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The-Woman-in-the-Window 00

From Paula Hawkins’s The Girl on the Train to the latest riff, The Woman in the Window by AJ Finn. As with Hawkins, we have a booze-addicted woman with a dysfunctional life, Dr Anna Fox.

 

When not watching Hitchcock films (Finn is refreshingly open about the source of his inspiration), Anna uses the zoom lens of her camera to spy on the comfortable life of her neighbours, the Russells. But – as is de rigueur for this subgenre – Anna observes something horrific and is confronted with the inevitable question: will anyone believe her?

Finn does not attempt to conceal the shopworn elements, but confronts them head-on and rings some bracing changes. “A J Finn” is really Dan Mallory, a US publisher who knows just what makes popular thrillers work. Guardian

 

Anna’s husband has left her and taken their 8-year-old daughter with him. She talks to them by phone and vainly begs him to return. She’s a child psychologist and still advises a few patients by email, but mostly she is alone with her wine, her movies and her cat. She also has a tenant, a handsome carpenter who lives in her basement. His presence injects a bit of “will they or won’t they?” excitement into the story, but mostly she is content to spy on her neighbors.

 

Then, Ethan Russell, a boy of 16 who lives across the street, arrives bearing a gift from his mother. He is a good-looking, friendly lad: “He looks like a boy I once knew, once kissed — summer camp in Maine, a quarter century ago. I like him.” Anna meets Ethan’s parents, Paul and Jane, and Finn’s plot kicks in. Washington Post

 

Fox is an intriguing, sympathetic character. In fact, Gillian Flynn says she would love to split a bottle of pinot with her. “Maybe two bottles,” she says. “I’ve got a lot of questions for her.” Parade

 

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Fire and Fury 01

Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, reportedly based on more than 200 interviews with the president, his inner circle and players in and around the administration, is one of the most eagerly awaited political books of the year.

In it, Wolff lifts the lid on a White House lurching from crisis to crisis amid internecine warfare, with even some of Trump’s closest allies expressing contempt for him. Guardian

 

Conway, the campaign’s manager, was in a remarkably buoyant mood, considering she was about to experience a resounding, if not cataclysmic, defeat.

Donald Trump would lose the election — of this she was sure — but he would quite possibly hold the defeat to under six points. That was a substantial victory. As for the looming defeat itself, she shrugged it off: It was Reince Priebus’s fault, not hers. The New York Magazine

 

Tony Blair warned Donald Trump’s aides that British intelligence may have spied on them during the election, according to an explosive new book.

The former prime minister met Jared Kushner, son-in-law to Donald Trump and a senior aide, at the White House last February. The Times

 

Donald Trump’s lawyers threatened legal action on Wednesday night against his former right-hand man Steve Bannon, marking a fresh escalation after a day of turmoil that left the White House reeling. Guardian

 

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A-Short-History-of-MozambiqueThis comprehensive history traces the evolution of modern Mozambique, from its early modern origins in the Indian Ocean trading system and the Portuguese maritime empire to the fifteen-year civil war that followed independence and its continued after effects.

 

Though peace was achieved in 1992 through international mediation, Mozambique’s remarkable recovery has shown signs of stalling. Malyn Newitt explores the historical roots of Mozambican disunity and hampered development, beginning with the divisive effects of the slave trade, the drawing of colonial frontiers in the 1890s and the lasting particularities of the provinces.

 

Following the nationalist guerrillas’ victory against the Portuguese in 1975, these regional divisions resurfaced in a civil war pitting the south against the north and centre. The settlement of the early 1990s is now under threat from a revived insurgency, and the ghosts of the past remain.

 

This book seeks to distil this complex history, and to understand why, twenty-five years after the Peace Accord, Mozambicans still remain among the poorest people in the world.

 

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Ramaphosa01Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is credited with driving through the deal between the apartheid government and the African National Congress that was at the heart of South Africa’s democratic constitution.

He was the ANC’s lead negotiator and the man who persuaded one of the most recalcitrant racist governments in the world to buy into a settlement based on one of its most enlightened bills of rights. But once the ink had dried on the constitution, Ramaphosa found himself politically sidelined. Before the negotiations he had been the head of the country’s largest mineworkers union.

 

Afterwards, he went into business after concluding a landmark black empowerment deal. A talented negotiator capable of driving a hard bargain between implacable enemies, Ramaphosa has always been ‘the man in the middle’.

 

Now, as Jacob Zuma’s presidency enters its final stretch, Ramaphosa has re-entered politics and is one of a handful of candidates to take over as ANC president and as president of South Africa. Should he succeed, he will take over a country that has been battered by years of corruption and misrule which flourished under Zuma.

The question that everyone is asking is: can the man in the middle lead from the front? Ray Hartley, author and seasoned journalist, attempts to answer that question by looking at how Ramaphosa has handled the key challenges he has faced in the unions, in business and in politics.

 

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Enemy-of-the-People01

Fuzile gave Enemy of the People authors Adriaan Basson and Pieter du Toit a starting recollection of the days leading up to Nene's removal and the few days Van Rooyen lasted in office.

He recalls the moment he heard the news in a chapter titled, "the day everything changed", and explains the madness that ensued.

Fuzile, on Nene’s capable leadership as Finance minister “One of the amazing things about Nene was his ability to take tough decisions. We started to reduce expenditure during Gordhan’s time, but went further under Nene – and we raised taxes. We were adamant that we were not going to give up our fiscal sovereignty and end up at the doors of the (International Monetary Fund) IMF or World Bank, because then you can kiss your macroeconomic and social policies goodbye.” Newshub

 

In June 2010, Zuma went on a state visit to India. He was accompanied by a number of ministers, including then public enterprises minister Barbara Hogan, a struggle-era veteran and former minister of health.

Also in Zuma’s delegation were various businesspeople, including Ajay and Rajesh Gupta, and their business partner Duduzane Zuma. The Department of Public Enterprises oversees the country’s SOEs and appoints the boards of these entities. The boards appoint the CEOs, who, in turn, appoint senior staff and oversee the awarding of tenders and contracts worth billions of rands, often with the involvement of board members.

For those with ambitions to capture the state, gaining control over the Department of Public Enterprises is essential. EWN

 

 

As ANC factions prepare for next month’s elective conference, citizens watch and wait to see if the party can “self-correct”, and what, if anything, can be done to begin to recover as a nation.
 
Looting Inc has been slowly but steadily exposed by whistleblowers, the media, opposition parties, the former public protector, and a growing sector of organisations and individuals.
 
The scope of the invasion is sometimes obscured by the drip-feed of information. A few tens of billions of rand revealed here and a million or 240 there; the placement of incompetents, thugs, and some with zero moral fibre or integrity to support Looting Inc’s agenda causes outbreaks of vocal condemnation and impotent public fury. And, of course, vehement denials. iol 

 

 

‘A remarkable, well-researched and easy to digest book, a must read for anyone interested in available evidence on state capture and getting South Africa back on track as a successful globally respected constitutional democracy.

‘The narrative advances a theory backed by evidence that the Guptas, having captured President Jacob Zuma through becoming his close friends and family bankrollers, are using the president and his son to capture and repurpose state owned enterprises and other key organs of state as vehicles for their own economic gain.

Zuma himself has captured and repurposed public agencies such as the National Prosecuting Authority, the Hawks, the State Security Agency and South African Revenue Service seemingly to protect him, his family, the Guptas and other associates.’ – Thuli Madonsela, former Public Prosecutor

 

Watch the authors of Enemy of the People discuss a tell-all book on how Jacob Zuma stole South Africa on Radio 702

 

Also available on eBook here.

 

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Top 5 bestsellers

 

Khwezi: The remarkable story of Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo

Redi Tlhabi

 

Enemy of the People

Adriaan Basson and Pieter du Toit

 

Ramaphosa: The Man Who Would Be King

Ray Hartley


Churchill and Smuts: The Friendship

Richard Steyn

 

Always Another Country

Sisonke Msimang


 

 

 

 


 

 


 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

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