Monday, June 15, 2015

Alex van Tonder answers questions

It is with great excitement, and I mean excitement, that THE Alex van Tonder took the time in (no pun intended) to create a video response to some questions for the blog. 

Alex van Tonder is a copywriter, blogger (My Branded Life and Cape Town Girl), advertising guru and was named one of South Africa's most influential women on twitter. Her debut fiction novel is now available on Amazon and at your nearest bookshop. Check out more on This One Time.

Sit back, sip on your tea/coffee/hot beverage/wine (it's a public holiday - what the heck) and enjoy.

You can find Alex on twitterfacebookinstagram and on her website.

Thank you to Alex for doing this video interview for me!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Joburg's Literary Fest - Kingsmead Book Fair 2015

Now in its fourth year, Kingsmead Book Fair has fast become Joburg's Literary Festival. This is where authors, publishers, booksellers, and book lovers can be found rubbing shoulders, wine glasses in their hands and piles of signed books being passed around.

It all started in 2011 when a group of Kingsmead College, based in Rosebank, hosted a small book fair for the surrounding community. This event only hosted SA's top eight authors. It was the incredible support and response that grew this tiny community book fair to one of the Book Trade's biggest events next to Franschhoek Literary Festival.

This year was my first year, having heard all the things about wine and books being shared all at once with some of the world's biggest authors, I had to make an appearance. (Not to mention that Lood du Plessis was chairing a panel).

Kingsmead hosted mounds of food stalls, book stalls and let's not mention the likes of Toby Shapshak, Khaya Dlanga, Alex van Tonder, Sarah Waters, John Boyne, Chris Bradford, and Olivier Truc, and that is actually only naming a mere few authors that stamped their way through the book fair.

I managed to squeeze in two talks, one on the art of translation (Gained in Translation: Chaired by Lood du Plessis. Authors: Karin Brynard, Carol Campbell, Jaco van Schalkwyk & Olivier Truc); and a digital one (Digital Overload: Chaired by Ben Williams. Authors: Emma Sadleir & Tamsyn de Beer, techno guru Toby Shapshak and Alex van Tonder).

You have to get to next year's one, no doubt it'll be bigger, better and boasting tons more literary gems. So keep looking for updates on their website.

We even took a selfie

Monday, May 18, 2015

Vlog #2: My To-Be Read Pile

To kick off Monday, I spent the weekend doing a vlog (rather than bashing away at my research project). 

This month's blog is my To-Be Read Pile. It's a mixture of Young Adult, Fiction, and a Local Non-Fiction book. I really hope you enjoy it. 

If you happened to miss the last vlog you can check out the Book Rut Un-Rutters here.

Don't forget to subscribe, follow, tweet, tag or email me any suggestions. 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Colouring Craze

I have been neglecting you. I have taken up a health column on Daily Planet and trying to make it out alive while doing an Honours Degree in Creative Writing at Wits. So my reading time has halved, well my 'relaxing-reading-time' - I really do read ALOT but not the reviewing kind. 

So it is all now the craze to colour-in. As a holey-letter colourer myself and on-the-phone-doodler I find this new fad fascinating. Oh, don't get me wrong, I hold myself to the high standard that is the cover and it stresses me out. So with not much reading time under my belt each day, I gave it a bash. Before I knew it an hour had gone past and I had created a semi-idyllic-Van-Gogh, ok maybe not a Van Gogh, but it was as close as I was going to get.

I went looking around the net. IOL reported that the colouring in book called The Secret Garden has now sold over 1.5 million copies! And illustrator Johanna Bashford is outselling Harper Lee and George R.R. Martin on the Amazon charts. 

It is a craze that is hitting Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter; pulling families together, destressing the stressed and making booksellers a new fad to bulk up on.

See my attempt at colouring...

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

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