The Reading Room

By Solid Gold Podcasts #BeHeard

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Can we entice you into our Reading Room? This is the place for lovers of language and literature, those of us who believe that reading is essential, as we seek to rise above the ordinary. another Solid Gold podcast #BeHeard

Episode Date
#026 Sex, Drums and Rock 'n' Roll.... In Africa | Danny de Wet
A guide to the best decade evah - The 80s!

The 80s were a time of hope and frustration for teens and 20-somethings in South Africa, but there was a whole lot of boogying going on.

Drummer (and wannabe frontman!) of such iconic SA bands, such as eVoid, Petit Cheval and Wonderboom, Danny de Wet takes us back on a memory trip through the fogs of time, to an era that not only those that lived through it will appreciate, but as a handy manual for the youngers who are locked into electronics and social media on just how the youth used to live their lives.

For this (mostly) unadulterated look at one of the most prolific times in SA Rock history, #ListenHere for a bit of background - and then get the book to find out more.
Oct 21, 2022
#025 Listening out for the Birdies | Adam Riley
“Sometimes I think that the point of birdwatching is not the actual seeing of the birds, but the cultivation of patience. Of course, each time we set out, there's a certain amount of expectation we'll see something, maybe even a species we've never seen before, and that it will fill us with light. But even if we don't see anything remarkable - and sometimes that happens - we come home filled with light anyway.”
― Lynn Thomson, Birding with Yeats: A Mother's Memoir

And that's what it's about!

Whether you be brand new to the birdwatching game, or a long-time, avid spotter, as one writer has it - “Birds will give you a window, if you allow them. They will show you secrets from another world– a fresh vision that, though it is avian, can accompany you home and alter your life. They will do this for you even if you don't know their names– though such knowledge is a thoughtful gesture. ”

We find out more about Adam Riley's new book, commissioned by Helm Wildlife Guides, on Birds of South Africa, the portable concise must-have that will give you an entry into 'twitching', or a quick reference if you're travelling light. And more about how birds are so essential to not only the world at large but to the space surrounding you.
Sep 17, 2022
#024 Kim Nicola Stephens | Time to Let Go! (But Hold The Line...)
Social Media Musings and Going Viral.

While people all over South Africa were hunkered down in their homes baking banana bread, coming up with ways to find gin, bemoaning the fact that they couldn't go for a walk, while finding new ways to navigate this strange new walk of Life, one Facebooker kept a host of other flounderers mentally intact with her pithy, insightful posts, not just about her journey, but on how well others were (or were not) faring in this weird world.

From this, comes Hold The Line, a compilation of many of the posts from Kim Nicola Stephens that had us in hysterics with a bit of backstory to them - not a guide on how to weather a pandemic, not a self-help book, and not an autobiography - this is a book to remind you of no matter how different we may seem, so many of us go through the same things, a reminder that even in deepest darkest days, we're not alone. And there's always a story to be retold, a lesson to be learnt, a life to be lived. Fully.
Aug 16, 2022
#023 Mike Nicol | Finding your (and your character's) Voice
Our Guest: Mike Nicol (Author: Poet: Writing Instructor)

Getting the tips of the trade from the Crime Meister in half an hour is fairly speedy, but you won't want to miss the workings of the inner mind of one of South Africa's top authors. Whether it be his way of getting into the character of Mace Bishop or Fish Pescado, or into the lives of some of South Africa's top icons, Mike Nicol blurs the invisible line between fact and fantasy, in and out of rabbit holes real and imagined. Connect with Mike · Write Online Website
May 26, 2022
#022 Deon Meyer | The Crime-writing Kingpin of SA
Making SA as Sexy as the Scandies!

Deon Meyer (Storyteller / Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres)

"It’s never good when your phone rings in a meeting you were never invited to."

Happily we called, and Deon Meyer answered. The King of SA Crime-writing chats about his process, his ties to France, his inspirations and his flawed hero, Bennie Griessel ahead of news of more TV and film projects getting into full flow.

If you have yet to read one of the master storyteller's novels, find out why you've been missing out. Connect with Deon
May 18, 2022
#021 Just Hack It! | Rinus le Roux
Let’s Unpack It.

The time to be adaptable has come. Are you scared of moving forward? Are you having problems changing your mindset?

“Amateurs hack systems, professionals hack people.”

And professionals when it comes to asking the right questions, Hack It authors, Rinus Le Roux and Rikus Viljoen have put up the tools you need to get the right answers on how to give yourself a mental upgrade. Audiobook · Connect with Rinus · UCan Institute
May 06, 2022
#020 Getting Dangerous | Erik Kruger
Step out of Survival Mode with Erik Kruger

Erik Kruger (Author / Founder - Modern Breed)

It’s time to get out of your comfort zone - especially if it isn’t the most comfortable place to be.

Being Dangerous doesn’t mean being reckless - it’s about posing a danger to those things that do not add to your life.

Erik Kruger tells us about how even if threats about, you can do something about them.

Take control and get your power back - the definitive how-to guide. Dangerous on Amazon · Connect with Erik
May 05, 2022
#019 Flat/White - Not Just Coffee Culture | Ted Botha
...and other stories

Ted Botha grew up between Washington D.C. and Pretoria, and his writings are as diverse as his living circumstances over the years.

He has written for numerous publications, including The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, and was an editor for Reuters in Manhattan. His books include 'The Girl with the Crooked Nose' and 'Flat/White,' about living in a crazy tenement in Manhattan. His latest book is a true story of murder and movie mayhem in the 1920s that takes place in Johannesburg, London, Paris and New York. Find out more about this intrepid traveller · Goodreads
Jan 27, 2022
#018 Lyrics and Songs | Gus SIlber
The Beatles got the Beat.

The Beatles have been a worldwide phenomenon for decades - and show no sign of slowing down.

Although they were only a band for less than a decade, their imprint on the music industry will last many lifetimes. The TV documentary series, Get Back, and Paul McCartney’s double volumes - The Lyrics: 1956 to the present - gets behind the stories that went into the songs, and takes Gus Silber down memory (and Penny) lane, back to a time when songwriting told stories.
Dec 16, 2021
#017 Use your Mind - Make it Matter | Robby Kojetin
it's all about getting your Mind over Mountain....

Guest: Robby Kojetin (Author and Extreme Sports Motivator)

From not landing on his feet, to landing up motivating others to get up on theirs, Robby Kotejin has gone from climbing the roof of the world, to wallowing in the depths of despair. But deciding to pull his two broken ankles up by his bootstraps, came back from the precipice to scale not only the world's highest mountains, but the seemingly insurmountable challenge of climbing out of the pits of depression.

This inspirational story of perseverance has been told by Robby in his book, Mind Over Mountain, and here we get to grips with how when you feel you're at the end of your rope, there's always something there to hold you. Connect with Robby · Mind Over Mountain on Amazon
Nov 11, 2021
#016 Wonder Woman! | Rosie Fiore
Actress, teacher, author - No longer an author in Waiting!

Meet Rosie Fiore (Author and most fabulous Gurlfrend)

Born in good old Joburg, Rosie Fiore left our sunny shores to follow a literary life in London some 21 years ago. Having studied drama and working as a writer in TV, theatre and comedy - pretty much anything you could write for, Rosie did! - the dream of being a Proper Author took hold. And eight novels later (with one under the pseudonym Cass Hunter - 'The After Wife'), I think we can safely say Mission Accomplished.

But what goes into the process? Not just writing the novel, but getting it out to be read...

Find out more about her books and her journey as Rosie takes us on her voyage, the ups and downs, and the joy of words. Connect with Rosie · Buy Wonder Women on Amazon now
Aug 04, 2021
#015 Memento Mori | Michael Stanley
The Anatomy of a Southern African 'Death' series

Meet Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip
(authors - co-writers under the pseudonym Michael Stanley)

Critically acclaimed across the world for their series of original crime/mystery books, Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip are the writing duo, Michael Stanley.

Featuring their African "Columbo", Detective 'Kubu' Bengu of the Botswana Criminal Investigation Department, their latest offering, 'Facets of Death' is a return to his past, and his introduction into the world of crimefighting.

Both gentlemen were born in South Africa and met at university. Michael now lives in Knysna, Stanley in Minneapolis, where they find working collaboratively just as easy as it was back in the days of yore. Michael Stanley Website · Buy Now on Amazon
Jul 27, 2021
#014 Moving the Veils of Smoke | Sarah Key
Female Thriller Writers Taking over the Murder/Mystery World

Long kept in the shadows, female mystery and thriller writers are coming to the fore, not only worldwide, but here in South Africa.

Sarah Key, author of 5 books in the genre, chats to Melanie about being a female in what many perceive to be a Man's Domain, how to come up with a great idea, the Theatre of the Mind and how we're getting back to that, and what it means not only to get a book published, but to keep the thrill going! Sarah Key on Facebook · Buy Veils of Smoke on Amazon
Jun 17, 2021
#013 Woman On Wheels | Jo Rust
Adventurer and Mental coach Jo Rust circumnavigates Africa - SOLO

Meet Jo Rust - World Record Holder. Author. Mental Health Activist.

Jo Rust is the embodiment of the word 'gumption'!

Which is what you'd need to ride around the whole African continent on 2 wheels - a woman alone with her motorsickle.

Women over the decades have been blazing trails across the world, especially those women motorcycle riders. And now Adventure Travel queen Jo has put down her adventures of her record breaking circumnavigation of 45 000 kms through 28 countries - and the reasons why she tackles these mammoth treks - down in her first of hopefully many books, Woman Alone Around Africa. Buy the book today · Follow Jo on Facebook
May 22, 2021
#012 The Good Book Appreciation Society | Paige Nick
Join Paige Nick (novelist, columnist and advertising copywriter) as we discuss what's worth reading and appreciating

On South African authors, the art of short story writing, who's really who in the literary world, and what's worth listening to!

Paige Nick has her finger on the pulse of words, how they're compiled and their meaning - and has piles to prove it! Share the joy on The Good Book Appreciation Society's Facebook page
May 01, 2021
#011 Johannesburg Then and Now | Marc Latilla
How Heritage and the Past inform our Future

In less than a century, the jumble of shabby tents and lean-tos that constituted Johannesburg's first settlement grew into a modern metropolis of towering office buildings and sprawling suburbs. This is the history of Johannesburg's rise compiled in one glorious picture book.

Marc Latilla's research into the heritage of our strange City Of Gold brings new life to a city in transformation. Connect with Marc on LinkedIn
Apr 22, 2021
#010 Pulp Non Fiction in Person | Bronwyn Williams
Highly effective reading habits of a Successful Reader

Bronwyn Williams (Economist / Trend Analyst / Futurist)

What insights can this voracious reader impart? Well - Listen Here! If you are at a loss as to what to read that can make your mind take a quantum leap into the future, Bronwyn Williams has a number of interesting insights that will yield quantifiable results!

What is she reading? What is she writing about reading and books? Should one actually read the 'must read' books? And what is the philosophy behind reading - and philosophy?

Economics in One Lesson
The True Believer
The Remains Of The Day
Music : | Rusty Bicycle
When you're ready to #BeHeard, contact the podcast specialists at
Jan 22, 2021
#009 If Trees Could Talk... | Megan Emmett Parker
And 100 of them you should get to know!

Megan Emmett Parker (author and senior producer in the environmental world)

With a Masters in environmental management, a conservation degree and a decade working as a senior producer on 50/50 on tv, Megan Parker has a solid grounding on all topics environmental.

Her book, Game Ranger in your Backpack, has been selling out and reprinted yearly since release ten years ago. And her book on trees, originally titled If Trees Could Talk, now published by Struik under the title 100 Bushveld Trees, is the go-to guide for those wanting to know more about our wonderful country, her biomes and the ‘beings’ that inhabit it.

Game Ranger in Your Pocket on Amazon
100 Bushveld Trees
Megan on LinkedIn
Music :

When you're ready to #BeHeard, contact the podcast specialists at
Dec 10, 2020
#008 The Logic of God | Jean-Marie Jullienne
How Has the Cloud Moved?

Jean-Marie Jullienne (Entrepreneurial Author)

For centuries, visions and beliefs of and in "God" have been obscured in many ways, oftentimes through mistranslation of the original texts that make up the Scriptures, holy books and teachings.

To many, religion seems to be either something which is divisive or not relevant to them in this day and age. But looking at the Writings from a different perspective can change our perception.

Over a period of 35 years, Dr. Jean-Marie Jullienne studied the ancient texts to divine a clear understanding of what the words in the Bible actually mean and how the stories sometimes take on a different connotation. Connect on LinkedIn
Nov 05, 2020
#007 This Way Forward | Cliff Matthews
Taking the most rewarding path

Cliff Matthews (Clinical Social Worker and Behavioral Specialist)

Do you know the difference between self-confidence and self-esteem?

If you'rsre lacking the latter, do you need a positive exercise routine to flex that mental muscle?

Then #ListenHere!

Giving us an unique insight into the challenges of maintaining your "authentic self" and self-esteem, author of This Way Forward, Cliff Matthews helps us to navigate the route sometimes hard to travel. This Way Forward on Amazon
Sep 26, 2020
#006 The Power of Purpose | Richard Wright
Whether you Think you Can or you Can’t - You're Right

Richard Wright (Professional Speaker)

This is not necessarily a treatise on overcoming cancer - although it in part is.

It’s how Richard found the Wright way to deal with what life had thrown at him, how he came to find his life’s purpose, and how to obliterate obstacles.

'What is most needed right now is inspiration, motivation, encouragement and some help with a shift in thinking. If I can enrich lives in the smallest of ways at this time, I am making a difference and my life can mean something.''

If you need motivation, you’ve come to the Wright Room..

Sep 22, 2020
#005 Paige Nick Walks into Our Bar | Paige Nick
A Million Miles From Normal

Paige Nick (novelist, columnist and advertising copywriter)

Many people would know her from her weekly column on sex, dating, and romance, and other crazy shenanigans, in the Sunday Times newspaper. But Paige Nick is more than the sex-obsessed writer many people wrote in to the newspaper would have us believe!

Nick's first book, A Million Miles from Normal (2010) and her second novel, This Way Up (2011), were followed by a co-authorship with Sarah Lotz and Helen Moffett in 2013, of series of Choose Your Own Adventure erotic novels, including, A Girl Walks into a Bar, A Girl Walks into a Wedding and Girl Walks into a Blind Date, which were sold in 21 countries around the world. In April 2015 She brought us a compilation of her Sunday Times columns - and reader’s responses to them - in Pens Behaving Badly.

Paige started the Good Book Appreciation Society on Facebook in 2013, which has amassed over 12000 followers - all bibliophiles!

Find out what Paige is up to, and her take on our New Normal A million Miles from Normal on Amazon · Pens Behaving Badly
Sep 16, 2020
#004 The Journey Man | Chris Marais
Travels through the world of reporter Chris Marais

Chris Marais (Author | Reporter | Brains behind

How many of you remember Scope magazine? That "raunchy" mag with great writing from back in the day? Or Style? A paean to gorgeousness in the 80s and 90s...

Great journalism comes in sometimes surprising places, and one who contributed greatly to their popularity is Chris Marais. In his time, Chris has been a deadline-crazy newspaper reporter for some top South African titles (including the Rand Daily Mail), a magazine investigative journalist (Scope Magazine) and editor (Living Africa Magazine), winning a number of media awards along the way.

He and wife Julienne du Toit currently live and work in Cradock in the Karoo, South Africa's magical dry heartland, where they own and manage - the region's premier website.

They have over the years created articles for local and offshore print and online publications that include SA Country Life, Sawubona, High Life (British Airways in-flight), Sunday Times (Johannesburg) Travel, The Guardian (UK) and Wild Magazine (SA National Parks).

Now self-publishing their glorious range of books about the Karoo, we catch up with Chris in the Heartland to find out about his start in the business and hear more about their upcoming book, Karoo Roads.

Books by Chris Marais and Julienne du Toit:

A Drink of Dry Land - Journeys through Namibia, Namibia Space, Shorelines - A Journey along the South African Coast, Coast to Coast, 101 Beloved Bars of Southern Africa (with Pat Hopkins), Karoo Keepsakes, Karoo Keepsakes II, The Journey Man - A South African Reporter's Stories (Chris) and Road Tripper - Eastern Cape Karoo. · Buy The Journey Man
Aug 28, 2020
#003 Just doing it | David Bullard
He's been Out To Lunch for Years!

David Bullard (Columnist | Author | TV Presenter | Celebrity Public Speaker)

Known for his controversial satire, David Bullard, SA's voice of calm in a time of faux outrage, takes no prisoners when he takes people out to lunch.

With his penchant for creating a furore at every opportunity, mainly through his widely read column, "Out to Lunch", Bullard has taken on new media and Woke wannabe "Rock Stars" with gusto on Twitter, even causing a storm in the South African blogosphere by describing blogging as the 'air guitars of journalism... cobbled together by people who wouldn't stand a hope in hell of getting a job in journalism.'

We catch up with the Prof of Applied Histrionics at UTS (and Columnist for PoliticsWeb) to see who he's been plying with wine - and if he is actually all fluffy inside. Some of David's columns · Buy David's book on Amazon · Follow David on Twitter
Aug 25, 2020
#002 Pedants of the world - Revolt! | Sue de Groot
Making peace with a piece is not as piquing as sneaky peaking

Sue de Groot (Sunday Times and Times Live | Deputy Features Editor and Columnist)

Autocorrect: making Twitter pedants delete and re-tweet since 2007 - Cassandra Page

attitude; human behaviour, displaying obsession with detail or process, often negatively perceived

For the Grammar Nazis and busy spelling-bees out there, Sue de Groot's "Pedant Class" in the Sunday Times was a main reason for buying the paper.

Now found on the Times Select website, she continues to enthrall us with her "Word in the Hand" column.

The English language - as she should be spoken - is a wonderful world of twists and turns, of words that can be bent to your will. But only when done proper like!

We sit down with the self-confessed word nerd and ace columnist to discover what's getting her hot under the collar. Follow Sue on Twitter
Aug 24, 2020
#001 It’s Electrifying! | Gus Silber
Digital Graffiti from Gus Silber's Wall

Gus Silber (Journalist | Author | Scriptwriter | Speechwriter | TweetWriter)

Over the last few years, columnist, scriptwriter and author Gus Silber has written some extraordinary commentary pieces on his journeys around his neighbourhood in Johannesburg and his digital wanderings through the global village we call social media, and posted them to Facebook.

This latest tour de force, Electric Graffiti: Musings on a Facebook Wall, takes us on a magical mystery tour around what words and thoughts mean when cobbled together in sound bytes. Follow Gus on Twitter · Buy Gus's book on Amazon
Aug 23, 2020