Literature 101: books to read before starting university


To many students, reading isn’t always something they necessarily do for fun. However, having a good literary framework when coming to university will help you both inside and outside of the lecture hall. Books can make for excellent conversation-starters, and here are just a few that Perdeby recommends.


On the Road by Jack Kerouac

Jack Kerouac was part of the Beat literary movement in the late 1950s and wrote many of the movement’s defining works. On the surface, the book seems like it is describing the ultimate road trip (which, in a way, it is). But, as is the case with most literature, this story’s message is much more profound than this. Not for readers of a more conservative persuasion, On the Road is based on Kerouac’s own travels and self-discovery.

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Die Ou Met die Snor by die Bar bekendstelling


Uit die lys boeke wat hierdie jaar in Suid-Afrika verskyn het, is die werk met die titel Die Ou Met die Snor by die Bar dalk die mees eiesoortig. As die individu wat hier ter sprake is nie onmiddelik uit die beskrywing herken kan word nie, behoort die goed gekruide taalgebruik (insluitend Engels en kru taal) dit wel weg te gee. Die unieke gebruik van die sogenaamde dialek “zef Afrikaans” is die kenmerk van Jack Parow (anders bekend as Zander Tyler van Bellville) se memoir.

By die bekendstelling van Parow se boek, wat op 25 November in Love Books in Melville aangebied is en deur Theunis Engelbrecht geskryf is na uitgebreide onderhoude met Parow, is Parow deur die musiekjoernalis Angola Badprop (Jaco Nel, in die werklikheid) uitgevra oor hoe die boek tot stand gekom het.

In sy antwoord het Parow gepraat oor sy vroeë jare in Bellville, sy gretige soektog vir Snoop Dogg se plate in winkels, hoe sy rap-loopbaan begin het, hoe sy pa hom gereeld na Hermanus toe gevat het om branders te ry, en hoe inwoners van “die Kaap” op die mense van Bellville neergesien het.

Hierna het Parow gesels oor sy loopbaan: sy innige gevoel vir die Afrikaanse taal, die vermy van politiek en godsdiens in sy muisek (nieteenstaande sy openlike gebruik van afstootlikheid in sy lirieke), sy werksverhouding met Ninja van Die Antwoord, en hoe hy nou ver wegbly van brandewyn af (hy drink blykbaar net Jägermeister en water).

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Book review: Lando #1: Charles Soule and Alex Maleev


With the success of their Star Wars comic book series, Marvel has decided to create another mini-series starring an iconic character in the Star Wars Franchise, Lando Calrissian. This mini-series is penned by writer Charles Soule, who has worked on the Inhuman and She-Hulk comics. The art will be provided by Alex Maleev, who has previously worked on titles such as Daredevil and Spider-Woman.

Lando #1, like most first issue comic books in a series, leaves the reader wishing more information could have been included, but it sets up what is sure to be a compelling story, aided by fantastic visuals and skilled writing.

Lando #1 follows the charming thief Lando Calrissian before he joins the rebellion against the empire. He has fallen on hard times and has debts to pay. As a result, he and his close friend Lobot plan to steal an Imperial ship that is said to belong to a highly important figure of the Empire. However, Lando believes that this will be a quick and easy job, and has no idea what he has gotten himself and his small crew into.

Read more: Book review: Lando #1: Charles Soule and Alex Maleev

Who you really read: the names behind the names

Illustration: Jackie Zhang



Pen names are not new to the writing world. From giving themselves the chance to change their writing style or topics to concealing their gender and hiding from threatening publishers, authors have felt the need to conceal their true identities for decades.

One of the most famous and recent uses of a pseudonym is J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series. Rowling was recently outed as the real author behind Robert Galbraith’s novels, The Cuckoo’s Calling and The Silkworm. She claims that she chose to use the pen name in order to change the direction of her writing and shake off some of the fame from her previous novels. She wanted to publish novels without readers buying the book purely for the name, as well as to fool critics, whose opinions are often influenced by their views of the author.

The name J.K. Rowling is also a pseudonym, although not a completely fake name. When Rowling started, the “K” was added to her initial in order to allow readers to feel more comfortable around the male sounding name. Rowling is not alone in this regard. Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird, dropped her first name, Nelle, to sell more books under her male-sounding name.

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Book review: Go Set a Watchman: Harper Lee


To Kill a Mockingbird is one of the most influential novels of our age, with around 40 million copies sold. Harper Lee’s editors at the time warned that the novel might not be a success, but it became an overnight sensation. However, few knew that To Kill a Mockingbird was actually the second book that Lee wrote about main character Scout Finch and her family. Lee had originally written Go Set a Watchman in 1957, but was advised to write a second novel as her editors were more interested in the flashbacks that Scout had in Go Set a Watchman.

The story takes place 20 years after the events of To Kill a Mockingbird and follows Jean Louise (Scout) when she arrives home from New York to visit her aging father, Atticus. Her time in New York has altered her to some extent and she is surprised to find that Maycomb, Alabama is not the place she remembers. She struggles with the people who she thought she knew in a town with aging and oppressive views about race and class. Throughout it all, she casts her mind back to better times spent in Maycomb when she was growing up.

Read more: Book review: Go Set a Watchman: Harper Lee

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