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Archive for the ‘Non-fiction’ Category

Launch: Breaking a Rainbow, Building a Nation by Rekgotsofetse Chikane (30 October)

Breaking a Rainbow, Building a Nation is a first-hand account of the university protests that gripped South Africa between 2015 and 2017, widely better known as the #FeesMustFall.

Chikane outlines the nature of student politics in the country before, during and after the emergence of #MustFall politics, exploring the political dynamics that informed and drove the student protests, and the effect that these #MustFall movements have had on the nature of youth politics in the country.

Chikane looks at how the current nature of youth politics is different from previous youth upheavals that have defined South Africa, specifically due to the fact that the protests were being led by so-called coconuts, who are part of the black elite.

Breaking a Rainbow, Building a Nation poses the provocative question, can coconuts be trusted with the revolution?

Rekgotsofetse Chikane (known as Kgotsi for those who are tongue-tied) is a graduate of the University of Oxford, having completed his Masters in Public Policy degree in 2017, a Mandela-Rhodes Scholar (2015), one of the Mail & Guardian’s Top 200 Young South Africans (2016) and the former national president of InkuluFreeheld, non-partisan, youth organisation focused on deepening democracy and enhancing social cohesion.

He is adept at navigating a variety of South Africa’s socially complex spaces, often as the resident coconut, and has experienced some of the best and worst of the #MustFall protests.

Chikane is an advocate for socio-economic equality and the practical realisation of decoloniality within a post-1994 South Africa.

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Rekgotsofetse Chikane’s Breaking a Rainbow, Building a Nation explores the political dynamics that informed and drove the #MustFall movements

Breaking a Rainbow, Building a Nation is a first-hand account of the university protests that gripped South Africa between 2015 and 2017, widely better known as the #FeesMustFall.

Chikane outlines the nature of student politics in the country before, during and after the emergence of #MustFall politics, exploring the political dynamics that informed and drove the student protests, and the effect that these #MustFall movements have had on the nature of youth politics in the country.

Chikane looks at how the current nature of youth politics is different from previous youth upheavals that have defined South Africa, specifically due to the fact that the protests were being led by so-called coconuts, who are part of the black elite.

Breaking a Rainbow, Building a Nation poses the provocative question, can coconuts be trusted with the revolution?

Rekgotsofetse Chikane (known as Kgotsi for those who are tongue-tied) is a graduate of the University of Oxford, having completed his Masters in Public Policy degree in 2017, a Mandela-Rhodes Scholar (2015), one of the Mail & Guardian’s Top 200 Young South Africans (2016) and the former national president of InkuluFreeheld, non-partisan, youth organisation focused on deepening democracy and enhancing social cohesion.

He is adept at navigating a variety of South Africa’s socially complex spaces, often as the resident coconut, and has experienced some of the best and worst of the #MustFall protests.

Chikane is an advocate for socio-economic equality and the practical realisation of decoloniality within a post-1994 South Africa.

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Launch: These Things Really Do Happen to Me by Khaya Dlanga (11 October)

Sometimes real life is stranger than fiction. That certainly is the case when considering the things that happen to Khaya Dlanga in the course of his everyday life. Khaya often shares these stories in brief via Instagram or his other social media platforms.

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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.

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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.

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Launch: An Elephant In My Kitchen by Françoise Malby-Anthony & Katja Willemsen (28 August)

A blonde, chic Parisienne, Françoise never expected to find herself living on a South African game reserve. But when she fell in love with renowned conservationist Lawrence Anthony her life took an unexpected turn. Lawrence died in 2012 and Françoise was left to face the tough reality of running Thula Thula without him, even though she knew very little about conservation. She was short on money, poachers were threatening their rhinos, and one of their elephants was charging Land Rovers on game drives and terrifying guests. There was no time to mourn when Thula Thula’s human and animal family were depending on her.

How Françoise survived and Thula Thula thrived is beautifully described in this charming, funny and poignant book. Their elephant herd, rescued by Lawrence, shared Françoise’s grief at his passing but over time forged a new relationship with her. One day a baby, Tom, became separated from the herd and found his way into Françoise’s kitchen. Another day there was a desperate race against time to save a baby who had a snare wrapped round his face and couldn’t open his mouth to suckle.

Meanwhile Françoise fulfilled her dream of building a rescue centre for orphaned rhinos and other wildlife. Abandoned hippo baby Charlie, who hated water, joined the centre’s rhinos and quickly became best friends with a little girl rhino called Makhosi. The traumatised babies had round the clock care, including an unlikely nursemaid in the form of a German Shepherd called Duma. If you loved Lawrence’s The Elephant Whisperer, or just want to spend time with some very special animals, then you won’t want to miss this sparkling book.

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Launch: An Elephant in My Kitchen by Françoise Malby-Anthony (23 August)

Françoise never expected to find herself responsible for a herd of elephants with a troubled past.

A chic Parisienne, her life changed forever when she fell in love with South African conservationist Lawrence Anthony. Together they founded a game reserve but after Lawrence’s death, Françoise faced the daunting responsibility of running Thula Thula without him. Poachers attacked their rhinos, their security team wouldn’t take orders from a woman and the authorities were threatening to cull their beloved elephant family. On top of that, the herd’s feisty new matriarch Frankie didn’t like her.

In this heart-warming and moving book, Françoise describes how she fought to protect the herd and to make her dream of building a wildlife rescue centre a reality. She found herself caring for a lost baby elephant who turned up at her house, and offering refuge to traumatized orphaned rhinos, and a hippo called Charlie who was scared of water. As she learned to trust herself, she discovered she’d had Frankie wrong all along . . .

Filled with extraordinary animals and the humans who dedicate their lives to saving them, An Elephant in My Kitchen is a captivating and gripping read.

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Launch: Turning and turning by Judith February (21 August)

South Africans often are deeply polarised in our perspectives of the present and the past. Our ‘ways of seeing’ are fraught with division, and we fail to understand the complexities when we do not see what lies beneath the surface.

There is no denying that the Jacob Zuma presidency took a significant toll on South Africa, exacerbating tensions and exposing the deep fractures that already exist in our society along the lines of race, class and even ethnicity. The Zuma years were marked by cases of corruption and state capture, unprecedented in their brazenness, and increased social protests – many of which were accompanied by violence – aggressive public discourse, lack of respect for reason and an often disturbing resistance to meaningful engagement.

Importantly, those years also placed enormous pressure on our democratic institutions, many of which still bear the scars, and challenged the sovereignty of the Constitution itself.

As an analyst and governance specialist at the Institute for Democracy in South Africa (IDASA) for twelve years, February has had a unique perch. Turning and turning is a snapshot of her IDASA years and the issues tackled, which included work on the arms deal and its corrosive impact on democratic institutions, IDASA’s party-funding campaign, which February helped lead, as well as work on accountability and transparency.

Combining analytical insight with personal observations and experience, February highlights the complex process of building a strong democratic society, and the difficulties of living in a constitutional democracy marked by soaring levels of inequality. There is a need to reflect on and learn from the country’s democratic journey if citizens are to shape our democracy effectively and to fulfill the promise of the Constitution for all South Africans.

Event Details

  • Date: Tuesday, 21 August 2018
  • Time: 6:00 PM for 6:30 PM
  • Venue: Love Books, The Bamboo Lifestyle Centre, 53 Rustenburg Rd, Melville, Johannesburg
  • Guest Speaker: Stephen Grootes
  • RSVP: info@lovebooks.co.za
     

    Book Details

    Turning and turning: Exploring the complexities of South Africa’s democracy by Judith February
    EAN: 9781770105737
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Launch: Turning and turning by Judith February (16 August)

South Africans often are deeply polarised in our perspectives of the present and the past. Our ‘ways of seeing’ are fraught with division, and we fail to understand the complexities when we do not see what lies beneath the surface.

There is no denying that the Jacob Zuma presidency took a significant toll on South Africa, exacerbating tensions and exposing the deep fractures that already exist in our society along the lines of race, class and even ethnicity. The Zuma years were marked by cases of corruption and state capture, unprecedented in their brazenness, and increased social protests – many of which were accompanied by violence – aggressive public discourse, lack of respect for reason and an often disturbing resistance to meaningful engagement.

Importantly, those years also placed enormous pressure on our democratic institutions, many of which still bear the scars, and challenged the sovereignty of the Constitution itself.

As an analyst and governance specialist at the Institute for Democracy in South Africa (IDASA) for twelve years, February has had a unique perch. Turning and turning is a snapshot of her IDASA years and the issues tackled, which included work on the arms deal and its corrosive impact on democratic institutions, IDASA’s party-funding campaign, which February helped lead, as well as work on accountability and transparency.

Combining analytical insight with personal observations and experience, February highlights the complex process of building a strong democratic society, and the difficulties of living in a constitutional democracy marked by soaring levels of inequality. There is a need to reflect on and learn from the country’s democratic journey if citizens are to shape our democracy effectively and to fulfill the promise of the Constitution for all South Africans.

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Sixty-six million years ago the dinosaurs were wiped from the face of the earth. Today, paleontologist Steve Brusatte is piecing together the complete story of how they ruled the earth for 150 million years…


 
 
 

Before there were Homo sapiens there were the dinosaurs.

 
Sixty-six million years ago the dinosaurs were wiped from the face of the earth. Today, Dr. Steve Brusatte, one of the leading scientists of a new generation of dinosaur hunters, armed with cutting edge technology, is piecing together the complete story of how the dinosaurs ruled the earth for 150 million years.

The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs is a hugely ambitious and engrossing story of how dinosaurs rose to dominate the planet, written by one of the world’s leading palaeontologists.

Using fossil clues that have been with state-of-the-art technology, Brusatte traces these magnificent creatures from the Triassic period at the start of their evolution, through the Jurassic period, to their final catastrophic days in the Cretaceous and the legacy that they left behind. Along the way, Brusatte introduces a cast of new dinosaur hunters and gives an insight into what being a palaeontologist is really like. He offers thrilling accounts of some of the most remarkable discoveries he has made, including primitive, human-size tyrannosaurs, monstrous carnivores even larger than a T. rex and feathered raptor dinosaurs from China buried in volcanic ash.

At a time when Homo sapiens has existed for less than 200,000 years and we are already talking about planetary extinction, The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs is a timely reminder of what humans can learn from the magnificent creatures who ruled the earth before us.

Dr Steve Brusatte is a paleontologist on the faculty of the School of GeoSciences at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. He grew up in the Midwestern United States and has a BS in Geophysical Sciences from the University of Chicago, MSc in Palaeobiology from the University of Bristol (UK), and PhD in Earth and Environmental Sciences from Columbia University in New York. At age thirty-one, Steve is widely recognized as one of the leading paleontologists of his generation. He has written over one hundred peer-reviewed scientific papers during his decade of research in the field, named and described over ten new species of dinosaurs, and led groundbreaking studies on how dinosaurs rose to dominance and went extinct. One of his particular research interests is the evolutionary transition between dinosaurs and birds and he is a noted specialist on the anatomy, genealogy, and evolution of the carnivorous dinosaurs like Tyrannosaurus and Velociraptor.

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