Book review: The Voluptuous Delights of Peanut Butter and Jam (Lauren Liebenberg)

Published on by in Blog, Reviews.

Chaos right next door, in Zimbabwe, has been a feature of every South African’s life. Especially in 2008 (when I wrote this review), when electoral confusion met possible social carnage and the Zim treasury took to printing on only one side of the currency, because its value was so laughable.

What better time, then, to read Lauren Liebenberg’s debut The Voluptuous Delights of Peanut Butter and Jam?

Peanut Butter has a lot of Spud in it, due largely to its deliciously naïve and heartbreakingly frank little narrator. It also has a fair helping of The Power of One in it, in terms...

Book review: How many ways can you say Hello?

Published on by in Blog, Motherhood, Reviews.

How many ways can you say, ‘This is a gorgeous book’? How many ways can you say, ‘It couldn’t have come a moment too soon for South Africa’ and ‘I want to read it to my daughter every day, forever’? I wonder if you know?

In case you haven’t gathered from my enthusiasm, I absolutely love Refiloe Moahloli’s debut children’s book How many ways can you say Hello?

It is clever, fun to read, rhythmic, inclusive, and magnificently illustrated by the ultra-talented Anja Stoeckigt. It also features one of the prettiest spreads I have ever seen, featuring...

Book review: Novel About My Wife (Emily Perkins)

Published on by in Blog, Reviews.

This book disturbed me so profoundly that I had to sit in the sunshine, cuddle my (nice, normal, stable) husband and take a hot shower, just to get through it. Unusually good writing and familiar, flawed, screwy characters notwithstanding, Novel About My Wife is hard to read – and not just because I’m a relative newlywed.

To sum it up, it’s about a charming neurotic, Tom (“skinnyish, fortyish, English”), with a deeply disturbed but beautiful Australian wife, Ann, and how her psychological demons take over their happy hippie lives.

If you like a book to get inside your...

Book review: The Hour I First Believed (Wally Lamb)

Published on by in Blog, Reviews.

You know those independent films that come from nowhere, with little budgets, amazing casts (composed equally of the famous and the nobody), simple storylines and MASSIVE FOLLOWINGS? Those wacky movies that blow Tom Cruise’s latest cheesy offering right outta the water? Little Miss Sunshine, Juno, Lars and The Real Girl, The Garden State, and others?

Wally Lamb’s writing reminds me of those movies. Every single time.

His breakthrough first novel, I Know This Much Is True, knocked my socks off and made my exclusive Top 10. His second, She’s Come Undone, made me cry in the car...

Book review: Ways of Staying (Kevin Bloom)

Published on by in Blog, Reviews.

Available at Exclusive Books and all good bookstores.

Reviewers usually don’t buy books. Why would we? We’re lucky and suitably smug buggers who typically take delivery of a large box every month – free, gratis, for nothing – thanks to the many superb publishers out there (Penguin, chief among them).

And since the arrival of my Kindle, I buy new books even less. But that’s another self-satisfied rant for another day…

My point is that I bought Kevin Bloom’s Ways of Staying. I didn’t even have a book voucher. I took the money out of my purse and paid for it...