Book reviews

26 October 2021

Human Geographies of Stellenbosch: Transforming Space, Preserving Place?
Editor Ronnie Donaldson
Published by African Sun Media

This book provides a combination of a well-researched as well as a local perspective on the urban geography of Stellenbosch and asks what urban transformation means in the wider Stellenbosch community. The 13 chapters written by scholars from Stellenbosch University guide the reader to critically explore the relationship between urban landscape, urban planning and people, with titles such as:

  • Evolution of spatial plans in Stellenbosch
  • Retail transformations in Stellenbosch: central business district versus the decentralised mall in Jamestown
  • Densification in the ‘absence’ of policy: the case of Die Weides, Stellenbosch, 2000-2016
  • Backyarders and backyard dwellings in Smartie Town, Cloetesville
  • Planning for informal spaces in Stellenbosch: the need for participatory design
  • Residents’ perceptions and understanding of public art in Stellenbosch
  • Throw-away people: insights on community waste-disposal behaviours in informal Kayamandi

Order the book from African Sun Media or Amazon.

Palaces of Stone: Uncovering ancient southern African Kingdoms

Mike Main & Tom Huffman

Published by Struik Publishers

Authors Main and Huffman introduces the archaeology of Africa by discussing more than 460 ruins and stone palaces from 900 AD to mid 19th century, most of these not generally known. They use archaeology as “the bridge into understanding the meaning of these tantalizing remnants, rocks, walls and stones.” For a comprehensive review of this remarkable book read Kathy Munro’s review or buy the book on Takealot or Amazon.

A Cape Odyssey: Essays inspired by Historical Maps of the Cape of Good Hope

Roger Stewart

In these essays Stewart explores the origin of the maps he collected of the Cape. In the process he sketches a social history of the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Colony (1500-1900).

The maps are now conserved at the University of South Africa and Stanford University, USA. His articles on the maps and Cape history have been published in international journals and local periodicals. Stewart represents the International Map Collectors’ Society in South Africa, and is chairman of the Bibliophiles in Cape Town, and of the Friends of the Cape Medical Museum.

A Cape Odyssey Soft Cover

The new Mrs Beeton: Sustainable Household Living Mzanzi style

Di Beeton

The author’s name reminds of the famous British book Beeton’s Book of Household Management, written by Isabella Beeton.  Published in 1861 and with more than a 1000 pages, this book became the authority on (Victorian) households for years.

Di Beeton’s book is for South African readers and she advocates a household that saves water, recycles, reuses, conserves energy and household members that live a thoughtful life. Apart from recipes, she also gives advice on budgeting.

Read more on the Heritage Portal

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