“At a time when heroes are in short supply, we are excited to welcome two larger- than- life legends to our shelves – Siya Kolisi and Johnny Clegg. Both started out as ordinary boys, and with hard work, a passion for their craft, and a touch of luck, rose to become the South African icons they are today. There is magic in both stories, and no doubt both are going to be the Christmas gift of choice this year.” Batya Bricker – Exclusive Books Marketing, Loyalty and Procurement – General Manager Exclusive Books.

28 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 28 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 September.

There are 12 enticing fiction titles for September. A Narrow Door by Joanne Harris is a dark world of emotional complexity and betrayal, where twist follows twist and nothing is what it seems. A masterful narrative voice, and a compulsive thriller from one of our greatest writers. The Country of Others by Leïla Slimani is the story of two nations at war, two cultures at loggerheads, and one family torn apart is as tenderly observed as it is devastatingly true. Louise Candlish author of The Heights is the queen of the sucker-punch twist. In Thursday Murder Club 02: The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman, Elizabeth has just had a visit from a man she thought was dead. It’s (one of) her ex-husbands, and he’s being hunted. His story involves some diamonds, some spies, and a very angry mobster.

More Than I Love My Life by David Grossman is a novel driven by faith in humanity even in our darkest moments, it asks us to confront our deepest held beliefs about a woman’s duty to herself and to her children. Never Saw me Coming by Vera Kurian is fresh, fast-paced and fiendishly clever! If you love watching true crime and wonder about the psychopaths among us, this is the book for you! Snow Country is a landmark novel of exquisite yearnings, dreams of youth and the sanctity of hope. In elegant, shimmering prose, Sebastian Faulks has produced a work of timeless resonance. The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois by Honoree Fanonne Jeffers is as brilliant as it is necessary, as intimate as it is expansive.

In The Fire Portrait author Barbara Mutch shows great skill in crafting a gripping and soul-searching story. The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams is an uplifting, life-affirming read about community, grief, unlikely friendships where they’re needed most and-most importantly-books. The Reading List is a love letter to the power of storytelling. Velvet Was The Night by author Silvia Moreno-Garcia highlights a chameleon writer with incredible writing skills. I Shot The Devil by Ruth McIver is the story of a community imploding and long buried secrets, this is a stunning portrayal of teenage hysteria and sexuality.

Eleven titles are on the non-fiction list for September. For 14-year-old Johnny Clegg, hearing Zulu street music as plucked on the strings of a guitar by Charlie Mzila one evening outside a corner café in Bellevue, Johannesburg, was one such ‘magical’ moment. The success story of Juluka and later Savuka, and the cross-cultural celebration of music, language, story, dance and song that stirred the hearts of millions across the world, is well documented in Scatterling of Africa. Siya Kolisi’s RISE from humble beginnings to lifting that World Cup trophy is the stuff of fairytales. In Simply Seasonal by Ilse van der Merwe readers can discover the seasons wherever they live and keep home cooking simple, local, joyful and unapologetically personal. As Mynie Steffens author of Playing With Fire admits herself, she is a self-confessed braai addict and has been cooking over fire since the age of 10! She says: “Everything tastes so much better when it’s cooked over fire…I find any reason possible, to organise an epic, all-day braai.”

Andile Khumalo quotes “Ian Fuhr author of Cultureneering taught me the valuable lesson that, without the right culture, businesses cannot effectively serve their customers.” Expensive Poverty by Greg Mills reveals why elites profit from poverty, and exploit aid, and how we can change this system. Written with Thomas Erikson’s signature humour and warmth, Surrounded by Bad Bosses (and Lazy Employees) will help you deal with the most hopeless managers and employees you can imagine- and keep you entertained along the way. IDI AMIN by Mark Leopold is sharply written, forensically researched…A meticulours re-examination of Amin’s life, producing a narrative packed with origional evidence, and one that strives at all times to be scrupulously well balanced.

The Poisoners by Imraan Coovadia is not merely a book of history. It is also a meditation, by a most perceptive commentator, on the meaning of race, on the unhappy history of black and white in southern Africa, and on the nature of good and evil. Experiencing Henn Kim’s work in Starry Night, Blurry Dreams makes for a surreal but serene whole…vulnerable, sweet yet complicated love stories that anyone can relate to. In Living Deserts of Southern Africa author Barry Lovegrove unravels many of the mysteries associated with life in the region’s four desert biomes: Desert, Arid Savanna, Succulent Karoo and Nama-Karoo.

The last five titles are YA and Children’s. Downstairs Girl by is a triumph of storytelling. A bold portrait of this country’s past, brilliantly painted wit, heartbreak, and unflinching honesty. Everyone needs to read this book. Grown by Tiffany D. Jackson exposes the underbelly of a tough conversation, providing a searing examination of misogynoir, rape culture, and the vulnerability of young black girls. Groundbreaking, heart-wrenching, and essential reading for all in the #MeToo era. It End with Us by Colleen Hoover is a brave and heartbreaking novel that digs its claws into you and doesn’t let go, long after you’ve finished it. In Take You With Me When You Go by David Levithan & Jennifer Niven Ezra wakes one day to find his sister gone. No note, no sign, nothing but an email address hidden somewhere only he would find it. Escaping their toxic home life, Bea finds herself alone in a new city- without friends, without a real plan- chasing someone who might not even want to be found. Small Favors by Erin A Craig is as dark and romantic as it haunting, it is an eerie fairytale that is a real page turner.