Book Review - Final Solution

by David Cesarani (MacMillan) ISBN: 9780230768918


In Final Solution David Cesarani delves deep into the real reasons that drove the anti-Jewish sentiment in Germany, and revisits the many factors that led up to the Holocaust. History has told this story many times, but this is an intimate and detailed look at a terrible period.

Using stories from survivors and their families, Cesarani reveals the true nature of happened during that time.  With a factual tone and very little emotion, this is history at its most brutal and revealing. Accounts of torture, capture, horror, heroism and survival provide context for those wanting to learn more about the Holocaust, Nazi Germany and a most cruel World War. 

It is an uncomfortable but insightful read. 

Merissa Himraj
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 - How to Have a Good Day

by Caroline Web (MacMillan) ISBN: 9781447276517 


Caroline Webb has written a book that addresses those everyday work concerns we all face. Packed with useful steps, insights and practical examples, How to Have a Good Day lives up to its promise of teaching you how to better manage your work day. 

This is a great business manual that is easy to implement and I enjoyed the step-by-step approach used. This book delves into behavioural, psychological and neurological sciences to deliver a relevant method to relieve the stress of modern day work life. Using seven key building blocks, this book will change the way you think, work and play. 

How to Have a Good Day is a must for anyone who would like to change the way they work, and optimise their day both professionally and personally. 

Merissa Himraj
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 - Like It Matters

by David Cornwall (Umuzi) ISBN: 9781415201602
 

Like it Matters brings Ed and Charlotte together one fateful afternoon. Each driven by their own inner demons, it seems like they might have finally found something worth holding on to. 

For a while Ed thinks he might finally recover from the drug dependency that has taken over his life, because he has Charlotte. Charlotte is beautiful, young and complicated, despite Ed trying desperately to better his life, fate has other plans.  Soon Ed and Charlotte are embroiled in a dangerous scheme with far reaching consequences. 

Complications arise when Charlotte’s supposed cousin, Dewald arrives, with the tension between him and Ed fuelled by a secret past. Even more complications involving Charlotte’s father and assorted hangers-on, have Ed is in more trouble than he ever thought possible. Ed tries his hardest to cling to the life he wants for himself and Charlotte. 

Set in realistic portrayal of Cape Town’s underbelly, far removed from the tourist pictures, this debut novel from David Cornwall is achingly memorable. 

Merissa Himraj
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 - The Truth About Julia

by Anna Schaffner (Allen & Unwin) ISBN: 9781760290115


Clare Hardenberg is a tough investigative journalist who has been through a bad spell. After having been humiliated by the press and general public for writing an expose on a beloved public figure, Clare finally emerges at the behest of her publisher, to write a biography on the vilified Julia White.

Julia is a young woman who blew up a coffee shop in Central London in 2014, killing 24 people. With no explanation for her actions, Julia has refused to talk to anyone until now. Intrigued by the challenge of interviewing Julia, and writing her biography, Clare sets out on her next project, not knowing that this interview will cost her not only the life she knows, but everything she values.

The Truth About Julia provides insights into the mind of both writer and subject, and a closer look at ideology and terrorism. As Clare works to understand and expose Julia’s motivations, she is sucked deeper and deeper into a delusion which results in tragedy. 

Merissa Himraj
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 - Nwelezelanga: The Star Child

by Unathi Magubeni (Jacana) ISBN: 9781928337249


Nwelezelanga The Star Child is such an interesting book. Nwelezelanga is born an albino and rejected by her birth-mother. Convinced by the midwife to kill her, Nwelezelanga mother places her in a river to drown. However fate has other plans for Nwelezelanga and she is rescued and raised by Nomkhubulwana a traditional healer. 

Nwelezelanga is an old soul with mystic abilities and her story unfolds as she lives a rural life, connected to the earth and ancient rituals. It is a fascinating view of a life very few of us are exposed to, and the writing is magical and filled with poetry. Do not be deceived by the size of this book. It is only 128 pages, but what powerful pages they are. 

This is a wonderful story about the human condition, and I found it best to read in small doses and allow myself to fully absorb the lessons contained in the beautiful prose. If you are looking for an alternative read, consider this book. 

Merissa Himraj
www.writerswrite.co.za
3.5/5

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Nwelezelanga: The Star Child begins with the birth of a girl in a village. She is an albino. The midwife tells her mother to ‘get rid of this thing! It is a bad omen.’ She finally convinces the mother that they will go to the Umfolozi river and drown the baby. A middle aged woman who is a sangoma finds the baby and saves her.
 
The author is a sangoma, trainee herbalist and poet. This is his first novel. His writing has a distinctly poetic quality that facilitates the telling of the story, which is about philosophy of the ancestral spirits. The sangoma has a specific calling which must be obeyed. It includes connection to the spiritual realm, and ability to see other dimensions. They are able to assist people by reading their psyche to see which remedy they will prescribe.
 
The book is fascinating, moving and offers an understanding of this philosophy and belief system which seems to correlate with other ancient philosophies.
 
Dawn Blankfield
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 - Coffin Road

by Peter May (Quercus) ISBN: 9781784293093


Imagine if you woke up one day with no recollection of who you are and no memory of your life so far. 

This is the fate that befalls our protagonist who awakens after almost drowning in the rough shores of the Flannan Islands. He has no idea how he got there or who he is. He knows that something terrible has happened and that he might have done something awful. His only hope is to try and figure out who he is, but his very existence seems to be fabricated on lies. 

Meanwhile in Edinburgh a troubled teenage girl is determined to find out what drove her father to commit suicide two years earlier, not knowing that her quest will take her into serious peril. Elsewhere a resolute Detective George Gunn has to solve a murder on a remote rocky outcrop only accessible by helicopter or sailing boat, and George is no sailor. 

It was fascinating to unfold these three stories that built into an explosive resolution of both a new mystery and an old one. I loved the descriptive writing which transported me to the rainy Scottish Hebrides. Coffin Road is a great book for a winter weekend. 

Merissa Himraj
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.