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Book Bites: 8 December 2013

Rags and BonesRags and Bones: New Twists on Timeless Tales
Edited by Melissa Marr and Tim Pratt (Quercus)
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Book nerd
It had me at Neil Gaiman, but this short story anthology features other great storytellers who give their favourite classic tales a modern and sometimes gloomy twist. In “The Sleeper and the Spindle” Gaiman gives the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale a kickass heroine in Snow White (uh huh!). Rick Yancey uses Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Birth Mark” to explore the growing gap between rich and poor. Kami Garcia’s retelling of Rumpelstiltskin paints a vividly grey and bloody city overrun by drug lords, in which her protagonist sells her soul to protect the person she loves. – Jennifer Platt @Jenniferdplatt

A Passion for FreedomA Passion for Freedom
Mamphela Ramphele (Tafelberg)
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Book buff
The cynical among us might be quick to assume that Mamphela Ramphele’s Passion for Freedom is little more than an Obama-esque public relations exercise. Charting Ramphele’s life – from rural upbringing to medical student activism to UCT, the World Bank and Agang – there’s certainly enough substance to captivate potential constituents. However, there are no real bombshells or big reveals in this memoir to satisfy those interested in the specifics of her future at Agang or the triangular relationship with Steve Biko that looms large in her past. – Bontle Senne @BontleSenne

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