Tuesday 25 February 2020

And the winner of a $5 ebook voucher is...

Did you miss my announcement earlier this month on social media, about the winner of my monthly $5 ebook voucher giveaway?

If you did (or perhaps you just need a reminder), then allow me to announce that the winner for January was non other than Joni Mielke.

Joni is an absolute star. She's very active in the South African reading community, and is passionate about books and authors... especially South African authors, and especially indie authors. We really need more people like her!

She won with this amazing review of Memoirs of a Guardian Angel on Goodreads. Please help her get more exposure for her reviews, by "Liking" it on Goodreads and sharing it with all your friends.

How Do I Enter?

If you didn't know, every month I give away either a $5 ebook voucher to the store of your choice, or $5 in PayPal credit. Basically, all you have to do is write a review of one of my books.

Okay, so there's a little more to it than that.

First, you need to be a member of my email subscribers list, so if you're not already, click here, pick your free book (did I mention you get a free book?), and enter your email address.

Once I've confirmed your subscription, join our secret Facebook group, here. You'll need to enter the email address you used to subscribe to my emails.

If you've entered the right email address, and I can match you to my subscribers live, I'll approve your request. Then, visit the group again and read the "Announcement" at the top.

Sound like fun? If you love reading, and you love talking about books, it should be. :-)

Good luck!

Tuesday 11 February 2020

Wholistic with a "W"?

I got an email from one of my colleagues in the UK the other day. In it, she used the word "Wholistic", spelt with a "W".

I don't think the word was wrong, per se, but I'd never seen it spelt that way, so I asked Google to define it. Apparently, it's a variant spelling of the word "holistic":

Which didn't surprise me; I thought it was a UK thing.

But I did some further research, and I ran across this article from Merriam-Webster. It turns out that the first usage of the word was without the "W" (which isn't the surprising bit), and that it was first used by a South African!

The article states:
Holistic was coined by South African soldier and statesman Jan Christian Smuts in the 1920s as a philosophical term. Smuts, who—aside from war and politics—was a student of natural science, used the term to describe his complex philosophy regarding the organization of nature. Viewing the universe in terms of "wholes"—that is, organisms and systems instead of molecules and atoms—he derived holism from the Greek word holos, meaning "whole." In his 1926 book Holism and Evolution, he defines holism as "[the] tendency in nature to form wholes that are greater than the sum of the parts through creative evolution."
The "W" was tacked on shortly afterwards, but the original spelling continues to be the most common.

I love stories like this. Finding a "South Africanism" that's become commonplace all over the world fills me with patrotic pride.

Did you know this about the word "Holistic"? And can you think of any other South African words which non-South Africans from elsewhere in the world use all the time?

Tuesday 4 February 2020

Your Favourite Book of All Time (for 2020) is...

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner!

By overwhelming majority, the book that you have selected as your favourite book of all time is...

The Hobbit, or There and Back Again

by J. R. R. Tolkien

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.

Written for J.R.R. Tolkien’s own children, The Hobbit met with instant critical acclaim when it was first published in 1937. Now recognized as a timeless classic, this introduction to the hobbit Bilbo Baggins, the wizard Gandalf, Gollum, and the spectacular world of Middle-earth recounts of the adventures of a reluctant hero, a powerful and dangerous ring, and the cruel dragon Smaug the Magnificent. The text in this 372-page paperback edition is based on that first published in Great Britain by Collins Modern Classics (1998), and includes a note on the text by Douglas A. Anderson (2001). Unforgettable!

I first read The Hobbit in Junior High School (somewhere around Standard 7 / Grade 9), and I remember it affecting me profoundly. I've tried to read The Lord of the Rings many times since then, and only ever got past the first instalment; it just never really grabbed me. But The Hobbit, wow, now that was a story!

Have you ever actually read it? If so, is it your favourite book of all time?

If it isn't, did you vote for your favourite?