The Book Show

Fossils, Training Goshawks and an Afrikaner Scientologist named Jaco

Lucy: The Beginnings of Humankind by Donald Johanson and Maitland A. Edey

"The story of human evolution - how ape like animals living millions of years ago changed into the human beings of today - is one of the great scientific epics of all time. But, like the sagas of the ancients, the details of the hominid odyssey have tended to vary with the teller. During the past 20 years, and especially during the past 10, significant rewritings have appeared; unfortunately for anyone seeking a clear interpretation of human evolution, most have been based as much on changing opinion and ideology as on new evidence.

''Lucy: The Beginnings of Humankind'' is, therefore, a welcome and needed corrective."

H is for Hawk by Helen Mcdonald

'This book is a soaring triumph. It is a joy to follow Mabel and Macdonald’s flight out of such disconsolate scenes as one settles into a new roost and the other gradually comes to realise that “hands are for other human hands to hold. They should not be reserved exclusively as perches for hawks.”'

  • H is for Hawk by Helen Mcdonald, review: 'a soaring triumph' in The Telegraph

Into the Past: A Memoir by Phillip Tobias

'The main body of Tobias’ memoir covers only the first 40 years of his life (he was 87 when he died) and is a careful mixture of the personal, the political and the scientific. He tells delightful stories.

Throughout his memoir, Tobias refers to the ongoing questions that need to be addressed by scientific communities as well as society in general: the question of ethics in science; science and religion; the pursuit of truth no matter what... He is clear that science without ethics is unacceptable. The science-religion question is one he claims to have struggled with all his life.'

  • _Review: Into the Past (Memorial Edition) _by Sue Townsend in Tonight

Up Against The Night by Justin Cartwright

"Cartwright is “one of the finest novelists currently at work”, but also, rather stingingly, his recurring schema and structures have been catalogued: a male protagonist from a moneyed trade drawn to a moment from history; women troubles; generational tensions; and a grand gesture to bring all these elements into sharp relief.

In Up Against the Night, Cartwright follows this blueprint to the letter, with Frank McAllister playing the wealthy narrator; the massacre of Boer leader Piet Retief and his men in 1838 providing the historical backdrop; an ex-wife and Swedish girlfriend adding the sexual frisson; a daughter, Lucinda, just out of rehab, and a young cousin, Jaco, enmeshed with Scientology; and a holiday to the place of Frank’s birth, South Africa, as the cauldron in which to throw the participants."

  • Up Against the Night review by Stuart Evers in The Guardian

Read More
A literary journey into the troubled history of Congo on The Book Show

A literary journey into the troubled history of Congo on The Book Show

Jenny Crwys-Williams takes Redi Tlhabi and her audience on a literary journey into the complicated and troubled history of Congo

Spine-chilling crime books and the 2016 Sunday Times Literary Awards shortlist

Spine-chilling crime books and the 2016 Sunday Times Literary Awards shortlist

Jenny Crwys-Williams reflects on recent literary events, looks at great crime books & nominees from the Sunday Times Shortlist.

Books by African writers, this week on The Book Show

Books by African writers, this week on The Book Show

Redi Thlabi and Jenny Crwys-Williams delve into a range of books by African writers, both black and white, on the Redi Tlhabi Show.

One history book every South African should read

One history book every South African should read

This week's Exclusive Books feature on The Redi Tlhabi Show presented Books of World History (Part 2) to help you choose what to put on your reading list.

The Book Show: Best-selling Christmas 2015 books

The Book Show: Best-selling Christmas 2015 books

In this Book Show, Jenny Crwys-Williams looks at some of Exclusive Books' best-selling books over Christmas 2015.

Jenny has released her Book of the Year finalists for 2015

Jenny has released her Book of the Year finalists for 2015

Jenny has once again released her shortlist of the best coffee table, cookbook, fiction and non-fiction books for 2015.

Popular articles
So what exactly is radical economic transformation?

So what exactly is radical economic transformation?

Wits associate professor of economics Christopher Malikane speaks to Azania Mosaka about the term that is being bandied about.

Shop 'til you drop: The top 'Black Friday' deals this week

Shop 'til you drop: The top 'Black Friday' deals this week

Start your Christmas shopping off with a bang at these major retailers offering some impressive discounted sales for Black Friday.

Pamela Nomvete on her downfalls as actress, and 'climbing back'

Pamela Nomvete on her downfalls as actress, and 'climbing back'

This week Xolani Gwala's speaks to former Generations actor Pamela Nomvete for #WhatInTheWorldHappenedTo feature.

How Naspers paid peanuts for Tencent (China’s most valuable company)

How Naspers paid peanuts for Tencent (China’s most valuable company)

In 2001 Naspers invested $32 million in (then tiny) Tencent. Learn more about the wildly profitable Chinese behemoth...

Police hunt man who doled out drug-laced sweets to school kids

Police hunt man who doled out drug-laced sweets to school kids

60 children from three schools in south of Johannesburg were rushed to hospital after eating sweets handed out by a stranger.

'The university degree is dead'

'The university degree is dead'

Flux Trends founder Dion Chang gives five reasons why he believes getting a degree is past its sell by date.

3 easy questions could bag you R2000!

3 easy questions could bag you R2000!

WIN R2000! But only if you can prove you're a whiz of the MTN Biz Quiz by answering the following three questions...

Blesserfinder: Matching you with a sugar daddy near you

Blesserfinder: Matching you with a sugar daddy near you

Is social trend Blesserfinder, where girls are allegedly matching up with rich 'benefactors' in exchange for sex, a real thing?