Thursday, February 23, 2012

Leave the Door Open and the Lights On

So we all know my feelings on the month of LURVE, and it seems Exclusive Books is taking a different view on the chocolate coma holiday, by celebrating a different kind of heart pumping read: Blood

Exclusive Books has a different take on February this year, in addition to hearts and romance, South Africa’s favourite reading destination will be Crime and Thriller themed for those that can’t get enough of spine-chilling stories and dark detective adventures. The 11 featured titles are latest releases that will be available in store from 13 February until 12 March 2012 – also on special with a R20 discount.

More info on the 11 featured Crime and Thriller titles can be found here 

My favourites are:
Down the Darkest Road by Tami Hoag, 
Believing the Lie by Elizabeth George, 
Nightmare by Stephen Leather, 
No One Left to Tell by Karen Rose, 
Death of the Mantis by Michael Stanley and 
Live Wire by Harlan Coben. 

All the authors on this promotion, have been making waves on bestseller lists internationally and will be sure to leave thriller fans on the edge of their seats with no finger nail unbitten. 

Fanatics Members will earn 400 bonus points when buying any of these 11 selected novels.

That's it! I am sold... *Runs to nearest Exclusive Books* or you can just visit the page here and shop online!

Rene Brophy, Exclusive Books Marketing Manager said: 
“With great consumer demand for an even more extensive list of titles in this genre, we have made sure to keep abreast of all new releases and source titles internationally to supply our shoppers with what they want. Just remember to leave the door open and the lights on!”

That is not all, readers...

Two lucky winners can win a selection of the featured crime titles!

Simply enter your details on the Giveaway page and the lucky winners will be announced on 25 March 2012.
Competition is subject to South Africa ONLY 

Don't forget to follow Exclusive Books on Twitter and Facebook!!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

A day in the life of a Bookseller...

What a Bookseller really Does

As a bookseller (well back in the day bookseller) this one truly rings true!

Thanks to Lood for sharing!

Friday, February 17, 2012

A day in the life of a Publisher...


I certainly had a witch-like cackle at this picture! 
Thanks Tamarin for sharing!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

About the Book

Humbert Humbert is a middle-aged, fastidious college professor. He also likes little girls. And none more so than Lolita, who he'll do anything to possess. Is he in love or insane? A silver-tongued poet or a pervert? A tortured soul or a monster? ... Or is he all of these?


For some of you, this review may seem a bit belated but yes, even with an English undergrad course under my belt, I never picked up Lolita until one hot December day, next to the pool and surrounded by friends. Their first reaction was to wonder why I would want to read a book about a paedophile. But this book is so much more than that! 

Lolita, to me, was a combination of controversial comedy and truth in its most raw. In fact, some more acclaimed reviews, have termed Lolita as being ‘one of the funniest serious novels’. It is very 18th century, which is my way of saying you have to be alert to understand the text. 

Nevertheless, Lolita is a work of genius! Reading Lolita left me with a desperate emotion to choose a side, yet the hesitancy to choose one. It was vulgar, pleasurable, faulted, understanding and tragic all in between my two hands. 

Certainly, it is an unusual book, filtered with scenes and dialogue that are unique and questioning in how apt they are for a troubled nay, disturbed, man and a facetious young girl.

Knowing the basis of the story, surely the reader cannot feel empathy for Humbert? Yet, I found myself considering him an abandoned animal at times; how in love (or the idea of) he was with Lolita and the conniving methods of this supposedly-naive Lolita, him accepting it and going back to her with his tail behind his legs. Of course, this is not to say that the reader does not recognise the savageness of the story, the horror and mental instability of Humbert and his desires. 

What I am simply suggesting is that Lolita opens doors to the dimensions of humanity, that good and evil can co-exist in the same being. The reader can recognise the awfulness of Humbert’s actions, the shock of the journey of the book, while at the same time, recognising the fragility of the characters and their story, and come to some understanding that perhaps there are no clear lines between what-and who-is right and wrong.

A true classic, a twisted love story, which left me contemplating the ceiling for days.

Review by Tarryn Talbot

Have you read Lolita? Let us know what you thought?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Confessions of a Book Whore: Books Over Boys

Imagine a girl in tracksuit pants, hair bundled to the top of her head and devouring chocolate brownie ice-cream like it was an Olympic sport.  That girl is me.  It is Valentine’s Day and I am (Surprise Surprise) suffering through it alone.  It seems my deadly good-looks aren’t enough to charm the male species into submission; making them fall to their knees in adoration writing Haiku’s to the rhythm of my name. Nor do they cluster outside my bedroom window, guitar and a bag full of nerves singing their way to my heart.

Visions of me 30 years down the line, 17 cats (all named after a literary figure), grasping at bound tomes in a dilapidated house.  Oh the future is bright, readers!

So let’s pretend I did have a Valentine?  I’d be giddy, gushy and every time I blinked, a flutter of cartoon hearts would erupt around my head.  There would be gifts, poems and a dinner so romantic Jane Austen would fall on her back in envy; a right old fit-to-be-Hollywood-blockbuster romance.  A girl can dream right?

But since Cupid has yet again forgotten me on the list of “Heart popping” frenzy and a chocolate coma, let’s talk books.   Books over boys, if you will.

To my father’s relief, books arrived at our door rather than suitors.  I chose books over make-up and short skirts.  My whirlwind romances consisted of Mr Darcy, Sydney Carton and Romeo – The greats.  I fell in love time and time again, with delectable pages and the printed letters.  Healthy?  Maybe.  It certainly saved me from a teenage pregnancy and messy break-ups.

So when I read this post A Girl You Should Date, a post set to make any a book whore to rest her chin in her hands and sigh.  

My favourite line:

If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads

I knew all hope wasn’t lost.  I’d meet my prince charming among the shelves of a bookstore; he’d be clever and would be able to quote Shakespeare off hand.  Our kids would be read Dr Seuss and Beatrix Potter.  We’d sip wine and get lost in literature but would that really work?  

If we both were book nerds, our money would be finished in one book sale and then our kids would go hungry!  Visions of policemen carting me away to jail as my hungry children looked on consumed me.  So that didn’t comfort me.  What did comfort me was the thought of treating myself to a long wanted book, a cup of tea, endless amounts of chocolate and a night of living a Cinderella world without having to get up off the couch.

I’ll stick with Mr Darcy and Sydney Carton.

How are you spending Valentines Day?

Friday, February 10, 2012

11.22.63 by Stephen King

About the Book

WHAT IF you could go back in time and change the course of history?

WHAT IF the watershed moment you could change was the JFK assassination?

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN a young teacher from Lisbon Falls, Maine, 2011, gets the chance to stop Lee Harvey Oswald from shooting JFK in November 1963 is the premise of the brilliant new novel by STEPHEN KING: 11/22/63, the date that Kennedy was shot - unless . . . 

King takes his protagonist Jake Epping, a high school English teacher, on a fascinating journey back to the world of 1958 - from a world in 2011 of mobile phones and iPods to a new world of Elvis and JFK, of Plymouth Fury cars and Lindy Hopping, of a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and a beautiful high school librarian named Sadie Dunhill, who becomes the love of Jake's life - a life that transgresses all the normal rules of time.

The novel is big, ambitious and haunting. King has probably absorbed the social, political, and popular culture of his baby-boom American generation as thoroughly and imaginatively as any other writer.

Published by Hodder & Stoughton UK


Excuse the rather overused description of Stephen King – but he truly is the King of fiction.

I have always been too scared to pick up a Stephen King novel, thinking that he would turn me into a duvet-clutching, bump-in-the-night-hearing wimp. It's a feat on its own picking up this novel, which is why I opted for the Kindle version; however I doubt you’ll want to put this read down (even under buckling arms).

22.11.63, the title, refers to the day JFK was assassinated. A rather out played topic don’t you think?  

No, not if you have someone of King's calibre tackling the topic. Stephen King completely reforms the day that left most American’s believing the world had gone crazy, and one man (Lee Harvey Oswald) thinking he had done the one thing that would make him famous.  

It seems incredibly simple, but it’s not.

Jake Epping, the hero of this gigantic fiction story, is lead to a rabbit hole in a diner by his friend Al – who has miraculously managed to contract terminal lung cancer in less than a day.  The rabbit hole in question is a time portal that takes Jake down into 1958. 

A tricky concept, so bear with me.

The rabbit hole leads to the same day in 1958 every single time; no matter how long you stay in the past when you walk back up only 2 minutes have passed and (here is the kicker) the next trip will always erase the previous past changing’s.

With the help of the rabbit hole Jake Epping goes on a journey to try and save JFK.
Please don’t discount this for its far-fetched time travel idea, because you will be missing out on some astounding storytelling.  Time travel is always left for the Young Adults, but King manages to convince you (with well-researched historical events and the incredibly possible outcomes of saving JFK) that there is a rabbit hole of your own downstairs.

Pick it up, and get lost with a mug of tea in your hands – this one will dispel all you thought happened on 22.11.63

About the Author

Stephen King has written some forty books and novellas, including CARRIE, THE STAND and RITA HAYWORTH and SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION (from the collection DIFFERENT SEASONS), BAG OF BONES, ON WRITING and most recently CELL, LISEY'S STORY and DUMA KEY. He wrote several novels under the pseudonym of Richard Bachman, including BLAZE (June 2007). He won America's prestigious National Book Award and was voted Grand Master in the 2007 Edgar Allen Poe awards. He lives with his wife, novelist Tabitha King, in Maine, USA.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Confessions of a Book Whore: For The Love of My Job

It wasn’t until 3 weeks ago when I met an old friend (whom I hadn’t seen in years) that I realised how important my job really is, and how much I really enjoy it!  Spare me the eye rolling and the shouts of “Are you gunning for a raise” but as a confessional book whore, I have to be honest with you. 

I do have my moments when my 5am alarm clock goes off and the last thing I want to do that day is strut around an office buried in a manuscript that just doesn't make the cut. 

Like when the printer doesn't work and all I can think of is attempting a dramatic run-up and out the window to ‘Eye of the Tiger’, or when my computer decides a day off is called for and ceases to work no matter how much bribing or coaxing takes place.  We all have those moments ... right?

“You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”Dr. Seuss

Back to the realisation!

I was sitting at a wonky wooden table, bottle of Rhum in my left hand and a glass in the right.  Through squinted eyes, I sat watching my friend paging through a copy of Mandy Wiener’s Killing Kebble, a book that has seen exorbitant praise, sales and is one book that I can pin my start in publishing to. 

He gets to the acknowledgements and scans, stops and shouts “DUDE! Your name! Here” and he points to my name (list among many that worked on the book) as if his life depended on it.  I shrug, having dealt with this excitement from my dad but also because I hardly could be thanked for putting together something so brilliant – purely because the team I work with deserve far more thanks than me.  His face takes on this proud-sad like face (a father watching a 3-year-old sing on stage would compare) and he says “God, you did it Kels.  You really did it.” and I am sure a tear glistened.

It was then and there that I realised that I, not only, get to work with a team that oozes more drive, talent and passion for books than Nelson Mandela does for freedom but also get to work with some incredibly influential authors and society leaders. 

I have seen books about rugby, freedom fighters and mutant Jack Russell’s pass my desk but nothing compares to sitting around a table with a team that believes books are the be all and end all of the world.

I rant.  Oh boy do I rant and rave at my desk. I would put Martin Luther King’s “I have a Dream” speech to shame; as I shout and preach to the screen of my computer.  That all disappears when copies of books arrive with a plop on my desk; the feeling that harvests the very love of books! 

Oh I do adore my job!

I am given the freedom to learn and create all in one day.  So the porridge brain and aching eyes from the computer aren't minded so much.

All in all I like my job.  No.  I love my job.

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