23 April 2010

On the cards (I swear!)...

To come, as soon as I have a free moment (ha ha), are reviews on Lyall Watson's genius book (and one of my all-time top 5), Elephantoms; Lori Lansens' superlative The Wife's Tale (think Wally Lamb, but sadder, if that's even possible); and local copywriter Paige Nicks' fiction (I think?) debut: A Million Miles from Normal. Hang in there. I'll get to 'em. As soon as humanly possible, assuming I'm human. Promise.

Chic Jozi (Nikki Temkin)

Available at all good bookstores, courtesy of Penguin Books South Africa.

So, Chic Jozi. I've been threatening to review it for months and months. But the problem is, I've been too busy reading it, reading it again and re-reading it. I even - no jokes now - keep it in the bathroom, right next to the loo, for ready referral. (And by that I mean to cast no aspersions whatsoever on it.)

Penned by prolific Jozi scribe, Nikki Temkin, this pink-'n-black mini-tome is a resource for must-knows related to shopping, preening, eating, jolling, chilling, decorating and other critical pre-occupations - and its author has clearly done her research.

Which must have been heavenly [she italicises jealously].

From secret spots for glorious trinkets to top facialists and nail experts; superb restaurants to plain and simple good ideas for sunshine fun, Chic Jozi has it all. It's also tiny. Handbag-sized, really. Which is useful. And it's good for new info, or to remind you of 'that place' you've meant to check out.

I was particularly smug about the fact that I'd been there and done that, mostly, until I came nose to page with a coupla tip-offs I'd never even heard of, let alone mastered. So that just goes to show.

One thing, though. I'm a bit puzzled by the constant, albeit thorough, reference to kosher stores, restaurants and resources, as I hadn't thought these to be important to most (waspy) Joburgers - much less chic. But if, like me, Temkin's readers are mostly kugels, so be it. Good to know. I guess.

Buy it. It's cute.


03 April 2010

My top 5 (and maybe 10) books of all time...

Even as I type this, I'm not sure I can limit it to only five. Because, this weekend, I'm reading a book so spectacular that I've had to re-visit a list that hasn't changed in some time... (Review and more info to follow next week. In the interim, any guesses? It's about mammals, of all things.)

So, something unusual is now about to happen: a long-time book reviewer / commitment-phobe is about to put down, in writing, committedly, her top five (ish) books of all time. [Whew. Deep breath.] Here goes, in random order:

1. Middlesex (Jeffrey Eugenides)
2. The Girls (Lori Lansens)
3. Shantaram (Gregory David Roberts)
4. The Time Traveller's Wife (Audrey Niffenegger)
5. Where the Heart is (Marita van der Vyver)

So much for only five...

6. The Other Boleyn Girl (Philippa Gregory)
7. The Hour I First Believed (Wally Lamb)
8. Shutter Island (Dennis Lehane)
9. The House of the Spirits (Isabel Allende)
10. This weekend's book - review to follow

Disclaimer: For those of you who have seen some of the (frankly, awful) movie versions of the books above, please do me the kindness of not unfairly judging their literary counterparts. Thank you.