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Genre novels are "governed by limitations". A literary novel "by nothing". Contentious stuff via @GuardianBooks:

Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

#STBooks: Take One Ugly Future and Heat Till Saucy, by Ben Williams

By Ben Williams for The Sunday Times

Apocalypse Now NowThe Shining GirlsThe ThreeDark WindowsA Girl Walks Into a WeddingSwitchReal Meal Revolution

The catchiest book title to bolt from South Africa’s fiction stable last year was Charlie Human’s, who named his speculative, supernatural take on Cape Town’s underworld Apocalypse Now-Now.

South African fiction is a glorious, Augean mess. Among its principal stablekeeps are Human’s publisher, Umuzi – an imprint of that fearful new griffon, Penguin Random House; Kwela, which has a long history of setting SA Lit’s Pan-piper tune; and Jacana, which stalks the indie publishing scene like a sphinx, pouncing on fresh writing.

As a friend of mine who works in books mentioned recently, these and other imprints find themselves scattered across the battlefield of a turf war that’s been raging for years. It’s a war between two sub-genres that have increasingly come to command our reading lives, Human’s book being just one amongst their legion.

It’s the war of Sex versus the Apocalypse.

Sex used to be on top, if you’ll pardon the indecency. But as my friend pointed out, erotica – once kept deep within the shadows of the Romance category, now brazenly leading the charge of the purple satin standards – is suffering casualties. The ranged forces of EL James, Sylvia Day et al are caught in a pincer movement, between doom on one side and dysfunction on the other.

It’s Dystopia, of course, that’s applying the squeeze. Formerly a little-visited corner in the wider realm of Science Fiction, it has grown to dominate the genre, the final destination of all manner of spec-fic fantasies.

Locally, this pits the likes of Human, Lauren Beukes, Sarah Lotz and Louis Greenberg – to name but a few of Dystopia’s denizens – against the likes of Helena S Paige and Jassy Mackenzie, those dungeon-masters of desire.

But what none of them seem to realise is that a new threat has hoved into view, which could see their – and indeed all other – genres of fiction shipped off to the equivalent of SA publishing’s salt mines, never to be heard from again. It’s thus imperative that they join arms and face the peril together.

This Hercules, come to clean up, takes the form of a mild-mannered scientist, previously best known for his thick tome on running. His name is Tim Noakes. He has published a diet book, called The Real Meal Revolution, that has those who take a teaspoon of sugar with their tea finding solidarity with another lot of outcasts, the smokers.

The Real Meal Revolution has burst with coruscating brilliance into South Africans’ consciousness. People are posting pictures of their newly punched belt holes as book reviews. It’s been top of our bestseller list for weeks, outselling other contenders the way KFC outsells the local deli. I daresay Noakes has recalibrated how local publishers view their jobs: to publish instruction manuals about what to eat, principally. Prepare, ye novelists, for the onslaught of the Diet genre.

Of course, diet books, with their dystopian inferences, are about the apocalypse that’s happening, now-now, in your kitchen – meaning there’s an angle for Human and his lot to latch on to. On the other hand, the links between sex and food go back go back as far as love itself, so there’s also hope for the Eros crowd. As the first step in the fightback to recapture fiction’s marketshare, then, the strategy is clear: novelists, start putting recipes in your books.


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Antoinette Pienaar resenseer Real Meal Revolution

Real Meal RevolutionUitspraak: diepgebraaide wortel

Ek moes twee glase rooiwyn drink terwyl ek The Real Meal Revolution se bieflasagneresep gemaak het.

Dit kon nie anders nie.

Hoe roer ’n mens vier koppies gerasperde cheddarkaas met twee koppies room en gooi dit bo-oor vetterige maalvleis wat in spek gebraai is, en dit ná ’n leeftyd se kondisionering dat sulke kos jou vroegtydig aan hartkwale die ewigheid gaan instuur?


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Read Izak de Vries’ Shortest-ever Book Review of Real Meal Revolution

Real Meal RevolutionVerdict: carrot

Izak de Vries has given Real Meal Revolution possibly the shortest – and definitely one of the wittiest – reviews ever. From his Facebook page, and subsequently tweeted by Leonie Joubert:

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Johan Louw resenseer Dokter in die huis deur Jan van Elfen en Don du Toit

Dokter in die huisUitspraak: wortel

Ons lewe in ’n era waar rekenaars en die internet die norm geword het. Jy kan feitlik enigiets op die internet naslaan.

Daar is baie goeie webtuistes met goeie mediese inligting (mits jy weet waarna om te kyk).

Die probleem is egter enigiemand kan enigiets skryf of kwytraak. Hierdie inligting is nie altyd akkuraat nie en word nie noodwendig onderwerp aan die nodige gehaltebeheer nie.

Om hierdie rede is Dokter in die huis so ’n wonderlike boek om in jou huis te hê.

Dit bevat akkurate, omvattende inligting oor mediese siektes en toestande.


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Myrna Robins Reviews Real Meal Revolution

Real Meal RevolutionVerdict: carrot

Fat, we learn, is the body’s preferred fuel. Carbs are unnecessary. Therefore, the authors aim to “deconstruct the bad fat myth and return us to the attitude of ancient times when fat was prized”.

When one of South Africa’s most renowned sports science academics executes a 180º turn on previous dietary guidelines, it inevitably makes headlines. Athletes along with thousands of health-conscious South Africans were initially stunned when Noakes announced that many of us, and particularly anyone genetically predisposed toward diabetes, seriously overweight or with high blood pressure, should avoid carbohydrates and increase their intake of fat and protein.

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Marlene Malan resenseer nuwe kookboeke, insluitend Gourmet Sisters, Voorskoot en Kokkedoor

Gourmet Sisters: Sharing Food and Friendship7de Laan vier feesKokkedoorVoorskootOnthaal op groot skaalElke dag koningskosFood Jamming with JadeVuurwarmRoads Less TravelledKook uit die hartReal Meal RevolutionVallei van melk en heuning200 Beskuit en Biscotti-resepteLekker en vinnig: BroodLife on a Cape FarmBoendoe-kos vir die Afrika-bosConfessions of a Hungry WomanThe French AffairVeld to ForkLow-carb Living for Families Die groot boerekos-boekTjailaresepte 2

Uitspraak: wortels

Vanjaar se reuse-oes aan keurige kookboeke weerspieël die rykdom van ons land se koskultuur. Marlene Malan stel voor dat jy minstens één in ’n vriend se Kerskous pak.

1. Gourmet Susters deur Sue-Ann Allen en Ilse Fourie. Uitgewer: Human & Rousseau.

Sue-Ann en Ilse se hegte vriendskap het begin tydens MasterChef SA 2012. Sedertdien pak hulle heelwat projekte saam aan as die gourmet-susters. In dié boek lewer elkeen resepte wat haar eie, besonderse ingesteldheid teenoor kos toon.


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Christopher Merrett Reviews South Africa’s Gold Mines and the Politics of Silicosis by Jock McCulloch

South Africa's Gold Mines and the Politics of SilicosisVerdict: carrot

Silicosis is the primary occupational disease of the industrial revolution, the consequence of drilling, blasting and grinding. Gold mining lies deep in the historical roots of South Africa’s political economy, apartheid labour policy in particular. And our gold is notoriously hard to extract from ore with a high-silica content.
Superficially, the gold mining industry had a good track record combating both silicosis and resultant pulmonary tuberculosis.

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Kulani Nkuna Reviews Plague, Pox and Pandemics by Howard Phillips

Plague, Pox and Pandemics: A Jacana Pocket History of Epidemics in South AfricaVerdict: carrot

This book gives an historical account of five devastating epidemics that altered the social structure of South Africa.

In colonial times, smallpox killed thousands in the Cape region and decimated the

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Antoinette Pienaar resenseer Tim Noakes chews the fat deur Daryl Ilbury

Tim Noakes chews the fatUitspraak: wortel

Die geneigdheid om die boodskapper aan te val, is seker een van die mees primitiewe verdedigingsmeganismes wat mense gebruik wanneer hul opvattings gekritiseer word.

Dit was onlangs die geval toe die bekende sportwetenskaplike Tim Noakes omstrede uitlatings gemaak het oor die meriete van ’n hoëproteïen-dieet.


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Tom Gouws resenseer Deur die ruite van reis deur Melanie Grobler

Deur die ruite van reisUitspraak: wortel

Met die verskyning van Melanie Grobler se debuutbundel: Tye en swye in die lewe van Hester H het die indertydse boekredakteur Elfra Erasmus die volgende te sê gehad: “Dis moeilik om Melanie Grobler te peil. Nie oor sy vóórgee om akademies goed onderlê of ’n ingewikkelde mens te wees nie, maar omdat sy in haar eie wêreld leef, ’n wêreld afgesonder van mense … ’n Mens sukkel om die meeste dinge wat sy sê aan die werklikheid van die alledaagse bestaan te knoop. Dit sweef rond op vlakke waar die deursnee mens net soms ’n draai maak.”


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