Book review: My grandmother sends her regards and apologises by Fredrik Backman

  Fredrik Backman loves to give us characters with prickly dispositions. Seven-year-old Elsa of My grandmother sends her regards and apologises is no exception. Then again, who can blame her with a grandmother who flings poop at the police, breaks into zoos and makes it her life’s mission to torment their highly strung neighbour Britt-Marie? […]

Grey Magic by JT Lawrence: An enchanting read about a modern-day witch

  Book Review: Grey Magic by JT Lawrence Device: ePub Location: On the KTX from Seoul to Daegu; in bed the whole of Sunday; on the express bus to Gangneung for Christmas Rating: Enchanting   I started reading JT Lawrence’s latest novel Grey Magic on the KTX train from Seoul to Daegu. I had just […]

Poems under construction

So, I’ve been writing (bad) poetry since I can remember. I think the first ones were probably just rip-offs of bad Gé Korsten songs (but Annetjie, weren’t they all bad?) but we’ll forget about that. uHlanga Press recently announced that they will open admissions to unsolicited manuscripts in February 2017, and I decided to give […]

Two reviews: The Texture of Shadows and We Are Not Such Things

Book Review: The Texture of Shadows: A Novel by Mandla Langa Publisher: Picador Africa Device: Paperback Location: In bed Rating: Revolutionary   Book Review: We Are Not Such Things by Justine van der Leun Publisher: Jonathan Ball Device: Kobo Location: In bed Rating: Unsettling   Today I’m reviewing two books side by side because I […]

Review on an airplane: On reading (and loving) The Reactive by Masande Ntshanga

Book Review: The Reactive by Masande Ntshanga Device: Kobo Location: Flight KE 697 aboard Korean Air and KE 698 return. Rating: Saving grace   It’s taken me longer now to write about The Reactive by Masande Ntshanga than the six and a half hours it took me to devour it. How to write about this […]

My creative writing journey: I wrote a book and started another blog

I’ve been neglecting my blog a bit lately. I’ve finished six books in the last two months that I still need to review: The Reactive by Masande Ntshanga (loved it, finished it in six hours!), We Are Not Such Things by Justine van der Leun (strained my eyes trying to stay awake to read just […]

Reflections on my goodreads challenge: So far, not so good (but I’ll keep on trying)

At the beginning of the year I made a foolhardy decision: I publicly pledged to read 100 books this year. Mathematics has never been my best subject, and once my husband pointed out that I’d have to read at least two books a week I promptly changed it to 50 books. One book a week, […]

Book review: Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami

  Book Review: Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami, translated by Philip Gabriel Device: Paperback Location: On the bus and subway downtown; it was also present when I lost my wallet (if not the cause) Rating: Mind-bending   My only regret is that it’s taken me this long to read anything by Haruki Murakami. […]

Love letter to a dive bar – The Alibi Club by Jaco van Schalkwyk

  Book Review: The Alibi Club by Jaco van Schalkwyk Device: Hardcover Location: One Saturday, in my bed in Daegu, South Korea Rating: Google an appropriate synonym for mindfuckingly beautiful   In 1998, a young South African makes his way to New York in pursuit of what Toast Coetzer calls “the Afrikaans American Dream”. Nearly […]

Magical realism meets historical fiction: Baudolino by Umberto Eco

  Book Review: Baudolino by Umberto Eco Device: Paperback Location: On the KTX from Daegu to Seoul and back (twice); Bus 405 to the gynaecologist’s office Rating: Transcendental   When I was a student at Rhodes University I was often daunted by the idea of reading Umberto Eco. The great Italian writer, who died this […]