Black Brain, White Brain by Gavin Evans

Is Intelligence Skin Deep?

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Smart, accessible and stimulating, Black Brain White Brain is by far the most important book yet written to systematically debunk society’s lingering attachments to race science and its pet topics of intelligence, genetics and civilization.’ Jonathan Jansen, University of Free State.

Racist thinking – that intelligence is influenced by racial origin, for example – was part of mainstream science a century ago and, surprisingly, is still endorsed by maverick scientists at some of the world’s most respectable institutions today. The myths being perpetuated on genetics, race, IQ and general intelligence are what Black Brain, White Brain challenges – precisely, systematically and in painstaking detail.

In this immensely readable book Evans tackles highly complex subjects, from the origin of humans and the genesis of intelligence to athletic performance and genes, IQ and cleverness, in a fluent and engaging style that makes science accessible and the facts absorbing. Persuasive, without being didactic or sermonising, and lightened by a wry sense of humour, Evans’s text weaves it all together in such a way that one is keen to follow all the threads the better to see the larger tapestry.

Carefully balancing claims, testing dodgy propositions and presenting fairly the theories of modern scientists and evolutionary psychologists, Evans shows just how uniform we are, genetically, as a species and that it’s mainly the environment we grow up and live in that’s the strong determining factor in general intelligence.

`Punchy and perceptive, Evans’ passionate and wide-ranging debunking of hereditarian views of race in areas ranging from archaeology to IQ and sport deserves wide readership in South Africa and beyond’ - Saul Dubow, Queen Mary, University of London.

About the Author

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Gavin Evans worked as a journalist for 30 years – a decade in South Africa, for Mail & GuardianThe Sunday Times and as a foreign correspondent for Inter Press Service, Rome. Since then he has written for The New York TimesNewsdayThe GuardianThe TelegraphEsquireThe New StatesmanThe TimesThe IndependentFinancial Times andDaily Mail, among others.

He is the author of four books, including the memoir Dancing Shoes is Dead, which was short-listed for the Alan Paton non-fiction prize.

View Gavin‘s Facebook page HERE and follow him on Twitter HERE

Published by Jonathan Ball Publishers

ISBN: 9781868426065

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You Are Here by Chris Hadfield

Around the World in 92 Minutes

From the author of the international bestseller An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth – an unforgettable photographic portrait of the planet we call home, as seen from Space.

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In You Are Here, bestselling author and celebrated astronaut Chris Hadfield creates a virtual orbit of Earth, giving us the really big picture: this is our home, from space. The millions of us who followed Hadfield’s news-making Twitter feed from the ISS thought we knew what we were looking at when we first saw his photos. But we may have caught the beauty and missed the full meaning. Now, in this book of photographs from the International Space Station – many of which have never been shared – Hadfield unveils a fresh and insightful look at our planet. He sees astonishing detail and importance in these images, not just because he’s spent months in space but because his in-depth knowledge of geology, geography, and meteorology allows him to reveal the photos’ mysteries.

Featuring Hadfield’s favourite images, You Are Here is divided by continent and represents one (idealised) orbit of the ISS. This planetary photo tour – surprising, playful, thought-provoking, and visually delightful – provides a breathtakingly beautiful perspective on the wonders of the world. You Are Here opens a singular window on our planet, using remarkable photographs to illuminate the history and consequences of human settlement, the magnificence of newly uncovered landscapes, and the power of the natural forces shaping our world and the future of our species.

About the Author

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Chris Hadfield is one of the most seasoned and accomplished astronauts in the world. The top graduate of the U.S. Air Force test pilot school in 1988 and U.S. Navy test pilot of the year in 1991, Hadfield was selected to be an astronaut in 1992. He was CAPCOM for 25 shuttle launches and served as Director of NASA Operations in Star City, Russia from 2001–2003, Chief of Robotics at the Johnson Space Center in Houston from 2003–2006, and Chief of International Space Station Operations from 2006–2008. Hadfield most recently served as Commander of the International Space Station where, while conducting a record-setting number of scientific experiments and overseeing an emergency spacewalk, he gained worldwide acclaim for his breathtaking photographs and educational videos about life in space. His music video, a zero gravity version of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity,” received over 10 million views in its first three days online.

View Chris‘ website HERE

View Chris‘ Facebook page HERE and follow him on Twitter HERE

Published by Pan Macmillan

ISBN: 9781447278603

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A Photographic Guide to Snakes and Other Reptiles And Amphibians of East Africa by Bill Branch

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Comprehensively revised, expanded and updated, this compact guide makes the ideal travelling companion on trips to the wildlife areas and nature reserves of East Africa. 

It features: authoritative text describing key identification features; full-colour photographs illustrating a range of commonly encountered, rare and beautiful species; distribution maps showing the range of each species; thumbnail outlines of each family group, enabling quick identification. 

About the Author

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Bill Branch is a well-known herpetologist and author of a range of books and papers on African reptiles and amphibians. He has done extensive fieldwork in over 20 African countries and has described over 40 new species. Bill has served on international conservation committees and co-authored the Atlas and Red List of South African Reptiles. He holds a doctorate in Zoology from the University of Southampton.

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

ISBN: 9781775841654

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Yes Please by Amy Poehler

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

About the Author

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Amy Poehler is an actress, comedian, and writer. She was a founding member of the comedy troupe Upright Citizens Brigade in New York City and a cast member on Saturday Night Live from 2001 to 2009, where she was nominated for two Primetime Emmy Awards. She currently stars as Leslie Knope on NBC’s Parks and Recreation, for which she won a Golden Globe. Poehler lives in Los Angeles, and this is her first book.

View Amy‘s website HERE

View Amy‘s Facebook pages HERE and HERE

Follow Amy on Twitter HERE

Published by Pan Macmillan

ISBN: 9781447283300

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Insider’s Guide How and Where to Photograph Birds in Southern Africa by Isak Pretorius

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Isak is the winner of the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year Award for the Bird Behaviour category – the first South African ever to win this award. 

This is the most comprehensive guide on bird photography available. Whether you are new to bird photography or are already a passionate hobbyist, this guide will teach you all the tools, techniques and creative ideas required to take your bird photography to the next level. 

Covering everything you need to know, this book tells you how to choose the right equipment, where to look for birds and how to predict their movements, how to get close enough to your subject, and how to produce sharp images.

About the Author

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Isak Pretorius, a specialist wildlife photographic guide from South Africa, has won multiple awards. His preferred genre of fine art bird photography is easily recognisable by his authentic style, simplistic design and technical skill. He has taken a keen interest in educating photographers about their surroundings as well as teaching them the art of photography.

View Isak‘s website HERE

Follow Isak on Twitter HERE and on Facebook HERE

Published by Jacana Media

ISBN: 9781431409303

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The Black & White Story by Wim van der Berg

Are you a Sharks fan? Then this is THE book to ask for this Christmas …

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The Black & White Story traces the long and proud 125 year history of the KwaZulu-Natal Rugby Union and their team The Sharks.

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The Natal Rugby Union, later renamed the KwaZulu-Natal Rugby Union, was founded in 1890 and there have been many heroes in the 125 years. Some of them were players, others administrators; and then of course there were the men who spent hours on training fields with schools, clubs and province, and those who refereed matches at all levels.

Natal only won fifty per cent of their Currie Cup matches in their first 60 years and then came the surprise first final in 1956 when a gust of wind cost them the title. It took sixty-six years for the union to enjoy its first Currie Cup final.

But the province did produce its fair share of quality players, including Springboks Bill Payne, Wally Clarkson and Philip Nel, who led South Africa on the country’s unbeaten tour of Australia and New Zealand in 1937.

Two of those coaches, in particular, turned the fortunes of Natal around in the years before they became known as the Sharks. Izak van Heerden became world-renowned for his tactics and emphasis on skills to play running rugby. This transformed Natal into a real power and also a crowd favourite. And fifteen years later Ian McIntosh identified a (totally different) ‘new style’. This put Natal at the forefront following some lean years and bore fruit when they won the Currie Cup for a first time in 1990.

Retold in detail is the wonderful 25 year period following The Sharks first Currie Cup win in 1990 (after being a team playing B section rugby in the 1980s), of the construction of Kings Park Stadium, and how today, The Sharks (previously known as The Banana Boys) have become one of the leading rugby brands in the world.

About the Author

Wim-van-der-Berg

Wim van der Berg is the managing editor of Blou, the official magazine of the Bulls and Blue Bulls. He is a seasoned rugby writer and author and has contributed to numerous magazines and newspapers for the past 40 years.

Wim played rugby until he was 57, was a senior club referee, coached rugby at first team level, sat on committees of various clubs, and was manager and coach at provincial sevens level.

He has published seven books on rugby: 75 Blue Bulls Legends; True to the Blue; 150 years of Rugby in South Africa;The Extraordinary Book of South African Rugby(all also in Afrikaans); and Great Moments in Currie Cup History and co-authored Blue Bulls: 70 Years of Glory(also in Afrikaans) and A Lions Tale with Gerhard Burger.

Published by Tracey McDonald Publishers

ISBN: 9780620615457

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Marigold and the Faraway Tree by Alison Fast & Wendy Paterson

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Marigold and the Faraway Tree is the story of a nine-year-old girl whose relationship with an old tree guides her through an important transition phase in her life. The story was inspired by the existence of a true-life tree growing at Imhoff Farm, behind the Blue Water Café, next door to the Higgley Piggeldy Farmyard in Kommetjie, not too far from Cape Point, one of the southernmost points of Africa.

It is a simple tale of universal wisdom that will not only engage young readers, but teach them an important life lesson as well. Children will be able to think about concepts such as kindness, happiness and friendship. The author, Alison Fast, believes that the best stories are home grown and involve simple things such as a village, a character or even the change of seasons, interwoven with imagination, curiosity and wonderment.

The charming illustrations by Wendy Paterson will enchant readers both young and old as they complement this simple but appealing story.

OOK BESKIKBAAR IN AFRIKAANS 

View the Marigold and the Faraway Tree Facebook page HERE

About the Author

Alison Fast

Alison Fast

Alison Fast is a documentary filmmaker who loves storytelling across all mediums. Her inspiration comes from travelling, spending time in nature and leading community-based storytelling workshops. She lives in Los Angeles and New York, in the US. Marigold and the Faraway Tree is her first children’s book. 

View Alison‘s Facebook page HERE and follow her on Twitter HERE

About the Illustrator

Wendy Paterson

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Wendy Paterson is a former teacher and archeologist, who lives with her two children in Scarborough near Cape Town. She works as a freelance illustrator from home and draws inspiration from the beauty of her surroundings and the funny things children do and say.

View Wendy‘s Facebook page HERE

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

ISBN: 9781432304379

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KP by Kevin Pietersen

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The fascinating life story of professional cricketer Kevin Pietersen, MBE, from his childhood in South Africa to his recent experiences as one of the leading lights in the world of international cricket.

Kevin was dropped from the England squad in February of this year, seemingly calling time on an international career that began nearly ten years earlier. The decision puzzled many observers – although the England team had failed miserably in the Ashes tour of 2013-14, Kevin was the tourists’ leading run scorer across the series, and he remains the country’s highest run scorer of all time across all formats of the game.

Kevin will reveal all in his autobiography, telling the stories behind the many other highs and lows of his incredible career. Giving readers the full story of his life, from his childhood in South Africa to his recent experiences as one of the leading lights in the world of international cricket, this will be an autobiography that entertains and fascinates readers in equal measure.

View Kevin‘s website HERE

View Kevin‘s Facebook page HERE and follow him on Twitter HERE

Published by Jonathan Ball Publishers

ISBN: 9780751557558

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Funny Girl by Nick Hornby

Make them laugh, and they’re yours forever . . . 

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It’s the swinging 60s and the nation is mesmerized by unlikely comedy star Sophie Straw, the former Blackpool beauty queen who just wants to make people laugh, like her heroine Lucille Ball.

Behind the scenes, the cast and crew are having the time of their lives. But when the script begins to get a bit too close to home, and life starts imitating art, they all face a choice.

Funny Girl is the story of a popular 1960s tv comedy series. The writers, Tony and Bill, comedy obsessives, who each harbour a secret. The Oxbridge-educated director, Dennis, who loves his job but hates his marriage. The male star Clive, who feels he’s destined for better things. And most of all Sophie Straw, once Barbara Parker,  Miss Blackpool 1964, who’s changed her name and abandoned her old life because she just wants to make people laugh, like her heroine Lucille Ball of I Love Lucy fame.

Nick Hornby‘s new novel is about popular culture, youth and old age, fame, class and teamwork. It offers a wonderfully captivating portrait of youthful exuberance and creativity, and of a period when both were suddenly allowed to flourish.

About the Author

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Nick Hornby was born in 1957, and is the author of the novels Slam, High Fidelity, About a Boy, How to be Good and A Long Way Down. He is also the author of Fever Pitch, a book on his life as a devoted supporter of Arsenal Football Club, and has edited the collection of short stories Speaking with the Angel. He has also written a book about his favourite songs, 31 Songs, and his reading habits, The Complete Polysyllabic Spree.

In 1999, he was awarded the E. M. Forster award by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He lives and works in Highbury, North London.

View Nick‘s website HERE

View Nick‘s Facebook page HERE and follow him on Twitter HERE

Published by Penguin Books

ISBN: 9780670922819

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You Say Potato by Ben Crystal & David Crystal

An authoritative, entertaining book about our accents, and what they say about us.

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Some people say scohn, while others say schown.

He says bath, while she says bahth.

You say potayto. I say potahto

And-

-wait a second, no one says potahto. No one’s ever said potahto.

Have they?

From reconstructing Shakespeare’s accent to the rise and fall of Received Pronunciation, actor Ben Crystal and his linguist father David travel the world in search of the stories of spoken English.

Everyone has an accent, though many of us think we don’t. We all have our likes and dislikes about the way other people speak, and everyone has something to say about ‘correct’ pronunciation. But how did all these accents come about, and why do people feel so strongly about them? Are regional accents dying out as English becomes a global language? And most importantly of all: what went wrong in Birmingham?

Witty, authoritative and jam-packed full of fascinating facts, You Say Potato is a celebration of the myriad ways in which the English language is spoken – and how our accents, in so many ways, speak louder than words.

About the Authors

Ben Crystal

bencrystal

Ben Crystal is an actor, producer, and writer. He played Hamlet in the first Original Pronunciation production of the play for 400 years with the Nevada Repertory Company, and curated the British Library’s CD, Shakespeare’s Original Pronunciation. He co-wrote Shakespeare’s Words and The Shakespeare Miscellany with his father, David Crystal, and his first solo book, Shakespeare on Toast: Getting a Taste for the Bard was shortlisted for the 2010 Educational Writer of the Year Award. His new series of introductions to the Bard’s plays – Springboard Shakespeare – was published by Bloomsbury / Arden in June 2013. He and his Shakespeare ensemble perform and give Shakespeare workshops around the world.

View Ben‘s website HERE

View Ben‘s Facebook page HERE and follow him on Twitter HERE

David Crystal

davidcrystal

David Crystal works from his home in Holyhead, North Wales, as a writer, editor, lecturer and broadcaster. He has published extensively on the history and development of English, including The Stories of English, Evolving English and Spell It Out: The Singular Story of English Spelling. He held a chair at the University of Reading for ten years, and is now Honorary Professor of Linguistics at the University of Wales, Bangor. He and Ben joined forces again to co-write The Oxford Illustrated Dictionary of Shakespeare (OUP, 2015).

View David‘s website HERE

View David‘s Facebook page HERE and follow him on Twitter HERE

Published by Pan Macmillan

ISBN: 9781447276661

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