Sunday Times Books LIVE Community Sign up

Login to Sunday Times Books LIVE

Forgotten password?

Forgotten your password?

Enter your username or email address and we'll send you reset instructions

Sunday Times Books LIVE

Pan Macmillan

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Archive for the ‘Humour’ Category

Launch: Self-Helpless by Rebecca Davis (26 September)

Everywhere she looked, the world was in poor shape. And because she’d quit drinking, she no longer had the comfort blanket of alcohol to tamp down her anxiety. How did sober people stay sane?

In recent times, the self-help industry has exploded into a multi- billion dollar global industry – and along with it has come every imaginable type of therapy, healing or general woo-woo. In the past, Rebecca scoffed at this industry, mocking its reliance on half-baked science and the way it appears to prey on the mentally fragile.

But as she searched for a meaning of life that did not involve booze, she found it increasingly hard to rationalize her default scepticism. This shit really seems to work for some people, she reasoned. And it’s not like I have any particularly solid alternatives.

Rebecca lives in Cape Town, the undisputed epicentre of ‘alternative’ paths to peace and enlightenment in South Africa. She decided that over the course of a year, she would embark on a quest for personal wellness, spiritual enlightenment and good old-fashioned happiness. She was willing, within reason, to try anything. She would open herself to even the most outlandish contemporary fads in self- improvement.

What followed was a twelve-month immersion in the world of auras, chakras, hallucinogenic drugs, sweat lodges, sangomas, past lives and more.

And by the end of it? Maybe she would find some new ways of thinking and living. Or maybe she would emerge with her prejudices untouched.

Either way, it would be a good story.

Event Details


» read article

Listen: Rebecca Davis discusses Self-Helpless with Eusebius McKaiser

Hypnotherapy. Magic mushrooms. Sangomas. Even *shudder* the gym – when Rebecca Davis quit drinking she attempted to retain her sanity via various, ahem, holistic methods. Here she discusses the written account of her 12 month ~journey~ with Eusebius McKaiser. Feast your ears, nourish your mind, take a deep breath, hold it for three, exhale, aaaaaaaaand listen:

Self-helpless

Book details
Self-helpless by Rebecca Davis
EAN: 9781770106024
Find this book with BOOK Finder!


» read article

Launch: Self-Helpless by Rebecca Davis (19 September)

Everywhere she looked, the world was in poor shape. And because she’d quit drinking, she no longer had the comfort blanket of alcohol to tamp down her anxiety. How did sober people stay sane?

In recent times, the self-help industry has exploded into a multi- billion dollar global industry – and along with it has come every imaginable type of therapy, healing or general woo-woo. In the past, Rebecca scoffed at this industry, mocking its reliance on half-baked science and the way it appears to prey on the mentally fragile.

But as she searched for a meaning of life that did not involve booze, she found it increasingly hard to rationalize her default scepticism. This shit really seems to work for some people, she reasoned. And it’s not like I have any particularly solid alternatives.

Rebecca lives in Cape Town, the undisputed epicentre of ‘alternative’ paths to peace and enlightenment in South Africa. She decided that over the course of a year, she would embark on a quest for personal wellness, spiritual enlightenment and good old-fashioned happiness. She was willing, within reason, to try anything. She would open herself to even the most outlandish contemporary fads in self- improvement.

What followed was a twelve-month immersion in the world of auras, chakras, hallucinogenic drugs, sweat lodges, sangomas, past lives and more.

And by the end of it? Maybe she would find some new ways of thinking and living. Or maybe she would emerge with her prejudices untouched.

Either way, it would be a good story.

Event Details


» read article

‘The black writer is the least marketable in this country’ – Khaya Dlanga responds to Rod MacKenzie

To Quote MyselfKhaya Dlanga has written a response to a recent piece by Rod MacKenzie titled “Can a white man tell Khaya Dlanga how to write a memoir?”

The article, published on the Mail & Guardian Thought Leader website, refers to Dlanga’s To Quote Myself, which was released in a new, updated edition this year.

MacKenzie asks: “why should the rise of yet another young man in the advertising world that could be anywhere on the globe [...] be of any interest, indeed, be publishable? Is it simply because Khaya is ‘black’ and therefore more marketable? Should a whitey be suggesting how Khaya should write his own memoir?”

In his response, “Telling black people how to tell their stories is a way of gate-keeping storytelling”, Dlanga says MacKenzie wrote what he thought were “some good points here and there and some fair criticisms”.

“Yet,” he adds, “there is thinly veiled racism that he can’t even pick up in his commentary. It was polite racism. Which is the worst kind.”

Dlanga continues: “It was precisely because I am a black writer telling his own black experience that I am not marketable.”

Read on:

It is miraculous that [To Quote Myself] made it on the bestseller list to begin with. But guess what? It was the only book on that list by a living black writer. That is disgusting. We are in a majority black country yet there was only one book on the list. Just one. And worse, it was dead last on that list. I felt like the Some of My Best Friends Are Black of books. Look how generous and nice we are, we allowed a black, oops, a black person in the club.

Rod MacKenzie must tell us how that makes me or any black writer more marketable. I am very curious. The black writer is the least marketable in this country. The system is stacked against them. If black writers were more marketable, why aren’t they on bestseller lists? Why are there so few published? Rob forgets his privilege.

 
Related stories:

Book details


» read article

Rebecca Davis Launches Best White and Other Anxious Delusions at The Book Lounge

Rebecca Davis

The launch of Best White and Other Anxious Delusions by Rebecca Davis at The Book Lounge was an evening of great hilarity.

Mervyn Sloman, owner of The Book Lounge, was in conversation with the author, a well-known columnist and journalist for The Daily Maverick, about a whole range of subjects.

Sloman began by welcoming the many guests, joking that he would insist on Davis’ next launch being at Cape Town Stadium.

Shop window at the Book LoungeBest White and Other Anxious DelusionsThe event kicked off with details of the colourful language that had offended those with more delicate sensibilities at a recent literary festival.

Davis’ mimicry of the unusual people she has encountered (Oscar Pistorius, fellow passengers on a SAA flight and her boss – on Hello Cupid) makes her a shoe-in for a stand up comedy show, and her accounts of her unusual life kept the audience roaring with laughter.

“A lot of people who don’t know her have, until now, thought her quite serious,” Sloman said of Davis, “a person who writes about serious issues in an intelligent way. For those of you who shared that misconception, forget about all that. This book is absolutely marvellous.”

After cracking the book open at 11.30 PM after a singularly awful day, when the publishing industry had profoundly dented his humour, Sloman says he found himself laughing aloud within two pages.

“I was guffawing! Even though I hate that word, that’s what I was doing. It felt good to laugh. It felt like the world was somehow a better place,” he said.

Davis interrupted him and, looking him directly in the eye, said “Well that’s just as well, Mervyn, because I wrote the book for you.” She paused, looked at the audience, and said, “And for you!”

The author shared her recollections of working as a “fake girlfriend” on a well known internet dating site, being paid to send notes like “Hi Hon, fancy a chat? xx” to some 5 000 people, and then being obliged to correspond with those who replied.

She recalled researching the number one hit single that played when “Marjorie from Wiltshire, 56″ was 17, as well as lying about having grandchildren who were watching Finding Nemo.

The experience was stressful and troubled her conscience. After a couple of back and forth messages, the person inevitably wanted to meet, at which point she had to pull the plug. “If you ever hear, ‘Good luck on your journey’ you know you’ve been well and truly had!”

The audience also heard terrific tales of Davis’ time working on the Oxford English Dictionary and her getting bumped from a flight while covering the Oscar trial.

If you could not attend, this podcast (provided courtesy of The Book Lounge) will delight almost as much as the book:

* * * * * * * *

Liesl Jobson (@LieslJobson) tweeted live from the event using the hashtag #livebooks:


 

Facebook album

Rebecca Davis launched her book in conversation with Mervyn Sloman

Posted by Pan Macmillan South Africa on Monday, 22 June 2015

 

Book details


» read article

Anton Taylor After Listening to Julius Malema: We Fear Groups We Have Never Engaged With

The Wisdom of Jozi ShoreBehind the Door“Some people claim it is this fear of the unknown that made Oscar shoot four times, and although I’m not sure about that, I do know that the dread of imagined threats and ruin to come certainly doesn’t allow some of us to enjoy our lives and country as we should,” writes The Wisdom of Jozi Shore author Anton Taylor, going on to say that people live in fear of people “they have never engaged with”.

Taylor recently wrote an emphatic Facebook post after attending an event where Julius Malema addressed the Cape Town Press Club. The EFF leader’s speech impressed Taylor as it showed him that getting out of your house to engage with those you fear, in his case Malema and what he envisions for South Africa’s future, could lead to unexpected wisdom.

“I think that for some Julius becoming president ranks as one of the things in the world they fear most (second to Woolworths closing down),” notes Taylor. “I’m not trying to get all Instagram inspirational quote with a sunset up in here, and not condoning (or condemning) Julius’s views or actions, but the more we talk with each other, the more this paralysing terror will subside.”

For more on the Oscar Pistorius case have a look at Mandy Wiener and Barry Bateman’s Behind the Door: The Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp Story.

 

Book details


» read article

Anton Taylor Explains His Emotional Involvement in the Oscar Pistorius Trial

The Wisdom of Jozi Shore“I think the thing that might bother me the most about the Oscar trial is the way in which some people dismiss those who take an interest in the case and their opinions,” writes Anton Taylor, author of The Wisdom of Jozi Shore, in a recent post on his Facebook page, explaining his “emotional involvement in the case” and asking those who are not interested in following the trial to cease their “condescending tweets and statuses”.

Taylor notes that his so-called lack of legal knowledge should not exclude him from being allowed to have a vested interest in the case and expresses disdain at the “defeatist” way in which people view the harshness with which Pistorius’ advocate Barry Roux handles witnesses.

“Emotions can inspire humans to do great and terrible things, and in the long run, how we choose to channel those emotions will decide whether Reeva’s death was in vain, or whether it will lead to changes in our society that will one day mean that others, both similar and dissimilar to Reeva, will not have to die. It is then frustrating and unhelpful when people choose to patronise the strong emotions that many of us are experiencing with this case,” Taylor writes.

 

Book details


» read article

Anton Taylor Praises Michelle Burger for Doing the Right Thing During the Oscar Pistorius Trial

The Wisdom of Jozi ShoreRight from the outset the Oscar Pistorius trial has gripped the nation, with South Africans responding to things going on in court. One such example was the widespread response to the “grilling” of state witness Michelle Burger by advocate Barry Roux for Pistorius.

Anton Taylor, author of The Wisdom of Jozi Shore, also responded “as a person with emotions”, noting on his Facebook page that he “couldn’t help but become furious at the way in which Roux (in my mind) bullied Burger and made it seem like she was somehow in the wrong for trying to tell the truth”. He congratulated Burger for doing the right thing, even if it was hard, reports Amanda Watson for The Citizen.

South Africans had high praise for Michelle Burger yesterday and were scathing of the man who had her in his crosshairs, Advocate Barry Roux.

Roux is representing Paralympian Oscar Pistorius who is on trial for the murder of Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day last year.

When Roux began his intense cross examination of Burger, and of her testimony, it did not take long for the court of public opinion to spring to Burgers defence on social media platform Twitter soon someone circulated a picture on the internet with the words “Introducing… The Michelle Burger… Extra Grilled!”.

Read Taylor’s full post from his public profile on Facebook:

 
Book details


» read article

Anton Taylor: “I Am Sorry for All the People I Let Down”

The Wisdom of Jozi ShoreAnton Taylor has let some people down. More specifically, he feels he has let “the good people at Osumo” down after recently going on a bender of fast food and alcohol – nullifying the rehab process he had tackled with this chain of high quality Capetonian food cafes.

He stopped by one of their stores recently “to beg for penance and to get something green” into his system, meeting up with Springbok Siya Kolisi – who, judging by this photo, obviously does not approve of the Wisdom of Jozi Shore author’s unhealthy antics.

 
“Today I feel a bit like Toronto mayor Rob Ford after getting boozed and hitting the white pipe again, and I am sorry for all the people I let down that have been helping me in my battle against this fried rat filth; those who compliment me when I’ve lost weight, those friends that invite me to gym with them, and even those passive-aggressive pricks who make weight-related jibes followed by a winky face,” Taylor wrote in a statement on his Instagram account the day following what he refers to as a “KFC relapse”:

One might only imagine my demons after getting day-drunk yesterday and then subsequently suffering a KFC relapse, having not only a Double-Down Burger meal, but also a massive fried chicken piece and Colonel Burger.

My loser complex was exacerbated infinitely by the fact that I thought it would be a good idea to document my slip-up on every available social media platform.

Book details


» read article

Video: Anton Taylor Hates Valentine’s Day

The Wisdom of Jozi Shore“We can’t really control whether or not we have a boyfriend or a girlfriend on Valentine’s Day, but what we can control is who we spend our time with and connect with on this terrible, terrible day,” says Anton Taylor, author of The Wisdom of Jozi Shore.

Taylor has collaborated with WeChat to create a short clip in which he expresses his feelings regarding “the worst day of the year”.

Watch the video to see why Taylor hates “this aberration of a day” so much and how he chooses to solve his problem:

 

Book details


» read article