Here’s our ‘stay-at-home’ lockdown bookshelf

Buy books online with Clockwork Books

There are many things I miss about life before lockdown, and the pleasure of browsing the shelves of my local bookstore at leisure is high on the list. It may not be as much fun to buy books online, but here at Clockwork Books we’re aiming to make it an affordable and convenient alternative.

I’m hoping we’ll be able to add more titles to our lockdown bookshelf with time, so that you have an ever-growing range of options when you buy books online from us. Clockwork Books is publishing three new books in 2020, two of which will be on our lockdown bookshelf soon. But if there are any titles you’re looking for, whether print copies or digital, feel free to get in touch via our contact form and we’ll see what we can do for you!

Of course, all our titles are available as print books still – our delivery fees are very reasonable, and our service provider, The Courier Guy, is super reliable and speedy. But for our lockdown bookshelf, we have focused on the titles we have in-store as ebooks, so that you can download them and get reading immediately.

So here’s a quick run down of the first titles to feature on our lockdown bookshelf, and until next time, happy reading!


Buy books online while you’re in lockdown

We’ve chosen books that will help you survive lockdown, from the book that makes feeding the family a breeze, to the novels that will give you an escape, to the book that will help you negotiate peace between the kids, to the books that will soothe your soul. Enjoy browsing our virtual aisles!

The book that takes away the mealtime woes

Dinner time!


Title: Dinner time! Fast, fuss-free, family-friendly food
Mandy Collins
Format: Softcover, PDF
978-0-620-63671-1 (print)
978-0-620-63451-9 (pdf)

Every evening a similar scene unfolds in households across the world: a dejected parent droops in front of the fridge or grocery cupboard and wonders forlornly what on earth they are going to cook for supper…

Dinner time! promises to bring an end to all of that. It’s a cookbook, yes, but it’s so much more. It’s a family feeding system that promises to take the guesswork out of daily dinners.

There are 28 days’ worth of easy, quick recipes, many of which come with variations, plus a host of extra recipes that can be thrown together from ingredients you probably have in your cupboard already. There are hints and tips and shortcuts that will make life easy for even the most kitchen-phobic, grudging cook There are even weekly shopping lists so you can be sure you have everything you need.

Written by a working mother who knows just how stressful the daily cook can be, this book is accessible, practical and easy to use. The emphasis is on getting the job done as efficiently – and deliciously – as possible. And the recipes are easy enough so that even teenagers or less proficient cooks can whip up a tasty meal.

Mandy Collins will hold your hand every step of the way with her chatty, reassuring advice, and before you know it you’ll be turning out scrumptious dinners without even breaking a sweat.

“I LOVE the concept of this book. It’s a great idea, and a useful one.” Jane-Anne Hobbs, food writer, cookbook author & independent South African food blogger

Catch up with Mandy’s latest cooking escapades on her blog, The Cuttings Collection.


The books that provide escape



Title: SPIRE
Fiona Snyckers
Format: Softcover
978-0-620-75342-5 (print)
978-0-620-75343-2 (e-pub)
978-0-620-75344-9 (kindle)

*Nominated for the Sunday Times Barry Ronge Fiction Award*

A box of mutated and cryogenically frozen viruses is brought under heavy guard to SPIRE, a remote research station in Antarctica. Within days, people are dying of diseases that haven’t been seen since the middle ages.

Surgeon and virologist, Dr Caroline Burchell, struggles to contain the outbreak as a vicious polar storm descends on SPIRE. The weather prevents any help from getting through to the loneliest outpost on earth.

Soon Caroline discovers that the only thing worse than being alone in this desolate place, is not being alone.

This compulsive thriller with its compassionate and resourceful heroine will keep you turning pages late into the night.

SPIRE is billed as a thriller, but it runs darker and colder than that, to become a tale of primal, existential terror: the terror of being alone, and then, worse than that, the terror of realising you are not alone.

There is one scene in particular, where Caroline steps outside the base, into the blinding, disorienting white, and is then unable to get back in: the heavy doors have been shut against her, whether by accident, malfunction, human agency or some alien biological force.

This happens now and again in my dreams – the clammy sense of being unable to find my way into or out of the maze of a building – and once it happened for real, when I got lost in the labyrinthine corridors of the Brutalist UNISA building after dark.

So I felt for Caroline, marooned on the edge of nowhere, all her scientific knowledge and courage and resourcefulness rendered null in the face of the void, but forgive me if I worried too about the other sentient creature she had left behind at the base. The cat.

Yes, there is a cat, a deliberate homage to Jonesey in the first Alien movie, just as SPIRE pays its debt to the Thing by telling us in the opening sentence that it is a favourite movie trilogy on base.

This only confirms my feeling that SPIRE belongs firmly in the horror genre: “Thriller” doesn’t do it justice.

Thrillers just thrill us, but horror is metaphor, and here the subtext is the exile of the self, in the frozen emotional wasteland of our technological era. Well, that’s how I read it, especially late at night, when the world is cold outside and quiet within.

SPIRE is a novel of apocalypse, not just as in the end of the world, but as in The End of the World, because that is where it is set, as far south as you can possibly go before completely losing your way.

But as bleak as it may sound, this is a very humanist tale of resilience and survival, and Snyckers counterpoints the cold with her warm, breezy, perfectly measured writing.

She also injects a strata of clinical, technical data into the telling, and it is so rich in detail, that you could pretty much use this book as a survival manual if you ever get stuck at the South Pole. Which is a comfort to know.
There was one environmental revelation that gave me such a jolt, that I had to switch apps to Google: because of the total lack of humidity in Antarctica, fire at the base is an even greater threat to survival than snow and ice. Here is what the poet Robert Frost has to say on the subject:

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

This book gave me chills, and not just for the iciness of its sub-zero setting, but for what it has to say about the human spirit. Even in the most hostile and alienating of conditions, it finds a way to rise, it finds a way to soar. It finds a way to build the spire.” Gus Silber, journalist, editor & author

See what readers have to say about SPIRE on Goodreads.


Things Unseen


Title: Things Unseen
Author: Pamela Power
Format: Softcover | ePub | Kindle
978-0-620-71858-5 (epub)
978-0-620-71859-2 (kindle)
978-0-620-71843-1 (print)

Emma’s quietly unsatisfying suburban life is thrown into disarray when she finds her mother beaten to death, her knickers around her ankles, in the mansion Emma shares with her husband in Westcliff.

Police believe it’s an open-and-shut case and peg the crime on Surprise, the immigrant gardener. But Emma is convinced they are wrong.

The men in Emma’s life try to stop her asking questions: Rick, her philandering gynaecologist husband; Ross, her errant and immature brother returned from Australia; and Craig, an ex-lover visiting from the UK who stirs long-buried feelings in her.

Emma’s search for the truth reveals trust to be a fragile and elusive thing.

Things Unseen is a fast-paced, haunting thriller which addresses our most intimate fears of invasions and violations in the context of present-day crime realities of the country, but also free of the socio-political context. What Emma and her family members experience could happen to anyone anywhere in the world. The challenges of the betrayals and losses she faces in her marriage will be known to many women, independent of race and class. The madness of grief and the inability to make sane choices when you are in its grips are part of the story. And Johannesburg, with all its social woes, is very much a character in the novel.” Karina Szczurek

See what readers have to say about Things Unseen on Goodreads.


In Plain Sight


Title: In Plain Sight, the new novel by Mandy Collins
Mandy Collins
Format: Ebook (PDF)
ISBN: 978-0-620-88103-6

In Plain Sight, the new novel by Mandy Collins:

Maggie McGowan has what seems to be the perfect life. She has a doting husband, two kids, a lovely home, and the freedom to spend her days doing exactly what she wants.

But that’s the trouble. Maggie isn’t entirely sure what she wants. She just knows that she’s unsettled, restless, drifting without purpose. Her kids are fairly self-sufficient; her house and garden are immaculate, and if she’s honest, she’s bored and feeling like she’s lost herself completely.

Her days are an endless round of taking her ten-year-old son to school and sports practices, and trying to get through to her sixteen-year-old daughter, a brilliant cellist who plays in a youth orchestra when she’s not daydreaming at school or fighting with her mother.

When Maggie reconnects on Facebook with someone from her student days, however, and discovers he has moved into town, a secret she has kept for decades will set in motion a chain of events that will turn her whole life – and that of her family – upside-down.

Get to know Mandy better on her blog, or her professional website.

The book that helps you help the kids

The Ultimate Assertiveness Toolbox for Kids


Give your kid skills to manage bullying now!

Title: The Ultimate Assertiveness Toolbox for Kids 
Jo Hamilton
Format: Softcover | ePub | Kindle | PDF
978-0-620-73477-6 (print)
978-0-620-73478-3 (epub)
978-0-620-73479-0 (kindle)
978-0-620-73480-6 (pdf)

Give your kid skills to manage bullying now!

“I wish I had had this book when my eldest daughter had problems asserting herself at school!” ~ Tina Otte

20 tools to help children cope when faced with meanness or bullying, 20 proven strategies to teach assertiveness to even the most reticent child.

The Ultimate Assertiveness Toolbox for Kids is written in a friendly, easy-going tone that will appeal to kids, but even parents and other adults will find these tips useful. Jo highlights respectful, thoughtful responses to unkind words or deeds, helping the unsure child grow in confidence while tapping into their smarts.

Each tool is delivered with descriptions of situations in which it might be useful, as well as when a tool should perhaps not be used and things to watch out for.

Written by a school psychologist with teaching experience, The Ultimate Assertiveness Toolbox for Kids will be valuable to parents and teachers too.

“This manual is an invaluable resource for young victims of bullying. Moreover, the assertiveness tools presented in this book will be useful for the social development of any child.” Dr Brendan Belsham, child psychiatrist

“All children can land up on the receiving end of meanness from time to time, and the ideas contained in this book are practical and great conversation starters for parents and teachers alike.” Nikki Bush, creative parenting expert

“This toolbox compiled by Ms Hamilton is so timeous, relevant and necessary. Ms Hamilton’s Ultimate Assertiveness Toolbox for Kids give children who are victimised a wide repertoire of behaviours to help them appear assertive without being seen as unnecessarily aggressive or provocative.” Professor Andre Venter, developmental paediatrician & head of department, Paediatrics, University of the Free State

Learn more about Jo on her website.


The books that comfort

No Fire on the Moon


Title: No Fire on the Moon
Author: Ruth Everson
Format: Softcover
ISBN: 978-0-6398260-0-4

Poetry is the bridge that crosses from one heart to another. It is the voice that you find when you least expect it, calling you to come back to yourself. A life can turn on a single line of poetry – I know mine has.

These poems are an invitation to journey into yourself and then into the world. They fall into two sections. The first is an interior enquiry, where you rediscover the path to Self. The second examines and questions some of the ways we encounter the world.

Wait for the silver bird

To nestle into your neck

Rubbing its head against your cheek,

Until your sould ignites

With skies and mountains,

Seas and restless rivers –

And a path – not visible

From the sitting place.

Ruth Everson works nationally and internationally as a poet, coach, facilitator and speaker. Ruth uses her poetry to help people from all walks of life find and embrace their purpose, and become a more adventurous version of themselves through her workshops, talks and writing.

Click here to view the contents page of No Fire on the Moon.

Visit Ruth’s entertaining blog “Ruth’s Real Life” here.


Landscapes of Courage


Title: Landscapes of Courage
 Ruth Everson
Format: Softcover, pdf
ISBN: 978-0-620-58052-6 (print) 978-0-620-58052-6 (pdf)

These poems span much of my life. Each one is part of the landscape of my heart. Some carry the inevitable scars left by the loss of love and loved ones. Some are a celebration. Some are a call to live a deeper life. Others mark the beautiful external landscapes that have been part of my journey.

What each poem has in common is courage: the courage to look at the world through the sharp lens of the poet’s eye; the courage to write the barbed-wire lines; to use tears as ink and the courage to dance with words.

I hope, as you journey through these pages, that you will find at least one poem, or a line of a poem, that speaks to your own journey.

Come walk with me:

the paths of my

life are my poems,

these words are

my stepping stones,

my stumbling stones.


Journey with me towards your Self.

Ruth Everson works nationally and internationally as a poet, coach, facilitator and speaker. Ruth uses her poetry to help people from all walks of life find and embrace their purpose, and become a more adventurous version of themselves through her workshops, talks and writing.


Click here to view the contents pages of Landscapes of Courage

Find Ruth’s entertaining blog Ruth’s Real Life here.