Curator & Crusader by Mike Bruton – 9 July 2019

D7o8FXpXsAAqFnVWe launch Curator and Crusader by Mike Bruton published by Footprint Press. Mike will be in conversation with Dr Graham Avery, retired senior palaeoanthropologist from Iziko.

DETAILS: Tuesday 9th July at 6 for 6.30pm
RSVP: Please email or call us on 021 788 2266

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Excerpt from Jan Morris’s ‘In My Mind’s Eye’ (2018)

The irrepressible travel writer Jan Morris, at the age of 90, decided to keep a diary. Each entry is a gem, unique in subject matter, and her observations are whimsical as well as incisive. Over the next few weeks we’ll share some of our favourites.



morris-mindsSome novels I fear, are just too clever for me or, rather, I am not clever enough for them. Sometimes, though, it seems to me that they are just too clever for their own good. Of course, I relish the challenge of a superior artistic intellect, even if I need help to understand it.

For eighteen years I failed to get through Joyce’s Ulysses, until I was delightfully converted to its genius by Harry Blamires’s key to it all, and since then I have never looked back. I am still of the impertinent opinion, though, that such a great masterpiece would be even greater if it could be scoured of unnecessary obscurities, while its successor Finnegan’s Wake, since nobody I know has ever succeeded in reading it all the way through, seems to me a perfect waste of the master’s time.

All this is because I have now reached, with muddled feelings, page 38 of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967). I am reading it, a bit late in the day, because I feel I ought to. The New York Times, I see, says it should be required reading for the whole human race. I shall soon know whether all of it is going to be required reading for me.

Later: No.

Review – Olivia Laing’s The Lonely City

lonelycitycoverAs someone who regularly enjoys solitude and “aloneness”, I leaped at the opportunity to explore the concept of loneliness, which is a state people often feel ashamed to admit to. Olivia Laing moves seamlessly between memoir, biography and cultural criticism, in a very successful attempt at investigating the cause of urban loneliness, as well as how it may be resisted and redeemed. This “strange and lovely state”, and the connection between isolation and creativity, is celebrated through the lives and works of iconic artists such as Hopper, Warhol and Darger.

The book is evocative, observant and comforting and one comes away with a deeper understanding of how beauty may be found in unexpected human experiences, and that loneliness is a rather special place.

Mary-Ann Burke

Poacher – Kimon de Greef chats to Mark Gevisser – 4 July 2019

poacher-kimon-de-greef-196x300*UPDATE: THIS EVENT IS NOW FULLY BOOKED – WE ARE AT CAPACITY.*

Next week, we discuss Poacher by Kimon de Greef and Shuhood Abader, published by NB.

“A stunning achievement. A classic South African narrative that includes questions of race, place, politics and morality. Intimate and wide-ranging, superbly researched and superbly written…” – Richard Poplak

DETAILS: Thursday 4 July at 18:00 for 18:30, Kalk Bay Books
RSVP ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL before 2 July: email or call us on 021 788 2266

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Xhosa Lite, with Tessa Dowling & Jeremy Blackburn – 18 June 2019


If your New Year’s resolution in 1997 was to learn Xhosa but you still haven’t got round to it because you live in Kalk Bay and most of your time is taken up dodging sea urchins in a tidal pool, buying pastries at the Olympia or hiding from the tourists in Kalk Bay books, this is the show for you.

In Xhosa Lite, veteran UCT Xhosa lecturer and former Kalk Bay local Tessa Dowling, teams up with theatre supremo Jeremy Blackburn to teach you some basic Xhosa while you laugh. A highlight of the show will be the classic and hilarious piece, Muizenberg Bridge, penned by Tessa’s sister, the internationally recognized and award-winning poet and novelist, Finuala Dowling.

In a presentation finely balanced between the didactic and the comedic, you’ll come away with a few simple Xhosa phrases – not the usual ones! – that will help you moan about life in Cape Town, with more panache.

Tickets are R60.
DETAILS: Kalk Bay Books, Tuesday 18 June at 18:00 for 18:30
Booking is ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL as seats are limited and this event will sell out fast. We are now fully booked, sorry!

Please email or call 021 788 2266 for your ticket.

Vuvuzela Dawn by Luke Alfred & Ian Hawkey – 11 June 2019

We launch Vuvuzela Dawn by Luke Alfred and Ian Hawkey, published by Pan Macmillan

‘A fresh spotlight on an exhilarating journey, and some much-needed reminders of how sport has enriched lives and opened minds in South Africa over the last 25 years.’ – Lucas Radebe

DETAILS: Kalk Bay Books, Tuesday 11 June at 18:00 for 18:30
RSVP: please email or call us on 0217882266

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