The Alibi Club by Jaco van Schalkwyk


In 1998 a young South African arrives in Brooklyn, New York. He becomes a bartender at The Alibi, a dive full of blue-collar workers, drug dealers, music lovers and Guinness.

At The Alibi, locals play pool and watch Jeopardy! as triple-A-listers from Manhattan eye their neighbourhood’s tree-lined avenues and buy up its historical brownstones. Soon soya milk and organic vegetables take up shelf space where cheap cleaning products and anaemic limes used to be. The Alibi is also the place from where its regulars experience the attack on the World Trade Center in 2001, which leaves New York dripping with distrust while terror ripens on its sidewalks.

The Alibi Club, Jaco van Schalkwyk’s poignant debut novel, is a unique document about a city, a neighbourhood, and the lives of individuals, all changed irrevocably.


About the Author


Jaco van Schalkwyk was born in 1979 and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, where he was the recipient of the Pratt Circle Award for Academic Achievement in 2003 and editor of The Prattler. He returned to South Africa in 2008. Van Schalkwyk is an artist. His work, available through Gallery aop in Johannesburg, has been included in private and corporate collections in South Africa, the United States and Europe.

View Jaco‘s website HERE

Published by Umuzi (An imprint of Random House Struik)

ISBN: 9781415207178


A Bit of Difference by Sefi Atta

Exposing the differences between the foreign images of Africa and the realities of contemporary Nigerian life.


At thirty-nine, Deola Bello, a Nigerian expatriate in London, is dissatisfied with being single and working overseas. Deola works as a financial reviewer for an international charity, and when her job takes her back to Nigeria in time for her father’s five-year memorial service, she finds herself turning her scrutiny inward. In Nigeria, Deola encounters changes in her family and in the urban landscape of her home, and new acquaintances who offer unexpected possibilities. 

Through Sefi’s characteristic boldness and vision, readers are presented with a novel that perfectly encapsulates life’s truth beyond that of the book’s central character, while exposing the differences between foreign images of Africa and the realities of contemporary Nigerian life.


About the Author

sefi atta

Sefi Atta is the author of two previous novels, Everything Good Will Come and Swallow (published by Jacana in 2010), and a collection of short stories, News from Home. Her first novel won her the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa and her short stories the NOMA Award for Publishing in Africa. Her novels have been published around the world and translated into numerous languages, and her radio and stage plays have been performed internationally. She was born in Lagos, educated in Nigeria, the UK and the US, and now lives in the USA.

View Sefi‘s website HERE

View Sefi‘s Facebook page HERE

Published by Jacana Media

ISBN: 9781431420858



The Arrogance of Power by Xolela Mangcu


Intense, involved, edgy … at best, his work is brilliant’ - Riaan de Villiers, journalist, in reviewing this book in manuscript.

Dr Xolela Mangcu has earned a reputation as one of South Africa’s most vibrant and engaging public voices. This new book is a collection of his columns written for local and international newspapers over the past fifteen years.

Vivid, polemical and poignant, it records the initial excitement – and growing disillusionment – of a leading black intellectual about post-apartheid government, notably the administrations of Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma, and the growing realisation that achieving real liberation in South Africa will require an even longer struggle than he had once believed.

On Biko: A Biography, Mangcu’s previous book:
‘Brilliant … a landmark’ – Prof Jeff Peires, Rhodes University
‘A must-read’…’ – Ngugi wa Thiong’o
‘A colourful commentator .. bringing together a wealth of information … authoritative.” – Business Day
‘Xolela Mangcu is nothing if not inspirational.’ – Slipnet

About the Author


Dr Xolela Mangcu is an internationally respected analyst and commentator and often quoted in South African media.

Based at the University of Cape Town, he is a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington D.C. He was Executive Director of the Human Sciences Research Council and has held fellowships at Harvard University; the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Rockefeller Foundation. He also chairs the prestigious Sunday Times Alan Paton Awards.

Mangcu has written weekly columns for the Sunday Independent, Business Day and the Weekender, and is a guest analyst for the BBC, CNN and Al-Jazeera. He has authored and co-authored six books, the latest Becoming Worthy Ancestors:Archive, Identity and Public Deliberation in Democratic South Africa

The Sunday Times has called Mangcu ‘possibly the most prolific public intellectual in South Africa.’  Peter Vale, professor of humanities at the University of Johannesburg described him as ‘the most interesting, certainly the most engaging voice amongst the new generation of public intellectuals in South Africa.’ 


Follow Xolela on Twitter @XMangcu

Published by Tafelberg (An imprint of Random House Struik)

ISBN: 9780624070771

Weber Braai Bible by Jamie Purviance


Weber Braai Bible is an all-in-one masterclass on every aspect of outdoor cooking. Whether you cook with gas or charcoal, this comprehensive guide contains everything an avid kettle braai enthusiast needs to know. Learn how to grill the perfect steak or ribs, butterfly a leg of lamb, cook chicken wings and legs without burning them, and smoke a turkey. Tips and techniques lift the lid on the secrets of successful braaiing, while chapters on marinades, rubs and sauces tempt you to find your signature flavours. From kebabs, chops and burgers to elaborate rotisseries, braaied vegetables, pizza on the grill, and banana s’mores, this book is packed with delicious recipes for all-year-round braaiing. If braaiing is part of your lifestyle, and you want to take your outdoor cooking to the next level, you don’t need to look further than Weber Braai Bible.

Ook beskikbaar in Afrikaans 

Buy your copy of Weber Braai Bible from any Bargain Books store nationwide and you could win one of four Weber Compact Kettle Braais valued at R1900 each! Details in store. Click here to find your closest Bargain Books store. 


About the Author


Jamie Purviance, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, is an accomplished chef. The author of a number of best-selling cookbooks for the Weber company, he has helped millions of people all over the world learn to barbecue like professionals.

View Jamie‘s Facebook page HERE

Follow Jamie on Twitter @JamiePurviance

View Weber‘s website HERE

Published by Struik Lifestyle (An imprint of Random House Struik)

ISBN: 9781432304072

Karatekas 1: Friends & Betrayal by Anzil Kulsen


Warren was the best karateka of the dojo during the last championships. He discovers that his best friend Divan, who has already earned a red belt, is jealous of him. The relationship between them becomes more complicated when Warren is also selected to attend a big championship in Durban. To Warren’s dismay he learns that his mother does not have the funds to pay his entrance fees. Kyla spends time with Warren and Warren starts to doubt Divan’s intentions more and more. Will Warren be able to attend the championships in Durban? How will he choose between Divan and Kyla?


About the Author


Anzil Kulsen is a well known youth book author of Upington. More than 20,000 of her debut novel for teens, Zita, has been sold. She regularly publishes in magazines and is passionate about reading and children. Her day job involves teaching children and adults to read and write. In this series she tries her hand at books for younger children for the first time, and does it superbly.

View Anzil‘s Facebook page HERE

Published by Struik Kinders (An imprint of Random House Struik)

ISBN: 9781432304584


150 Stories by Nataniël


This extensive collection of stories by the inimitable Nataniël will make an ideal Christmas gift for any of his fans! His unique voice and style, his quirky and sharp humour, his empathy for the outcast and outsider, make him an important voice in our society.

The collection includes almost all his stories (English and Afrikaans) from his older books which are now out of print (OopmondRubberMaria Maria,TuesdayKaalkop 2When I was), as well as 10 new stories.

In a review in Pretoria News of one of his books, Diane de Beer said: Nataniël has always been a master storyteller, as he creates an extraordinary world filled with lonely people all struggling to find their way.”

About the Author


Nataniël was born in Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape. He went to school at Riebeeck-Kasteel Primary School and De Kuilen High School in Kuilsriver, near Cape Town. He went on to study music at the University of Stellenbosch.

He first became popular as a cabaret and stage artist, but since the 1990’s has also built a reputation as a writer, columnist and celebrity chef.

His publications include Dancing with John (1992), Rubber (1996), Tuesday (2001), Food from the White House (2002), Kaalkop (2004) and When I Was (2008). His Kaalkop column has also appeared in the magazine Sarie for a number of years now.

View Nataniël‘s website HERE

View Nataniël‘s Facebook page HERE

Follow Nataniël on Twitter @NatanielTafel

Published by Human & Rousseau (An imprint of NB Publishers)

ISBN: 9780798166645

Oscar: An Accident Waiting To Happen by Melinda Ferguson & Patricia Taylor

Oscar: An Accident Waiting to Happen is the all-exclusive inside story of a teenage daughter’s romance turned into every mother’s nightmare.

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In September 2011, 24-year-old Oscar Pistorius was introduced to the XXX* family. The next 2.5 years would become a series of rollercoaster rides of emotional highs as young love blossomed, contrasted with dangerous lows, as Pistorius’s international celebrity, emotional fragility, broken promises and acts of recklessness consumed the family.

The London Olympic Games in 2012 was the lowest point. While the world watched Pistorius making history as the first disabled athlete to compete against the likes of Usain Bolt, behind the scenes the weeping Paralympian was on the phone to the XXX* family 24/7. 

Promises by Pistorius to get psychological help never materialised. After one too many signs that his dangerous behaviour was endangering her daughter’s life, by late October 2012, mother XXX* laid down the law, telling Pistorius to stay away from her family forever.

In her last conversation she warned: “Oscar, you have got to step out of your life… Something is going to go wrong. And it’s going to happen soon… Your life is like this terrible accident waiting to happen.”

Just over three months later Pistorius would shoot his new girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp four times with his 9mm Parabellum pistol. 

Brilliantly researched with never before published behind-the-scenes detail, set against the killing that shocked the world, if you only read one book this year, read this one.


Due to the sub judice nature of material relating to the upcoming Pistorius trial, certain names have been omitted.

About the authors


Oscar: An Accident Waiting To Happen (MFBooks, Jacana), is written by award-winning journalist and best-selling author (of Smacked) Melinda Ferguson, in close collaboration with a key state witness, Patricia TaylorOscar: An Accident Waiting to Happen will be on shelf and simultaneously released as an ebook after the verdict has been announced. The authors and book will be featured as part of the breaking news on Good Morning America while various newspapers are presently trying to outbid each other to serialise the book. Ferguson launched MFBooks in late 2012; this is the 10th book in her imprint.

View Melinda‘s Facebook profile HERE

View Melinda‘s Facebook page HERE

Follow Melinda on Twitter @melindaSMACKED

Published by MFBooks (An imprint of Jacana Media)

ISBN: 9781920601324

Random Kak 2: Living, Loving and Laughing in South Africa by Trevor Romain

The hugely popular Trevor Romain is back with more random memories about growing up in South Africa in the 70s and 80s.

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In this follow-up to Random Kak I Remember about Growing Up in South Africa, he offers a humorous and unique take on some of the sights, sounds and experiences that have made living in this country so inspiring. Remembering what it means to be South African has never been as lekker as it is in this illustrated memoir of a colourful past.

About the Author


Trevor Romain is a best-selling author and illustrator of an award-winning series of self-help books for children, as well as a sought-after motivational speaker. Trevor was born and raised in South Africa and is currently based in the USA where he hosts a popular television series. His books have sold more than a million copies worldwide and have been published in 16 different languages.

View Trevor‘s website HERE

View Trevor‘s Facebook page HERE

Like The Trevor Romain Company Facebook page HERE

Follow Trevor on Twitter @TrevorRomain

Published by Penguin Books

ISBN: 9780143539179

Fresh from the Vegetarian Kitchen by Mellissa Bushby


Favourite recipes from a seasoned vegetarian who has learnt through trial and error. Mellissa Bushby is not a trained chef, but her passion for food, and for living life mindfully, is evident throughout the book. For many non-vegetarians, the thought of giving up meat is a step too far, but Fresh from the Vegetarian Kitchen will tempt even the most dedicated meat-eater to try ‘meat-free Mondays’. Mellissa presents food that sustains and nourishes both body and soul, with a selection of recipes that are perfect for family meals as well as entertaining. Through the pages, we imagine that mealtimes at the Bushby’s yield a table groaning with garden-fresh salads, healthy main dishes, home-made breads and bakes, and luscious desserts.

About the Author


Mellissa Bushby is a wife, mother, ceramicist, illustrator, keen gardener, blogger, lover of nature and long-standing vegetarian who believes in touching the Earth lightly. She takes delight in making the most of seasonal ingredients to prepare scrumptuous meat-free and dairy-free meals for her family, often utilising ingredients plucked fresh from her own garden. Mellissa lives in the Lowveld with her husband, Lorne, and young sons Rayne and Gelyn. Fresh from the Vegetarian Kitchen is her second cookbook.

View Mellissa‘s website HERE

Follow Mellissa on Twitter @MellissaBushby

Published by Struik Lifestyle (An imprint of Random House Struik)

ISBN: 9781432303037



Raising the Bar by Songezo Zibi


South Africa faces enormous challenges brought about by the legacy of its horrible past and the actions of its present. In the twenty years since the advent of democracy the country has come to believe that the ailments of its soul will be solved by state bureaucratic interventions. While at a material level this may be true, at the core of its failure to confront its demons successfully is a missing moral and philosophical foundation to the future it wants to build. Desperate to build a new, positive and uplifting narrative of itself, South Africa has failed at the task of constructing a society and instead sought to maintain a fragile truce between bitterly competing interests.

Raising the Bar provides a fresh, unencumbered analysis of the topics that pervade our daily lives, including race, leadership, politics, government, violence, the position of women and the taboos that haunt us. It explores why we are the people we have become and the future our present state is building. Uncomfortable and littered with vulnerabilities and problems, this is a task we can no longer delay. It is the only way to lay a solid foundation to ensure that we become a prosperous nation.

Litfest 2014: Songezo Zibi

Business Day editor Songezo Zibi talks about his new book Raising the Bar.

About the Author

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Songezo Zibi is the editor of the Business Day, South Africa’s only standalone and highly respected business daily. He spent the first fourteen years of his career in corporate communications at multinational companies, Volkswagen South Africa (1998–2006) and then at Xstrata South Africa (2006–2013) where he served in its executive structures. He has written extensively on politics, society and the economy for various national publications before taking up his current position. Raising the Bar is his first book.

View Songezo‘s Facebook page HERE

Follow Songezo on Twitter @SongezoZibi

Published by Pan Macmillan

ISBN: 9781770103689