Books LIVE Community Sign up

Login to BooksLIVE

Forgotten password?

Forgotten your password?

Enter your username or email address and we'll send you reset instructions

Books LIVE


An Unnatural History: Hedley Twidle Reviews Henrietta Rose-Innes' Green Lion

Archive for the ‘Youth’ Category

Lona Gericke resenseer Bambaduze deur Derick van der Walt

BambaduzeUitspraak: wortel

En toe doen hy dit weer! Die skrywer van drie vorige jeugromans – Lien se lankstaanskoene, Willem Poprok en Hoopvol – met bekronings soos goue en silwer-Sanlam-pryse, die MER-prys vir jeuglektuur, die Scheepersprys vir jeuglektuur en insluiting op IBBY se ererol, het weer eens bewys dat hy ’n storie kán vertel, dat hy ’n fyn aanvoeling en begrip het vir menseverhoudings en veral die emosionele aspekte van ’n tiener se lewe oortuigend kan ontleed en verwoord.


» read article

Lona Gericke resenseer Moord per suurlemoen deur Jelleke Wierenga

Moord per suurlemoenUitspraak: wortel

Die teks is deurspek met oorspronklike beskrywings van die omgewing, die inwoners van die dorpie, die Groen Lantern se personeellede, die Negosiegat, waar hulle hul verskeie kostuums aanskaf, en die ete in die restaurant die Goue Pampoen. Hier is geen geleentheid vir die leser om verveeld te wees nie.

Juis die gedagte dat twee tieners kan aanvaar dat hulle die buurvrou doodgegooi het met ’n suurlemoen en dus van moord aangekla gaan word, maak die hele leeservaring een van groot absurde aweregse lekkerte. Aanbeveel vir biblioteek-, skool- en tuisversamelings.


» read article

AJ Opperman resenseer Emma en die creepy komplot deur Marianna Brandt

Emma en die creepy komplotUitspraak: wortel

Emma se verstand werk oortyd. Sy laat ’n mens dink aan Nancy Drew, wat ook op skool was toe haar doen en late lesers se aandag begin boei het (Nancy het mettertyd ’n ouer karakter geword).

Soos Nancy, is Emma ook ’n speurder én ’n skoolkind. En Emma is ’n lekker karakter.


» read article

Follow the Road to Terra Incognita: Short Story Day Africa Celebrates Two New Anthologies at The Book Lounge

Hayes family and Lea van Blerk

Fabulous: Late Middle English (in the sense ‘known through fable’): from French fabuleux or Latin fabulosus ‘celebrated in fable’, from fabula (see fable). The launch of two new collections of short stories celebrating the wealth of African storytelling in the “speculative fiction” genre was, quite simply, fabulous.

Terra Incognita, edited by Nerine Dorman, is breaking new ground and there is great hopes that once again, a story from this collection will catch the attention of the Caine Prize judges. Last year’s winner and one shortlisted writer emerged from the short story collection Feast, Famine and Potluck, so the aspiration has a fine precedent!

The organisers of Short Story Day Africa, South African novelists Rachel Zadok and Tiah Beautement, raised a glass to the new fables that are being written from the continent. They are particularly excited by the narratives emerging from the youngest writers and took delight in watching the new authors autographing readers’ copies of Follow the Road, edited by Máire Fisher and Beautement.

Rachel Zadok and editor, Nerine DormanTerra IncognitaFollow the RoadFounder, Zadok, pointed out that on 21 June this year they will be celebrating the fifth anniversary of Short Story Day Africa.

“The project has transformed so much since it began that the name no longer seems appropriate. We’re not simply a day to celebrate African short stories, but a global community of African writers and readers working towards a common aim of creating platforms for great African writing where we can write what we like,” Zadok said.

“The quality and diversity of the voices in Terra Incognita, in my humble if bragging opinion, is exceptional. Considering that many of these writers are being published for the first time, that’s saying something.”

Zadok highlighted that a literature in its infancy, as many believe African literature to be, could hardly have produced new writing like this.

Tiah Beautement and prize winner, Kaya OosthuizenBeautement introduced each writer, commending the younger ones in particular for their bravery. “Reading in front of large audience is tough, even for adults!” she said. The youngsters appeared undaunted, however, and 11-year-old Kiera-Lee Hayes, who read on behalf of her brother and sister whose work features in Follow the Road, got some laughs when she spoke about writing a time-travelling story. She said, “I thought it was so original, until I read the anthology and saw that almost everyone had written one.”

Winner Diane Awerbuck and cover designer Nick MulgrewBeautement handed over a prize to Young Adult category winner Kaya Oosthuizen – a large hamper of books for her school library – and praised the story’s originality and encouraged her to keep at her craft. She also gave special mention to 17-year-old William Burger, who entered his final YA story. “He is a writer with much promise,” she said, “and Short Story Day Africa is eager to see what he produces in the future.”

Beautement also thanked the sponsors who had pledged their support for the project and facilitated its ongoing success. She encouraged those present to donate directly to the organisation which would alleviate some of the painful reality of losing 20 percent to bank fees every year.

The highlight of the evening was Diane Awerbuck reading “Leatherman”, the prize-winning story from Terra Incognita.

Read “Leatherman” here.

* * * * * * * *

Liesl Jobson (@LieslJobson) tweeted from the launch using #livebooks:



* * * * * * * *

Facebook gallery

Short Story Day Africa launched two new anthologies at The Book Lounge on Wednesday, 18 March with contributors reading and discussing their work.

Posted by Books LIVE on Thursday, 26 March 2015



Book details

» read article

Join the SSDA Festivities at the Launch Party of Terra Incognita and Follow the Road at The Book Lounge

Launch: Terra Incognita

Terra IncognitaFollow the RoadShort Story Day Africa invites you to the launch party of two of their new anthologies: Terra Incognita edited by Nerine Dorman, and Follow the Road, edited by Maire Fisher and Tiah Beautement.

The event will take place at The Book Lounge on Wednesday, 18 March, and will start at 5:30 for 6 PM.

Dorman, Beautement, Rachel Zadok, Diane Awerbuck and some of the younger contributors to Follow the Road will talk about their work or read their stories.

Come and celebrate the launch of these exciting new books with cupcakes, African delights, wine and dancing in the street. Don’t miss it!

Event Details

  • Date: Wednesday, 18 March 2015
  • Time: 5:30 for 6 PM
  • Venue: The Book Lounge
    71 Roeland Street
    Corner of Buitenkant and Roeland Street
    Cape Town | Map
  • Refreshments: Cupcakes, African delights and wine
  • RSVP:, 021 462 2425

Related stories:

Book Details

» read article

Fiction Friday: The Winning Story from Follow the Road, SSDA’s New Anthology Written by Children

Follow the RoadThis Fiction Friday, Short Story Day Africa have shared the winning story from their new Young Adult anthology, Follow the Road, edited by Máire Fisher and Tiah Beautement.

Follow the Road is a collection of science fiction and fantasy stories by young African writers, from the age of seven to 17.

The anthology will be launched along with Terra Incognita, the new SSDA anthology, at The Book Lounge on Wednesday, 18 March.

The winners are:

Winners of the 2014 YA competition:
1st Place: Kaya Oosthuizen, age 16, for “Phoenix”
2nd Place: Carla Lott, age 17, for “Megeni Kutua”
3rd Place: Lesego Pulamoeng, age 14, for “Patiko and Pajoko”

Winners of the 2014 10-13 competition:
Léa van Blerk, age 10, for “The Magic Gorah”
Bianca Matthee, age 10, for “The Sparkly Dragon of Drakensberg”
Kiera-Lee Hayes, age 11, for “No Ordinary Rock”

Winners of the 2014 9 & under competition:
Kyra Zinn, age 8, for “Our Time Traveling Parents are Gone”
Samuel Hayes, age 7, for “Sir Alfred and the Golden Arrow”
Tara Anne Du Preez, age 9, for “The Pig that had no Ears”

Read the winning YA story, “Phoenix”, by Kaya Oosthuizen:

Phoenix: A Short Story from Follow the Road, edited by Máire Fisher and Tiah Beautement by Books LIVE

* * * * * * * *

About the book

“Where on earth do these kids come up with these plots! They’re so clever.”2014 SSDA judge Sean Fraser, Publish Cape Town

Journeys and arrivals in strange and magical places — a kaleidoscopic collection of stories by Africa’s younger writers.

Follow the Road is the second anthology of short stories written by children to be published by Short Story Day Africa. Collected from their 2014 children’s creative writing competition, here are 27 refreshing takes on the science fiction and fantasy genres from minds wide open to possibility. From time travelling parents to sparkly dragons in the Drakensberg mountains, these are African stories from Africa’s children. This is science fiction that will challenge the perception of what children are capable of thinking and creating.

Stories by:
Amabedi Badisa – age 16
William Burger – age 17
Keisha Chelsea Domingo – age 9
Tara Anne Du Preez – age 9 – winner 9 & under category
Tanya Erlston – age 14
Dominique Fuchs – age 15
Katie Hayes – age 10
Kiera-Lee Hayes – age 11 – winner 10-13 age category
Samuel Hayes – age 7 – winner 9 & under category
Emily Hugo – age 8
Ruan Kitshoff – age 16
Telisa Lombard – age 16
Carla Lott – age 17 – 2nd place – winner YA competition
Morgan Lottering – age 13
Tyla Lottering – age 10
Bianca Matthee – age 10 – winner 10-13 age category
Aobakwe Mbonelele – age 15
Jordan Meyer – age 9
Kaya Oosthuizen – age 16 – 1st place winner YA competition
Pako Rameno – age 13
Lesego Pulamoeng – Age 14 – 3rd place winner YA competition
Kutso Setseeng – age 13
Nina Steyn – age 13
Léa van Blerk – age 10 – winner 10-13 age category
Ivan van Niekerk – age 11
Jané van Zyl – age 16
Kyra Zinn – age 8 – winner 9 & under category

About the editors

Máire Fisher, whose years of editing experience including editing Whiplash by Tracey Farren. Fisher is also the author of the acclaimed novel Birdseye.

Tiah Beautement co-runs Short Story Day Africa along with Rachel Zadok and Nick Mulgrew. Tiah’s second novel, This Day (Modjaji Books) was published in September 2014.

    Related stories:

Book details

» read article

JB Roux resenseer As ek val deur Jenny Downham, vertaal deur Lydia du Plessis

As ek valUitspraak: wortel

As ek val is nugter en eerlik, sonder om morbied of jammerhartig te wees. Dis ook nie ligsinnig nie, al laat Kara se eksentrieke optrede jou glimlag.

As daar nog iets bestaan soos ’n tiener met ’n boekrak, verdien dié een ’n ereplek.


» read article

Watch Suzelle and Other Celebrities Reading in Unfamiliar Languages for International Mother Language Day

To celebrate International Mother Language Day tomorrow, national reading-for-enjoyment campaign Nal’ibali has released a video showing celebrities reading stories in languages they didn’t understand.

In the video, YouTube DIY sensation Suzelle, Zolani Mahola of Freshlyground, as well as soccer players Cecil Lolo and Ziyaad Eksteen from Ajax Cape Town Football Club attempt to read in a language they do not speak.

“It is of utmost importance to me that my child speaks the language of his mother and the people who came before her,” Mahola says. “For him to have access to the rich culture I came from would be one of the biggest gifts I could ever pass on to him and reading in his mother tongue would open the windows of that world even further to him.”

Watch the video:

YouTube Preview Image

Press release

Nal’ibali, the national reading-for-enjoyment campaign, has collaborated with SA role models and public figures to highlight the importance of mother tongue languages in children’s literacy development this International Mother Tongue Language Day, Saturday 21 February. By asking participants to try and read a children’s story – in a language they didn’t understand – Nal’ibali has created a poignant Public Service Announcement (PSA) highlighting the challenges faced by many young children as they engage with print and other literacy materials in unfamiliar languages on a daily basis.

“Regular interaction with interesting and challenging books and stories in home languages allows children to build a deep understanding of their mother tongue. This ensures a firm foundation for learning not only an additional language, but for all other school learning too,” explains Carole Bloch, Director of PRAESA (The Project for the Study of Alternative Education in South Africa) which is running the Nal’ibali campaign.

“All children, and not only English speakers, deserve significant exposure to the finest of locally written and international literature in their first languages. Until we achieve this, we continue to disadvantage learning opportunities for the majority of children in South Africa,” Bloch continues.

Showing just how meaningless receiving news and information in a language you don’t understand can be, South African public figures including YouTube sensation, Suezelle DIY, actress and Freshlyground lead singer, Zolani Mahola, as well as soccer players Cecil Lolo and Ziyaad Eksteen from Ajax Cape Town Football Club all had a turn to be filmed reading a story in a language they did not know.

“It is of utmost importance to me that my child speaks the language of his mother and the people who came before her. For him to have access to the rich culture I came from would be one of the biggest gifts I could ever pass on to him and reading in his mother tongue would open the windows of that world even further to him,” commented Mahola on the day.

Taking up the challenge, and reading snippets from a story in the ‘wrong’ language on air, national radio stations RSG, SAfm and Umhlobo Wenene FM, who typically broadcast in Afrikaans, English and isiXhosa respectively, surprised their listeners and helped spread the message even further.

“It takes many years to learn your mother tongue well and reading and talking about books in your home language enriches children’s language enormously. So, to help your children have the very best chance of success at school, the golden rule is to start talking and reading to them in their mother tongue/s when they are babies and keep doing this throughout their lives, even as they learn other languages at school,” concludes Bloch.

And, for those wanting to access children’s stories and other literacy materials in a range of SA languages, they need not look further than the Nal’ibali reading-for-enjoyment supplement. Issued each week during term time, the supplement is the only fully bilingual resource of it’s kind offering children’s stories, literacy activities as well as reading tips and support in four different language combinations. These resources are also freely available from the Nal’ibali web- and mobisties: and

To watch the special Nal’ibali International Mother Tongue Day PSA, visit the Nal’ibali website at

The Nal’ibali reading-for-enjoyment supplement is available in the below newspapers:

KwaZulu-Natal: Sunday World (English and isiZulu) on Sundays
Gauteng: Sunday World (English and isiZulu) on Sundays
Free State: Sunday World (English and Sesotho) on Sundays
Western Cape: Sunday Times Express (English and isiXhosa) on Sundays
Eastern Cape: The Daily Dispatch on Tuesday and The Herald on Thursdays (English and isiXhosa)


» read article

Lauren Smith Reviews South African Speculative Fiction, Including Dark Windows by Louis Greenberg

Apocalypse Now NowMoxylandDark WindowsDeadlandsDevilskein and DearloveSister-SisterVerdict: carrots all round

South African speculative fiction is single-handedly responsible for getting me interested in my own country’s fiction. If you’re from the US or UK you’ve probably never thought of the novels from your country as being largely monolithic or just completely avoided all of them on the assumption that they would be dreary. But that’s exactly how I felt.

Book Details

» read article

14 Reads for Valentine’s Day, No Matter Your Relationship Status

Maybe you’ll be spending the 14th of February blissful in love, maybe you won’t … but whether or not you’ve found that one person, there is a book out there that is perfect for you. And you’ll find it on this list:

AfrikamasutraAfrikamasutratjieFirst up is Afrikamasutra by Ilse de Korte, illustrated by Hardus Koekemoer, Marna Schoeman and Diek Grobler (also available in a pocket-sized version: Afrikamasutratjie).

Afrikamasutra is an Afrikaans version of the Kama Sutra by Vatsayayana, with quirky and creative illustrations. It captures the essence of the sensual classic, but with a fun, local flavour.
Dr Eve's Sex Book for Young PeopleAgeing and SexualityDr Eve has lovelife advice for the young and old.

Ageing and Sexuality is a guide to a healthy and fulfilling sex life for older people, while at the other end of the spectrum, Dr Eve’s Sex Book for Young People offers guidance about the risks, rewards and responsibilities of sex.
Desert GodWilbur Smith is known for books filled with riveting adventure, shocking violence and thrilling sex. His latest book Desert God is no exception.

In an interview last year, Smith frankly told the interviewer: “I enjoy sex. I enjoy writing about it and I enjoy thinking about it.”

A word of warning, however: Desert God was shortlisted for the 2014 Bad Sex Award, although it was beaten by the Ben Okri novel, below.

The Age Of MagicBen Okri won the 22nd annual Literary Review Bad Sex in Fiction Award last year for his 10th novel, The Age Of Magic.

Okri has also won a number of awards regarded as somewhat more prestigious in the literary world, including the Man Booker Prize, and upon winning the dreaded award, he said: “A writer writes what they write and that’s all there is to it.” This might be just the ticket to lighten the mood.

A Girl Walks into a Blind DateA Girl Walks In is a choose-your-own-erotic-destiny series created by Helena S Paige – the pseudonym of three friends, Helen Moffett, Sarah Lotz and Paige Nick.

The books are entertaining and empowering, and have something for everyone. A Girl Walks into a Blind Date is the latest book in the series, it follows the titillating A Girl Walks into a Bar and A Girl Walks into a Wedding.
Jy is my engelDrome word waarLiefde agter sluiersHaar troumanFor the more traditionally romantic, perhaps, Romanza issues four new Afrikaans romance titles each month. The four most recent are Jy is my engel by Mari Roberts, Drome word waar by Tosca de Villiers, Liefde agter sluiers by Rika du Plessis, and Haar trouman by Frieda van der Westhuizen.

These are tender stories of emotion, deferred desire and mature sensual romance.
Adults OnlySwinging back to the more adventurous side, Adults Only: Stories of Love, Lust, Sex and Sensuality, edited by Joanne Hichens, is a collection of South African short stories. The book is the result of the second annual Short.Sharp.Stories. competition, and includes original stories from established writers as well as by new talent. Stories run the gamut from dark and dramatic to irreverent and humourous.

Authors include Alex Smith, Ken Barris, Donvé Lee, Nick Mulgrew, Efemia Chela, Chantelle Gray van Heerden, Bobby Jordan, Aryan Kaganof and Tiffany Kagure Mugo.
SwitchFollyBreathlessSwitch and Folly by Jassy Mackenzie are South Africa’s answer to 50 Shades of Gray … but if that’s not up your alley, Mackenzie’s most recent novel is Breathless, the story of newly married New Yorker, Erin Mitchell, who is saved from drowning after a bridge collapses during a lowveld flood by Nicholas de Lanoy.

Erin is stuck on his game farm while the bridge is repaired, and she must keep her stay a secret from her possessive husband. Nicholas is a handsome libertine with more to him than initially meets the eye, and Erin finds herself falling hard.
Bad SexLeon de Kock says Bad Sex was his attempt to write a “sustained and concentrated” book about sex in South Africa and, love it or hate it, the critical consensus is that he has. What more is there to say?
Love Your WineLove Your Wine by Cathy Marston is a guide to drinking wine and loving it, and is a wonderful guide for both seasoned connoisseurs and newbies.

The book includes information about how different types of wine are made and how best to enjoy them.

Whether it’s classy champagne for two, or a large bottle for one, this book has what you need this Valentine’s Day.
Die mooiste Afrikaanse liefdesgedigteDie mooiste Afrikaanse liefdesgedigte is a retrospective overview of the most beautiful poems written in Afrikaans on the topic of love.

Featuring work by passionate poets such as Breyten Breytenbach, Ingrid Jonker and Elisabeth Eybers, this book is the ultimate elixir of love – provided you understand Afrikaans, of course.
Heart of Africa!There is no need to justify buying an anthology of poems for your loved one. Ignite the passion, or fuel the fire of loneliness, with Heart of Africa! Poems of Love, Loss and Longing selected by Patricia Schonstein.

This collection contains the words of respected, illustrated and much-loved African poets and expresses the many guises of love – from anguish and betrayal to erotic pursuit and passion.
ComfortWhy fall in love when you could fall in chocolate? Or cream? Or any one of the delicious dishes in Comfort by Tina Bester.
Don't Film Yourself Having SexDon’t Film Yourself Having Sex is Emma Sadleir and Tamsyn de Beer’s invaluable guide on how to avoid infamy on social media.

If you are lucky enough to score a hot date this Valentine’s Day, make sure you give this book a quick read before you head out!

Book details

» read article