While we might live in the internet era where everything is digitized and super efficient it doesn’t mean that our love affair with literature is over. People still love to read an old fashioned, printed book and no matter your interests there is a genre for you: thriller, comedy, horror, suspense, romance, fantasy, mystery, etc. And that doesn’t begin to include non-fiction on how-to-do everything! Everyone knows at least one bookworm so why not treat your reading-obsessed loved one with a good book this Christmas? Leisure Books, South Africa’s largest and oldest book club, have been trusted guides for the last 35 years in guiding millions of bookworms on what to buy and now they’re sharing their four favourites for the season with us! Each represents a trending topic or literary genre and is a must for any good bookshelf.

1. Silence of the Sea, by Yrsa Sigurdardottir:

Crime and thrillers are the most popular genres with Scandinavian crime fiction having become increasingly popular over the past 10 years. Beginning in the ‘90s with Maj Sojöwall and Per Wahlöö’s ‘Martin Beck’ series, the genre took off with Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy which includes the popular The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo. Yrsa Sigurdardottir, aka the Queen of Nordic Noir, follows on from her peers’ literary successes with her award-winning crime novel Silence of the Sea. It’s been acclaimed as Yrsa’s most chilling novel yet and uncovers the plight of a cursed yacht whose occupants are found to have mysteriously disappeared as it docks in Reykjavik harbour. Yrsa’s known for her spooky writing and bloody horror. She attributes this to her Icelandic upbringing where tales of boiling children and eating them alive are common. Ironically Iceland statistically only has one murder a year.

Silence of the Sea is available in English in soft cover for members at R165 (non-member R195), Ebook for members at R158.60 (non-member R162.60).

2. Split, by Debbie Loots:

This artist from Polokwane’s debut novel, Split, has everyone talking. Split was the first book to be discussed on RSG’s new book club programme by well-known presenter Martelize Brink, and has recommendations from both Anchien Troskie and Marita van der Vyver. The story is set in the 70s and 80s – in places like Randfontein, Pietersburg and Durban – and is told from the viewpoint of four different characters.

Available in English and Afrikaans, in soft cover for members at R205 (non-member R240), or ebook for members at R168 (non-member R240).


3. Braids: Step by Step, by Laura Arnesen and Marie Wivel:

Hot right now among A-list celebrity circles, braids are “in”. Including fishtail plaits, side braids, on-trend milkmaid braids, everyone from Khloe Kardashian, Jennifer Lawrence and Taylor Swift is wearing the new do. Danish Instagrammers may have pioneered the trend in 2013 when they decided to try different braiding techniques and document them online for others to follow. The styles were a hit and were shared by thousands of young women, making it all the way to this years’ red carpet and swanky do’s. Braids’ user-friendly how-to guides can turn anyone into a master braider.

Available in English and Afrikaans – retails for R125 (non-member R150).

4. Kreatiewe Inkleurboek vir Grootmense 3 & 4, by Michael Omara:

What began in 2011 by British children’s book author Joanna Basford, author of The Enchanted Forest and The Secret Garden, has become a global pastime: colouring-in books for adults. Joanna has sold millions of her intricate “inky adventures” and many other artists/ authors have followed suit. Its joy is the mindfulness that colouring-in allows. Most urban adults live a blurry life of dashing from A to B, enslaved by an always-on device of interruption in their pockets or handbags. Colouring-in an exquisite template is said to be blissful, calming and meditative. It’s also something that non-artistic people can easily enjoy too.

Available in English and Afrikaans, in for members at R115 (non-member R135) each or R210 for both.

All four of Leisure Books’ best books for Christmas are available for purchase online or mail order through the Leisure Books website. For more recommended reads and other member benefits, join the Leisure Books community.