characterised by bold, punchy flavours that remain true to the original ingredients. Terroir The Cookbook is a culmination of Michael’s techniques and skills that he has acquired over the years, a collection of recipes that are authentic and true to the Terroir style, much of which is grounded in the French classics and, by default, technically challenging. However, this is not a book for chefs, but rather for those who want to stretch themselves creatively and technically in the kitchen.

Courtesy of Struik Lifestyle, watch the official book trailer for Terroir The Cookbook.

About the Author


Self-taught Chef Michael Broughton started cooking in Johannesburg where he opened his first restaurant in 1997 to critical acclaim. In 2003, Michael became executive chef of the Mount Grace Country House & Spa. His dream of starting a restaurant in the Cape winelands became a reality in the shape of Terroir, which opened in October 2004. In keeping with Michael’s vision to create ‘terroir driven food’ matched to wines of the region, the provenance of locally sourced ingredients remains a key focus. Michael travels widely, reads avidly, and eating out and networking with fellow chefs are all part of his ongoing ‘research and development’ process. With Michael at the helm, Terroir has achieved a number of prestigious awards over the years.

View Terroir Restaurant‘s website HERE

View Terroir Restaurant‘s Facebook page HERE

Published by Struik Lifestyle (An imprint of Random House Struik)

ISBN: 9781432302559

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BEE – Helping or Hurting? by Anthea Jeffery

Does black economic empowerment work – or has its unintended consequences been to undermine our country’s growth?


This is the daring question Anthea Jeffery tackles head-on in her new book. 

How rapidly would the black middle class have grown without BEE? Since BEE is unlikely ever to provide redress to the truly disadvantaged, what is its real objective? 

In this – the first comprehensive review of BEE policies since 1994 – Jeffery addresses challenging policy questions about the ‘pros and cons’ of BEE that most commentators avoid. She unflinchingly examines the impacts of BEE on education, employment, procurement and on key sectors such as mining, agriculture, banking and the petroleum industry. 

In the final chapter Jeffery points out the true costs of race quotas. She not only looks at the economic costs of empowerment, but also at the role of BEE in fuelling corruption, the racial element in BEE and the impact of this policy on the poor. 

About the Author


Anthea Jeffery is a well-known and outspoken political commentator based in Johannesburg. She is the author of ten books, including Chasing the Rainbow: South Africa’s Move from Mandela to Zuma (2010), People’s War: New Light on the Struggle for South Africa (2009), Business and Affirmative Action and The Truth about the Truth Commission.

Jeffery holds law degrees from Wits and Cambridge, and a PhD from London University. Since 1990, she has worked for the Institute of Race Relations (IRR), where she is Head of Policy Research and editor of the Institute’s policy bulletin.

Published by Tafelberg (An imprint of NB Publishers)

ISBN: 9780624071600

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Mitch: The Real Story by John Mitchell & Gavin Rich

He is one of the most highly regarded coaches in international rugby, but also one of the most controversial. Now you can read why…


John Mitchell’s rugby-coaching career spans many years, several teams and various countries. He was assistant to Clive Woodward, who spearheaded England’s 2003 World Cup–winning campaign, for four years in the pioneering days of professional rugby coaching, and he took charge of the All Blacks and the Chiefs in New Zealand, the Western Force in Australia and the Lions in South Africa. Indisputably one of the most experienced coaches on the circuit, he has arguably also been one of the most controversial. For although he made a success of all his tenures, he has challenged the structures and powers-that be, resulting in several premature departures. This book reveals why, and also why Mitchell has successfully defended every disciplinary hearing he has been subjected to. For the first time, the rugby public will learn the truth behind the newspaper headlines: from his painful axing as All Black coach to his fall-out with the Western Force and his disciplinary hearing at the Lions, whom he had guided to a Currie Cup trophy, Mitchell sets out the reasons for his successes as well as his failures, and gives his opinion on what the future holds for South African rugby. 

Honest, gripping and revealing, this book is a must-read for every rugby fan. 

About the Authors

John Mitchell


John Mitchell is one of only a few people who both coached and captained the All Blacks. Considered a master strategist, he has coached teams to the final in the Pilkington Cup in England and Currie Cup victory in South Africa, and he guided the All Blacks to Bledisloe Cup and Tri-Nations victories at a time when the New Zealand trophy cabinet had been bare for some time. As a studio analyst for SuperSport, his insightful commentary and strategic nous have earned him the respect of South African rugby fans. He is currently involved in mentoring coaches and players and is the CEO of Egli, a manufacturing company in Pietermaritzburg.

Follow John on Twitter @Mfactorcoaching

Gavin Rich


Gavin Rich is an award-winning sportswriter who has covered South African rugby since the end of isolation in 1992. As one of few rugby writers to have worked with all of them, it put him in a position to write the story of the post-isolation Springbok coaches, which gave rise to his second book, The Poisoned Chalice. His first book was former Springbok coach Peter de Villiers’s bestselling autobiography, Politically Incorrect. Rich is contracted to and the Weekend Argus, but he also contributes to various other publications and radio stations. He was educated at Northlands Boys High School and Rhodes University.

Follow Gavin on Twitter @Blobby15

Published by Zebra Press (An imprint of Random House Struik)

ISBN: 9781770226159

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Behind the Door by Mandy Wiener & Barry Bateman

Behind the Door is definitive, engrossing, fascinating, brilliant and utterly unputdownable. Wiener has no equal when it comes to true crime, and Bateman’s first-journalist-on-the-crime-scene insight gives it a huge boost.’

– DEON MEYER, author of Cobra and other bestselling crime novels.

Behind the Door_300dpi

The news of successful model Reeva Steenkamp’s fatal shooting by her boyfriend and global sporting star Oscar Pistorius stunned the world. Over the ensuing weeks, as Pistorius appeared in court and applied for bail, every detail that emerged was analysed, debated, justified and digested. South Africa and the world in general were haunted by the events as they were repeated and discussed at length. Public perception vacillated from version to version and from hour to hour.

Behind the Door is a compelling narrative, which unpacks the story as revealed in the courtroom and beyond during the murder trial of Oscar Pistorius and as told to the authors in several exclusive interviews and behind-the-scenes briefings. It looks at the characters involved, relates the courtroom interactions and dramas, the construction of each side’s argument, the analysis of forensic and circumstantial evidence and exchanges between the personalities, as well as a broader look at violence and criminal justice in South Africa.

Vivid and gripping, insightful and authoritative, Behind the Door is the book to read on the Reeva and Oscar story.

About the Authors

Mandy Wiener


Mandy Wiener is an award-winning journalist and best-selling author. She reports for Eyewitness News in Johannesburg and covered Vusi Pikoli’s tenure in office, his suspension in 2007 and the testimony of the Ginwala Inquiry. Wiener’s first book Killing Kebble: An Underworld Exposed has sold over 80 000 copies.

View Mandy‘s Facebook page HERE

Follow Mandy on Twitter @MandyWiener

Barry Bateman


Barry Bateman has been reporting in Pretoria, the hometown of Oscar Pistorius, for more than ten years, for the last four of these as the Pretoria Correspondent for Eyewitness News, for which he has won several awards. Bateman was the first journalist on the scene of the shooting and has been covering every development since.

View Barry‘s Facebook page HERE

Follow Barry on Twitter @barrybateman

Published by Pan Macmillan

ISBN: 9781770103504

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How Crab Lost His Head by Nick Greaves & David du Plessis


Author Nick Greaves continues the ancient tradition of storytelling in this renamed and freshly jacketed edition by recounting the myths and legends of southern African tribes. Aimed at 7–12 year olds, the 19 stories in this volume introduce a magical cast of characters, from a feisty buck, greedy vultures and a bewitched crocodile to an arrogant bat and the perpetually crafty hare. 

The collection of tales is a delightful addition to the successful series by the author, including When Hippo was HairyWhen Lion Could FlyWhen Elephant was King, and When Bat was a Bird. 

About the Author


Nick Greaves was born and educated in England. His work as a geologist took him to many unspoiled regions of Africa, where he developed a lasting fascination for its wildlife and habitats. He now works in the UK and USA.

View Nick‘s website HERE

About the Illustrator


David du Plessis, born and educated in South Africa, has a B.Sc. degree. He works as a graphic artist, multi-media designer, illustrator and animator, with a particular interest in natural history. He has held exhibitions in Cape Town and London, and also illustrated the successful title When Bat was a Bird.

View David‘s website HERE

Follow David on Twitter @_DavidduPlessis

Published by Struik Nature (An imprint of Random House Struik)

ISBN: 9781775841876

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