Tri the Beloved Country by Kim van Kets

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What makes a working mother and average athlete decide to take on a massive physical and mental challenge to run, cycle and kayak the perimeter of South Africa, covering 6 772 km in less than five months? Kim van Kets was inspired by her desire to demonstrate to her daughter the fact that mothers are heroes too. Married to adventurer, Peter van Kets (2x Atlantic Rower and only African to have rowed solo across any ocean and one of the few South Africans to have trekked to the South Pole, detailed in his book The Eight Summit), she was able to justify the ‘time-out’ after having built up a credit balance of 150 days owed to her by her husband.

Her story is a positive and enthusiastic ‘off the beaten track’ South African adventure and is amusing, anecdotal and inspiring. It tells of the physical and mental challenges of the journey but focuses on stories surrounding the people and places she encountered along the way, including those of the ancient Kalahari farmer who pronounced her to be a ‘Ramkat’ and the Nama goatherd who seemed doubtful about her gender and anxious to be rid of her.

The book is also a wonderful South African travelogue and is studded with nuggets of history and fascinating trivia about the plants, animals, characters and places as well as brief summaries of important life lessons the journey highlighted for the author. It will leave the reader feeling up-beat, inspired and eager to explore the splendour of the Beloved Country and its people.

About the Author

Hole in the Wall, one of the most magnificent natural land marks in the world

Kim was born and raised in the rural areas of the Eastern Cape, studied law at Stellenbosch University, was admitted as an attorney and spent many years in legal practice and the corporate world. She is currently self-employed as a legal consultant/corporate trainer, freelance writer, author and motivational speaker who works just enough to enable her to stay out of the poor-house and run in interesting places.

Although she insists she is a very average runner, she has a tank-like ability to keep going and has taken part in numerous multi-day and self-supported ultra-distance off-road races.

She is also mother to nine-year-old Hannah who plans to be (among other things) an extreme rock-climbing hip-hop-dancing artist/archeologist when she grows up.

View Kim‘s website HERE

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

Published by Jacana Media

ISBN: 9781431421343

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That Sugar Book by Damon Gameau

The illustrated tie-in book to the health documentary That Sugar Film, an explosive expose of the dangers of hidden sugar in our food.

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In the health documentary That Sugar Film, writer and director Damon Gameau enlists the help of Stephen Fry, Hugh Jackman and leading scientists around the world to shine a light on the terrible effects of sugar. In a Supersize Me-style experiment, he changes his diet to include 40 teaspoons of sugar a day for 60 days – the average daily sugar intake in Australia – and monitors the effect on his body. But here is the catch – he cannot eat chocolate, sweets, ice cream or cake; the sugar must come from ‘healthy’ foods.

In this illustrated That Sugar Book, Damon explains how sugar damages our bodies and our minds, and how easy it is to consume sugar without even knowing it. Revealing the astonishing amounts of sugar hidden in supposedly healthy foods on supermarket shelves – such as low-fat yoghurt, muesli and children’s fruit snacks – Damon makes us realise the damage we unknowingly do to ourselves and our families when we make poor food choices, and shows us how to make it right.

With an up-close account of Damon’s sugar experiment, and sugar-free recipes to help you wean off the white stuff, That Sugar Book is a startling wake-up call to those of us who have never questioned what’s really in our food.

About the Author

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Damon Gameau is an award-winning actor and 2011 Tropfest winner, as well as a passionate advocate for good health and a warrior against the food industry that is making us fat and sick. He is the writer and director of That Sugar Film.

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

Published by Pan Macmillan

ISBN: 9781447299714

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Craft Art in South Africa by Elbé Coetsee

“In these pages I embrace our nation’s creative diversity and share some of the pieces that delight me. Craft Art in South Africa: Creative Intersections endeavours to inspire, encourage and bring joy.” - Elbé Coetsee

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Much has changed since Craft Art in South Africa was published in 2002. This follow-up edition highlights the renewed sense of creativity and inspiration that is sweeping across the country against all odds. South African craft artists proliferate in these precarious economic times and maintain their artistic integrity with perseverance and passion. This book showcases the versatility and skill of some of the many artists working in South Africa today.

It takes pride in the wide variety of tactile craft art works created, and explores the interdisciplinary nature of creativity through the examination of beading, basket weaving, ceramics, fibre art, glass sculpture, metal and wirework, recycling, and wood carving. It rejoices in the sharing of skills between cultures, and in the sharing of creative knowledge towards upliftment and employment. But above all, it celebrates the craft artists themselves and honours their sheer ingenuity.

About the Author

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Dr Elbé Coetsee established the Mogalakwena Craft Art Development Foundation (MCADF) at the end of 1994. MCADF specialises in the training of multiple skills: embroidery, bead work, candle making, sewing, basket weaving, contemporary furni-ture weaving, screen printing and cement work, amongst others.

She travelled South Africa for four and a half years, researching craft art – craft artists and craft art markets, collectors and retailers. She has been appointed as curator of all handwork at the 2015 Design Indaba. She lives in Cape Town.

View Mogalakwena Craft Art Development Foundation‘s website HERE

View Elbé‘s Facebook page HERE

Published by Jonathan Ball Publishers

ISBN: 9781868426140

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The Last Road Trip by Gareth Crocker

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Following the death of a man they barely knew, four elderly friends decide to make the most of their remaining time on earth. Abandoning the humdrum routine of life at their retirement estate, they embark on a thousand-mile road trip that will take them from the furthest corners of the Kruger National Park to the blazing stars of Sutherland.

The journey becomes the biggest adventure of their lives and one last hurrah together! Along the way, they rediscover things about themselves that they thought had long since been lost. And, above all, they discover that it’s never too late to start living.

The latest novel from acclaimed author, Gareth Crocker, is for the young at heart – for those willing to take one last adventure and conquer the regret of missed opportunities.

Courtesy of Penguin Random House SA, click HERE to read an extract from The Last Road Trip.

About the Author

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Gareth Crocker’s debut novel, Finding Jack, was published in New York to international acclaim. It was translated into several languages and featured in eight volumes of Reader’s Digest Select Editions. In 2012 Penguin Books published his adventure novel, Journey from Darkness followed by the thriller, Never Let Go, in 2013. King was the author’s fourth novel.

Gareth lives in Johannesburg with his wife and two young daughters. He writes only at night, unless Manchester United is playing.

View Gareth‘s website HERE

Like Gareth‘s Facebook page HERE and follow him on Twitter HERE

Published by Penguin Random House SA

ISBN: 9780143539094

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The Fetch by Finuala Dowling

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The coastal settlement of Slangkop, near Cape Town, comes alive over weekends when mercurial Chas Fawkes holds court at Midden House. Invited to one of his legendary parties, shy, plump librarian Nina Browne is smitten and becomes first his secretary, then his lover. But things are not as they seem on the glittering surface, as Nina in turn is loved and watched over by Chas’s childhood playmate, the hermit-like environmentalist William.

When Chas’s estranged alcoholic wife Dolly briefly returns, she steals William’s savings and leaves behind a different treasure – her baby son, Oro.  In a gentler, more innocent way than Chas, young Oro is a catalyst in the Slangkop community. William is forced out of his seclusion and proves a surprisingly good stand-in dad.

William is still desperate to win Nina’s heart, but how, when she is so caught up in Chas’s slipstream? As the inhabitants of this eccentric seaside community orbit around Chas and his increasingly desperate crises, sex raises questions that love must help them answer.

About the Author

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Finuala Dowling’s first poetry collection, I Flying, won the Ingrid Jonker Prize.  Her second collection, Doo-Wop Girls of the Universe, was joint winner of the Sanlam Prize for poetry, and her third, Notes from the Dementia Ward, won the Olive Schreiner Prize. She has read at the Aldeburgh Festival, at Snape Maltings, and at all major South African literary festivals.

Her first novel was What Poets Need, followed by Flyleaf. Her short stories, poems and essays have appeared in several anthologies. She has also written comic skits and plays, winning the Spier/PANSA Audience Award.

She has an M.A. from the University of Cape Town and a D.Litt. et Phil. from the University of South Africa. Formerly an English lecturer, she now freelances as a poetry teacher and writer. She lives in Kalk Bay with her daughter.

Published by Kwela Books (An imprint of NB Publishers)

ISBN: 9780795707179

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Recovering Democracy in South Africa by Raymond Suttner

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South Africa’s hard-won democracy, symbolised by the late liberation hero Nelson Mandela, was the main victim of the chaos in parliament during President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation Address. In Recovering Democracy in South Africa, Raymond Suttner brings together the best of his recent writings and essays; he offers a fresh look at the wide range of contentious issues that currently preoccupy South Africans, from the threat to constitutionalism to problems with leadership and questions of ethics. The book is as much an in-depth engagement with our difficult present as it is a damning account of the politics of the Zuma era.

It is illogical to think that the chaos of last week, which first saw cellphone signals jammed and then later witnessed security personnel rushing into the National Assembly to evict members of the EFF, represented anything good about our democracy. If anything, the soft underbelly of our democratic experiment was laid bare for all to see. Ellis Mnyandu: editor of Business Report

Despite his strong argued criticism of the present political order, Suttner does not leave the reader with a sense of powerlessness or pessimism. Much of the book is devoted to uncovering the strengths and fundamental values of our democracy and envisioning ways by which South Africans can recover and build on the promise of 1994.

In Recovering Democracy, I wrestle with, and try to capture, the sense that something is missing in the existence of many South Africans, something they thought was theirs, which is now under threat, slipping away or even no longer there. That ‘something’ is democracy … 

Consequently, in speaking of recovering democracy now, it may mean more than returning to the promise of 1994, protecting the Constitution from the various ways it has been undermined, and ending corruption, illegality and violence. It may also mean, if we become more actively involved in our own emancipation and more self-empowered, that we expect more from democracy, that we invest greater efforts in creative ways of building democracy and institutions that go beyond and augment what is found in the Constitution. Raymond Suttner: Introduction

This book comes out at a time when South Africa faces its own challenges. What the future holds for South Africa depends on what each of us puts into reclaiming our democracy and the values that underpin our country.

About the Author

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Raymond Suttner, who lives in Johannesburg, is a part-time professor at Rhodes University and an Emeritus Professor at the University of South Africa. Initially a legal academic, he later obtained an interdisciplinary PHD in history, political studies and sociology. During the apartheid era he was jailed for his activities as an ANC underground operative, as described in one of his earlier works, Inside Apartheid’s Prison (2001). More recently, his book The ANC Underground was published by Jacana (2008).

View Raymond‘s website HERE

Like Raymond‘s Facebook page HERE and follow him on Twitter HERE

Published by Jacana Media

ISBN: 9781431421589

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The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro

‘There’s a journey we must go on, and no more delay …’

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The extraordinary new novel from the author of Never Let Me Go and the Booker Prize-winning The Remains of the Day.

The Romans have long since departed, and Britain is steadily declining into ruin. But at least the wars that once ravaged the country have ceased.

The Buried Giant begins as a couple, Axl and Beatrice, set off across a troubled land of mist and rain in the hope of finding a son they have not seen for years. They expect to face many hazards– some strange and other – worldly – but they cannot yet foresee how their journey will reveal to them dark and forgotten corners of their love for one another.

Sometimes savage, often intensely moving, Kazuo Ishiguro‘s first novel in a decade is about lost memories, love, revenge and war.

The official book trailer of The Buried Giant

About the Author

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Kazuo Ishiguro‘s seven previous books have won him wide renown and many honours around the world. His work has been translated into over forty languages. The Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go have each sold in excess of 1,000,000 copies in Faber editions alone, and both were adapted into highly acclaimed films.

Kazuo Ishiguro was born in Nagasaki, Japan, in 1954 and came to Britain at the age of five. He is the author of six novels: A Pale View of Hills (1982, Winifred Holtby Prize), An Artist of the Floating World(1986, Whitbread Book of the Year Award, Premio Scanno, shortlisted for the Booker Prize), The Remains of the Day (1989, winner of the Booker Prize), The Unconsoled (1995, winner of the Cheltenham Prize), When We Were Orphans (2000, shortlisted for the Booker Prize) and Never Let Me Go (2005, Corine Internationaler Buchpreis, Serono Literary Prize, Casino de Santiago European Novel Award, shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize). Nocturnes (2009), a collection of stories, was awarded the Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa International Literary Prize.

In 1995 Ishiguro received an OBE for Services to Literature, and in 1998 the French decoration of Chevalier de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. He lives in London with his wife and daughter.

View The Buried Giant website HERE and Twitter page HERE

Like Kazuo‘s Facebook page HERE

Published by Jonathan Ball Publishers

ISBN: 9780571315048

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Sweet by Sam Linsell

Sweet – a word that in the culinary realm conjures up notions of decadence, irresistible deliciousness, indulgence and yes, basically palate bliss.

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Those treats we crave when we’re happy, sad or in need of a pick-me-up, and which make the world feel like a wonderful place. These are what Sam Linsell presents in Sweet – and so much more! The dizzy array of sweet temptations will make your head spin and take you back to that state of excited contemplation that you last experienced as a child before a birthday party.

Cakes, tarts, butters, confectionery sweets, muffins, biscuits, bars, pastries, sauces, puddings, beverages, ice creams, preserves, sorbets, mousses, scones – they’re all there. But unlike the sweet treats of childhood, Sam offers a very adult twist to many a traditional offering, such as Vanilla and Baileys® French toast bake, and Chocolate waffles with bourbon butterscotch sauce. And if you really need to salve your conscience, all the recipes in one of the chapter include fruit.

As if the recipes titles aren’t sufficient to set the tastebuds alight, special mention should be made of the photography. Sam is a food stylist par excellence and the photographs (she took them herself) are sure to kick that last vestige of resistance into the wild yonder. The only sensible thing to do is to yield to temptation and move into the kitchen.

About the Author

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Sam Linsell is a Cape town-based food stylist with a lifelong passion for food. After Hotel School formal culinary training, she worked in the hospitality industry for a number of years before studying marketing and working as a brand manager on numerous food brands. Eventually she quit the corporate world to move back to Cape Town and build her dream life around food creativity. In the last five years she has worked as a freelance food stylist, run her own cupcake and cold smoked food businesses, and started her Drizzle & Dip food blog. The latter is ranked among the top food blogs in South Africa. Sweet is Sam’s second cookbook after she self-published Drizzle and Dip in 2012.

View Sam‘s website HERE

Like Sam‘s Facebook page HERE and follow her on Twitter HERE

Published by Penguin Random House SA

ISBN: 9781432303358

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The Dream House by Craig Higginson

 A farmhouse is being reproduced a dozen times, with slight variations, throughout a valley. Three small graves have been dug in the front garden, the middle one lying empty. A woman in a wheelchair sorts through boxes while her husband clambers around the old demolished buildings, wondering where the animals have gone. A young woman – called ‘the barren one’ behind her back – dreams of love, while an ageing headmaster contemplates the end of his life. At the entrance to the long dirt driveway, a car appears and pauses – pointed towards the house like a silver bullet, ticking with heat.

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So begins The Dream House, Craig Higginson’s riveting and unforgettable novel set in the Midlands of KwaZulu-Natal. Written with dark wit, a stark poetic style and extraordinary tenderness, this is a story about the state of a nation and a deep meditation on memory, ageing, meaning, family, love and loss. The Dream House is written with such a fierce and steady compassion that the reader can only come away from it transformed – ready to take on the challenges of living with a renewed heart and a bigger vision.

‘The Dream House is an open and frank exploration of human life that resonates beyond race. Looksmart is a welcome new kind of character in the constantly evolving reality of African literature.’ – NADINE GORDIMER

‘The Dream House is beautifully written. Its politics is understated and its portrayal of South Africa is characterised by a constant movement between affection, anger, nostalgia, resistance and the characters’ acceptance of what is part of the human condition.’ – MARK BEHR

About the Author

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Craig Higginson is an internationally acclaimed writer and theatre director. His novels include Last Summer (2010, Picador Africa, M-Net Literary Award finalist) and The Landscape Painter (2011, Picador Africa, winner of the UJ Prize for South African Literature in English, M-Net Literary Award finalist). His plays include Dream of the DogThe Girl in the Yellow Dress, The Jungle Book and Little Foot (all published by Oberon Books, London).

In addition to awards for fiction, Craig’s plays and directing have been nominated for and won several awards in South Africa and the United Kingdom, including winning the Sony Gold Award for the Best Radio Drama in the UK, an Edinburgh Fringe First, as well as Naledi Awards for Best South African Play and Best Children’s Play. His plays have appeared at the Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre in London, the Traverse Theatre Edinburgh and the Trafalgar Studios in London’s West End.

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

Published by Pan Macmillan

ISBN: 9781770104105

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Author Sir Terry Pratchett Dies Aged 66

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It is with great sadness that we announce that author Sir Terry Pratchett has died at the age of 66.

Larry Finlay, MD at Transworld Publishers: 

“I was deeply saddened to learn that Sir Terry Pratchett has died. The world has lost one of its brightest, sharpest minds.

In over 70 books, Terry enriched the planet like few before him. As all who read him know, Discworld was his vehicle to satirize this world: he did so brilliantly, with great skill, enormous humour and constant invention.

Terry faced his Alzheimer’s disease (an ‘embuggerance’, as he called it) publicly and bravely. Over the last few years, it was his writing that sustained him. His legacy will endure for decades to come.

My sympathies go out to Terry’s wife Lyn, their daughter Rhianna, to his close friend Rob Wilkins, and to all closest to him.”

Terry passed away in his home, with his cat sleeping on his bed surrounded by his family on 12th March 2015. Diagnosed with PCA  in 2007, he battled the progressive disease with his trademark determination and creativity, and continued to write. He completed his last book, a new Discworld novel, in the summer of 2014, before succumbing to the final stages of the disease.

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