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From Locker Room to Boardroom by Ross van Reenan

Posted by on Dec 14, 2012 in Reviews | Comments Off on From Locker Room to Boardroom by Ross van Reenan

From Locker Room to Boardroom by Ross van Reenan

Do you know that Kobus Wiese, Springbok lock and 1995 World Cup winner started a successful    coffee-shop franchise? I am a coffee lover and can testify to the quality of Wiese’s coffee.

Bob Skinstad, eighth man and once Springbok captain, is a familiar face on television as a Supersport commentator. Skinstad has taken his experience as rugby captain into the business world. He is MD of Itec Connect Western.

Players like Skinstad, Wiese and other rugby greats like Francios Pienaar, Naas Botha and Joel Stransky have used their time on the rugby field as the foundation for building successful businesses. They are proof that there is life after rugby and that rugby can provide essential business skills.

There is life after rugby if an individual can learn from their time in the sport. Success comes from teamwork. Individuals make up business and sports teams. Diversity joining forces to achieve a common purpose: winning. Strategic discussion in the locker room is not that different to the planning done in the boardroom. Van Reenan translates these business lessons effectively into From Locker Room to Boardroom.

As a management consultant and MBA graduate, van Reenan provides business advice and practical business models. Van Reenan has rugby experience by playing 62 Currie Cup matches for Free State. The anecdotes and examples used in the book, the reader will see that rugby players’ challenges are no different to the challenges faced in business.

Reviewer:       Ulrike Hill

Score:              4/5

Review Date:  12th November 2012

(Zebra Press)   ISBN: 978-1-77022-331-8

City of Bones

Posted by on Nov 15, 2012 in Reviews | Comments Off on City of Bones

City of Bones

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare


There is a dark side to New York, the city that never sleeps. The mundanes (otherwise known as humans) cannot see the supernaturals that roam the streets and fight in wars. The shadow masters are a group of supernaturals who have to clear the city of demons.


Fifteen-year-old Clary Clay witnesses a murder at the Pandemonium Club committed by three teenagers. The problem is that she has no proof. The body has disappeared into thin air. Worse still, her friend Simon cannot see the murderers.


When Clary returns home, her house is ransacked and her mother has disappeared. When she is attacked by a demon, she knows that she is in trouble. No-one can help her but the shadow masters. She meets Jace, a skilled shadow master. He is arrogant and attractive but he has scars that are not only caused by the demons he has fought.

He decides to help Clary find her mother. Fighting side by side, they discover that they have a strong attraction. The problem is that their love is forbidden.


I loved this book. The characters are believable, heroic and memorable. The plot is interesting and keeps the reader in suspense. The ending was unexpected. Although I was initially disappointed, it has me panting for the next book – the second in the The Mortal Instruments series. Definitely a book to curl up with until late at night.



Reviewer: Ulrike Hill
Score: 4/5
Review Date: 10 September 2012

(Walker Books)
ISBN: 978-1-4063-0762-7

Extraordinary SA Rugby

Posted by on Nov 14, 2012 in Reviews | Comments Off on Extraordinary SA Rugby

Extraordinary SA Rugby

The Extraordinary Book of South African Rugby by Wim van der Berg

The anecdotes show the fanatics of the rugby fan whether spectator, player or administrator. Manie Reyneke, former CEO of the Lions franchise was late for his wedding reception. He felt that playing a club game was far more important that celebrating his wedding. Controversial fan, Piet van Zyl, also makes an appearance in the book. He is that little rotund man who interrupted a test game by tackling and injuring a ref because he was not happy with the ref’s decisions.


Somehow, the rugby writer cannot stay away from statistics. Van der Berg is no exception. What would rugby be without reminders about how many times the Boks lost a Tri-nations test, how many tries were scored at a game or how many people attend the Easter Rugby festivals.


For the most part of the book, it is interesting. I would like to have seen an index at the end of the book. And a final request. Can we please move away from numbers and focus on stories that entertain?


ISBN: 978-0-143-528807

Ulrike Hill
Score:  3/5
Word count: 238
Review Date:   5th July 2012

Fifty Shades Darker by EL James

Posted by on Jul 26, 2012 in Reviews | 2 comments

Fifty Shades Darker

I have to admit, I was curious. What was the hype about the Fifty Shades Trilogy by debut author, E.L. James? I decided to buy a copy. Alas, I did not realise that I had bought the second book in the series.

Although the second book in James’ trilogy does link to the first, first-time readers can follow the story-line easily enough without reading the first book in the series. Not that it is a complicated book to understand. It is, after all, Mills and Boons on steroids.

The sex scenes did not launch straight away as expected. The reader has some time to reconnect with Ana Steele and her love interest, the tormented Christian Grey.

Christian Grey is wealthy. He buys the company Ana is working for. The reason? He has control issues and wants Ana. Badly. Ana stamps her little feet and tries to gain some form of independence. His strange sexual preferences and her innocence are not enough to keep them apart. They fall in love. But, more than that, they have a lot of sex. They cannot keep their hands off each other.

 Fifty Shades Darker is about dominance and control. There are some lessons about love.

But I suspect this is not the reason why people are buying the book.

The erotic scenes are good. The story-line keeps the book from becoming a porn story. The problem is that the climax was premature (excuse the pun). The minor climax scenes after the main suspense left me feeling a little … umm … deflated.


Reviewer:  Ulrike Hill

Score: 3/5

Published by: Arrow Books 

ISBN: 978-0-09957992-2

Review Date: 4th July 2012
The above review first appeared in The Bluestocking Review (Facebook).