The Tattooist of Auschwitz – Heather Morris


For some reason when my best friend told me about this book, I thought the Tattooist was a German. But when I finally started reading it, I realised this wasn’t so.

There are so many accounts of people that lived and survived the concentration camps to tell their tale (except for Anne Frank), but not many where former Nazi’s tell their side of the story. I guess I was hoping for just one to show remorse.

This book is the real life story of Lale Eisenberg, a Slovakian Jew who could speak more than five languages taken to Auschwitz. There he becomes the “Tatowierer” forced to tattoo numbers on all the new inmates. It it there he meets his future wife, Gita, and takes risks to save him and his friends from hunger. He spends almost 3 years there.

Lale Sokolov (he changed his last name after the war) passed away in 2006.

First published: 2018
Rating: 5/5 An extraordinary story



Toiings – Mikro


Hoe skryf mens ’n resensie oor ‘n boek van ‘n tyd waar kolonialisme en rassisme hoogty gevier het? As ek sê ek het die boek terdeë geniet, beteken dit ek is ’n rassis?

Toiings is ‘n verhaal van ‘n bruin man wat as skaapwagter werk vir ‘n wit man. Die taalgebruik in die boek is eie aan ’n vergete era: toe plaaswerkers respek getoon het vir hul base deur hul “baas” aan te spreek; en na hulself te verwys as “klonkie” en “meid”.

Deesdae in ‘n vreeslike politieke-korrekte era, word dit nie meer toegelaat nie, selfs nie eens meer in die literatuur nie.

Maar dis juis die taalgebruik wat hierdie boek en karakter so gewild maak. Die skrywer draai nie doekies om nie, maak nie verskoning nie. Hy vertel dit net soos dit is. Woorde soos: stroois, Meraai-goed, omgesukkel, broekskeur gaan, ens. bewys net weer hoe mooi Afrikaans as taal is (as mens net die politiek kan opsy skuif).

Ek dink Toiings was een van die laaste boeke wat my ouma gelees het voor sy oorlede is.

Wie was Mikro?
Dit was die skuilnaam van ‘n skrywer en onderwyser wat oor ‘n 100 boeke gepubliseer het. Hy het glo sy bynaam gekry toe hy laat was vir ‘n biologieklas. Hy was Corlia Fourie se vader.

Ek het “Ruiter in die nag” wat ook deur Mikro gepen is, gelees.

Eerste Publikasie: 1934
Sterstatus: 5/5




The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern

The Circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it… It is simply there, when yesterday it was not.

night circus

Dust jacket: In 1886, a mysterious travelling circus becomes an international sensation. Open only at night, constructed entirely in black and white, Le Cirque des Rêves delights all who wander its circular paths and warm themselves at its bonfire.

Although there are acrobats, fortune-tellers and contortionists, the Circus of Dreams is no conventional spectacle. Some tents contain clouds, some ice. The circus seems almost to cast a spell over its aficionadados, who call themselves the rêveurs – the dreamers. At the heart of the story is the tangled relationship between two young magicians, Celia, the enchanter’s daughter, and Marco, the sorcerer’s apprentice. At the behest of their shadowy masters, they find themselves locked in a deadly contest, forced to test the very limits of the imagination, and of their love…

I really liked the story line of Poppy and Bailey, I liked it more than the main characters’s story.

This book reminded me of The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus. The circus comes to life with magic. Imagine a circus run by or for the characters of Harry Potter…

The clock maker makes me think of Gepetto in the Disney version of Pinocchio.

What I found lacking about the book is that no explanation is given for the wager between the enchanter and sorcerer. Why are they doing this? What do they stand to gain?

The ending was a bit flat though.

First published: 2011

Rating: 4/5


Die Nes – Eleanor Baker

‘n Lekker soppy, soetsappige love story.

die nes

Boekomslag: In Die Nes kruip Karoline diep in haar gedagtewêreld vir die werklikheid weg na ‘n traumatiese ervaring. Dokter Duson moet ‘n manier vind om haar uit haar veilige nes te lok, sodat sy weer kan leer om te lewe, om lief te hê.

Gepubliseer in: 1993

Sterre: 5/5

Die Ompad Huis Toe – Vanessa del Fabbro

This is the second book John lent me to read. John is the security guard at my work, guarding the gate. He is learning the Afrikaans language at the moment. I think he lent me this book, because he can’t yet.

ompad huis toe

I couldn’t find the Afrikaans cover.

Boekomslag opsomming: Die kind wat altyd oorleef, het dit weer gedoen… Hoekom het ék oorleef, maar nie die vorige twee slagoffers van motorkapings wat in hierdie hospitaal was nie? As my eie broer nie kon…? Ek huiwer om die gedagtes een in my kop te laat vorm aanneem. Is daar ‘n hoër doel waarom my lewe gespaar moes word?

Die Suid-Afrikaanse joernalis Monica Brunetti het alles in die lewe – ‘n belowende loopbaan, ‘n liefdevolle gesin, ‘n mansvriend wat aan trou dink – wanneer sy die kwaad van aangesig tot aangesig ontmoet en in ‘n hospitaalbed beland langs die spontane Ella Nkhoma met die magiese persoonlikheid, wie se humorsin en warm hart Monica se uitkyk op die wêreld op sy kop keer. Hul besonderse vriendskap neem Monica ver anderkant die omheinde wit woonbuurte, na ‘n afdraaipad wat albei vroue se lewe in ‘n heel ander koers stuur…

This book is a translation of The Road to Home, first published in 2005.

This book is an accurate description of the relationships between the different races in South Africa. It also shows that no matter what, life doesn’t always end up the way you planned.

Rating: 5/5

Bare Bones – Kathy Reichs

Finally, a new series I can get my teeth or eyes into.

bare bones

Dust jacket summary: It’s a summer of record-breaking heat in Charlotte and Dr Temperance Brennan is looking forward to her first vacation in years. She’s almost out the door when the bones start appearing. First there’s the little skeleton of a newborn found in a wood stove. Who put her there? The mother, hardly more than a child herself, has disappeared.

Next, a Cessna plane flies into a rock face on a sunny afternoon. Both pilot and passenger are burned beyond recognition, their bodies covered with a strange black substance. What could it be? There’s evidence that they may have had criminal purposes for the flight.

Most puzzling, though, is a cache of bones found in a remote corner of the country. Some animal, some human, the bones are enough the keep Tempe busy for a long time to come. All the pieces of the mystery seem to lead back to an isolated farm. But what happened there and who will be the next victim? The answers lie hidden deep within the bones – if only Tempe can decipher them in time…

First published: 2003

Rating: 5/5

My Nonsense Alphabet

A – Absurdity, applesauce
B – Bilge, baloney, BS
C – Claptrap, codswollop
D – Drivel, Dada, dribble
E – Empty talk, eyewash
F – Fudge, Flim flam, farce
G – Gab, gibberish, Greek, gobbledygook
H – Hogwash, hokum, horsefeathers
I – Idiocy, idle talk, insane
J – Jabber, jargon
K – Kookiness, knick-knack
L – Ludicrous, loony
M – Marlarkey, mumbo jumbo, mummery
N – Nonsense, nuts
O – Out of one’s mind
P – Poppycock, potty
Q – Quackery, QI
R – Ridiculous, rubbish, razzmatazz, random,
S – Silly, slipslop
T – Tommyrot, twaddle
U – Unmeaningness, unreason
V – Verbiage
W – Waffle, wacko
X –
Y – Yakking, Ya-ta-ta, yap
Z – Zany

I need help with the letters Q and X. Anyone?

Deadly Decisions – Kathy Reichs


I’m currently watching the TV series Bones and I have to say I’m digging it (no pun intended!). The series is based on Kathy Reichs’s books with the same main protagonist: Temperance Brennan. Or like Booth likes to say: Bones.

Dust jacket description:
A nine-year-old girl dies on her way to ballet class, caught in outlaw biker crossfire. Violence is spilling on to the streets of Montreal and Dr Temperance Brennan, forensic anthropologist for the state, has to pick up the pieces.

She knows she shouldn’t let emotion get in the way of her role as scientist, but when nine-year-old Emily’s body is wheeled into the morgue she cannot help but react. Tempe’s nephew, Kit, is mesmerized by motorcycles. Does he understand the dangers posed by the outlaw gangs?

An exhumation uncovers the bones of another innocent, hidden in a clandestine grave close to a biker headquarters. With her boss in the hospital and her sparring partner Andrew Ryan disturbingly unavailable, Tempe begins a perilous investigation into a lawless underworld of organised crime.

First published: 2000

Rating: 5/5

Bold statement: “Better than Patricia Cornwall” – Express on Sunday
Hmmm, not sure if it was better but definitely in the same league.

The Book of Joy

book of joy

His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Tutu with Douglas Adams

Dust jacket description:
Two spiritual giants. Seven days. One timeless question.

Nobel Peace Prize Laureates His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu have survived more than fifty years of exile and the soul-crushing violence of oppression. Despite their hardships – or, as they would say, because of them – they are two of the most joyful people on the planet.

In April 2015, Archbishop Tutu travelled to the Dalai Lama’s home in Dharamsala, India, to celebrate His Holiness’s eightieth birthday and to create this book as a gift for others. They looked back on their long lives to answer a single burning question: how do we find joy in the face of life’s inevitable suffering?

They traded intimate stories, teased each other continually, and shared their spiritual practices. By the end of the week filled with laughter and punctuated with tears, these two global heroes had stared into the abyss and despair of our times, and revealed how to live a life brimming with joy.

First published: 2016

Rating: 5/5

My Alphabet of Exclamations

I was really bored at work once. Then I got the wonderful idea of creating my very own Alphabet of Exclamations. This is a great activity to do while waiting for the time to pass.

A- Alla mapstieks! Aloha! Alas! Awesomeness! Argh! Amen! Aikona!
B – Bazinga! Bloody hell! Bravo! Bingo! Bilge! Bleh! Boo-yah!
C – Crikey! Cool!
D – D’oh! Ditsem! Dagnabbit!
E – Eina! Eureka! Egad! Encore! Eek! Easy peasy!
F – Foei tog! Fie! FUNtastic! Fiddlesticks!
G – Gee whiz! Gesondheid! Geronimo! Great Scott! Gorrelpyp Griet!
H – Hell! Hmmm… Hot diggity! Hey! Holy smokes! Huh? Hiert!
I – Indeed!
J – Jinkies!
K – Kapish?
L – Lo! Land ho! La-de-dah!
M – Mmm… Mwah!
N – Narf! Neener-neener!
O – Oi! Okay! Ow! Oops! Olé! Ooh-la-la!
P – Phew! Pfft! Pshaw! Psst!
Q – Quite!
R – Roger that! Rats!
S – So what? Shut up! Shhh! Sies!
T – Timber! Tally-ho! Totally!
U – Uh-huh! Uh-oh! Ugh!
V – Voila! Viva!
W – Whatever! Woe is me! Well! Wow!
X –
Y – Yowser! You know? Yabba-dabba-doo!
Z – Zoiks!

I can’t find one which starts with the letter X. Do you know any?