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RamaphosaRamaphosa: The Man who would be king

Business Day, Xolisa Phillip

"Who the f*** do you think you are? You can’t give me instructions. None of you can give me instructions. Don’t you ever dare tell me what I have to do," a young Ramaphosa, the founding general secretary of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), told a mine manager in 1985 during tense wage negotiations.

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Manage Your Money MRBManage Your Money Like a F*cking Grownup

The Gremlin, Brian Joss

Written in a light-hearted and readable style it has a serious message: how not to make mistakes with money. Beckbessinger says that everything we know about money “comes from advertising or from other people who know as little as we do. No wonder we make such basic mistakes”.

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The Tattoist

The Tattooist of Auschwitz

The Irish Times

On arrival in Auschwitz-Birkenau Lale was given the job of tattooing numbers on prisoners selected to work, to live another day, numbers that would come to represent the most iconic symbol of the Holocaust. It was while tattooing 18-year-old Gita that he looked into her eyes and fell hopelessly in love. The Tattooist of Auschwitz is their story, a story of beauty, hope, courage and survival against the odds. A story about the love between two young people destined to be together for more than 60 years.

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Mandela EssentialsMandela: His Essential Life

The Guardian

During Nelson Mandela’s 1962 trial in Pretoria, before he was sent to Robben Island, Winnie turned up each day, often magnificent in traditional chiefdom dress.

She was indomitably defiant. Later, suffering so much and bringing up her own two girls while Nelson Mandela served his 27 years in prison, she was beaten up, banned, then banished to remote Brandfort in the Orange Free State, harassed and imprisoned too.

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Author Awards2018Jonathan Ball Publishers wishes to congratulate the following authors for the longlist nominations for South Africa's most prestigious annual literary awards: the Alan Paton Award for non-fiction and the Barry Ronge Fiction Prize.


2018 Barry Ronge Fiction Prize:

I am Pandarus, by Michiel Heyns

Johannesburg, by Fiona Melrose

2018 Alan Paton Non-fiction Award:

Almost Human, by Lee Berger

No Longer Whispering To Power: The Story of Thuli Madonsela, by Thandeka Gqubule

Always Another Country, by Sisonke Msimang

How to Steal a City, by Crispian Olver

Hitmen for Hire, by Mark Shaw

Khwezi: the remarkable story of Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo, by Redi Tlhabi


The shortlist for both literary awards will be announced in May.

The Belles MRB

The World of The Belles

Dhonielle Clayton, The Beauty Caisse

beauty caisse: a cross between an old-fashioned apothecary case and a massive jewelry box that houses all of the belle’s makeup, tools, and accoutrement leeches: the Belles use leeches to reset their blood protein levels and carry them around in beautiful porcelain bowls oftentimes stored in their beauty caisses

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The Child finder

The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld

W24, Hannah Atkins


There’s something magical about Denfeld’s writing. It’s sorrowful and relentless, pushing you forward to the conclusion – and you are powerless to resist. 

This book is ideal for those who prefer what I like to call ‘quiet’ mysteries – it’s not action-packed, but there is certainly a palpable sense of dread, and a focus just as much on the personal as the procedural.

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The Case Against Sugar MRB

The Case Against Sugar by Gary Taubes 

The Guardian, PD Smith


This “tidal wave” is the subject of US science journalist Gary Taubes’s remarkable book. From the earliest historical cases – diabetes was first described in the sixth century BC – to the latest research, Taubes argues that the primary cause is not dietary fat and a sedentary life, as has been believed, but our addiction to sugar, which has “unique physiological, metabolic and endocrinological [ie hormonal] effects” that trigger diabetes and obesity.

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Red Sparrow MRB

Red Sparrow Review


The timing couldn’t be better for “Red Sparrow” to sweep into theaters with its story of a Russian spy and an American spy trying to outwit one another. As one character in the thriller declares, “the Cold War never ended.” No kidding.

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