Savour local literature at Exclusive Books’ Homebru events at stores nationwide

04 May 2024 - 09:42 By Helen Holyoake
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Exclusive Books' Homebru campaign celebrates literature that tastes like home, bru!
Exclusive Books' Homebru campaign celebrates literature that tastes like home, bru!
Image: Instagram/@exclusivebooks

Words matter. Whether they are spoken, written or signed, words are powerful enough to shape society, inspire fresh thought, connect people, and even change someone’s life.

Exclusive Books’ Homebru 2024 is a celebration of unique and quintessentially South African words — those we use to express ourselves, to capture our feelings and thoughts, and to share who we are and where we are right now. There is a quality your home tongue has that can’t be matched — that warm feeling that washes over you when you hear an Afrikaans rrrrolll or a Xhosa click.

These sounds bring us closer to home, and are best captured through the unique “Africanisms” that make our languages, and the books written in them, so undeniably good.

The Exclusive Books Homebru books 2024 capture how there is nothing quite like books from home, bru. Get your copy of the content-rich catalogue in store for a good chuckle, check out the Homebru Word of the Day at the counter, grab your free Homebru badges (always a hit with the bookish crowd), and, of course, as a Fanatic member, earn double points on all Homebru books purchased in May.

The Homebru books are rich and varied, with something for everyone.

For words that sing and dance off the page

Two important Homebru poetry books are Koleka Putuma’s We Have Everything We Need to Start Again and a tribute to poetry icon Bra Willie in Uhuru Portia Phalafala’s Keorapetse Kgositsile and the Black Arts Movement.

Is Durban the new literary hotspot?

With three Homebru books featuring Durban and KwaZulu-Natal as the backdrop — Shubnum Kahn’s The Lost Love of Akbar Manzil, Shafinaaz Hassim’s Darlings of Durban, and Ashwin Desai’s Durban Casbah — it seems the literary spotlight is shining its light on the province as a rich cultural melting pot.

Place — where we live, breathe, work and play — is much more than simply the backdrop to a story

In some ways, the setting is so central to our narratives that it becomes a character in itself. Think the dusty, charming Karoo of Sally Andrew’s Tannie Maria series captured in Recipes to Live For: A Tannie Maria Cookbook; the colourful, quirky Durban of Shubnum Khan; the gritty edginess of Joburg from Ivan Vladislavić or Niq Mhlongo; or the Draaie, swaaie en afdwaalpaaie of Corlia Fourie and Annelize van Rooyen.

Women writers represented

Explore women’s writing across the full spectrum of writing styles and genres — from Gail Schimmel’s page-turner The Finish Line and Irma Venter’s Al wat tel to light romances like I Do ... Don’t I? from Zibu Sithole and unputdownable fiction like Chanette Paul’s Anoniem

Every person has a story to tell

For an intimate look into the lives of some very different personalities, there’s Margie Orford’s memoir Love and Fury, former MK operative Marion Sparg’s Guilty and Proud, Dr Alastair McAlpine’s Prescription: Ice Cream, and Ebbe Dommisse’s Anton Rupert, available in English and Afrikaans.

Servings of Self-Mastery by Alistair Mokoena and Small Changes for Big Results by Warren Ingram mirror the explosion and increasing dominance of self-development and psychology titles on best-seller lists, both here and abroad. 

Current affairs covers everything from the Hawks and business/leadership wisdom to dogs protecting wildlife and a doctor’s perspective on what really matters.

The Homebru selection features very little politics — South Africans have fatigue when it comes to reading about the challenges we face — but there’s a touch of cheeky humour with Jonathan Ancer’s Bullshit: 50 Fibs That Made South Africa to lighten the mood.

Homebru Laaities

The children’s Homebru list is particularly special this year. We have chosen 11 books that are absolute must-haves for your child’s library. The list features the authors Fanie Viljoen, Jaco Jacobs, Zandile Ndhlovu and Chris van Wyk. Unforgettable characters include the real (Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi and Shudu Musida) and the imagined but just as memorable (Zoya, Naru and Gogo).

Buy them all to jump-start your laaitie’s home library!

Exclusive Books will also be hosting Homebru Laaities kids’ parties in numerous Exclusive Books stores, with Homebru Laaities treats, bingo, words searches and prizes on offer.

Homebru Festival of events

Aside from the brand-new addition of Homebru Laaities parties, the Homebru events line-up has gone back to a festival feel, with more than 70 events across the country, including innovative happenings like Homebru cocktail hour evenings and coffee mornings, murder mystery events, Instagram read-alongs, and an in-depth panel discussion in collaboration with the Sunday Times. Two pop-up Exclusive Books shops, leading with the Homebru range, at the country’s most important May book festivals, Franschhoek Literary Festival and Kingsmead Book Festival, will further satiate your appetite for local literature.

South Africans are gifted at finding the positive spin in almost anything, and the Homebru books on the shelves attest to this indomitable spirit of focusing on joy, entertainment, optimism and hope. Because, no matter what, there’s nothing like home, bru!

* Article provided by Helen Holyoake on behalf of Exclusive Books

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