The Book Club Blog

Books for any occasion and other life stuff

Springtime Giveaway!

and this time it is international.

One lucky Book Club Blog reader will win any book of your choosing up to the value of $15 from The Book Depository, please check to see that they deliver to your country.

What do you need to do to enter?

3 simple steps.

1) Like us on FB

2) Share this give away via blog/twitter/facebook, either or, you choose

3) Tell us your favourite springtime reading either book title or author or what you hope to read this Spring or what you have read this Spring. You choose.

And thats it!

Please make sure that you leave an email address in order to get hold of you if you win. No email address, no entry;-(

On the 23rd September 2013 I will put all your names into a hat and my daughter will choose one. Yes, it really is as easy as all that. So,what are you waiting for??


Q&A with Riaan Manser and an Awesome Give away!

As promised here is the interview with Riaan Manser, author of Around Africa On My Bicycle, Around Madagascar on my Kayak and Around Iceland on Inspiration.

Enjoy it, I have to say that I have great admiration for this man and what he does! As I used in my Pilates this morning: What doesn’t challenge you won’t change you! So very apt I think!

So, without further ado, Ladies and Gentleman, I present Riaan Manser!

1)    In writing ‘Around Africa on my bicycle’ did you find it difficult to remember your journey in as vivid detail as what you described? Especially when your notes were stolen?

Not at all. My diary was stolen on the Around Madagascar circumnavigation but returned after the robbers were caught the next evening while robbing someone else.

My Africa circumnavigation was different. I wrote notes on small pieces of paper and sent them home every now and then. It was amazing how many notes I had taken throughout the two years. I remember writing the Around Africa book and been mesmerized at how not only memories flooded back but even distinct smells!

2) If there was just one memory that you could keep from your journey around Africa what would it be?

Crossing that finish line feeling. It was unbelievable to imagine someone actually took a bicycle where I had and HOW I had. And that person was ME. Strange to say but it probably was the first time in my life where I was genuinely proud of myself.

 3) Since traversing the African continent (including climbing Mount Kilaminjaro -which is definitely on my ‘list of things to do before I die) and kayaking around Iceland and Madagascar, is there anything in your ‘creature comforts’ of home that could compare with any of those expeditions?

I love sleeping on the floor. Just a blanket over me and maybe a few books as a pillow. I also have a weird obsession with cold weather. I don’t like getting too hot.

 4) How did you meet Dan Skinstad and how did he need much convincing in order to go around Iceland on a kayak?

Nope Dan was super eager. I had met him through his famous big brother. Dan pulled at my heart string and I wanted to do something for him that would change his life. I think we accomplished that in the Iceland circumnavigation.

 5) What is your main inspiration to be exceptional?

I don’t have a father who I can look up to and appreciate. A father I can brag about and call on when times are tough. My goal is simple. I want to make a legend of my life so my children one day can be proud of me. Probably every man’s goal I think.

 6) What was it like to meet Mandela, our heart of our nation? 

 Surreal. Mr Mandela is what all human beings want to be. That humanness that cannot be reproduced or bottled. The time I spent with Mr Mandela was probably the highlight of my career thus far. The special moment in our meeting was when he paused for a long time. Looking me square in the eyes, and then telling me that I don’t realize how great an achievement this Africa journey was. He said it is a journey that will inspire the youth of our continent .

 7) In your book, you alluded to your childhood and foster care, do you think that you would write a book about your experiences there? 

Without a doubt. I’m just very sensitive about it and not brave enough. I grew up feeling inadequate , abandoned and unwanted. It’s cowardly I guess but I will in time share everything.

8) What is your hardest part about putting pen to paper and telling us readers about your journeys?

All writers will tell you that there are days when the words just flow and you’re a runaway train . Then there are those days where you cannot even get a paragraph out in one days sitting. Hyper self critique is the most debilitating .

 9) How did you decide on your charity ‘ No food for Lazy man’ to work with children and sport. I really like that they need to give back in some way, in this day and age so many children grow up with a sense of entitlement but yet give nothing in return or even work for that sense of entitlement. 

 You’re spot on. But the reality is that that entitlement you speak of is taught. Children don’t expect unless someone is always just giving.  I want any kid that is blessed through NO FOOD FOR LAZYMAN to pass that blessing on, in which ever way they can. Two things are taught and learnt here. One is that nothing in life is free. And secondly , no matter how dire your situation you can still help someone else.

 10) Would you like to have children of your own one day? And if so, would you do an adventure with your child?

Having children is actually my BIGGEST dream. I want to have 6 kids if possible. My kids entire life with me will be an adventure!

And there you have it! Admit it, you feel inspired don’t you?

And now, we have an awesome give away! We are giving away one of your choice of Riaan’s books. Choose one out of his three books AND get a personalised inscription in the front cover!

What do you need to do to stand a chance to win?

* Tell us in the comments section one crazy thing you have either done, or would like to do with your life.

* Share this giveaway on FB, twitter and/or your blog (an extra entry for each one)

* Make sure you include an email address so we can contact you if you win.

Simple as that!

So, even if you are not inspired, maybe you know of someone who needs that little nudge in following their dreams and knowing that anything is possible if you put your mind to it? Enter on behalf of them and get a personalised inscription from the man himself.

This give away is unfortunately Not international.

Get your comments on and holding thumbs you win!

Give away closes on the 13th June and the winner announced on the 14th.

You can see my reviews here and here.


Literary Blog Hop


Yes, it is that time of year again! Blog hop hosted by Judith at Leeswammes.

So, this time I thought I would do it slightly differently and give away a choice of two South African books. They are two vastly different genre’s but both are extremely good,and the authors are deserving of a give away, well, I thought so! Edited to add: I also thought that I should give away one of my favourite books of 2013 ( I know we are only into the second month of this year…) but I truly loved it and for the non South African blog hoppers, just in case, they are daunted by only SA authors…;-)

My choices are:

Spud – John van der Ruit


It’s South Africa, 1990. The country still squirms under the iron fist of apartheid. Two major events are about to happen: The release of Nelson Mandela, and more importantly, it’s Spud Milton’s first year at an elite boys only private boarding school. Cursed with parents from well beyond the lunatic fringe, a senile granny, and a dormitory full of strange characters, Spud has to forge a new life for himself in this foreign and sometimes hostile environment. Surrounded by names such as Gecko, Rambo, Rain Man and Mad Dog, Spud takes his first tentative steps along the path towards manhood. (The path, it seems, could be a rather long road.) Armed with only his wits and his diary, Spud takes us from illegal nightswimming to the cricket field, from ghostbusting to teacher baiting. He also invites us into the mind of a boy struggling to come to terms with a strange new world; a boy whose eyes are being opened to love, friendship and complete insanity.

13 Hours – Deon Meyer


Now they are chasing Rachel Anderson through the streets of Cape Town. The young tourist doesn’t dare trust anyone – except her father, back home in America. When he puts pressure on the politicians, they know that to protect their country’s image, they must find Rachel’s hiding place before the killers.So Benny Griessel – detective, maverick and father of teenagers himself – has just 13 hours to crack open a conspiracy which threatens the whole country.

The official Deon Meyer website

The 100 year old man who climbed out of the window and dissapeared – Jonas Jonasson ( I actually won this book on the last blog hop!)

On his one-hundredth birthday Allan Karlsson makes his escape from the old people’s home and embarks on an unlikely and momentous adventure. The international bestselling phenomenon by Swedish sensation Jonas Jonasson.


What you need to do in order to win your choice of either of these two books, sent you to you via The Book Depository (please check that they deliver to your country) is:

* Because it is the month of love and I am feeling the love, I would like to know one romantic/love filled gesture that you have done in your lifetime and leave me a comment telling me  together with your email address and which book you would like to win.

*Tweet me  

*Like us on FB ( if you haven’t already!)

Please ensure you leave your email address as if you don’t your comment will automatically be disqualified.

Winners will be notified on Valentine’s Day!

Check out the rest of the list of blog hoppers ( there are about 40 of us, and that means a a 40 in one chance of winning something if you enter every one…) and Have Fun!


Linky List:

  1. Leeswammes
  2. The Book Garden
  3. Sam Still Reading
  4. Candle Beam Book Blog
  5. Ciska’s Book Chest
  6. Too Fond
  7. Alex in Leeds
  8. Under a Gray Sky
  9. Bibliosue
  10. The Book Club Blog
  11. Fingers & Prose
  12. Lori Howell
  13. Rikki’s Teleidoscope
  14. Girl vs Bookshelf
  15. Lizzy’s Literary Life (Europe)
  16. Booklover Book Reviews
  17. The Blog of Litwits
  18. Reading World (USA/Can)
  19. Seaside Book Nook
  20. Curiosity Killed the Bookworm
  21. The Book Diva’s Reads
  22. Breieninpeking (Europe)
  23. 2606 Books and Counting
  24. Giraffe Days
  25. Lucybird’s Book Blog
  1. Roof Beam Reader
  2. The Relentless Reader
  3. Read in a Single Sitting
  4. My Diary (Malaysia)
  5. Heavenali
  6. Dolce Belezza (USA)
  7. The Misfortune of Knowing
  8. My Devotional Thoughts
  9. Nishita’s Rants and Raves
  10. Book Nympho
  11. Kaggsysbookishramblings
  12. Quixotic Magpie
  13. Lost Generation Reader
  14. BookBelle
  15. Under My Apple Tree (USA)
  16. Mondays with Mac
  17. Page Plucker

Literary Giveaway Blog Hop

The blog hop, which is being hosted by Judith at Leeswarmes, is open from June 25th to June 29th and I have two books to be given away and both internationally! So, you get to choose your title and because there is nothing nicer that receiving a gift in the post, I am throwing in a book mark too.

There are many other book bloggers who are taking part in this blog hop so if you fancy your chances of winning yourself a book, take a blog hop around, you will find a list of the participating bloggers at the end of this post,  you never know, you may just find yourself a fabulous new blog to read as well.

So, without any further ado, the first book I am giving away is… drum roll please…



I recently read this book and it is a nugget of a book. In fact, any of Mitch Alboms books are little gold nuggets.

I particularly enjoyed this book as it is a true story, his first non fiction book since Tuesdays with Morrie and the story begins with and unusual request: an 82-year-old rabbi from Albom’s old hometown asks him to deliver his eulogy.

This book is about a life’s purpose; about losing belief and finding it again; about the divine spark inside us all. It is one man’s journey, but it is everyone’s story.

A beautiful poignant story which even the most hardened atheist would enjoy!

I also have a copy of… another drum roll please…


I really enjoyed the retelling of the myth of Penelope and think that it should be one book that everyone should read, hence my reason for adding it to the literary giveaway blog hop.


“Now that all the others have run out of air, it’s my turn to do  a little story-making.”

In Homer’s account in The Odyssey, Penelope – wife of Odysseus and cousin of the beautiful Helen of Troy – is portrayed as the quintessential faithful wife, her story a salutary lesson through the ages. Left alone for twenty years when Odysseus goes off to fight in the Trojan war after the abduction of Helen, Penelope manages, in the face of scandalous rumours, to maintain the kingdom of Ithaca, bring up her wayward son, and keep over a hundred suitors at bay, simultaneously. When Odysseus finally comes home after enduring hardships, overcoming monsters and sleeping with goddesses, he kills her suitors and – curiously – twelve of her maids.

In a splendid contemporary twist to the ancient story, Margaret Atwood has chosen to give the telling of it to Penelope and to her twelve hanged Maids, asking: ‘What led to the hanging of the maids, and what was Penelope really up to?’. In Atwood’s dazzling, playful retelling, the story becomes as wise and compassionate as it is haunting, and as wildly entertaining as it is disturbing. With wit and verve, drawing on the storytelling and poetic talent for which she herself is renowned, she gives Penelope new life and reality – and sets out to provide an answer to an ancient mystery.

All you need to do to enter this give away is to

a) like us on Facebook

b) follow us on Twitter and tweet about this give away (let us know when you have tweeted about it)

c) tell me which book you would like to win and why in the comments section.

If you do all three that gives you three chances to win! Nothing like making it extra easy, now is there??

So, go on, tweet, facebook and blog hop to your hearts content, it is weekend after all!

And on the morning of the 30th I will notify the winners.


List with all the Participants:

  1. Leeswammes (Int)
  2. The Book Whisperer (Int)
  3. Kristi Loves Books (Int)
  4. Teadevotee (Int)
  5. Bookworm with a View (Int)
  6. Bibliosue (Int)
  7. Sarah Reads Too Much (Int)
  8. write meg! (USA)
  9. My Love Affair With Books (Int)
  10. Seaside Book Nook (Int)
  11. Uniflame Creates (Int)
  12. Always Cooking Up Something (Int)
  13. Book Journey (Int)
  14. ThirtyCreativeStudio (Int)
  15. Col Reads (Int)
  16. The Book Diva’s Reads (Int)
  17. The Scarlet Letter (USA)
  18. The Parrish Lantern (Int)
  19. Lizzy’s Literary Life (Int)
  20. Read, Write & Live (Int)
  21. Book’d Out (Int)
  22. The Readers’ Suite (Int)
  23. I Am A Reader, Not A Writer (USA)
  24. Ephemeral Digest (Int)
  25. Miel et lait (Int)
  26. Bibliophile By the Sea (Int)
  27. Polychrome Interest (Int)
  28. Book World In My Head (Int)
  29. In Spring it is the Dawn (Int)
  30. everybookhasasoul (Int)
  31. Nishita’s Rants and Raves (Int)
  32. Fresh Ink Books (Int)
  33. Teach with Picture Books (USA)
  34. How to Teach a Novel (USA)
  35. The Blue Bookcase (Int)
  36. Gaskella (Int)
  37. Reflections from the Hinterland (USA)
  38. chasing bawa (Int)
  39. 51stories (Int)
  40. No Page Left Behind (USA)
  1. Silver’s Reviews (USA)
  2. Nose in a book (Int)
  3. Lit in the Last Frontier (Int)
  4. The Book Club Blog (Int)
  5. Under My Apple Tree (Int)
  6. Caribousmom (USA)
  7. breienineking (Netherlands)
  8. Let’s Go on a Picnic! (Int)
  9. Rikki’s Teleidoscope (Int)
  10. De Boekblogger (Netherlands)
  11. Knitting and Sundries (Int)
  12. Elle Lit (USA)
  13. Indie Reader Houston (Int)
  14. The Book Stop (Int)
  15. Eliza Does Very Little (Int)
  16. Joy’s Book Blog (Int)
  17. Lit Endeavors (USA)
  18. Roof Beam Reader (Int)
  19. The House of the Seven Tails (Int)
  20. Tony’s Reading List (Int)
  21. Sabrina @ Thinking About Loud! (Int)
  22. Rebecca Reads (Int)
  23. Kinna Reads (Int)
  24. In One Eye, Out the Other (USA)
  25. Books in the City (Int)
  26. Lucybird’s Book Blog (Europe)
  27. Book Clutter (USA)
  28. Exurbanis (Int)
  29. Lu’s Raves and Rants (USA & Canada)
  30. Sam Still Reading (Int)
  31. Dolce Bellezza (Int)
  32. Lena Sledge’s Blog…Books, Reviews and Interviews (Int)
  33. a Thousand Books with Quotes (Int)

Ants in the Big Onion Give Away!

I received my copy of Ants in the Big Onion last Monday and I finished it on Thursday.  Yes, it was that good. The best bit? Smaller print than normal, which means… more to read!

May and Annica run a B&B called the Fox ‘n Zulu in Meyerton (Which is a small town lying 15 km north of Vereeniging in Gauteng, South Africa- just in case you were wondering- I did) and it details all the trials and tribulations of the group of individuals which live there.

You get to re meet some of the original characters and if you were wondering where some of them had got to and how on earth May and Annica came to be running a B& B, don’t fret, it will all be explained in the first couple of pages.

It is hilarious! The characters had me giggling at their antics and gasping at some, but really what else can happen when you throw a bunch of unique individuals into a small abode, oh and a lonely snake.

As it says on the back cover: “Ants… is enough to taunt every cultural perception and strain even the most enduring friendship, but all visitors check in for a bakkieload of laughs.”

And so, seeing as though its the end of the world and all, I have a give away of one copy of Ants in the Big Onion and it is open to every one. Yes, you read correctly and Yes, because that’s what we are like over here at The Book Club Blog, feeling the love and giving it back…

So, to enter:

1) jot something down in the comments section and tell me what your favourite book of all time is.

2) follow us on twitter @thebookclubblog.

3) like us on Facebook. I will then get to choose a winner next Saturday the 28th (that’s if we are still all here…;-)) and I will announce the lucky person.

Good luck and happy commenting!

Ants Give away!

Open worldwide!


The Love Verb – Jane Green and a give away!

This book was on my Christmas Wish List but last week I was in my favourite second hand book store purchasing some books as gifts, when I found it. ( I always do a mandatory check for which ever book I am currently on the look out for) and was very pleasantly surprised to find this one. Of course, I bought it, it was literally half price, which is a bargain!

My verdict?

It is a beautiful heart wrenching book, it had me in tears in one section and I literally could not put it down. In fact, I read it in one day.  I shirked all duties to finish it and loved it. It made me ponder on real life stuff, relationships, love, you know all the usual things one gets from a ‘chick lit’ author but it truly was an extremely sad, but uplifting book. Full of serious stuff but also the lighthearted, it really has a great balance.

The blurb-

Love is not an abstract idea. It is not saying ‘I’m here for you, let me know if you need me’. It’s making the decision, when someone close to you is in trouble, about what you will DO to fix as much as you can for them. It’s a ‘doing’ thing. A verb. For Callie, love is about looking after her family – her husband and two children – and their beautiful home. For Steff, Callie’s younger sister, love is about experiencing all that life has to offer without having to ever settle down. For Lila, Callie’s best friend, love is about finding a soulmate. And when she meets divorced father-of-two Eddie, she knows her search is over. For Walter and Honor, Callie and Steff’s divorced parents, love is about caring for the daughters they share. Then Callie gets some life-changing news. And suddenly the whole family is about to understand what ‘love’ really, really means….

This book was dedicated to one of Jane Greens friends who passed away recently and if I were her friend, I would of been seriously impressed with this book.

One of her best, for sure!

So, in keeping with the festivities of this time of year, I have one copy of this book to giveaway.  Open to anywhere in South Africa and all you need to do is leave a comment. will choose the winner on Monday 20th of December. Just think , you  may receive another Chrismas gift that you weren’t expecting!

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