Book Choice

FINE MUSIC RADIO  |  Podcast , ±46 min episodes every 4 weeks, 3 days  | 
Book Choice, sponsored by Wordsworth Books, is broadcast on the first Monday of each month, presented by Gorry Bowes-Taylor.

While you’re munching your lunch or driving the myriad motorways, you’ll hear all that’s best in books. Cape Town’s top book reviewers will entertain and inform you as they cheerfully chat about the newest and nicest fiction and non-fiction on Wordsworth Books shelves.

You love author interviews? Well, we line up those for your pleasure and leisure too.
You want an easy-peasy competition each month with good prizes? All there, prettily planned for your lovely listening.

Do join us for your delectation… for your entertainment… for your information.

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Book Choice - August 2019

It’s midday on the first Monday of Women’s month and what better time to put up your feet and join us for Bookchoice on Fine Music Radio, coming to you from the Artscape Theatre in Cape Town. I’m Cindy Moritz, and I’m delighted to bring you this month’s choice of good books from our switched-on team of readers.

Penny Lorimer reviews two unusual thrillers, one by a seasoned British writer and the other by a novice American writer. Joe Country by Mick Herron and Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips
“Haunting, poetic and page turning”, is how Vanessa Levenstein describes the much hyped Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens, set in a small town in North Carolina in the 1960s.
Philip Todres chatted with Getaway Magazine editor Justin Fox about The 30-Year Safari - A celebration of Getaway Photography, published by Jacana. He called it “A very handsome coffee-table book with an impressive range of stunning photographs selected from the past decade of travel images featured in Getaway.”
Beverley Roos-Muller read Cari Mora, for which she suggests a strong stomach is required. It is written by Thomas Harris, best remembered for his "Hannibal the Cannibal" books.
John Hanks believes Stuarts’ Field Guide to the Tracks & Signs of Southern, Central and East African Wildlife is a must-have for every wildlife enthusiast and anyone involved with environmental education.

Beryl Eichenberger reviewed The Wall by Max Annas, set in an upmarket suburb where the homeowners feel safe and secure. When someone comes in to find help he doesn’t feel the same.

Melvyn Minnaar indulged in two wonderful hardcover books of American origin which are miles apart content-wise: A Lucky Man by Jamel Brinkley and Dreyer’s English by Benjamin Dreyer.

Peter Soal takes us into a tumultuous White House in Siege: Trump Under Fire by veteran journalist and media commentator Michael Wolff. It documents a White House driven by vicious infighting and a president who is described as erratic, irrational a

Book Choice - July 2019

Beverley Roos Muller delves into the complex world of Artificial Intelligence in Ian McEwan’s Machines Like Me, calling it elegant as well as disturbing. Andrew Brown feels like Alice in Wonderland reading William Boyd’s Love is Blind, which is now out in paperback. Vanessa Levenstein calls Fiona Snycker’s Lacuna “an articulate response to JM Coetzee’s novel Disgrace, finally giving Lucy Lurie a voice, and Philip Todres speaks to Samantha Smirin, author of Life Interrupted: A Bipolar Memoir. He describes it as a “heartbreakingly honest biography of a person confronting bipolar disorder”. From the human condition to the call of the wild, John Hanks flew through African Raptors by William Clark and Rob Davies, and calls it a must-have for dedicated ornithologists. Back down to earth, Beryl Eichenberger explores a dream come true… or a nightmare waiting to happen in Michelle Sacks’s dark fiction, You Were Made for This. Penny Lorimer has discovered a new historical series with Philip Kerr’s Metroplis, featuring an interesting and attractive protagonist. And I’ll tell you all about Sarah Blake’s The Guest Book, a powerful exploration of whether history is the memory we carry in our bodies and how one privileged American family grappled with their own “things better left unsaid’.

Book Choice - June 2019

Beverley Roos Muller explores memory and the discovery of home in Julia Martin’s beautifully written memoir Blackridge House. Vanessa Levenstein gets on the line to Evan Ratliff, author of The Mastermind: Drugs, Empire, Murder, Revenge to find out what drove one cyber-genius to choose honour over crime. From crime to culture as Philip Todres turns the spotlight to professional dancer, teacher and choreographer Richard Glasstone and his latest publications and Cindy Moritz welcomed the chance to scratch further beneath the surface in a conversation with Simon Sebag Montefiore, author of Written in History: Letters that changed the world, reviewed here last month. Bringing the topical cyber-crime theme home, Beryl Eichenberger entered the web’s dark underbelly in Peter Church’s page-turning thriller, Crackerjack, set here in Cape Town, and Michael Avery spoke to financial journalist TJ Strydom, author of Christo Wiese: Risk and Riches, the day after an eventful book launch.

Book Choice - May 2019

Beverley Roos Muller gives joyful voice to Vox by Christina Dalcher which she found very readable.
Committed conservationist John Hanks wonders whether The Last Elephants by Don Pinnock and Colin Bell really are the last elephants.
From last to the next as Vanessa Levenstein so joyfully chats to Mitch Albom about his sequel to The five people you meet in heaven: The Next Person You Meet in Heaven.
And Nicky Farrelly comes up with a joyful bundle of great reads. Just right for the fireside or the electric blanket.
Melvyn Minnaar chooses two very different books for those of us who thrill to language charm.
MR: And Cindy Moritz reviews Written in History – Letters that changed the World, a book for those of us who are in for a feast of history.

Book Choice - April 2019

Philip Todres takes you into glorious views of an old family estate Constantia Glen with owner Alexander Waiver as they leaf through Constantia Glen - A Timeless Vision by Clare O’Donaghue, with Craign Fraser’s stunning photographs. And it’s one of today’s Giveaways.

Cruel as ever, Michael Roche-Kelly hopes to keep us awake at night with three gripping thrillers, one of which – The Senior Advisor by Edmund-George King is also one of today’s Giveaways.

Cindy Moritz takes you to a hard-to-find little village in Korea in Karin Cronje’s memoir of her teaching time there in There Goes English Teacher.

Vanessa Levenstein munches her way through Have You Eaten Grandma, Gyles Brandreth’s often hilarious take on commas, apostrophes and others of today’s grammar glops.

Go game viewing with zoologistT John Hanks via Stuart’s Field Guide to National Parks & Game Reserves of East Africa.
rememberingto pack into your pocket Jonathan Leeming’s Scorpions of Southern Africa.

Beverley Roos Muller pronounces Washington Black by Esu Edugyan a powerful, pacy and remarkable novel.

Lesley Beake almost dances to The Rhythm of the Rain by Graham Baker Smith, but changes her tune with Barak Obama’s love letter to his daughters: Of Thee I Sing.

If we’ve time Peter Soal persuasively praises Her Man Gilliome’s The Rise and Demise of the Afrikaaners for its fine writing and meticulous research.

Book Choice - March 2019

Sad news this month then plenty of good books. Andrew Marjoribanks, MD Wordsworth Books, so very heartregood news aboutndingly died on February 16. He and I started FMR BOOK CHOICE 19 years ago and worked together for all that time. Andrew’s monthly reviews were like him – calm, conversational, intelligent, enthusiastic. In loving and grateful memory of Andrew, Mark Jennings, FMR Station Manager has made a Fine Music Radio donation to Shine Literacy.

The good news is that Nicky Farrelly, Manager at Wordsworth Books, Longbeach Mall will be with us each month, as suggested by Andrew. This month Nicky picks four fascinating fiction titles.

Michael Roche-Kelly, mean as ever, gives us three thrillers to curl our toes.. has kindly chosen one as one of today’s Giveaways.

Beverley Roos Muller pays tribute to the delicacy of award-winning Irish writer Sebastian Barry for the brilliance of his third novel to mine the McNully family history: The Temporary Gentleman.

Sally-Ann Creed talks the toxins in our food, personal care products and household cleaners, and reassures us that it’s just 63 days to Optimum Health - the title of her vibrant and vital book. Also one of today’s Giveaways.

Lesley Beake brings us up to date on childhood’s chilling dragons, while

Vanessa Levenstein, with roughly the same young age in mind, talks to about the launch of a fashion app in The New Girl Code.

Melvyn Minnaar is much moved by Andrew Marshall’s Dissecting Wobblies, his brave, sometimes dark, often hilarious take on living with hi genetic neuro muscular degenerative disease - Fredrick’s Ataxia.

Book Choice - February 2019

Melvyn Minnaar is delightfully set alight by Leonard Cohen’s The Flame.

Cindy Moritz finds John Boyne’s A Ladder to the Sky deliciously dark and satisfying.

John Hanks journeys through Ian Glenn’s The First Safari – Searching for Francois Levaillant, an account of South Africa’s first and perhaps the greatest ever birder.

Lesley Beake brings us a dystopian teen novel and a South African story for younger readers.

Briony Chisholm chats about her delightully titled One Night Only, her debut novel that’s a fun and flirty take on the romantic dongs of 33 year old Sarah Trafford.

Philip Todres talks to Jay Pather co-editor with Catherine Boulle of Acts of Transgression - Contemporary Live Art in South Africa a wonderfully informative, and accessible book, with some excellent photographs to add to the treat.

Peter Soal takes on two local stalwarts in The Indepence Factor by Dennis Worrall, and Graham Viney’s The Last Hurrah – South Africa and the Royal tour of 1947

Vanessa Levenstein takes a delightful trip around the Cape via Around the Cape in 80 Ways compiled and edited by Gabriel & Louise Athiros. Finally, if Matabataba finds the time we’ve a pre-record of Rodeny Trudgeon

Book Choice - November 2018

This happy hour Andrew Marjoribanks, Wordsworth Books brings us great ideas for gifting and getting, Rodney Trudgeon falls hook, line and sinker for Mike Bruton’s The Fishy Smiths – The biographjy of JLB and Margaret Smith. Cindy Moritz much enjoyed Vanessa Raphaely’s beach umbrella thriller Plus One, while Peter Soal takes on two non-fiction books on opposite poles of the political centre: Across Boundaries. A memoir by the brilliantTon Vosloo, Nasionale Per boss, and Truths, Lies and Alibis – A Winnie Mandela Story by Fred Bridgeland. It was World Mental Healtrh Day last month, Vanessa Levenstein chats to Moira Fisher, author of The Enumerations a beguiling and helpful book on the effects of a mental conditions on a family. There’s a Gioveaway copy in today’s easy-peasy competition. Phillippa Cheifitz is enthusiastic about new trends, new tastes in The South African Vegan Cookbook where food is plant-based, using no animal products. We’ve a pre-recorded chat with Zimbabwean writer, Jill Baker, about the first in her sizzling Zambezi trilogy, The Horns, with a Giveaway copy in today’s easy-peasy completion. Finally Lesley Beake speaks of the joys and delights of non-fiction for young readers.

Book Choice - October 2018

It’s noon on the first Monday of the month, so it’s BOOK CHOICE on Fine Music radio, and it’s a warm welcome from me, Gorry Bowes Taylor Matabata . . . .. This happy hour Andrew Marjoribank, Wordsworth Books brings you a bagful about his knees and his Passion for Opera, and his book is one of today’s Giveaways. Cindy Moritz spies a grand thriller in Daniel Silva’s The Other Woman. More spine chillers from Mike Fitzjames, including the new Tony Park, which is also one of today’s Giveaways. The 10th of October is World Mental Health Day. The Enumerations is a novel about the effects of a mental condition on a family. Vanessa Levenstein spoke to author, Máire (pronounced Moira) Fisher. John Hanks hopes that adults, too, will read Kids’ Snakes of Southern Africa by Johan Marais, and keep snakes alive, and Lesley Beake talks teenage fantasy, in other words, other worlds and two good books for the young. Peter Soal gives us the up-beat on the first Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa, Louis Botha by Richard Steyn. Philip Todres takes on a remarkable tome - Belonging - The story of the Jews 1492 - 1900’ by Simon Schama. If Matabataba finds the time, but I doubt it, we’ve a pre-recorded chat with Zimbabwean writer, Jill Baker, about the first in her sizzling Zambezi trilogy, The Horns.

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