Christmas Recommended Reads

Christmas Recommended Reads


With Christmas fast approaching and the frenzy of last minute gift shopping takes place, we at Jacaranda Books have done all the hard work for you. Together with some fabulous authors, we have put together a list of top book recommendations for Christmas 2017.


Justin Fox
Recommended title: The 7th Function of Language by Laurent Binet

Why I chose this book: I loved Binet’s previous book, HHhH, a quirky, self-referential historical novel that had me utterly captivated. The 7th Function of Language promises to be equally intriguing.

Justin is also the author of The Impossible Five: In Search of South Africa’s Most Elusive Mammals, published by Jacaranda Books.


Masande Ntshanga
Recommended title: Roadside Picnic by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky

Why I chose this book: The premise, the voice.

Masande is also the author of The Reactive, published by Jacaranda Books.


Irfan Master
Recommended title: A Manner of Being: Writers on Their Mentors edited by Annie Liontas and Jeff Parker

Why I chose this book: I really struggle to read fiction with any real conviction when I’m writing, so a book of essays/memoir or something like this really help my mind rest. I only just loaded this up so haven’t dived in yet, but I have previously read the George Saunders piece on Tobias Wolff published in The New Yorker that initially put me onto this book. I love the little anecdotes writers always have of how they met their mentors. I know how important a kind or honest word can be to a writer, and how those words of encouragement can propel you forward.

Irfan is also the author of Out of Heart, published by Hot Key Books.


Sareeta Domingo
Recommended title: Unforgivable Love by Sophfronia Scott

Why I chose this book: it’s a re-telling of the French classic Les Liaisons Dangereuses, which was the basis for one of my favourite films, but Scott has set the story in the 1940s among a well-to-do African-American community. I’m looking forward to some society scheming and unrequited love!

Sareeta is also the author of The Nearness of You, published by Piatkus.


Christmas treats from Jacaranda

Here are some awesome gift suggestions from our own exciting list of books. Just click on the book title to buy now!

For the Sci-Fi fans: Taty Went West by Nikhil Singh. Author Lauren Beukes called it “a hallucinogenic post-apocalypitic carnival ride – Nikhil Singh has a strange and intriguing mind.”


For lovers of animals, comedy and adventure: The Impossible Five by Justin Fox. Considered “delightful and evocative … a little African gem” by Jenny Crwys-Williams, former South African show host.


For those who like some intrigue with their music: Once Upon a Time in Shaolin by Cyrus Bozorgmehr. Comedian Patton Oswalt described it as “an epic battle between colourful, creative maniacal heroes and one of the blandest beta-villains of our time. Couldn’t put it down.”


For a deep-reaching and poignant read: The Reactive by Masande Ntshanga.”An extraordinary debut. Out of the unpromising subjects of HIV and substance abuse Ntshanga crafts a novel of devastating emotional power. Stylistically sophisticated and beautifully observed.” Zoe Wicomb, author of October.


For a timeless literary classic: The Book of Harlan by Bernice L. McFadden. Soon to be on the big screen, The Washington Post calls it ” a story about the triumph of the human spirit over bigotry, intolerance and cruelty.”


For the lover of translated literature: Seven Stones by Venus Khoury-Ghata, translated from the French by Aneesa Abbas Higgins. These critically acclaimed, outstanding novel charts the friendship of three women fighting against a patriarchal system of injustice in the picturesque yet harsh settings of the desert. A must-read in any language!



From our founder Valerie Brandes and all of us at Jacaranda Books, we wish you a colourful Christmas full of happiness, good food, and even better reads!

Written by Jacaranda Books

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