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.

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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

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

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

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Published by Penguin Books

ISBN: 9780670922819

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

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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

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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

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Published by Pan Macmillan

ISBN: 9781447276661

Carry-On Baggage by Howard Feldman

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Howard Feldman was a high-flying commodity trader, living a seemingly perfect life, with a perfect wife and perfect children, in an unbelievably perfect world.

His tie was Hermès and belt Ferragamo (until the Hermès belt with the H became the item of choice), suits were Boss or Armani (little else would do unless it is custom made, but only in London and not by the tailors in Hong Kong as everyone knew that they aren’t up to par). Shoes were Prada. Rolex was passé unless it was the Daytona. IWC was always acceptable, Hublot – too in your face, Cartier worked and Panerai said “I have class, have money and I am aware of the latest trends”. Howard had two. Ties had to be skinny, unless you were not. Louis Vuitton luggage was “showy” unless plain black. Tumi roll-on, in black, with the briefcase that slides over the handle was a pre-requisite. Check-in baggage was embarrassing and very uncool even though you had more weight allowance than God…

But then this “King of Chrome” gets attacked. And attacked again. Then he gets sick. His business folds. And his carry-on baggage simply gets too heavy to hold.

As Howard unpacks his bags – both literal and metaphorical – he unravels all the “perfect” banners he has raised to the world, his family, his community and himself. He measures their value against a new benchmark of success, and reconsiders his life’s travels from Zug to Zimbabwe, New York to Tel Aviv. Returning home to South Africa, he discovers not just the meaning of home, family and friendship, but also himself.

About the Author

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Howard Feldman is a businessman, philanthropist and social commentator. He is a commodity trader with a secret passion for writing and literature – something he tells no one about. He holds the position as Chairman of the Board of the SAJR, the only weekly Jewish focused newspaper in South Africa.

He is unashamedly Jewish, unashamedly South African, and unashamedly supportive of Israel. He is married to Heidi and has 5 children who he loves all the time but likes most of the time. He even has a daughter in law.

View Howard‘s website HERE and follow him on Twitter HERE

View Howard‘s Facebook page HERE

Published by Tracey McDonald Publishers

ISBN: 9780620626705

The Rise of the Securocrats by Jane Duncan

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The South African government led by the ANC’s president, Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma, stands accused of having fallen under the sway of the securocrats. Who, or what, are they? Securocrats are officials located in the security establishment – the police, intelligence services or the military – that have the power to influence government policy in their favour.

The Rise of the Securocrats illustrates how, when securocrats dominate government decision-making, the democratic life of a country can be threatened. Annexing the power to subvert democratic processes to entrench their own power or the power of their favoured leaders, they also use the armed might of the state to suppress their political opponents. Duncan argues for the importance of keeping the security cluster under democratic, civilian control, and broadly accountable to the society they claim to serve.

This book throws a spotlight on the hidden corners, murky bureaucracies and power grab that is currently underway. It evaluates just how worried we should be about developments in the security cluster and evaluates the state of journalism on its activities. It adopts a ground-up approach, looking at the impact of the security cluster on the state of activism and protest action. It is also international in focus, looking at how ‘big brother’ practices developed during the ‘war against terror’ have been domesticated in South Africa and the uses to which they are being put.

About the Author

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Jane Duncan is a professor in the Department of Journalism, Film and Television, University of Johannesburg. Before that she held a chair in Media and the Information Society at Rhodes University and was the executive director of the Freedom of Expression Institute. She has three postgraduate degrees, and has written widely on freedom of expression, the right to privacy, social movements and the right to protest, and media policy.

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

Published by Jacana Media

ISBN: 9781431410750

The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami

9781846559211

‘All I did was go to the library to borrow some books’.

On his way home from school, the young narrator of The Strange Library finds himself wondering how taxes were collected in the Ottoman Empire. He pops into the local library to see if it has a book on the subject. This is his first mistake.

Led to a special ‘reading room’ in a maze under the library by a strange old man, he finds himself imprisoned with only a sheep man, who makes excellent donuts, and a girl, who can talk with her hands, for company. His mother will be worrying why he hasn’t returned in time for dinner and the old man seems to have an appetite for eating small boy’s brains. How will he escape?

About the Author

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Haruki Murakami was born in Kyoto in 1949 and now lives near Tokyo. He is the author of many novels as well as short stories and non-fiction. His works include Norwegian Wood, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Kafka on the Shore, After Dark, 1Q84 and What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. His most recent novel is Colorless Tsukuru and His Years of Pilgrimage. His work has been translated into more than fifty languages, and the most recent of his many international honours is the Jerusalem Prize, whose previous recipients include J.M. Coetzee, Milan Kundera and V.S. Naipaul.

View Haruki‘s website HERE

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Published by Struik International

ISBN: 9781846559211