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Zephany. Two Mothers. One Daughter. - An Astonishing True Story (Paperback): Joanne Jowell Zephany. Two Mothers. One Daughter. - An Astonishing True Story (Paperback)
Joanne Jowell 1
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“I saw my mommy walking to the court with a hoodie on and a scarf covering her face. She looked almost like someone that was poor. People were cursing at her… and that broke me. This is the woman who was there for me every day, making lunch for me and my friends when we came from school, and now here she is on television being called a criminal.”

The kidnapping of baby Zephany Nurse from the cot beside her mother’s hospital bed made headline news. Desperate pleas from her parents to return her safely went unanswered. There was no trace of the baby. For 17 years, on her birthday, the Nurse family lit candles and hoped and prayed.

Living not far away from the Nurses, 17-year-old Miché Solomon had just started Matric. She had a boyfriend. She had devoted parents. She was thinking about the upcoming school dance and the dress her mother was going to make for her. She had no idea that a new girl at her school, who bore an uncanny resemblance to her, and a DNA test would shake her world to its foundations.

Miché is now 22. This is her story – for the first time in her own words. Told with astonishing maturity, honesty and compassion, it is also a story of what it means to love and be loved, and of claiming your identity.

Siya Kolisi - Against All Odds (Paperback): Jeremy Daniel Siya Kolisi - Against All Odds (Paperback)
Jeremy Daniel
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When Siya Kolisi leads the Springboks out onto the field at the Rugby World Cup in September 2019, it will be the crowning glory of an incredible journey that began on the impoverished streets of Zwide, a township outside Port Elizabeth. As the first black South African to captain a Springbok rugby team, Kolisi’s remarkable story is unique and deserves to be heard.

His mother was a teenager when he was born. She left him in the care of his grandmother who brought him up until she died (in his arms) when Siya was twelve. He found love and acceptance playing junior rugby with the African Bombers club until his talent was spotted by the prestigious Grey High School who offered Siya a full scholarship that changed his life. He adapted well to the posh private school, but it was on the rugby field where he excelled. Siya was rewarded with a call-up the SA schools team and a contract to join the Western Province rugby union.

Author Jeremy Daniel tracks Siya’s journey from running wild on the streets of Zwide, through some crucial games in high school, into the Western Province rugby set-up and his fight to become Springbok captain. He goes deep inside the systems that identify junior talent, the characters who shaped his journey and the moments where he showed who he really was. Siya never forgot where he came from, and ultimately adopted his mother’s other two children after she died when he was in high school.

His life has not been without controversy, and his marriage to a fiery young white woman was a lightning rod for racial politics. But he is a shining beacon of hope for South Africa, he is massively popular and there is a huge appetite from the public to know about his life and to support him as Springbok captain.

Black Tax - Burden Or Ubuntu? (Paperback): Niq Mhlongo Black Tax - Burden Or Ubuntu? (Paperback)
Niq Mhlongo
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A secret torment for some, a proud responsibility for others, ‘black tax’ is a daily reality for thousands of black South Africans. In this thought-provoking and moving anthology, a provocative range of voices share their deeply personal stories.

With the majority of black South Africans still living in poverty today, many black middle-class households are connected to working-class or jobless homes. Some believe supporting family members is an undeniable part of African culture and question whether it should even be labelled as a kind of tax. Others point to the financial pressure it places on black students and professionals, who, as a consequence, struggle to build their own wealth. Many feel they are taking over what is essentially a government responsibility. The contributions also investigate the historical roots of black tax, the concept of the black family and the black middle class.

In giving voice to so many different perspectives, Black Tax hopes to start a dialogue on this widespread social phenomenon.

The Bosasa Billions - How The ANC Sold Its Soul For Braaipacks, Booze And Bags Of Cash (Paperback): James-Brent Styan, Paul... The Bosasa Billions - How The ANC Sold Its Soul For Braaipacks, Booze And Bags Of Cash (Paperback)
James-Brent Styan, Paul Vecchiatto
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Just as South Africans were starting to come to grips with the staggering cost of state capture, the Bosasa bombshell hit the country. This grand-scale corruption scandal cost South Africa billions of rands while the politicians involved were bought for as little as braai packs and booze.

While investigating state capture, The Zondo commission of inquiry blew the lid off the tangled web of bribery that was Bosasa. Gripping testimony before the commission about “little black books”, cash bribes and walk-in vaults held the public in thrall while a new realisation dawned: The notorious Gupta family had not been the only ones pillaging the country. In The Bosasa Billions, best-selling author James-Brent Styan and co-writer Paul Vecchiatto uncover the sordid story of how one company exploited the greed of corrupt politicians and bureaucrats to establish an extensive tender network stretching right to the top of the ANC government.

Its cast of characters include:

  • Angelo Agrizzi, the whistleblower who makes new revelations to Styan about the secrets behind Bosasa’s glittering profit margins
  • Vernie Petersen, the prisons boss who waged a lonely battle against the dark forces taking over his department, and
  • Gavin Watson, the ultra-religious Bosasa puppet master who parlayed his family’s struggle credentials into vast wealth while leading his employees in prayer every morning.

Ultimately, however, Bosasa was not in the business of saving souls, but selling them.

I Am Costa - From Meth To Marathons (Paperback): Costa Carastavrakis I Am Costa - From Meth To Marathons (Paperback)
Costa Carastavrakis
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"I'm at the start of an Olympic Distance Triathlon! A Greek, about to get all Olympic, following in the footsteps of my ancestors who created the games to celebrate human endeavour its ability to be pushed to the limits. Who would have thought that six years earlier I was in a deserted house in rural Mexico with a junkie smoking crack cocaine for the first time? The start of a downward spiral that would bring me to my knees and close to death. Although, maybe the seeds of my descent had been planted long before that."

Constantinos Carastavrakis, known to his friends as Costa, tells his story with great honesty and courage. He charts his course through a childhood of identity confusion & growing up Greek and gay in Johannesburg. He built a glamourous life of parties, business triumphs and money but crashed into the devastation of a crystal meth addiction. The gift of desperation' arrived to propel him towards a life without drugs and alcohol. He slowly dragged himself out of toxicity onto a path of recovery. With it came a new quest: to create the best version of himself. He has devoted his energy and drive to fitness; from small beginnings, he has worked his way up to becoming a marathon runner and triathlon athlete.

He brings light and humour to the darkness of addiction and shows that true body, mind and spirit recovery is possible for anyone who cares enough to heal themselves.

Because I Couldn't Kill You - On Her Feminist Struggle, Missing Father And The Myths Of Memory (Paperback): Kelly-Eve... Because I Couldn't Kill You - On Her Feminist Struggle, Missing Father And The Myths Of Memory (Paperback)
Kelly-Eve Koopman
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In the shattered fantasy of rainbow-nation South Africa, there are many uncomfortable truths. Among these are family secrets - the legacies of traumas in the homes and bones of ordinary South African families.

In this debut collection, feminist and Khoi San activist Kelly-Eve Koopman grapples with the complex beauty and brutality of the everyday as she struggles with her family legacy. She tries unsuccessfully to forget her father - a not-so-prominent journalist and anti-apartheid activist, desperately mentally ill and expertly emotionally abusive - who has recently disappeared, leaving behind a wake of difficult memories. Mesmerisingly, Koopman wades through the flotsam and jetsam of generations, among shipwrecks and sunken treasures, in an attempt at familial and collective healing.

Sometimes tragic, sometimes hilarious, she faces up to herself as a brown, newly privileged "elder millennial", caught between middle-class aspirations and social justice ideals. An artist, a daughter, a queer woman in love, she is in pursuit of healing, while trying to lose those last 5 kilograms, to the great disappointment of her feminist self.

Saving My Sons - A Journey With Autism (Paperback): Ilana Gerschlowitz, Marion Scher Saving My Sons - A Journey With Autism (Paperback)
Ilana Gerschlowitz, Marion Scher
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Ilana and Martin Gerschlowitz are an ordinary middle-class South African family – young, newly married with bright, promising futures. Ilana falls pregnant and gives birth to David, a happy, healthy baby boy. At 10 months old, David suffers recurring ear infections, and at 11 months old a terrible fever sends him to hospital. David’s behaviour abruptly changes – he no longer looks at his parents, his motor and budding language skills disappear, and the light in his eyes dims. It is the beginning of a journey with autism that few parents would ever want to encounter, and yet a staggering number of children are now diagnosed with autism, and the number of diagnoses rises every year.

Ilana and Martin work tirelessly to understand David’s autism diagnosis, and to search for ways to treat their son. The couple arrange an international autism conference, open a treatment centre for autistic children, and begin outreach programs for underprivileged families dealing with autism.

Ilana falls pregnant again and their third son, Aaron, develops normally. And then the unthinkable happens – at 16 months Aaron develops ear infections and they decide to insert grommets. Immediately after the procedure, they realise that Aaron is not behaving in his usual manner. Within days, it becomes clear that Aaron, too, has developed autism, and their journey begins afresh. Armed with the knowledge gained from years of treating David, the couple set about ensuring that Aaron’s condition is treated swiftly and carefully.

Friends Trivial Pursuit Bite Size Board Game: Friends Trivial Pursuit Bite Size Board Game
2
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Woo-pah! If you are a true Friends fan, you need to test your knowledge with the Friends Trivial Pursuit game! This edition contains 600 questions based on all your favourite moments from Ross and Rachel's Vegas wedding, to the classic Holiday Armadillo. Test your trivia from Season 1 right through to Season 10 and prepare to be totally bamboozled. The game is handy for any Friends fan on the go, requiring no board and an easy to carry around in its bitesize wedge case.

Get Me To 21 - The Jenna Lowe Story (Paperback): Gabi Lowe Get Me To 21 - The Jenna Lowe Story (Paperback)
Gabi Lowe
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After an extraordinary four-year battle, Gabi Lowe lost her beautiful, talented 20-year-old daughter, Jenna Lowe, on 8 June 2015 to pulmonary arterial hypertension, a rare degenerative lung disease, following a double lung transplant.

Jenna was young, bright and articulate. She was LEAD SA’s Youth Hero of the Year in 2015. Her death was mourned by thousands of people whose lives she had touched. During her short but full life, Jenna and the Lowe family raised much-needed awareness around this rare and devastating disease, highlighting the dire need for access to medication and organ donors locally. Although desperately ill, Jenna became the face for organ donation in South Africa through the hugely successful #GetMeTo21 campaign in which she invited all South Africans to attend her twenty-first birthday celebration by clicking on a link to become an organ donor. Tragically, Jenna died four months before reaching her milestone.

Brilliantly written, riveting in all its terrible truth and pain, in this brutally honest memoir Gabi Lowe shares her family’s desperate fight to save Jenna’s life. Get Me to 21 will inspire us to believe that the ability to face even the darkest, and most unimaginable, lives deep within us all.

Tobacco Wars - Inside The Spy Games And Dirty Tricks Of Southern Africa's Cigarette Trade (Paperback): Johann van... Tobacco Wars - Inside The Spy Games And Dirty Tricks Of Southern Africa's Cigarette Trade (Paperback)
Johann van Loggerenberg 2
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"Warning. Smoking Kills!" It also corrupts law enforcement officials and eviscerates state institutions. It devours politicians, professionals, business people and ordinary workers in the chase for big bucks and the battle for a slice of an ever-shrinking cigarette market.

Join one of South Africa's former tax sleuths, Johann van Loggerenberg, in a wild ride through the double-dealing world of tobacco's colourful characters and ruthless corporates. Meet the femme fatales, mavericks, mercenaries and grandmasters, and learn how the crime-busting unit led by van Loggerenberg at SARS and its "Project Honey Badger" became a victim of war between industry players and a high-stakes political game driven by state capture.

This is the tale of a few good men and women who dared to try to hold to account a billion-dollar international industry rife with private spy networks, tax evasion, collusion and corruption - ultimately at great cost to themselves and South Africa.

Plate (Hardcover): Marlene van der Westhuizen Plate (Hardcover)
Marlene van der Westhuizen; Photographs by Robbert Koene
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The recipes in this book can be used every day of the week for that one main course we cook daily, whether we’re cooking for the family or entertaining our friends. Divided into just three chapters – Meat, Poultry and Seafood – the recipes range from well-known classics to modern dishes, many with a Continental influence. All are prepared with the author’s flair for home-cooked, hearty and delicious meals.

Plate would make the perfect house-warming gift for those relatively inexperienced in the kitchen, but even seasoned cooks will find inspiration.

Africa Reimagined - Reclaiming A Sense Of Abundance And Prosperity (Paperback): Hlumelo Biko Africa Reimagined - Reclaiming A Sense Of Abundance And Prosperity (Paperback)
Hlumelo Biko; Foreword by Malusi Mpumlwana
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Africa Reimagined is a passionately argued appeal for a rediscovery of our African identity. Going beyond the problems of a single country, Hlumelo Biko calls for a reorientation of values, on a continental scale, to suit the needs and priorities of Africans. Building on the premise that slavery, colonialism, imperialism and apartheid fundamentally unbalanced the values and indeed the very self-concept of Africans, he offers realistic steps to return to a more balanced Afro-centric identity.

Historically, African values were shaped by a sense of abundance, in material and mental terms, and by strong ties of community. The intrusion of religious, economic and legal systems imposed by conquerors, traders and missionaries upset this balance, and the African identity was subsumed by the values of the newcomers. Biko shows how a reimagining of Africa can restore the sense of abundance and possibility, and what a rebirth of the continent on Pan-African lines might look like. This is not about the churn of the news cycle or party politics – although he identifies the political party as one of the most pernicious legacies of colonialism. Instead, drawing on latest research, he offers a practical, pragmatic vision anchored in the here and now.

By looking beyond identities and values imposed from outside, and transcending the divisions and frontiers imposed under colonialism, it should be possible for Africans to develop fully their skills, values and ingenuity, to build institutions that reflect African values, and to create wealth for the benefit of the continent as a whole.

Betrayal - The Secret Lives Of Apartheid Spies (Paperback): Jonathan Ancer Betrayal - The Secret Lives Of Apartheid Spies (Paperback)
Jonathan Ancer
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What does it take to deceive those closest to you? How do you lead a double life and not lose yourself? Is there ever a point of return? Jonathan Ancer explores these questions in the tales of SA’s spies: from the navy superspy on the Russian payroll to the party girl who fell in love with Cuba and the idealistic students used and abused in apartheid’s intelligence war.

Ancer gets under the skin of what it takes to betray those closest to you – and what it is means to be betrayed.

Undercover With Mandela's Spies - The Story Of The Boy Who Crossed The Square (Paperback): Bradley D. Steyn, Mark Fine Undercover With Mandela's Spies - The Story Of The Boy Who Crossed The Square (Paperback)
Bradley D. Steyn, Mark Fine
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In this riveting undercover spy drama, Bradley Steyn tells the story of his journey from a boy caught in the middle of the Strijdom Square massacre, to acting out his PTSD working for the apartheid security branch. Finally he ends up being recruited by MK and used to infiltrate the crazed right-wing whose mission is to destabilise a South Africa on the brink of peace.

With these forces pushing the nation towards a bloody race war, will his time run out before they discover he is working for Mandela's spies?

This astonishing true-life thriller reveals for the first time some of the dirty secrets of a dirty war.

Blood On Her Hands - South Africa's Most Notorious Female Killers (Paperback): Tanya Farber Blood On Her Hands - South Africa's Most Notorious Female Killers (Paperback)
Tanya Farber
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Meet Daisy De Melker, who 'lovingly' prepared a flask of strychnine-laced coffee for her son. She is very different from Najwa Petersen, who carefully planned a 'house robbery' to eliminate her musician husband. Chané van Heerden placed her victim's facial skin in the freezer for preservation, yet Phoenix Racing Cloud Theron wished to dispose of her mother's body before it was even cold. And Dina Rodrigues? She 'wouldn't harm a fly' - but then went and organised a hit on a baby.

Women are not paragons of virtue who cannot commit murder. Nor are they always insane when they do deliberately cause death. And the women with 'blood on their hands' are not homogeneous.

In Blood on Her Hands, award-winning journalist Tanya Farber investigates the lives, minds and motivations of some of South Africa's most notorious female murders, from the poisonous nurse Daisy de Melker, to the privileged but deeply disturbed Najwa Petersen, to the mysterious Joey Haarhoff, who died before revealing the fate of her victims. Written in a style lighter than the subject matter might suggest, Blood on Her Hands will keep you reading until late at night.

The Zulus Of New York (Paperback): Zakes Mda The Zulus Of New York (Paperback)
Zakes Mda
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Drawing on the true history of ‘Farini’s Friendly Zulus’, a group of men who were taken to Britain and then to America as performing curiosities, the novel opens in 1885 in wintry New York City.

The protagonist, Mpiyezintombi, simply called Em-Pee by the English-speakers, loses more than his name in this far-off foreign country; he is seen as little more than a freak-show act – though he is not kept in a cage like the beautiful Dinka Princess, with her gold-painted papier-mâché crown and fur cape. For EmPee, it is love at first sight, but the caged woman is not free to love anyone back: she is the property of Monsieur Duval, proprietor of Duval Ethnological Expositions.

And so begins one of Zakes Mda’s most striking stories, one that depicts terrible historical injustices and indignities, while at the same time celebrating the vigour and ingenuity of the creative spirit, and the transformative power of love.

In an already-great pantheon of Mda love stories and classic gems, this may be his most powerful work yet.

Cape Mediterranean - The Way We Love To Eat (Hardcover): Ilse van der Merwe Cape Mediterranean - The Way We Love To Eat (Hardcover)
Ilse van der Merwe
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Cape Mediterranean food/cooking is a South African style of cooking and entertaining influenced by one of the oldest and arguably also the healthiest cuisines in the world. It has developed naturally from within the Western Cape due to its Mediterranean climate and the abundance of classic Mediterranean-style local produce.

This book features more than 75 delectable recipes, from breads, dips and tapas, to lavish salads, succulent roasts, freshly made pastas and heavenly desserts. The recipes bring seasonal produce to the fore and the balance of dishes and ease of preparation will have you inviting friends and family over in no time to share in this veritable bounty.

Drakensberg Select - Rock Climbing, Ice Climbing, Trekking, Day Hikes (Paperback): Gavin Raubenheimer Drakensberg Select - Rock Climbing, Ice Climbing, Trekking, Day Hikes (Paperback)
Gavin Raubenheimer; Edited by Tony Lourens 1
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Drakensberg Select is an extensive guide to the best the Drakensberg mountains have to offer. From the Sentinel in the north all the way down to Bushman’s Neck in the south.

It includes all the best rock climbs, classic peaks, hiking trails, exciting scrambles, day walks and also most of the snow and water ice climbing. It really is a one stop guidebook! It also includes all the necessary info you need to know on how to get there, access, weather, fauna & flora, nature of the climbing, grading systems, navigation, conservation, accommodation & camping, emergency procedures, and a whole lot more. We even have a whole chapter dedicated to the caves and shelters of this remarkable mountain range.

To spice things up even more we have included an array of interesting historical anecdotes and also a spread of epic tales written by some of the Drakensberg climbing legends. And of course let’s not forget about the wonderful colour topo photos, depicting each and every route in detail and also the bunch of excellent photos of people climbing hiking and just enjoying the ’Berg.

Young or old, climber, hiker or even an armchair mountaineer. There is no one who will not want a copy of the new and definitive Drakensberg Select guidebook..

Gangster State - Unravelling Ace Magashule's Web Of Capture (Paperback): Pieter-Louis Myburgh Gangster State - Unravelling Ace Magashule's Web Of Capture (Paperback)
Pieter-Louis Myburgh 2
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In spite of Cyril Ramaphosa's "new dawn", there are powerful forces in the ruling party that risk losing everything if corruption and state capture finally do come to an end. At the centre of the old guard's fightback efforts is Ace Magashule, a man viewed by some as South Africa's most dangerous politician.

In this explosive book, investigative journalist Pieter-Louis Myburgh ventures deeper than ever before into Magashule's murky dealings, from his time as a struggle activist in the 1980s to his powerful rule as premier of the Free State province for nearly a decade, and his rise to one of the ANC's most influential positions. Sifting through heaps of records, documents and exclusive source interviews, Myburgh explores Magashule's relationship with the notorious Gupta family and other tender moguls; investigates government projects costing billions that enriched his friends and family but failed the poor; reveals how he was about to be arrested by the Scorpions before their disbandment in the late 2000s; and exposes the methods used to keep him in power in the Free State and to secure him the post of ANC secretary-general.

Most tellingly, Myburgh pieces together a pack of leaked emails and documents to reveal shocking new details on a massive Free State government contract and Magashule's dealings with a businessman who was gunned down in Sandton in 2017. These files seem to lay bare the methods of a man who usually operated without leaving a trace.

Gangster State is an unflinching examination of the ANC's top leadership in the post-Jacob Zuma era, one that should lead readers to a disconcerting conclusion: When it comes to the forces of capture, South Africa is still far from safe.

You Will Be Safe Here (Paperback): Damian Barr You Will Be Safe Here (Paperback)
Damian Barr 1
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The stunning and shocking debut novel from the award-winning author of Maggie & Me. Set in South Africa, You Will Be Safe Here explores legacies of abuse, redemption and the strength of the human spirit

South Africa, 1901, the height of the second Boer War. Sarah van der Watt and her son are taken from their farm by force to Bloemfontein Concentration Camp where, the English promise: they will be safe.

Johannesburg, 2010. Sixteen-year-old outsider Willem just wants to be left alone with his books and his dog. Worried he's not turning out right, his ma and her boyfriend send him to New Dawn Safari Training Camp. Here they 'make men out of boys'. Guaranteed.

You Will Be Safe Here is a deeply moving novel of connected parts. Inspired by real events, it uncovers a hidden colonial history and present-day darkness while exploring our capacity for cruelty and kindness.

Let The Sunshine In (Paperback): Zapiro Let The Sunshine In (Paperback)
Zapiro
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It’s been one helluva year – again. We’ve seen Zuma resign as president, the DA go after its own people, Trump exercise his megalomania, the rise of racial tensions (as well as the petrol price) and tempers being flared. All while the Guptas fled the Saxonwold Shebeen.

Who better to make sense of this than Zapiro, political analyst, cartoonist and agent provocateur. He has the ability to knock the air out of us, to rock us back in our seats, to force us bolt upright with a 1000-watt jolt of electrifying shock. He makes us angry, he makes us laugh and he makes us think. He shines a light on the elephant in the room, presents the emperor in all his naked glory. Impossible to brush off, he is determined to provoke a response.

When all around is crumbling, when fake news and zipped lips conceal the truth, Zapiro comes to the rescue. With the dissecting eye of a surgeon, the rapier-like point of his pen exposes flimflam, and reveals with a single line what lies behind the action.

Veg - Easy & Delicious Meals For Everyone (Hardcover): Jamie Oliver Veg - Easy & Delicious Meals For Everyone (Hardcover)
Jamie Oliver 3
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Jamie Oliver is back with brilliantly easy, flavour-packed, and accessible veg recipes.

From simple suppers and family favourites, to weekend dishes for sharing with friends, this book is packed full of phenomenal food - pure and simple. Whether it's embracing a meat-free day or two each week, living a vegetarian lifestyle, or just wanting to try some brilliant new flavour combinations, this book ticks all the boxes. Sharing simple tips and tricks that will excite the taste buds, this book will also give people the confidence to up their veg intake and widen their recipe repertoire, safe in the knowledge that it'll taste utterly delicious. It'll also leave them feeling full, satisfied and happy - and not missing meat from their plate.

A book for everyone, this is the perfect moment for Jamie to inspire every kind of cook with his super-tasty, brilliantly simple, but inventive veg dishes.

Time Is Not The Measure - A Memoir (Paperback): Vusi Mavimbela Time Is Not The Measure - A Memoir (Paperback)
Vusi Mavimbela
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Vusi Mavimbela is one of South Africa's foremost political adventurers and wanderers. A writer of singular verve, humour and descriptive power, his memoir provides penetrating pen portraits of many well-known South African and African political actors, including martyred uMkhonto weSizwe guerilla Solomon Mahlangu, Nigeria's Olusegun Obasanjo, Robert Mugabe and a galaxy of senior ANC exiles such as Joe Slovo, Chris Hani, Josiah Jele, Joel Netshitenzhe and Mac Maharaj.

He touches on and illuminates the personalities of many influential men and women in South Africa's early democratic governments. But the heart of Mavimbela's narrative lies in his unique experience of working as a top administrator and counsellor in the offices of Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma. In the most intimate detail, he describes the emergence and escalation of the conflict between those two flawed principals. He captures the drama of their struggle and its destructive fallout for the new South African state.

Mavimbela offers a potent warning: loyalty and long service to a political party is no guarantee of wise and effective leadership.

The Year Of Facing Fire - A Memoir (Paperback): Helena Kriel The Year Of Facing Fire - A Memoir (Paperback)
Helena Kriel
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South African born-and-raised Hollywood screenwriter Helena Kriel is researching the ancient text of the Kama Sutra for a movie she’s writing. At the same time, she is travelling to India to meet with sages and find answers to the universal challenges of sex and love. While searching for love in her doomed relationships, little does she know she will find her answers in caring for her dying brother, Evan, in South Africa.

Set in the mid-1990s, South Africa is just emerging from the darkness of apartheid and bursting with vibrant chaos. The story zooms in on an intense year in the narrator’s life. It centres around the lively and eccentric South African Kriel family: Maya, the combative but inspired mother; Lexi, the sister recently returned from living in a temple in India; Ross, the younger brother diving with sharks; and Helena, the narrator, herself on a journey to understand love and death. At the heart of the story is Evan, her terminally ill 30-year-old gay brother, who has been keeping his illness a shameful secret. Conscious, sensitive, terrified and trying to hang onto sanity as his world changes, Evan becomes paralysed then finally goes blind as death draws ever closer. But it is Evan who leads the family through the fire.

In living through her brother’s fight to stay alive, the narrator finds herself at the heart of a savage story, one she would not have chosen. How could she know when she set out to India to find ancient solutions to the modern problems of our age that her brother’s approaching death would be her greatest teacher? How could she imagine that dying brings everything to life?

The Year Of Facing Fire is an astoundingly written memoir by one of South Africa’s finest writers. It traverses universal themes including love, death and sex, and finds value in the ordinary and great beauty in the uncertain.

This Mournable Body (Paperback): Tsitsi Dangarembga This Mournable Body (Paperback)
Tsitsi Dangarembga
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Anxious about her prospects after leaving a stagnant job, Tambudzai finds herself living in a run-down youth hostel in downtown Harare. For reasons that include her grim financial prospects and her age, she moves to a widow’s boarding house and eventually finds work as a biology teacher. But at every turn in her attempt to make a life for herself, she is faced with a fresh humiliation, until the painful contrast between the future she imagined and her daily reality ultimately drives her to a breaking point.

In This Mournable Body, Tsitsi Dangarembga returns to the protagonist of her acclaimed first novel, Nervous Conditions, to examine how the hope and potential of a young girl and a fledgling nation can sour over time and become a bitter and floundering struggle for survival.

As a last resort, Tambudzai takes an ecotourism job that forces her to return to her parents’ impoverished homestead. This homecoming, in Dangarembga’s tense and psychologically charged novel, culminates in an act of betrayal, revealing just how toxic the combination of colonialism and capitalism can be.

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