This Christ­mas, do it by the book

There’s some­thing for ev­ery­one on the shelves, be it crime, bi­ogra­phies or cook­ing, writes BIANCA CA­PA­ZO­RIO

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS -

WHETHER you’re look­ing for a gift for the bib­lio­phile in your life this Christ­mas or sim­ply want to spoil your­self this hol­i­day sea­son, Week­end Ar­gus has rounded up the top 20 reads rec­om­mended by South African book­sell­ers to help you choose. FIC­TION:

The Lan­guage of Flow­ers by Vanessa Dif­f­en­baugh. Rec­om­mended by Exclusive Books and The Book Lounge. The book uses the Vic­to­rian lan­guage of flow­ers to tell the story of Vic­to­ria Jones, a wo­man un­able to get close to any­body af­ter years spent in foster care.

The Mar­riage Plot by Jef­frey Eu­genides. Rec­om­mended by Exclusive Books. The new novel by the author of the ac­claimed Mid­dle­sex is de­scribed as a “funny and heart­break­ing” story of young love.

The Help by Kathryn Stock­ett. Rec­om­mended by Pen­guin. The movie ver­sion of this novel was re­leased ear­lier this year and re­ceived rave re­views. It’s the tale of African-amer­i­can maids work­ing for white fam­i­lies in the Deep South in the 1960s.

The Art of Field­ing by Chad Har­bach. Rated the top novel of 2011 by book­selling web­site Ama­zon. The book, set in Michi­gan, com­bines hu­man drama with base­ball. LIFE STO­RIES:

Tutu: The Au­tho­rised Por­trait by Alis­tair Sparks and Mpho Tutu. Rec­om­mended by Exclusive Books and Kalk Bay Books. This bi­og­ra­phy was re­leased to co­in­cide with the Arch­bishop Emer­i­tus’ 80th birth­day ear­lier this year.

David Kramer: A Bi­og­ra­phy by Dawid de Vil­liers and Mathilda Slab­bert. Rec­om­mended by Exclusive Books.

This book, re­searched over four years, re­veals “new facts about David Kramer’s pri­vate life in­clud­ing his bat­tle with de­pres­sion”. The book is also avail­able in Afrikaans.

Steve Jobs by Wal­ter Isaac­son. Rec­om­mended by Kalk Bay Books. “This book chron­i­cles the roller­coaster life and sear­ingly in­tense per­son­al­ity of a creative en­tre­pre­neur whose pas­sion for per­fec­tion and fe­ro­cious drive rev­o­lu­tionised six in­dus­tries: per­sonal com­put­ers, an­i­mated movies, mu­sic, phones, tablet com­put­ing, and dig­i­tal pub­lish­ing,” says Kalk Bay Books’ Ann Don­ald.

Fred­die Mer­cury by Les­ley-ann Jones. Rec­om­mended by Exclusive Books. Jones toured with Queen and this book presents exclusive and in-depth de­tails of the front man of one of the world’s most fa­mous rock bands – pro­vid­ing an ex­cel­lent gift for fans of the band. KIDS:

The Diary of a Wimpy Kid se­ries by Jeff Kinney. Rec­om­mended by Exclusive Books, Pen­guin and The Book Lounge. The new­est in­stal­ment in this pop­u­lar se­ries, Cabin Fever, will make a great stock­ing stuffer for the lit­tle book­worms on your list.

Again! by Emily Gravett. Rec­om­mended by Exclusive Books, the Book Lounge, and Kalk Bay Books. The story of a stub­born dragon who wants to hear his favourite story over and over.

Dead­lands by Lily Hearne. Rec­om­mended by The Book Lounge. This Young Adult novel, set in Cape Town is de­scribed as “the best zom­bie read ever” by staff at the city book­store.

Dark Poppy’s Demise by S A Par­tridge. Rec­om­mended by The Book Lounge. It’s a book about find­ing friends online and the dan­gers of the wrong love. SOUTH AFRICAN:

Zoo City by Lauren Beukes. Rec­om­mended by Kalk Bay Books. An Arthur C Clarke award-win­ning ur­ban fan­tasy set in Jo­han­nes­burg that is per­fect for sci-fi and fan­tasy fans alike.

Track­ers by Deon Meyer. Rec­om­mended by Exclusive Books, which calls this “the finest novel yet from the King of South African fic­tion”.

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