The List – is the widest selection in years, making the offering truly ‘something for everyone’.

The campaign itself, Santa’s No 1 Supplier, is traditional and nostalgic, featuring Santa himself, with his trusty elves, amongst the treasure trove of bookshelves at Exclusive Books.

“This is a departure from Exclusive Books’ usual approach, where we would emphasise the general holiday aspect of the Season, rather than the particularity of Christmas. But our feeling for this year, post-covid and amidst our current challenging times, was that we all needed a bit of Festive magic and wonder, a universal need no matter how you choose to celebrate at the end of the year.” – Batya Bricker – Exclusive Books Marketing, Loyalty and Procurement – General Manager.

During the year, books are bought individually by each Exclusive Books store, each store curating their own selection, but for Christmas, The List is chosen with input from all store managers, and the result is a national selection with something for everyone. The books are chosen with various criteria in mind – the most important being “giftability” – the appeal of a book as a gift.

Our research shows that many of the customers who visit our stores during December are not necessarily regular book buyers themselves, but at the height of the Giving Season, come to a bookstore. Books are often the best, most thoughtful and affordable gift. “We also see a huge spike in the sale of Exclusive books gift cards – proving that the gift of our store experience, wondering around the bookstore and making your own selection, with an “open checkbook” as it were, is the most treasured gift of all.”

Exclusive Books have launched striking new gift wrap options that make a wrapped book a tantalising package for under the tree, with this gift-wrapped option also on offer for book gifts bought online at www.exclusivebooks.co.za.

Fanatics earn double points on all The List titles, from 1 November to 31 December, and there are a myriad of launches in our stores and digitally to celebrate new releases.

The catalogue, which features all the titles, is a bumper issue this year, jam packed with exclusive content, interviews and the ever-popular word search. Because gifting for children is such a priority at Christmas time, we have curated a bigger selection that ever in this category, with great gifts across all age groups.

Some trends


Gone are the days when a list of ten children’s books would suffice as ‘something for everyone’ in the children’s section.

The complexities of issues tackled in books for young readers mean that the selected list has to be wide and nuanced, the themes varied and carefully consider, with categories and genres more granular than ever.

Young Adult (age 16-20) is the very heart of Booktok territory with Karen McManus, Holy Jackson and Adam Silvera leading the pack, together with books like Babel and Olivie Blake’s The Atlas Paradox which start to speak of deeper, more complex, more thought provoking plots and characters.

For younger readers, together with classics like David Walliams and the Treehouse series, expect themes like gender, race, neurodiversity packaged for this age group. With giftability and wonder in mind, we have featured a glorious range of advent calendars, and boxed sets galore- from Dr Seuss to Harry Potter – which still offer tremendous value.

The South African book trade waits with baited breath for the announcement of the next Deon Meyer – both sales and hype depend on it.

Imagine the disappointment when the publisher announces ‘no Deon Meyer this year’! But in the lemons is always lemonade, and the Afrikaans fiksie list features impressive authors like Irma Venter, Chris Karsten and Madelein Rust – all worthy replacements for Deon’s proverbial place at the 2022 table.

Fiction spans from the Nicholas Spark romance and classic thrillers to heavyweights like John Boyne and John Irving, and ever popular bookclub authors Jodi Piccoult, Maggie O’ Farrell and Kate Atkinson. Apart from the classic pageturners, we feature the international rise and rise of cosy murders, the classic whodunnit – with books from Richard Osman and a compendium of new Miss Marple stories from 12 contemporary writers.

The List is littered with big personalities – either the subject of a book, or its author – local icons like Patrice Motsepe, Whitey Basson, Koos Bekker and Robert Marawa, lit greats like Agatha Christie and Bill Bryson, Terry Pratchett and Antjie Krog, modern day gurus from Ryan Holiday to Oscar Chalupsky and Gabor Mate, and always, books about books – Dan Smith’s A Short History of the World in 50 Books or DK’s Great Novels – the world’s most remarkable fiction explored and explained.

With her book, Becoming, Michelle Obama was affectionately known as ‘the woman who saved Christmas’ in 2021. Her new one – The Light we Carry – is also set to blaze a trail. With embargoes and absolutely no information offered, we’re all in suspense!

In cookery, pooh-pooh it if you like, but cooking in the airfryer is all the rage, and so the SA Airfryer Cookbook is a winner, but sits alongside the lush new Donna Hay or Sabrina Ghayour’s Persiana Everyday.

As we gather around our festive tables, local cooking is well-represented – Martelize Brink Oor die Kole, Zola Nene’s Seven Colours, or @dinewithneo bans boring from the table!

We complete our biggest-ever selection of 162 glorious titles with two South African classics – Madam & Eve and Zapiro.

The Exclusive Books Christmas List 2022 is indeed a big books list with big names, big themes and big lessons – the perfect accompaniment to your big end-of-year celebration.