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 2010, and books that captured the imaginations of many, and remain close to our hearts.
10. Spoor by Deon Meyer
Op ‘n verlate grondpad in Limpopo druk hulle die reuse Smith & Wesson Model 500 teen Lemmer die lyfwag se kop en vra: ‘Waar is dit?’ Hy weet nie. Hulle belieg en bedrieg hom, steel sy Glock, die een met sy vingerafdrukke daarop. Hulle ken hom nie; hulle gaan betaal. Hulle gaan ‘n spoor trap wat wyd sal loop: ‘n Bloedspoor deur die eerste dossier van Mat Joubert, deesdae privaat ondersoeker, wat moet soek na Danie Flint, ‘n ‘goeie man’ wat reg langs die Table View-polisiestasie verdwyn het. ‘n Geweldspoor deur die bestaan van Milla Strachan, verloopte huisvrou, eers so salig onbewus van die newelwereld van georganiseerde misdaad en terrorisme om haar. ‘n Doodspoor, van die Chizarira tot by die Kaapse Waterkant. En aan die einde daarvan sal niemand meer dieselfde wees nie.
9. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
It’s 3 a.m. and Elizabeth Gilbert is sobbing on the bathroom floor. She’s in her thirties, she has a husband, a house, they’re trying for a baby – and she doesn’t want any of it. A bitter divorce and a turbulent love affair later, she emerges battered and bewildered and realises it is time to pursue her own journey in search of three things she has been missing: pleasure, devotion and balance. So she travels to Rome, where she learns Italian from handsome, brown-eyed identical twins and gains twenty-five pounds, an ashram in India, where she finds that enlightenment entails getting up in the middle of the night to scrub the temple floor, and Bali where a toothless medicine man of indeterminate age offers her a new path to peace: simply sit still and smile. And slowly happiness begins to creep up on her.
8. The Girl who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest
Salander is plotting her revenge – against the man who tried to kill her, and against the government institutions that very nearly destroyed her life. But it is not going to be a straightforward campaign. After taking a bullet to the head, Salander is under close supervision in Intensive Care, and is set to face trial for three murders and one attempted murder on her eventual release. With the help of journalist Mikael Blomkvist and his researchers at Millennium magazine, Salander must not only prove her innocence, but identify and denounce the corrupt politicians that have allowed the vulnerable to become victims of abuse and violence. Once a victim herself, Salander is now ready to fight back.
7. Comitted by Elizabeth Gilbert
At the end of her bestselling memoir Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert fell in love with Felipe – a Brazilian-born man of Australian citizenship who’d been living in Indonesia when they met. Resettling in America, the couple swore eternal fidelity to each other, but also swore to never, ever, under any circumstances get legally married. (Both survivors of difficult divorces. Enough said.) But providence intervened one day in the form of the U.S. government, who – after unexpectedly detaining Felipe at an American border crossing – gave the couple a choice: they could either get married, or Felipe would never be allowed to enter the country again. Having been effectively sentenced to wed, Gilbert tackled her fears of marriage by delving completely into this topic, trying with all her might to discover (through historical research, interviews and much personal reflection) what this stubbornly enduring old institution actually is.
6. Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
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.
5. 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.
4. To the Point by Herschelle Gibbs and Steve Smith
There’s something about Herschelle Gibbs – a certain quality that has endeared him to cricket fans in South Africa and around the world. Despite the frustrating on-field inconsistencies of this towering talent, and the messy and very public personal troubles that have tracked him through the years, Herschelle remains one of South African cricket’s best-loved sons.
3. Conversations with Myself by Nelson Mandela
This book comes with a foreword by President Barack Obama. Nelson Mandela is one of the most inspiring and iconic figures of our age. Now, after a lifetime of taking pen to paper to record thoughts and events, hardships and victories, he has opened his personal archive, which offers an unprecedented insight into his remarkable life. “Conversations With Myself” gives readers access to the private man behind the public figure: from letters written in the darkest hours of Mandela’s twenty-seven years of imprisonment to the draft of an unfinished sequel to “Long Walk to Freedom”.
2. The Girl who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson
Lisbeth Salander is a wanted woman. Two Millennium journalists about to expose the truth about sex trafficking in Sweden are murdered, and Salander’s prints are on the weapon. Her history of unpredictable and vengeful behaviour makes her an official danger to society – but no-one can find her. Mikael Blomkvist, editor-in-chief of Millennium, does not believe the police. Using all his magazine staff and resources to prove Salander’s innocence, Blomkvist also uncovers her terrible past, spent in criminally corrupt institutions. Yet Salander is more avenging angel than helpless victim. She may be an expert at staying out of sight – but she has ways of tracking down her most elusive enemies.
1. 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.