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Crime Beat: Krimi workshop on the Greek island of Lesbos

lesbosWanna write a thriller? And talk to other krimi writers? And laze in the sea? And drink wine? Then here’s the deal: A krimi workshop, June 7 to 14, on Lesbos, yes, the Greek island.

It’s part of The Talking Table series of workshops. Interested?

Here’s how things should run:

What I want to do with this seven-day workshop is to help you generate enough material to get your crime novel on the go. Not only should the workshop be a lot of fun as we will all be crime fiction addicts, but you’ll leave with your storyline, a plot, characters, in fact, everything you need to keep on writing your crime novel.

On the first day, the discussion will be about the crime novel: where it is today, what it does, what it can do. There are a range of ways into a crime story: there’s the cop procedural, the PI investigation, the gangster underworld; there’s state corruption, financial corruption, and murder most foul. If that doesn’t grab you, you might choose to focus on psychological conflict within relationships, stalkers, addicts, serial killers. Knowing the kind of story you want to write is the best start you can make.

The second day will focus on characters and setting. Both are important. Characters drive the story and because there is conflict between them you will never be at a loss for words. And then there is the setting: a sense of place is vital. Readers like living in imaginary worlds, those places found in the never-never land between reality and fiction.

Day three is about story and plot. We all need some sort of story no matter how vague it might be. Even something as simple as Sam kills Evelyn is the beginnings of a story. Consider all the questions: who is Sam? Who is Evelyn? Are they male or female? How do they meet? What happens between them? How does the crime occur? What happens next? And then comes the business of the plot, the way the story is told. Here there are those who want to plan the smallest detail or there are those – like me – who fly blind. Which is scary, and exciting.

Day four. The crime novel is the most democratic of novels. Characters talk to one another all the time. So day four is about that all important subject: dialogue. Nothing is more exciting than zipping through a dialogue exchange between two characters about to do one another serious grief.

By day five you’ll have a fair amount of material in your laptop. You’ll have characters with names; a setting where the action takes place, you’ll have an idea of your story, and even how that story will develop. So here’s were we get into that tricky part: how do you kickstart this story?

Day six, time to handle a bit of aggro. Writing violence is a challenge, even more of a challenge than writing sex. And, of course, you are going to have to write some sex too. This day gets down to the dirty stuff: choose your weapons – guns, knives, axes, bombs, bare hands, rope, poison.

On the final day we’ll give Frederik (our co-host who used to be a book publisher) some time to talk about the publishing scene and with a bit of luck we’ll also listen to the beginnings that have been so carefully crafted over the last two days.

There will be a number of short exercises during the course, some of which will happen in the workshop and some of which will be homework. Fear not, there’ll still be time for swimming, sitting about drinking wine, and dreaming up different ways to kill.

Just so you know a bit about me: I’ve run workshops on writing crime fiction at the University of Cape Town’s Summer School, a number of times at Bloody Book Week in Johannesburg along with Jeffery Deaver, John Connolly and Michael Robotham, at the Franschhoek Literary Festival, the Hermanus Fynarts Festival and the Knysna Literary Festival. I tutor online short courses in creative writing and non-fiction narratives for PenguinRandomHouse/GetSmarter, and together with editor Claire Strombeck run the Writers’ Masterclass – now in its sixth year. To date our writers have had five books published by leading publishers in South Africa and Germany with more due out this year.

For all the information about the krimi workshop check it out here.

In 50 Prutpotgeregte wys LAPA Uitgewers vir jou hoe maklik dit is vir die prutpot om heerlike kos voor te berei terwyl jy aangaan met jou lewe

’n Prutpot is een van die handigste, mees ekonomiese en gesondste maniere om smulgeregte vir die gesin voor te berei terwyl jy jou aandag en tyd elders spandeer. In Engels staan dit bekend as ’n slow cooker of ’n crock pot.

’n Prutpot is veilig en kan rustig prut terwyl jy werk, inkopies doen of die gesin vervoer.

Hierdie pragtige, volkleurboek, 50 Prutpotgeregte, wys ons vir jou hoe om met behulp van jou prutpot en minimale voorbereiding heerlike bredies, sop, sappige braaistukke, selfs poeding, gaar te maak terwyl jy aandag aan belangriker dinge skenk.

Moenie bodder met Google en uitlandse bestanddele waarvan niemand nog gehoor het nie. Die resepte in ons boek maak gebruik van bestanddele wat moontlik reeds in jou koskas is, of maklik by jou plaaslike supermark bekombaar is.

In 50 Prutpotgeregte wys ons jou hoe maklik dit is vir die prutpot om heerlike kos voor te berei terwyl jy aangaan met jou lewe.

Resepte sluit in: ’n Hoender- en rooiwynstowedis met kruiekluitjies, Romerige Sweedse frikkadelle, Gevlokte beesvleis, Koolrolletjies, Murgpampoentjiesop, Hongaarse ghoelasj, Italiaanse varkboud, ’n geurige Beesvleiskerrie, Sjokoladekoek, en ’n Sjokolade- en grondboontjiebotterpoeding.

Ons gee ook wenke hoe om jou prutpot optimaal te gebruik en te versorg.


Launch: Curry by Ishay Govender-Ypma (3 February)

Journalist Ishay Govender-Ypma threads together the enticing flavours of South African curry. The classic KwaZulu-Natal crab and dried fish curries share the limelight with Cape Malay chicken and crayfish curries, kasi beef curries from Orlando West and Qunu, offal from Calvinia, Karoo venison, kerkbasaar kerrie en rys and vegetarian dhals from across the map. The book takes a tour through the kitchens of respected local cooks as they share their stories and recipes.

Event Details

The first low-carb lifestyle book that works equally well for men and women is finally available in SA!

Finally, available in South Africa!

The first low carb lifestyle book that works as well for women as it does for men and is supported by a Michelin starred chef, a doctor and a dietitian.

Heard the one about the Fat Professor, the Whole-Food Dietitian and the Michelin-trained Chef who want to change the world? Nope, this is not a silly joke. Far from it.

In fact, we hope this book provides some serious answers. We hope it is the beginning of a life-changing journey for many who have experienced inexplicable weight gain, the heartbreak of constant deprivation and yo-yo dieting, or worse, physical illness through poor nutrition.

For decades, the brightest minds in the nutrition and science field have had fat pegged as the bad guy.

As a result, many of us have been enslaved by an outdated food pyramid which has pushed us to eat carb-laden and processed food. As the evidence mounts against sugar and processed carbohydrates, it’s time to flip the pyramid and break free of the fat phobia.

In this practical guide, we present inspiring success stories, compelling evidence, and simple ways to “eat upside-down”.

Forget everything you were taught at school, flip the food pyramid on its head and start nourishing your body the way it was designed to be nourished.

“Prof Grant, Dietitian Caryn and Chef Craig are the leaders in the food revolution in New Zealand and Australia. I congratulate them on a job well done bringing the recipes, the practice, and the science together in one book. This is the complete how to guide for low-carbohydrate, healthy-fat living.” – Professor Tim Noakes, Emeritus Professor, University of Cape Town

Book details

South African winners announced for International Gourmand Awards

The Gourmand World Cookbook Awards recently announced the winners of the South African titles that will compete to be crowned as The Best in the World, and the following local titles from NB Publishers made the cut!

Health and Nutrition:

Food for Sensitive Tummies (Tafelberg) by Gabi Steenkamp and Cath Day

Food Writing:

foodSTUFF (Human & Rousseau) by Tony Jackman


Delicious Low Carb (Human & Rousseau) by Sally-Ann Creed


Shisanyama (Human & Rousseau) by Jan Braai


The South African Milk Tart Collection (Human & Rousseau) by Callie Maritz and Mari-Louis Guy

Latin American:

A Bite of Latin America (Human & Rousseau) by Susie Chatz-Anderson

Best Book of the Year in all categories:

Curry (Human & Rousseau) by Ishay Govender-Ypma

International, as well as Breakfast:

Brunch Across 11 Countries (Human & Rousseau) by Alix Verrips

The winner will be announced on 26 and 27 May 2018 at an award ceremony in China.


Book details

Our guide to the best holiday reads

Published in the Sunday Times

So much to read, so little time … here are some good places to start, with an emphasis on excellent local authors


Khwezi: The Remarkable Story Of Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo, Redi Thlabi (Jonathan Ball Publishers): One of the absolute must-read books of the year, it’s the harrowing tale of Khwezi, the rape trial and the consequences of President Jacob Zuma’s acquittal.

65 Years of Friendship, George Bizos (Umuzi): The human rights lawyer lovingly reflects on his friendship with Nelson Mandela.


Hasta la Gupta, Baby!, Zapiro (Jacana Media): The latest collection from the cartoonist/political analyst/agent provocateur.

Unpresidented, Paige Nick (B&N): Another hilarious satire from the columnist and writer — this time about No1.

Rapid Fire: Remarkable Miscellany, John Maytham (Tafelberg): Random trivia collected by the talkshow host from his Rapid Fire insert on CapeTalk.


How to Steal a City: The Battle For Nelson Mandela Bay, Crispian Olver (Jonathan Ball Publishers): An insider’s account of the corruption and clean-up of the municipality.

Ramaphosa: The Man Who Would be King, Ray Hartley (Jonathan Ball Publishers): Hartley looks at how Ramaphosa has handled the key challenges he has faced in the unions, in business and in politics.

The President’s Keepers: Those Keeping Zuma in Power and out of Prison, Jacques Pauw (Tafelberg): The explosive book that has got the nation talking about Zuma’s shadow mafia state.

A Simple Man: Kasrils and the Zuma Enigma, Ronnie Kasrils (Jacana Media): The revelatory history of the two men.


What Have We Done, JT Lawrence (Pulp Books): Dystopian thriller series set in Johannesburg in 2036 in which the heroine Kate has to save her loved ones from The Prophecy.

Spire, Fiona Snyckers (Clockwork Books): A box of frozen viruses is brought to Spire, a remote research station in Antarctica, and within days people are dying of diseases.

Bare Ground, Peter Harris (Picador Africa): The first novel from the Alan Paton winner is packed with political and corporate intrigue, with insights into the society we have become.

Bad Seeds, Jassy Mackenzie (Umuzi): Joburg private investigator Jade de Jong tracks down a saboteur in a race to prevent a nuclear disaster.

The Cull, Tony Park (Pan Macmillan): Former mercenary Sonja Kurzt is hired by a British tycoon to lead an elite anti-poaching squad to take down the kingpins, but the body count starts rising.


Tin Man, Sarah Winman (Tinder Press): Bestseller author of When God Was a Rabbit pens a delicate and tender novel of friendship and loss.

New Times, Rehana Rossouw (Jacana Media): As Mandela begins his second year as president, political reporter Ali Adams discovers that his party is veering off the path. She follows the scent of corruption.

Dikeledi, Achmat Dangor (Picador Africa): A family saga set in a time of forced removals and the creation of bantustans.

My Absolute Darling, Gabriel Tallent (HarperCollins): It’s fraught, harrowing and divisive – some critics can’t stop raving about Tallent’s debut novel, others not so much.

Lincoln in the Bardo, George Saunders (Bloomsbury): The Man Booker prize-winning novel is an original literary experience. Abraham Lincoln visits his dead son Will in a graveyard filled with ghosts.

The Golden House, Salman Rushdie (Jonathan Cape): Nero Golden and sons move to the US under suspicious circumstances.


The Rules of Magic, by Alice Hoffman (Simon & Schuster): Prequel to the much-loved Practical Magic, this features the witchy family in 1950s New York.

Wolf Trap, Consuelo Roland (Jacana Media): Paolo Dante must save her adopted daughter from a criminal mastermind.

Did You See Melody?, Sophie Hannah (Hodder & Stoughton): Hannah transports the reader to a sunny Arizona spa where a cast of characters are all suspects in an old missing-child case.

Little Fires Everywhere, Celeste Ng (Little Brown): A hearty slice of American life in the Clinton era.

The Blessed Girl, Angela Makholwa (Pan Macmillan): Bontle Tau has to juggle her family and friends and all the men in her life wanting to give her emotional and financial support.

The Break, Marian Keyes (Michael Joseph): Amy’s husband decides he wants a break from their marriage and children, and to lose himself in South Asia.

Sleeping Beauties, Stephen King and Owen King (Hodder & Stoughton): The prolific writer and his son team up to tell the tale of a mysterious sleeping syndrome in a women’s prison.


Always Another Country, Sisonke Msimang (Jonathan Ball Publishers): One of the most searing voices of contemporary South Africa, this is Msimang’s candid and personal account of her exile childhood in Zambia and Kenya, college years in North America, and returning to the country in the ’90s.

Dare Not Linger, Nelson Mandela and Mandla Langa (Pan Macmillan): The remarkable story of Mandela’s presidency told in his own words is finished off by Mandla Langa.

I Am, I Am, I Am, Maggie O’Farrell (Tinder Press): The writer chronicles 17 of her own near misses with death.

The Fifth Mrs Brink, Karina M Szczurek (Jonathan Ball Publishers): A soul-baring memoir of Szczurek’s life before, with and after her marriage to André P Brink.

Endurance: A Year in Space, a Lifetime of Discovery, Scott Kelly (Doubleday): The astronaut’s gripping adventures of his year on the International Space Station in 2015.

Adventures of a Young Naturalist: The Zoo Quest Expeditions, David Attenborough (John Murray): The man who made nature cool gives a record of the voyages he did for the 1950s BBC show The Zoo Expeditions.

Outsiders, Lyndall Gordon (Little Brown): A profound investigation into the lives and works of Mary Shelley, Emily Brontë, George Eliot, Olive Schreiner and Virginia Woolf.

I’ll Take the Sunny Side, Gordon Forbes (Bookstorm): Memoirs from the author of A Handful of Summers and Too Soon to Panic.


Longthroat Memoirs: Soups, Sex and Nigerian Taste Buds, Yemisi Aribisala (Pan Macmillan): This down-to-earth collection from Aribisala, uses food as a lens to observe Nigerian society.

A Hat, a Kayak and Dreams of Dar, Terry Bell (face2face): In 1967 journo Bell and wife Barbara were living in exile in London when they decided to go back to Africa by paddling from England to Dar es Salaam in a 5m kayak.

Shisanyama: Braai Recipes from South Africa, Jan Braai (Bookstorm): Jan Braai’s first crowd-sourced cookbook.

The Sun and Her Flowers, Rupi Kaur (Simon & Schuster): The poet’s second collection is proving to be as popular as her first.

Way of the Wolf, Jordan Belfort (Hodder & Stoughton): The Wolf of Wall Street reveals his step-by-step playbook on making the sale.

The Curse of Teko Modise, Nikolaus Kirkinis (Jacana Media): How Modise overcame poverty to become “the General” and one of South Africa’s best footballers.

Collective Amnesia, Koleka Putuma (Uhlanga Press): A bestselling poetry collection that hits all of the emotions.

From Para to Dakar, Joey Evans (Tracey Macdonald Publishers): Evans shares how he faced the toughest challenges to fulfil his dream of competing in the 2017 Dakar Rally.

200 Women: Who Will Change the Way You See the World, Geoff Blackwell, Ruth Hobday, Kieran Scott (Bookstorm): The women, from a variety of backgrounds, are asked the same five questions and their answers are inspiring.

Book details



65 Years of Frienship

Hasta la Gupta, baby!


Rapid Fire

How To Steal A City

Ramaphosa: The man who would be king

The President's Keeper

A Simple Man



Bare Ground

Bare Ground by Peter Harris
EAN: 9781770105812
Find this book with BOOK Finder!

Bad Seeds

The Cull

Tin Man

New Times


My Absolute Darling

Lincoln in the Bardo

The Golden House

The Rules of Magic

Wolf Trap

Did You See Melody?

Little Fires Everywhere

The Blessed Girl

The Break

Sleeping Beauties

Always Another Country

Dare Not Linger

I am, I am, I am

The Fifth Mrs Brink


Adventures of a Young Naturalist


I'll Take the Sunny Side

Longthroat Memoir

A hat, a kayak


the sun and her flowers

Way of the Wolf

The Curse Of Teko Modise

Collective Amnesia

From Para to Dakar

200 Women