The bestselling books in South Africa – May

This list represents the bestselling books in South Africa from the previous four weeks to 2 May 2019, and combines fiction and non-fiction bestsellers.

Originally published on the Daily Maverick as part of a collaboration with The Reading List. Click here for the current Daily Maverick Bestsellers.


#1. Gangster State

by Pieter-Louis Myburgh

The Daily Maverick’s own Pieter-Louis Myburgh storms to the top of the list with his exposé on the joker in the ANC’s ‘Top Six’ deck, a certain fellow called Ace. His book is the runaway No. 1.



#2. King of Kings

by Wilbur Smith

Smith’s two dynasties, the Courtneys and the Ballantynes, meet again in this sequel to The Triumph of the Sun. The plot involves places like Abyssinia, women named Saffron and men named Ryder. You get the idea.



#3. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life

by Mark Manson

Zen and the art of running out of f*cks to give, on purpose, as quickly as possible. People aren’t just born not giving a f*ck, after all: you’ve got to learn it. Start here.



#4. The 5 AM Club: Own Your Morning. Elevate Your Life.

by Robin Sharma

Own your mornings, master your life – and try not to think too hard about the book directly above this one in the rankings, lest you stop giving a f*ck about being an early riser and conquering all challenges in your path.



#5. Becoming

by Michelle Obama

The autobiography of America’s first black First Lady, and hopefully the first book in a trilogy that includes Becoming President and Becoming President Again.




#6. The Mister

by EL James

Just who is Alessia Demachi? Can Maxim Trevelyan protect her from the malevolence that threatens her? Does this malevolence include vanilla BDSM? Maybe she likes the malevolence? Only those who read this book will truly know.



#7. Born a Crime and Other Stories

by Trevor Noah

Oh, dreamy Mr Noah. When will you come back to lift us out of the muck, as all those clickbait adverts on dodgy websites keep saying you will? Well, as a substitute, the inspiring story of your life to date will have to do.



#8. Fighting for the Dream

by RW Johnson

Mr Johnson’s author bio says he is ‘the only South African Rhodes Scholar to return to live in South Africa after the fall of apartheid.’ Hell, he must know what he’s talking about, then, when picking apart South Africa’s many infirmities and prescribing the various required antidotes.



#9. Manage Your Money like a F*cking Grownup: The Best Money Advice You Never Got

by Sam Beckbessinger

Your brain is (financially) dumb, you don’t know how to budget for your lunch breaks, much less your life, you haven’t asked for a raise in years and you have too many credit cards in your wallet. This book will sort you out. This book is the book to f*cking get.



#10. Where the Crawdads Sing

by Delia Owens

A debut novel about ‘Marsh Girl’, barefoot and wild on the North Carolina coast, and a dead body. The book clubs can’t get enough of it. (But we’ve yet to see one bragging about how they served etouffee on book club night, so there’s a bar to hop over, book clubs!)



Our authoritative bestsellers list is compiled from print sales data and other sources, and represents the bestselling books in South Africa from the previous four weeks to 2 May 2019.

Categories Fiction International Non-fiction South Africa

Tags Becoming Bestsellers Born a Crime and Other Stories Daily Maverick Delia Owens EL James Fighting for the Dream Gangster State Jonathan Ball Publishers King of Kings Manage Your Money like a F*cking Grownup Mark Manson Michelle Obama Penguin Random House SA Pieter-Louis Myburgh Robin Sharma RW Johnson Sam Beckbessinger South African bestselling books The 5 AM Club The Mister The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck Trevor Noah Where the Crawdads Sing Wilbur Smith

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