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June Newsletter 2013

Fiction

Maya’s Notebook by Isabel Allende

mayaTeenage Maya is in trouble. She's an alcoholic, an addict and deeply involved with a criminal gang. Abandoned by her parents as a baby, Maya has been brought up by her tough grandmother Nini and her gentle grandfather Popo. At school though, teenage Maya finds herself drawn towards the wrong crowd. Before she knows what's happened, Maya's life has turned into one of drug addiction and crime. To save her from her old associates, Nini sends Maya to a remote island off the coast of Chile. While living here among a traditional rural people, the Chilote, she feels compelled to write her story and slowly she begins to heal.

 

The Obituary Writer by Lauren St John

obituaryNick Donaghue, a young, handsome obituary writer for The Times, leads a charmed existence until he is caught up in one of Britain's worst ever train crashes. When he survives unscathed, his friends and colleagues consider him the luckiest man alive. Only Nick knows the truth – that he is tormented by horrific nightmares. Escaping to Cornwall strikes him as the answer, especially after he becomes captivated by a beautiful woman and a horse he sees playing on a beach. But when his nightmares return, they threaten his fragile new world. As Nick grapples with his demons, he realises that falling in love might come at a terrible price.

 

The Collector of Lost Things by Jeremy Page

collectorI felt the worlds of ocean and ice were meeting in a frontier of rage, as if the Earth had torn in two along this line. This was a place if there ever was a place, where you could disappear. The year is 1845 and young researcher Eliot Saxby is paid to go on an expedition to the Arctic in the hope of finding remains of the by now extinct Great Auk. He joins a regular hunting ship, but the crew and the passengers are not what they seem. Caught in the web of relationships on board, Eliot struggles to understand the motivations of the sociopathic, embroidery-loving Captain Sykes, the silent First Mate French, the flamboyant laudanum-addicted Bletchley and, most importantly of all, Bletchley's beautiful but strange 'cousin' Clara. As the ship moves further and further into the wilds of the Arctic sea, Eliot clings to what he believes in, desperate to save Clara but drawn irrevocably back into the past that haunts him.

 

We Need New Names by Noviolet Bulawayo

we need'To play the country-game, we have to choose a country. Everybody wants to be the USA and Britain and Canada and Australia and Switzerland and them. Nobody wants to be rags of countries like Congo, like Somalia, like Iraq, like Sudan, like Haiti and not even this one we live in - who wants to be a terrible place of hunger and things falling apart?' Darling and her friends live in a shanty called Paradise, which of course is no such thing. It isn't all bad, though. There's mischief and adventure, games of Find Bin Laden, stealing guavas, singing Lady Gaga at the tops of their voices. They dream of the paradises of America, Dubai, Europe, where Madonna and Barack Obama and David Beckham live.  For Darling, that dream will come true. But, like the thousands of people all over the world trying to forge new lives far from home, Darling finds this new paradise brings its own set of challenges - for her and also for those she's left behind.

 

The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout

burgessHaunted by the freak accident that killed their father when they were children, Jim and Bob Burgess escaped from their Maine hometown of Shirley Falls for New York City as soon as they possibly could. Jim, a sleek, successful corporate lawyer, has belittled his bighearted brother their whole lives, and Bob, a legal aid attorney who idolises Jim, has always taken it in his stride. But their long-standing dynamic is upended when their sister, Susan - the sibling who stayed behind - urgently calls them home. Her lonely teenage son, Zach, has landed himself into a world of trouble, and Susan desperately needs their help.

Little White Lies by Lesley Lokko

little whiteIn a gorgeous beachfront mansion in Martha's Vineyard, Annick and Rebecca have left their young children in the care of their life-long friend Tash. Tash has made millions from her fashion business and treating her friends to a luxury holiday makes all the hard work worthwhile. But by the end of the afternoon, one of the children will have vanished. Money, it would seem, isn't the answer to everything. Weaving the stories of three women together across decades, this sweeping tale of friendship, ambition, love affairs and betrayals is the new bestseller from Lesley Lokko.

 

Fly Away by Kristin Hannah

fly awayHow do you hold yourself together when your world has fallen apart. Celebrity news reporter and presenter, Tully Hart, has hit rock bottom. Kate Ryan had been her best friend for more than thirty years. They'd lived, laughed, danced and cried together. Kate had been her anchor, and now Tully was cast adrift - not knowing how she was going to survive. Kate's daughter, Marah, was only sixteen years old when her mother died. Consumed with guilt over the fights they'd had during the last months of Kate's life, Marah runs away and becomes a drop-out in society, maintaining no contact with her family. Tully's mother, Cloud, a child of the Sixties, has lived a world of her own dependent on drugs for most of her adult life. She now wants to prove that she can help her daughter. But what will it take for Tully to forgive? And then something momentous happens which causes each one of them to realise what they've done, and what they have become. Fly Away is the story of three women who have lost their way and need each other - plus a miracle - to transform their lives.

Nightshade by Stephen Leather

nightshadeIn Jack Nightingale's world - where reality and the occult collide - sometimes the only way to fight evil is with evil.
A farmer walks into a school and shoots eight children dead before turning the gun on himself. It's a harrowing but straightforward case - until police search the man's farm and un-earth evidence of dark Satanic practices. When the perpetrator's brother approaches Nightingale, adamant that his brother was set up, it's clear that something even more sinister lurks at the heart of the case.
And there are dark forces elsewhere. A young girl miraculously returns to life, claiming she's spoken to those from beyond the grave. Those in contact with her are dying hideous deaths, forcing Jack Nightingale to make the hardest decision he's ever faced.

The Fall of Arthur by J.R.R.Tolkien

fall of arthurThe world first publication of a previously unknown work by J.R.R.Tolkien, which tells the extraordinary story of the final days of England's legendary hero, King Arthur. The Fall of Arthur was one of several long narrative poems that he evidently began in the earlier nineteen-thirties. It was sufficiently advanced for him to send it to a very perceptive friend who read it with great enthusiasm and urgently pressed him to finish it. But in vain: he abandoned it. Associated with the text of the poem, however, are many manuscript pages: a great quantity of drafting and experimentation in verse, in which the strange evolution of the poem's structure is revealed, together with narrative synopses and very significant if tantalising notes.

Non-Fiction

Glenn Agliotti by Peter Piegl and Sean Newman

glen agliottiA magistrate put Glenn Agliotti among the ‘snitches, pimps, rats who would sell their soul to evade a long prison term’. The press called him a drug trafficker and a drug dealer. He was. He’d admitted to these crimes and signed a plea bargain to grass on an associate. He was also known as the Landlord, which made him sound like a mafia boss.
He was  a facilitator between those in high places, think Jackie Selebi, and businessmen on the make, think Brett Kebble. He was known as a fixer, the go-to guy who commanded fees of R100 million to organise connections.
This is the story of the man who did business in coffee shops and met associates in car parks and underground garages. It is the story of the man who bought shoes for the national commissioner of police. The man accused of the murder of Brett Kebble. This is the story of Glenn Agliotti, one of Johannesburg’s sons of the underworld.

Into the River of Life a Biography of Ian Player by Graham Linscott

into the riverThis is the story of Ian Player, internationally recognised environmentalist and conservationist, writer, lecturer, irascible campaigner and brother of golfing legend Gary Player. When he pioneered the Duzi Canoe Marathon in 1950 he expected to see an abundance of wildlife along the river bank. To his dismay, he saw almost none. And so began an epic journey to fight for nature conservation. He joined the Natal Parks Board in 1952 and spearheaded two initiatives. With his team they pioneered Operation Rhino, which succeeded in saving the white rhino from extinction and obtained protected status for the Umfolozi and St Lucia Wilderness areas – a first in South Africa and on the African continent.

Churchill’s South Africa by Chris Schoeman

churchillsIn October 1899, the twenty-four-year-old Winston Churchill sailed for South Africa as war correspondent for the Morning Post to report on the Anglo-Boer War. When he returned the following year, it was as a military celebrity. This book follows Churchill’s footsteps across South Africa and gives his impressions of the places he visited, the landscapes he saw, the people he encountered and the events he was involved in. Churchill’s South Africa covers the future statesman’s travels across the Great Karoo and through the green hills of Natal, his capture by the Boers, his escape to Delagoa Bay and his triumphant return to the Natal front as an officer in the South African Light Horse. It recreates the drama of the Battle of Spioen Kop and the relief of Ladysmith, and describes Churchill’s experiences during the British advance through the Free State and the Transvaal, before returning to England as a Boer War hero. Enlivened with photographs and with quotations from Churchill’s pen, this beautifully produced volume documents the travels of a key historical figure in South Africa at a critical time in its history.

Capturing the Light by Roger Watson

capturingAt the heart of Capturing the Light, there lies a small scrap of purple-tinged paper, over 170 years old and about the size of a postage stamp. On it you can just make out a tiny, ghostly image – an image so small and perfect that  ‘it might be supposed to be the work of some Lilliputian artist’; the world’s first photographic negative. This captivating book traces the true story of two very different men in the 1830s, both striving to solve one of the world’s oldest problems: how to capture an image, and keep it forever. On the one hand there is Henry Fox Talbot, a quiet, solitary gentleman-amateur scientist, tinkering away on his estate in the English countryside; on the other, Louis Daguerre: a flamboyant, charismatic French scenery-painter, showman and entrepreneur in search of fame and fortune. Both men invented methods of photography that would enable ordinary people, for the first time in history, to illustrate their own lives and leave something behind of their passing. Photography would transform art, the documentation of both war and peace, and become so natural and widespread that now, each of us carries a camera everywhere with us, and takes this most magical of processes for granted. Only one question remains: which man got there first?

A Child’s Guide to Parenting: The Honest Toddler by Bunmi Laditan

honestAre you a confused parent to a toddler?
Are you constantly disappointing the small child in your life? This book can help you become a better servant/parent to the toddler at the heart of your world. You'll learn about everything from meal preparation (hint: just put the crackers on a plate), play date etiquette (don't touch. Just don't.), to how time-outs make you look like a fool. The Honest Toddler says a firm 'NO' to popular, fashionable parenting trends and instead embraces the big questions: Who Does Mommy Belong To? How Can You Prevent Siblings? And Sleep and Weaning Yourself Off it.The Startup Playbook by David Kidder
In The Startup Playbook: The Secrets of the Fastest-Growing Startups From Their Founding Entrepreneurs by David Kidder has assembled a multi-dimensional tool providing an instructional tour of the proprietary ideas and actions of some of the most extraordinary and successful entrepreneurs of our times, via interviews with innovators such as Caterina Fake (Flickr), Tony Hsieh (Zappos), Elon Musk (PayPal) and more than 35 others, offering their stories, advice, aha moments, and management techniques.

VuvuzelaNation by Zapiro

vuveVuvuzelaNation is a collection of more than 200 iconic cartoons from the nation’s sharpest bestselling cartoonist telling the curious, glorious, calamitous and chaotic story of sport in the New South Africa. With incisive text from journalist Mike Wills, this new Jacana title provides a keen-eyed, irreverent look at everything from Kamp Staaldraad to Bok World Cup glory, from cricketing chokers to champions, from SAFA bungling to the emotional success of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

 

Random Kak I Remember About Growing up in South Africa by Trevor Romain

randomRandom Kak I remember about growing up in South Africa by Trevor Romain is a foefie slide straight back to your youth in South Africa. Remember? When you wore bell bottoms and wound up cassette tapes with a Bic pen. When ‘The World at War’ was on TV and LM Radio played on the radiogram, and when there were call-up papers in the mailbox and 2 c stamps on letters. VW Beetles were everywhere, the Bay City Rollers were it, and the smell of Wintergreen filled the change rooms. On these pages, hundreds of the little things that made up the world for many in the 70s and 80s come to life in Trevor Romain’s whimsical drawings and laugh-out-loud commentary.‘It’s not inside, it’s on top!’ – or is it? In this book it’s all inside. Enjoy the ride.

The Sweet Life by Kate Bracks

sweet lifeThis mouth-watering array of inspired dessert recipes includes favourites such as Apple Pie, Chocolate Cake and Strawberry Mousse as well as fresh new ideas, such as Kate's Chocolate, Date and Hazelnut Torte, Raspberry and Pistachio Frozen Nougat and Vincotto Figs with Caramelised Walnuts and Mascarpone. Kate also puts modern twists on old classics, from her Spiced Crème Brûlée, to her irresistible Peanut Butter and Chocolate Ice Cream Sandwiches, or her Brown Butter Cheesecake. This is food to weaken even the strongest resolve! The structure of the book is designed to guide the home cook from the 'basics' - incorporating basic techniques, such as sauces and syrups; how to make the perfect meringue; make your pastry rather than buy it; how to cook with gelatine - to 'beyond the basics' for the more confident cook. And, if you really want to impress, there's a chapter at the end where all the techniques can be put together to wow your friends and family. There's also a code throughout the book to help you determine which recipes are most suited to your particular cooking desires and ability. Indulge your own sweet tooth with this glorious book of baked treats and dessert recipes from Australia's Master Chef 2011 winner; and don't forget the golden rule ... always lick the bowl.

Fresh Happy Tasty by Jane Coxwell

freshIn 2009, personal chef South African-born Jane Coxwell joined the crew of Eos, fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg’s sailing yacht – a position that has taken her throughout Southeast Asia, New Zealand, Australia, Papua New Guinea, French Polynesia, the Caribbean and Central America. Cooking for a star-studded list of guests, Jane specialises in fresh, healthy meals with flavours from around the globe. Yet her food is never extravagant or ornamental. Above all, Jane believes in a low key approach: while relaxing and travelling – as well as in everyday life – the most delicious dishes are created with fresh food that looks good, tastes great and is thoughtfully prepared.

Children’s 0-7 Years

Just So Stories: Rudyard Kipling’s classics illustrated by Alex Latimer

just soHow did the leopard get his spots? Why do cats act as though they own the place? What does a crocodile like best for lunch? Why are rhinos so cranky? What causes the ocean tides to rise and fall? Who wrote the alphabet?
Generations of children have grown up with the Just So Stories and have been captivated by Kipling’s wonderful insights into the world around us - all delivered in his mesmerising, read-aloud prose.
Now these classic gems have been given a new look for a new generation. Illustrated by children’s book author Alex Latimer, each story comes alive anew with Latimer’s own insights and humour.

Lulu Loves Nursery by Camilla Reid Today

lulu lovesIt's Lulu's first day at nursery, and she is worried. She doesn't want to leave her mummy, and what if she doesn't make any friends? But soon Lulu is having lots of fun playing in the sand box and dressing up - she even gets a special certificate from her teacher at the end of the day. Well done, Lulu! This sweetly reassuring story is perfect for little ones embarking on big adventures (with a removable certificate).


5-8 Years

Fairy Thorn Tales by Lara Faraway

dfairyThe world we know is only the beginning. Beneath the surface and between the moonbeams is another, more magical world. A world just out of sight, where flowers sing and birds and animals walk together with the little people of fairyland. Fleur has the most beautiful singing voice of all the fairies, but she's scared to use it. When a wasp nest threatens everyone in the fairythorn tree, Fleur must overcome her fears and sing to calm the angry insects.

 

Hairy Mole the Pirate by Chris Owen

pirateThe 'Hairy Mole' books are ideal for young, independent readers, beginning to explore the world through books. This is the first in a trilogy of 'Hairy Mole' books, featuring the loveable pirate and his crew. Intricate line drawings and inventive use of font and typesetting really grab the reader's attention. Humour and piracy are a particularly potent combination for boys.

9-12 Years

Just Peachy by Jean Ure

just peachy

A coming of age story about self-discovery and independence from the Queen of Tween, Jean Ure. ‘I’ve always been the quiet one in my dramatic family. Not a drama queen, or a genius composer, or a twin, but Just Peachy. Mum says I’ve got my own thing going on… I just wish I knew what that was! When I decide I want to attend Sacred Heart school rather than Summerville where my family have always gone everyone finally stops to listen! Stepping out on my own is scary, but I need space to find out who I am and what I’m good at.’ A new novel from Jean Ure, about a girl trying to find who she really is – and maybe a friend along the way.

Monster Odyssey by Jon Mayhew

monsterPrince Dakkar, son of an Indian rajah, has issues with authority. Expelled from the world's finest schools, he is sent to an unconventional educator, Count Oginski. Dakkar plans his escape immediately. But something about the Count intrigues him, including a top-secret project which he shares with Dakkar - a submarine. But others are interested in the Count's invention and what it might achieve and, when masked men kidnap the Count, leaving Dakkar for dead, he doesn't know who was responsible. It could have been British Intelligence, or perhaps a sinister figure known only as Cryptos. Either way, Dakkar is determined to rescue the Count. Taking the prototype submarine, he sets off for adventure. Cue shark attack, giant sea creatures, spies and an evil megalomaniac. From his undersea refuge, Dakkar plans to take them all on . . . with a bit of help from a Girl.

Teen

Mosi’s War by Cathy Macphail

mosis warPatrick is happy living with his mum. She lets him do what he wants, pretty much, and it's only when his granny comes to stay that he has to get down to his homework and go to bed early. Then Patrick meets Mosi, a quiet, polite boy who, along with his parents, is waiting for his asylum application to be processed. He discovers Mosi is terrified of someone. But who is it? Patrick and Mosi strike up an unlikely friendship. In trying to help each other, they will face situations that are both terrifying and dangerous. And Patrick will find out that there is much, much more to Mosi than at first appears . A taut, brilliantly written novel that has both pace and topicality that will give much opportunity for discussion and debate.

 

The Fathomless Fire by Thomas Wharton

fathomlessWhen Will learns that his friends in the Perilous Realm are in danger, he realizes that he must go back to Fable, their world of Story where Malabron the Night King threatens all who live there. But Will's friend Rowen has journeyed further than the rest of his companions, into the Weaving, an ever-changing place of mystery and untold dangers from which none return…

Paper Aeroplanes by Dawn O’Porter

paper aeroplanesI just can't imagine me without you... It's the mid-1990s, and fifteen year-old Guernsey schoolgirls, Renée and Flo, are not really meant to be friends. Thoughtful, introspective and studious Flo couldn't be more different to ambitious, extroverted and sexually curious Renée. But Renée and Flo are united by loneliness and their dysfunctional families, and an intense bond is formed. Although there are obstacles to their friendship (namely Flo's jealous ex-best friend and Renée's growing infatuation with Flo's brother), fifteen is an age where anything can happen, where life stretches out before you, and when every betrayal feels like the end of the world. For Renée and Flo it is the time of their lives. With graphic content and some scenes of a sexual nature, Paper Aeroplanes is a gritty, poignant, often laugh-out-loud funny and powerful novel. It is an unforgettable snapshot of small-town adolescence and the heart-stopping power of female friendship.

Published in Newsletter Archive