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Happiness is a Four-letter Word by Cynthia Jele (Kwela)

She may have written a novel categorized as chick lit, but South African author, Cynthia Jele, is no literary lightweight.

Her debut novel Happiness is a Four-letter Word has earned her two literary awards and has just been adapted into a major motion picture – it hits cinemas throughout South Africa on February 19.

The novel has been re-auditioned to coincide with the launch of the film, starring Khanyi Mbau, Renate Stuurman and Mmabatho Montsho.

Nandi, Zaza, Tumi and Princess are four friends living fast and fabulous lives in Sandton.

But fast and fabulous is just what’s on the surface – each has her own demons to deal with.

As Nandi makes the final arrangements for her wedding, she can’t help but feel uneasy. Then … her former fiancé suddenly reappears.

Zaza, the trophy wife, dreads the day her infidelities come to light and her husband packs her off to her township home.

Tumi only wishes for a child to complete her perfect life. But she doesn’t bank on the child not being hers!

Princess thinks she’s found the perfect man in her boyfriend, Leo. Then she discovers she’s pregnant and Leo goes AWOL.

I’m hoping that readers will take the time to read this book, rather than simply watch the movie. It has so much more substance.

wild ones

Nicholas and the Wild Ones by Niki Daly (Jacana)

The issue of bullying at school has no doubt given many parents much cause for concern.

I’m not sure if we are just becoming more aware of the phenomenon, but it certainly is a huge problem at many schools in South Africa.

This book is perfect if you have a little one who is struggling to deal with bullies at school – or even if your little one is the bully.

Nicholas is not quite sure how to deal with the Wild Ones at his school.

His grandfather suggests fighting back will sort them out, but Nicholas doesn’t buy into that old-school idea.

He has a plan of his own – and a novel plan it is.

banting solution

The Banting Solution by Bernadine Douglas and Bridgette Allan (Penguin)

The Banting diet has been under close scrutiny at a Health Professionals Council of SA hearing against Professor Tim Noakes.

He is accused of giving unconventional and unscientific advice, as well as unprofessional conduct for offering advice on social media.

I’ve watched the proceedings with interest because I’ve adopted a Banting lifestyle and have found it works for me. But I did want to know what ‘the other side’ had to say.

The Banting Solution is aimed specifically at people wanting to adopt the lifestyle in order to lose weight – so it is a lot more focused than the book by Noakes himself.

It promises to answer questions; bust commonly believed myths; and provide meal plans and food lists.

A quick skim read indicates the lists are quite substantial and well-researched. Meal plans are tailored for people’s specific needs, such as insulin resistant or lactose intolerant Banters.

The recipes are pretty simple and uninspiring – but they do cover the basics for first-time Banters.

Watch this space for a more in-depth review soon.

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About Meneesha

Online and books editor by day, mum even while I sleep, individual all the time. I live in the beautiful city of Durban - the unpolished gem in South Africa. If I didn't have a family, I'd be that crazy cat lady your mum probably warned you not to feed! Blogging is where I share, vent, rant, laugh and generally be myself. Join the ride!

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