Book Review - Flower Mandalas Colouring Book

by Thaneeya McArdle (Struik Lifestyle) ISBN: 9781432307356

 
The new craze where adults go back to the childhood pastime of colouring in pictures in colouring-in books has really taken off. 

Apparently the act of colouring is therapeutic, creative, relaxing and absorbing, much like knitting, playing sudoku, or completing a crossword, but way more colourful. An added benefit is that the end result of the activity is a beautiful artwork which can even be framed and put up on the wall. 

This colouring in book contains 30 intricate flower pattern mandalas. The symmetrical circles encourage focus and calm within the self-expression of the activity. 

The artists using this book can follow the guidelines or be entirely free from any boundaries and use markers, coloured pencils, gel pens or watercolours to bring these outlined images out into colourful splendour. The author is an internationally-collected contemporary artist, and her styles include abstract and photorealism. 

Try it out, maybe you'll discover the hidden artistic talent within you, or you will just enjoy meditating while being absorbed in this centring activity.

Amanda Blankfield-Koseff
www.writerswrite.co.za
3/5

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Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write - Write to communicate.

Book Review - This One Time

by Alex van Tonder (Macmillan) ISBN: 9781770104235
 

Jacob Lynch moved to the big city and was not making it. Eventually he found a job that paid just enough to keep him afloat. A friend suggested he start a blog, which he did. Slowly it began to take off. He realised that the more he insulted people and the more sexual and outrageous it was, the more popular it was, until he became a multi-millionaire. His TV show contract was renewed and he had a book deal as New York's most notorious blogger, stage name Brodie Lomax. 

He is now suffering from writer's block and he needs to go on a retreat to write. He chooses a hunting lodge in Alaska, but then a beautiful woman, Alicia suddenly appears at the lodge telling him she is there to look after him. The next day, Jacob wakes up chained to the bed, captured. 

The story itself could be captivating but after a while it was tedious and repetitive. If it had been cut down it would have been more of a thriller. The point of the story was to expose how the Internet and reality television allow people to take pleasure out of other people's misery as long as it does not affect them. The concept was thought-provoking and disturbing. 

Dawn Blankfield and Amanda Blankfield-Koseff
www.writerswrite.co.za
2.5/5

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Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write - Write to communicate.

Book Review - The Way We Were

by Sinead Moriarty (Penguin) ISBN 9781844883493 

Alice and Ben are the perfect couple. They are both doctors, but Ben specialised as a surgeon, whereas Alice sacrificed her career aspirations to be a mother and practices as a GP. They have two daughters and live in London. 

Everything seems to be going well but Ben feels he needed more. He wants an adventure. When he is asked to go to Eritrea in Africa to perform an operation, he jumps at the opportunity. Alice begs him not to go as she had lost both her parents in an accident, but Ben insists. 

Declan, an Irish doctor, accompanies him on the trip and they are kidnapped and their car blown up. 
The next two years involves Alice's gay brother, Kevin pulling them out of the abyss. Then Alice meets Dan and after a whirlwind romance, he proposes. As they celebrate their engagement, Alice finds out Ben is actually alive and on his way home. 

How will Alice deal with this new situation? Will they be able to pick up where they left off or should she start her new life with billionaire property tycoon Dan? 

Amanda Blankfield-Koseff
Www.writerswrite.co.za
3.5/5

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Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write - Write to communicate

Book Review - Brief Candle in the Dark

by Richard Dawkins (Bantam Press) ISBN 9780593072561 

This autobiography focuses on Dawkins’ 35 years as an academic. The subtitle is "My life in science", which brushes on Dawkin's childhood in Zimbabwe and moves swiftly along to Oxford and Berkley Universities. 

While there are some interesting anecdotes about famous and learned people he has met along his professional journey, such as Francis Crick, Richard Attenborough, Richard Leakey, amongst others, there are also some in depth discussions of the zoological studies of wasps, as well as Dawkins’ experimentation with the computer programme that works out the evolution of insects.  

Dawkins also enjoys discussing some of the debates and the questions and answer sessions afterwards, especially with religious leaders and fanatics. It is a more measured, tactful book than his other publications as this is a commemoration of his seventieth birthday. 

This is the first book I have read by the author although I do know of him and his views. After finishing this book, I still do not believe in ‘The God Delusion’ although I continue to believe in evolution, so he has not managed to convert everyone to his way of thinking. 

Amanda Blankfield-Koseff
Www.writerswrite.co.za
3/5

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Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write - Write to communicate

Book Review - The Akimbo Adventures

by Alexander McCall Smith (Edmont) ISBN 9781405265348

This is a delightful combination of three books: Akimbo and the Elephants, Akimbo and the Lions and Akimbo and the Crocodile Man. They are suitable for children and adults alike. Anyone who loves nature will enjoy these stories. 

In the first book, Akimbo and the Elephants, Akimbo is a game ranger's child. They live on the edge of the game reserve. One day Akimbo realises that poachers are active in the area killing his beloved elephants. Instead of turning his back on a much larger problem than himself, Akimbo decides he will bring the local poachers to justice. His plan is a brave one, but does he manage to convince the head ranger to go along with it....? 

The second book, Akimbo and the Lions, Akimbo accompanies his father to catch a lion who has been eating the cattle from nearby farms. By mistake the trap captures one of the lioness's cubs, who they have to take home to hand rear. Akimbo and the lion form a special bond, but when the community feels threatened by the lion's size and strength, there is only one solution. 

And the third book, Akimbo and the Crocodile Man, John, a crocodile researcher and author of books on them comes to tag the crocodiles where Akimbo's father is the ranger. Akimbo asks to accompany him on his expeditions, and when John is attacked by a crocodile on the other side of the river, Akimbo has to think fast and find a way to rescue him before he loses too much blood. 

Amanda Blankfield-Koseff
Www.writerswrite.co.za
4/5

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Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write - Write to communicate

Book Review - Royal Wedding

by Meg Cabot (Macmillan) ISBN 9781447298717 

From the best-selling author of The Princess Diaries, comes the latest saga in the life of Princess Mia Thermopolis of Genovia. 

This time Princess Mia is having a tough time in New York with the paparazzi hounding her, her stalker, RoyalRabbleRouser posting death threats on social media, her father, Prince Phillipe being arrested for driving at high speed in a Ferrari and her over-controlling grandmother giving her orders while her dog tries to hump everything. 

The best part of Princess Mia's life is her cat, Fat Louie and her long-term boyfriend, Michael, who whisks her off to a beautiful island for her twenty-sixth birthday...where he proposes. 

As if planning a royal wedding weren't stressful enough, Princess Mia discovers a scandalous new family member amongst other surprises. 

I enjoyed the modern style of diary entries, text messages, newspaper articles and invitations. I also enjoyed being an observer to a Princess. A great holiday read, with many entertaining twists, but a happy ending of course. 

Amanda Blankfield-Koseff
Www.writerswrite.co.za
4/5

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Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write - Write to communicate

The Vuvuzela Revolution

Anatomy of South Africa’s World Cup by Richard Culland, Lawson Naidoo and Andrew Whaley (Jacana) ISBN 978-1-77009-971-5

South Africa embraced its role as host of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Although there were many challenges, the “gees” prevailed and the depth of the citizens’ patriotism doubled from the opening ceremony on 11 June 2010.

Over a year of planning on how to get tickets to the most interesting games at the best price brought the authors together. From there, they decided to create a memoir about this uplifting event, including journalistic commentary from other sources to explain the different aspects of this period in South Africa’s history.

Written in an informal and readable style, this is an interesting read. For instance, one learns that “Waka Waka” actually ripped out the essence of the original Cameroonian 1986 song by Golden Sounds – “Zamina Mina” which is still used by the police and army during training.

This is a great memento to keep of that time, and as they say, “Ke Nako” – it's our time to celebrate Africa’s Humanity. If you’re not sentimental, give it a miss.

Amanda Blankfield
www.writerswrite.co.za 
3.5/5

Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write - Write to communicate.