Remember this? Fanatics celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2007. Fanatics celebrated every fanatical year of their first decade by going back in time, through the Top 10 books from each and every year.
We picked our favourites from the bestselling titles from 1998 to 2007 (We’ve extended this to include the last five years). In these lists Fanatics also included the VIBs (Very Important Books), the cult classics of books as chosen by the Exclusive Books store managers.
What you see below is a combination of books that hit the top sales charts in 2011, and books that captured the imaginations of many, and remain close to our hearts.
10. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
Forty years ago, Harriet Vanger disappeared from a family gathering on the island owned and inhabited by the powerful Vanger clan. Her body was never found, yet her uncle is convinced it was murder – and that the killer is a member of his own tightly knit but dysfunctional family. He employs disgraced financial journalist Mikael Blomkvist and the tattooed, truculent computer hacker Lisbeth Salander to investigate. When the pair link Harriet’s disappearance to a number of grotesque murders from forty years ago, they begin to unravel a dark and appalling family history. But the Vangers are a secretive clan, and Blomkvist and Salander are about to find out just how far they are prepared to go to protect themselves.
9. Outliers by Malcolm Gladwel
Why do some people achieve so much more than others? Can they lie so far out of the ordinary? In his provocative and inspiring book, Malcolm Gladwell looks at everyone from rock stars to professional athletes, software billionaires to scientific geniuses, to show that the story of success is far more surprising, and more fascinating, than we could ever have imagined. He reveals that it’s as much about where we’re from and what we do, as who we are – and that no one, not even a genius, ever makes it alone. “Outliers” will change the way you think about your own life story, and about what makes us all unique. Like “Blink”, this is a landmark work that will simultaneously delight and illuminate.
8. 7 Dae by Deon Meyer
In South Africa’s premier suspense writer’s latest novel, Bennie Griessel has his work cut out for him – not only does he have to solve a perplexing murder, but he has to stop a sharpshooter who’s hell-bent on using members of the police force for target practice.
7. Those in Peril by Wilbur Smith
Those in PerilHazel Bannock is the heir to the Bannock Oil Corp, one of the major oil producers with global reach. While cruising in the Indian Ocean, Hazel’s private yacht is hijacked by African Muslim pirates. Hazel is not on board at the time, but her nineteen year old daughter, Cayla, is kidnapped and held to ransom. The pirates demand a crippling twenty billion dollar ransom for her release.
Complicated political and diplomatic considerations render the major powers incapable of intervening. When Hazel is given evidence of the horrific torture which Cayla is being subjected to, she calls on Hector Cross to help her rescue her daughter.
Hector is the owner and operator of Cross Bow Security, the company which is contracted to Bannock Oil to provide all their security. He is a formidable fighting man. Between them Hazel and Hector are determined to take the law into their own hands.
6. Byleveld: Dossier of a Serial Sleuth by Hanlie Retief
Recently retired, detective Piet Byleveld’s name has become legendary. He is the man who solved some of South Africa’s most famous crime investigations, including the Leigh Matthews kidnapping. He has a 100% success rate with serial murders. In this book, Rapport jounalist Hanlie Retief, who had exclusive access to Byleveld’s dossiers, writes about twenty of the most notorious serial-killer cases and many other murders Byleveld solved. She weaves into it the story of Byleveld’s own life.
5. Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography by Walter Isaacson
From bestselling author Walter Isaacson comes the landmark biography of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. In Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography, Isaacson provides an extraordinary account of Jobs’ professional and personal life. Drawn from three years of exclusive and unprecedented interviews Isaacson has conducted with Jobs as well as extensive interviews with Jobs’ family members, key colleagues from Apple and its competitors, Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography is the definitive portrait of the greatest innovator of his generation.
4. The Elephant Whisperer by Lawrence Anthony and Graham Spence
When South African conservationist Lawrence Anthony was asked to accept a herd of ‘rogue’ elephants on his reserve at Thula Thula, his commonsense told him to refuse. But he was the herd’s last chance of survival – notorious escape artists, they would all be killed if Lawrence wouldn’t take them. He agreed, but before arrangements for the move could be completed the animals broke out again and the matriarch and her baby were shot. The remaining elephants were traumatised and very angry. As soon as they arrived at Thula Thula they started planning their escape…As Lawrence battled to create a bond with the elephants and save them from execution, he came to realise that they had a lot to teach him about love, loyalty and freedom. Set against the background of life on the reserve, with unforgettable characters and exotic wildlife, this is a delightful book that will appeal to animal lovers everywhere.
3. The Racist’s Guide to the People of South Africa by Simon Kilpatrick
A politically incorrect, thoroughly unscientific and exceptionally funny “guidebook” that identifies – and takes the p*ss out of – the people of the Rainbow Nation. Addressed to visiting foreigners (perhaps), but written for all the South Africans it parodies, the book is satirical to its core, noting from the start that “Blacks”, “English Whites”, “Afrikaners”, “Coloureds”, “Indians” and “Miscellaneous” are the primary races to be encountered in the land.
2. 50 People Who Stuffed Up South Africa by Alexander Parker and Zapiro
A collection of the 50 greatest villains of South African history, from Jan van Riebeeck to Shaka to Cecil John Rhodes to Hendrik Verwoerd to Thabo Mbeki to Julius Malema. These are men – mostly, but not exclusively – who have steered South Africa firmly in the wrong direction, affecting our history, our national psyche and our way of life, often wasting guilt-edged opportunities to do the right thing along the way.
1. Killing Kebble by Mandy Wiener
In September 2005 one of South Africa’s most prominent mining magnates and businessmen Brett Kebble was killed on a quiet suburban street in Johannesburg. The top-level investigation into the case that followed was a tipping point for democratic South Africa, exposing the corrupt relationship between the country’s Chief of Police and Interpol President Jackie Selebi and suave Mafioso Glenn Agliotti. A lawless Johannesburg underbelly was revealed – dominated by drug lords, steroid-filled bouncers, an international smuggling syndicate, a shady security unit moonlighting for the police and sinister self-serving sleuths abusing state agencies.