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Design Competition

The Book Lounge invites you to submit designs for our new merchandise!
Stand a chance to win a stack of 30 books, sponsored by our publishing friends, an R800 gift voucher to spend at The Book Lounge, and merch with your design.
We’ll be using the design for tote bags, tshirts, in store branding such as bookmarks, and potentially more.
~
 
Details:
Entries are open from the 17th of July to the 20th of August.
The design must make use of a maximum of 3 colours, must include ‘The Book Lounge’ or our logo, and must be in an A4 format.
 To enter, please submit via email to booklounge@gmail.com, and put ‘Design Submission and your name’ in the subject line. This competition is only available to people based in South Africa.
Please note that this is a once off prize, and the books cannot be exchanged or returned.
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The Soft Life with Lebohang Masango

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Joy Watson

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Lebohang Masango

In our final episode of the season, Lebohang Masango about the choices we make at the intersection of love and money, and Joy Watson tells me about her favourite anti-heroines.

The soft life can be a life of luxury, of champagne and overseas travel, or it could mean money being less of a perpetual worry. The book is about women who pursue this and see their dating lives as part of the pursuit. Lebohang is interested not just in the phenomenon of the pursuit of the soft life, but also in how it’s perceived – especially how black women are particularly vilified.

 

Joy’s own book is ‘The Other Me’, and she recommends ‘The Blessed Girl’ by Angela Makholwa, ‘The Vanishing Half’ by Brit Bennett. Vasti recommends ‘The Eye of the Beholder’ by Margie Orford and ‘An Unusual Grief’ by Yewande Omotoso. Vasti interviewed Yewande in Season 3 – listen here.

 

This season of A Readers’ Community was made possible by a grant from the National Arts Council.

Listen Now: The Soft Life with Lebohang Masango

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Rites and Rituals with Jarred Thompson

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Jarred Thompson

One of the sites where rites and rituals have special significance is death.

Jarred Thompson’s debut novel, The Institute of Creative Dying, is kind of obsessed with rituals and their relationship to death. It asks, are there different approaches to dying? What do we want out of our own deaths? And that question brings together a diverse group of characters ranging from a nun, to a model, to an ex-con, all willing to experiment with different answers to that question.

Our recommendations are books about rites and rituals. Vasti recommends I Did Not Die by Tebello Mzamo and Things My Mother Left Me by Pulane Mlilo Mpondo with an honorary mention to Nondwe Mpuma’s Peach Country, which featured earlier in the season. Kelly-Eve recommends Ausi Told Me: Why Cape Herstoriographies Matter by June Bam, The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida by Shehan Karunatilaka and Gun Island by Amitav Ghosh. Also mentioned are The Great Derangement, also by Amitav Gosh, Braiding Sweetgrass by Robyn Wall Kimmerer, and It Doesn’t Have to be this Way by Alistair Mackay.

This season of A Readers’ Community was made possible by a grant from the National Arts Council.

Host and executive producer: Vasti Calitz. Senior producer and editor: Andri Burnett. Assistant producer and researcher (and book recommender): Kelly-Eve Koopman. Assistant editor: Simone Rademeyer.

Listen Now: Rites and Rituals with Jarred Thompson

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Public Apologies with Melanie Judge

With the lack of equity, reparation and justice experienced by the majority of South Africans since the end of Apartheid, there is a sense in the present moment of what we might call an ‘apology fatigue’. In Unsettling Apologies, Melanie Judge and Dee Smythe have put together a collection of critical writings on public apology that explores the promise of and disappointments of public apologies, by politicians, by corporates, in the legal system, and more. In this episode, Vasti talks to Melanie Judge about this thought-provoking book, and Lyle Lackay and Vasti recommend books about apology, non-apologies, and lingering injustice.

Lyle recommends The Resurrection of Winnie Mandela by Sisonke Msimang and Our Ghosts were Once People, edited by Bongani Kona, and Vasti recommends How to Be a Revolutionary by CA Davids.

Listen Now: Public Apologies with Melanie Judge

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Poetry with Nondwe Mpuma

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Nondwe Mpuma

In this episode, join Vasti as she tries to find her way back into reading poetry. She speaks to Nondwe Mpuma, whose collection Peach Country was a wonderful invitation back into the form. Nondwe writes about home, in the Eastern Cape, and the landscape matters – its seasons and its patterns, and the daily rituals and habits that are matched to them – time ticks according to that unfolding. These poems are of course much more than that, and happily, Nondwe reads a number of her poems during our conversation.

And then our book recommender today is Maneo Refilhoe Mohale, who is also a wonderful poet, and wrote Everything is a Deathly Flower. We talk about poetry generally and how to access it, and they recommend some brilliant collections: Jesus Thesis and Other Critical Confabulations by Kopano Moroga, ZOM-FAM by Kama La Mackerel, and A History of Disappearance by Sarah Lubal.

 

This season was made possible by a grant from the National Arts Council.

Listen Now: Poetry with Nondwe Mpuma

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Loving Men with Kopano Ratele

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Kopano Ratele

The prevalence of and fear of gender based violence really cannot be overstated. The statistics and stories and experiences invade our lives, we encounter it in the news, fiction and non-fiction. For every story we read we raise our guard, we feel more afraid. And on the other side of this fear is male violence. Kopano Ratele suggests that one of the causal factors, and one of the sites of intervention, is lovelessness, or love hunger. So today’s episode is about loving men – the act of loving men and the risks inherent in that, and about men who are loving, and how that can be nurtured. We speak to Professor Kopano Ratele, who wrote the excellent book, Why Men Hurt Women: Love, Violence and Masculinity, and get book recommendations from Kneo Mokgopa for books that offer insight into or reimaginings of masculinity.

Kneo recommends Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates and The Will to Change by bell hooks. Vasti recommends Robert by Robert Hamblin and The Wanderers by Mphutumi Ntabeni – both of whom have been on the podcast before. Listen to the episode with Robert here and with Mpush here.

This season was made possible by a grant from the National Arts Council.

Listen Now: Loving Men with Kopano Ratele

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Hybridity with Chase Rhys

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Chase Rhys

The first episode of our new season is out right now! Chase Rhys chats to Vasti Calitz about their collection Misfit – Stories vannie anne kant. A lot of the stories in this collection are about being an outsider, about not quite belonging to any particular space, about identity intersections, about being more than one thing at once.  In other words, hybrid identities. And of course we’ve invited a friend from the community, Ann-Maree Tippoo, to give us some book recommendations that play with these in-between spaces, including Mother to Mother by Sindiwa Magona, She Would Be King by Wayetu Moore, and She Down There by Francois Lytton Burger. Vasti recommends A Hibiscus Coast by Nick Mulgrew and Mermaid Fillet by Mia Arderne. Catch the episode on Apple or Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Listen Now: Hybridity with Chase Rhys

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A Reader’s Community Season Four Trailer

We are back with the fourth season of A Readers’ Community. We’re really covering a wide range of books and ideas – like thinking about home through poetry, what we can hope for from public apologies, about the choices we make at the intersection of romantic love and money, about being a misfit, an outsider, and much more.  

First episode out on 22 February. Subscribe wherever you find your podcasts.

Listen Now: A Reader’s Community Season Four Trailer

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Story Time: The Trouble With Earth

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Alex Latimer

Why didn’t the other planets invite Earth to their holiday? Soon they’ll find out the wonderful truth about Earth’s ‘fleas’ and change their minds…
When Earth turns up on the holiday she wasn’t invited to and finds all the other planets in the solar system in the hot tub – even Pluto! – she discovers exactly why: it looks like she has FLEAS! Yuck. But when Earth asks everyone to take a closer look inside her atmosphere, they’re amazed by what they see…
Award-winning Alex Latimer’s The Trouble with Earth is the perfect story to teach us to be kind and less quick to judge others.

Watch author Alex Latimer read from his new book.

https://youtu.be/BwyhEJMyuEs
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Something Special

Bonus: Queer Spec Fic with Keely Shinners

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Alistair Mackay

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Octavia Butler

Queerness is not just a description of desire, but also a way to critique traditional ways of being and doing – which makes it a natural companion for speculative fiction.

Featuring Keely Shinners talking about their debut novel, How to Build a Home for the End of the World, and with recommendations from Colin Pegon.

Colin and Vasti talk about ‘The Left Hand of Darkness’ by Urusula K Le Guin, ‘Ancillary Justice’ by Ann Leckie, ‘It Doesn’t Have to Be This Way’ by Alistair Mackay, and ‘Kindred’ by Octavia Butler.

Listen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

Hosted by Vasti Calitz. Produced by Vasti Calitz and Andri Burnett.This season is made possible by a grant by the National Arts Council.

Listen Now: Bonus: Queer Spec Fic with Keely Shinners

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Writing Crime with Rofhiwa Maneta

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Andrew Brown

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Carol-Ann Davids

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Liz McGregor

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Mike Nicol

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Sifiso Mzobe

In this, the final episode of the season, we investigate crime writing via Rofhiwa Maneta’s, ‘A Man, a Fire, a Corpse’, a book about his father, the top cop of Soweto – Captain Amos Maneta.

Mervyn recommends ‘Young Blood’ by Sifiso Mzobe, ‘Hammerman’ by Mike Nicol, ‘The Heist Men’ by Andrew Brown, ‘Unforgiven’ by Liz Macgregor, and ‘How to be a Revolutionary’ by CA Davids.

Listen on Apple podcasts or Spotify

Hosted by Vasti Calitz. Produced by Vasti Calitz and Andri Burnett. This season is made possible by a grant by the National Arts Council.Link to episodes: https://we.tl/t-Ywv3yj27OQ

Listen Now: Writing Crime with Rofhiwa Maneta

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Cities with Tshidiso Moletsane

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Lauren Beukes

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Rémy Ngamije

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Tshidiso Moletsane

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Yewande Omotoso

We go on some literary journeys through South African cities, featuring Tshidiso Moletsane talking about his debut novel, Junx, and with recommendations from Dela Gwala.

Dela recommends Our Move Next, curated by Kelly-Eve Koopman, Sarah Summers and Vasti Hannie; The Eternal Audience of One by Rémy Ngamije, Zoo City by Lauren Beukes, and The Woman Next Door by Yewande Omotoso. Our Move Next is available for download here.

Listen Now: Cities with Tshidiso Moletsane

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