Anyone out there?

SnakSouth Africa

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Anyone out there?

Dette emne er markeret som "i hvile"—det seneste indlæg er mere end 90 dage gammel. Du kan vække emnet til live ved at poste et indlæg.

1helensparrow Første besked:
jan 12, 2007, 1:25pm

I'm new to this site, and wondered if any other South Africans have happened across it...

2SecretCode Første besked:
jan 13, 2007, 2:01pm

Yes, I'm out there...

I joined the site last year and then wasn't sure what use I'd make of it. I felt - and still feel - that entering enough books to make it worthwhile is a chore. But I've started now - I decided that rather than lend books to friends that I guess they'll like, I should catalogue everything I think might be of interest and then point them to my catalogue!

I'm in Johannesburg. I haven't seen much online interest in books in SA, and what there is all seems to be in Cape Town. Why is that? :)


Redigeret: jan 20, 2007, 9:00am

Hi Joe

Nice to hear from you :)

I too find the idea of uploading my library a bit of a daunting chore... it might have to wait for a rainy winter weekend! Far too busy looking at comets and enjoying the summer sunshine at the moment :D

Hadn't thought of this site as way to keep tabs on books lent to others, but it is an excellent application (I usually scribble it down, but inevitably mislay the scrap of paper...)

Heh heh, I refuse to get drawn on any CT v JHB discussion ~ always gets me into trouble :P

Just read two books by South Africans: Close the Door Softly behind You... by Emmaleen Kriel and A Time of Angels by Patricia Schonstein. Both gentle easy reads, the former is the memoir of a woman from Paarl who did a stint as a carer and cook/housekeeper in the UK (done similar work myself) and the latter is a magic-realist fable set in Long Street. It's an area of Cape Town I know well, and there was lots of vivid detail, mention of particular places and circumstances with which I am familiar. There's a special pleasure in reading a story set in one's own environment isn't there.


4bohemianboh Første besked:
Redigeret: jan 20, 2007, 9:56am


I'm in Somerset West and I have just discovered this site. It seems very interesting and I will spend some time exploring it. I hope to incorporate it on my blog.

I'm currently reading Tim Couzins's book Murder at Morija and I am finding the story intriguing and the history of the protestant missionary work in Lesotho very informative and interesting.


Redigeret: apr 7, 2007, 8:33pm

My husband and I traveled independently (and with great pleasure) through South Africa for six weeks in 2004.

In preparation for the trip I read (in addition to various excellent South African newspapers and informational sites on the Net) The Bang Bang Club by Greg Marinovich, The Smell Of Apples by Mark Behr, White Boy Running by Christopher Hope, Boyhood: Scenes From A Provincial Life by J.M. Coetzee and Long Walk To Freedom: The Autobiography Of Nelson Mandela. After returning home I continued with
South From The Limpopo by the Irish writer Dervla Murphy. I am still reading Dan Sleigh's remarkable Islands.

apr 25, 2007, 5:41am

Well this is a sign in from Durban. I have to admit I don't find the idea of adding my books in daunting, but I am prepared to do it gradually. I am trying to persuade my wife to pay for a lifetime membership for me as a birthday present. Once that happens I will start adding in earnest as our family library is (I imagine) about 3000 books. Should have been about 5000, but I had to sell many in the 1990's to put food on the table while I was unemployed. Perhaps I will add them to our library anyway tagged as "Ghosts of Books Past." )))

apr 25, 2007, 10:39am

I'm John, originally from UK, now based in South Africa after living in various African countries for most of the last 30 years. I've worked with churches in a variety of fields (including education, aid, development, justice and peace) most of that time, and my work still takes me to Sudan, Kenya and Uganda frequently.

As far as African reading is concerned, I've recently finished Africa: a modern history by Guy Arnold and Requiem for the Sudan: War, Drought and Disaster Relief on the Nile by J Millard Burr and Robert O Collins, both of which cover periods and events which I experienced so I find them very interesting.

I'm just about to start reading Tears of the Giraffe by Alexander McCall Smith. I read the first one ages ago and really enjoyed it but was rather slow to get the rest of the series. Beautiful books which are very sympathetic to Africa. I'm also about to start reading Bombs, Ruins and Honey by Andrew Wheeler, a friend who was an Anglican missionary in Sudan for many years.

apr 25, 2007, 12:45pm

Im Keren - a former South African from Johannesburg - now live in Los Angeles California. I am currently reading Islands by Dan Sleigh - which was originally written in Afrikaans. I'm reading it in English.

The book is wonderful - its about the first fifty years of the settelement in Cape Town and some of the story is told in Mauritius. It is interesting to read some of the reasons why people put in prison in the 17th centruy and sodomy was punished by death.

Its kind of nice to read South African history and not be bored out of my mind.

9BoonDock Første besked:
apr 30, 2007, 5:34am

I have been on LibraryThing for a while, but not used it properly. I am a small publisher based in Durban, and I am adding my catalogue of published books slowly.. Take a look at what is there and/or at my website at

Started with Willem Steenkamp's Borderstrike! South Africa into Angola. 1975-1980 and branched out rapidly ! :-)
Will post more here as the muse strikes..
All the best

apr 30, 2007, 12:24pm


I live in JHB and have been on LT since 2005 (this is my second account). I love this site and spend hours getting new suggestions from the different groups.

maj 28, 2007, 7:47am

Hi everyone

Many thanks to keren7 for pointing me here, it's very nice to know there are other librarythingers in the same timezone.

I must say, this site has made me look at my reading and compulsive book hoarding in a totally new light. At first I just tried to catalogue all my books at once, and it nearly killed me. I'm much more strategic now, either loading books I've just bought and am busy with, or unfinished books, as a motivator to finish them. Snooping through other people's libraries has also been a great way to find new books.

At the moment I'm busy with Agaat, by Marlene Van Niekerk. I tried it in Afrikaans, but couldn't manage, so now I'm busy with the English translation (a very good one, by the way).

12manuherb Første besked:
jun 26, 2007, 6:53am

Hi all
Am I the only SA author in this group? Ama, a Story of the Atlantic Slave Trade (More at I have lived in Accra, Ghana since 1970 but move to Cape Town in December/January each summer, stock up with second-hand books, and use my SAA Voyager credits to reduce excess baggage charges on the return journey. 92 books in my library so far, practically all fiction by African authors, some in Afrikaans. I'll be building that up to 200 shortly, by which time I should be a life member. Then I'll move on to non-fiction, with an emphasis on Ghana and the Atlantic Slave Trade.

dec 7, 2007, 2:27am

>message 2, SecretCode

As you are in Johannesburg I wonder whether you have read any Christopher Hope. I've recently read his My Mother's Lovers, and wonder how his reading of your city chimes with other citizens thereof. I would be interested to hear (also from other Africans who know Johannesburg and other cities in South Africa).

jul 19, 2008, 1:23am

I am just about to begin The Rich Man of Pietermaritzburg by Sibusiso Nyembezi. I am not a South African and am curious to know what Africans think of both Christopher Hope and Sibusiso Nyembezi's books.

Is anybody out there?

jan 14, 2010, 10:04am

I must admit I have gone off South African stuff lately. See my lists. I have only recently read Stealing Water: A Secret Life in an African City by Tim Ecott which brought back memories of my early life. When a Crocodile Eats the Sun
was so depressing (not really South Africa though). I also discovered Deon Meyer for the first time and read Heart of the hunter

Redigeret: jan 14, 2010, 11:10am

I'm no longer in South Africa having returned to Nairobi a year or so ago for work. I've just read Deon Meyer's Blood Safari in English translation and thoroughly enjoyed it. My wife, who is Kenyan, also found it un-put-downable.

jan 17, 2010, 9:52am

I am from Pretoria and has been on LT since 2005. I have all my books on LT and it is quite helpfull.
Have just read Margie Orford and an Afrikaans book my Deon Meyer - 13 hours. Excellent read. I love serial killer crime fiction, can not get enough of it.

jan 17, 2010, 1:10pm

Hi. I'm Australian but have been living & working in South Africa for the past 4 years. I lecture in History.

jan 18, 2010, 2:17pm

Hi! I'm a Capetonian (born in the Transvaal but thoroughly in love with my city). I haven't really read many South African books, although one that I *must* recommend is Playing the enemy by John Carlin. A lot of people I've recommended it to scoffed and said either "another apartheid book" or "rugby?! gah" . This book is about so much more than that, though. It is probably the book that made me most proud to be South African, that really opened my eyes to a difficult time in our history that I was oblivious to. (I was six years old in 1991, by the time I was aware of anything it had been reduced to racism squabbles and dry textbooks). Mr Carlin writes in a light, sympathetic, positive style, and yet I was reduced to tears more than once. Not so much because of particular incidents, but because of the greatness of it. Here I use great in an older sense, as in something that fills you with awe at the sheer beauty/genius/scope of it. Anyways, enough ranting! If anyone else has an opinion on this book I'd appreciate it.

jan 24, 2010, 8:26am

Hi Tropics

part of that Dervla's book was written while she stayed with us in Cape Town. How did you find it?

jan 24, 2010, 8:33am

Hi PrincessT is that the book that the movie is based on? If so it had the same effect on my 20 year old daughter: made her feel proud to be a South african. This was a n exciting statement from me as I am British (but lived in Cape Town since 1974!) . would liek to know if it was made into the movie.


jan 24, 2010, 8:34am

Howzit almal? i joined today and i love this site. You can actually feel less odd about your reading choices and get ideas. I am interetd in starting an inclusive books group ( see "South African" groups).

jan 24, 2010, 11:36am

Hi chris. It is indeed the one! The movie was really good, although my friends and i all add 'if you haven't read the book' ! We need all the sources of pride we can get, and this one is a particularly fine source, imho anyway.

Redigeret: jan 24, 2010, 3:37pm

To be honest I hated the film. I found the acting was bad and the plot contrived. All the did was take the sayings of Mandela into a film. I shudder when we have a film based on the sayings of Julius.

jan 24, 2010, 11:23pm

Bergs, I am sure that you'll enjoy the book much more. It doesn't focus on the sayings, and there are so many other characters that didn't make it into the movie- Justice Bekebeke and the Upington 26, insights into the bodyguards, the Viljoen(?)-brothers, and many more. A lot of what I was expecting to see in the movie was cut, which is why I couldn't rate it more than three stars at the very best. I can see how it could have diverse effects on different people, but seriously guys: read the book! :)

Redigeret: jan 27, 2010, 6:39am

Isn't it about time there were more South Africans on Librarything. Very few of us know about it and I think we should try get more and more people to join. I find that so few people have read books by South Africans and the only way to increase the numbers is to find new users. So go out there and spread the world. Try get at least one new reader a week.

jan 30, 2010, 2:55am

bergs, I agree we need to help build more of a reading culture in this country and I this could be an arena to look at why sport seems to be eclipse the arts among most South Africans. Also the issue of the young: the whole school libraries campaign could be taken up here too.

jan 30, 2010, 2:59am

Fred Vargas "Wash This Blood Clean from My hand" provides a brilliant picture of what might make some-one become a serial killer. Just read it in French which is even better.

jan 30, 2010, 3:00am

forgot to say that last Fred Vargas message was for Ronelle. But what's the appeal of serial killer fiction; is it the way the plot thickens (with corpses?)?

jan 30, 2010, 3:04am

bergs i think you are responsible for reviving this thread. let's build it. Oh and what is Deon Meyer best known for? excuse my ignorance but this is what LT is for right?

jan 30, 2010, 11:11am

Stangely enough hardly known in SA but well read in Europe. Writes crime in Afrikaans ans is translated wildly

jan 31, 2010, 6:33am

Translated wildly, that sounds like a good variation on a "free" transaltion! I will check him out.

feb 1, 2010, 9:20am

Did I say wildly when I meant "widely".

English, French, German, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Russian, Finnish, Czech, Romanian, Slovakian and Bulgarian.

feb 1, 2010, 12:15pm

I've only read Deon Meyer in Afrikaans- been too afraid to try the English as I'm not sure how the mood holds up through translation. Anyone who's read English and Afrikaans and can compare?

feb 2, 2010, 10:04am

I know the feeling when I read a novel in french. I cringe at the thought of how they will transalte the dialogue for example ( I'm thinking of Fred Vargas)

feb 2, 2010, 10:05am

I realised you meant widely but slips can be entertaining.

feb 5, 2010, 5:36pm

hi - i live in cape town - originally from PE - still miss PE but anyways here i am! i have been on this site for a while - i love it. can spend hours on it - looking for books reading recommendations. am trying to get my books on to it - but sometimes takes a bit of a while!
i don't really read many south african books - think it is from school days when we had were forced to read south african books (apartheid time!) & they were never really great - and also read 1 wilbur smith - sorry to all wilbur smith fans but that was 1 too many! and then i mainly enjoy magic realism type books - not a lot of south african books in that genre :)

feb 5, 2010, 5:37pm

has anyone been on to the site bookcrossing?

feb 7, 2010, 6:51am

auntycaz, try {Patricia Schonstein, Cape town novelist and magic realist.

nov 19, 2010, 8:20am

Hi South Africa!
I just joined, delighted to see you all here! a great help to have countryman around :-) (& woman of cource) lol!
God bless you all in whatever ur hands find to do!

mar 21, 2011, 7:55am

Any advice on the best source of ebooks if you are based in South Africa? Kalahari ebooks are expensive I thought.

mar 25, 2011, 7:11pm

Just added a new profile as JustDone (I'm also BoonDock) as there is a new facility here for publishers to add their books.

jul 14, 2012, 11:16am


I am Claire Datnow, I grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa. You may enjoy looking at my list of My Favorite African Memoirs:

Keep this group going!

jul 15, 2012, 1:20pm

Hello from Italy :)
I'm new on LT and I immediately joined this group since I'm curently working on my graduation thesis which concerns some aspects of South African literature and censorship (mainly in the 70s ) ...such an interesting and absorbing subject.

More in detail, the works I'm taking into consideration are:

André Brink - Looking on darkness
Nadine Gordimer - Burger's daughter
Miriam Tlali - Muriel at Metropolitan

I might ask for help and suggestions in the near future, many thanks in advance :)


jul 15, 2012, 2:31pm

glad to see some activity. I am a book collector in Johannesburg and have just completed cataloguing my collection On LT . I have over 1000 books relating to SAfrica and then quite a few about other African countries. Interested in history, mining industry, economics, socio -political issues , biography/autobiography. Most willing to answer questions or advise or make connection suggestions re Amelie's research.