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

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...

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