All posts by Tracey

I have always loved reading. My earliest memories are those spending every Saturday morning in the town library, listening to ‘story-time’ and then being able to choose my three books to take home for the week. Once grown up, and various career paths later, I started working at Penguin Books and after eleven years with the company, as sales and marketing director, I decided to leave and open my own business, I Love Books. Not everyone has the time, or indeed the inclination, to browse in bookshops. A select few regularly visit bookshops, but that isn’t to say that everyone else is not interested in books – in fact, the opposite is true. My goal is to introduce the general public to authors, and authors to the general public.

Billionaires Under Construction – DJ Sbu

Have you ever wondered what goes on in the mind of a successful entrepreneur? How they come up with their ground-breaking ideas, how they turn them into flourishing businesses, how they deal with failure, and what drives and motivates them?

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Billionaire$ Under Construction answers these questions, and more. If you have aspirations to join the Billionaire Generation, there is no better starting point than reading this new book from DJ Sbu.

Have a look …

 

 

MUST READ – Tracy Todd’s Brave Lotus Flower Rides The Dragon

brave-lotus-flower-rides-the-dragon-tracy-toddTracy Todd is a woman who will touch your heart.

Why walk when you can soar … These are the opening words on Tracy’s website and they are a powerful affirmation of the person Tracy is today – a sought-after inspirational speaker whose uplifting presentations have inspired and given hope to many people.

But it is difficult to imagine what she has overcome in a tough and often lonely journey. At the age of twenty-eight her life was turned upside down when a horrific road accident left her a quadriplegic, paralysed from the neck down. Her life as an athletic, marathon-running young mother and teacher was abruptly shattered.

Despite months of rehabilitation, Tracy often found herself wondering if her life was worth living. Everything she had taken for granted was now beyond her reach and frustration at her helplessness threatened to overwhelm her.

Against the odds, Tracy chose to live. Her strength of character and determination prevailed and, sustained by the support of her son, family and friends, her care assistants, and an unbelievably caring community, she set about gaining the independence to rebuild her life and reclaim her identity – which she has done, with dignity and grace.

Brave Lotus Flower Rides The Dragon is an honest, inspiring and engaging memoir in which Tracy’s natural warmth and humour are tangible and, most importantly, she embodies what the human spirit can achieve.

Here’s a pic of Tracy seeing her books for the first time, and she simply had to touch them. So they were piled high on her lap, and Tracy says: ‘Good ol’ chin.’

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Kim McCusker’s book Scarred – But Not For Life

Brutally dragged 780 metres beneath a taxi – a young woman’s inspiring story of survival, courage, and the will to live scarred.indd

‘13 September 2011. The story would shock thousands and be remembered by many for years to come. It would be plastered all over the papers and continue to attract interest well after the shock factor of what happened had passed. Reports and articles would be written, and “facts”, as given to reporters by some of those involved and willing to be interviewed, would be recounted and repeated in all forms of public media over the months and even years that followed. And although these versions would generate widespread outrage, none was entirely accurate.

The stories were about me. I was there.

I am Kim McCusker, “the girl who was dragged by a taxi”.’

The deliberate and malicious act of one man would impact and change Kim McCusker’s life forever. This single act would also impact the lives of the people who were close to her – her family and friends. It would go far beyond that too, and impact the lives of people she may never meet or know. This single act was the senseless attack on her by a man with his taxi full of passengers and one which most people wouldn’t survive.

Kim’s life may have been compromised but she is stronger and more determined than ever before.  Scarred – But Not For Life is not only about what happened one day in September in 2011. That is the part of Kim that many already know. This book is about much more than that. Her story is not about being a victim or about being a consequence of another person’s choice. It is about making choices for yourself with what is available to you, taking control and surviving and thriving in life despite what comes your way.

Kim’s overarching message is: That which seems impossible, hopeless or overwhelming is never bigger than you are.

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From Whiskey to Water by Sam Cowen

My name is Samantha and I’m an alcoholic.

“At the time of writing, I’ve been sober for 13 years, 11 months and 16 days. And yes I still count. I promised I would never speak about it publicly until my children understood what that meant, that mommy was an alcoholic. I think they may have understood long before I did.”

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From Whiskey to Water is the no-holds-barred memoir by one of South Africa’s most loved radio talk show hosts, Sam Cowen. Having kept her alcohol addiction well away from the public eye for over 14 years, in this tell-all tale, Sam finds the courage to talk about her struggle with her addiction to whiskey, food and finally to a passion that saved her life – marathon swimming. Told in her characteristically hilarious dead-pan style, this is one of the bravest books you’ll read this year.

“So this is a book on how I stopped drinking? No, it’s not. It’s how I stopped drinking, started eating, became clinically severely obese, stopped eating (everything that wasn’t nailed down) and swam my way to freedom. No, it’s not. It’s actually about addiction and learning and sadness and anxiety and love and drive. It’s about channelling the unchangeable into the miraculous. It’s about dragons and learning how to put them to sleep when you can’t slay them. It’s about being my own Daenarys.”

About the Author

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Sam Cowen is the longest-running female morning show host in the country, having worked Joburg’s biggest breakfast show on 94.7 for over 18 years with radio icons Jeremy Mansfield and Darren Whackhead Simpson. In 2015 she replaced Jenny Crwys-Williams on the wildly popular 1pm–3pm slot in 702. She currently co-hosts the Weekend Breakfast show on 702/Cape Talk with Africa Melane. Sam is also the bestselling author of Waiting for Christopher and Good Enough Mother, two popular books on motherhood.

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

Published by Jacana Media

ISBN:   9871920601720

#ZuptasMustFall and Other Rants by Fred Khumalo

Who are these Guptas who are so powerful, they’re distributing cabinet posts like matrons handing out condoms at a brothel? Who do Americans think they are, accusing Trevor Noah of ‘stealing’ a joke from one of their comedians? Is Sizakele MaKhumalo Zuma’s spaza shop a National Key Point?

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In #ZuptasMustFall, and other rants, Fred Khumalo runs riot, contemplating the pressing issues that continue to confound, infuriate and exasperate the nation – or to sink it into further controversy.

Covering a wide range of topics, including politics, history, current events and celebrity gossip, this compilation of recent and new writings contains Khumalo’s trademark blend of humour and shrewd analysis, as well as his treatment of everyday issues from a uniquely South African perspective.

This is an entertaining collection of thoughts from one of the country’s most seasoned journalists, offering many questions, and tongue-in-cheek answers, on who we are as a nation, where we are going, and how we compare to the rest of the world.

Courtesy of Penguin Random House, click here to read an extract.

About the Author

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Fred Khumalo has been described as a ‘reluctant Zulu’, ‘clever black’ and an ‘equal opportunity offender’. He completed his MA in creative writing from Wits University with distinction and is the recipient of a Nieman Fellowship from Harvard University.

His writing has appeared in various publications, including the Sunday Times, the Toronto Star, New African magazine, the Sowetan and Isolezwe. In 2008, he hosted Encounters, a public-debate television programme, on SABC 2. His books include Bitches Brew, Seven Steps to Heaven and Touch My Blood.

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

Published by Penguin Random House SA

ISBN: 9781776091072

Always Anastacia by Anastacia Tomson

“I stand in front of the mirror as I remind myself that I don’t have to wear the uniform anymore. I don’t have to dress myself in men’s attire. I can grow out my nails, and paint them with polish. I am finally free to have my ears pierced. I can speak in the voice that I’ve spent so many hours cultivating with my speech therapist. I don’t have to hide my disgust anymore at being called “boet” or “sir”. I no longer have to tolerate any references to my deadname.”

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Anastacia has fought hard for her right to live, held back for decades by a body that didn’t fit, and an identity that never belonged to her. At first, it had seemed impossible – like transition was some romantic, impractical ideal that was incompatible with reality. But now, after five months of hormone therapy, countless sessions of painful laser hair removal, multiple appointments with doctors and psychologists, it is very much a reality.

Born into a Jewish family in Johannesburg and raised by her parents as a boy, Anastacia Tomson was never sure just how much of her persistent internal discomfort to blame on an often troubled family life. She qualified and practised as a doctor, but it would take a great deal more clear-sighted and difficult questioning to finally find peace and self-acceptance, as a woman. This memoir is a clarion call for a more nuanced understanding of trans people and the concepts of sex, gender and identity.

About the Author

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Anastacia Tomson grew up in Johannesburg and graduated as a medical doctor from the University of Pretoria. She has worked as a general practitioner both in the public and private sectors, as well as having a background in freelance journalism.  Anastacia has a passion for activism and advocacy, with a specific interest in promoting access to healthcare for transgender and gender non-conforming individuals. She is a vocal feminist and strives to further the visibility and understanding of transgender issues at every opportunity.

View Anastacia‘s website HERE

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

Published by Jonathan Ball Publishers

ISBN: 9781868427130

The Last Act of Love by Cathy Rentzenbrink

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In the summer of 1990, Cathy’s brother Matty was knocked down by a car on the way home from a night out. It was two weeks before his GCSE results, which turned out to be the best in his school. Sitting by his unconscious body in hospital, holding his hand and watching his heartbeat on the monitors, Cathy and her parents willed him to survive. They did not know then that there are many and various fates worse than death.

This is the story of what happened to Cathy and her brother, and the unimaginable decision that she and her parents had to make eight years after the night that changed everything. It’s a story for anyone who has ever watched someone suffer or lost someone they loved or lived through a painful time that left them forever changed. Told with boundless warmth and affection, The Last Act of Love by Cathy Rentzenbrink is a heartbreaking yet uplifting testament to a family’s survival and the price we pay for love.

About the Author

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Cathy Rentzenbrink was born in Cornwall, grew up in Yorkshire and now lives in London. An ex-bookseller, she is now Project Director of the charity Quick Reads and Books Editor of the Bookseller magazine.

View Cathy‘s website HERE

View Cathy’s Facebook page HERE and follow her on Twitter HERE

Published by Pan Macmillan

ISBN: 9781447286394

My Cape Malay Kitchen by Cariema Isaacs

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My Cape Malay Kitchen is Cariema Isaacs’s heartfelt and poignant account of the extraordinary relationship between herself and her father and how that was reflected in their shared passion for food and cooking. She recollects all of the dishes they cooked and ate together, and shares her childhood memories of growing up in Bo-Kaap (the Cape Malay Quarter in Cape Town), lending insight into the culture, religious ceremonies and family events that have shaped the Cape Malay community into what itis today.

But My Cape Malay Kitchen is also a book about flavourful food, richly spiced curries, indulgent cakes and decadent desserts. Cariema‘s refreshing approach to food showcases many of the much-loved Cape Malay vintage recipes as well as a selection of modern dishes, and is ideal for anyone who needs a little inspiration in the kitchen.

About the Author

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Cariema Isaacs was born in Scotcheskloof in Bo-Kaap. She has a natural flair in the kitchen, and from an early age was familiar with ingredients that her grandmother would transform into the most scrumptious dishes. Cariema lived in Cape Town for most of her life, before moving to Johannesburg and thereafter Dubai, where she and her husband raise their two teenage sons. My Cape Malay Kitchen is her first book.

View Cariema‘s Facebook page HERE

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

ISBN: 9781432305659

The Tiger and the Wolf by Adrian Tchaikovsky

In the bleak northern crown of the world, war is coming.

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Maniye’s father is the Wolf clan’s chieftain, but she’s an outcast. Her mother was queen of the Tiger and these tribes have been enemies for generations. Maniye also hides a deadly secret. All can shift into their clan’s animal form, but Maniye can take on tiger and wolf shapes. She refuses to disown half her soul, so escapes, rescuing a prisoner of the Wolf clan in the process. The killer Broken Axe is set on their trail, to drag them back for retribution.

Maniye’s father plots to rule the north and controlling his daughter is crucial to his schemes. However, other tribes also prepare for strife. Strangers from the far south appear too, seeking allies in their own conflict. It’s a season for omens as priests foresee danger, and a darkness falling across the land. Some say a great war is coming, overshadowing even Wolf ambitions. A time of testing and broken laws is near, but what spark will set the world ablaze?

About the Author

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Adrian Tchaikovsky was born in Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire, before heading off to Reading to study psychology and zoology. For reasons unclear even to himself he subsequently ended up in law and has worked as a legal executive in both Reading and Leeds, where he now lives. Married, he is a keen live role-player and occasional amateur actor, has trained in stage-fighting, and keeps no exotic or dangerous pets of any kind, possibly excepting his son. He’s the author of the critically acclaimed Shadows of the Apt series.

View Adrian‘s website HERE

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

Published by Pan Macmillan

ISBN: 9781509815104