Sarah Graham’s new cookbook, smitten.

This February we can look forward to Sarah Graham’s cookbook smitten. (a continuation of her first fun, funky and relevant cookbook, bitten.).

The focus this time around is on the extraordinary; the creation of uniquely quirky yet still achievable, budget-friendly and oh-so-delicious food to share. Think a little elegance and a lot of je ne sais quoi. This is unintimidating food with a twist that the whole family will enjoy.

To make our busy lives easier, the recipes in smitten. are conveniently divided into categories such as Nibbles, Speedy Suppers, Feast and Slow. Whether looking to knock up a quick dish on a week night or feed a party of eight on a lazy Sunday afternoon, there is something here for everyone.

Once again, the blog-themed writing style ensures that the writer/reader relationship is established right off the bat, providing a unique way of sharing recipes that draws not only on the food, but the context, inspiration and passion behind each dish as well, capturing Sarah’s philosophy that every meal has a story.

Sarah will be launching smitten. at Novel Books on Monday, the 10th of February  (10h00 to 11h30).

smitten invite novel books

Published by RandomHouseStruik – ISBN 9781432301866


Chaplin: His Life And Art by David Robinson


David Robinson‘s definitive and monumental biography of Charlie Chaplin, the greatest icon in the history of cinema, who lived one of the most dramatic rags to riches stories ever told. Chaplin’s life was marked by extraordinary contrasts: the child of London slums who became a multimillionaire; the on-screen clown who was a driven perfectionist behind the camera; the adulated star who publicly fell from grace after personal and political scandal.

This engrossing and definitive work, written with full access to Chaplin’s archives, tells the whole story of a brilliant, complex man. David Robinson is a celebrated film critic and historian who wrote for The Times and the Financial Times for several decades. His many books include World Cinema, Hollywood in the Twenties and Buster Keaton. “A marvellous book …unlikely ever to be surpassed”. (Spectator). “I cannot imagine how anyone could write a better book on the great complex subject …movingly entertaining, awesomely thorough and profoundly respectful”. (Sunday Telegraph). “One of the great cinema books; a labour of love and a splendid achievement”. (Variety). “One of those addictive biographies in which you start by looking in the index for items that interest you …and as dawn breaks you’re reading the book from cover to cover”. (Financial Times).

About the author


David Robinson (born 1930) is a British film critic and author. He started writing for Sight and Sound and the Monthly Film Bulletin in the 1950s, becoming Assistant Editor of Sight and Sound and Editor of the Monthly Film Bulletin in 1957-1958. He was film critic of The Financial Times from 1958 to 1973, before taking up the same post at The Times in 1973. He remained the paper’s main film reviewer until around 1990 and a regular contributor until around 1996.

View the official Charlie Chaplin website HERE

Published by Penguin Books

ISBN: 9780141977508

Justice – A Personal Account by Edwin Cameron


Edwin Cameron’s gripping and revealing new book is part memoir and part ode to the law. The book opens at the funeral of Cameron’s sister Laura when he was just seven. His father was accompanied by prison officials, having been briefly let out of prison for the occasion. This was the young Cameron’s first exposure to the law…

In Justice, Cameron explains and defends the role of the law in South Africa’s continuing transition. He draws on his own life experience – of poverty, of a youth spent in a children’s home, of his differentness and of stigma – to illustrate the power and the limitations of the law.

Cameron argues his case – that the Constitution offers South Africans our best chance for a just society – with personal passion, but also with the insights gained from hard years of judicial experience. Published in the run-on to the national election, Justice comes at a critical time in our country.

‘A remarkable integration of fascinating and often moving personal memoir, professional reminiscence and acute historical analysis of South African law, politics and society.’

— Sir Sydney Kentridge, QC

About the author


Former human rights lawyer and current Constitutional Court Justice Edwin Cameron is still the only public office bearer in South Africa and the rest of Africa to have made public his HIV status. He is a justice in South Africa’s highest court, The Constitutional Court.

Cameron has authored a number of books, including Defiant Desire – Gay and Lesbian Lives in South Africa and Honoré’s South African Law of Trusts. He has received numerous awards and distinctions. These include honorary fellowships of the Society for Advanced Legal Studies in London and Keble College, Oxford, the Nelson Mandela Award for Health and Human Rights (2000) and the San Francisco Aids Foundation Excellence in Leadership Award for 2003. In 2002 the Bar of England and Wales honoured him with a special award for his contribution to international jurisprudence and the protection of human rights.

Published by NB Publishers

ISBN: 9780624063056

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

This past Friday I was treated to a pre-screening of The Book Thief movie by Exclusive Books. I hadn’t read the book (but had heard lots about it) and didn’t know what to expect. Now, having seen the movie guess what the next book is that I’ll be buying!

The film adaptation releases in South African cinemas this Friday (24th of January).

Here is a small fact – you are going to die.

1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier. Liesel, a nine-year-old girl, is living with a foster family on Himmel Street. Her parents have been taken away to a concentration camp. Liesel steals books. This is her story and the story of the inhabitants of her street when the bombs begin to fall.

Some important information – this novel is narrated by death.

It’s a small story, about: a girl; an accordionist; some fanatical Germans; a Jewish fist fighter and quite a lot of thievery.

Another thing you should know – death will visit the book thief three times.

CLICK HERE to watch the official trailer for The Book Thief.

About the author


Markus Zusak was born in 1975 and is the author of five books, including I am the Messenger and the international bestseller, The Book Thief, which is translated into more than forty languages. He lives in Sydney with his wife and two children.

Published by Random House Struik

ISBN: 9780552779739

Exclusive Books Logo



To celebrate the release of The Book Thief movie in South Africa, Exclusive Books is running a very special competition.

They love the imagery and beauty of The Book Thief. They also love Pinterest, Instagram, Snapseed and filters. See where they’re going with this?

Take a photo of a copy of The Book Thief, make it the most beautiful photo ever taken and send it to They will put all of the photos up on their Pinterest board, and the photo with the most likes will win a R5000 Exclusive Books voucher! 

The competition closes on Sunday the 26th of January ’14 – click HERE to read the T&Cs.


Afrika, My Music by Es’kia Mphahlele


In this, Es’kia Mphahlele’s second autobiography – published originally in 1984 – he recounts his return to South Africa after twenty years in exile and the challenges that he and his family faced in returning to the land of his birth before the momentous events of the 1990s. Filled with extraordinary, precise prose, Afrika, My Music showcases the kind of writing that earned Es’kia a nomination for the Nobel Prize for Literature in the year this book was originally published. Es’kia’s commitment to education and to the upliftment of Africans across the continent has never been in doubt, but this autobiography lays bare just what this unwavering focus cost him and his family.

On a larger geopolitical level, Afrika, My Music is a book that charts of the rise and fall of the great and the not-so-good of the African revolutionary movements of the 1960s and 1970s – people who Es’kia often knew personally. This is not only the biography of a man who fell painfully short of achieving the goals he had set himself as a young man in Marabastad (the Sofiatown of Pretoria), but also the biography of a generation of African thinkers and revolutionaries who achieved so much but whose dreams of a continent remade were never fully realised.

About the author


Professor Es’kia Mphahlele was, until his death in 2008, one of Africa’s most prolific authors on education, literature and culture. He was the recipient of numerous national and international awards. In 1969 he was nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature and in 1984 he was awarded the Les Palmes Academiques by the French Government for his contribution to French Language and Culture. In 1998 former President Nelson Mandela awarded him the Order of the Southern Cross, the highest recognition granted by the South African Government. In the year 2000 he was acknowledged as: Writer of the Century by Tribute Magazine.

For many years Es’kia Mphahlele’s work has been out of print or unavailable due to circumstances surrounding his estate. The republishing of Afrika, My Music marks a watershed moment in this situation and will allow the reappraisal of the importance of the work of one of South Africa’s most important authors of the twentieth century.

View Es’kia‘s website HERE

Like Es’kia‘s page on Facebook HERE

Published by NB Publishers

ISBN: 9780795706196

12 Years a Slave (Movie Tie-In) by Solomon Northup

An official tie-in edition of this eloquent and powerful slave narrative, to accompany Steve McQueen’s major new film opening in SA cinemas today. Starring Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Giamatti, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Quvenzhané Wallis.


Perhaps the best written of all the slave narratives, 12 Years a Slave is a harrowing memoir about one of the darkest periods in American history. It recounts how Solomon Northup, born a free man in New York, was lured to Washington, D.C., in 1841 with the promise of fast money, then drugged and beaten and sold into slavery. He spent the next twelve years of his life in captivity on a Louisiana cotton plantation.

After his rescue, Northup published this exceptionally vivid and detailed account of slave life. It became an immediate bestseller and today is recognised for its unusual insight and eloquence as one of the very few portraits of American slavery produced by someone as educated as Solomon Northup, or by someone with the dual perspective of having been both a free man and a slave.

Courtesy of Penguin Books, read an extract of 12 Years a Slave HERE

View the official trailer HERE

Published by Penguin Books

ISBN: 9780141393827

The Frackers: The Inside Story of the Energy Revolution by Gregory Zuckerman

The Frackers by Gregory Zuckerman, bestselling author of The Greatest Trade Ever, tells the untold story of the tycoons behind the US fracking controversy.


Things looked grim for American energy in 2006. Oil production was in steep decline and natural gas was hard to find. The Iraq War threatened the nation’s already tenuous relations with the Middle East. China was rapidly industrializing and competing for resources. Major oil companies had just about given up on new discoveries on US soil, and a new energy crisis loomed. But a handful of men believed everything was about to change.

By experimenting with hydraulic fracturing through extremely dense shale – a process now known as fracking – these ‘wildcatters’ started a revolution. In just a few years, they solved America’s dependence on imported energy, triggered a global environmental controversy – and made and lost astonishing fortunes. The Frackers have already transformed the eco – nomic, environmental, and geopolitical course of history, and like the Rockefellers and the Gettys before them, they’re using their wealth and power to influence politics, education, entertainment, sports, and many other fields. Activists argue that the same methods that are creating so much new energy are also harming our water supply and threatening environmental chaos.

Award-winning reporter Gregory Zuckerman gained exclusive access to the frackers, chronicling the untold story of how they transformed the nation and the world. The result is a dramatic narrative that stretches from the barren fields of North Dakota to the tense Wall Street boardrooms. The Frackers also tells the story of the angry opposition unleashed by this revolution, and explores just how dangerous fracking really is.

About the author


Gregory Zuckerman is a senior writer at the Wall Street Journal, where he has been a reporter for twelve years. He pens the widely read “Heard on the Street” column and writes about hedge funds, investing, and other Wall Street topics. He is a two-time winner of the Gerald Loeb Award for coverage of the credit crisis, the demise of WorldCom, and the collapse of hedge fund Amaranth Advisors.

View Gregory‘s website HERE

Follow Gregory on Twitter HERE and like his page on Facebook HERE

Published by Penguin Books

ISBN: 9780670923670

History’s Worst Battles by Joel Levy


History’s Worst Battles takes a light-hearted but informative look at 50 of the world’s bloodiest and most significant conflicts. In the bad old days, history was about individuals – kings, queens, emperors, generals and presidents – and the battles they fought, and lost or won. Today, history is much more likely to be about technological change, economics and abstract socio-political forces. But that doesn’t mean that battles aren’t important…

Organised chronologically from the first battle for which we have tactical evidence, Kadesh in 1274 bce, this book features some of the most disastrous military engagements ever fought, on five continents and in every major conflict from antiquity to modern times. A fascinating read for history and military history buffs alike.

About the author

Joel Levy is a writer and journalist based in London, England. He is the author of more than a dozen books on science and history, including Newton’s Notebook, The Bedside Book of Chemistry and A Bee in a Cathedral, which is an infographic guide to the fascinating world of scientific analogies. He has also written features and articles for the British national press, and has appeared on national television and numerous local and national radio shows. A long-term student of the history of science and medicine, Joel has a BSc in Biological Sciences and an MA in Psychology.

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

ISBN: 9781770226609

Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple’s Greatest Products by Leander Kahney


In 1997, Steve Jobs returned to Apple with the unenviable task of turning around the company he had founded. One night Jobs discovered a scruffy British designer toiling away in a studio at Apple, surrounded by hundreds of sketches and prototypes. Jobs instantly realized he had found a talent who could reverse the company’s long decline.

That young designer was Jony Ive.

Ive‘s collaboration with Jobs would produce some of the world’s most iconic products, including the iMac, iPod, iPad and iPhone. These designs have overturned entire industries and created the world’s most powerful brand.

Along the way, Ive has become the world’s leading technology innovator, won countless awards, earned a place on the 2013 Time 100 list, and has been knighted for his services to design and enterprise. Yet little is known about the shy, softly-spoken designer that Jobs referred to as his ‘spiritual partner’ at Apple.

View the official book trailer HERE

About the author


Leander Kahney is the editor and publisher of Cult of Mac, and author of three books about technology culture: Inside Steve’s Brain, the New York Times bestseller about Steve Jobs; Cult of Mac; and Cult of iPod. Leander has written for Wired, MacWeek, Scientific American, and The Guardian in London.

View the Cult of Mac website HERE

Follow Leander on Twitter HERE and like his page on Facebook HERE

Published by Penguin Books

ISBN: 9780241001776