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Archive for March, 2018

New titles from Tim Marshall and Michael Morpurgo to hit the shelves in April!

Divided
Tim Marshall

• Essential new reading from the no.1 Sunday Times and internationally bestselling author of Prisoners of Geography, which has sold more than 235,000 in the UK and is being translated into 17 languages, selling over half a million copies worldwide.

• Punchy and engaging insights into global politics – this is an intelligent, accessible approach to a complex topic.

• Tim is an established and respected media commentator on foreign affairs, and has a large and loyal following.

• He will be on television and radio to promote the book. We feel more divided than ever. This riveting popular analysis tells you why.

THE BOOK
“One of the best books about geopolitics you could imagine” – Nicholas Lezard, Evening Standard, on Prisoners of Geography
 
 
 
Walls are going up.

Nationalism and identity politics are on the rise once more.

Over 6,000 miles of fences and barriers have been erected in the past ten years, and they are redefining our political landscape.

There are many reasons why walls go up, because we are divided in many ways: wealth, race, religion, politics. In Europe the divisions of the past decade threaten not only European unity, but in some countries liberal democracy itself. In China, the Party’s need to contain the divisions wrought by capitalism will define the nation’s future. In the USA the rationale for the Mexican border wall runs deeper than the need to control illegal immigration; it taps into the fear that the USA will no longer be a white majority country during the course of this century.

Understanding what has divided us, past and present, is essential to understanding much of what’s going on in the world today. In ten chapters covering The Great Divides; China; the USA; the UK; Europe; the Middle East; India and Bangladesh; Africa; The Spaces In Between; and The Bridges Across, bestselling author Tim Marshall presents an unflinching and essential overview of the faultlines that will shape our world for years to come.

Tim Marshall is a leading authority on foreign affairs with more than 30 years of reporting experience. He was diplomatic editor at Sky News, and before that was working for the BBC and LBC/IRN radio. He has reported from 40 countries and covered conflicts in Croatia, Bosnia, Macedonia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Israel. He is the author of the no.1 Sunday Times bestseller Prisoners of Geography; Worth Dying For: The Power and Politics of Flags; “Dirty Northern B*st*rds!” and Other Tales from the Terraces: The Story of Britain’s Football Chants; and Shadowplay: The Inside Story of the Overthrow of Slobodan Milosevic (a bestseller in former Yugoslavia). He is founder and editor of the current affairs site TheWhatandtheWhy.com.

Flamingo Boy
Michael Morpurgo

A stunning new classic from master storyteller Michael Morpurgo for readers of 9+, in the vein of Private Peaceful and The Butterfly Lion.

This is a landmark new novel form the nation’s favourite storyteller, set in the unique landscape of the Camargue in the South of France during WW2. There, a young autistic boy lives on his parents’ farm among the salt flats, and the flamingos that live there. There are lots of things he doesn’t understand: but he does know how to heal animals. He loves routine, and music too: and every week he goes to market with his mother, to ride his special horse on the town carousel. But then the Germans come, with their guns, and take the town. A soldier shoots a flamingo from the sky, and it falls to earth terribly injured. And even worse is to come: the carousel is damaged, the horses broken. For this vulnerable boy, everything is falling apart. Only there’s a kind sergeant among the Germans – a man with a young boy of his own at home, a man who trained as a carpenter. Between them, perhaps boy and man can mend what has been broken – and maybe even the whole town…
 
• A brand new fiction title from the Nation’s Favourite Storyteller and author of War Horse, Michael Morpurgo
Listen to the Moon was shortlisted for a Costa Book Award
• Michael Morpurgo’s English Language sales exceed 34 million copies
• Michael’s UK sales exceed 5 million copies (TCM Bookscan, 2013)
War Horse and Private Peaceful books have been made into films establishing Michael Morpurgo as a household name internationally
• Michael currently has over 44k FB likes and his website visits regularly exceed 20k “Please invite this wonderful story in, you won’t regret it. History is rarely more movingly alive.”

Morris Gleitzman Praise for Michael Morpurgo: “Michael Morpurgo writes brilliantly about war and animals, conveying the big emotions without preaching.”

Guardian “Champagne quality over a wide range of subjects.”

Daily Telegraph “There are few children’s writers as compelling as Michael Morpurgo.”

Daily Express “Morpurgo, as always, is subtle and skilful, and incorporates social and moral issues into his writing without being self-righteous or detracting from the quality of the narrative” Elizabeth Reilly, British Council

“The former children’s laureate has the happy knack of speaking to both child and adult readers.” Guardian

Michael Morpurgo OBE is one of Britain’s best-loved writers for children. He has written over 100 books and won many prizes, including the Smarties Prize, the Blue Peter Book Award and the Whitbread Award. His recent bestselling novels include Shadow, A Medal for Leroy and Little Manfred. His novel War Horse has been successfully adapted as a West End and Broadway theatre play and a major film by Steven Spielberg. A former Children’s Laureate, Michael is also the co-founder, with his wife Clare, of the charity Farms for City Children.

Book details

Also available as an eBook.

Also available as an eBook.


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Five local eBooks to read this March

Blood Money
Johan Raath

‘Shortly after we took off from the check point I saw an old Opel with young men trying to pass us… I remember the cracks of the AK-47 bullets when it came through our windscreen. Our driver drew his pistol and fired back with his right hand while trying to control the speeding vehicle with his left.’

Johan Raath and a security team were escorting American engineers to a power plant south of Baghdad when they were ambushed. He had first arrived in Iraq only two weeks before. This was a small taste of what was to come over the next 13 years he worked there as a private military contractor (PMC).

His mission? Not to wage war but to protect lives. Raath acted as a bodyguard for VIPs and, more often, engineers who were involved in construction projects to rebuild the country after the 2003 war. His physical and mental endurance was tested to the limit in his efforts to safeguard construction sites that were regularly subjected to mortar and suicide attacks. Key to his survival was his training as a Special Forces operator, or Recce.

Working in places called the Triangle of Death and driving on the ‘Hell Run’, Raath had numerous hair-raising experiences. As a trained combat medic he also helped to save people’s lives after two suicide bomb attacks on sites he then worked at.
 
Manage Your Money Like a F*cking Grownup
Sam Beckbessinger

‘We never get an instruction manual about how money works. We never have to pass a test to get our Money License before we can take a new credit card for a drive. Most of what we learn about money comes from advertising or from other people who know as little as we do.

No wonder we make such basic mistakes. No wonder we feel disempowered and scared. No wonder so many of us just decide to stick our heads in the damn sand and just never deal with it.

I wrote this book, because so many of the people I spoke to told me that they wished someone would.’

In this clear and engaging basic guide to managing your finances, Sam Beckbessinger covers topics from compound interest and inflation to “Your brain on money”, negotiating a raise, and particularly local South African phenomena like “black tax”.

The book includes exercises and “how-to’s”, doesn’t shy away from the psychology of money, and is empowering, humorous and helpful. The book you wish you’d had at 25, but is never too late to read.

Sam Beckbessinger is a writer, user-experience designer and entrepreneur who is on a quest to help the emerging middle class understand how to take charge of their finances. She is the cofounder of Phantom Design, a company that has helped to build bitcoin wallets, cryptocurrency exchanges, smart credit cards and more. She also lectures extensively on online culture, marketing and behavioural economics. Sam holds a BA Honours Degree from the University of Cape Town, studied Strategy Design at the Gordon Institute of Business Science and was a 2014 Mandela Washington Fellow at Yale University.
 
The Expert Landlord
David Beattie

You have a residential investment property. Perhaps you are already renting it out. But are you doing it like a pro and do you know how to maximise your return from it? In this book, property management expert David Beattie distils two decades of experience into easy-to-implement steps and shows you how to manage your property like a professional landlord. His goal is to help you make more money in less time and with fewer hassles, by showing you how to run your property investment like a business; navigate and comply with South African rental laws with ease; attract, screen, place and keep high-quality tenants; ensure successful and consistent rent collection; and maintain your property with the least effort and money. The book also includes templates for all the documents the prospective landlord needs.

David Beattie is a well-known property expert in South Africa. He is the founder and director of Chorus Letting, a leading residential property rental agency managing 2000 properties across Cape Town and Johannesburg. More recently, David has turned his attention to the growing market of private landlords. He is also the founder of PocketLet, a tool for private landlords to effectively manage their own properties.
 
The Villager: How Africans Consume Brands
Feyi Olubodun

When Feyi Olubodun, CEO of one one of West Africa’s leading creative agencies, witnessed one too many cases of brands failing in the African marketplace he began to ask himself questions:

* Why did brands, both global and local, so often fail to connect with the African consumer?

* What was it about the African market that brand owners were not seeing?

He began to reflect on his own marketing experiences and out of this emerged the framework for The Villager.

In Feyi’s view, the African consumer begins his life’s journey by moving from the village, his rural dwelling, to the city, carrying with him not only his own dreams but also the dreams of his community. He is a highly aspirational consumer, motivated to succeed, and he becomes the economic portal for the rest of his community back home. But although he may be exposed to global influences and technology, his essential identity remains largely intact. This is why Feyi calls the African consumer a Villager. The Village is no longer a physical space; it is a psychological construct that defines him and the filter through which he engages with and consumes brands.

In developing his construct, Feyi posits that if you wish to engage successfully in a market you may not understand, you must have the right ‘lenses’ to view a people. He believes the secret lies in applying these lenses at the confluence of commerce, culture and consumer. Data is not enough to understand the vagaries of a particular market. Drawing on his wide experience and wealth of astute observations, he provides a highly readable and indispensable guide to the mindset of the African consumer today, yet it is true to say that his insights apply, albeit in a more nuanced way, to consumer behaviour across the globe.

The Villager is essential reading for brand owners wishing to conquer new markets.

Feyi Olubodun spent four years at medical school before changing to another course of study. He transferred his interest in humans from the anatomical to the psychological and graduated with a degree in psychology.

He worked as a Data Analyst and Marketer Researcher, at TNS-RMS for several years and later at Insight Publicis, where he was Strategy Director for before being promoted to Chief Operating Officer. Along the way Feyi got his Global Executive MBA from the Duke University Fuqua School of Business, and in 2016 he was appointed Managing Director/CEO of Insight Publicis Nigeria.
 
Like Sodium in Water
Hayden Eastwood

“Dad thinks lots of things are right-wing. He even thinks He-Man is right-wing. I ask Dad who we are and he says left-wing. Left is opposite to right. If right is bad, then we’re the opposite of that, which means we’re good.”

It’s post-independence Zimbabwe and an atmosphere of nostalgia hangs over much of Harare’s remaining white community. Hayden Eastwood grows up in a family that sets itself apart, distinguishing themselves from Rhodie-Rhodies through their politics: left is good; right is bad.

Within the family’s free and easy approach to life, Hayden and his younger brother, Dan, make a pact to never grow up, to play hide and seek and build forts forever, and to never, ever be interested in girls. But as Hayden and Dan develop as teenagers, and the chemicals of adolescence begin to stir, their childhood pact starts to unravel.

And with the arrival of Sarah into their lives, the two brothers find themselves embroiled in an unspoken love triangle. While Sarah and Hayden spend increasing amounts of time together, Dan is left to deal with feelings of rejection and the burden of hidden passion alone, and the demise of a silly promise brings with it a wave of destruction.

Laced with humour, anger and sadness, Like Sodium in Water is an account of a family in crisis and an exploration of how we only abandon the lies we tell ourselves when we have no other option.

When not informing people about the inadvisability of push-starting motorbikes in close proximity to rivers, Hayden Eastwood develops cryptocurrency trading bots as part of a high-risk low-return business venture portfolio. Non-transferable skills from a doctorate in computational physics have likewise ill-equipped him for gooseberry farming, vehicle maintenance and relationships with women. He lives in Harare.

Book details


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Hayden Eastwood’s memoir of growing up in post-independence Zimbabwe is laced with humour, anger and sadness

“Dad thinks lots of things are right-wing. He even thinks He-Man is right-wing. I ask Dad who we are and he says left-wing. Left is opposite to right. If right is bad, then we’re the opposite of that, which means we’re good.”

It’s post-independence Zimbabwe and an atmosphere of nostalgia hangs over much of Harare’s remaining white community. Hayden Eastwood grows up in a family that sets itself apart, distinguishing themselves from Rhodie-Rhodies through their politics: left is good; right is bad.

Within the family’s free and easy approach to life, Hayden and his younger brother, Dan, make a pact to never grow up, to play hide and seek and build forts forever, and to never, ever be interested in girls. But as Hayden and Dan develop as teenagers, and the chemicals of adolescence begin to stir, their childhood pact starts to unravel.

And with the arrival of Sarah into their lives, the two brothers find themselves embroiled in an unspoken love triangle. While Sarah and Hayden spend increasing amounts of time together, Dan is left to deal with feelings of rejection and the burden of hidden passion alone, and the demise of a silly promise brings with it a wave of destruction.

Laced with humour, anger and sadness, Like Sodium in Water is an account of a family in crisis and an exploration of how we only abandon the lies we tell ourselves when we have no other option.
 

The Author
When not informing people about the inadvisability of push-starting motorbikes in close proximity to rivers, Hayden Eastwood develops cryptocurrency trading bots as part of a high-risk low-return business venture portfolio. Non-transferable skills from a doctorate in computational physics have likewise ill-equipped him for gooseberry farming, vehicle maintenance and relationships with women. He lives in Harare.

Book details

Also available as an eBook.


» read article

“Put everything in writing” and nine other hot tips for property management from David Beattie

You have a residential investment property. Perhaps you are already renting it out. But are you doing it like a pro and do you know how to maximise your return from it? In this book, property management expert David Beattie distils two decades of experience into easy-to-implement steps and shows you how to manage your property like a professional landlord. His goal is to help you make more money in less time and with fewer hassles, by showing you how to run your property investment like a business; navigate and comply with South African rental laws with ease; attract, screen, place and keep high-quality tenants; ensure successful and consistent rent collection; and maintain your property with the least effort and money. The book also includes templates for all the documents the prospective landlord needs.

DAVID BEATTIE is a well-known property expert in South Africa. He is the founder and director of Chorus Letting, a leading residential property rental agency managing 2000 properties across Cape Town and Johannesburg. More recently, David has turned his attention to the growing market of private landlords. He is also the founder of PocketLet, a tool for private landlords to effectively manage their own properties.

My Top Ten Tips for Expert Property Management

Residential property management is perceived to be a road filled with potholes. But it can be actually quite simple in practice. If you arm yourself with the right skills and tools and team there is no reason why you can’t succeed in managing your own property well.

There are loads of books, websites and experts who can assist you every step along the way. Once you have pushed through the initial lack of confidence and uncertainty barrier, you’ll be confident to make your own way.

To help you start on your property management journey, I have put together my top 10 tips for property management success. These principles will be your beacons along the path, and will act as a solid framework in which to operate.

1. Know your why. Knowing why you own property as an investment will affect how you respond to challenges and how you persevere through them.

2. Your property investment is a business, so treat it like one. A professional and organised approach to property management means better, more consistent performance for your property and a better home for your tenant.

3. Screening your tenants thoroughly is critical. Placing the right tenant who will pay their rent in full and on time each month and look after your property is the foundation for property management success.

4. Always do a joint move-in inspection. A written move-in inspection, done correctly and with your tenant, will mean you have a leg to stand on if your tenant causes damage to your property.

5. Treat your tenant with respect. A happy tenant is a better-performing tenant.

6. Stick to the rules. Be consistent in holding the tenant to what they agreed to in the lease agreement. Keep your side of the bargain too.

7. Put everything in writing. Arguing about who said what creates problems. Written agreements and written communication keep things simple and reliable.

8. Maintain your property properly. Be proactive in looking after your property. This will mean better growth in your asset over time, and will attract better-quality tenants.

9. Be consistent. Property management is about doing the simple things consistently month after month.

10. Always keep learning. Having a learning attitude will mean you’ll constantly get better at being a property manager, and you’ll stay up to date with changes in the market and legislation.

Book details

 
Also available as an eBook.


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