It's time to start ticking off those wish lists: Exclusive Books' festive catalogue has arrived

Book your spot under the Christmas tree with 'The Only Present You Can Open Twice'

20 November 2023 - 09:30
There's something for everyone in this year's Exclusive Books festive catalogue, which features 130 handpicked titles.
Image: Exclusive Books There's something for everyone in this year's Exclusive Books festive catalogue, which features 130 handpicked titles.

It’s that time of the year; the last stretch until feet are put up, braai stands are wheeled out and those “let’s circle back to this in the new year” emails can be sent out. But what’s more, if you listen closely — past the Bokke chants and the rustling matric papers — the faint hum of Christmas whispers.

Need to start ticking off those wish lists? You’ll find the ideal read for each of your family and friends in the Exclusive Books bumper festive catalogue. 

Pairing the right book to the right person is the very definition of “thoughtful gifting”. As the tagline of the retailer's holiday campaign points out, books are also “The Only Present You Can Open Twice”. First you get the joy of peeling back the glittering gift wrap and revealing the book's cover. Then you get the pleasure of opening the book itself and discovering the magic between its pages — an experience you can enjoy again and again until you reach the final full stop.

Pairing the right book to the right person is the very definition of 'thoughtful gifting'

There's something for everyone in this year's festive catalogue, which features 130 hand-picked titles. This includes everything from engrossing fictional worlds to historical narratives, on-the-nose humour to sumptuous cookery, sensational sports stories to cheerful children’s picks and so much more.

On the fiction shelf, South African literary heavyweight Deon Meyer marks his return in the much-awaited Leo. Other “unputdownable” beloved authors with new instalments include John Grisham, Ken Follett, Richard Osman and Terry Hayes — after 10 years! A special mention goes to The Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese, who has swept the world over with his lyrical meditation on spirituality and lineage.

If you’re looking for historic storytelling written by feminist icons, Philippa Gregory’s Normal Women and Mary Beard’s Emperor of Rome ticks both boxes. Those searching for recipes for exuberant dishes will find them in Nostalgie by Herman Lensing and Khanyisa — a culinary storyteller by Khanyisa Malabi.

Discover more about the rugby maverick, Rassie Erasmus, in Rassie: Stories of Life and Rugby, and go beyond the track with Caster Semenya’s The Race to Be Myself. From tech to pop culture, Walter Isaacson explores the true nature of Elon Musk in a revelatory memoir, and K-Pop giants BTS are celebrated in their 10-year anniversary biography.

Household favourite series The Gruffalo, Mr Men and Little Miss, Dork Diaries, Diary of a Wimpy Kid and the new David Walliams — The Blunders — make a gleeful appearance in the children's selection. Little readers are sure to love these works by local authors: Refiloe Moahloli’s A Friend for all Seasons, Shudufhadzo Musida’s I am Shudu and Jaco Jacobs' As Long as It’s Not a Dog!

For the young adults, “romantasy” (a swoony mix between romance and fantasy) is all the rage in The Stolen Heir by Holly Black, and love is embraced in all its forms in Alice Oseman’s Heartstopper Volume 5 and David Arnold’s I Loved You in Another Life

In addition to highly recommended reads, the 2023 festive catalogue boasts exclusive content, author interviews, the ever-popular annual word search with unmissable competitions and stocking filler ideas.

Read the catalogue (below), then shop the featured titles online or at your nearest Exclusive Books store. Fanatics members who do so will earn double future discounts on their purchases until the end of December.

This article was sponsored by Exclusive Books which, in turn, is a proud sponsor of the Sunday Times Literary Awards. Click here to see which local authors' books clinched the coveted non-fiction and fiction prizes this year.