Book lovers share their best Christmas buys

December 3, 2014

A few weeks ago, desperate for a recommendation for a good book, I messaged Leigh, the PR at Exclusive Books, for some ideas. She sent some ideas, and for the last few weeks I have immersed myself in some awesome books. Since they’re always surrounded by books and always reading, I thought who better to ask for their Christmas wishlists than the gals from E Books. You might want to bookmark this list, or take it with you on your next shopping trip.

Talita van Graan, events coordinator, Exclusive Books

Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable by Susie Dent

I’ve always wanted my own copy of this iconic reference book that is a cornerstone in any avid reader or writer’s library. As Terry Pratchett puts it, this book of facts, fables and curiosities is: “An idiosyncratic adventure, pulling you in and saying ‘this is, in fact, not what you were looking for; but it’s much more interesting’.

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150 Stories by Nataniel

An outspoken and controversial figure, Nataniël has a massive cult following. His popular Kaalkop column has been appearing in SARIE magazine for the past 10 years, and this is a much-coveted collection of 150 brand new stories. Although the Nataniël-effect might be entirely lost on an English-speaking audience (even though 50% of the stories are in English), he is something of a bald, makeup-wearing demi-god to the Afrikaans crowd, having no equal in his characteristic dialect and impeccable turn of phrase that makes you laugh even as he deftly cuts your heart to shreds. I cannot wait to schlep this book around with me throughout the December holidays, dipping in and out the short stories while I dunk a homemade rusk into a cup of strong boeretroos.

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We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler

Sometimes a book jumps out at you, and this is one of them. The title piqued my curiosity from the first time I heard it, and it was my secret favourite to win the 2014 The Man Booker Prize. Sadly it didn’t take top honours, but it has been sitting in the corner, the bright yellow cover gently glowing at me and begging me to come and inhabit the book. Sometimes you just know, you know?

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler

Mede-wete by Antjie Krog

Antjie Krog is perhaps the best Afrikaans poet alive today. She published her first award-winning poetry collection at the age of 16, and at 62, she is at the dizzying height of her literary powers. This is her first poetry collection published in 8 years, and just holding it in my hands after such a long wait makes me swoon with pure delight and heady anticipation.

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Leigh Jackman, PR and CSI manager


Photography by Tom Ang

I love loving photography. Other peoples photography because I can’t be bothered to read the manual (any manual) so I let others do the work and then just admire it. This book would be a prime centre piece in my lounge.


The Collected Works of AJ Fikry by Gabrille Levin

I started reading this book in our Rosebank Store while I was waiting to meet a friend. When she arrived my heart sank a little as I knew that I had to put it back on the shelf. The war raged in my head to buy it and add it to the pile of 5 books next to my bed waiting for some TLC or to put it back until I was ready to read it. The latter won but I have not been able to stop thinking about it since that day. 2 months ago. Its the biggest Book Crush I have ever had.

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We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler

Call me a narcissist but this title just resonates with me as something I would say. And the back cover already has me sucked in. Im ready to go…all I need is a big couch, a glass of wine and a dead phone.

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler

Roald Dahl Box Set

I am not a mother yet. But I know that when I become a mother my child would be lost in this world without The Witches, the BFG and James and the Giant Peach. I just couldn’t bear the responsibility of that.

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Rene Grobbelaar, marketing manager

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The Fashion Book

I love beautiful hardcover Phaidon coffee table books which are made for pure browsing pleasure. This is my one of the year.

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Secrets of a French Cooking Class by Marlene van der Westhuizen

Marlene van der Westhuizenis known for her delightful combinations of French and Cape cooking which have your mouth watering throughout. The unique format of this book really makes it stand out from the strong list of new cookbooks published in 2014.

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The Woman Who Stole My Life by Marian Keyes

Marian Keyes is my secret pleasure author. Her writing is like a bubble bath and a glass of wine. Just what you need after a tough year. I saved this book as my beach read but cracked last weekend and started it and have not been remotely disappointed.

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Timmy Failure by Stephan Pastis

My son and I tremendously enjoyed the Diary of a Wimpy kids series and after ploughing through those we discovered this delightful series about a kid detective and his sidekick dog.

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1 Comment

  • cat@jugglingact

    Oh I love book recommendations and thoroughly loved and enjoyed The Collected works of AJ Fikry.

    December 3, 2014 at 8:31 am Reply
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