Bent Thumb Thinking: A smart person's guide to an adventurous life. Written by a not-so-smart person
This was not just a drive down the highway. Ahead and way into the distance stretched a road trip from Melbourne to Bundaberg. An arduous trip for an adult – even worse for a child, but he was equipped with a DVD player and ten movies to entertain him along the way.
What transpired, however, was a storytelling marathon by Graham, spurred on by young James, who quickly discarded digital devices for the real thing.
Twenty hours there and twenty hours returning, the stories continued – a hundred or more. These were not fictitious children’s stories, but real life events in what has been a life filled with adventure.
Converted into a blog titled Bent Thumb Thinking, the stories are now being read around the world by thousands of readers. So, from that tiny world inside the Land Rover, where four people sat listening, laughing and occasionally shaking their heads in disbelief, the audience has expanded dramatically. Get your copy of the book here.
I'll Sing You One-Oh!
– by LORRAINE MULLINS (Armstrong, 1953)
Lorraine (Moon) Mullins has completed a history of Prep covering the period 1885 to 2010, and entitled "I'll Sing You One-Oh!". It is a coffee-table book beautifully designed by his daughter, Jocelyn Wortley (Old DSG). If you want one, please contact Anusha Ranchhod at Prep (email@example.com).
Lorraine Mullins’s book is a not only a work of scholarship but also an intimate tale of loyalty and love:
characteristics which distinguish not only the author himself but the staff and children
of whom he writes so warmly. - Marguerite Poland
The Forgotten Feast
Your Loving Son, Yum
'You ought to see the German equipment. It is simply splendid.'
'Yesterday we went out hunting & had a great time. About twenty of us went out in all. I had no luck in seeing anything to fire at but some men got some fine buck, hartebeest and impala.'
| Numbers in our Lives
- NEIL WRIGHT (Armstrong 1961)
This book tackles the massive subject of numbers in our lives head on. From the bones in our bodies to the bucks in the bank. This book is a must read for the curious, a book every South Africa should have.
Click here for the interview with the author about the book.
To get your copy contact Wright Publishing at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 082 658 1700
|Valleys of Silence: Into the Rwandan Genocide
- HAMILTON WENDE (Armstrong 1979)
Experienced journalist Hamilton Wende shares the personal diary he kept during his time as a reporter covering the Rwandan genocide. Read about his firsthand experience of the atrocities that took place.
Click here for the Sunday Times excerpt from the book.
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|The King's Shilling
- HAMILTON WENDE (Armstrong 1979)
There are two kinds of wars: one is external, a public war for all the world to witness; the other intensely private, glimpsed at by only a few.
To order your copy CLICK HERE
My Brother & I
- C.J. (JONTY) DRIVER (Upper 1957)
Price: £6.99pb Winner of the KUP Short Biography Competition
The story of a family of British descendants and their position within South African segregated society through the lives of two brothers. Jonty Driver, activist, schoolmaster, novelist and poet writes a moving elegy for his brother Simon in this strikingly memorable personal tale, one of the winners of the KUP Short Biography Competition For a fuller description, visit our distributor www.legendpress.co.uk and click on Kingston University Press
The Land Within
- ALISTAIR MORGAN (Armstrong 1988)
After an unexpected request from his father, Henry Knott returns to the Karoo farm on which he spent a fractured childhood. Painful memories force him to revisit a tragedy in which he was fatefully implicated. Henry has to come to terms with how this event has shaped his adult life, his marriage and the conflicted emotions he feels towards the place of his birth. Award winning author Alistair Morgan’s The Land Within traces the deep connections between tragedy and love, regret and longing.
Alistair is the first non American to win the Plimpton prize.
Published by Penguin Books.
|Letters to Alice
- Maurice, Ronnie, Bobby and Nicolette Bodmer
This amazing book traces the history of the Bodmer family of Grahamstown during World War II. All four of the family enlisted in the armed forces, Maurice, Bobby, Ronald and Nicolette. Bobby was reported missing in September 1941 when his plane was shot down over the Mediterranean. The other three members of the family survived the war. These are the letters they wrote home to their mother Alice Bodmer, who was a widow in Grahamstown. She kept every one of those 400 or more letters. To purchase a copy, contact Nicolette Quekett (nee Bodmer) at email@example.com
Israel The Chosen
The 63-year-old Cape Town-born author who was educated at St Andrew's College, Grahamstown, and now lives in the north of England, has worked in the newspaper industry for 40 years, having recently taken early retirement from South Yorkshire Newspapers, for whom he worked as sports editor of the Selby Times for the past 15 years. He was also a finalist for Premier Radio’s new media awards while editing the online newspaper www.lifebite.co.uk from 2008-10. Part-Jewish, he grew up in South Africa and became a fully committed Christian as a young man living in London where he worked as a Fleet Street correspondent for the South African Press Association before moving to Yorkshire in 1979. He has since worked in Sheffield, Wakefield, Castleford, Doncaster, Goole and Selby, and was editor for eight years of the Hemsworth & South Elmsall Express. He is currently working on plans to launch a new UK national newspaper reporting and interpreting the news from a biblical perspective. With four children and seven grandchildren, he is married to Linda, 55, who takes the Christian message around dozens of schools in Doncaster through RE lessons, assemblies and various other projects.
Peace in Jerusalem
A behind-the-scenes, real Middle East peace process! Arabs, Palestinians, and Jews--spiritual leaders--from all over the Middle East came to Jerusalem in spite of adversity and danger to worship together, pray for each other, and tell their stories.
Amidst the turmoil of the Middle East with virtual civil wars erupting all around, this remarkable peace process is taking place in which Arabs, Jews, and Christians are embracing one another in the name of Jesus! A special event, At the Crossroads, was held to inspire pastors and other leaders from the region to connect. The results of the event help to prove that Christ is the ultimate reconciler, and that the “Prince of Peace” holds the key to a stable future in the area. Read all about this remarkable event, the time leading up to it, the organization behind it, the stories told by those who attended, and the lessons learned.
This is a Middle East peace process that does not involve politicians or bureaucrats! At its heart are believers in the One who died in Jerusalem to reconcile man to God—and each other. Charles Gardner has seen the evidence of this with his own eyes as he witnessed Arab and Jew embracing one another with arms of love, not hate. This book digs beneath the propaganda put out by a largely liberal media and tells the truth about what’s really happening as the Jewish people face yet another threat of extinction by their sworn enemies.
|Taken Captive by Birds
- MARGUERITE POLAND (HON OA 2005)
All my life I have been 'taken captive by birds'. Their doings are the thread that runs through childhood, the link to people and to place. Their appearance and their presence can at once recall a name, a scent, a morning full of song and exploration; an evening sorrow, a childhood fear. For, somehow, it is the birds that saw it all: those unobtrusive harbingers whose boundaries are defined by other laws than ours but whose ancient lore remains a cipher to remembrance for me.
To order your copy (through various retailers) go to https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16101061-taken-captive-by-birds
|Around Iceland on Inspiration
- RIAAN MANSER (Non OA but he was joined on his journey by Dan Skinstad -Espin 1999)
South Africa's best-known adventurer Riaan Manser takes on his toughest – and coldest - challenge ever, to kayak around Iceland accompanied by Dan Skinstad, who suffers from mild cerebral palsy. Confronted by icy seas, raging winter storms and logistical nightmares, the two adventurers overcome daunting obstacles, including coming to terms with how to work together as a team. Around Iceland on Inspiration is a story about courage, friendship, determination and inspiration. It captures the true spirit of adventure and the stark beauty of Iceland. Around Iceland on Inspiration is Riaan's story behind the controversial TV series aired in 2012 and is set to become another best-seller. To order a copy CLICK HERE
- MALCOLM ISTED (Espin 1965)
A revelation of the sealed timecodes of the Messiah as predicted in the Book of Daniel. 'The Equation' is the fruit of fourteen years of research into this mysterious and controversial saying. It will answer all your questions about the timing of future events, for they are encoded throughout the Bible – in every verse. This is a stunning declaration! But it is factual and true. If you read the book, you will find it exhaustively researched in its 450 pages. Click here to order.
|Only the Dead
- HAMILTON WENDE (Armstrong 1979)
Deep in the Ugandan jungle, a mysterious new presence has infiltrated the Claws of God - a cult army of child soldiers led by the depraved General Faustin. The children are now being controlled by the sinister Papa Mephisto, and believe he is possessed by the magic and power of the lion. Psychologist Tania Richter is struggling to penetrate the minds of these dangerous and brainwashed children. She calls on Sebastian Burke who, while trying to escape his traumatic past and failed relationship, has been researching lion mythology and its tangled history in human culture. Sebastian soon finds himself embroiled in a war that extends to the conflict between Islamic extremists and the American government. With the world under threat of nuclear war and the lives of the children at stake, he and Tania must race to uncover the tangled history of lions and humans through the ages, and face its horrifying implications. Click here to order.
|The Book of War
- JAMES WHYLE (Merriman 1973)
James Whyle takes on the war genre with an eloquent narrative and a command of language and style that captures the fragility and bleakness of the time. There is no doubt that Whyle is a masterful storyteller. The Book of War tells the story of a boy who comes to manhood in a war. William Kentridge has called it, “a rare feast”, and Rian Malan, “a very good book, possibly great.”
An illiterate European child is stranded on the southern tip of Africa. The British and the Xhosa have been spilling each other’s blood for eighty years and the kid signs up for the conflict in the hope of steady meals and a few shillings a month. The kid’s new commander, The Captain, is hardly more than a boy himself, but he has money and education behind him. His goal is to prove that the revolutionary Minié Rifle is the most effective killing machine available to the British Empire. His instruments are an assortment of convicts, sailors and drunkards culled from the port at the Cape of Good Hope; his adversary, a strategically brilliant Xhosa general with little left to lose. The Captain and the irregulars depart on a journey towards a grotesque dénouement around a copper vat on the slopes of Mount Misery. They move through a landscape prowled by wild beasts, a landscape so savage that the mountains themselves are like “ancient artefacts whose listed purpose is slaughter”. As they travel, the distinction between man and animal becomes increasingly blurred. Although it is based closely on first-hand accounts of the 8th Xhosa War, the book creates the effect of an intense defamiliarisation of a history educated South Africans will believe themselves to be au fait with. It converts the bare facts of times past into something terrible and strange. Anyone who has asked themselves why South Africa is a violent country will find a disturbing answer in The Book of War. R150 from Jacana Media. ISBN: 9781431403479 To purchase a copy click here.
|The Prayer of Moses: The Moses Formula
– by FRED C H LOVEMORE (Espin, 1947)
We have been warned! The tribulation predicted by Jesus is upon us. Moses, directed by God, wrote: "Thou shalt have no other gods before me". But for untold generations, mankind has placed its pursuit of health, wealth, and happiness before God. Consequently, he now finds himself in a world of escalating chaos, violence and fear, cornered against a "Red Sea" of his own making. But Moses, inspired by God, gave mankind the formula for one of the greatest prayers ever devised, a prayer (where prayer is the attaining of a state of mind or level of consciousness), which saved the Israelites at the Red Sea from possible annihilation by the Egyptians. Egypt symbolises materialism which today blinds man to his greatest heritage, namely, the awareness of his creation in the image and likeness of God, and with it his eternal oneness with the Father. We have been warned! We either heed the warning by having no "gods" before God or face the dire consequences of the end times described by Jesus. What can we do to help ourselves during these end times? We can study the Moses Formula, pray as it directs and return to worshipping God. To purchase a copy, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or phones 0861668368 and 021 918 8811. For readers outside Africa, the book is available on Amazon.com.
|The ABC of Financial Management
– by FRED C H LOVEMORE (Espin, 1947)
The ABC of Financial Management is written for those who know little or nothing about financial management, as well as for the serious investor or commercial leader. Financial statements, time value of money, the cost of capital, the management of working capital, how to make financing and investment decisions, as well as a plethora of other facets of financial analyses and management, are discussed in detail and in understandable language. The book defines and discusses financial terms, as well as the fundamentals of financial management and is of immense practical value. To order a copy, CLICK HERE
|The Race is not to the Swift
– by FRED C H LOVEMORE (Espin, 1947)
Behind me I hear the fateful footsteps, the heavy breathing, the sound of someone in strained labour, approaching like a doom, and I cannot escape the awful sound. A form manifests beside me. Momentarily, we hang side by side. The wraith beside me moves relentlessly ahead ... and I am relegated to the lower station.
Then the beloved face, and her voice: 'Second place in the race but first among the elect, for this race is not to the swift.' To order a copy CLICK HERE
|Beyond Management: Taking Charge at Work
– by MARK ADDLESON (Graham, 1969)
The systems and structures that we call 'management' are obsolete. They were developed for smokestack factories, during the industrial era. Devised for producing goods efficiently, management practices are geared to solving technical, left-brain problems: the kind that occurs when production is highly mechanized, work is repetitive, and people labor in isolation. A century later, work has changed but management has not. It is inflexible, top-heavy, and old. In smoke-free offices, 21st Century knowledge workers organize themselves. Creative and agile, they network or team to tackle complex, right-brain problems by interacting and sharing information: talking, texting, asking questions as they make decisions collectively. Beyond Management explains why the tools, rules, competition, and compliance favored by management are actually disorganizing and cause breakdowns at work. It also shows you how to replace out-dated practices with new ones that empower knowledge workers. In Beyond Management: Taking Charge at Work, Mark Addleson goes beyond the easy platitudes of most authors on collaborative work to dig deep into the underpinnings of exactly how people work together in peer-to-peer relationships and networks. Order a copy here.
|The South African Letters of Thomas Pringle
– by RANDOLPH VIGNE (Armstrong, 1945)
The disappearance of Thomas Pringle’s personal archive after his death is noted in the Introduction (p. xiii) to The South African Letters of Thomas Pringle, published in 2011 by the Van Riebeeck Society as No. 42 in its Second Series. Almost all the letters Pringle wrote to his family on the Eastern Cape frontier also disappeared and it has taken considerable research to find the 223 letters published in that volume. Constraints of space necessitated the exclusion of a further 26 letters, all of them written in the last nine years of Pringle’s life, which he spent in Britain. Their South African references are comparatively slight, but their biographical value makes them a valuable, electronically-published supplement to the Van Riebeeck Society volume. Due to the inter-connected character of the printed and electronic books, some footnotes in the latter refer the reader to information in footnotes to the former. Footnote 1 to letter No 1 below refers to footnotes 3 and 5 to Letter  in the published volume. Apart from the letter to his wife Margaret (No 12) and to his fellow Scots poet Allan Cunningham (No 18), which are solely of biographical interest, the letters here collected contribute also to the knowledge we have of Pringle’s South African connexions after he had left the country never to return, despite his dying wish to do so. To order a copoy go to http://www.vanriebeecksociety.co.za/order.htm
A Passion Runs Through It
– by CHRISTOPHER MAXWELL (Armstrong, 2006)
How wonderful to have a young Old Andrean take on the challenge of producing a book! Two and half years of research, interviews and questionnaires, A Passion Runs Through It is a soft-cover 150 page book containing 53 photographs, and highlights the best of College Rugby. A St Andrew's College Rugby Story is a story for any boy who dreams of pulling that 1st team rugby jersey over his head. It for the boys of St Andrew's, past and present, who played rugby with pride and passion. A Passion Runs Through it documents the origin of rugby at St Andrew's which played a big part in the origin of the sport in the Eastern Cape and South Africa. Weaving through the years, it explores the developments made during its history whilst giving full praise to the times when 'College Rugby' was on a high. To purchase a copy at R95 incl VAT and postage, contact Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org
|Beyond the Malachite Hills
– by JONATHAN LAWLEY (Espin, 1954)
Since the heady days of decolonisation the story seems to be one of unrelenting disaster – dictatorship, ethnic conflict, civil war, and economic failure. All this has been compounded by natural disasters – including the scourge of AIDS. But there is another, less reported, story of Africa; throwing off the colonial past, gaining in pride and embracing the crucial management function; all this in the context of fruitful collaboration with Western business and increasingly, with Asian markets. Jonathan Lawley paints a vivid and convincing picture of solid political, social and economic progress. Beyond the Malachite Hills is a remarkable testament to his long-lasting and profound involvement with this often misunderstood continent. Purchase your copy by emailing email@example.com
Click here for further information
– by MARGUERITE POLAND (HON OA, 2005)
Charlie Fraser. For some, just a name, just a boy. For some, not even a remarkable boy. Just one of the good fellows in the House with a particular facility with a rugby ball. Call it devotion. It was as good a word as any. Why Charlie? Why not Dan or Mac or dear old Sparrow? Herbert only knew it to be so - for Charlie Fraser, despite his odd detachment, had presence. Presence. And whatever presence was, it ensured absolute devotion.The year is 1913, the place a boys' school in colonial South Africa. For every boy, the heart of the school is his own House, his Housemaster and his particular Hero. And, for every newboy coming through the and hallowed doors, there are two commandments. The first: Silence and Denial. The second: not to fail at Footer. Validation lies in honouring these at whatever cost. To purchase a copy, go to www.penguinbooks.co.za and search for Iron Love
|Dinosaurs, Diamonds and Democracy
– by FRANCIS WILSON (Armstrong, 1956)
An asteroid the size of Table Mountain crashed into what was to become South Africa over 2 billion years ago, marking the spot. The country's history since then has always been robust and full of energy. Francis Wilson's Dinosaurs, Diamonds & Democracy takes you in record time from that moment, when the earth's richest gold reefs were shaped, to the advent of democracy in 1994, another event that stunned the world. Along the way you will encounter some of the most ancient dinosaurs on record, the very first people on the planet, and the first cultures. You will see outsiders moving in to reshape history: hunters and gatherers, cultivators and herders, iron-workers from the north, and immigrants from Europe and Asia. They fought and made peace; they stumbled upon gold and diamonds; they rose to the heights of excellence and sunk to the depths of oppression, until on one day they all queued as equals to elect a government. That is the story marked by dinosaurs, diamonds and democracy. For more info or to purchase a copy CLICK HERE.
| House of War
– by HAMILTON WENDE (Armstrong, 1979) (Penguin Books)
Hamilton Wende launched his new book House of War at Rosebank Mall, Johannesburg on 15th October 2009. Sebastian Burke, a British academic, has spent his whole life trying to understand the secret life of Alexander the Great and his slave bride Roxanne. Now, with the Taliban forced underground, he finally has the opportunity to undertake the journey he has dreamed of for almost his entire adult life, a journey into the heart of Alexander's world, a journey to the lost city of Ay Khanoum in northern Afghanistan. Here, with the help of Claire Finch - a fiercely independent American documentary producer - he hopes to find and expose to the world the contents of the Royal Diaries of Alexander - the last copies of which were kept in the city before its destruction by barbarian invaders from the East. However, from the moment two American servicemen are murdered by Al Qaeda terrorists in the bar of their hotel in Tashkent it becomes clear that there is far more at stake than just Sebastian's reputation as an historian, and what started out as a quest to validate a lifetime of academic study quickly turns into a journey of discovery that will bring Sebastian face to face with his Rhodesian past - a past he has run from for over thirty years. Hamilton is a freelance writer and television producer. He has covered fifteen different wars in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. In television he has worked for a number of international networks including the BBC, NBC, ABC (Australia), SBS (Australia), NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation, Al Jazeera English and a number of others. He has also appeared on a number of radio and television programmes. Previous published works include The King's Shilling; Deadlines from the Edge; The Quagga's Secret; True North: African Roads Less Travelled; and Msimangu's Words. To purchase a copy of House of War, go to www.penguinbooks.co.za
| It's Better to Laugh
– by JAMES McNAUGHTON (Armstrong, 1961)
The theme of the book is hardship and humour and there are five chapters about Prep and College covering three generations of James' family as well as many humorous stories of Karoo farm life. Marguerite Poland writes, "I laughed out loud, wiped my eyes and enjoyed the warmth and camaraderie of Karoo life under the Tandjiesberg. Hard life, tough as ironstone - but with such a sense of community and laughter."
Anyone who has connections with the Eastern Cape will enjoy this book! To order your copy - at R180 plus R20 for postage in RSA and R50 for postage overseas - email firstname.lastname@example.org or CLICK HERE for more info.
| Some Schools
– by CJ (Jonty) Driver (Upper, 1957)
CJ (Jonty) Driver has enjoyed a long and distinguished career in education in the UK and overseas, including three headships. In this poignant memoir, he provides a compelling insight into school life, with wisdom gained from a lifetime of learning. "Jonty has written an important book which should be read by all who care about schools. No one else has had such a combined impact on politics, schools and literature. It is a remarkable story." Sir Anthony Seldon, recently retired Master of Wellington College.
The book has been very well reviewed. To purchase a copy of this book, please click HERE.