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Heather #Gauteng52 book cover

The 2Summers #Gauteng52 Book: Frequently Asked Questions

UPDATE (August 2019): The first and second editions of The 2Summers #Gauteng52 Challenge are nearly sold out — I have about 15 copies left. If you’d like to order a copy, click the button below or contact me for details on how to pay via EFT:

Pay

After many years of threatening to do so, I’m finally publishing a book. The 2Summers #Gauteng52 Challenge is being printed as we speak and will be for sale in mid-to-late November.

Heather #Gauteng52 book cover
Printed book

What the actual book will look like. It’s soft-cover and 216 pages.

#Gauteng52 book sample page

A sample page of the book. I’m really excited about the design. 

I’m anticipating a lot of questions. Let me try to answer them in advance with some handy FAQ.

Frequently Asked Questions about the #Gauteng52 Book

Q1:
What is the book about?

A2:
The book is a compilation of the 52 blog posts I wrote in 2017 as part of my #Gauteng52 Challenge, when I visited 52 places in Gauteng province I’d never been to before. The 2Summers #Gauteng52 Challenge is part coffee table book, part guidebook, part quirky blogging nonsense, with beautiful photos and design and text kept as close as possible to what I wrote in my blog in 2017.

To get a feel for what the real book looks like, click the thumbnail below and flip through a few virtual pages. (This link is sometimes slow to open.)

Heather Mason | The 2Summers #Gauteng52 Challenge

Q2:
Who is the publisher of the book?

A2:
Me. (Note: I’ve never published a book before and haven’t a clue what I’m doing.)

Q3:
How much does the book cost?

A3:
R400 (about $28)

Q4:
Where/How can I buy the book?

A4:

  1. The book will be available at Bridge Books, which has two locations in downtown Joburg. You can also buy it online from Bridge Books and there is a pre-order option available.
  2. Once the book is printed, it will be available at Mwanawasa Art at 27 Boxes in Melville.
  3. The book will be for sale at Breezeblock, a café in Brixton that is featured in the #Gauteng52 Challenge.

You can also buy the book directly from me, but only after 12 December. In a stroke of exceptionally bad timing, I will be in the United States from 16 November to 11 December and unable to distribute the book myself during that period. If you’re in a rush to get the book in time for Christmas, I recommend ordering through Bridge Books.

Several people have already gotten in touch to say they want to buy the book. If you are one of these people, don’t worry: You’ll hear from me soon. I’ll make sure you receive the book in whichever way is easiest for you.

Q5:
How many copies of the book will be available?

A5:
I am printing only 250 copies of the book, at least for the first edition. This isn’t because I’m trying to be all exclusive and precious about it, but rather because…duh, it turns out printing books is freaking expensive.

Q6:
Can I buy the book if I’m not in Joburg?

A6:
Yes. If you live overseas or elsewhere in South Africa, you can order The 2Summers #Gauteng52 Challenge from Bridge Books.

If you live in America and want to order the book, please message me privately. Hopefully I’ll be able to bring some copies with me when I come to the U.S. and can get your book to you that way.

Q7:
Will there be a book launch?

A7:
I’ll be holding a launch on the evening of 13 December at the Bridge Books shop in Maboneng. Mark your calendars and please stay tuned for more details.

Q8: 
Is The 2Summers #Gauteng52 Challenge available as an e-book?

A8:
No, not for now.

Flyer for #Gauteng52 book


Flyer for the book.

I’m really, really excited about this book. I worked with an incredibly talented book designer, Matthias Löcker of arte.fakt, who has turned my words and photos into a beautiful work of art. I hope you’ll love it as much as I do.

I’ll post more details once I have them.

People studying at Joburg library

Long Live the Johannesburg City Library

I keep reading articles about gentrification in downtown Johannesburg. These articles — usually written by foreign journalists, or Capetonians — proclaim the city of Joburg remains blighted, crime-ridden, and poverty-stricken with the exception of a few pockets of upscale hipsterdom, like Maboneng and Braamfontein.

I dispute this proclamation. As proof, I present the Johannesburg City Library.

People studying at Joburg libraryA typical Tuesday morning at the Johannesburg City Library.

The Johannesburg City Library is a huge, beautiful building on Albertina Sisulu Road (formerly Market Street), overlooking Beyers Naude Square (formerly Library Gardens) in the center of the Joburg CBD. Originally opened in 1935, the library closed for three years between 2009 and 2012 as it underwent a major renovation and expansion.

Outside Johannesburg City LibraryThe library’s imposing front steps.

I poked my head into the library once or twice after the renovation was completed. But I never got around to exploring it properly until last week, when I went with Marie-Lais Emond to take photos for the Citizen “Other Side of the City” column.

I couldn’t believe: 1) how nice this library is; 2) how many amazing things are contained inside of the library; 3) how many people use this library; and 4) that people still go to libraries at all.

I confess that I can’t remember the last time I went to a library. I’ve been missing out.

Inside the Johannesburg City Library

The Johannesburg City Library is filled with books — about 1.5 million of them — as well as studious youth and a smattering of adults reading newspapers. There are major collections of Africana, music, and children’s books. Well curated works of art line the library’s walls. There is a full-sized theatre and a studio space for local artists. The basement has hundreds of miles of shelves, containing thousands (millions?) of newspapers dating back to the 19th century.

Books at the Johannesburg City LibraryOld books.

Old newspapers at the Johannesburg City LibraryMiles of newspapers.

Studious youth at the Johannesburg City LibraryStudious youth.

Card catalogueCard catalogues used to freak me out in college. Today, they’re charming.

The Johannesburg City Library also has beautiful architecture and design that appears to be perfectly restored and maintained.

Staircase in the Johannesburg City LibraryThe library’s restored staircase and bannister.

Pillar in the libraryA beautiful pillar and ceiling.

Stained glass in libraryStained glass above the library’s main entrance.

The Johannesburg City Library is neither gentrified nor blighted. It’s a real, historic, vibrant, well-used space. (There’s wifi, too, although I was too busy taking photos to test it properly.)

The library is open from 9:00 to 5:00 on weekdays and 9:00 to 1:00 on Saturdays. Get there early if you want to find a seat.

People in the library

Blog class jumpstagram

#2SummersBlogClass: A Really Good Saturday

Yesterday I held my first #2SummersBlogClass, with nine fabulous bloggers/aspiring bloggers, at Bridge Books in downtown Joburg. It was one of the best Saturdays I’ve had in a while.

Yes, I gave my blog class a hashtag. I’ve become one of those people.

Blog class and meMy blog class and me, in front of the beautiful Faith47 graffiti mural just off Gandhi Square.

The First #2SummersBlogClass

We spent the day in the Bridge Books meeting room at 87 Commissioner Street, talking about why to start a blog, tips on creating a strong, readable blog, how to promote a blog on social media, and how to shoot great photos for a blog. We took a photowalk around the CBD, visiting one of downtown Joburg’s best rooftop apartments, meeting people in shops and on the street, and exploring historic landmarks.

Merishia on Apprentice Penthouse balconyMerishia shoots the city from the Apprentice Penthouse balcony, owned by Urban Ocean, on Albertina Sisulu Street.

View through the window in the Apprentice Penthouse bathroomView of downtown Joburg through the porthole-shaped window in the Apprentice Penthouse bathroom.

Nombini Christine Fashion Design shopWe wandered into a shop called Nombini Christine Fashion Design at the corner of Harrison Street and Albertina Sisulu. We had to do some negotiation to gain permission to take photographs, which was good practice for my class. I can’t believe I’ve never noticed this shop before — the clothes are spectacular. Ms. Nombini was there, holding court in the middle of the shop and consulting with a number of eager clients. These ladies were trying on their bridesmaids dresses for an upcoming wedding — note the little girl peaking out from underneath the dress hems.

Taxi driver portraitA friendly taxi driver who asked to be photographed while sitting at a traffic light.

Gandhi SquareThe statue of Gandhi in Gandhi Square — one of my favorite statues in Joburg.

We strolled over to One Eloff Street, a short walk from Bridge Books, and had lunch at Joziburg Lane. Joziburg Lane was holding a weekend festival, providing the perfect excuse for a tasty off-site lunch. We took photos of our food and discussed the important of hashtags. We also enjoyed exploring the One Eloff development and discovered some hidden spots.

Drinks at Joziburg LaneDelicious cordials, which we used to wash down deli sandwiches and cheese platters from the Joziburg Lane deli. The deli is now open permanently, Tuesday through Saturday from 9:00-5:00, so give it a try if you find yourself in town for lunch. (Disclaimer: Our lunch at Joziburg Lane was complimentary. Negotiating complimentary lunches is another important blogger skill.)

Awkward selfie at One EloffWe walked up to the top floor of One Eloff and found this secret little area next to the parking garage. We decided it was a good spot for an awkward group selfie.

We then returned to Bridge Books for some one-on-one time and further discussion of what makes a good blog. The day ended with a fantastic poetry reading, wine, and book-shopping.

Thandokuhle Mngqibisa poet and physicianPoet and physician Thandokuhle Mngqibisa (what a surname — four consonants in a row!) reads some of her stunning and bad-ass poetry. Thando brought tears to my eyes, and I wasn’t the only one.

Blog Class-2951
I couldn’t leave without a new book and neither could Ntokozo. As I’ve said before, the books at Bridge are really affordable. If you haven’t gone to check it out yet, please do. 

I was really nervous about yesterday’s class. I’ve never taught a blogging class — or any class, for that matter — and I was terrified about everything that could go wrong. But the class went better than I could have imagined. I really think everyone (including me) learned a lot and had a lot of fun.

Above all else, I discovered yesterday that I love teaching people about blogging. Starting a blog was a transformative experience for me, and I see blogging as an immensely powerful communication medium and an art form. I want to help other people discover the power of this medium and use it to change their lives.

Blog class jumstagramThanks to my wonderful first group of students: Tamara, Kim, Roslyn, Kate, Merishia, Ntokozo, Josef, and Lesley. You guys are the best.

If you were interested in yesterday’s #2SummersBlogClass but couldn’t make it, don’t worry. There will be more. If you haven’t subscribed to my blog already, please do (there’s a link in top-right corner of this page) so that you don’t miss any updates.

Thanks again to Bridge Books, Urban Ocean, and Joziburg Lane for making yesterday awesome.

Bridge Books: A New Bookshop in Downtown Johannesburg

Remember Griffin, my fellow American Joburger who cruises the streets selling books from a suitcase? Well, he’s not just selling from a suitcase anymore. Griffin now has his own bookshop, Bridge Books, right in the middle of downtown Joburg. I visited the shop last weekend and it’s awesome.

Bridge Books customersBridge Books on its opening weekend. I love this guy’s shoes.

I am so excited about this shop. It’s on one of downtown Joburg’s most iconic streets, Commissioner Street, just around the corner from the Johannesburg Public Library. The shop is located in a beautiful building, 85 Commissioner Street, which used to be the headquarters of Barclay’s Bank and will soon house a trendy food court (to be called the City Central Food Hall) and a high-end restaurant. This is an exciting, historic, and very safe section of downtown Joburg. Bridge Books is on a balcony overlooking the ground floor of the building, with floor-to-ceiling windows and great light.

Bridge Books from belowLooking up at Bridge Books from the ground floor.

Bridge Books from acrossLooking at Bridge Books from the balcony on the other side of the building.

Bridge Books saleMy friend Veronica (left), who works at Bridge Books, ringing up a sale.

Bridge Books and author
I was too shy to talk to this man dressed in fabulous traditional attire. But I’m told he is an author named Unathi. I saw him signing someone’s book.

Bridge Books has an amazing selection of new and used, mostly African books, at great prices — much cheaper than those sold at mainstream bookstores in the Jozi suburbs.

Bridge Books TutuPretty books.

Bridge Books shelfMore books.

 Perhaps best of all, Bridge Books is selling a series of Joburg-themed postcards featuring the photography of…me.

Bridge Books postcards2Summers postcards.

I even witnessed an actual person buying two of my postcards. I found this exciting.

Bridge Books postcard saleThis is Deborah. She bought these postcards to send to her family overseas. When she realized I was the photographer, she asked me to sign them! This might be the first time, other than at the SandtonPlaces book-signing, that someone has asked for my autograph.

Seriously though, you should go, and not just to buy my postcards. (Although you should definitely buy my postcards.) Bridge Books is a great excuse to get into town and have a different kind of shopping experience. The shop also has an excellent coffee bar, selling single-origin coffee from Bean There.

Bridge Books young readerLittle Theo likes Bridge Books and you will, too.

Bridge Books is at 85 Commissioner Street, between Harrison and Loveday Streets, right across from the Library Gardens Rea Vaya station. 

Cruising Jozi’s Streets, Selling Books From a Suitcase

A few weeks ago I came across a News24 article called The cut-throat world of the Joburg street book trade. I clicked on it immediately because: 1) I did realize Joburg had a cut-throat street book trade; and 2) The article was written by a friend of mine — an American journalist-turned-entrepreneur named Griffin.

Griffin’s article was about guys who make a living selling books at outdoor markets and informal shops in Joburg’s chaotic central business district (CBD). Apparently there is a huge market for both new and used books in downtown Joburg, where there is not a single retail bookstore. If you live in the CBD and want to buy a book — whether it be a school book, a religious book, a children’s book, a biography of Steve Biko, or a romance novel — your only options are to take a costly trip to the Jozi suburbs or buy from an informal vendor.

These informal vendors aren’t just scraping by. Some of them make decent livings, despite that fact that their book collections are often raided by thieves or the police.

Books for sale at an informal shop in downtown JoburgBooks of all shades for sale at an outdoor market near Park Station.

I had coffee with Griffin last week and learned that he has become more than just an observer of the Jozi street book trade. Griffin is now a supplier, working with local publishing companies to sell books at discounted rates to Joburg’s downtown book vendors.

Cruising With a Suitcase Full of Books

I asked Griffin if I could come along on his next street-book mission.

Griffin with a suitcase full of books in downtown JoburgGriffin with his trusty suitcase filled with books. Thanks, Griffin, for letting me photograph you in this awkward passageway.

So here we have a white, middle-class guy — an American Joburg transplant like myself — cruising the streets of downtown Joburg with a suitcase full of books. He goes into town at least once a week, usually on Fridays, visiting his clients — most of whom are African diaspora from places like Kenya, Uganda, and Nigeria — peddling brand-new books that publishers have deemed un-sellable and were planning to recycle.

China and Mozambique: From Comrades to Capitalists. A biography of Cyril Ramaphosa. Zoo City. A children’s book about Easter. (“Easter is on its way!” Griffin exhorts to a Christian book vendor.) The Beginner’s BibleThere’s a Tsotsi in the Boardroom50 Flippen Brilliant South Africans. Lovely books that were destined for the paper mill because publishing houses often print more copies than they can sell. That’s where Griffin comes in.

Griffin and I meet in the middle of Park Station, nicely renovated since the I was last there, and walk out through a back entrance. We emerge into a bustling market where Griffin makes his first stop, at a Ugandan-owned stall selling mostly school books. (It’s the beginning of the school year and students have to buy their own books, Griffin explains.)

Books for sale at an informal shop in downtown JoburgSchool books for sale at the first stall.

School books for sale at an informal shop in downtown JoburgMy eye goes straight to the Romeo and Juliet study guide. I probably used a similar one, back in the day.

Griffin speaks to Hannington, the man staffing the stall, who tells Griffin that his boss has stepped away. We wait around for a while — Hannington isn’t authorized to make purchases — and eventually decide to move on. Griffin tells Hannington that he’ll try again later.

Book selling-7981Hannington and his stall.

We walk out on to a busy street, admiring downtown Jozi’s crumbling architecture and pressing through warrens of stalls. We walk past the Ansteys Building, Joburg’s most famous Art Deco high-rise, at the corner of Jeppe and Joubert Streets. Griffin tries a few of his usuals but no one bites. Not all the vendors trust him yet, Griffin says. They suspect him of being a spy for the big retail companies.

Book selling-8026Kiosks like this, selling everything from airtime to earrings, usually offer a small selection of books.

Griffin stops to chat with Albert, a South African with a tiny streetside stall near the Kerk Street market. Albert sells mostly Christian books by big-name evangelists, with a few self-help books and a stray copy of Fifty Shades of Gray. “Someone brought that here,” Albert says of the steamy sex novel, shaking his head. “I don’t know what it’s about.”

After a few minutes of pleasantries, Griffin sets the suitcase down in the middle of the sidewalk and unzips it. Albert peers inside, looking surprised and interested. In the end though, he doesn’t buy.

Griffin selling books at an informal market in downtown Joburg
I think Albert might buy next time.

Griffin finally hits the jackpot at a shop across from Oppenheimer Park, run by a Kenyan named Henry. Like many of the shops Griffin frequents, Henry’s establishment sells mostly hair extensions. But he has a nice corner of books and buys a sizeable stack from Griffin, handing over more than R500 in cash.

Griffin selling books at an informal market in downtown JoburgHenry sorts through books with Griffin.

The gates have opened now, and Griffin makes a few more sales before things start to peter out.

Book selling-8070The next shop-owner buys several books but doesn’t want to be photographed. I sneak this shot of his front window. (Why Men Marry Bitches is a popular title; I spot it all over town.)

At the end of the morning, we visit a Nigerian-owned shop selling mostly religious books imported from Nigeria. The owner isn’t there and his staff person doesn’t buy anything (although he seems interested). But I strike street-book-photography gold.

Book selling-8097I forget to ask the story behind this battered bust of Jesus Christ in the center of the shop.

Nigerian religious books for sale at a shop in downtown JoburgThere is so much to see on this cluster of shelves, but War Against Satanic Caterers & Evil Restaurants speaks to me the loudest. I thumb through it quickly and learn that a girl who dreams of carrots will marry early and have many children.

Nigerian religious books for sale at a shop in downtown JoburgOh yes.

By the end of the outing we’ve walked at least a couple of kilometers. Griffin’s suitcase is significantly lighter, and he has some good leads for next week. Also, I’ve discovered a lovely bakery and a rad clothing shop.

Book selling-8073Dicky’s Cakes on President Street. This is Gregory, Dicky’s son. I’ll be back soon, Dicky’s. Your cakes look amazing.

Book selling-8081Tayo (left) and Viwe (right) of the DOPEstore on Commissioner Street. I love the tennis-themed clothing for sale here.

I’m looking forward to more adventures with Griffin in the future. And by the way, he’s planning to open his own bookshop in the next few months. It will be called Bridge Books and it will be on Commissioner Street in the CBD. Keep an eye out for it.

Richard Welch at Kalahari Books

Kalahari Books: My New Favorite Quirky Place in Joburg

Several months ago I wrote an article featuring my top ten favorite quirky places in Joburg. Kalahari Books wasn’t on the list because I didn’t know about it back then. But if I had, it totally would have been.

Kalahari wide

Kalahari Books.

Kalahari Books has nothing to do with Kalahari.com, the South African online shopping giant. Kalahari Books came into existence long before Kalahari.com did; in fact Kalahari Books came into existence long before the internet did. Richard Welch, Kalahari Books’ owner, can’t remember exactly how long ago he started the business but he thinks it was about 30 years ago. (When you visit Kalahari, ask Richard to tell you the story of his legal skirmish with Kalahari.com.)

Richard Ben Franklin

I like this shot of Richard. He looks like Ben Franklin.

I first learned about Kalahari in April while working on the “Norwood and Surrounds” chapter of the SandtonPlaces book. I followed Google Maps to 2 Dunottar Street, just off Louis Botha Avenue in Orange Grove. I saw a small sign for Kalahari and squeezed my car into a cramped parking lot shared by a garage and a medical supply company. (Look for the flag pole with a wheelchair at the top.) I spotted another Kalahari sign, with an arrow indicating that I should walk to the other side of the building. I followed and found yet another sign pointing up a cement ramp.

Kalahari sign

Kalahari is tricky to find but don’t be deterred. Just follow the signs.

I found myself in an entry hall of sorts, a pavilion with a corrugated iron roof. The entry hall was filled with books.

Kalahari entrance2

The Kalahari entrance.  

I followed the final sign. At last, I entered book Nirvana.

Kalahari wide2

Books.

Secret Garden

Books Books Books.

Kalahari3

Quirky man reading books.

Joburg has a lot of second-hand bookstores and I’ve visited many of them. But Kalahari is special. The warehouse-sized room is stuffed with books but it somehow doesn’t feel cluttered or cramped. Soothing classical music filters through the room. Richard will make you coffee and the coffee is good. There’s plenty of fresh air, light, and comfortable seating. Best of all, Richard is delightful. And if you’re looking for a book — any book — odds are he’ll find it for you.

I could say more but really, what else needs to be said? Kalahari Books is a must-visit for anyone who likes books, for anyone who likes quirkiness, for anyone who likes Joburg. There aren’t many places like this on the earth. So, go.

Kalahari Richard

A man and his books.

Kalahari is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9:30 to 4:30. If you want to meet Richard (trust me, you do), it’s best to call before visiting because he pops in and out. His number is 082-678-8619.

The Joburg Expat Climbs Kilimanjaro

*Photo above courtesy of Eva Melusine Thieme.

Some of you will probably feel cheated when you open this, thinking that I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro myself. Sorry to disappoint you. While I am an adventurous person and I think Kilimanjaro is beautiful (I’ve seen it from afar), I’m not particularly interested in climbing it. I’m content with hiking up smaller mountains, as I did in Lesotho.

Heather on hill2

Me on a mountain called Fukufuku in Lesotho. Not Mount Kilimanjaro. (Photo: Michelle Stern)

Anyway, this particular Joburg expat (or Joburg migrant, if you will) did not climb Mount Kilimanjaro. But another Joburg expat — my friend Sine — did.

I first met Sine (professionally known as Eva Melusine Thieme) through her blog, the Joburg Expat. Sine and I moved to South Africa from America at around the same time, and we both started blogs about it. Sine (who is originally from Germany but every bit as American as I am) moved back to the States in December 2012 and renamed her blog “the Ex-Joburg Expat”. I still read it faithfully.

Sine and I only saw each other occasionally when she lived in Joburg. We lived far apart and our lives were drastically different. Sine is a busy mother of four. Her family moved here for her husband’s work assignment and they lived in the far northern suburb of Dainfern. My story is obviously different. And yet I’ve always felt a kinship with Sine. My life could easily have turned out much like hers, or visa versa. And Sine and I are more alike than it seems. Both of us moved to Africa from America and discovered ourselves as writers.

Which brings me back to the topic of this post. A few months before moving back to America from Joburg, Sine climbed Mount Kilimanjaro with her son Max. And she wrote a book about it.

Sine cover

I love the cover of Sine’s book. It kind of reminds me of my new blog header.

I’ve never done a book review before but I was excited to review Kilimanjaro Diaries. Sine is a fantastic writer (a compliment I don’t bestow lightly) and I think it’s great that she used her blog as a jumping-off point to write a full-length, memoir-style book. This is something that I’m planning to do myself, hopefully sooner rather than later, so Sine is an inspiration.

Even though I have no plans to climb Kilimanjaro, I really enjoyed reading Kilimanjaro Diaries. I read many of Sine’s blog posts about her Kili climb back when it actually happened in 2012, and it was great to see how she expanded those posts into a book. I especially loved the early chapters, when Sine describes her preparations (or non-preparations, in some cases) for the climb, and the late chapters when she tells the story of her summit attempt. I don’t want to give away the ending but I’ll just say that I cried.

I also love Sine’s no-nonsense style of writing. She doesn’t mince words and she’s not concerned about political correctness. She’s not afraid to call herself a housewife, for example, and she’s not afraid to discuss the existence of “toilet apartheid” on Kilimanjaro. (Apparently Kili has separate toilets for the tourists and the porters. Sine has a fascination with toilets, as you’ll learn if you read Kilimanjaro Diaries.) Sine simply tells the story in an interesting, engaging, funny way.

If I had to offer a critique, it would be that I wanted to get to know some of the other characters in the story better. More about Max, more about the other climbers in Sine’s group (some of whom seemed quite quirky), and more about the team that led the climb. I especially wanted more of Godlisten (Gody), the Tanzanian leader of the expedition, who climbs up and down Kilimanjaro countless times each year. Where did he come from, how did he become a Kili guide, and what does he do when he’s not on the mountain? I felt like Gody’s character was somewhat idealized. I was left curious about who he really is.

Oh, and I really want to know how much this trip cost.

Sine harbors no illusions about what it means to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. The mountain is crowded, scattered with litter (and..ahem…human excrement), and suffering from the effects of climate change. Sine also freely admits that although climbing Kili is a huge physical and psychological challenge, it’s a pampered experience that only the wealthiest segment of society (guides and porters excluded) has the wherewithal to do.

But that reality doesn’t alter the fact that climbing Kili changed Sine’s life. That dichotomy is what makes the book worth reading.

I agree that climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is a tremendous achievement and I respect Sine immensely for doing it. However, Sine achieved something much more tremendous than summiting the tallest mountain in Africa, at least in my view. Amidst being a mother to four children, moving her entire family from one continent to another, writing a popular blog, and countless other tasks that I can’t even fathom, Sine WROTE AND SELF-PUBLISHED A BOOK in the span of 15 months. I am in the midst of learning, though personal experience, that writing a book is insanely hard. I’m in awe.

Lastly, I’d like to share my favorite two sentences from Kilimanjaro Diaries, which happen to be the last two sentences of the book.

I started out the week signing my name into the logbook at the end of each day with “housewife” as my profession. I ended the week with “writer”.

Mad props, Sine.

Kilimanjaro Diaries is available on Amazon and iBooks. For more information, visit Sine’s author site.

Jozi Loves Books

Welcome to 2Summers blog post #200! Thanks for reading.

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New books are expensive in South Africa. Walk into an average retail bookstore and an average paperback will set you back R150-R200 ($20-$26). Hardbacks and new releases cost much more.

So when I heard that Friends of Johannesburg Public Libraries was putting on a huge sale of used books at the Mark’s Park Sports Club, just around the corner from Melville, I decided to check it out.

The book sale began this morning at 9:00 a.m. I arrived a few minutes before 10:00, and drove around for 10 minutes before finding a parking space.

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