“It is a significant publishing milestone, reflective of the life cycle of the local book industry, to have two South African icons, national treasures, feature on EB Recommends list for January: Jan van der Westhuizen – the first South African chef to obtain a Michelin Star, and Damon Galgut, the third South African to win the Man Booker Prize.” – Batya Bricker – Exclusive Books Marketing, Loyalty and Procurement – General Manager.


Exclusive Books 25 recommended titles are merchandised in front of all their stores every month and are carefully curated in different categories – local authors, fiction and non-fiction, plus young adult and children’s. The aim is to assist customers to see at a glance, and in a short space of time, titles that are new, trending and have caught the eyes of the Exclusive Books buyers in among 1000’s and 1000’s of titles. There are choices for all age groups and genre tastes.
All 25 titles are presented on dedicated Exclusive Books Recommends display units where the books are grouped together with shelf talkers in-store for the entire month of the promotion. Fanatics members also earn a whopping 200 bonus points on their purchases from the list during January.

There are 10 fiction titles for January. Beasts Of A Little Land by Juhea Kim is stunning. This novel will devastate you! The Book Of Magic is full of Alice Hoffman’s bewitching and lucid prose and vivid characters … ultimately about the very human magic of family and love and actions that echo through generations… it casts a spell. In Christopher by Nozuko Siyotula, Vuyo returns to the area where her family origins lie, pregnant with twins, and mourning the drowning death of her husband, Christopher, a transplanted Scot. From Vuyo we move back up the rungs of the family tree. The Dark Remains by William McIlvanney and Ian Rankin is fantastic – like witnessing Scottish noir’s Big Bang creation in the company of its greatest living exponent… Like Maradona and Messi playing in the same team. Welcome to Roslazny – a sleepy Russian town where intrigue and murder combine to disturb the icy silence… Olga Pushkin, Railway Engineer and would-be bestselling author, spends her days in a little rail-side hut with only Dmitri the hedgehog for company is a little taste of what you will read in Death on the Trans-Siberian Express by C. J. Farrington.

In Go Tell the Bees that I am Gone by Diana Gabaldon Jamie Fraser and Claire Randall were torn apart by the Jacobite Rising of 1745, and it took them twenty years to find each other again. Now the American Revolution threatens to do the same. Readers of Heather Morris’s The Tattooist of Auschwitz and watchers of The Queen’s Gambit won’t want to miss this amazing debut The Last Checkmate by Gabriella Saab set during World War II. Rachel’s Holiday by Marian Keys is fleet-footed, bracingly honest, funny, sexy, heart-breaking. ‘The many voices of The Promise by Damon Galgut tell a story in four snapshots, each one centered on a family funeral, each one happening in a different decade. In the background, a different president is in power, and a different spirit hangs over the country. It’s Friday the 13th and Diana is an ambitious young appraiser at Sotheby’s in New York. She’s about to go on a long-awaited holiday, where she knows Finn, her surgeon boyfriend, will propose and the next stage of her carefully planned life will begin. But it is Friday the 13th of March 2020. This is the premise of Jodi Picoult’s latest Wish You Were Here.

There are ten non-fiction titles for January. Corruptible by Brian Klaas is Illuminating and reveals why some people and systems are more likely to be corrupted by power than others. The inspiration behind Restaurant Klein JAN did not come from a desire to create a fine dining experience in the middle of the Kalahari. It came from the heart – from the tables of his childhood – memories that he has taken with him into an unknown land. Klein Jan Cookbook by Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen is testament to his inspiration. To read International Brigade Against Apartheid edited by Ronnie Kasrils is both to remember the past and to recognise what needs to be built in the present. Leading In Tough Times by John C. Maxwell is the ultimate guide to helping your team survive and even thrive when the unexpected happens. Learn how to lead well and grow your team amidst challenges and tough times.

Never Give Up by Bear Grylls is a rocket-fuelled adventure! The End of Money by David Buckham, Robyn Wilkinson and Christiaan Straeuli is fascinating and, at times, a shocking book. Time and Chance by Lazarus Zim is an account, in a variety of contrasting images, voices and experiences gained from travelling the world in pursuit of business, where the author, industrious B-BBEE enthusiast, recounts his journey to become one of South Africa’s business leaders. The Uncomfortable Truth About Racism by John Barnes is brilliantly written and a genuinely important book.

What Does Rain Smell Like by Simon King & Clare Nasir is a clear, succinct and engaging answers to every question you could ask about the weather. The Women of Rothschild by Natalie Livingstone is a captivating, intimate, dazzling epic and revelatory.

The last five titles are YA and Children’s. This series by M. G. Leonard & Sam Sedgman just gets better and better and is evident in Danger at Dead Man’s Pass. Today’s going to be an amazing day, and here’s why: because you’re holding the book Dear Evan Hansen (Film Tie-In) by Val Emmich, Steven Levenson, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. Life happens in the shadows. That’s why a war is brewing against an enemy no one can see. But as the dead begin to outnumber the living, a mother’s experience and a daughter’s instinct can make one powerful arsenal is a teaser to what you will expect in City of the Dead by James Patterson and Mindy McGinnis. Here’s To Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera is romantic, realistic and sweet, and perfectly captures New York, teenage love and life in that grey area when you’re not quite an adult and not quite a child either. Taking Selfies With a Sheep by Jaco Jacobs is about a troublemaker about to get kicked out of school. An eccentric grandmother with a canary yellow Land Rover and a camera. A girl who loves books. A sheep that turns into an internet sensation overnight. A long dusty road. An unforgettable journey.