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4 Holiday Reads

4 Holiday Reads

These are our picks to place on your bedside table for some great holiday reading. 

Silent Giants Cover Scan (2)Book of the month: The Silent Giants of Southern Africa

Elephants have human traits ascribed to them more so than any other wild animal. It is this anthropomorphism that’s the recurring theme of this book. Their physiology gets closely examined, from the tips of their trunks by which they probe and analyse the world around them, through their bellies that sound rumblings by which they can communicate over vast distances, down to the structure of their feet that serve as sensors and enable them to move about so soundlessly through the bush.

Observation of their social structure, as well as accounts of human-like behavior, such as mourning their dead to the point of weeping, add to their enigma. There comes into it too the vexed questions of culling, poaching and humankind’s cramping of their space. With extensive use of pictures, also of the great tuskers, this should be an enjoyable and enlightening read for elephant lovers and the conservation minded.

  • Author: Bob Preller
  • Publisher: Helco Promotions
  • Reviewer: Leon Marshall
  • Price: R360 
  • ISBN: 978-0-62041-011-3


The title of this inspirational book is also the motto Chris Bertish lives by. It’s an easy read and almost impossible to put down, leaving you amped to share the next adrenaline-filled adventure. Chris, a Cape Town boykie, rides waves the size of mountains for fun. He won the Mavericks Big Wave Invitational (only 24 surfers worldwide are invited), and currently holds the Open Ocean SUP 24-hour Distance World Record. What makes the book such an extraordinary read is the fact that Chris is no professional athlete with endless sponsored funds and time to dedicate to his passion.

He is a regular working guy who has had to make sacrifices and work that much harder to fulfil his dreams. And he wasn’t always riding the crest of the waves, there were plenty of tough times. But his ‘nothing is impossible unless you believe it to be’ attitude has allowed him to achieve the unthinkable. Stoked is a true story of triumph and fierce determination and is
a book is for every ocean lover, surfer, sailor
or anyone with a passion for life.

  • Author: Chris Bertish
  • Publisher: Zebra Press
  • Reviewer: Daniel Olivier
  • Price: R230
  • ISBN: 978-1-77022-764-4 


Nan Steyn knows her roses. She has been growing them for the past 20 years and has amassed wide knowledge that she gladly shares. Cultivation is discussed in great detail and there are sections on soil preparation, pruning, mulching, potted roses, foliar feeding, diseases and general problems that face the rose. Every section includes easy, practical advice with useful tips.

She emphasises healthy, organic cultivation and also advocates the use of home-made sprays to fight disease. For instance, to fight powdery mildew, blackspot and rust, far better than chemicals is to make a concoction of 1tbs bicarbonate of soda, a few drops of vegetable oil and 1tbs dishwashing liquid mixed into 5 litres water. The beautiful colour photos by Nan and Dr Franci Swart make this book a visual delight and a must-have manual for all rose growers.

  • Author: Nan Steyn
  • Publisher: Lapa Publishers
  • Reviewer: Rina de Wet  
  • Price: R245 
  • ISBN: 978-0-79937-448-3

ETollSagaThe E-Toll Saga

The to and fro of Gauteng’s e-toll saga is well known. But what is it about people like anti-toll campaigner Wayne Duvenage that makes them give up a top job to stand up for their beliefs? And what went on behind the scenes as he and his small group of helpers with their limited resources took on the might of government with all the back-up at its disposal? It is insights such as these that make this a most interesting read. There were the first tastes of victory, then major setbacks as court cases were lost and funding dried up and ultimately a switch of strategy to an all-out public resistance drive. Whatever becomes of e-tolls, this must count as the most remarkable defiance campaign against government arrogance since the advent of democratic South Africa.

  • Authors: Wayne Duvenage with Angelique Serrao
  • Publisher: Pan MacMillan SA
  • Reviewer: Leon Marshall 
  • Price: R195 
  • ISBN: 978-1-77010-427-3

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