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World Book Day 2010: HBD, BOOK SA! Plus: Authors and Celebrities Share their Favourite Titles

BOOK SA

Alert! Today is World Book and Copyright Day – a day whose celebratory provenance is rather convoluted, but which all and sundry who love books should observe by descending on their favourite bookshops in a book-buying frenzy so wild it makes Die Antwoord look like Wings. Go on, do it.

Today is also BOOK SA’s birthday. We’re four years old! I think. Happy Birthday to us! We were meant to be celebrating by going on a righteously profligate spending spree at Selfridges; instead we’re sitting rather groggily in front of our main BOOK SA computer, trying to blog. It’s proving sluggish, and we’re proving grumpy. But, as Imraan Coovadia said in his cheekily subversive message to the London Book Fair, we who live in South Africa are constantly longing for London (well, true, except for maybe Kathryn White), so, given that it is when being denied London we feel most ourselves, perhaps it’s all for the best that we’ll be scrounging around for birthday cake at the Book Lounge later this afternoon.

Our World Book Day-cum-birthday gift to SA Lit was the liveblogging of the London Book Fair – which actually came off, in the end – and meanwhile LitNet’s is the publication of a big poll on the favourite books of various prominent persons, from Richard E Grant and Jonathan Ross to Zakes Mda and Jann Turner. Thirty-six mense weigh-in, in all; check it:

LitNet

Alice in Wonderland  It's Not How Good You Are, It's How Good You Want to BeMornings in JeninThe Boleyn InheritanceA History of the World In 10 1/2 Chapters

Wêreldboekedag 2010 | World Book Day 2010
 
In celebration of World Book Day, LitNet asked various personalities: What’s your favourite book and why? Answers will be published regularly up to and including World Book Day on the 23rd of April (William Shakespeare’s date of birth).
 
Herewith some celebrity favourites:
 
Fiona Ramsay: “While sipping on coffee in a Parkhurst coffee- and bookshop I found Julian Barnes’s enchanting historical novel A History of the World in 10½ Chapters, which I’d last read when I was at university. So I’ll be revisiting his amusing, brilliant, provocative and original writing this April. I am working in Burundi on a film with many hours in transit at various airports, and Julian Barnes is always a worthy companion. From his opening account as a stowaway on Noah’s Ark to the last line: ‘I dreamt that I woke up. It’s the oldest dream of all and I’ve just had it’, it is unputdownable! It’s a wonderfully funny, subversive and surprising fictional history of our planet told from several different perspectives.”
 
Richard E Grant: “Alice in Wonderland is my favourite book because it epitomises the eccentric, hilarious, surreal and class-conscious British psyche in all its glory.”

Meantime, over at Tonight, Lindsay Ord had a similar idea and chats to several well-known personalities about their book favs:

Jane Linley-Thomas, a presenter on East Coast Radio

What are you reading now?

An inspiring book called Golden Boy by Karl Horst. Karl is a Durban guy who has multiple sclerosis, and through his poetry and writing has been able to express his story during the past four years.

Best book you’ve read and why?

I devour books, so choosing one is not possible. I am a huge autobiography reader. I especially enjoying reading about people in the arts, film and music industry. The autobiography that really grabbed me was Boy George’s book Straight, such a great read.

BOOK SA is accepting donations of cake through 2:30 PM at our offices. Thanks in advance!

Book details

  • It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want to Be: The World’s Best Selling Book by Paul Arden
    EAN: 9780714843377
    Find this book with BOOK Finder!
 

Recent comments:

  • Mervyn
    Mervyn
    April 23rd, 2010 @10:08 #
     
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    Happy Happy to the entire booksa team. You guys rock big time. And Ben (anyone else from booksa who stumbles in today), cake is very definitely on us.

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  • Ben - Editor
    Ben - Editor
    April 23rd, 2010 @10:22 #
     
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    Thanks, Mervyn!

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  • <a href="http://helenmoffett.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Helen</a>
    Helen
    April 23rd, 2010 @10:53 #
     
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    Happy birthday, dear Book SA/Benster & Co. I can't imagine my life without you, no, really I can't (violins, harps, etc). Looking forward to eating cake later today (and I do believe Ms Trinity has sourced a chocolate fountain for her launch tonight)...

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  • Ben - Editor
    Ben - Editor
    April 23rd, 2010 @10:55 #
     
  • <a href="http://louisgreenberg.com" rel="nofollow">Louis Greenberg</a>
    Louis Greenberg
    April 23rd, 2010 @11:23 #
     
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    Congratulations, Ben and team. I've said ad nauseam how important the site has been for my sense of writerlyness. Long may you keep it up!

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  • <a href="http://www.modjajibooks.co.za" rel="nofollow">Colleen</a>
    Colleen
    April 23rd, 2010 @11:27 #
     
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    Happy Birthday Book SA --- Ben -- you've changed the world for me. One Blog post at a time.

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  • <a href="http://sarahlotz.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Sarah Lotz</a>
    Sarah Lotz
    April 23rd, 2010 @11:36 #
     
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    Thank you, Ben and everyone at book sa - lost count of the number of awesome writerly contacts and friends I've made through the site, even though I think I win the award for being the laziest/crappest blogger. You've done so much for all of us here (love the new look as well).

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  • Ben - Editor
    Ben - Editor
    April 23rd, 2010 @14:39 #
     
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    Your comments mean the world to me. Thanks very much.

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  • <a href="http://richarddenooy.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Richard de Nooy</a>
    Richard de Nooy
    April 23rd, 2010 @15:53 #
     
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    Happy anniversary, Book SA. Thanks for all the hard work, laughs and enlightenment. Where would we be without you?

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  • <a href="http://www.brainwavez.org/" rel="nofollow">Mandy J Watson</a>
    Mandy J Watson
    April 23rd, 2010 @21:34 #
     
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    Happy birthday! Thanks for being instrumental in me slowly becoming a specialist in a completely different journalism field. I really appreciate it.

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  • <a href="http://www.brainwavez.org/" rel="nofollow">Mandy J Watson</a>
    Mandy J Watson
    April 23rd, 2010 @21:35 #
     
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    And, of course, I had to say that in terrible English...

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  • <a href="http://richarddenooy.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Richard de Nooy</a>
    Richard de Nooy
    April 23rd, 2010 @22:47 #
     
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    I'm rather fond of terrible English, and I know what lovely English you can muster.

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