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

Don't Miss the Launch of Footprints in Stone by Mango Tshabangu at Constitution Hill

Invitation to the launch of Footprints in Stone

Footprints in Stone: Women and the Zenzele Movement in South AfricaThemba Books and Constitution Hill would like to invite you to the launch of Footprints in Stone: Women and the Zenzele Movement in South Africa by Mango Tshabangu.

“Footprints in Stone”, a title taken from the life of the legendary Queen Njinga of Angola, is about the growth of the Zenzele (“do it for yourself”) philosophy and practice among women in South Africa. Its three pillars were: women’s resilience and leadership; the power of education and training for income-generation; and solidarity and self-help. Tshabangu argues that it is extremely unfortunate that in the new South Africa Zenzele has been more or less abandoned as a conceptual and behavioural tool for development and social integrity.

The launch will be on Wednesday, 30 September, at 6:30 for 7 PM at the Women’s Jail at Constitution Hill.

Don’t miss it!

Event Details

Book Details

Presenting Forever Arniston: A Timeless Collectible Filled with Breathtaking Photographs

Front Cover Forever Arniston GÇô photo Denzil Burger

Forever Arniston, a beautiful coffee table book by Robert Haarburger and David Cotton, provides historical insight into the fishing village and the natural area surrounding it, taking readers through the stories of Arniston, The Overberg, Kassiesbaai, Waenhuiskrans Cave and the L’Agulhas coast. Also featured in the book is the Arniston Spa Hotel, which was built in 1933. The book also provides an account of the sinking of the Arniston Transport 200 years ago.

Interesting facts about Arniston:

  • Arniston is the only village in South Africa to be named after a shipwreck.
  • Arniston has two official names. Its Afrikaans name is Waenhuiskrans – derived from an enormous sea cave, which is only accessible at low tide.
  • Arniston is situated between two nature reserves – De Hoop and De Mond.
  • Large numbers of whales come to Arniston between May and October every year, particularly the Southern Right Whale, which can grow up to 17 metres long.
  • Arniston is one of the last working fishing communities on the coast of South Africa. From as early as 1820, groups of freed slaves began fishing in Arniston on a regular basis.
  • A walk along the coastline of Arniston at low tide, will reveal many of the ingenious ancient fish traps, which are still in use today.
  • The shell middens of Arniston tell rich stories of the first inhabitants (Strandlopers) to forage along the shoreline.

Forever Arniston is available online at for R300.00 (Including VAT)

Other book distributors:

The Arniston Spa Hotel – 028 445 9000
Hemingways Book Store Hermanus – 028 312 2739
The Book Collector Hermanus – 028 313 2341
Clarke’s Bookshop in Cape Town – 021 423 5739
The Book Lounge in Cape Town – 021 462 2425
Exposure Gallery at the Biscuit Mill – 021 447 4124

* * * * * * *

View photographs from Forever Arniston:

Overberg Cattle
Kassiesbaai Street, Arniston
Boiling Pot at Sunrise


* * * * * * *

One lucky reader can win a copy of this book! To enter simply answer the following question:

Arniston is also known as ___________ ?

To enter the competition send the answer and your contact details to before 15 October 2015.

Sunday Read: The Books Americans are Trying to Get Banned - Find Out About Banned Books Week

Banned Books Week, an annual event created to draw attention to the harms of censorship, runs from 27 September to 3 October in the United States this year.

Banned Books Week was launched in 1982, “in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries”. Over 11 300 books have been challenged since then, according to the American Library Association, and there were 311 challenges reported in 2014, although many go unreported.

Three of the most challenged books of 2014 were And Tango Makes Three, a children’s book about penguins, Toni Morrison’s 1970 novel The Bluest Eye, and The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, but books written for young adults are challenged the most frequently, with reasons such as “anti-family”, “sexually explicit”, or “unsuited for age group” cited.

“The challenges arise from the desire of parents or adult community members to shield young people from language, ideas or views that they deem objectionable or too mature for adolescents,” said Deborah Caldwell-Stone, deputy director of the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom. “We believe that it is, in part, a reflection of the popularity of ‘helicopter parenting’, [or] overprotective parents, but the impulse to restrict youth access to certain books or ideas has been with us for centuries.”

“YA literature often includes realistic portrayals of the lives of teens who face challenges in their lives – which means that the characters may use profanity, express their sexuality and challenge the status quo, often to the dismay of some adults who believe that adolescents should be sheltered from such realities. In particular, works that that portray persons of colour or who are gay or trans often become targets of challenges,” said Caldwell-Stone.

The 10 most challenged titles of 2014 were:

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time IndianPersepolis I and IIAnd Tango Makes ThreeThe Bluest EyeIt's Perfectly Normal

The Kite RunnerThe Perks of Being a WallflowerSaga, Volume 1A Stolen LifeDrama

1. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie

Reasons: anti-family, cultural insensitivity, drugs/alcohol/smoking, gambling, offensive language, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group, violence. Additional reasons: “depictions of bullying”

2. Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi

Reasons: gambling, offensive language, political viewpoint. Additional reasons: “politically, racially, and socially offensive,” “graphic depictions”

3. And Tango Makes Three, Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell

Reasons: Anti-family, homosexuality, political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: “promotes the homosexual agenda”

4. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison

Reasons: Sexually explicit, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: “contains controversial issues”

5. It’s Perfectly Normal, by Robie Harris

Reasons: Nudity, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group. Additional reasons: “alleges it child pornography”

6. Saga, by Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples

Reasons: Anti-Family, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group. Additional reasons:

7. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini

Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited to age group, violence

8. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky

Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, homosexuality, offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: “date rape and masturbation”

9. A Stolen Life, Jaycee Dugard

Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group

10. Drama, by Raina Telgemeier

Reasons: sexually explicit

* * * * *

To mark Banned Books Week, PEN American has commissioned a series of essays “engaging with what it means when we silence voices, famous and otherwise”.

Read Rachel Eliza Griffiths’ essay, “On Finally Being Seen as a Black Woman Writer: To Ban Toni Morrison, to go Blind”:

In high school, my beloved English teacher, Mrs. Reilly gave me James Baldwin’s Notes of a Native Son to read for our advanced literature course. With only one other black student in the class, I was angry. Why had I been given the black book?

I remember staring down at the direct, unbroken gaze of a black man’s face and feeling ambivalent. Why couldn’t I have Virginia Woolf or Faulkner? Now, looking back, I realize that assignment as one of the most sublime and critical moments for me as an American writer.

Not long after my devotion to Baldwin erupted, I soon discovered Toni Morrison’s seeds on my mother’s bookshelf. The books, their spines worn and proud, had been there for some time but I was young and had not known to look, to see them. Baldwin had incited a fire within me and Morrison became the oxygen. I craved these writers’ shining alphabets and mirrors, distressed by blood, history, and truths about black life and black love I had rarely seen brought to life on the page. Their pages were tempered glass, refracting a troubling world that was deeply complex and profound.

Activities and events such as online discussions, author appearances, and competitions will be taking place throughout the week. See what’s happening here.

Book details

Call for Entries for Queer Africa II: New and Collected Fiction

Queer AfricaMaThoko’s Books has sent out a call for submissions for the follow-up to its award-winning anthology, Queer Africa: New and Collected Fiction.

The book, which was edited by Karen Martin and Makhosazana Xaba, won the LGBT Anthology (Fiction) Award at the 2014 Lambda Literary Awards.

MaThoko’s Books invites writers to submit short stories of 2 000 – 6 000 words on a queer African theme by 31 January, 2016. Stories will again be selected and edited by Martin and Xaba. See the below press release for submission information.

Richard de Nooy was so taken with Queer Africa, he compiled a list of excerpt from the anthology on his Books LIVE blog:

“Queer Africa is a collection of charged, tangled, tender, unapologetic, funny, bruising and brilliant stories about the many ways in which we love each other on the continent,” writes Gabeba Baderoon in her foreword to this anthology edited by Karen Martin and Makhosazana Xaba. Having dog-eared this fascinating collection of stories I strolled back to collect my markers and celebrate that love with excerpts from each story.
“That’s the idea. Let it sound bush. I sing for the people. If I sound bush, the people will think they are better than me. If they’re better than me, they will pity me; they will want to help me; they will want to save me. With their money.”
(From Davina Owombre’s Pelican Driver)
“Hell, said Dominee Boonzaier, would have so many skelms from the bank that there wouldn’t be room for the Tswana and the English, and the godless people from Johannesburg.”
(From Emil Rorke’s Poisoned Grief)
“I kissed you on the mouth three days after we met. You said it was a complication you could do without, and then you smiled.”
(From Wamuwi Mbao’s The Bath)

Pumla Gqola writes in the Introduction to the collection:

Karen Martin and Makhosazana Xaba have achieved an extraordinary feat in bringing together this very welcome volume of stories that imagine queer Africa in such diverse and exciting ways. It is a beautiful and necessary project that presents a shared vision across the pages of the book whilst allowing the individual short stories, and the two excerpts from novels, to stand completely in their own stead. A shared vision is not premised on agreement or similarity, as these stories show; the editors of the collection gesture towards a political, aesthetic and imaginative community that is not premised on sameness. After all, each of these stories offers a slice of what it means to be queer in Africa because in a direct sense, that description and call is what the authors responded to or what their stories suggested, prompting invitations to publish here.

Press release


Queer Africa II: New and collected fiction

Following the international success of Queer Africa: New and Collected Fiction, MaThoko’s Books is delighted to announce a follow-up anthology: Queer Africa II.

We invite writers to submit for consideration short stories on a queer African theme. Stories will again be selected and edited by Karen Martin and Makhosazana Xaba.

Queer Africa won the 2014 Lambda Literary Award for a fiction anthology. According to the Lambda Literary Foundation, the awards “identify and celebrate the best lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender books of the year and affirm that LGBTI stories are part of the literature of the world”. The collection has since been translated into Spanish, and an Arabic translation is under discussion.

Queer Africa is being used to teach literature and queer theory at prestigious universities, and continues to be written about in academic journals. In a recent review by Ayub Sheik (University of KwaZulu-Natal), Queer Africa was described as a “milestone” and was celebrated for its groundbreaking representations of sexual and gender diversity:

Collectively these narratives posit sexual rights as political rights and celebrate queer sexuality as positive, pleasurable and empowering human experiences. (Agenda, Volume 29, Issue 1, 2015)

Queer Africa featured 18 stories by writers from six countries: Botswana, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe. Our goal for the follow-up anthology is to publish stories from as many African countries as possible. We want an anthology that reflects continental diversity, but that also delves into local specificities. We are looking for stories that evoke believable characters and that take their readers on worthwhile human journeys. We are committed to publishing creative explorations of our theme, and seek stories rich with layers, nuance and complexity. Our yardstick for selection remains literary merit.

We would be honoured to consider your unpublished fiction in English, or your literary translation into English of a previously published story. Where necessary, the editors will work closely with writers to develop and refine submissions. Writers need not identify as queer, but do need to identify as African.

For more information email or find MaThoko’s Books on Facebook. Please spread the word along your networks.

Submission Information

Stories of 2 000 – 6 000 words should be submitted to by 31 January, 2016.

Please provide a covering page with the title of the story, your full name, email address, telephone number and a bio of no more than 100 words.

For translations, please also provide the writer’s name, the original title of the story and any publishing details.

All submissions will be acknowledged, and the final selection will be made by 30 April, 2016.

About the Editors

Karen Martin writes short fiction, and is at work on her first collection. In 2014, she was awarded a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Syracuse University. During the three years of her studies, she won writing fellowships and residencies in the United States, and EC Osondu awarded her short story “Re-enactments” the 2013 Stone Canoe Prize for an emerging fiction writer. She is a professional editor and copyeditor. She has initiated and developed several publishing projects for Gay and Lesbian Memory in Action (GALA).

Makhosazana Xaba is the author of Running and Other Stories (2013), which won the 2014 Nadine Gordimer Short Story Award. “Running”, the collection’s title story, was selected for the Twenty in 20 project, a book celebrating 20 years of democracy and showcasing South Africa’s excellence in the short story genre. In 2005, “Running” won the Deon Hofmeyr Prize for Creative Writing. She is the author of two poetry collections: these hands (2005) and Tongues of their Mothers (2008). She holds a Masters in Writing from the University of the Witwatersrand.

About MaThoko’s Books

MaThoko’s Books is the publishing imprint of Gay and Lesbian Memory in Action (GALA), a Johannesburg-based centre for LGBTI culture and education.

Launched in 2011, MaThoko’s Books aims to be a corrective to the limited publishing support for queer writing in Africa and to act as a springboard for emerging and marginalised voices. It also provides a much-needed publishing outlet for scholarly works on LGBTI-related themes.

Recent titles from MaThoko’s Books include Under Pressure: The Regulation of Sexualities in South African Secondary Schools, Outside the Safety Zone: An Agenda for Research on Violence against Gender-nonconforming Women in South Africa and Reclaiming the L-Word: Sappho’s Daughters Out in Africa.

More information about MaThoko’s Books can be found at or at


Book details

Join Finuala Dowling for a Discussion of A Writer's Diary by Stephen Watson at Kalk Bay Books

A Writer's DiaryKalk Bay Books takes great pleasure in inviting you to a discussion around Stephen Watson’s compelling book, A Writer’s Diary, which has now been republished by Electric Book Works.

Watson was a distinguished and influential poet, essayist, academic and creative writing teacher. This book offers readers a sample of his way of life and authentic insight to the mind of a writer.

Poet and novelist Finuala Dowling (The Fetch) will chair the discussion which takes place on Thursday, 1 October, at 6 for 6:30 PM. Refreshments will be served.

Don’t miss this!

Event Details


Also read:


Book Details

Hit the Coals this Heritage Day with a Free eBook: Braai Recipes

Just in time for Heritage Day – or National Braai Day – you can indulge in South Africa’s favourite pastime like a pro with this free Braai Recipes ebook.

We present you with the book a day early, to give you time to run to the shops armed with a list of ingredients!

Try something a little different, like Dorado Kebabs with Moroccan Spices or Portuguese Sardines, or just master the old favourites with our recipes for Chicken Peri-Peri Flattie or Ostrich Neck Potjie.

Read the ebook here, or scroll down for a download link:

Free ebook: Braai Recipes by Books LIVE

* * * * *

Check out our previously published ebooks: