Wednesday, April 8, 2015

BLOG TOUR: Pen's Behaving Badly by Paige Nick

It is no secret I am Paige Nick's biggest fan, from her Sunday Times column; stalking her on twitter; reading her smutty choose-your-own-sex-adventure novels penned with Helen Moffat and Sarah Lotz (Helena S. Paige); and now it is with the greatest excitement to present Paige's collection of columns in one bountiful tome, Pen's Behaving Badly

Paige is best known for her weekly column in the Sunday Times Life & Style magazine. As one of the anchor columnists of the Life & Style section since 2011, she has produced hundreds of hilarious columns and received hundreds more hilarious responses. Pens Behaving Badly is a collection of the best of her columns and the best of the wild letters they’ve inspired. 

This is a great honour to host Paige's blog tour, I hope you enjoy the video, it's quite raunchers (hehe).

Follow Paige on twitter, and visit her on her blog.

Monday, March 23, 2015

John Green's Paper Towns Official Movie Trailer

If you are a huge fan of John Green, wait who am I kidding, of course you are! If you haven't gotten your grubby book-whorish hands on Paper Towns you haven't yet lived. 

Set to release in the US 24 July 2015

About the Book

Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back into his life – dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge – he follows.

After their all-nighter ends and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues – and they’re for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees of the girl he thought he knew.

Paper Towns debuted at #5 on the New York Times bestseller list and won the 2009 Edgar Award for Best Young Adult Mystery. It is taught in many high school and college curricular, often in conjunction with Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, which is an important text within the novel.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Tribute to Sir Terry Prachett

Photo by Kaleem Rorke

I picked up my first Terry Pratchett novel when I was thirteen years old. It was Mort, and it remains, in my opinion, his greatest Discworld novel to date. It was with this fine work of literary hilarity that Terry Pratchett introduced me to the fantasy genre. In the years to come his books continued to work their magic on my eager young mind and I found myself gravitating towards books stores, solely in search of the latest Discworld Novel. 

Through Sir Pratchett (because I would never presume to be on a first name basis with the man) I discovered my next favourite fantasy author, Neil Gaiman, when I read that defining classic of the fantasy-humour genre: Good Omens. I found the mixture of Pratchett's humour and Neil Gaiman's dark and often disturbing writing style, an exhilarating mix. I have lost count of the number of times I have read that book, trawling through pages trying to distinguish which author wrote which paragraph or chapter. 

It was this kind of passion and love for reading that Terry Pratchett inspired in his fans. His comedy was on point and his satire was biting. Groups of friends were built around a mutual love for his works, quoting select lines as 'in jokes'. He was a hero to every geek, fantasy reader, D&D gamer, lover of laughter, and many more besides.

It would be no stretch of the imagination to say that Terry Pratchett shaped my childhood and ultimately the man I would become. Before Pratchett I did not read. At all. Because of him I feel lost while waiting for the next favourite instalment of whichever fantasy epic I am reading at the moment. Because of him, my first real job was with Exclusive Books, because I needed to be close to the escape that books provided. Because of him I decided that teaching English simply must be my chosen profession. 

Without a sound education in the English language, the next generation will not know that sense of underlying pity for Death in his efforts to be more like the living; the sense of pride in our Captain Vimes when he comes out on top; the elation I felt every time Moist von Lipwig gets one over whoever is foolish enough to try and outsmart him; or the exasperation that comes whenever Rincewind stuffs up again. I could name favourite Discworld characters all day, but I won't. Read the books and decide who you love best.

Terry Pratchett was a pillar of the comedic fantasy genre and to say that we have lost a great man is an incredible understatement. We have lost the one man who understands that, as Death so eloquently puts it, ‘Humans need fantasy to be human’. The real world is so often unforgiving and cruel, as Mr Pratchett found first hand, and it is only through the escape of fantasy that we are able to conjure some magic into our lives. 

Terry Pratchett, you were and will always remain the magic in my life.

No one gets pardoned for living
- Death

- Robert Smith

Monday, February 23, 2015

Book Trailer: Touch by Claire North

Cover image (SA Edition)

I have never been the strongest fantasy fan, but after The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, Claire North's first novel, which I have to admit (rather sheepishly) that I didn't really enjoy.  It seems North has taken a turn with her new novel, Touch. You have to see the trailer below to know what I mean.

Looks like a goodie...

Friday, February 20, 2015

I met Amanda 'F**king' Palmer

Working in the publishing industry gives you more perks than you can count on one hand - besides the facade of glamour, the free books, the access to books, the ability to talk books, sell them and constantly be around like-minded book lovers. 

So, you have to imagine my excitement when I was given the task to sub in or in layman's terms to 'sell' in Amanda Palmer's title The Art of Asking. (Subscribe, or in short Sub, is a jargon word in the industry meaning to get stores to take stock of a list of titles for a month). You can ask my boss, papers flew and there was a fair amount of screaming.

Amanda Palmer took JHB by storm, by doing what only Amanda Palmer could do, but just simply tweet and arrive - she rocked up, performed, did a signing at Exclusive Books Rosebank. THREE AND A HALF HOURS this woman captivated the audience and signed books. 

While I have an amazing video of Amanda Palmer reading the first chapter of her book, I thought the interview with Maria Popova, from Brain Pickings, was far more informative. (See it below).

So as the crowd gathers around the coffee counter, Amanda Palmer reads the first chapter of her book, The Art of Asking, gets fans to pick passages at random and reads them aloud, and when she has each audience member in the palm of her hand, she whips out a ukulele and stands on the coffee counter and sings The Ukulele Anthem.

Amanda Palmer on a coffee shop counter

Palmer is everything you expect her to be, artsy, ballsy, with a trait that catches every one's eye.  She talks, hugs, and takes photographs with every single fan. Truly awesome.

Bradley Lutz, Amanda Palmer, Me
Photo Credit: Talita van Graan
Then, if Amanda Palmer couldn't get any cooler look what she left fans, booksellers, coffee lovers, and all to gander on (I think this has to be the COOLEST thing I have ever seen an author do).

The signed coffee counter

And that is what happened when I met Amanda 'F**king' Palmer...

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Vlog #1: Book Rut Un-rutters

As the year speeds along, I needed new fresh inspiration for the year of blogging ahead. So, I get to share my very new project with you. A VLOG! 

While I realise it's new, probably badly edited, and a few things need to be changed - I am excited to see what you guys think.  Vlogs aren't the only thing I'll be adding and rejigging this year.  So stick around to find out.

In this month's vlog, I talk about book recommendations that are bound to get you out of any reading rut.  Check out the video below.

Please do let me know what you think of the video (thumbs up, comments, or even pop me an email).

Happy Reading

Monday, December 15, 2014

What Book Would You Give Away?

Kelly Ansara (Blogger, Sales Representative at Jonathan Ball)
Book: She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb

As the silly season kicks in and Christmas fever settles, as trees go up, fighting through lines in shopping malls - or if you're anything like me, you start bulking up on reading material, wine and beer. Tis the Season to be Jolly

So as my last post for the year (and what a year it's been - but we'll get to that later). I was inspired by a post on BuzzFeed (Find the article here), the sinkhole for my insomnia, where Authors and Readers took part in a 'Giveaway Book' extravaganza.  Completely inspired and excited, I called in a few favors from my fellow book-lovers.

The premise of this exercise was to pick a book that shaped/changed/evoked/shook your world so dramatically that you would give the copy away (and in some cases not your actual edition, hehehe) to another person so they to can have that life-changing experience. 

Talita van Graan (Events Co-ordinator at Exclusive Books)
Book: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

S.A Partridge (Author)
Book: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Tammy February (Books, Community & Bride editor at Women 24)
Book: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Stefania Beninca (Make-Up Artist/Shop Manager at Kryolan SA)
Book: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K Rowling

Tarryn Talbot-Da Costa (Publicist at Pan Macmillan SA)
Book: Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen

Rene Brophy (Marketing Manager at Exclusive Books)
Book: The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson

And while some just couldn't decide...

Varsha Lalla (Sales Assistant at Jonathan Ball)
Books: Harry Potter by J.K Rowling | The Discworld Series by Terry Prachett | Peter Pan by J.M Barrie

Samantha Jacobs (Sales Assistant at Jonathan Ball)
Books: The Kite Runner & A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Houseini | Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen

Lizaan Kotze (Sales Assistant at Jonathan Ball)
Books: The Girl who Played Go by Shan Sa | Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels

If you want to be a part of this list, give a shout on twitter, facebook or even via email (contact details are in the contact tab). I want to thank my readers, the publishers, booksellers and fellow bloggers for this amazing book-filled year. I hope next year is as jam-packed. 

Have a glorious and safe festive season!

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