Home LEISURE A bunch of thought-provoking reads for May

A bunch of thought-provoking reads for May

Stay inside, throw on something comfy and have a book party on your own with any one of Exclusive Books’ must-read page-turners for this month.

From fiction, non-fiction, and young adult to children’s titles you can be sure that there is something for absolutely everyone.

Non-fiction titles: 

- Advertisement -

The Iceman author Wim Hof shares his remarkable life story and powerful method for supercharging your health and happiness in The Wim Hof Method. Refined over forty years and championed by scientists across the globe, you’ll learn how to harness three key elements of Cold, Breathing and Mindset to take ownership over your own mind and wellbeing.

Join author Greg Hoffman, Nike’s former Chief Marketing Officer, as he helps craft the company’s iconic campaigns for Ronaldo and Serena, Olympic Games and World Cup finals. Together, his insights offer a revelatory method that will make any brand more creative in the book Emotion by Design.

Beyond Fear by Ebrahim Ismail Ebrahim is an inspirational memoir. The story of Ebie’s resistance shows how morality and courage are inextricably linked, currently echoed in the unfolding events in Ukraine.

Over the past 120 years, hundreds of books on the Anglo-Boer War have been published, but The Boer War in Colour (English and Afrikaans) by Tinus Le Roux will be the first to show this conflict in full colour – introducing a fresh perspective and transforming it into living history.

“More explosive, compulsive and gasp-inducingly, spine-tinglingly, mouth-dryingly, heart-poundingly thrilling than any fiction I have read for years, but it is all true” —Stephen Fry on Freezing Order by Bill Browder.

Genius by Bruce Whitfield tells the stories of some of the extraordinary individuals, companies and industries whose ideas, products and raw materials solve problems and add value across the globe.

Here’s the Thing by Haji Mohamed Dawjee is filled with stories and insights that are contemplative, comedic and controversial. Readers will find a touching letter to her father, the honest truth about the pain in the arse that is parenting and ponderings about struggling with the vicissitudes of the modern world filled with cancel culture and the controversies of appreciating the wrong artists.

In Milner Richard Steyn argues that Milner’s reputation should not be defined by his eight years’ service in South Africa alone. Chosen for his famed administrative abilities as Britain’s War Secretary, Milner did much to shape the Allied victory in the First World War.

Georgia Pritchett is a singularly hilarious person. Her book My Mess is a Bit of a Life is a delightful and perfect reflection of her. Its tenderness sneaks up on you and really packs a punch. What a magnificent read!

Just when some were starting to think that there was nothing new to say about Nelson Mandela, Paul Landau author of Spear comes along to show us just how much there is still to say about one of the most consequential figures of the twentieth century.


Fiction titles:  

Booth is a triumph! No one writes like Karen Joy Fowler. With wit, heart, and revelatory insight, she teases ghosts from their shadows, transforming the way we see the past, and shedding new light on our troubled present.

In Robert Gold’s Twelve Secrets Ben Harper’s life changed forever the day his older brother Nick was murdered by two classmates. Twenty years on, Ben is one of the best true crime journalists in the country and happily settled back in Haddley, thanks to the support of its close-knit community. But when a fresh murder case shines new light on his brother’s death and throws suspicion on those closest to him, Ben’s world is turned upside down once more.

Andy and Laura are good parents. They tell their son Connor that he can go out with friends to celebrate completing his exams, but he must be home by midnight. When Connor misses his curfew, it sets off a series of events that will change the lives of five families forever. The truth? Because five teenagers went into the woods that night, but only four came out. The Curfew is a gripping tale by T.M Logan.

Author Marlon James weaves a tapestry of breath-taking adventure through a world at once ancient and startlingly modern in Moon Witch Spider King. And, against this exhilarating backdrop of magic and violence, he explores the fundamentals of truth, the limits of power, the excesses of ambition, and our need to understand them all.

Uju is a woman trying to be modern in a country that wants her to be traditional. Inspired by the lives of real women – and with the theme of female friendship as a source of hope, laughter and empowerment throughout – Tomorrow I Become a Woman by Aiwanose Odafen is a feminist novel that gently educates.

In Mike Nicol’s latest novel Hammerman: A Walking Shadow children find a body in the Strandfontein sand dunes. A populist politician is gunned down outside parliament. His number two was executed in bed with a high-class escort. A cabinet minister was shot leaving a security estate. A cop was assassinated in his car. Another in his beach house. And it all ties back to the murder of Swedish prime minister Olof Palme in 1986 – as private investigator Fish Pescado is about to discover.

The Match by Harlan Coben portrays the main protagonist as Wilde, the boy from the woods. Discovered living a feral existence in the Ramapo Mountains of New Jersey, he has grown up knowing nothing of his parents and even less about his own identity. Until now. When a match on a DNA database puts him on the trail of a close relative – the only family member he has ever known – Wilde thinks he might be about to solve the mystery of who he really is.

In Galatea by Madeline Miller, a skilled marble sculptor has been blessed by a goddess who has given his masterpiece – the most beautiful woman the town has ever seen – the gift of life. Now as his wife, he expects Galatea to please him, to be obedient and humility personified. But she has desires of her own and yearns for independence.

Impossible by Sarah Lotz is the tale of Nick a failed writer, failed husband and dog owner and Bee a serial dater, dressmaker and pringles enthusiast. One day, their paths cross over a misdirected email. The connection is instant, electric. They feel like they’ve known each other all their lives. Nick buys a new suit and gets on a train. Bee steps away from her desk and sets off to meet him under the clock at Euston station. Think you know how the rest of the story goes? They did too . . . But this is a story with more twists than most.

Looking for Jane by Heather Marshall is a beautifully written meditation on the lengths mothers will go to for their children as well as an eye-opening history of women.

Lucy Vine writes: ”The No-Show by Beth O’Leary is a truly brilliant book. It’s clever and so intriguing. I loved the depth, warmth and humanity of the characters, I loved the writing, and I loved the twists. I loved how much I thought about this novel when I was away from it and after I finished. It’s basically the perfect book.”

Lucy Foley’s The Paris Apartment is brimming with intrigue. Welcome to No.12 rue des Amants. A beautiful old apartment block, far from the glittering lights of the Eiffel Tower and the bustling banks of the Seine. Where nothing goes unseen, and everyone has a story to unlock. The watchful concierge. The scorned lover. The prying journalist. The naive student. The unwanted guest. There was a murder here last night.

White Chalk is a collection of short stories set in Eldorado Park, the site of author Terry-Ann Adams’ inspiration. Her sentences positively glow as she documents the wonders and sadnesses of everyday life. These rich and powerful stories confirm Terry-Ann Adams’s place as one of the brightest stars of new South African writing.

In Zanzibar Zen deur Marnus Hattingh ‘n nuuskierige toeris aan Zanzibar se kus vermoor word, die bou van Giorgio Comaneti se blinknuwe Zanzibar Zen Casino gaan die helfte van die Jozani-woud uitwis. Toast le Roux, omgewingsjoernalis, moet die stootskrapers betyds stop. Maar Comaneti se gevaarlike handlangers, Tjokkie en Bozo, is reeds op Toast se spoor.


EB recommends for children: 

In the 6-9 children’s category: These titles are displayed in the children’s section with shelf-talkers.

In catastrophe by De Wet Hugo the money Lady Elmaine Koontz who sponsored as a prize for the talent contest, has been stolen from Headmistress Cataclysm’s desk. Leo is sure it was that bully, Clawd. Of course, tigers are always looking for trouble! Or maybe it has something to do with the strange new pupil in Cathedral Primary, Gato, who came all the way from Catalonia. But suddenly everybody starts to suspect Leo. How will he prove his innocence and reveal the truth about Clawd?

Aziza’s Secret Fairy Door and the Birthday Present Disaster is the third title in a fun and inclusive, young magical adventure series for readers of 6-8 from Lola Morayo. Inspired by fairies and magical creatures from world mythology it is gorgeously illustrated in black and white throughout by Cory Reid.

In Minki Se Bookdag deur Jaco JacobsLara se danseksamen is om die draai. Sy oefen al weke lank vir die groot dag! Minki en Natalie kan nie wag om haar in aksie te sien op die verhoog nie. Maar dan loop dinge onverwags skeef, en Lara se dansdrome is – vir eers – daarmee heen. Minki en Natalie weet nie hoe om hulle beste maat op te beur nie. Maar een van Minki se gunstelingboeke gee haar ’n plan …

In Roomys Op Die Planeet Zork deur Jaco Jacobs Riek en Niek het ’n plan …’n Slim plan om SAKKE en SAKKE vol geld by die skool se markdag te maak. Maar dan steel nare Nanja hulle idee. En boonop vertel sy vir die HELE skool Riek en Niek gaan roomys maak wat soos blomkool en spinasie smaak …BLÊG! NIEMAND gaan dit koop nie! Kan Riek en Niek aan ’n plan dink om Nanja terug te betaal EN vet pret by die markdag te hê?


In the 10 – 12 age category:

Loki: A Bad God’s Guide To Being Good by Louie Stowell is a wry, witty and very funny diary-style story packed with doodles and comic strips about the frustration trickster god Loki feels at having to live trapped in the body of a weedy eleven-year-old boy. After one trick too many, Loki is banished to live on Earth as a “normal” schoolboy. Forbidden from using his AWESOME godly powers, Loki must show moral improvement.

Marieta Nel, skrywer van Blinkertjies in Pa se Baard, is ’n voormalige onderwyseres, is ’n kenner op die gebied van letterkundeopvoeding op skoolvlak. Sy het verskeie hoog-aangeskrewe studiegidse geskryf en is die medesamesteller van die gewilde kortverhaalbundels Sweef, Skreeu en Die Perfekte Brander.

In Sabotage on the Solar Express by M G Leonard billionaire train enthusiast, August Reza has invited Harrison Beck and Uncle Nat on the maiden voyage of the Solar Express – the winning design of his Reza’s Rocket competition. But during the journey, they discover the train has been sabotaged, hurtling passengers into a heart-stopping, action-packed, thrill ride across the Australian Outback. Can Hal find the saboteur and stop the runaway train before disaster strikes?

Skandar and the Unicorn Thief by A.F. Steadman brim with a wild adventure, fierce sky battles, elemental magic, ferocious unicorns and a terrifying enemy. Steadman’s cinematic writing draws you in from the very first page, creating a hugely compelling, unforgettable read. Endlessly thrilling, unputdownable and utterly unmissable.

In Ogress & Orphans by Kelly Barnhill fires, floods, and other calamities have caused the townsfolk to lose their library, their school, their park, and all sense of what it means to be generous, and kind. The people put their faith in the Mayor, a dazzling fellow who promises he alone can help. After all, he is a famous dragon slayer.


Picture books: 

Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a perennial favourite with children and adults alike. Its imaginative illustration and clever cut-out detail chart the progress of a very hungry caterpillar as he eats his way through the week.

Peppa’s starting a book club in Peppa Loves Reading! Mummy and Daddy Pig are reading the same book and Peppa finds out it’s for their very exciting book club. Peppa loves reading and wants one too! Mummy and Daddy Pig make a few phone calls and soon, Peppa and George’s friends arrive for their very own book club!

What is a Springbok without his spring? Just a… bok? When poor Springbok loses his spring, it is up to his friends to help him find it again – with hilarious consequences. The Bok Who Lost His Spring by Marleen Lammers is a humorous and touching story about recognising what makes you special and the power of friendship.

Faizel is back with a new adventure! A Gold Star for Faizel by Rafiek Mammon sees Faizel taking a big step and going to school for the first time. Does Faizel enjoy his first day at school and very importantly, will he be able to share his love of nature and the wonder of the stars with his classmates?

How To Count To One by Caspar Salmon is a hilariously bossy picture book about counting that children will love to outsmart! You know how to count, right? GREAT! There are LOADS of fun things to count in this book. Whales, baboons, rainbows, pyramids . . . There’s just a rule. You must ONLY ever count to ONE.

Teens and young adults: 

In Blood To Poison by Mary Watson Savannah is cursed. It’s a sinister family heirloom; passed down through the bloodline for hundreds of years, with one woman in every generation destined to die young. The family call them Hella’s girls, named for their ancestor Hella. Hella’s girls are always angry, especially in the months before they die. Each fit of rage is bringing her closer to the edge and now Savannah has to act to save herself. Or die trying.

Dreamers by Fanie Viljoen describes dancing is Byron Carelse’s life. It’s his energy, his passion, his happy place … his spark. When the rhythm takes hold of his body, he forgets about all the troubles waiting for him at home. One day, somebody spots Byron’s talent. Along with a group of other township kids, he gets the opportunity to take part in a show at a big arts festival. But what are you supposed to do when life tries to steal your dream from you?

Gallant by V.E. Schwab is a darkly magical and thrilling tale of a young woman caught between the world and its shadows, who must embrace her legacy to stop the approaching darkness. The Secret Garden meets Crimson Peak, perfect for fans of Neil Gaiman, Holly Black and Susan Cooper.

Northwind by Gary Paulsen is a stunning historical adventure with hints of Nordic mythology and an irresistible narrative pull, Northwind is Gary Paulsen at his captivating, adventuresome best.

As always, you can buy online, in-store, via phone (we’re massive fans of this phone in option) or, if you’re in an Uber Eats area, have your books delivered with dinner.

While book launches and events are slowly starting up again, Exclusive Books are still hosting authors on webinars and everyone who is signed up for fanatics will receive news about events. Follow them on FacebookInstagramTwitter or exclusivebooks.co.za

- Advertisement -


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Must Read

Love tea? Here’s why and how you should drink it

Ready-to-drink teas, functional teas and speciality teas come in all shapes, sizes and flavours. Then there‘s also tea-infused water, energy drinks, tea-based ice cream...

Enjoy the ride

Great options for your next family biking adventure With our country’s beautiful scenery, cultural history and unique flora, biking holidays and exploring the great outdoors...

Ten industry leaders doing extraordinary things

Sweet-Orr has partnered with 10 South African industry leaders to showcase their talent and celebrate their inspiring stories. It’s a salute to the hardworking men...

We go again!

We were invited to the official launch of this year’s Red Movement campaign at The Pencil Club in Umhlanga recently. The incredible initiative, spearheaded...

Five different retirement personas … which one are you? 

Like many things that require a long-term outlook and commitment, many of us tend to put off retirement planning until it's sometimes too late.  While...
Want more exclusive content?

Sign up for our monthly newsletter