The Book Club Blog

Books for any occasion and other life stuff

Simply South African!




Since creating the original NoMU range of products in December 2000, Tracy Foulkes has continued to produce quality food products and concepts that are an honest and authentic reflection of what she needs in her own kitchen. Now with more than 87 months of distributing her much-loved Recipe Mailers, sharing her creativity and passion for the food that makes her tic, tracy has partnered with Penguin Books SA to produce another innovative first for South Africa – the NoMU Recipe Box

This RECIPE BOX is a place to store the recipes that you want to try, the ones you love those that are your own personal favorites and inspirations. Now Tracy can share her favorite pastime with you, inviting you to personalize, collect and swap RECIPE CARDS as she continues to create more delicious meals fit for any occasion, and any crowd. The NoMU Recipe Box is also a great gift idea for friends and family! The RECIPE BOX retails for R280.

We wanted something that would not get shelved. I was brought up in the sort of home where recipes were often personalised, hand-crafted and carefully collected. Each recipe represented a technique, a memory, a special way of creating something uniquely yours. To this day, this is still very much the way I like to cook, often changing and updating and revising my favourite foodie moments as I go along. This is why the NoMU Recipe Box suits my lifestyle perfectly, and I really hope it will suit yours too!” Tracy Foulkes


Tracy Foulkes is the creator and co-directer for NoMU Brands, a leading company in lifestyle and food product innovation. While the NoMU range of products is exported to 38 countries, Tracy’s primary focus is new product development. She runs NoMU in partnership with her husband and head of marketing, Paul Raphaely. Tracy and Paul live in Cape Town, with their two children, two dogs, a bond and a frustratingly long list of things they never seem to get to.


Add to your collection with the NoMU Recipe Card top-up packs. Each recipe pack contains eight colour-coded new Recipe Cards, with the first set available from February 2013.


Each Recipe Card top-up pack features a hidden Mystery Card. Collect all four color-coded Mystery Cards, send them in  to NoMU, and you could be the lucky winner of a SMEG free-standing cooker to the value of R20 000!


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And the winner is….

Before I announce the Winner of the Literary Blog Hop, I would like to say thank you to all of you who visited, commented, followed and liked. It has been awesome to read your comments, your book recommendations, which will be duly noted into a list and to discover new book blogs around the blogosphere.

So without further ado… The Winner of this Literary Blog Hop is Judith!   None other than our very own Hostess of The Blog Hop itself! It does somehow seem rather apt that you should win.

Judith, a copy of Karma Suture will be winging it’s way to you soon.

Congratulations and thanks for hopping! Here’s to the next time…

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Did you know?


(and do let us know your thoughts in the comments section)



London and New York – Pearson and Bertelsmann today announce an agreement to create the world’s leading consumer publishing organisation by combining Penguin and Random House.

The combination brings together two of the world’s leading English language publishers, with highly complementary skills and strengths. Random House is the leading English language publisher in the US and the UK, while Penguin is the world’s most famous publishing brand and has a strong presence in fast-growing developing markets. Both companies have a long history of publishing excellence, and both have been pioneers in the dramatic industry transformation towards digital publishing and bookselling….

…The two companies believe that the combination will create a highly successful new organisation, both creatively and commercially, with the breadth and investment capacity to deliver significant benefits. Readers will have access to a wider and more diverse range of frontlist and backlist content in multiple print and digital formats. Authors will gain a greater depth and breadth of service, from traditional frontlist publishing to innovative self-publishing, on a global basis. Employees of the new organisation will be part of the world’s first truly global consumer publishing company, committed to sustained editorial excellence and long-term investment in a rich diversity of content. And shareholders will benefit from participating in the consolidation of the consumer publishing industry without having to deploy additional capital.

The combination is subject to customary regulatory and other approvals, including merger control clearances, and is expected to complete in the second half of 2013.

…Marjorie Scardino, chief executive of Pearson, said: “Penguin is a successful, highly-respected and much-loved part of Pearson. This combination with Random House – a company with an almost perfect match of Penguin’s culture, standards and commitment to publishing excellence – will greatly enhance its fortunes and its opportunities. Together, the two publishers will be able to share a large part of their costs, to invest more for their author and reader constituencies and to be more adventurous in trying new models in this exciting, fast-moving world of digital books and digital readers.“

Thomas Rabe, chairman and CEO of Bertelsmann, said: “With this planned combination, Bertelsmann and Pearson create the best course for new growth for our world-renowned trade-book publishers, to enable them to publish even more effectively across traditional and emerging formats and distribution channels. It will build on our publishing tradition, offering an extraordinary diversity of publishing opportunities for authors, agents, booksellers, and readers, together with unequalled support and resources.”

John Makinson, Chairman and CEO of Penguin, said: “All of us who work in book publishing experience every day the breathtaking pace of change in our industry. The partnership that we are announcing today will position Penguin Random House at the forefront of that change. Our access to investment resources will allow us to take risks with new authors, to defend our creative and editorial independence, to publish the broadest range of books on the planet, and to do it all with the attention to quality that has always characterised both our great companies.”

Markus Dohle, Chairman & CEO of Random House, adds: “Our new company will bring together the publishing expertise, experience, and skill sets of two of the world’s most successful, enduring trade book publishers. In doing so, we will create a publishing home that gives employees, authors, agents, and booksellers access to unprecedented resources. I deeply believe that the support and services that we will be able to offer, coupled with the creative and editorial independence that we will continue to maintain, will benefit everyone in the book publishing environment, especially our passionate readers from today’s generation to the next.” 


So what do you think?  Do you think its a good move for the two publishing houses to join forces? I think that if they really are aiming to stay in the forefront of publishing by working together, awesome things could happen in regards the changing way in which we, as readers, read but staying true to the original paper format of books. Though, I guess, only time will tell how the partnership will proceed.

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Give away coming up

Yes, you read right! I have joined in The Literary Blog hop coming up at the end of October. But, I would love to know what type of books you would like to see as a give away. I could, of course, do the choosing myself, but I thought, well, it would be great to actually see what people want to read so your assistance will be required to help out and let me know…!

And while we are on the topic of what to read, who is keen to read the new JK Rowling book The Casual Vacancy?

I have a mixed feeling, the synopsis of the book doesn’t really appeal BUT this is the lady who gave us Harry Potter and I LOVED Harry Potter. Luckily I didn’t have to wait in queues to buy my copies when I bought them in the UK and I wouldn’t have to wait in a queue for the latest offering but to read it or not to read it that is the question.

You know what the answer is don’t you? Of course, I am going to read it!

And you?

Tell us in the comments what your thoughts are, and don’t forget to mention what you would love as a give away…


Book review – Peaches for Monsieur Le Cure -Joanne Harris

I have itching to read this book ever since I found it on the ‘new fiction’ shelves of Exclusive Books and I am glad to say that I now have.

Peaches is the third installment of the Chocolat series and just as enjoyable as both the first and the second novels. I would recommend reading Lollipop Shoes again, if you, like me read it ages ago. It would just re-immerse you in the lives of the characters. Though saying that, Peaches can almost be a stand alone book.

What is it about:

Four years have passed since The Lollipop Shoes. Vianne and Roux are still living in Paris on their houseboat-chocolaterie. Anouk is fifteen, on the cusp of young womanhood. Rosette is eight, facing challenges of her own. Then, on a changing summer wind, comes a letter from the dead, calling them back to Lansquenet…

But in eight years, Lansquenet has changed. The cobbled streets, the whitewashed church, the disused tanneries along the river – all are just as they always were. But in Les Marauds, a community of Moroccans has arisen, with women veiled in black, the scent of incense, spices, kif and mint tea, and facing the church, on the far side of the Tannes, a minaret….

This book tells the story of Vianne and how she goes back to Lansquenet and the changes she finds there. It also shares with us some of Vianne’s fears about her relationship with Roux and the change in her relationship with Monsier Le Cure. The difference I think between this story and the two before this, is that it shows us how Vianne is more connected to Lansquenet than what she thought and how though she vowed never to go back, she did and the calling for her to stay there is strong.

The cast of characters are strong and I think the story also contrasts the differences between two religions and how one needs to be more accepting of ones beliefs but yet shows us again how very similar we all are as humans.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I look forward to reading more about Vianne and her family as they carry on travelling with the wind.

For more background info on the stories straight from the author herself, go here, makes for fascinating reading!

Also, if you would like to chat to Joanne Harris, she can be found at the Open Book Festival in Cape Town this weekend at The Fugard Theatre between 10h00 – 11h00.

I unfortunately won’t be able to make it, I take solace in the fact that I have met her once before at a book signing but if you go, do tell us all about it!

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Open Book Festival in Cape Town this weekend!

What is Open Book Festival?

Open Book Cape Town is an annual literary festival, the first of which happened in 2011. Round two will take place from the 20 – 24 September at the Fugard Theatre and The Book Lounge.

When Mervyn Sloman and Ben Williams started talking creating a festival, they had in mind around 60 literary events over 5 days featuring about 15 top international as well as some of the best South Africans writing today. Due to the incredible support Open Book received, that quickly grew into a festival with over 100 events, featuring almost 100 authors.

There are three major elements to the Open Book vision.

(1) A truly international festival that attracts top writers and an audience from around the world.

(2) A fantastic showcase of the best of South African writing.

(3) Making a significant and sustainable contribution to our future by building a love of reading and books among the youth of Cape Town.

(exerpt taken from here )

I have taken a look through the program and am excited to see that Lionel Shriver, Joanne Harris and Emily Gravatt are amongst many other  authors who will be at the event. Depending on work, I will be going to see who I can see this weekend!

For a full program of the festival, you can go here which will tell you all the details that you need to know. Who to see, where to see them and what time to see them!

Who rather tickles your fancy to meet?




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Penguin Books and Kalk Bay Books invite you…


After an unexpected request from his father, Henry Knott returns to the Karoo farm on which he spent a fractured childhood. Painful memories force him to revisit a tragedy in which he was fatefully implicated. Henry has to come to terms with how this event has shaped his adult life, his marriage and the conflicted emotions he feels towards the place of his birth.

The Land Within traces the deep connections between tragedy and love, regret and longing.

Alistair Morgan was born in Johannesburg in 1971. In 2009 he became the first non-American to win the Plimpton Prize for Fiction. Alistair’s highly acclaimed debut novel Sleeper’s Wake was published in 2009 and was the winner of the SALA 2012 First-Time Published Author Award. In 2012 it was adapted into a feature film. He currently lives in Cape Town.


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Launch of Simple and Delicious Recipes from the Heart

If you are anything like me and have a love of recipe books then this one is for you!

About the book:

Simple & Delicious is a collection of recipes from the heart. These are dishes which Alida Ryder – a food stylist, photographer, blogger and busy mother of twins – serves to her family. Sometimes it’s something fancy and a little tricky, but most often it’s simple, honest food created with a big dose of love and enthusiasm and a pinch or two of creativity and curiosity. Recipes from the heart.


Alida Ryder won the 2012 South African Food Blog of the Year Award for her blog Simply Delicious ( and if you haven’t yet visited her blog, I would highly recommend it, it is awesome! I have in fact, tried out a few of her recipes and they were indeed simple and delicious.

I am pleased to announce the Alida will be launching her book on Thursday 27 October and YOU are invited!

Where: The Bay Bookshop, Cape Quarter, 27 Somerset Rd, Green Point

When: Thursday 27 September 2012

Time: 18h00 for 18h30

RSVP: or 021 421 1301 by Tuesday 25 September

Visit Alida Ryder’s blog, like the Simply Delicious Food Blog on Facebook, follow her on twitter or follow her on Pinterest.

See you there?

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Happy Roald Dahl Day!

Today is Roald Dahl’s birthday! He would of turned 96 if he was still alive. But wow, to those just discovering Roald Dahl’s writings or those of us, who have already been aquainted with with them, we know that there are many more years left of Roald Dahl to enjoy!

Check out the website here to read all about him and find out facts which you may not have known before…

When did you discover Roald Dahl and what is your favourite book or story by him? Mine is ‘The Wonderful story of Henry Sugar, and I remember it vividly. It was all about a man who could see through cards to the pattern and won games like that. It required sitting and staring into a candle flame until the mind had switched off, and I remember trying that once! I guess, now I would call it meditating but at the age of 11, I didn’t quite know that then.
























So, tell me what is your most memorable or favourite Roald Dahl??

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Book review and Launch date of Die Pes – Albert Camus

Review sent in by Eleonore Godfroy.

For Afrikaans Albert Camus fans, check this out!

“Die Pes” (“The Plague”), one of the most successful novels of Nobel Prize winner Albert Camus, has just been translated into Afrikaans. A masterpiece of 20th Century literature, the text was translated by Piet de Jager and published by Protea Boekhuis. This initiative is supported by the French embassy in South Africa and the French institute (“Institut français”) in Paris, with the aim to promote linguistic diversity and access to French literature.

First published in the aftermath of World War II, “The Plague” chronicles the sweeping of Oran, a city of then French Algeria, by the disease. The inhabitants of the city try to find a response, some showing great courage while others endeavour to escape. The text is often read as a metaphor for the various reactions to the brutal occupation of France by the Nazis.

Despite Camus’ objection to the label, “The Plague” is considered as a classic of existentialist literature, where the irrationality of life sweeps individual ambitions and the “absurd” ultimately triumphs. “The Plague” aims to illustrate how the world ultimately deals with the notion of the “absurd”, that is the conflict between the human tendency to seek a meaning in life and the impossibility to ultimately find any. Camus further extended this thinking in “The Rebel”, a philosophical essay published a few years after “The Plague”.

The Book launch of “Dies Pes” by Albert Camus will take place at Alliance française of Johannesburg, 17 Kerry Road, Cnr Lower Park Drive, Parkview, on Saturday 18 August at 11.00am in presence of the translator Piet De Jager.

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