Inspired by a recent comment thread, we at Books LIVE have decided to start rewarding our readers – with books!
Books LIVE community members and commenters are the heart and soul of the site, so from this month (August) until we run out of books to give away (!), we will be selecting the best comment every month, and sending that person a book of their choice, from a selected list.
The first round of books, which all come from the Exclusive Books Homebru collection and are therefore proudly South African, is:
For a chance to win one of these great titles, sign up for Book Chat and start voicing your opinions:
Thanks to Books LIVE community stalwarts Alex Smith, Colleen Higgs, Louis Greenberg, Helen Moffett, Máire Fisher, Tiah Beautement for brainstorming the competition.
» read article
Die Vriende van Afrikaans (VVA) is ‘n groep mense wat werk vir Afrikaans. Hulle is nie polities, seksisties, rassisties of godsdiensvoorskriftelik nie en verwelkom almal wat wil saamwerk. Sedert 2005 reël dié organisasie ‘n Koop-’n-Afrikaanse-boekdag waar hulle Afrikaanssprekendes aanmoedig om skrywers, boekwinkels en uitgewers te ondersteun deur ‘n boek in Afrikaans aan te skaf.
Hierdie dag val vanjaar weer oudergewoonte op 14 Augustus, vandag, en daarom word boekliefhebbers en woordmense genooi om in die kar te spring en na hul naaste boekwinkel te haas.
In ‘n onderhoud met Maroela Media verduidelik Amanda de Stadler, uitvoerende beampte, dat hierdie idee ontstaan het omdat een van hul spitsraadlede moeg geraak het om te luister na mense wat sê hulle wil graag Afrikaans lees, maar daar is nie Afrikaanse boeke beskikbaar nie. “Dit is gewoon nie waar nie,” sê De Stadler en verduidelik hoe die projek geloods is, wat hul daarmee wil bereik en waarom dit ‘n inklusiewe inisiatief is.
“Verlede jaar het ons begin agterkom dit word eintlik nasionale besit, dis nie meer net die dag wat óns reël nie, mense doen dit sommer vanself ook,” sê De Stadler en moedig Afrikaanssprekendes aan om Afrikaanse boeke te gaan koop “vir jou eie beswil”.
Luister na die potgooi:
Die Vriende van Afrikaans het ‘n lys van boekhandelaars wat deelneem aan hierdie dag op hul Facebook-bladsy gedeel en moedig mense aan om ‘n foto van hul kopie met die VVA te deel:
Watter boekwinkels neem deel aan die Koop-’n-Afrikaanse-boekdag op 14 Augustus 2014?
Goeie nuus aan alle boekliefhebbers en woordmense! Die volgende boekwinkels het tot dusver laat weet dat hulle aan die jaarlikse Koop-’n-Afrikaanse-boekdag gaan deelneem:
• Chantall Sayers van Kalahari laat weet dat hulle 30% afslag gee op 14 Augustus op ‘n seleksie van hulle Afrikaanse boeke, fisiese of digitale formaat.
• Lourens Potgieter van CNA sê hulle promosie duur van 14 tot 28 Augustus en hulle het heelwat hase in hulle hoed! “Ons gaan ‘n hengse klomp ekstra Thank U punte toestaan aan almal wat Afrikaanse boeke koop, en aan die ATKV-lede stuur ons ‘n e-pos met ‘n kortingkoepon vir 15% af op alle Afrikaanse boeke-aankope van R200 en meer. Daar gaan plakkate in ons winkels wees, en ons gaan adverteer. Buiten die Thank U punte en ATKV-korting is daar groot besparings op ‘n hele paar vooraanstaande titels, soos Leon van Nierop se Ballade vir ‘n enkeling, Kokkedoor 2 en Ladybird- en Phambili-kinderboekies.”
• CUM-boeke se bemarkingspan laat weet dat hulle 15% afslag aanbied op Afrikaanse boeke op 14 Augustus en sê: “Boeke kan jou inpireer, bemagtig en aanmoedig. Jy kan deur die wêreld reis sonder om ‘n tree te stap. Koop ‘n boek vir jouself of bederf iemand wat nog nooit ‘n boek van hulle eie besit het nie.”
• Riëtte van der Merwe van PNA in die Strand/PNA Colours/PNA Somerset-Wes/PNA Eikestad Mall gee op 14 Augustus 25% afslag op Afrikaanse boeke.
• Exclusive Books: Alma Struwig laat weet Mimosa Mall in Bloemfontein neem deel; Tertia Koegelenberg sê hulle tak in Centurion en die Kolonnade gee ook afslag. Karin Shaul se tak, Woodlands Boulevard gee 10% afslag. Anzel van die Loch Logan-tak in Bloemfontein laat weet hulle gee ook 10% af.
• Myafrikaans.com, ‘n eBoekwinkel gebaseer in Rotterdam gaan 20% afslag gee op 14 Augustus, laat weet André Beukes.
• Protea Boekwinkel landwyd bied 10% afslag op Afrikaanse boeke op 14 Augustus.
Baie dankie aan al hierdie vrygewige boekmense. Ons hoop hulle verkope styg flink op 14 Augustus!
Weet jy nie wat om te koop nie? Hier is ‘n paar voorstelle uit die Books LIVE-kamp:
» read article
The Sunday Times has started a monthly bestseller list, identifying the most popular books in South Africa.
There are a gratifying number of South African books on the non-fiction list, which is topped by Good Morning, Mr Mandela by Zelda la Grange, followed, some would say inevitably, by The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Sally-Ann Creed, David Grier and Jonno Proudfoot.
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green and The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules by Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg head up the fiction list, with the only local link being the lead character in The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden, Nombeko, who was born in Soweto.
The information for the list comes from SAPnet/Nielsen, bookseller data and publisher data.
View the list:
» read article
Alert! Exclusive Books has announced the annual Homebru list, celebrating the best of South African fiction and non-fiction.
There are 48 books on the list, including the shortlists for this year’s Sunday Times Alan Paton Award and Fiction Prize, the winners of which were announced last Saturday.
Fiction highlights on the list include Lauren Beukes‘ latest offering, Broken Monsters, Sarah Lotz‘ thriller The Three and Damon Galgut’s Arctic Summer.
Non-fiction fans are also spoilt for choice, with titles including Lost and Found in Johannesburg by Mark Gevisser, Gareth van Onselen’s Clever Blacks, Jesus and Nkandla: The Real Jacob Zuma in His Own Words, Tony Leon’s Opposite Mandela, Justice: A Personal Account by Edwin Cameron and Zelda la Grange’s explosive memoir Good Morning, Mr Mandela, which is already taking the country by storm.
Here’s the complete 2014 Exclusive Books Homebru list. Get reading!
» read article
Football, football, football. It’s all pervasive at the moment. But it’s not all kicking and diving, and Books LIVE has gathered together the best of the writing on the World Cup’s literary connections.
In what has turned out to be a social media tour de force, Penguin UK put together a literary XI for 16 of the World Cup nations, with line-ups made up of leading authors. The only African team included is Nigeria, but Teju Cole was pleased as punch to be included:
The Penguin Cup led to much hilarity on Twitter, with the publisher reporting that JD Salinger had failed to turn up for training, and Paulo Coelho announcing himself as a supporter of Brazil’s team, which features him in right midfield. Nick Hornby took to Facebook to voice his concern at Zadie Smith’s lack of a “left foot”:
Despite Bafana Bafana not making it to Brazil (What, you hadn’t heard?) this Books LIVE editor would like to offer a South African edition: Brink – Vladislavić, Meyer, Ndebele, Bosman – Plaatje, Mda, Benedict Vilakazi (the writer, not the former Orlando Pirates player), Coetzee – Gordimer, Rive. Vladislavić at right back, Bosman making forays up the left, a solid central defensive partnership of Meyer and Ndebele. Plaatje’s speed and flair on the right wing, Coetzee offering a more analytical option on the left. The unpredictable creative force of Mda and Vilakazi in midfield, and clinical finishers Rive and Gordimer up front.
The Paris Reviews‘s coverage of the tournament, consisting of more literary articles by “serious” writers, continues with a piece by poet Rowan Ricardo Phillips, who ruminates on the demise of the once-dominant Spanish national team, in the context of newly discovered work by Chilean poet Pablo Neruda:
The same day that, in Chile, more than twenty previously unknown works by Pablo Neruda were discovered in the most unlikely of places — a drawer — Spain thought it was a good idea to continue their monarchy by changing the constitution so the prince could replace the abdicating king. I rejoiced at one and shrugged at the other. Fittingly, Chile beat Spain 2-0 yesterday.
In a lengthy profile for The New York Times, Jeff Himmelman regards the linguistic identity of the most famous, and popular, player at the World Cup. Lionel Messi was born in Argentina, but moved to Spain to play for Barcelona before his teens. He was often been accused of not playing as well for his country as he does for the Catalans.
In much of Argentina, where Lionel Messi lived until he was 13, native speakers replace the “y” sound with a “sh” sound. Yo, the personal pronoun for “I,” becomes “sho,” and calle, which other Spanish speakers would pronounce “ka-yay,” becomes “ka-shey.” The sound gives Argentine Spanish a slurry softness that resembles aspects of the Portuguese spoken in Brazil. More important to this story, that “sh,” and the fact that Messi has retained it all his life, has at times been the sole lifeline between the greatest soccer player in the world and the country he plays for.
Tom Dispatch has shared a series of excerpts from award-winning Uruguayan journalist and novelist Eduardo Galeano’s iconic, poetic meditation on the sport, Soccer in Sun and Shadow:
For lovers of the game, in his celebrated masterpiece Soccer in Sun and Shadow, the great Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano long ago caught the way the spectacle of soccer and the spectacle of reality intertwined. Of the Brazilian protests, he recently observed: “Brazilians, who are the most soccer-mad of all, have decided not to allow their sport to be used any more as an excuse for humiliating the many and enriching the few. The fiesta of soccer, a feast for the legs that play and the eyes that watch, is much more than a big business run by overlords from Switzerland. The most popular sport in the world wants to serve the people who embrace it. That is a fire police violence will never put out.”
Galeano, who has been outspoken about the World Cup protests in Brazil, has had his books translated into 25 languages. From Soccer in Sun and Shadow:
The ball turns, the world turns. People suspect the sun is a burning ball that works all day and spends the night bouncing around the heavens while the moon does its shift, though science is somewhat doubtful. There is absolutely no question, however, that the world turns around a spinning ball: the final of the ’94 World Cup was watched by more than two billion people, the largest crowd ever of the many that have assembled in this planet’s history. It is the passion most widely shared: many admirers of the ball play with her on fields and pastures, and many more have box seats in front of the TV and bite their nails as 22 men in shorts chase a ball and kick her to prove their love.
At the end of the ’94 Cup every child born in Brazil was named Romário, and the turf of the stadium in Los Angeles was sold off like pizza, at twenty dollars a slice. A bit of insanity worthy of a better cause? A primitive and vulgar business? A bag of tricks manipulated by the owners? I’m one of those who believe that soccer might be all that, but it is also much more: a feast for the eyes that watch it and a joy for the body that plays it. A reporter once asked German theologian Dorothee Sölle, “How would you explain happiness to a child?”
“I wouldn’t explain it,” she answered. “I’d toss him a ball and let him play.”
Finally, those of us who have been watching will be aware that African teams have been unbearably disappointing at this year’s World Cup – so far – and everybody is wondering why. In a long piece for Grantland, Jordan Conn examines the complex history of the Ivory Coast national football team, who are known as the team that helped end a civil war.
» read article
By this point, I’m confused. I’ve been in Ivory Coast only a couple of days, but I’ve asked about a dozen kids to name their favorite players. I’ve heard Messi and Ronaldo and Ibrahimovic, and even Karim Benzema and Sergio Busquets. A kid in a Drogba jersey told me, with a big smile on his face, just how much he loves Samuel Eto’o. But no one has mentioned Drogba himself. Nor have they mentioned Touré or Gervinho or, for that matter, any other Ivorians. I’ve seen plenty of evidence that Ivorians love Drogba and his teammates, but I’ve found none of the idol worship I’d been led to expect. According to what I’d read, this was the country where soccer has saved lives, the one place on Earth where the athletes could still be called heroes. And here we were, in the very neighborhood where Drogba spent part of his childhood, and this kid wants to talk about Xavi?
By Jennifer Platt for The Sunday Times
I grew up in a sport-loving family. For the much-anticipated finals of major events – Wimbledon, rugby, cricket, and of course the Soccer World Cup – breyani or mutton curry would be made and consumed and aunts and uncles would debate about who the best players were. I was the odd one out, preferring to read a book than partake in the ritual.
It’s still the same today. My housemate and I have one rule for the television remote: never, ever switch to the sports channels at ANY time. We often wax wistful about how lovely it would be if DSTV had a package that excluded the sports channels, so we wouldn’t waste time skipping past them all – there’s something ridiculous like 10! – to get to BBC Lifestyle.
But when it’s the Soccer World Cup, this rule bends slightly. Sometimes I will watch a few matches – but mainly as an excuse to kuier, eat braai meat and drink.
I’ve managed to imbibe, by osmosis, most of the rules to football – thanks, sport-loving family! – so I don’t have to read Soccer for Dummies to brush up, which is quite good at explaining complex stuff like the offside rule. There are a few other books, however, that I might line up (in a 2-5-3 formation) to read during this year’s World Cup.
First is How Soccer Explains The World: An Unlikely Theory of Globalization by Franklin Foer. This will hopefully explain why soccer, is as many people claim, more than just a game. Foer investigates how soccer is an extension of the social, economic and political factors that are entrenched in those countries (like ours) that hold the game high as a national religion.
I also have no clue this year about who the hot players are, the in-form teams, which group is the one of Death, and so on, so the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Official Book will come in handy, which according to the blurb “offers expert analysis of each team, its star players, and its prospects in the finals, along with information on the stadiums and host cities”. Venture to Brazil without leaving your home!
To impress with my footie knowledge – and swot for quiz night – another book I have my eye on is Eight World Cups Times by New York sports columnist George Vecsey. He offers a personal perspective on the mega-event, as well as plenty of behind-the-scenes skandaal on the last eight tournaments, from Spain’s in 1982 to our own 2010 triumph.
Or I might just skip the hoohah all together and take up knitting instead – and use the handy Knitting With Giant Needles by Hanna Charlotte Erhorn (Dorling Kindersley, R230) to add homemade scarves and beanies to my winter wardrobe.
» read article