This Christmas, do it by the book
There’s something for everyone on the shelves, be it crime, biographies or cooking, writes BIANCA CAPAZORIO
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”.