"What she was finding also was how one book led to another, doors kept opening wherever she turned and the days weren't long enough for the reading she wanted to do" Alan Bennett

Monday, April 7, 2014

Coming Soon: Sharp Edges by SA Partridge


For her seventeenth birthday Demi Cowley invites her five closest friends to join her at a music festival for a party to end all parties. But what was supposed to be the night of their lives soon becomes a nightmare none of them will ever forget. 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Here lies Bridget - Paige Harbison

Title: Here Lies Bridget

Author: Paige Harbison

Pages: 219

Publisher: Harlequin

Source: Purchased

The Summary

Bridget Duke is the uncontested ruler of her school. The meanest girl with the biggest secret insecurities. And when new girl Anna Judge arrives, things start to fall apart for Bridget: friends don't worship as attentively, teachers don't fall for her wide-eyed look, expulsion looms ahead and the one boy she's always loved can barely even look at her anymore. When a desperate Bridget drives too fast and crashes her car, she ends up in limbo, facing everyone she's wronged and walking a few uncomfortable miles in their shoes. Now she has only one chance to make a last impression. Though she might end up dead, she has one last shot at redemption and the chance to right the wrongs she's inflicted on the people who mean most to her. And Bridget's about to learn that, sometimes, saying you're sorry just isn't enough.

The Review

I like the premise of this book and the way it makes you think about how you treat others, and the impact that your treatment of them has on their self-esteem. Words have the power to harm and heal, and Here Lies Bridget reinforces that. Well written, well plotted and well thought out - Here Lies Bridget is a book that all young adults, especially the Queen Bees of the world should read. So many invisible scars are left behind by the words of those like Bridget, who are more concerned with their popularity than their impact. Whilst this is a good and necessary story - I am not exactly the target audience for it. A younger reader would definitely find it more enjoyable and relate-able than I did. It made me think of Jay Asher's Thirteen Reasons Why which is a must read for everyone.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories


Title: The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories

Author: hitRECord

Pages: 88 (volume i); 96 (volume ii); 128 (volume iii)

Publisher: HarperCollins

Source: Purchased

The Summary

The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories is a trilogy collection of poetic tiny, short stories, no more than a few lines long each. It is compiled by owner and founder of the online collaborative production company hitRECord, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Wirrow, a curator at hitRECord. Source: WIKIPEDIA

The Review

When I think of Joseph Gordon-Levitt I see him in my mind's eye as Tommy from Third Rock from
the Sun and then as Cameron from 10 Things I Hate About You which probably betrays my age a great deal if you didn't already know how old I am. I have always been fond of Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and my admiration of him has been kicked into a higher gear after hearing about and then reading The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories.

Having said that, I would like to declare Joseph Gordon-Levitt a creative genius for coming up with the concept of these tiny stories and bringing so many together in the 3 volumes of The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories.

In the age of twitter where we are encouraged to carry across our thoughts in 140 characters or less, and where humans in general are enthralled and entertained by things that are shorter and shorter - Joseph Gordon-Levitt has shown that stories and books can evolve to stay in vogue. Brilliant little stories, with accompanying artwork could very well be the future of the anthology.

So far I have only read Volume i and ii, I will be ordering Volume iii shortly, I will admit that I enjoyed Volume i more than I did Volume ii. I found it to be a bit funnier - but both are really excellent volumes. The joining of a verbal submission with a illustrated submission is sheer genius - items are fabulously paired. I actually see it a bit as a more modern version of Monty Python.

If you would like to find out more about the collaboration that happens at hitRECord or would like to submit a form of artwork head over to the hitRECord website and see what else we can look forward to in the future and the latest out now is hitRECord on TV!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Paperback Release: One Crow Alone

"They say it's going to get worse. That it's not going to end."

The snow won't stop falling in this dangerous-new-world.

The long, bitter winters are getting worse, and a state of emergency has been declared across Europe. In Poland, he villagers are subject to frequent power cuts and fuel shortages. After the death of her grandmother and the evacuation of her village, fifteen-year-old Magda joins forces with the arrogant, handsome Ivan and smuggles her way onto a truck bound for London - where she hopes to find her mother. But London, when they reach it, is a nightmarish world, far from welcoming. Riots are commonplace and the growing chaos is exploited by criminals and terrorists alike. Magda's mother is not to be found, and as the lost girl struggles to come to terms with her changing situation, she eventually becomes friends with a rag-tag group of travelers planning a new home and future. They will need all the cunning and know-how they possess as they realise that the frozen wilderness of  Britain has become just as lawless as the city.

This is the Prequel to After the Snow.  Available in Paperback now. 

Friday, January 10, 2014

An Ode to Books

“If you have read 6,000 books in your lifetime, or even 600, it is probably because at some level you find ‘reality’ a bit of a disappointment” Joe Queenan – ONE FOR THE BOOKS

One of the greatest things invented is the book. Gutenberg is one of those great people for inventing the printing press, making books accessible to the masses and not just the elite. The invention of the printing press is without doubt one of those iconic moments in history that has changed our lives for the better, much like the discovery of penicillin. The development of the digital book is one of those monumental things too; an e-reader can without doubt be put in the same class of revolutionary status as the printing press. It has more people reading as many seem to prefer having a mobile library as opposed to a stationary one. 

Here I’ll be focusing on the book – in its many forms,  as well as my thoughts on books and what they mean to me. Be warned this is going to be a long one.

Children are made readers on the laps of their parents Emilie Buchwald

I cannot say when exactly the spark that ignited my love for books and reading turned into a burning flame, but it was undeniably during my early childhood. A rather precocious child, I was never terribly fond of playing and whilst I tried to have an imaginary friend, it didn’t work because I couldn’t see anyone. Early on my mother bought me numerous books – from those fold open ones with puppies and kittens to the Childcraft set of books (which I still have). Books have been present in my life for as long as I can remember, they certainly have been one of the few constants in my life. I recall many hours spent with my mother going through these books, especially the first one in the Childcraft series with all its nursery rhymes, fairy tales and folk stories. I reminisce as I write this about how scared I was of the troll in the tale of the Three Billy Goats Gruff. It was the most terrifying thing ever; I was afraid of crossing bridges like the one in the story for the longest time. I also recall quite fondly spending many hours with my favourite aunt reading Winnie the Pooh books and The Adventures of Alice in Bible Land.
One of the books that I can still vividly remember arriving in the post is the Childcraft Encyclopaedia, it was an instant favourite, and I still adore it today. It’s like having a piece of history because it still has East and West Germany and the USSR.  The pictures in the encyclopaedia still have the power to transport me to all the countries I so long to see one day. 

When we visited my grandparents, they had this shelf of story books – we were only ever interested in one of them though – the green one, which not surprisingly is the only one that has fallen apart. This green one has many iconic stories in it – The Tale of Peter Rabbit, And to think that I saw it on Mulberry Street, Tom Sawyer and the white washed fence, Goldilocks and the three bears. There wasn’t always someone to read the stories to my cousins and me, but we made the stories come alive by looking at the pictures and remembering what the stories were about. My grandparents have since given me the series of books, and that green one is still my favourite. I do look forward to the day I have time to read them all. I should also mention that many of my cousins are readers too!

“A library is infinity under a roofGail Carson Levine

I became a member of the Somerset East Library quite young – I was 2 or 3 years old. The Langenhoven Library has been one of the main sources of my reading material for over 20 years. I got my first Dr Seuss, Dahl, Blyton, Salinger and Grisham exposure there; I met magical realism there in the form of Chocolat. I frequently borrowed the Library’s copy of Charlotte’s Web. It was actually the first book I read when veering away from the younger children’s section at the tender age of 7. My mother encouraged me to take books out on important and influential people; I recall reading about Galileo, Einstein and Marie Curie when my classmates were barely reading at all. I remember when I was 14 I found the Flambards Trilogy by K.M. Peyton – I devoured those books in a day. It was the first time I fell in love with a boy in a book. Whilst limited, the teenage section entertained me for many hours. I found my first (and so far only) Terry Pratchett book there. I found some of the Dawson’s Creek books there. I got The Lord of the Rings there.

“I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library” Jorge Luis Borges

 I was quite sad when I realised that I had outgrown much of the content of Langenhoven Library. Whilst there are still several excellent books in the shelves which I have yet to read, there was no Eugenides, only the one Salinger, not any of the autobiographies or memoirs that I wanted to read, my tastes had evolved so much whilst being at university that I had to start started my own library.
Starting your own library is one of the best and worst things you can do. All readers have a dormant virus within them that can turn them from perfectly sane borrowers and occasional purchasers of books, but when that dormant virus is activated and the inner bibliophile comes out… Well then all rationality and sanity go out the window in the quest to own all the books. Within the space of a year, I went from owning about 20 books to owning well over a hundred. Since the awakening of the crazy bibliophile within me in 2009 I have acquired more than 400 physical books. It is quite astounding how easily and quickly I got to that number. There are books all over my room at home in the Eastern Cape, there are books all over my personal office there too and in our lounge, and the passage... even in my wardrobe.  Don’t get me started on the books that are in my room in the Western Cape and the ones that are on my desk at work. I have a problem, an addiction; an affliction for which I desire to seek no professional help, because quite frankly there are more dangerous addictions to have. The only danger there is in collecting books is the possibility of perishing beneath an avalanche of books you were meaning to read. After all, there is that quote that says books are the only thing that you buy that makes you richer. I won’t even contemplate doing the math and working out how much I have spent on books, as I may just die when realising the small fortune I have spent, but that is beside the point.

“Book collecting is an obsession, an occupation, a disease, an addiction, a fascination, an absurdity, a fate. It is not a hobby. Those who do it must do it. Those who do not do it, think of it as a cousin of stamp collecting, a sister of the trophy cabinet, bastard of a sound bank account and a weak mind” Jeanette Winterson.

Having my own library means that I am constantly surrounded by friends, which exist only in my head, on the pages and in the minds of their authors as well as other readers. Somehow a room just feels more pleasant with a stack or shelves of books in it. As Cicero said “A room without books is like a body without a soul” – I have to agree. You can tell a great deal about someone by glancing at their shelves. What a pleasure it is to find a kindred bookish spirit – it is not all that frequently that I come across someone who has Gone with the Wind on their shelves, or Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier or even anyone with anything by Jeffrey Eugenides on it. When I do find someone and can reminisce about how incredible those books are – evoking our favourite scenes– there is a bond that is formed between us that a non-reader would simply not understand. Also, you get to be all inter-textual and clever by making jokes that reference these books, and there are few things as fun as saying to someone who has read ‘A Perfect Day for Bananafish’ “Can you See more Glass?” or asking someone who has read The Virgin Suicides why they thought the Lisbon girls could stand living no longer than they did? Heck even asking anyone who has read The Virgin Suicides and Middlesex what they think of Eugenides giving away the end of his stories at the beginning? How he writes in a way to get you so caught up in his stories that you forget about the fact that you already know the ending but are just enjoying the telling?

On the other hand, having my own library allows me to physically take stock of the books that I have read. I can look to the one shelf in my bedroom and see all the YA I have devoured, the biographies I have adored and the classics I have learned so much from. I can also leisurely pick my next read, and read at a sloth like pace if I want to without a two week loan deadline looming over my head.  Please note that I am not anti-library. I still love my local library, I have a stack of books from them that I do mean to read, and truly hope to get round to soon, like White Oleander by Janet Fitch and Possession by A.S. Byatt.

Books come into your life when you need them most. Whether it is that the universe happens to drop the book into your lap in one way or another, or you happen to have bought it before and that book just calls out to you and when you listen to it, it provides you with the comfort you require.
Books are the most constant of friends; they are always there- no matter what. They provide you with insights you would not otherwise have gained. They show you the world.  They make you more empathetic. They enable you to live a thousand lives. They give you hope, and they provide you with the comfort that few other things can. Reading a book is like having a movie play in your head – except you have the perfect cast because your brain is the director.

When I was battling the darkest part of my depression, books helped me to recover. For days I would do nothing but read. I got to leave behind my melancholy and see life through someone else’s eyes. I went to Hogwarts and got rid of my Dementors – books were my Patronus – opening a book was me saying ‘Expecto Petronum’. I went to Bon Temps and battled the supernatural with Sookie Stackhouse. I was there with Scarlet O’Hara. I went to Manderley and saw the devastation that was Rebecca de Winter. I experienced the hunger for stories in The Reader. I visited Macondo. And I saw those ‘Two households both alike in dignity’. I went outside of myself by being in myself in my mind in those stories to fix my spirit. I got to be someone who was not depressed and that helped me lift myself out of the recesses of depression. Books are a cure for all sorts of maladies. Whether it is a broken heart, loneliness, disappointment or loss books can comfort you.

Studies have shown that reading fiction makes you more empathetic. Reading uses and activates more parts of your brain than watching movies. I won’t go into it, because if you are a reader you already know it. You feel what your character is feeling, and unless they are as awful as Heathcliff you can sympathise with them and people who find themselves in similar situations.
Whilst the above had to be said, I have digressed from the purpose of this piece…

Real vs. Digital

These days there is still great debate between the book loyalists and those who have embraced digital reading. I own an e-reader, but I remain staunchly loyal to the physical book and the printed word. A book is my respite from the world, I spend 8-9 hours a day behind a screen and as such I gain very little pleasure reading from a screen when I go home and want to relax. Furthermore, it is just not the same. Yes the story is the same, the words are the same – but the digital experience is just lacking. I can’t mark relevant passages digitally and quickly find them when I want to tell someone about it. I can’t fully gauge the process I am making on the book, because there is no transition between the bulk of the book starting in my right hand and then ending in my left hand. It is just not the same pressing a button to turn the page compared to the physical act of turning the page, especially when you are in the middle of one of the climaxes of the book.

Above all else though, the reason why I shall stick to regular old paper books is a case of ownership. To me it doesn’t feel like an e-book truly belongs to me. I like having rooms that contain my library. I like that I can roam around and see all my books, marvel at their gorgeous covers, rearrange them according to my mood. I can show anyone my books and say, here look – this is a physical manifestation of me. It is simply not the same if you are to hand over your kindle or kobo or nook to someone and say ‘here, this is who I am’. It is just not the same. It does not feel right being able to carry your entire library with you contained in a small device. Books exist, they need to take up space – physical space – not measurements of space. Books are 3 dimensional, that is how they are best experienced, not as kb or mb on a device. You can’t stroke the spine or sniff the pages of an e-book. You can’t accidentally spill something on an e-book and have a memory of why it is that you spilt that crème soda on The Chamber of Secrets. There is simply no back story, no attachment to a digital book like there is with a real paper book.

I could continue ad nauseum with my thoughts and feelings on books, but then this would probably turn into a book and not a blog post – which may actually not be a bad idea. I do think that I shall continue in a second and perhaps a third post on books.

What sparked your love for books? When did your inner book collector come out of the closet?

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Looking back at 2013 and looking forward to 2014

Happy New Year to everyone reading this post! I hope that 2014 will be a much more prosperous year for you than 2013 and that 2014 will be filled with phenomenal new books!

2013 was an interesting year for me. I moved from the Eastern Cape to the Western Cape. I met several new people. I made many new friends. I got to meet some twitter friends in person. I went to my first Warehouse Sale.

2013 was also a year where I fell very short on my reading goals. Since starting Bibliophilia 2013 was the year that saw me with the lowest reading stats. I only managed a paltry 30 books. Yes it is 30 books more than some people have read, but for someone who is accustomed to reading 50+ books a year 30 is a great disappointment. 

2013 also saw the least blog posts on Bibliophilia since its inception. Very disappointing – but I am working on the work/life balance and I hope quite fervently that I’ll fare better in 2014.

But enough negativity – let’s focus on the positive things that happened in a brief summary of 2013:

  • I won a Red Trolley Dash with Exclusive Books and managed to grab over R8000’s worth of books.

  • I met Cat Hellisen and Nerine Dorman. Cat signed my copy of When the Sea is Rising Red. The same day I met Tammy February of Women24’s Book Club and blogger over at The Book Fairy’s Haven. I also met Lauren Smith of Violin in a Void.

  • Tammy got a copy of The Imagined Child signed by Joanne Richards signed for me at the Franschoek Literary Festival.

  • I got an amazing haul of books from the Exclusive Books Warehouse Sale including numerous Penguin English Library titles.

  • I was approached by Candice Wiggett of Penguin Books to review books for Penguin.

  • I got some awesome swag for pre-ordering The Archived and Vicious by Victoria Schwab.

So as far as bookish things go 2013 was not a bad year. I just fell short of my reading and blogging targets. 

I remain hopeful that 2014 will be a better and more interesting year as far as books, blogging and bookish events go. So here are my bookish goals for 2014:

  •   Read 40 books. Not a very high number, but I would like to read more in 2014 than I did in 2013.
  • Read at least 5 classics. 2013 saw me reading only 1 classic – which is just wrong.

  • Get back into posting Classics Club reads.

  • Go to the Cape Town Book Fair.
  • Be more active on Bibliophilia and in the blogosphere in general.

That looks pretty good for now.  I can always add more items later as the year progresses and I make progress on these goals.

Do you have any bookish goals for 2014? What kind of bookish year was 2013 for you?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

When the muses leave you - an explanation for my silence...

I have been in a slump of late.

It has been a reading and writing slump.

It has been absolute agony to not be able to do what I enjoy.

I don't know what happened to cause it, but this morning all of a sudden I started to feel like my pre-slump self. I started reading a book that seems quite promising so far, and well right now the words are flowing onto my screen as my fingers fly across my keyboard.

It is almost as though my brain shut down for a bit, and I just couldn't get into any of the things I love. Then again, it could also be a depressive episode. Who can truly say. I am just glad that it is over.

So here is hoping that the muses have returned for good, and that I'll be back to posting here regularly again.

Till then, happy reading and let me know what you all have been up to!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Subject: Where'd you go, Bernadette

From: Terri Rens
Sent: Saturday, 17 August 2013, 08:00 AM
To: Reader of this Post
Subject: Where'd you go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

Dear Reader,

I had seen the cover of Where'd you go, Bernadette in many magazines since last year. I saw the title many times on the wall of The Good Book Appreciation Society. I was quite curious, and rather intrigued by this book so I ordered it. I ordered it without knowing what the story is about, because whilst I had seen writing about it everywhere (as one does about so many books) I did not take the time to read the thoughts of others about this book, as I just knew that I had to have and read this book.

I'll be honest with you, I didn't even read the book jacket. I just had that gut feeling that I would love this book, and I did. I firmly believe that it is a very good thing to go into the reading of a book with no idea of what the book is about, so you can allow yourself to be pleasantly surprised.

I ordered Where'd you go, Bernadette about a month ago, it arrived roughly 2 weeks later - I do love ordering books from the Exclusive Books website. With it being a long weekend last weekend, I decided that it was time for me to read this book that called out to me for so long. I took my copy of Where'd you go, Bernadette and went off to have lunch at Dulcè. I was there for more than 3 hours - absorbed in the pages of this wonderful book. I am quite certain that my waiter must have thought at one point that I was out of my mind because I was laughing so hard at this book. What can I say, this book is funny. Funny is a bit of an understatement, but let's just go for funny for the sake of not being overly dramatic. I finally left Dulcè having read almost half of Where'd you go, Bernadette and feeling quite wonderful having laughed so heartily.

It was not all moonshine and roses though, there is a darker aspect to this book too. You don't realize that there is a darker side until you are quite a way into the book. I suppose I should give you some idea on what this book is about, I took this from Goodreads:

Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she's a fearlessly opinionated partner, to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she's a disgrace; to design mavens, she's a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom. 

Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette's intensifying allergy to Seattle - and people in general - has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. A trip to the end of the earth is problematic. 

To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, secret correspondence - creating a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter's role in an  absurd world. 

What I really enjoyed about Where'd you go, Bernadette was that it is an epistolary novel. I shan't say too much more as I do not want to give anything away, but it is certainly the epistolary form that makes this such a brilliantly told story. In case you were unsure, an epistolary novel is a novel that is written in the form of diary entries, letters or a compendium of documents. Sounds intriguing, doesn't it?

I loved getting that AHA moment when it all comes together - it reminded me so much of Atonement by Ian McEwan and that quote that I love from Domino - 'What we see may not be the truth' - this certainly is the case in this wonderful epistolary novel. If there is anything that I got from this lovely book, it is that everything we see everyday is out of context. We see things and we make them make sense for ourselves, connecting the dots so that in our minds we have a rational explanation - despite our "rational explanations" being rather far from the truth of the situation. We judge rather harshly until we learn the truth and then have to face the sea of emotions or even the consequences that arise due to our wrongly connected dots.

I do hope you'll pick up a copy of Where'd you go, Bernadette.

Your Writer

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Steve Boykey Sidley Press Release from Pan MacMillan

It's a wonderful time for South African writers. First The Shining Girls got critical international acclaim and has been optioned by Leonardo di Caprio, and now we have wonderful news regarding Steve Sidley!

On 12 August 2013, Pan Macmillan South Africa announced that Steven Boykey Sidley, award winning author of Entanglement and Stepping Out, has been signed to the prestigious French publishing house Belfond, which will be translating both books into French for sale in francophone countries. Belfond is the publisher of French translations of Lionel Shriver, Douglas Kennedy, Woody Allen, Kafka and other notable authors.

The deal was initiated and facilitated by Pan Macmillan South Africa's publisher, Andrea Natrass, through the French literary agency, Agence Michelle Lapautre.

Steven Boykey Sidley has divided his adult life between the United States of America and South Africa. He has meandered through careers as an animator, chief technology officer for a Fortune 500 company, jazz musician, software developer, video game designer, private equity investor and high technology entrepreneur. After releasing his debut novel, Entanglement in 2012, Sidley wrote his second novel, Stepping Out, which was released in February 2013. Sidley's third novel, Imperfect Solo, will be published by Picador South Africa early in 2014.

The arrival of Steven Boykey Sidley on the South African literary scene has been incredibly exciting with a Sunday Times fiction shortlist and the UJ Debut Award for Entanglement. It was only a matter of time before international publishers started to take notice, and Pan Macmillan is absolutely delighted that a publisher of the stature of Belfond has brought the French rights to both Entanglement and Sidley's second novel Stepping Out. "
Terry Morris, Managing Director of Pan Macmillan South Africa.  

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Warehouse Sale...

I have wanted to go to the Exclusive Books Warehouse sale ever since they started having them. It was never really a practical desire – but then dreams are hardly ever practical, are they. As fate would have it my life changed in 2013, with me relocating to the Western Cape; this of course had very little bearing on my desire to go to a Warehouse Sale, because they were usually just in Johannesburg. Again fate intervened, so lo and behold – 2013 became a year with a Warehouse 

Sale in the Western Cape too! It was destiny. It was serendipity. I had to go. And go I did.
I am very fortunate to work with some bookish folk; even more fortunate is that I share my office with Lara who understood the awesomeness of a warehouse sale where books were going for R50 a kilogram. R50/kg folks! That is like the bargain of the century. In this day and age where you don’t get any of the books that you really want for less than R120 a pop books at R50/kg is an absolute steal and you are a complete fool if you have the opportunity to go but don’t. But I digress.

Lara and I decided that we would feed our book loving souls by going to the Warehouse Sale. Neither of us knew where exactly this warehouse was, so we resorted to trusty old Google Maps for directions – we printed out 3 different sets in case things started to look familiar along the way. What an adventure we had with those 3 sets of directions. Do note folks, Google Maps doesn’t always give the simplest route – we went in a rather round-about way – heading through Athlone and past some rather nefarious areas – when really it would have been easier had we just gone to the airport and found our way from there. We did not lament this though, as it just makes for a more interesting story.

Finally we found Koets Street after taking the wrong turn at a round-about. Our spirits soared as we saw that we were at the right place as there were signs about the ridiculous bargain of books at R50/kg. When we stepped into the warehouse we were like kids in a candy store. An entire warehouse filled with tables full of books for us to go through and find some hidden gems. It was Nirvana! How wonderful it was to be surrounded by so many other bookish folk with the same intentions. How bad it was for anyone on a tight budget, but how wonderful it was to have thousands, yes THOUSANDS of books to choose from! It was a dream come true!!!

I could go on and on and on about the experience, but I would rather show you what I got, and urge you to go and check out the Warehouse Sale if you can because it is like Christmas for all bookworms.

And now, for the goodies that I got:

Audio Books:
-          Skulduggery Pleasant-Death Bringer – Derek Landy
-          As you Do – Richard Hammond
-          Drama –John Lithgow (so what if I am not an actor – you cannot help but love John Lithgow!)
-          The Infinities – John Banville
-          The Prince of Mist – Carlos Ruiz Zafon (narrated by the lovely Dan Stevens who we all know best as cousin Matthew on Downton Abbey)

Rocking books:
The British Invasion – Barry Mills
Rock – an illustrated history of artists and sounds
The Monster Book of Sex, Drugs & Rock ‘n’ Roll
Not very many people know that I am doing a course on the History of Rock through Coursera, so finding these books was just fate!

The Classics:

  • The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
  • The Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck (after reading ‘Of Mice and Men’ I’ve been meaning to get a copy of this one)
  • Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
  • The Doll – Daphne du Maurier (absolutely adored Rebecca so have to get more du Maurier books)
  • The Madness of Nero – Tacitus
  • The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
  • Farewell Summer – Ray Bradbury
  • On Living and Dying Well – Cicero
  • Five Children and It – E. Nesbit

Penguin English Library:

  • The Confidence Man – and Billy Budd, Sailor – Herman Melville
  • Barchester Towers – Anthony Trollope
  • The Way of the Flesh – Samuel Butler
  • Daisy Miller and the Turn of the Screw – Henry James
  • The Warden – Anthony Trollope
  • The Mayor of Casterbridge – Thomas Hardy
  • The Scarlet Letter – Nathaniel Hawthorne
  •  The Murder on Rue Morgue and Other Tales – Edgar Allan Poe
  • Fromley Parsonage – Anthony Trollope
  • The Old Curiosity Shop – Charles Dickens
I really got a lot of Trollope books, have read about him on Allie’s blog and on Delaise’s blog – so when I saw these beauties on the sale table I had to have them.


  • The Casual Vacancy – J.K. Rowling
  • Bowie – Marc Spitz ( this just had to be fate because I dreamt about Ziggy Stardust the other week)
  • 30 Nights in Amsterdam – Etienne van Heerden
  • Oh Dear Silvia – Dawn French (the other half of the genius behind Absolutely Fabulous – I obviously HAD to have this one!)

  • Hallelujah the Welcome Table – Maya Angelou
  • Diabolical – Cynthia Leitich Smith
  • Vanished Years – Rupert Everett
  • Ragnarok – A.S. Byatt
  • Pegasus – Robyn McKinley
  • Wake – Amanda Hocking
  • Fifty Sheds of Grey
  • Hidden – P.C. and Kristin Cast
  • Code Name Verity – Elizabeth Wein
  • Beatrice and Vergil – Yann Martel
  • Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – Jonathan Safran Foer
  • Bubbles – Rahla Xenopoulos
  • The Science of Kissing – Sheril Kirshenbaum
  • James May’s Man Lab – James May
  •  Wouldn't Take Nothing for my Journey Now – Maya Angelou
  •      Between a Heart and a Rock Place – Pat Benetar
  • Daughter of Smoke and Bone – Laini Taylor
  • The Paris Wife – Paula McLain
  • How to Keep a Boy as a Pet – Diana Messidoro
  • The Vintage Teacup Club – Vanessa Greene
  • Blue Monday – Nicci French

These should keep me enthralled for a long time to come. I've already finished two of the books that I got at the Warehouse Sale. I am now putting myself on a book buying ban, because I truly have a book buying problem.

Did you manage to go to the Warehouse Sale? If you did what did you get? If you haven’t yet, are you planning on going?

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Coming Soon: Black Widow Society - Angela Makholwa

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Black Widow Society

Angela Makholwa
 In 1994 when South Africans were finally seeing the light of freedom and independence, three well-respected businesswomen – Talullah Ntuli, Edna Whithead and Nkosazana Dlamini – formed the Black Widow Society, a secret organisation aimed at liberating women trapped in emotionally and physically abusive relationships by assisting in ‘eliminating’ their errant husbands. For fifteen years the Black Widow Society operated undetected, impeccably run by The Triumvirate with the help of their suave and mysterious hired gun, Mzwakhe Khuzwayo, a slick ex-convict meticulous in his responsibilities.

But as the secret organisation recruits more members, the wheels of this well-oiled machine threaten to fall off. Will Talullah’s controlling streak or Nkosazana’s unfettered material aspirations jeopardise the future of the Black Widow Society? Or perhaps one of the new recruits, unsettled by the reality of the elimination of her former husband, will lose her nerve and expose the workings of the group after all this time?

As the tension mounts, Black Widow Society builds to a chilling and bloody climax that will keep you guessing and riveted until the very last page.

Red Ink has everything that makes a crime thriller smoke: strong sexy characters, jazzy settings … It has suspense, violence, murder …
Makholwa has written a crime thriller that is going to keep the lights in Sandton’s suburbs burning way into the night.
And elsewhere in the country too, for that matter. Red Ink is one of those novels you can’t put down.’ – Mike Nicol, Sunday Independent

ANGELA MAKHOLWA lives and works in Johannesburg. Her debut novel, Red Ink (2007), is a gripping psychological thriller. This was followed by the entertaining escapades and sexual misadventures of modern women in The 30th Candle (2009).Black Widow Society marks a return to a thrilling, crime-ridden world.