The Book Club Blog

Books for any occasion and other life stuff

Seriously overdue post!

Wow! It is amazing how very quickly time zips by, one minute it is January, and in the blink of an eye we are in the middle of May already. Crazy the pace of life we live…! But even though life has been busy, the weather is winding down into Winter which means colder weather, hibernatory patterns emerging and reading more (my favourite part). I have to share one book that I have recently read and to me, it was a soul book. It was excellent. The writing was glorious, the story was sad but yet, uplifting, the relationships that were portrayed were realistic and all round good reading. What is it, you are screeching at me by now??

Take a look: then go out and buy it, seriously, go on, go do it now…

I’ll give you the sun by Jandy Nelson, was brilliant.


A YA novel, but yet so much more than that. Focusing on the relationship between two competitive twins Jude and Noah, and how through a series of misunderstandings and family tragedy their relationship breaks down. But it is the putting back together again, how they are two halves of a whole and yet two wholes within their twinship which I enjoyed exploring. The characters are real and you can almost feel the emotion in the pages as you read. I have to admit to a few tear drops here and there. It was a very Real book and the writing captures moments and memories and miscommunications and love and being true to oneself in such a way that you can REMEMBER these feelings (as an adult). As a young adult, I am sure that the book also sparks the emotions.

Jandy Nelson is an American author and this book was published in 2014.

Have you read it? What did you think?

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My Lion’s Heart by Gareth Patterson – my review

This book is a true account of Gareth’s work with both lions and elephants in Africa.

Firstly, thank you to Tracey Macdonald on sending me a review copy of this book, I do enjoy reading about people whose life work is to save and protect the animals.  It is  a worthy life cause and with so many people who either don’t care, don’t do anything, or worse, who even kill these animals for sport, it is an honour to know that there are people out there who care.

I have to be honest and say that I did struggle a little to read this book due to his writing style, it was quite jagged and hopped about a bit but apart from that it was an interesting and heart rendering read. If any of you have read The Elephant Whisperer, it is in the same vein. What intrigues me most about Gareth and his lion heart is that he literally became part of his lion pride. I think it would be awesome to have that sort of connection, both spiritual and physical, with a wild animal. I loved how he became part of them, how the lions knew that he was a part of the pride and showed him in ways that are just so special.

What is the most heart rendering is that here are these men, who do everything in their power to help the animals, to try to make other humans see sense amid the senseless act of killing for sport and yet, the government does nothing and when it does,( it takes reels of paperwork) the people do nothing and the killing still continues. That just breaks my heart. And what breaks it even more, is that it still continues. We all know of Rhino poachers, but there are lion poachers and elephant poachers too. Sickening and Saddening. That in this day and age it Still occurs and for such bizarre reasons that it just cannot make any sense.

I think that Gareth was called to work with animals, that he is spiritually connected to them and more specifically with lions and to read his account of his life was both awe inspiring and sorrowful.

Do read it, I think the more people who are aware of the situation the better and maybe one of us will be inspired to do the same.

You can find more about Gareth here and see the book trailer here.

Keep an eye out for our interview with Gareth coming to The Book Club Blog soon!

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Friday night review chatter… and now I am off to read…

Can I just say that time is flying by at a rate of knots?!! Half way through September it is already, its madness.

Amidst this craziness of life, I am managing to get some reading time in, thank goodness, I don’t think I would stay sane if I didn’t… I read and finished I am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes, though it took me just under two weeks to finish it, which for me is crazy long. 800 odd pages and considering that I mainly read at night time – currently cutting into my reading time right now by blogging – by the time I had read about 10 pages I was ready for sleep, thats how busy the weeks have been!

So, what did I think?

After reading much hype about the book on a FB book group, I was quite amped to read this book. Luckily for me, our book club got it in for this month and I was the second to read it.  I enjoyed it, I thought the story was very clever, I enjoyed the back stories (which I think was the annoying part for some readers) as I think it made you understand the characters better. I like how the main character – Pilgrim, deduced where to go from ‘random’ clues and how everything was interconnected and intertwined. I was a leetle disappointed in the book, but only because there was a huge amount of hype and I guess I was expecting some huge bombshell at the end which didn’t occur BUT not That disappointed that I didn’t enjoy the book. Would I read his next book? Yes, I dare say I would:-) I guess I should do a more of an in-depth review of this book, so will edit that in over the weekend…

What was your verdict?

I am  now on Haruki Murakami – Colourless Tsukuru Tazaki and his Years of Pilgrimage which I honestly cannot say whether I am enjoying or not. Ok, thats not quite truthful. I am enjoying it, I mostly enjoy his books as they are rather odd, a little surreal and generally my cup of tea but with 20 odd pages left to go in this one, I am still not sure. I guess I will have my verdict once I am done. Which I will once I head off to bed and finish it….

So, on that note, I will leave you to your Friday night and check back in over the weekend with my verdict and what ever else I can remember reading in-between these two;-)

I hope you manage to get many joyful reading hours in this weekend!

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Monday morning reviews to love or hate a book…

Wowser, so, we waited for this book for a long time, but the wait was definitely worth it. Classic Tom Robbins at his best, and with his very own story. I loved reading how he ‘became’ a writer, the thoughts behind his books and the stories of his life. I was inspired to watch Even Cowgirls get the blues though the movie has nothing on the book, but isn’t that usually the case?

Tom Robbins is one of my most favourite authors, I love his philosophical style mixed in with reality, I love how there is meaning in the mundane and his writing style is truly unique. I don’t think there will ever be ‘another’ Tom Robbins. A bit like there will never be another Haruki Murakami. Novels which are in their own style which can not be duplicated.

I think if you are a fan of Tom’s writing, then this is  a must read, and even if you are not, it is still an interesting read as his words are like a love story for the brain. He mixes metaphors and tears you away from the ordinary as you slowly savour each sentence. If you haven’t read anything by him, I would recommend Jitterbug Perfume as a starting point and work your way through his novels that way. Some say that your first novel that you read by him, will forever be your favourite,  I don’t quite agree, as once I read Jitterbug Perfume, it was love at first reading never mind the others I had read.

Verdict: Loved it!

So, what do you think? Have you read him? And will you, if you haven’t?

As for another book I tried to read, which has had brilliant reviews is A Girl Who is a Half Formed Thing by Eimear Mc Bride.

And to be honest, I don’t have time to read book which feel like work, when there are so very many others that I want to read. I gave it a good chance but found it so very difficult to read. Her writing style is completely different, and as I said, quite hard work. I am sure that it is a brilliant piece of writing, but I cannot fathom it. I may try again, when I am feeling braver, but really, when there are other more enjoyable books out there?

Verdict: So didn’t like it

Have you read it? What was your verdict? Am I being too hasty in discarding it to the not to be read pile, or should I persevere and get through it?

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BROKEN MONSTERS – Lauren Beukes -my review

I love my library! They are truly awesome at getting in new books to read, without a long wait or huge price tag. I received my copy of this to read last week and it took me a little while to read, due to the fact that I didn’t want to have nightmares so I didn’t read this book at night.

Saying that I was both compelled to read and yet forced to stop at turns during the reading of this book. I thought it was a brilliantly written novel, yet, novel, I have to ask how much of it really is a novel, this story is seeped in reality. What I found most disturbing about the book is that to me, it is a reflection on the world at the moment. A reflection on how our lives are online, how we are often afraid to speak, how work can dominate our lives and how there is such a breakdown of community that social media is the norm. How people become more broken, how utterly convinced of their own dream that nothing stands in the way of it.

I loved how Beukes weaves a tale of artists dreaming and how it is catching and that doors can open, and it seems to me that she captures this day and age perfectly in her book. So, what is it about? A serial killer in detroit who is an artist who is broken and where the dream inside his head takes over the human part of him and infects others who can ‘see’. It is about the relationship between a Police detective mother and her teenage daughter. It is the story of an online ‘self made’ journalist. A disturbing and rather dark novel set in the here and now, it captures the essence of our times.

Read it, I don’t think you will be disappointed.

To see my review on The Shining Girls go here and for those of you who have read her other books, do they all contain serial killers? Or is it just her last two that do?? And I am sure that even after I have pressed publish on this post, this book will still sit with me and percolate inside my brain….

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Some light hearted chick-lit for your Monday

The Hidden Cottage – Erica James


Erica James is one of my guilty pleasures, just like Penny Vincenzi and Maeve Binchy. I like how her books are easy to read and always have people at the heart of it. Her books are solid and dependable and even though there may be a tragedy stuck in her story for good measure, people generally make it out of it alive and with positivity.

A Passionate Love Affair with a  Perfect Stranger – Amy Robinson

A chick-lit book with a difference. This was not your usual chick-lit fair, it had good, well written characters, an interesting story line and was actually fairly amusing. It did have some boring bits which I did skim read but as a general whole, this was a fun and easy read for when you need some light heartedness in your life.

Night Music – Jo Jo Moyes

I really enjoyed Me before You so when I found this in the library, I decided to give it a go. Well, I have to be honest that it did not grab me one bit. I think I got a few chapters in and by then the characters had started to annoy me and the writing just did not pull me in. I have to, again, admit to having ditched the book and didn’t actually finish it. If you have read it, does it turn out good at the end? I know she has a new one out, which I am tempted to try, apparently its as good as Me before You…

Have you read any good chick-lit of late? I do usually enjoy Jane Green and Marian Keyes, but if you know of any other goodies out there, do let me know.

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Open – Andre Aggasi

I could not put this book down! Beautifully written, it opened my eyes to this one mans talent. Gave me new respect for tennis players and has my hooked on reading more about other players to see how their tennis journeys compared with his.

I remember Agassi when he won Wimbledon, I was in high school and I thought he was the bees knees! I don’t think I have ever watched Wimbledon in quite the same way ever again, blame it on my teenage hormones if you must;-) But to have read this book, really was brilliant, he was quite a tortured man. To think of doing something that you hate because you have to, I think many people in the world live like that, just maybe not quite so publicly.

I love that he eventually met and married Steffi Graf, I love how supportive she was of him and his career, and how she stood by him through both the ups and downs. I think that they must have  a truly awesome marriage.

I found this book quite reminiscent of The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua in how Andre’s father was quite the tiger. Forcing not only one of his children but all of them into tennis because it was what he wanted. I am glad that all of them figured themselves out in the end though and became who they were meant to be without force. The fact, that there was no kindness in all of the forcing just makes me realise , again,what an important job we have as parents. I wouldn’t wish his father on anyone.

Have you read it? What did you think?

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The Legacy Book Tour

Welcome to the scheduled stop on the The Legacy Book Tour!


One man obsessed with power.

One woman prepared to sacrifice everything to stop him.

 One war that changed the world.

 “World War Three lasted twelve days. Twelve days was all it took for mankind to devastate the planet and almost eradicate the human race. No victor emerged from the ashes and billions lost their lives.

 We survivors lived through the bleakest of winters. A primal existence became the new order, and the little that remained of our humanity hung in the balance.

 Then one man stood up and changed the world. I believed, as did everyone else, that he was the hero of our time, the man who had saved us from our own demise. His name is Eric Dane and he is the President of the New United States of America.

 He is also my husband, and my greatest enemy.

 I grew up oblivious to the truth, until my father found me when I was nineteen years old. He told me about the many horrifying facts that our new leader kept hidden from us. And he told me that beyond the borders the Resistance grew and fought for freedom from the oppression that Eric Dane had imposed on us.

 My name is Rebecca Davis. I am twenty-six years old, and in me the Resistance has found the ultimate weapon.”

 A narrative of good and evil, love and passion, right and wrong – and at the centre of the story a strong woman who is prepared to sacrifice everything for the cause she believes in.

 The Legacy is an action-packed, adrenalin-inducing thrill ride which will leave you riveted long after you have turned the last page.

I enjoyed this book! It was an interesting concept which, in so far as I know, has not been done before in quite this way. The main characters are well put together and the writing pulls you along urging you to find out more about them, and the situation. There are some small twists which I didn’t see coming and thought that to add that element into the theme of a ‘strong woman’ was great. The ending was very moreish as it left you feeling curious as to what actually happened, was it all just a lie or is the truth in the madness? I guess I am going to have to read the second one to find out!

Here is an excerpt to tickle those reading tastebuds:

EXCERPT – The Legacy by Melissa Delport

Chapter 27

“What’s a nymph?” I ask suddenly, eliciting another deep chuckle. I glance across at him but his eyes are closed.

“A nymph, Tiny, is a sexy nature spirit who gets up to no good.”

“Aah.” I nod wisely. “Known a few of those in your time, no doubt.”

“Shut up,” he replies. “The only small, sexy thing I need to be worrying about right now is you. There will be plenty of time for nymphs later.”

“What, like when we’ve rescued Aidan, stolen an army, assassinated the President and basically saved the world?”

“Yeah,” he nods confidently, opening his eyes and meeting my gaze, “then.”

Much later, my neck and back are stiff and I sit up, pulling my sweatshirt tighter around myself.

Reed sits up too, rubbing his neck.

“You know what I worry about?” I ask, although I’m not sure why I feel the need to unburden myself to him. Maybe it’s because he’s here, maybe it’s because he’s helping me for reasons unbeknown to me; maybe it’s because at this moment he’s the closest thing I have to a friend.

“What, Tiny?”

When I answer my voice is small, uncertain.

“I worry that I won’t be able to save him.” Tears prick at my eyes and I blink them away.

“What will happen if you don’t?” he asks. This is one thing I like about Reed, he allows me to explore all options, and he doesn’t always feel the need to protect me from the worst case scenario.

“I don’t know.”

“Yes, you do. You know,” he presses.

“I think I’ll die.” The words escape me before I can even think about them, but once out I know they are true. How will I carry on without Aidan? I cannot comprehend a world in which he doesn’t exist.

“No, you won’t, Rebecca.” His voice is strong and sure.

“How do you know?”

“Because I do; I know. And so do you.”

“Why won’t I?” I ask.

“You tell me.” He looks me in the eye and lifts my chin with his thumb and index finger.

“Alex,” I answer, swallowing my misgivings and straightening my back, meeting his gaze.

“That’s right,” he nods. “You’ll live for Alex. You’ll fight for Alex. You’ll win, for Alex.”

“Why are you here?” I ask a short while later, as we make our way back to the camp.

“Me?” He looks uncomfortable.

“Yes, Reed.” I stop and face him, emphasising each word. “Why – are – you – here?”

“I’m here to help. I believe in the Resistance and I want to make a difference.” This is yet another version of his generic answer to this question.

“I believe you,” I say. “But you just don’t strike me as the type who would go out of his way to help people he doesn’t know, no offence.”

“None taken.” He looks back the way we have come and then towards the camp as though hoping something will happen that might mean he doesn’t have to answer.

He sighs and then looks down at me, narrowing his eyes.

“Geez, okay, you win.” He runs his hand through his hair and then starts talking, not pausing for breath, as though it is easier to simply get it all out.

“You asked me where I got my abilities. I got them the same place you did. I got them from your father.”

You can check out the book trailer here:  ( I have to admit to really enjoying book trailers at the moment!)

To buy the book:

eBook links: – HERE – HERE

Barnes & Noble – HERE

Kobo – HERE – HERE


The Legacy is available at most bookshops in South Africa, or you can order it online: – HERE – HERE – HERE


Wife and mother of 3, Melissa Delport is the author of The Legacy Trilogy and the stand-alone self-published e.books Rainfall and The Traveler.  She graduated from the University of South Africa with a  Bachelor’s Degree in English in 2000. At the age of twenty-four Melissa started a logistics company (Transmax) from the spare room of her flat and built it up to two fully operational depots in Durban and Johannesburg. Now, 10 years later, she has sold her business in order to write full time. Melissa lives with her husband and three children in Hillcrest, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

The Legacy (book 1 of The Legacy Trilogy) and The Legion (book 2) are available now and the final book, The Legend, will be released early 2015. An avid reader herself, Melissa finally decided to stop ‘watching from the sidelines’ and to do what is her passion.

“I was driving home from work when inspiration struck, and a storyline started unravelling in my head. For a few days it was all I could think about and eventually I realised that the only way to get it out of my head, was to put it all down on paper. I started writing, and that was that.”

I Love that Melissa is a South African author who is not writing about apartheid and other South Africanisms, I think her series puts her in league with the likes of The Hunger Games and Divergent.
The only things I didn’t really enjoy about her book was, and this is just my opinion, is that it was a little bit too quick, just as you got used to something, choops, it changed! Not that its a bad thing as it allows the fast paced story to pull you in, but I wouldn’t of minded just a little bit of a go slow at times.


The Legacy Trilogy Website:





Publisher’s website:

Twitter Hashtag for the book blog tour: #TheLegacyBlogTour



The Trapeze Artist – Will Davis

Oh my Goodness, every now and then you come across a book which just completely grabs your attention. This one was it for me this month. I loved it. The writing is beautiful, the story is beautiful, sad, heart rendering even in places and left me gasping at the end. Will Davis really knows how to write, so much so that I do believe I may have to go in search of his others, just to see if they are as good as this one!

I loved how he captures the essence of growing up in a small town, with ‘odd’ parents, the relationship between him and his best friend. I love how as an adult the main character runs away to join a circus, and not because of any other reason but that he feels propelled to. I think this book could speak to a great many people, how we get stuck in a rut and then one day, we just snap and do something completely out of the ordinary that everyone who knows you must think that you are crazy. I love how he portrayed the relationships in this book and how sometimes we just need someone to be there.

I loved the circus element, especially considering that I am a budding aerialist and in my own small way can relate to the danger and sense of fear that one has when doing tricks, the hard work and dedication that goes into those tricks.

A Beautiful Book and will hands down go onto my list of all time favourites.

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The Silkworm – Robert Gailbraith

Welcome to my new favourite series! I read The Cuckoo’s Calling a few months ago and thoroughly enjoyed it! You can read my review here and the next in the series does not disappoint.

Cormoran Strike is officially one of my new favourite characters in a book with his trusty sidekick Robin, who is navigating her relationship with her fiancé and having found her calling in her work life. I do like how it is been portrayed in the book and adds in an extra dimension to the characters. Strike is Strike, a war veteran with one leg and relationship issues with his ex. I really enjoyed that he didn’t succumb to his fleeting desire to get in contact with his ex girlfriend Charlotte.

I found the murder in this book a little gruesome (and have to admit to having had a night mare one night which was closely related to the books murder…doesn’t happen often when a storyline heads into my dreamscapes…) but the book was full of literary references and was twisty enough to keep one interested and entertained. The only thing which I did notice and which detracted slightly from the book, was the continued references to how Strike was feeling at times, it just felt a little repetitive, though I am not sure if it is just because I read the first one a few months ago, so still have that as a reference inside my head or if it was slightly repetitive. Other than that, I enjoy her writing and I think she manages to wheel the reader in and keep one there in order to find out what happens.

I would highly recommend this series if you are interested in crime novels with a heart.

Have you read it, what did you think? Are you as taken in as I am?

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