Book Review - Thrive!

by Dr Greg Venning (Vital Press) ISBN: 978-0-994-6840-0-4 


It is your turn to Thrive! But, only if you want to. Thrive is written with an energetic flair to change your lifestyle for the better. Dr Greg Venning helps us to understand the bad habits we have created in our lives, to break them down and form new behaviours that ensure we live a healthy and fulfilling life. 

“Are you thriving or simply surviving?” Greg helps us to answer this question simply, and then shares the steps needed to transform our lives with the essential requirements for well-being. Through his case studies, clients, years of research, and working closely with Elan Lohmann (the founder of sleek geeks, a community based group of over 50 000 people with the desires to live healthy lifestyles), he has created this book to show you have the potential to live an extraordinary life. 

Venning doesn’t sugar-coat anything and he hits the nail on the head with every topic. This is not an exercise plan, positive mantra, or diet book. It is about attaining a balanced life, mind and body. Thrive is a read for anyone who isn’t looking for a quick fix but a life transformation. 

Tammany Barton
www.writerswrite.co.za
5/5

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

Book Review - More Braai The Beloved Country

by Jean Nel (Jacana) ISBN: 978-1-4314-2429-0


More Braai The Beloved Country is the sequel to Braai The Beloved Country, and I can only imagine the delicious recipes I have missed out on from the first book. With summer on its way and braai season in full steam, it was a delicious pleasure to try some of Jean Nel’s tasty recipes. 

I loved preparing the pork belly with quince and old brown sherry sauce, whilst the men stood by the fire meeting the guidelines of Nel’s fire cooking requests. Rubbing the combination of fresh spices into the meat and glazing it with a sweet sherry chutney-like marinade, was so inviting that the two-hour cooking time was worth the wait. 

Jean’s step-by-step instructions and appealing recipes come from the heart and his favourite memories are beautiful presented in this recipe book. He uses only the best cuts of meat and recipes that can jump from the fire onto the frying pan. 

From fish to salads, and my favourite - melted brie on a plank with roasted almonds- this book is not only for braai lovers but for all food fanatics. 

Tammany Barton
www.writerswrite.co.za
5/5

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

Book Review - Tannie Maria & The Satanic Mechanic

by Sally Andrew (Umuzi) ISBN: 978-1-4152-0767-3


Get out of the way, Jessica Fletcher and make way for the Klein Karoo’s Tannie Maria. 

This wonderfully-written South African read will have you laughing all the way to the kitchen to prepare of one of Tannie Maria’s Venus chocolate cakes. Her solution to all her agony aunt column questions in the local newspaper is one of her delicious recipes. The crime and investigation story line, although serious, is quickly lost in another delicious recipe. 

As she sheds a few pounds, and enjoys an interesting love life, she uncovers a few of her own problems. She seeks help from the ‘satanic mechanic’ – straight out of the rocky horror picture show. During this journey, she finds herself tangled up in another murder that she and her detective boyfriend may, or may not, solve. The cultures and languages of South Africa are richly and beautifully expressed.

This book is the sequel to Recipes For Love And Murder, but it can easily be read as a standalone book with its charm and lovable characters. 

Tammany Barton
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 - From Whiskey To Water

by Sam Cowen (MF Books) ISBN: 9781920601720


From Whiskey To Water is the real life story of an alcoholic whose life appeared stable and presentable to the world, but inside, her war against the desperate struggle with alcoholism continues. 

What a powerful and deeply moving story from Samantha Cowen as she removes the beer goggles of her life and reveals to us, her loving audience, the truth within the bottle.

She writes beautifully and describes these events, even the tortuous tales of her very private family life, friends and work, with integrity, honesty and always a punch of humour. In 2002 she got sober and this book is her journey from whiskey to water. A wonderful, insightful and brave book, it is a must read for those who need to be inspired to make changes in life.  Sam will inspire you.

She shares with us, without telling it, that even though the road is dark and dingy and patterns have been sewn deep beneath the skin. We can change, we can work daily towards a better me and a better you.

Thank you, Samantha, for being so courageous and writing this piece of life from blackouts to conquering fears.

Tammany Barton
www.writerswrite.co.za
5/5

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

Book Review - The Dot Spot

by Dorothy Black (MF Books)  ISBN 978 1 920601 54 5 


From flying solo in the bedroom to understanding your ‘kink’ and the importance of tantric sex (or not) the dot spot kind of covers everything about sex and then some. Dorothy Black’s successful sex column over time has always had an enjoyable sticky connection with her audience, a personal yet private guide to sex and everything in-between. She is the big sister many young women need today. 

Her book lost a few inches of excitement for me. Although it is well written and laid out as a step by step guide to dating, relationships and sex, there was no flirting or lustrous conversation making me want to come back for more, or leaving me day dreaming about our next encounter or what love could be waiting on the next page. 

Hang on, that’s the point. It’s frank, informative and has some great guides and steps for those who are starting the exploration journey of their own sexuality. 

Dorothy uses her non-judgemental and down to earth writing to communicate and create a relationship with her readers. The Dot Spot is most definitely a great guide to those starting out or moving into the next phase of their sexuality. There really isn’t a right or a wrong way to go about it. 

Tammany Barton
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 - Quiet: The Power of Introverts

by Susan Cain (Penguin Life) ISBN 978 0 241 27355 5 


Susan Cain once again opens up the realms of dialogue with Quiet: The Power of Introverts. Enlightening the world to those little people who suffer from being too quiet and misunderstood, the ones that grow up in a word that can’t stop talking. These are our introverted children. 

This book is life-changing for people who are introverts or who have introverts in their lives. In other words - all of us. Through short stories of actual events in young children’s lives, Susan captures the essence and beautiful purpose of the young introvert. 

It is definitely a book I would love to have had explained to me as a child. Instead of becoming the clown to fit in and be loud, I would have quietly ruled the world on my own terms. 

Accept and treasure yourself just as you are. This is what Susan quietly and lovingly shares with each one of us. Read this book and unleash your hidden superpowers. 

Tammany Barton
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 - Own Your Space

by Nadia Bilchik and Lori Milner (Macmillan) ISBN 9781770104549
 

This is a practical and inspirational tool for every woman working towards owning her space. Whether you are starting your own business, working your way up in your company or taking the journey to improve and boost your career, Own Your Space is exactly what you need. It is a step-by-step guide with tried and tested techniques that work. 

Nadia and Lori have provided easy to read tips and tools to help you boost your confidence and master your head space to unleash your true potential. The great thing about this book is it is always in my handbag and ready to pull out to work through as I come across scenarios and hurdles that I need guidance to overcome and conquer. As a young aspiring female entrepreneur, I have found this book to be a page turning mentor and inspirational read. 

The great quotes and interviews with South Africa’s leading woman and for-runners in their industries have given me guidance and inspiration to unleash my inner leader confidently. 

I believe every woman should take the opportunity to work through this marvellous toolkit in order to own your space. 

Tammany Barton
www.writerswrite.co.za
5/5

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

Book Review - My Cape Malay Kitchen

by Cariema Issacs (Struik Lifestyle) ISBN: 9781432305659

 
I went on a great storytelling and culinary journey of warm spicy aromas and beautiful tales of Cape Malay heritage. Cariema Isaacs’ beloved father inspired her cookbook which is filled with family, culture, and delicious dishes. 

As a girl brought up in a curry loving family, I couldn’t wait to get cooking and try the recipes from My Cape Malay Kitchen. The easy to read instructions and lovely stories and photographs of Cariema’s family created a personal experience. 

I felt as if Cariema were in my kitchen every step of the way ensuring I got it right! I tried my hand at the aromatic sweet and tangy Denningvleis which had my family scrapping the pot for the last scoop with a side of pumpkin fritters. The magical ingredient to this cookbook is the undeniable sprinkle of love on each page. 

Her father taught her that the only way to eat was with someone, never alone. With his wise words echoing in my head, my own family sat down to eat a delicious meal influenced by Java, Indonesia and India. 

I am looking forward to trying all the recipes in this colourful cookbook to add to my own family recipe repertoire. I’m sure Cariema won’t mind! 

Tammany Barton
www.writerswrite.co.za
5/5

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

Book Review - The Forgetting Time

by Sharon Guskin (Mantle) ISBN: 978 1 5098 0679 9 

What a captivating and intriguing read. The Forgetting Time  caught my attention straight away. The simple description “Noah is four and wants to go home. The only trouble is, he’s already home” pulled me right into the world of Noah and his ‘other’ mother’, Janie. Sharon Guskin honestly portrays a story with somewhat questionable elements of past life experiences and religious tones from across the world. 

It is a story about a single mother raising her young son who is still trapped in a previous life.  Each night she is haunted by Noah’s screams and desperate heart-wrenching cries for his real mother. The lengths that Janie will go to help her son is keeps you on the edge of your seat. I honestly enjoyed the page breakers of actual studied cases across the world of past life experiences and explanations of documented events. 

Put it on your must-read list of 2016, you will not be disappointed. 

Tammany Barton
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 - The Book Of Human Emotions

by Tiffany Watt Smith (Welcome collection) ISBN 978 1781251294 

Curiosity killed the cat they say, and with that remark I couldn’t help but read this gloriously peculiar and fascinating book. 

The Book of Human Emotions is an encyclopaedia of feelings from Anger to Wanderlust and dappled in between are words I never knew existed to feelings I somewhat understand. 

Ever wondered how to describe that feeling of knowing something isn’t a good idea, but you want to know how far you can push? Well, that feeling is simply described as “Brabant”. Have you ever experienced the dreaded sense of someone or something creeping up behind you? I have found the word used to express this, “kamarrarringu” in this wonderful treasure of a book. 

I can’t help but give Tiffany Watt Smith a 5/5 for making me feel so cheerful and curious about my own emotions. This is definitely a book you should have in your bookcase for those moments you can’t quite describe what you are feeling. 

Tammany Barton
www.writerswrite.co.za
5/5

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