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What's s really hot between the covers this Christmas?

By unknown | Dec 18, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Robert Laing

Robert Laing

Local is lekker this Christmas, with eight South African books in Exclusive Books' top 10 best seller list.

Besides local writer John van de Ruit's Spud, which has its third Christmas in the top 10, the only other fiction in the bestseller list is American crime writer Patricia Cornwell's Book of the Dead.

Exclusive Books retail director, Jill van Zyl, said: "The quality of local books has improved."

This has helped local publishers attract interest at international book fairs. For instance, while Ivan Vladislavic's collection of stories about his home town, Portrait with Keys: The City of Johannesburg Unlocked, is not in the local top 10, it is now distributed worldwide by British publisher Portobello Books.

The perennial best-selling Christmas present in South Africa is the annual John Platter's South African Wine Guide. The reason it's not at No 1 yet is probably because shops received their copies two weeks ago.

South Africa's obsession with sport is reflected in the best seller list, with Jake White's biography the current bestseller.

Sadly, the local New Age self-help reading public is behind the times, and buying Rhonda Byrne's The Secret when's bestseller list shows Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia is now the world's top seller.

With all eyes on Polokwane this past weekend, it is hardly surprising that three of the local top 10 sellers deal with current politics.

Former ANC parliamentarian Andrew Feinstein's After the Party is the third biggest seller, followed by Mark Gevisser's Thabo Mbeki: The Dream Deferred.

Asked how it feels to be overtaken by Jeremy and Jacqui Mansfield's cookbook, Sunday Times columnist David Bullard said his Screw It, Let's Do Lunch is outselling Virgin tycoon Richard Branson's book with a similar title locally. He takes further solace from the recent books by two rival Sunday Times columnists failing to reach the top 10.


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