Monday, November 29, 2010

Vote for Paige Nick's charity blogging and the Bookery could win R20K.

Don't think, just do it!

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The Bookery strive to help children get books.

“We want stocked, serviced libraries in every single school in South Africa.” These are the words of Richard Conyngham, the co-ordinator of The Bookery.
Interviewed on the premises of The Bookery, Conyngham, a former UCT student who has also completed an MA at Cambridge, stresses what he means by stocked and serviced libraries.

“We mean that libraries should be stocked with a minimum of three books per learner per school. By serviced we mean that the libraries must be co-ordinated by a trained librarian.”
The Bookery is one branch of Equal Education’s campaign for school libraries. Equal Education (EE), which was founded in 2008, is an organization which strives for quality and equilay in the South African education system.

- Creative Cape Town

Read more about the Bookery here.

Books of the year

Jonathan Franzen's family epic, a new collection from Seamus Heaney, Philip Larkin's love letters, a memoir centred on tiny Japanese sculptures ... which books most excited our writers this year?

Julian Barnes
Unfit for life, unsure of love, unschooled in sex, but good at washing up: Philip Larkin, in Letters to Monica (Faber), lays out his all-too-self-aware catalogue of reasons for being uncheerful. The reader is made slightly cheerful by the thought of not having had Larkin's life, but very cheerful that poems of such truth, wit and beauty emerged from it.
If Larkin represents native genius in its costive English form, Stephen Sondheim represents the fecund American version: Finishing the Hat (Virgin Books) is not just a book of lyrics (with cut and variant versions) but an exuberance of memories, principles, anecdotes, criticism and self-criticism.
Edmund de Waal's The Hare with Amber Eyes (Chatto & Windus) unexpectedly combines a micro craft-form with macro history to great effect.

William Boyd
Stephen Sondheim, who has just turned 80, is the unrivalled genius in the world of musical theatre with five or six masterworks that have redefined the form. A superb, generous melodist and a lyricist up there with Cole Porter and Noël Coward, Sondheim has now given us Finishing the Hat. His detailed commentary on his wonderful songs is honest, shrewd and fascinating. The ideal fix for Sondheim addicts.
Poetry addicts, meanwhile, should swiftly acquire Oliver Reynolds's latest collection, Hodge (Areté Books) – poems of beautiful precision that reveal their secrets slowly. And Samko Tále's Cemetery Book (Garnett Press) by the Slovak writer Daniela Kapitánová offers us, in a superb translation by Julia Sherwood, one of the strangest and most compelling voices I have come across in years. Muriel Spark meets Russell Hoban. An astonishing, dark and scabrous novel.

- The Guardian. Illustration by Kate Slater.

Read the rest here.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Stray Cat Blues

He’s been a global avatar of wish fulfillment for over four decades and managed to eke more waking hours out of a 24-hour day than perhaps any other creature alive (thanks, Merck cocaine and amphetamines!). As Keith puts it: “For many years I slept, on average, twice a week. This means that I have been conscious for at least three lifetimes.”

You better believe it. This cat put the joie in joie de vivre. As the legendary guitarist for the Rolling Stones, Keith Richards has done more, been more and seen more than you or I will ever dream of, and reading his autobiography, “Life,” should awaken (if you have a pulse and an I.Q. north of 100) a little bit of the rock star in you. 

 - Liz Phair, The New York Times

Read the rest here.


by Keith Richards with James Fox

Read an excerpt here.