17 Questions and Answers – Georges Jaumain

Hi Amanda,
have organised a website to show the 6 books I wrote in French. At least it is an easier way to be read than to try to have anything published in France. The site should be ready in a few weeks.

I have noticed that the French publishers are only publishing either books written by local well know people or publishing books which have been sold millions in other languages (a nice way of making sure that they can publish successfully).

Since I did your course I walked the Camino in Spain, spent 3 month doing Tai Chi in Taiwan, travelled for a month in Namibia and spent quite long period of time in my log home near Wilderness (when I am not travelling in Europe)

I still have 3 or 4 books in my mind but for now I am taking it easy and more involved in reading Wei Wu Wei books about Advaita and Non Duality. And in the construction of a Bali-style B&B near Port Edward.

Kind regards

Read Amanda Patterson’s 17 Questions and Answers with Georges Jaumain


Amanda’s 17 Questions: Jenny Crwys-Williams

Date: 7 August 2008
Place: Nice, Parkhurst
Book: Penguin Dictionary of South African Quotations

1. Who is your favourite hero of fiction?
Atticus Finch

2. What is your most treasured possession?
My photographs

3. Which living person do you most dislike?
The bully boys of the world

4. What is your greatest fear?

5. Who or what has been the love of your life?
Reading. Books. The Journey.

6. What is your greatest regret?
That I haven’t written a novel that has taken the world by storm.

7. If you could choose to be a character in a book, who would it be?
Miranda Priestly from The Devil Wears Prada

8. Which book have you read the most in your lifetime?
Winnie the Pooh, Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Cold Mountain

9. What is your favourite journey?

Ten day walk from Monte Merano in Tuscany on an Etruscan Trail

10. Cats or Dogs? Which do you prefer?

11. What quality do you most admire in a women?
Women who don’t sleep with other women’s husbands. Women who aren’t catty. Entrepreneurial women.

12. Which book that you’ve written is your favourite?
In the words of Nelson Mandela – A Little Pocketbook

13. What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Just do it

14. What are your favourite names?
Names that have a meaning

15. What do you do as a hobby?
My lifestyle is my hobby. I am busy living. Gardening. Writing. Photography. Cooking. Reading. Walking. The journey.

16. What are your top three books?
Shakespeare’s Tudor Books, The Lord of the Rings by J R Tolkien, The Time Traveler’s Wife by Sue Monk Kidd.

17. Where do you get your greatest ideas for writing?
From a conversation, a newspaper cutting, a sentence in an article. It’s a process.

Amanda Patterson, 7 August 2008

See more pictures on The Write Co Website.

Book Review:The Irresistible Inheritance of Wilberforce

The Irresistible Inheritance of Wilberforce by Paul Torday (Weidenfeld & Nicholson) ISBN: 978-0-297-85293-3

Paul Torday’s debut novel Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, won the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for comic writing. It was serialised on radio, and appeared on many UK lists of summer reads, including the coveted Richard and Judy endorsement.

Readers expecting more light comic relief will be disappointed with his second novel. I was delighted. Wilberforce is a 37-year-old IT engineer, who sells his business to drink. This isn’t as odd as it sounds. He did, after all, buy a house with an underground wine cellar for a million pounds. This included 100 000 bottles of priceless wine.

Wilberforce is not an alcoholic, but he’s determined to drink it all. Why does he do this? You’ll have to read this beautifully written novel to find out. The characters are drawn with style and depth. The fact that we know the ending in the beginning and still have to read on, is testament to clever pacing and story-telling at its best.

Torday may not be the best researcher, and his facts on wine and the consequences of wine on the human body may be sketchy. This would be of concern to a middle aged book critic at a staid newspaper, but for readers who love a good read, it would be looking for mistakes that aren’t important to the story.

Amanda Patterson

Book of the Month: Churchill’s Cigar

by Stephen McGinty (Pan MacMillan) 978-0-330-46121-4

The Greatest, or perhaps only Great, Briton of the last century was said to have smoked 200 000 Cigars in his life.

Many of these in a time when a less courageous soul would have been chewing on his nail instead. From a coal mine in Johannesburg; on a train fleeing to Maputo; in the nude on Cuban Beaches to his underground War Rooms in London, he smoked his cigars. So great a part of his self was the Cigar, he refused to be seen without one. His Cigars were valued so highly that the stubs started fights in the streets of London, and have sold for sums as high as £ 2000.

Find out how these rolled leaves may have changed the course of History in the most enjoyable history I have ever read. The story of a man seen through a smoky haze of blue smoke is perhaps a true telling of his character, rather than his importance.

He was so respected that Cubans, red or otherwise, have chosen to honour him with not only the gift of the finest Cigars, but they have even named a class of them in his name. These cigars are the largest and most difficult to make. They bully all of the others into insignificance, rather like the man himself.

Christopher Dean

Everyone Wants to Share their Top 26 Books

Alex Smith’s Top 26 Books

Blank. On Sunday afternoon, I left the book fair briefly to do an interview at SAfm with Karebo Kgoleng. I’ve never done a live radio interview before. Karabo was great, all went fine (I hope, although I’ll never actually hear it to know for sure), except when I went blank over the most elementary question. What books have influenced you? Karabo asked. I knew there were many, but in my mind the walls, normally filled with pictures of what I’m thinking, they went completely white (actually a shade of mellange gray). I looked up in my head and could find nothing. Somehow I managed to cobble together an answer. Then as if the god of books was trying to make a point, this morning on facebook I found a message in my Inbox – Amanda’s Book Club wanted to know: What 26 books have influenced you most? Your all time 26 books? People had listed their favourites in an A-Z.

I’m really going to have to get this down, in case anyone asks again. If I go to another interview, I’m taking this A-Z in my pocket (it’s a few more than 26, but I’m only party cheating). These are the books that have made me:

Aesop’s Fables (Aesop), The Art of War (Lao Tzu); Agamemnon (Aeschylus); Around the World in 80 Days (Jules Verne)

The Bible (Religion aside, it has some very dramatic tales filled with murder, miracles and wonders. I went to a church school, so I grew up listening to Bible stories — one every morning for twelve years is bound to have an influence).

City and the Pillar (Gore Vidal); A Christmas Carol (Charles Dickens)

Disgrace (JM Coetzee); The Death of Artemio Cruz (Carlos Fuentes)

Electra (Euripides); The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)

The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand); The BFG and everything else by Roald Dahl

Gulliver’s Travels (Jonathan Swift) ; Great Expectations (Charles Dickens); Grimm’s Fairytales

Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams); Hamlet (Shakespeare)

As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning (Laurie Lee); Indaba My Children (Credo Mutwa)

The Jitterbug Perfume (Tom Robbins)

To Kill a Mocking Bird (Harper Lee)

Lust for Life (Irving Stone); Love in the Time of Cholera (Gabriel Garcia Marquez);

Macbeth (Shakespeare); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare)

Neuromancer (William Gibson); Nineteen Eighty Four (George Orwell)

The Outsider/The Stranger (Albert Camus)

Perfume (Patrick Susskind); Pride & Prejudice (Jane Austen); Pygmalion (George Bernard Shaw); The Periodic Table (Primo Levi)

Queen Mab (Percy Bysshe Shelley)

Romeo & Juliette (Shakespeare)

Silk (Alessandro Baricco); Straight is the Gate (Andre Gide); The Shipping News (Annie Proulx)

Alex Smith Tao Te Ching (Lao Tzu); The Thousand Nights and One Nights (Annonymous – Persia)

Under the Net (Iris Murdoch)

Merchant of Venice (Shakespeare)

The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe (C.S.Lewis)

Zorba the Greek (Nikos Kazantzakis)

Alex Smith

Nqobile Nxumalo’s 26 All Time Top Books

To Kill a Mocking Bird – Harper Lee

Shackled Continent – Robert Guest

I write what I like – Steve Biko

Long Walk to Freedom – Nelson Mandela

Fit to Govern – Thabo Mbeki

Miss Kwa –Kwa – Steven Simms

What if everything you knew about Aids was a lie – David Ike

The Da Vinci code – Dan Brown

Romeo & Juliet – Shakespeare

Othello – Shakespeare

Macbeth – Shakespeare

Merchant of Venice – Shakespeare

Tales of Two Cities – Charles Dickens

Cry the Beloved Country – Alan Paton

Lord of the Flies – William Golding

Things fall apart – Chinua Achebe

Great Expectations – Charles Dickens

The Promise – Daniele Steel

The Bush Dynasty


Tom Sawyer & Huck Finn – Mark Twain

Pride & Prejudice – Jane Austin

Marketing in the Dust – Mdau

The God of small things – Arundhati Roy

Conversations with God – Inyala Vanzant

In the Meantime – Inyala Vanzant

Nqobile NxumaloNqobile Nxumalo’s is 23 years old, very ambitious and excited to be alive, I read anything I can put my hands and I always have a dictionary next to me, the first adult books I ever read were, Long walk to freedom at the age of seven and there after almost all of Daniel Steel books. Reading has always given me comfort in the hard world that I am living in. That is why currently I am writing my own book

More 26 Top Books

Isabella Morris selects her Top 26 Books

a.       The Blue Bedspread by Raj Kamal Jha

b.      The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

c.       The Reader by Bernard Schlink

d.      Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

e.       The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

f.     Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy

g.      The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

h.      A Map of the World by Jane Hamilton

i.        I Know This Much is True by Wally Lamb

j.        The Art of Fiction by John Gardner

k.      The Consolations of Philosophy by Alain de Botton

l.        The Right Questions by Debbie Ford

m.    The Hiding Place by Trezza Azzopardi

n.      The Outsider by Albert Camus

o.     The Art of Seduction by Robert Greene

p.      I Remember by Denis Hirson

q.      The Book of Fred by Abby Bardi

r.       Beyond Culture by Edward T Hall

s.      White Oleander by Janet Fitch

t.        The Writer’s Brush edited by Donald Friedman

u.      The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay

v.      The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

w.    The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

x.     Atonement by Ian McEwan

y.      Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks

z.       Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Isabella MorrisIsabella Morris has been published in various South African publications and is the 2007 winner of the POWA Writing Competition for Women. She has just completed a novel on Moroccan refugees. She is a freelance writer and editor and is researching her next novel. Her blog is at www.bellabelle.wordpress.com

Kurt Clare’s Top 26 (25? ) Books

A difficult task indeed. How do you measure a book againat another? These are but some that have had a profound impact on me, in no particular order.

1. At swim, two boys. Jamie O’Neil

2. The Lord of the Flies. William Golding.

3. The Monk. Matthew G. Lewis.

4. Olivier Twist. Charles Dickens.

5. Great Expectations. Charles Dickens.

6. Things Fall Apart. Chinua Achebe.

7. The Liar. Stephen Fry.

8. The Mayor of Casterbridge. Thomas Hardy.

9. The Colour Purple. Alice Walker.

10. The Heart of Darkness. Joseph Conrad.

11. The World According to Garp – John Irving

12. Death of a Salesman – Arthur Miller

13. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Ken Kesey.

14. And the Band Played On. Randy Shilts.

15. Maurice. E.M. Foster

16. Passage to India. E.M. Foster

17. Room with a View. E.M. Foster.

18. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. C. S. Lewis.

19. Prince Caspian. C. S. Lewis.

20. Cry the Beloved Country. Alan Paton.

21. The Picture of Dorian Gray. Oscar Wilde

22. To Kill a Mockingbird. Harper Lee.

23. In Cold Blood. Truman Capote.

24. 1984. George Orwell

25. The Return of the King. J. R. Tolkein

Steven R. Harbin from Newnan, Georgia, USA sent his 26 top list:

1. Sometimes a Great Notion, by Ken Kesey

2. Farewell, My Lovely, by Raymond Chandler

3. A Wizard of Earthsea, by Ursula K. LeGuin

4. Death Angel’s Shadow, by Karl Edward Wagner

5. Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen

6. First Blood, by David Morrell

7. The Hour of the Dragon, by Robert E. Howard

8. Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison

9. The Island of the Mighty, by Evangeline Walton

10. The Swords of Lankhmar, by Fritz Leiber

11. City of Glass, by Paul Auster

12. The Hobbit, by J. R. R. Tolkein

13. Watership Down, by Richard Adams

14. The Long Ships, by Frans Gunner Bengtsson

15. Titus Groan, by Mervyn Peake

16. Stormbringer, by Michael Moorcock

17. The Dying Earth, by Jack Vance

18. The Fabulous Clipjoint, by Fredric Brown

19. The Man in the High Castle, by Philip K. Dick

20. The High Place, by James Branch Cabell

21. Devil in a Blue Dress, by Walter Mosley

22. A Search for the King, by Gore Vidal

23. The Lorax, by Dr. Seuss

24. Night’s Master, by Tanith Lee

25. The Martian Chronicles, by Ray Bradbury

26. Carry On, Jeeves, by P. G. Wodehouse

SteveSteve Harbin is a 53 year old educator in Ga. USA, been an avid reader of all kinds of books all my life, but especially history, biography, fantasy, science fiction, mystery historical fiction, and some sports writing. Married to a fellow book lover (although we like different authors and genres) and have two kids who are also book lovers.

Send us your 26 Top Books of All Time

Last month I published my list of Amanda’s 26 Top Books of All Time and asked you to send me yours so that we can share and compare and start a discussion. Today we have the very interesting and eclectic lists of Michelle Moss and Amy Langenveld.

Don’t you agree, this is getting really interesting. Why not send me some more lists of your 26 Top Books of all time?

Michelle Moss’s Top 26 Books of all Time

a) Gone with the Wind – Margaret Mitchell

b) The Power of One – Bryce Courtney

c) The Sunne in Splendour – Sharon Penman

d) In Sunshine and in Shadows – Charlotte Bingham

e) Lucy Talk – Fiona Walker

f) Little Women – Louisa M Alcott

g) Song of the Sound – Adam Armstrong

h) City of Bones / The Poet – Michael Connelly

i) Four Fires – Bryce Courtney

j) Blackberry Wine – Joanne Harris

k) Here be Dragons – Sharon Penman

l) Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austin

m) Romeo & Juliet – Shakespeare

n) The Snow Falcon – Stuart Harrison

o) Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov

p) Cane and Able – Jeffrey Archer

q) The Dead Zone – Stephen King

r) Breathing Space – Marita van der Vyver

s) Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte

t) Great Expectations – Charles Dickens

u) Last Chance Saloon – Marianne Keys

v) Frankenstein – Mary Shelley

w) The Black Velvet Gown – Catherine Cookson

x) Evening Class – Maeve Binchy

y) The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald

z) Lord of the Flies – William Golding

Amy Langenveld’s 26 Top Books of All time

a) The Name of the Rose – Umberto Eco

b) Abyssinian Chronicles – Moses Isegawa

c) Unless – Carol Shields

d) Lord of the Flies William Golding

e) Under the Tuscan Sun – Frances Mayes

f) Food and Loathing – Betsy Lerner

g) The Unbearable Lightness of Being – Milan Kundera

h) A Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens

i) Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn – Mark Twain

j) The Aspern Papers – Henry James

k) Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll

l) The Great Gatsby– F. Scott Fitzgerald

m) A Widow for One Year – John Irving

n) The World According to Garp – John Irving

o) Don Quixote – Miguel de Cervantes

p) El Lazarillo de Tormés – anonymous

q) Love in the Time of Cholera -Gabriel García Marquez

r) 100 Years of Solitude – Gabriel García Marquez

s) Death of a Salesman – Arthur Miller

t) Walden – Henry David Thoreau

u) Ficciones (Fiction) – Jorge Luis Borges

v) Lady Chatterley’s Lover – D.H. Lawrence

w) La tésis de Nancy – Ramón J. Sender

x) Porterhouse Blue – Tom Sharpe

y) Follow Your Heart– Susanna Tamaro

z) Gift from the Sea – Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Janita Thiele of Pulp Books’ 26 Top Books of All Time

Any Human Heart – William Boyd

Special Topics in Calamity Physics – Marisha Pessl

The Poisonwood Bible – Barbara Kingsolver

Behind the Scenes at the Museum – Kate Atkinson

The Blind Assassin – Margaret Atwood

Kafka on the Shore – Haruki Murakami

Love in the Time of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Possession – A S Byatt

Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie

Fight Club – Chuck Palahniuk

Life of Pi – Yann Martell

The God of Small Things – Arundhati Roy

Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks

Rachel’s Holiday – Marian Keyes

The Secret History – Donna Tartt

The House of the Spirits – Isabel Allende

The World according to Garp – John Irving

Never Let me Go – Kazuo Ishiguro

The Painted Bird – Jerzy Kosinski

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold – John le Carre

This Book will save your life – A M Homes

Fear of Flying – Erica Jong

The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde

Everything is Illuminated – Jonathan Safran Foer

Jonathan Strange and Mr Norel – Susanna Clarke

Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen


Send us a brief paragraph about who your are with a link to a blog or website (if you have one) and a photograph which we will publish on my blog alongside your Top 26 Books. Send it to amanda@thewriteco.co.za.