7 Books to Help You Love Reading Again

7 Books

Setting reading goals is a fantastic way to kick off the year, but sticking to them can sometimes be challenging. Whether you’re a bookworm looking to reignite your love for reading in 2024 or you simply cannot keep up with reading since the year began, these seven books can help you get back on track.

Our recommendations span compelling narratives from Africa and beyond, offering a diverse selection of contemporary fiction, historical novels, and a memoir exploring poignant themes. From Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀’s brilliant debut, Stay With Me, to Trevor Noah’s compelling memoir, Born a Crime, read our recommendations below.

Stay with Me by Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀

Stay With Me

Author: Ayọ̀Bámi Adébáyọ̀

Yejide and Akin have been married since they met and fell in love at university. Four years into their marriage—after consulting fertility doctors and healers, trying strange teas and unlikely cures—Yejide is still not pregnant. She assumes she still has time—until her family arrives on her doorstep with a young woman they introduce as Akin’s second wife. Furious, shocked, and livid with jealousy, Yejide knows the only way to save her marriage is to get pregnant, which, finally, she does—but at a cost far greater than she could have dared to imagine. Shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction and set in Nigeria, Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀’s debut gives voice to both husband and wife as they tell the story of their marriage and the forces that threaten to tear it apart.

Men Don’t Cry by Faïza Guène



Born in Nice to Algerian parents, Mourad is fuelled by the desire to forge his own destiny. His retired father spends his days fixing up things in the backyard; his mother, bemoaning the loss of her natal village in North Africa. Mourad lives in fear of becoming an overweight bachelor with salt and pepper hair, living off his mother’s cooking. When Mourad’s father has a stroke, he makes his son promise to reconcile things with his estranged sister Dounia, a staunch feminist and aspiring politician, who had always felt constrained living at home. Now living in the Paris suburbs himself, Mourad tracks down Dounia and battles to span the gulf separating her and the rest of the family.

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini



Mariam is only fifteen when she is sent to Kabul to marry Rasheed, who is thirty years older than her. Nearly two decades later, in a climate of growing unrest, tragedy strikes fifteen-year-old Laila, who must leave her home and join Mariam’s unhappy household. Laila and Mariam are to find consolation in each other, their friendship to grow as deep as the bond between sisters, as strong as the ties between mother and daughter.

With the passing of time comes Taliban rule over Afghanistan, the streets of Kabul loud with the sound of gunfire and bombs, life a desperate struggle against starvation, brutality and fear, the women’s endurance tested beyond their worst imaginings. Yet love can move people to act in unexpected ways, lead them to overcome the most daunting obstacles with a startling heroism. In the end it is love that triumphs over death and destruction. A Thousand Splendid Suns depicts a nation scarred by conflict and tells a tale of kinship and companionship amidst harsh circumstances.

The Mountains Sing by Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai

The Mountains Sing tells an enveloping, multigenerational tale of the Trần family, set against the backdrop of the Vietnam War. Trần Diệu Lan, who was born in 1920, was forced to flee her family farm with her six children during the Land Reform as the Communist government rose in the North. Years later in Hanoi, her young granddaughter, Huong, comes of age as her parents and uncles head off down the Hồ Chí Minh Trail to fight in a conflict that tore apart not just her beloved country, but also her family.

Vivid, gripping, and steeped in the language and traditions of Vietnam, The Mountains Sing brings to life the human costs of this conflict from the point of view of the Vietnamese people themselves, while showing us the true power of kindness and hope.

The First Woman by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi

Intelligent, determined, and flawed, Kirabo grows up under the care of loving grandparents in rural Uganda. However, as she approaches adolescence, she grapples with the void left by the absence of her unknown mother. This narrative, both epic and deeply personal, follows the journey of a young girl as she seeks her mother, explores the essence of womanhood, and confronts the weight of her own future. The First Woman is captivating, offering a great mixture of Ugandan folklore and modern feminism.

His Only Wife by Peace Adzo Medie

Afi Tekple is a young seamstress whose life is narrowing rapidly. She lives in a small town in Ghana with her widowed mother, spending much of her time in her uncle Pious’s house with his many wives and children. Then one day she is offered a life-changing opportunity—a proposal of marriage from the wealthy family of Elikem Ganyo, a man she doesn’t truly know. She acquiesces, but soon realizes that Elikem is not quite the catch he seemed. He sends a stand-in to his own wedding, and only weeks after Afi is married and installed in a plush apartment in the capital city of Accra does she meet her new husband. It turns out that he is in love with another woman, whom his family disapproves of; Afi is supposed to win him back on their behalf. But it is Accra that eventually wins Afi’s heart and gives her a life of independence that she never could have imagined for herself. His Only Wife tells the tale of a resilient and relatable heroine, shedding light on the essence of womanhood in a rapidly evolving world.

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

Trevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. He was born to a white Swiss father and a Black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents’ indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa’s tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle.

Born a Crime narrates the journey of a mischievous young boy evolving into a restless young man, navigating an existence in a world where his presence was deemed impossible. It delves into the dynamic between the young man and his courageous, rebellious, and deeply devout mother—a partnership forged in determination to shield him from the cycle of poverty, violence, and maltreatment that loomed, endangering her own life in the process.