Category Archives: Book Clubs

Exclusive Books Recommends – JUNE 2013

The Exclusive Books Recommends’ June selection contains a criticially acclaimed, long-awaited set of books to thrill even the most discerning reader. The June book of the month And the Mountains Echoed is set to be one of the most talked about novels in 2013, the latest from much-lauded author Khaled Hosseini.

The following five books have been hand-picked especially by Exclusive Books as the best reads for the month of June: Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, The Golem and the Djinni by Helene Wecker, The Fort of Nine Towers by Qais Akbar Omar, The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion as well as And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini.

Americanah_by_Chimamanda_Ngozi_AdichieAmericanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a powerful new novel – her first in seven years: a story of love and race, centred around a young man and woman from Nigeria who face difficult choices and challenges in the countries they come to call home. Fearless, gripping, spanning three continents and numerous lives, Americanah is a richly told story of love and expectation set in today’s globalised world.

The Golem and the DjinniThe Golem and the Djinni by Helene Wecker is a magical, unforgettable story about unlikely friends set against the vivid backdrop of New York City’s immigrant neighbourhoods in the late 19th century. The tale of two fabled creatures has the intimate feel of a story handed down from generation to generation. With a delightful blend of the prosaic and the fanciful, The Golem and the Djinni explores what it means to be human as these friends struggle to live and find love while overcoming a powerful adversary who threatens to destroy them.

For the Nine TowersFort of Nine Towers is Qais Akbar Omar’s intense coming-of-age memoir in which he recounts hardships and narrow escapes, as well as moments of joy and beauty. It is an account of a young Afghan man’s searing and redemptive story of his family and country that is inflected with folktales and steeped in poetry.



The Rosie ProjectThe Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion is a charming, offbeat love story. The protagonists are Don, a genetics professor who just might be somewhere on the autistic spectrum – desperate to get married and armed with a very detailed questionnaire to help him find the perfect woman and Rosie, who isn’t looking for love – she’s looking for her biological father. Sometimes, though, you don’t find love: love finds you.


And the Mountains EchoedAnd the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini is the book that readers everywhere have been waiting for: the first novel in six years from the no. 1 bestselling author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, set in Afghanistan in 1952. Crossing generations and continents, moving from Kabul, to Paris, to San Francisco, to the Greek island of Tinos, Khaled Hosseini writes about the bonds that define us and shape our lives, and how the choices we make resonate through history. This excellent read is a worthy ‘Book of the Month’ and comes with Exclusive Books’ backing. So if you only get to choose one book this month to read, this is it.



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The Storyteller ~ Jodi Picoult

Jodi Picoult, a much-loved author for many South African readers, has released her new book The Storyteller.


Sage Singer has a past that makes her want to hide from the world. Sleeping by day and working in a bakery by night, she kneads her emotion into the beautiful bread she bakes. But when she strikes up an unlikely friendship with Josef Weber, a quiet man old enough to be her grandfather, and respected pillar of the community, she feels that finally, she may have found someone she can open up to. Until Josef tells her the evil secret he’s kept for sixty years.

Caught between Josef’s search for redemption and her shattered illusions, Sage turns to her family history and her own life for answers. As she uncovers the truth from the darkest horrors of war, she must follow a twisting trail between betrayal and forgiveness, love and revenge. And ask herself the most difficult question she has ever faced – can murder ever be justice? Or mercy?

About Jodi


Jodi Picoult is the author of nineteen novels, including the #1 New York Times Bestsellers Sing You Home, House Rules, Handle With Care, Change of Heart, Nineteen Minutes, and My Sister’s Keeper. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and three children.

Visit her website at

View her Facebook →

View her Twitter →

ISBN: 9781444766646

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton, represented in SA by Jonathan Ball Publishers

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Ladies Who Lunch ~ Online Book Club

ChapterOne-lo (1)

Do you find that as your busy life takes its daily course, your family, work and social life all compete for your precious time and you end up with very little time for yourself, let alone an evening at book club?  

Well, we may just have a solution for you!  We’ve found an online book club on the website called Chapter One where you can read along with others and share your thoughts online – and in your free time.

This is what they do:

  • Ladies Who Lunch choose a suitable novel out of their monthly new books which will be available from all good bookstores and online retailers during a particular month.
  • They will tell you a bit about the book and the author.
  • They then set up a reading and discussion schedule which will run for four weeks.

This is what you do:

  • You read their emails and get excited about the book they’ve chosen!
  • You buy a copy of the book at your favourite bookstore or online store.
  • You read along with them and share your thoughts on the book on the discussion days (or really whenever you can, even if it’s not on the selected days) at a time that suits you! Oh, and you don’t even have to register – just make your way to the book club blog and chat away.

Click here to read all about their first book. You can also join them on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates and reminders about the reading and discussion schedules.

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No faults with The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

From the get-go let me say that The Fault in Our Stars is a book that you need to read!  It is a love story – one of the most genuine and moving ones that I have read in a long time. It is about teenagers who happen to have cancer, but it’s not a cancer book, because as the narrator bluntly puts it, “cancer books suck” — by which she means they’re full of clichés and sentiment that conceal hard truths.

Written by John Green, the story is narrated by a sixteen-year-old cancer patient named Hazel Grace, who is forced by her parents to attend a support group, where she subsequently meets and falls in love with the seventeen-year-old Augustus Waters, an ex-basketball player and amputee.

Hazel was diagnosed with Stage 4 Thyroid cancer when she was 13 and on her first words to Augustus (he lost a leg to osteosarcoma) he fell in love – not the kind of ‘teenage puppy love’ that you are imagining, but the ‘real deal love’.

This book by John Green brilliantly explores the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.  It is about courage, hope, humour, sadness, irreverence, and loss.  But most of all … it’s about love.

The book was originally published for the young-adult market but is has seamlessly crossed the age divide and adults are enjoying reading it as much as teens.

The title of the book is inspired by a famous line from Shakespeare‘s play Julius Caesar (Act 1, scene 2). The nobleman Cassius says to Brutus, ‘The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, / But in ourselves, that we are underlings.


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SHADOWS ON THE NILE – Kate Furnivall

Kate Furnivall, who is a favourite author choice for book clubs, and an author who writes in the historical fiction genre has just released her new book Shadows on the Nile.

Shadows on the Nile by Kate Furnivall

The story opens in London, 1912.  Jessie, a young girl, aged 7, wakes during the night and can hear noises out in the hall.  Instinctively she knows that something is happening to her brother, Georgie, who is 5 years old.  Georgie is an odd child – he is completely socially inept, although highly intelligent – he doesn’t talk much, spends many hours of each day counting things, cannot (cannot) be touched by anyone and cannot recognise what behaviour is appropriate, and what’s not.  He is very, very hard work, but Jessie loves him to the moon and back – she has taken on the role of his protector.

Jessie tries to get out her bedroom, but the door is locked.  She endlessly bangs on the door, and shouts for help, but no one answers her.  Eventually, exhausted, she falls back to sleep. In the morning, when she wakes up, she is surprised that her bedroom door now opens and the first thing she does is run to Georgie’s room. She is so relieved to see the shape of a little body under the blankets, and a head with masses of blond curls, on the pillow. She rushes over, gently shakes him awake and the little boy turns over, and smiles.

But it isn’t Georgie.  It’s another little blond, blue eyed boy.  He says hello to Jessie, tells her that his name is Timothy, and that he is her new brother.

It is a fabulous start to a book – Kate knows how to hook her reader, early on in the story.

The timeline then jumps to 1932, where choices made by Timothy lead them all to Egypt, where, it seems, he is working illegally on the ancient archaeological sites of the queens and pharaohs.

Kate’s other books – The Russian Concubine, Under a Blood Red Sky, The Concubine’s Secret, The Jewel of St Petersburg and The White Pearl were more steeped in historical fact, and I found Shadows on the Nile to be more of a romance-cum-adventure novel.

If you, or your friends, haven’t tried a book by Kate then I would suggest that you give her a go. My all time favourite of Kate’s is The Russian Concubine, but I don’t think you will be disappointed with any of her books.

For more information on Kate Furnivall, visit her WEBSITE.


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THIS WEEK … Jodi Picoult launches Lone Wolf in South Africa

Jodi Picoult is in South Africa this week to launch her novel Lone Wolf.  If you are a fan, and would like to meet her in Johannesburg, Durban or Cape Town, then click HERE for the details of Jodi’s events.

A little bit about Jodi’s book, Lone Wolf:

Your father is on life support.
Your sister is hoping for a miracle.
The doctors say there won’t be one.

What would you do?

Edward Warren is a prodigal son who left home after an irreparable fight with his father, Luke. Now Luke lies comatose in hospital, gravely injured in the same accident that has also injured Edward’s younger sister Cara.

Cara, 17, still holds a grudge against her brother, since his departure led to her parents’ divorce. In the aftermath, she’s lived with her father – an animal conservationist who became famous after living with a wild wolf pack in the Canadian wild. It is impossible for her to reconcile the still, broken man in the hospital bed with her vibrant, dynamic father.

Click HERE to read the first chapter of Lone Wolf.

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Kate Furnivall’s SHADOWS ON THE NILE

If you are a fan of historical fiction then add Kate Furnivall’s new book, Shadows on the Nile, to your reading list.

Kate says, ‘There is an element in the story that will come as a surprise, I think. It goes in a different direction from my other books – but I’m not going to reveal it here. You gotta read it to discover what it is! I hope you enjoy the journey.’

Shadows on the Nile is a dramatic story of adventure, excitement, love and romance – set in Egypt, 1932.  Her other books are set during these periods:

  • The White Pearl - Malaya, 1941
  • The Jewel of St Petersburg - Russia, 1910
  • The Russian Concubine - China, 1928
  • The Concubine’s Secret - China, 1929
  • Under a Blood Red Sky - Siberia, 1933

Click HERE to visit Kate’s website.

Recommended Retail Price: R220 / *I Love Books Price: R200 (free delivery any where in South Africa)

*I Love Books Price – valid until 31 January 2013.

If you would like to order Shadows on the Nile please email me at

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December’s Book Club Suggestions

Here are our December book club suggestions -

A sweeping story, set across three continents, in Jack of Diamonds by Bryce Courtenay, hilarity in Oh Dear Silvia by much loved comedian Dawn French, a compelling story of darkness and light; of traumatic loss and second chances in Salley VickersThe Cleaner of Chartres, a psychological thriller detailing the plots of poisoned families in Gold Digger by Frances Fyfield, and an emotional journey back into her past to finally humanise this man whose hollowness mirrored her own in Endings & Beginnings by Redi Tlhabi.

Visit our DECEMBER 2012 BOOK CLUBS page to read the book synopses – or click on this link:

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Farewell to Bryce Courtenay …

I have always been a fan of Bryce’s writing, and have had the pleasure of meeting him twice – he is a a real charmer, who makes you feel as though you are the only person in the room.

His new book JACK OF DIAMONDS releases in South Africa in December and it is set across three continents - a spellbinding story of chance, music, corruption and love.  I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy to start reading.

Sadly, Bryce has been diagnosed with terminal gastric cancer and this will be his last novel.  You can view a YouTube clip here of Bryce saying thank you, and goodbye, to his readers: Thank you message from Bryce Courtenay.

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November’s Book Club Suggestions

November Book Club Suggestions

Here are our November book club suggestions -

A weepy from Jojo Moyes in The Girl You Left Behind, 1920s gangsterism in Live By Night by Dennis Lehane, the tragic story of Anne Neville in Philippa Gregory’s The Kingmaker’s Daughter, forensic investigations in The Bone Bed by Patricia Cornwell, a pyschological thriller from Michael Robotham in Say You’re Sorry, M.L. Stedman’s story about right and wrongs in The Light Between Oceans, and the exploration of the truths we live by in Barbara Kingsolver’s Flight Behaviour.

Visit our NOVEMBER 2012 BOOK CLUBS page to read the book synopses –

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