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

All the Events to Look Forward to at the 2015 Kingsmead Book Fair in Johannesburg

Are you ready for the 2015 Kingsmead Book Fair? The excitement is in the air as the fourth annual festival prepares to kick off on Saturday, 23 May, at Kingsmead College in Melrose, Johannesburg.

From politics to poetry, lifestyle and memoir, the 2015 Kingsmead Book Fair has something for everyone. Throw in a few critically acclaimed international authors and we can’t think of a better way to spend your Saturday. Remember that entrance is R30 per person and each sessions costs R50. Book your tickets now on Webtickets to avoid disappointment.

Here are a few of the highlights to look forward to this year:

2015 Kingsmead Book Fair



To Catch A CopBest White and Other Anxious DelusionsOne Midlife Crisis and a SpeedoTo Quote MyselfThe Texture of ShadowsTriumphs and HeartachesThe New Radicals

11:15 AM to 12 PM: “The Opinionistas” – Marianne Thamm (To Catch A Cop) shouts the odds with fellow columnists Darrel Bristow-Bovey (One Midlife Crisis and a Speedo), Khaya Dlanga (To Quote Myself) and Rebecca Davis (Best White and Other Anxious Delusions) about the job of the commentator.

“Telling War Stories” – Mosibudi Mangena (Triumphs and Heartaches: A Courageous Journey by SA Patriots), Mandla Langa (The Texture of Shadows) and Glenn Moss (The New Radicals: A Generational Memoir of the 1970s) revisit the end years of apartheid with journalist David O’Sullivan, who covered some of the worst of the madness.


A Life DigestedHunger for FreedomThe Search for the Rarest Bird in the WorldImtiaz Sooliman and the Gift of the GiversColour Blind FaithDon't Film Yourself Having SexThis One Time

11:15 to 12 PM: “A Hunger for Life” – MasterChef judge and one of South Africa’s favourite celebrity chefs, Pete Goffe-Wood (A Life Digested) reminisces about his entertaining culinary adventures through the years with Anna Trapido (Hunger for Freedom).

3 to 3:45: “Paying it Forward” – Journalist and broadcaster Bruce Dennill introduces Shafiq Morton (Gift of the Givers) and David Gemmell (Colour Blind Faith: The Life of Father Stan Brennan) and asks what place mercy and compassion can play in society today.

“Digital Overload?” – Digital doyen Ben Williams discusses the pros and cons of technology with Emma Sadleir and Tamsyn de Beer (Don’t Film Yourself Having Sex), techno guru Toby Shapshak and Alex van Tonder (This One Time).

4:15 to 5 PM: Vernon RL Head (The Search for the Rarest Bird in the World) and Prof John Ledger (editor of Environment Magazine) share their fervour for bird watching with fellow enthusiast and author Hamilton Wende.


Weeping WatersEsther's HouseBlacklandsPower Play

1:45 to 2:30 PM: “Gained in Translation” – Carol Campbell (Esther’s House), Jaco van Schalkwyk (The Alibi Club) and Karin Brynard (Weeping Waters) discuss the publication of their Afrikaans books in English, and the light a different language throws on their stories. Chaired by Lood du Plessis.

4:15 to 5 PM: “The Gory Details” – Belinda Bauer (Blacklands), Mike Nicol (Power Play) and Karin Brynard (Weeping Waters) discuss their research and the importance of forensic accuracy in their crime novels.

History and Place

Inside OutThe Joburg BookValleys of SilenceImperfect SoloWorld War One and the People of South Africa
JimfishA Man of Good HopeRhumba

10 to 10:45 AM: “Drilling into Jozi” – Tanya Zack (Wake Up, this is Joburg) and Nechama Brodie (The Joburg Book) excavate a city that’s rarely seen. Chaired by author Hamilton Wende (Valleys of Silence).

“Tails and Trails Through South Africa” – Author Steven Boykey Sidley (Imperfect Solo) sifts the sands of history with Hazel Crampton (The Side of the Sun at Noon), and eminent historian and raconteur Bill Nasson (World War One and the People of South Africa).

1:45 to 2:30 PM: “A Long Way From Home” – Christopher Hope (Jimfish), Jonny Steinberg (A Man of Good Hope) and Elaine Proctor (Rhumba) consider the agony of exiles and émigrés, and of writing away from their homeland.


A History of LonelinessThe Last Road TripBodyguard: AmbushThe Paying GuestsThe Dream HouseThe Boy in the Striped Pajamas

10 to 10:45 AM: “A Song for the Dispossessed” – Loss takes many forms in the moving novels of John Boyne (A History of Loneliness), Gareth Crocker (The Last Road Trip) and Carol Campbell (Esther’s House).

12 to 1 PM: Bodyguard: Ambush – Chris Bradford offers the audience a taste of the Young Samurai series as well some of the skills he’s learnt in this area.
Interactive, entertaining and full of action.

12:30 to 1:15 PM: “Sense and Sensibility”- Sarah Waters (The Paying Guests) and Craig Higginson (The Dream House) consider how a sense of place shapes a story.

3 to 3:45: “Faith, Hope & Hell” – Acclaimed Irish author John Boyne (The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, A History of Loneliness) appraises the major themes of his broad body of work and shares his life as a writer with Michele Magwood.
Special Performance

Here I Am

6 to 7:15 PM: PJ Powers (Here I Am) – “You have made a tremendous impact both on and off the stage, and you are one of those young people on whom the country pins so much hope.” – Nelson Mandela to PJ Powers, 1989

* * * * * * * *


Which events are you going to attend? Tell us in the comments below, or on Facebook or Twitter.


Book details

Picture: The first Times Talks event of 2015 with Jodi Picoult at Kingsmead College

Ndumiso Ngcobo: To My Teachers, Dedicated Pedagogues and Certifiable Maniacs Alike

Eat, Drink and Blame the AncestorsNdumiso Ngcobo, Sunday Times columnist and author of Eat, Drink and Blame the Ancestors, recently wrote a column on education, misuse of public funds and the crazy teachers who populated his childhood.

In the article Ngcobo describes the chattering class’ concerns about the education budget and some of his memorable teachers. He says that “dedicated, hard-working individuals” who oversaw his education have faded into gentle oblivion in his mind but he will never forget the “certifiably mad ones”.

Read the column:

The other day I was minding my own business, driving under Sanral gantry after Sanral gantry on the N3, when I saw a ginormous billboard with the minister of basic education’s mugshot smiling down upon the highway. It gave me a warm, fuzzy feeling because I think she is a lovely woman to look at.

The caption read, “If you can read this, thank a teacher”, or something along those lines. What a great way to spend the education budget. I cannot be certain how many trips to deliver textbooks in remote Limpopo villages the money spent on this brilliant, crucial campaign could buy – and I don’t care. So what if only about 40% of our Grade 5 pupils can read and comprehend that brilliant billboard?

Book details

"For the Babe Who's Bored in Limpopo" - How to Marry a Politician and Survive by Nia Magoulianiti-McGregor

How to Marry a Politician and SurviveNia Magoulianiti-McGregor visited the Kaya FM studio recently to chat about her new book, How to Marry a Politician and Survive.

Magoulianiti-McGregor explains who she thinks should be reading her tongue-in-cheek how-to manual.

“It’s for the babe who’s bored in Limpopo, it’s for the Joburg chick who’s thinking, ‘hey, I want a bit of fun for tonight … I want a bit of fun for the rest of my life!’,” she says.

“It’s also a social commentary on South Africa, so you don’t really have to want to marry anybody.”

Listen to the podcast:

Book details

Blocked by the Minister of Sport - Tom Eaton Analyses Fikile Mbalula's Twitter Account

TexasThe De Villiers CodeTom Eaton recently wrote a post on his blog about his Twitter war with the Minister of Sport and Recreation, Fikile Mbalula.

The columnist and author of Texas and The De Villiers Code relays the events that lead to Mbalula blocking Eaton from his Twitter account.

Eaton writes that he’d been heckling the minister on social media for a while, until he called Mbalula out for his attempts at humour.

The Twitter interaction that got Eaton blocked by the Minister of Sports:


Read the article:

But of course this wasn’t government or the ANC or even politics in general. This was just Mbaks being Mbaks. This is how he rolls. Scrambling up onto his moth-eaten high horse, wagging his little cyber-finger at me, he declared that Twitter was a way of engaging with people. And yet his reputation as someone who blocks first and asks questions later suggests that when it comes to Twitter, the only engagement he’s interested in involves a ring and Beyoncé.

Oh well. That was that. It was all over. Or was it?

Seconds after being cast into the outer darkness my Twitter mentions started lighting up.

Could Fikile have said something about me after blocking me? No. No adult, let alone an adult public servant, could be that petulant or juvenile.

Book details

"Don't Listen to the Professionals" - Cartoonist Jerm Explains Why

“Don’t listen to the professionals. They were all amateurs once.”

This was the advice offered by cartoonist Jeremy Nell, aka Jerm, when asked by Nolan Stevens what his ultimate advice would be to aspiring journalists.

Comedy ClubJerm Warfare

Stevens interviewed Jerm for JHB Live‘s “Kultcha” column, asking him about his journey and work which can be viewed in Comedy Club and Jerm Warfare. They also spoke about his artistic process, what inspires him, where people can see his work and whether or not he sees himself as a satirist.

Read the article to find out more about Jerm, and see some of his magnificent work:


JHBLive: Can you tell me more about these awards you’ve won?

Jerm: In 2011 it was the regional and national Vodacom Journalist of the Year Award. The Mail & Guardian Top 200 Young South Africans in 2012. Then the Media Magazine Top 40 Under 40 in 2013. Not forgetting both the Men’s Health Most Inspirational Men and the Standard Bank Sikuvile Journalism Awards last year.

JHBLive: Nice one. After scooping all of those would you say you are a satirist or a cartoonist?

Jerm: I am a cartoonist who uses satire in my work.

Book details

Blind Date at a Funeral: Coming-of-age Stories by Best-selling Author Trevor Romain

Blind Date at a FuneralTrevor Romain’s latest book, Blind Date at a Funeral, will be published by Penguin this month:

Blind Date at a Funeral is a collection of coming-of-age stories by bestselling author Trevor Romain, which he recorded in journals, notebooks and on beer-stained bar napkins over the years and is retelling now. Trevor takes us on a tour of his own memories, filled with anecdotes about foolish endeavours, dumb decisions, army adventures and the searing pain of losing the love of your life.

Each story is accompanied by one of Trevor’s classic drawings and carefully crafted with a pitch-perfect combination of humour and nostalgia. Both entertaining and deeply moving, this is a book about what it really means to be proudly South African.

Book details