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


Announcing the Inaugural André Brink Memorial Lecture, to be delivered at this year's @FranLitFest

Jonny Steinberg on Why He Has Come Home to South Africa: "I am Defined By the Eyes That See Me on the Street"

Jonny Steinberg, Nonficiton

A Man of Good HopeJonny Steinberg has written a compelling article for Buzzfeed explaining why he exchanged the idyllic “famously old and beautiful city” of Oxford for “a city that heaves with umbrage” – Johannesburg, where he was born.

“It is a city where being white or well-heeled attracts some to beg from you and others to insult you, where life is so palpably unfair that the rich live in a state of astonishing denial while among the poor antipathy runs so deep that if you listen you can hear it hum,” Steinberg writes. He shares why this move is him “swimming in the opposite direction” of his family members and offers reasonable explanations as to why it seems logical to him, despite others thinking he might be out of his mind.

Steinberg moved back to South Africa after he accepted a tenure as a new professor at the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (WiSER), as part of Vice Chancellor Adam Habib’s Distinguished Professorships programme. His latest book, A Man of Good Hope, was launched last year and has frequented the Sunday Times Bestseller List as well as being included in the top non-fiction books of 2014.

Read his moving article in which Steinberg declares why his heart is only really at peace when residing in South Africa. He also shares how writing other people’s histories has affected him, in particular Asad Abdullahi, the Somali refugee who was the topic of A Man of Good Hope:

There is nonetheless something for which I know I ache, and it is only to be found in my native land. When I lock eyes with a stranger on Johannesburg’s streets, there is a flicker, a flash communication, so fast it is invisible, yet so laden that no words might describe it. This stranger may be a man in a coat and tie, or a woman who wears the cotton uniform of a maid, or a construction worker stripped to the waist. Whoever he is, he clocks me as I pass, and reads me and my parents and my grandparents; and I, too, conjure, in an instant, the past from which he came. As we brush shoulders the world we share rumbles around us, its echoes resounding through generations. He may look at me with resentment, or longing, or with the twistedness that comes with hating; he may catch me smiling to myself and grin. I am left with a feeling, both sweet and sore, that I am not in control of who I am. I am defined by the eyes that see me on the street. I cannot escape them. I cannot change what they see. We may one day fight one another or even kill one another, yet our souls are entwined because we have made another.

Related links:

Book details

Need to Spend Your Weekends Away? Diane de Beer Shares a Tale of Travelling to Ladybrand

Weekends AwayWith 2015 in full swing it becomes more and more difficult to remember that the December holidays were not that long ago.

For people living in Gauteng a weekend getaway might seem like a pipe dream, which makes Diane Coetzer’s Weekends Away: In and Around Gauteng the ultimate guide to help plan a quick mid-month holiday.

Journalist Diane de Beer wrote a story for Pretoria News about the time she lost her heart in Ladybrand: “Weekend getaways aren’t really my thing. It has something to do, I would imagine, with a hectic life and loving the sanctuary of home.”

De Beer tells the story of a visit to the The Station House at Living Life for a 60th birthday party and the joys of spending a weekend away from tolls and loadshedding in Gauteng.

Read the article:

Ladybrand is one of the towns closest to the Lesotho border so for those travelling there, this is a perfect stayover.

It takes between four and five hours to get there – depending where you leave from – but it is a beautiful part of the Free State with farms almost all the way there and more than one road you can take.

At the moment, the only one I’d avoid is the road between Ficksburg and Rosendal which seems to have fallen off everyone’s radar. That’s a pity because it’s such a scenic drive but with all the potholes, it’s a danger and you’re likely to lose a wheel or two.

The other roads were all extremely good. But back to The Station House at Living Life.

I lost my heart.

Book details

Izak de Vries Reviews Easy Walks in the Cape Peninsula by Mike Lundy

Easy Walks in the Cape PeninsulaVerdict: carrot

I have never met Mike Lundy, yet this fascinating man has guided me on many delightful walks.

There is no better way to get to know a city than to do it on foot, and there are few better companions to the Cape Peninsula than Mike Lundy.

This, the 7th edition of Easy walks in the Cape Peninsula with its bright green cover, is not my first copy of Mike Lundy’s book, and I doubt whether it will be my last.

The fact that this is the 7th edition in 17 years tells me two things: a) the book is popular and b) it is current.

Book Details

Make the Most of Your Time in the World's Most Beautiful City with The Rough Guide to Cape Town

The Rough Guide to Cape TownPenguin Books is pleased to present The Rough Guide to Cape Town: the Winelands and the Garden Route:

The Rough Guide to Cape Town, the Winelands and the Garden Route is the ultimate travel guide to South Africa’s most captivating city and it’s surrounding region.

With dozens of colour photos to illustrate the finest of Cape Town’s colonial architecture, vibrant neighbourhoods and iconic setting, this guide will show you the best this cosmopolitan city has to offer. From fascinating museums, cutting edge fashion and fine dining, to whale watching, mountain hikes and wine tasting, it’s no wonder that Cape Town is an award-winning city, and The Rough Guide to Cape Town uncovers it all.

Easy to use maps for each neighbourhood make getting around easy. With detailed chapters featuring all the best hotels, restaurants and bars, live music and clubs, shops, theatre, kids’ activities and more, you’ll be sure to make the most of your time in the city with The Rough Guide to Cape Town, The Winelands and The Garden Route.

Book details

Video: Kingsley Holgate Marvels at Vibrant Ethopian Traditions at the Timkat Ceremony in Ancient Lalibela

Africa: In the Footsteps of the Great ExplorersKingsley Holgate, adventurer, philanthropist and author of Africa: In the Footsteps of the Great Explorers, recently travelled to Lalibela in Ethiopia to witness the Timkat ceremony.

Timkat is the Ethiopian Orthodox Church’s celebration of the season of Epiphany. The traditions and ceremonies of the celebration date back to ancient times.

Holgate shared a photograph and a video of the colourful festival and a few photographs of the majestic rock-hewn churches of Lalibela on Facebook. He says he felt privileged to be able to share in the rich cultural heritage.

Look at the posts:




Book details

Enjoy a Romantic Getaway with SANPark's Valentine's Weekend Special

National Parks and Nature ReservesTraveller24 has shared an article about the discounted SANParks rates for Valentine’s weekend.

A discount of 25% is available for guests at selected lodges at Agulhas National Park, Garden Route National Park, Golden Gate Highlands National Park and Kruger National Park and Mapungubwe National Park.

Take a look at National Parks and Nature Reserves: A South African Field Guide by Chris Stuart and Mathilde Stuart to decide which you would like to visit.

Read the article:

SANParks is offering a 25% discounted rate for new reservations made through the SANParks online booking system for selected parks and camps from Thursday 12 February to Sunday 15 February.

Bheki Zwane, General Manager: Marketing and Sales, says “the special is to attract more people to parks during the Valentines weekend, improve accessibility and to ease the financial burdens on our clients”.

Book details