25 New year reading delights…


A new year doesn’t have to mean a new you, but it should definitely mean new books. We’re clearing our bookshelves to make room for Exclusive Books’ 25 recommended titles for this month.

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

Ten fiction titles will appeal across any flavour of reader – Philippa Gregory’s Dark Tides is a gripping read spanning London, Venice and New England, all beautifully observed by Gregory. Douglas Stuart has won the Booker Prize for Shuggie Bain, his debut novel about a boy in 1980s Glasgow trying to support his mother as she struggles with addiction and poverty, and Bernhard Schlink, bestselling author of The Reader, speaks straight to the heart in his novel OlgaSeizure by Willie Currie is a comedy wrapped in a tragedy, underpinned by a fascinating quest. A typical South African selle ou storieWhen the Music Stops by Joe Heap is a treasure of a book.


Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam explores complex ideas about privilege and fate. Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline is the highly anticipated sequel to the beloved worldwide bestseller Ready Player One, the near-future adventure that inspired the blockbuster Steven Spielberg film. Mess by Dudu Busani-Dube is the fifth book in the popular Hlomu series centred around eight Zulu brothers from Mbuba village in Greytown, KZN. Each of the books is narrated by a woman drawn into the path of the brothers. The Autumn of the Ace by Louis de Bernières is an epic, touching book about what love can do. It is heartening stuff… White Ivy by Susie Yang is magic … and not soon to be forgotten.


In Beyond Entrepreneurship 2.0 by Jim Collins and Bill Lazier, you will discover that the goal to turn your business into an enduring great company is as relevant – and as within your reach – as ever. Hans Rosling’s memoir How I Learned to Understand the World is an inspirational read about a life that touched so many … This book provides a dose of hope in difficult times. In Learning Lessons Jonathan Jansen recounts, in his indomitable way, how the people in his life invested love, direction, encouragement (and even money) to make his journey possible – in the hope that his story may give inspiration and direction to generations of young people taking their first steps in adult life. Self-taught baker, Faaiza Omar is passionate about baking all things sweet and has curated her favourite recipes in her debut book. My Sweet Life is a book no keen baker should be without. Promise me, Dad by Jo Biden, The New York Times quotes ‘Honest, raw, and rich in detail. People who have lost someone will genuinely take comfort from what [Biden] has to say’.

Six Years with Al Qaeda by Tudor Caradoc-Davies is not just an incredible story of mental strength, physical endurance and the resilience of the human spirit, but also a unique, nuanced perspective on one of the world’s most feared terrorist organisations. Not only did Steve McGown survive his ordeal, but in many respects, he came out of the desert both a changed man and a stronger, more positive human. Most stories of mental illness go untold, hidden away, for fear of the stigma that mental illness holds. Marion Scher hopes her book Surfacing will inspire you to reach out for help for yourself or to offer encouragement to people you know who are battling secret demons. The Art of Fairness by David Bodanis is a delightful book about a vitally important subject – and David Bodanis is an enthralling storyteller. Peter Pickford’s To The Edge of the Earth spans four years and seven continents in his quest to document and champion the preservation of the most remote wilderness realms on earth. The keen minds of The Economist love to look beyond everyday appearances to find out what really makes things tick. In this latest collection Unconventional Wisdom, The Economist explains, they have gathered the weirdest and most counter-intuitive answers they’ve found in their endless quest to explain our bizarre world.


The last five titles are YA and Children’s. Matthew Cody’s hyperbolic superhero-movie narration and Yehudi Mercado’s vibrant, dynamic panels hit the sweet spot, marrying humour and heroics . . . perfection in Cat Ninja. In Don’t be shy, Bushbaby by Avril van der Merwe and illustrations by Heidi-Kate Greeff the other animals don’t understand why they never see Bushbaby, so they assume he is shy. One by one, they try to coax him out of his hole in the tree, but Bushbaby never appears. All, that is, except Owl, who has been silently observing the day’s events. For kids, by kids! with a little help from Ms Sibalicious! Let’s Cook is jam-packed with nutritious and delicious, easy-to-do meals and snacks for any occasion, from lunch boxes, to smoothies and so much more.

If you think monsters don’t exist, just ask author Theodora Hendrix. Theodora Hendrix and the Monstrous League of Monsters is the start of a brilliantly funny new series, perfect for fans of Amelia Fang. Philip Pullman quotes ‘Katherine Rundell author of The Wolf Wilder is a writer with an utterly distinctive voice and a wild imagination’.

You’ll find them all at Exclusive Books … you can shop in-store, online or telephonically, and if you’re in an area serviced by Uber, you can have them delivered with your food too.

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 Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or exclusivebooks.co.za