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November Newsletter

Fiction

Mr Mac and Me - By Esther Frued

mr mac and meIt is 1914, and Thomas Maggs, the son of the local publican, lives with his parents and sister in a village on the Suffolk coast. He is the youngest child, and the only son surviving. Life is quiet shaped by the seasons, fishing and farming, the summer visitors, and the girls who come down from the Highlands every year to gut and pack the herring. Then one day a mysterious Scotsman arrives. To Thomas he looks for all the world like a detective, in his black cape and hat of felted wool, and the way he puffs on his pipe as if he's Sherlock Holmes. Mac is what the locals call him when they whisper about him in the Inn. And whisper they do, for he sets off on his walks at unlikely hours, and stops to examine the humblest flowers. He is seen on the beach, staring out across the waves as if he's searching for clues.

The MonoGram Murders - By Sophie Hannah

monogram murdersHercule Poirot's quiet supper in a London coffeehouse is interrupted when a young woman confides to him that she is about to be murdered.  She is terrified – but begs Poirot not to find and punish her killer. Once she is dead, she insists, justice will have been done. Later that night, Poirot learns that three guests at a fashionable London Hotel have been murdered, and a cufflink has been placed in each one’s mouth. Could there be a connection with the frightened woman? While Poirot struggles to put together the bizarre pieces of the puzzle, the murderer prepares another hotel bedroom for a fourth victim...

 

Murder 101 - By Faye Kellerman

murder 101Detective Peter Decker and his wife Rina Lazarus have moved from the chaos of L.A. to upstate New York, to a quiet town that is home to elite colleges and pensioners. Semi-retired and faced with mundane call-outs at the Greenbury Police Department, Decker is becoming bored of life. So when he is called about a potential break-in at the local cemetery, he jumps at the opportunity to investigate. The Bergman crypt contains four intricately designed stained glass windows, one for each season, two of which are confirmed as definitely fake. Along with young Harvard graduate, Tyler McAdams, Decker must solve the mystery of the forgeries. His search leads him to Manhattan, although perhaps he should look closer to home: when a co-ed is brutally murdered at a local colleges, Decker must put his search for the art thief on hold. But not for long...

Nora Webster - Colm Toiben

noraSet in Wexford, Ireland, Colm Tóibín’s superb seventh novel introduces the formidable, memorable and deeply moving Nora Webster. Widowed at forty, with four children and not enough money, Nora has lost the love of her life, Maurice, the man who rescued her from the stifling world to which she was born. And now she fears she may be drawn back into it. Wounded, strong-willed, clinging to secrecy in a tiny community where everyone knows your business, Nora is drowning in her own sorrow and blind to the suffering of her young sons, who have lost their father. Yet she has moments of stunning empathy and kindness, and when she begins to sing again, after decades, she finds solace, engagement, a haven herself.

Shopaholic to the Stars - By Sophie Kinsella

shopaholicBecky Brandon (née Bloomwood) has stars in her eyes. She and her daughter, Minnie, have joined husband Luke in LA City of herbal smoothies, multimillion-dollar yoga retreats, and the lure of celebrity. Luke is there to help manage the career of famous actress Sage Seymour—and Becky is convinced she is destined to be Sage’s personal stylist, and go from there to every A-list celebrity in Hollywood! But things become complicated when Becky joins the team of Sage’s arch rival. How will charming and supportive Luke deal with this conflict? Is it possible that what Becky wants most will end up hurting those she loves most? Shopaholic fans old and new will devour Sophie Kinsella’s newest adventure!

Saving Grace - By Jane Green

saving graceGrace and Ted Chapman are widely regarded as the perfect literary power couple. Ted is a successful novelist and Grace, his wife of twenty years, is beautiful, stylish, carefree, and a wonderful homemaker. But what no one sees, what is churning under the surface, is Ted’s rages. His mood swings. And the precarious house of cards that their lifestyle is built upon. When Ted’s longtime assistant and mainstay leaves, the house of cards begins to crumble and Grace, with dark secrets in her past, is most vulnerable. She finds herself in need of help but with no one to turn to…until the perfect new assistant shows up out of the blue.  To the rescue comes Beth, a competent young woman who can handle Ted and has the calm efficiency to weather the storms that threaten to engulf the Chapman household.

Esther's House - By Carol Campbell

esthersEsther Gelderblom has been waiting for a house for twenty years. In the bitter Oudtshoorn winter she and her friend Katjie queue to ask when their names will finally appear on the government’s list of housing recipients. Esther dreams of a home for her daughter Liedjie, who plays the keyboard for the Bless Me Jesus church, and for her husband, Neville, who will then get his life in order. But corruption is rife as housing officials manipulate the list for favours. When Katjie’s shack burns down, the two women take matters into their own hands, occupying two empty houses and setting in motion events that will compromise everything they hold dear. Esther’s House is a story of greed, power, and the fight for what is right when good people are pushed too far.

Non Fiction

Agincourt - By Ranulph Fiennes

agincourt600 years after the Battle of Agincourt, Sir Ranulph Fiennes casts new light on this epic event that has resonated throughout British and French history. On 25th October 1415, on a French hillside near the village of Agincourt, four men sheltered from the rain and prepared for battle. All four were English knights, ancestors of Sir Ranulph Fiennes, and part of the army of England's King Henry V. Across the valley, four sons of the French arm of the Fiennes family were confident that the Dauphin's army would win the day. Ranulph Fiennes explains how his own ancestors were key players through the centuries of turbulent Anglo-French history that led up to Agincourt, and he uses his experience as expedition leader and soldier to give us a fresh perspective on one of the bloodiest periods of medieval history. With fascinating detail on the battle plans, weaponry and human drama of Agincourt, this is a gripping evocation of a historical event integral to English identity.

Dead Cows for Piranhas - By Hazel Friedman

dead cowsA high octane journey into the brutal underworld of the South African and transnational drug trade. Journalist Hazel Friedman was on assignment in Thailand to document the stories of the increasing number of South Africans convicted as drug mules when she made a horrifying discovery. Many of the drug traffickers are in fact decoys. These individuals find themselves coerced or deceived into drug running. The ‘dead cows’ are set up to be arrested, thereby allowing professional mules carrying much larger quantities of drugs to slip past undetected. Through the heartbreaking accounts of the prisoners, Friedman became convinced that the decoys should not be viewed as perpetrators of narcotics trafficking. Her own high-risk investigations including an attempt to get recruited as a drug mule (filmed with a secret camera), as well as trying to track down the middlemen appeared to confirm this. She concluded that many drug mules are victims of human trafficking – as pawns readily sacrificed in a profit-driven war waged by the omnipotent global drug barons.

What a Wonderful World - By Marcus Chown

what a wonderfulWhy do we breathe? What is money? How does the brain work? Why did life invent sex? Does time really exist? How does capitalism work - or not, as the case may be? Where do mountains come from? How do computers work? How did humans get to dominate the Earth? Why is there something rather than nothing? In What a Wonderful World, Marcus Chown, bestselling author of Quantum Theory Cannot Hurt You and the Solar System app, uses his vast scientific knowledge and deep understanding of extremely complex processes to answer simple questions about the workings of our everyday lives. Lucid, witty and hugely entertaining, it explains the basics of our essential existence, stopping along the way to show us why the Atlantic is widening by a thumbs' length each year, how money permits trade to time travel why the crucial advantage humans had over Neanderthals was sewing and why we are all living in a giant hologram.

Inspired - By Jennifer Lindsey-Renton

inspiredInspired is the culmination of a series of conversations held with extraordinary South Africans from a variety of walks of life – from the arts to sport, business, media and the judiciary. The interviewees candidly share their motivations, leadership styles, influences, personal inspirations, defining moments and other aspects of their life stories. In this way, the reader is afforded an uplifting glimpse into the lives of these inspired and inspiring individuals.

 

 

Behind the Door - By Mandy Wiener

behindThe news of successful model Reeva Steenkamp’s fatal shooting by her boyfriend and global sporting star Oscar Pistorius stunned the world. Over the ensuing weeks, as Pistorius appeared in court and applied for bail, every detail that emerged was analysed, debated, justified and digested. South Africa and the world in general were haunted by the events as they were repeated and discussed at length. Public perception vacillated from version to version and from hour to hour. Behind the Door is a compelling narrative, which unpacks the story as revealed in the courtroom and beyond during the murder trial of Oscar Pistorius and as told to the authors in several exclusive interviews and behind-the-scenes briefings. It looks at the characters involved, relates the courtroom interactions and dramas, the construction of each side’s argument, the analysis of forensic and circumstantial evidence and exchanges between the personalities, as well as a broader look at violence and criminal justice in South Africa.

One Midlife Crisis and a Speedo - By Darrel Bristow-Bovey

one midlifeIf you don’t choose your midlife crisis, your crisis will choose you. Darrel Bristow-Bovey has tried his best to deny to himself that he’s getting older, but you can’t hide from the truth in the changing-room mirror. One day, surrounded by sharks on a small boat in the Indian Ocean, he suddenly realises his midlife crisis is already under way. Running a gauntlet of bucket lists, prostate examinations and sexual misadventures, Darrel sets himself a task: to follow in the footsteps of Lord Byron and the Greek hero Hercules and swim across the Dardanelles in Turkey. The only problem is that he’s old and tried and lazy and can’t swim very well. One Midlife Crisis and a Speedo is a warm, witty, eventually wise journey into the terrors and absurdities and grumpy compensations of middle age that will speak to every man and woman who has ever noticed that time is ticking by faster every day.

So Anyway - By John Cleese

so anywayJohn Cleese’s huge comedic influence has stretched across generations; his sharp irreverent eye and the unique brand of physical comedy he perfected with Monty Python, on Fawlty Towers, and beyond now seem written into comedy’s DNA. In this rollicking memoir, So, Anyway…, Cleese takes readers on a Grand Tour of his ascent in the entertainment world, from his humble beginnings in a sleepy English town and his early comedic days at Cambridge University (with future Python partner Graham Chapman), to the founding of the landmark comedy troupe that would propel him to worldwide renown. Cleese was just days away from graduating Cambridge and setting off on a law career when he was visited by two BBC executives, who offered him a job writing comedy for radio. That fateful moment and a near simultaneous offer to take his university humour revue to London’s famed West End propelled him down a different path, cutting his teeth writing for stars like David Frost and Peter Sellers, and eventually joining the five other Pythons to pioneer a new kind of comedy that prized invention, silliness, and absurdity. Along the way, he found his first true love with the actress Connie Booth and transformed himself from a reluctant performer to a world class actor and back again. Twisting and turning through surprising stories and hilarious digressions—with some brief pauses along the way that comprise a fascinating primer on what’s funny and why—this story of a young man’s journey to the pinnacle of comedy is a masterly performance by a master performer.

Bitter Dawn - By Dan Newling

bitter‘The man standing next to me was a tall, good-looking man of Indian heritage in his early 30s. Shrien Dewani seemed calm and composed. The only outward signs of trauma I could notice were the two large, dark purple bags under each of his eyes. I offered him a seat. He accepted and we started to talk. Over the following 45 minutes, the British businessman told me about the murder of his wife, Anni, 40 hours earlier.’ So begins Bitter Dawn, Dan Newling’s journalistic investigation into a crime that ignited firestorms of outrage across the world. At first the story seems simple enough: Shrien Dewani, a young British businessman on honeymoon in Cape Town, arranges the murder of his newlywed bride in a clumsy hijacking. But a closer examination of the crime reveals some uncomfortable truths. Over four years - from the moment he interviewed Shrien Dewani just two days after Anni's death, to the eve of the Briton's 2014 murder trial - Newling has painstakingly pieced together the many pieces of this puzzle. Containing facts hitherto unpublished, interviews with witnesses until now unheard from, and the fruits of deep journalistic research into the South Africa's criminal justice system, Bitter Dawn lifts the lid on a crime far more complex than the media narrative has so far assumed. While it may be difficult to find anyone who believes Shrien Dewani to be innocent, the facts Newling has uncovered provide compelling reasons to question the establishment story. Bitter Dawn is a gripping work of investigative journalism which reveals some worrying truths, not only about a bloody murder, but about its investigation, South African politics, global media ethics and how we all, as news-consumers, respond to stories when boundaries between right and wrong, between innocent and guilty, and between truth and lies, become blurred.

CHILDREN'S FICTION

0 - 7 Years

The  Tooth Gobble Gang - By Doctor Reiko

the toothCody loves sweets. Oh, But he's not alone. The Tooth Gooble Gang lives on his  teeth and they're having a feast! Doctor Reiko has been telling  her little patients about Big Al Gobble and his gang for more than twenty years. Join Cody in his visit to the dentist and keep teeth healthy and smiles happy!!

 

 

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer - By Robert May

rudolphThis is the heartwarming story is of a sweet reindeer shunned by all his friends because of hs glowing red nose. Rudolph fulfils his destiny by leading the sleigh through a dark, foggy night, ensuring Santa Claus could bring presents to all.

 

 

 

Christmas Carols - By Ladybird

christmasThis classic collection of twelve best-loved Christmas carols is perfect for festive family fun. It's so easy to join in - simply listen to the music on the attached CD and sing along with the words in the colourful book. Ladybird's Christmas Carols book and CD contains all your traditional Christmas carol favourites such as Away in a Manger, Once in Royal David's City, The First Noel, Hark the Herald, Silent Night, We Three Kings and more! The perfect gift for giving both adults and children the Christmas spirit!

8 -12 Years

Long Haul - By Jeff Kinney

long haulA family road trip is supposed to be a lot of fun. unless, of course, you’re the Heffleys. The journey starts off full of promise, then quickly takes several wrong turns. Gas station bathrooms, crazed seagulls, a fender bender, and a runaway pig not exactly Greg Heffley’s idea of a good time. But even the worst road trip can turn into an adventure and this is one the Heffleys won’t soon forget.

 

 

The Twistrose Key - By Tone Almhjell

the twistSomething is wrong in the house that Lin's family has rented; Lin is sure of it. The clocks tick too slowly. Frost covers the flower bed, even in a rain storm. And when a secret key marked 'Twistrose' arrives for her, Lin finds a crack in the cellar, a gate to the world of Sylver. This frozen realm is the home of every dead animal who ever loved a child. Lin is overjoyed to be reunited with Rufus, the pet she buried under the rosebush. But together they must find the missing Winter Prince that night in order to save Sylver from destruction. They are not the only ones hunting for the boy. In the dark hides a shadow-lipped man, waiting for this last Winter Prince to be delivered into his hands.

Listen to the moon - By Michael Morpurgo

listenMay, 1915. Alfie and his fisherman father find a girl on an uninhabited island in the Scillies injured, thirsty, lost and with absolutely no memory of who she is, or how she came to be there. She can say only one word: Lucy. Where has she come from? Is she a mermaid, the victim of a German U-boat, or even as some islanders suggest a German spy...? Only one thing is for sure: she loves music and moonlight, and it is when she listens to the gramophone that the glimmers of the girl she once was begin to appear. WW1 is raging, suspicion and fear are growing, and Alfie and Lucy are ever more under threat. But as we begin to see the story of Merry, a girl boarding a great ship for a perilous journey across the ocean, another melody enters the great symphony - and the music begins to resolve. A beautiful tour de force of family, love, war and forgiveness, this is a major new novel from the author of PRIVATE PEACEFUL in which what was once lost may sometimes be found, washed up again on the shore.

TEEN FICTION

The Blood of Olympus - By Rick Riordan

bloodThough the Greek and Roman crew members of the Argo II have made progress in their many quests, they still seem no closer to defeating the earth mother,  Gaea. Her giants have risen - all of them - and they're stronger than ever.The gods, still suffering from multiple personality disorder, are useless. How can a handful of young demigods hope to persevere against Gaea's army of powerful giants? As dangerous as it is to head to Athens, they have no other option. They have sacrificed too much already. And if Gaea wakes, it is game over.

 

 

Fire Storm - By Lauren St John

fire stormTeenage eventing star Casey Blue has it all - fame, her champion horse Storm and a boyfriend who loves her. Then Kyle West walks into her life. The country's hottest equestrian coach is also drop dead gorgeous and Casey knows right away that she's in trouble. But who is Kyle and why are there so many unanswered questions about his past? And what is his connection to Anna Sparks, Casey's old rival? As the Burghley Horse Trials approaches, it becomes clear that what is at stake is not just the Grand Slam but Casey's life.

 

 

Red Leaves - By  Sita Brahmachari

red leavesAisha is a thirteen-year-old refugee living in London. Happy for the first time since leaving her war-torn home, she is devastated when her foster mother announces that a new family has been found for her and she will be moving on. Feeling rejected and abandoned, Aisha packs her bags and runs away, seeking shelter in the nearby woods. Meanwhile, a few doors down, twelve year old Zak is trying to cope with his parents' divorce. Living in a near-building site while the new house is being refurbished, he feels unsettled and alone. Discovering a piece of rubble with the original builder's signature set into it, he starts researching the history behind his home - and in doing so finds a connection with a young soldier from the past, which leads him to an old air-raid shelter in the same woods. Both children, previously unknown to each other, meet in the heart of the ancient city woodland as they come into the orbit of Elder, a strange homeless woman who lives amongst the trees and, as helicopters hover overhead and newspapers fill with pictures of the two lost children, unexpected bonds are formed and lives changed forever.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you don’t choose your midlife crisis, your crisis will choose you.

Darrel Bristow-Bovey has tried his best to deny to himself that he’s getting older, but you can’t hide from the truth in the changing-room mirror. One day, surrounded by sharks on a small boat in the Indian Ocean, he suddenly realises his midlife crisis is already under way. Running a gauntlet of bucket lists, prostate examinations and sexual misadventures, Darrel sets himself a task: to follow in the footsteps of Lord Byron and the Greek hero Hercules and swim across the Dardanelles in Turkey.

The only problem is that he’s old and tried and lazy and can’t swim very well. One Midlife Crisis and a Speedo is a warm, witty, eventually wise journey into the terrors and absurdities and grumpy compensations of middle age that will speak to every man and woman who has ever noticed that time is ticking by faster every day. - See more at: http://www.randomstruik.co.za/books/one-midlife-crisis-and-a-speedo/5629#sthash.WPOvUolw.dpuf

If you don’t choose your midlife crisis, your crisis will choose you.

Darrel Bristow-Bovey has tried his best to deny to himself that he’s getting older, but you can’t hide from the truth in the changing-room mirror. One day, surrounded by sharks on a small boat in the Indian Ocean, he suddenly realises his midlife crisis is already under way. Running a gauntlet of bucket lists, prostate examinations and sexual misadventures, Darrel sets himself a task: to follow in the footsteps of Lord Byron and the Greek hero Hercules and swim across the Dardanelles in Turkey.

The only problem is that he’s old and tried and lazy and can’t swim very well. One Midlife Crisis and a Speedo is a warm, witty, eventually wise journey into the terrors and absurdities and grumpy compensations of middle age that will speak to every man and woman who has ever noticed that time is ticking by faster every day. - See more at: http://www.randomstruik.co.za/books/one-midlife-crisis-and-a-speedo/5629#sthash.WPOvUolw.dpuf

If you don’t choose your midlife crisis, your crisis will choose you.

Darrel Bristow-Bovey has tried his best to deny to himself that he’s getting older, but you can’t hide from the truth in the changing-room mirror. One day, surrounded by sharks on a small boat in the Indian Ocean, he suddenly realises his midlife crisis is already under way. Running a gauntlet of bucket lists, prostate examinations and sexual misadventures, Darrel sets himself a task: to follow in the footsteps of Lord Byron and the Greek hero Hercules and swim across the Dardanelles in Turkey.

The only problem is that he’s old and tried and lazy and can’t swim very well. One Midlife Crisis and a Speedo is a warm, witty, eventually wise journey into the terrors and absurdities and grumpy compensations of middle age that will speak to every man and woman who has ever noticed that time is ticking by faster every day. - See more at: http://www.randomstruik.co.za/books/one-midlife-crisis-and-a-speedo/5629#sthash.WPOvUolw.dpuf

If you don’t choose your midlife crisis, your crisis will choose you.

Darrel Bristow-Bovey has tried his best to deny to himself that he’s getting older, but you can’t hide from the truth in the changing-room mirror. One day, surrounded by sharks on a small boat in the Indian Ocean, he suddenly realises his midlife crisis is already under way. Running a gauntlet of bucket lists, prostate examinations and sexual misadventures, Darrel sets himself a task: to follow in the footsteps of Lord Byron and the Greek hero Hercules and swim across the Dardanelles in Turkey.

The only problem is that he’s old and tried and lazy and can’t swim very well. One Midlife Crisis and a Speedo is a warm, witty, eventually wise journey into the terrors and absurdities and grumpy compensations of middle age that will speak to every man and woman who has ever noticed that time is ticking by faster every day. - See more at: http://www.randomstruik.co.za/books/one-midlife-crisis-and-a-speedo/5629#sthash.WPOvUolw.dpuf

Published in Newsletter Archive