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2016 Nielsen Booksellers’ Choice Award shortlist announced

2016 Nielsen Booksellers' Choice Award shortlist announced


Alert! The South African Booksellers Association has announced the shortlisted finalists for the 2016 Booksellers’ Choice Award.

The R20 000 prize is given to the title that South Africa’s booksellers most enjoyed reading, promoting and selling. Recent winners include Marguerite Poland, Tim Noakes, Frank Chikane, Deon Meyer, Alex Smith, John van de Ruit, Peter Harris and Jake White.

In alphabetical order, the following books have been shortlisted this year:

Death By CarbsIkarusImmer wesLittle SunsRecipes for Love and Murder: A Tannie Maria MysterySweet Medicine


The winner will be announced at the Sefika gala event on Tuesday, 30 August.

Press release:

Thanks to the members of the South African Booksellers Association, we have had an amazing number of submissions for this year’s award – in the region of 150 nominations were received which is extraordinary. The shortlist consists of fiction titles including romance and crime – always a good mix.

Death by Carbs by Paige Nick at first glance would appear a non-fiction title but it is not, it’s based on South Africa’s biggest craze – dieting – and Paige pokes a little fun and sheds a little light on this phenomenon. Deon Meyer’s Ikarus looks at the disappearance of an infamous internet entrepreneur and the ensuing investigation, while Immer Wes by Irma Joubert is a romance that looks at fading beauty and the impact of war on people and relationships. Zakes Mda’s title Little Suns weaves the true events of the death of Magistrate Hope into his story of love and perseverance.

Recipes for Love and Murder by Sally Andrew is a mix of romance, mystery, crime and cooking – what a combination! The last title in the shortlist is Sweet Medicine by Panashe Chigumadzi which looks at a modern young woman with values and spirituality who discovers that sometimes life is a compromise.

One of the authors – Zakes Mda – has been shortlisted before, in 2001 and 2003, but has not yet won this prestigious award – could this be third time lucky? Deon Meyer, on the other hand, won in 2012 and is again on the shortlist. We wish all the authors the very best of luck.

With such overwhelming submissions in the first round, we are now entering the second round of votes from booksellers – all votes must be in by Tuesday, 19 July, 2016.

Last year’s winner Marguerite Poland said on hearing the news in 2015: “Last night I got a message that thrilled and uplifted me incredibly! Penguin sent a message to let me know that my novel, The Keeper, had won the Nielsen Booksellers’ Choice Award. I am absolutely delighted and it is the highlight of my career. I so wish I had been at the dinner but you can imagine how wonderful it is to have this acknowledgement of my work.”

This year the award will be presented to the winning author on Tuesday, 30 August 2016 at the Vineyard Hotel in Cape Town. The awards and gala dinner promises to be a glitzy and exciting evening attended by publishers, booksellers and the all-important authors without whom there’d be no book!


Book details


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