Are you feeling disconnected from your love for reading or are you struggling with a reading slump? In this curated recommendation, we have compiled a list of seven books that can help you get back on track. Whether you’re a bookworm or someone looking to reignite their love for reading, these books will transport you to new worlds, reignite your passion for literature, and remind you of the boundless joy that can be found in a good book.
For our recommendations, read on.
Author: CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE
In Adichie’s third novel, Ifemelu and Obinze, young and deeply in love, make a life-altering decision to leave Nigeria under military rule for the western world. Ifemelu, a beautiful and self-assured woman, sets her sights on America, where, despite her academic accomplishments, she must grapple with the profound experience of confronting her Black identity for the first time. Meanwhile, Obinze, quiet and thoughtful, aspired to join her in America, but the post-9/11 restrictions shut that door. Instead, he immerses himself in a perilous, undocumented existence in London. Fifteen years later, they find themselves reuniting in a newly democratic Nigeria, rekindling not only their love for each other but also their fervor for their homeland.
A BROKEN PEOPLE’S PLAYLIST
AUTHOR: CHIMEKA GARRICKS
In this book, Garricks weaves a beautiful tapestry of short stories, where underlying themes seamlessly connect each narrative. It begins with the poignant ‘Lost Stars’, exploring the transient nature of love, and continues with ‘In The City’, an unflinchingly raw portrayal of survival in the waterside alleyways. These stories paint a mosaic of life, love, and pain through music. In addition, these tales serve as both a tribute and a love letter to Port Harcourt, the home of many of these stories. The prose is characterized by its distinctive and unapologetically Nigerian style. The collection is infused with the magic of evocative storytelling, providing characters and narratives that resonate deeply.
AUTHOR: YAA GYASI
In this poignant work of historical fiction, two half-sisters, Effia and Esi, are born into different villages in eighteenth-century Ghana. Effia is married off to an Englishman and lives in comfort of the Cape Coast Castle. Unknown to Effia, her sister, Esi, is imprisoned beneath her in the castle’s dungeons, sold with thousands of others into the Gold Coast’s booming slave trade, and shipped off to America, where her children and grandchildren will be raised in slavery. One thread of Homegoing follows Effia’s descendants through centuries of warfare in Ghana, as the Fante and Asante nations wrestle with the slave trade and British colonization. The other thread follows Esi and her children into America.
In Yaa Gyasi’s remarkable debut novel, the destiny of each individual is juxtaposed with the relentless movement of time, weaving unforgettable characters whose lives are molded by sweeping historical currents beyond their influence. Homegoing offers a profound literary journey, crafted by a talented author.
AN AMERICAN MARRIAGE
AUTHOR: TAYARI jones
Newlyweds, Celestial and Roy, epitomize the American Dream and the essence of the New South. He’s a young executive, and she’s an emerging artist poised for an exciting career. However, as they embrace the routines of married life, their world shatters due to unforeseen circumstances. Roy is wrongly convicted and sentenced to twelve years for a crime Celestial knows he didn’t commit. Despite her unwavering independence, Celestial feels adrift and broken, seeking solace in Andre, her childhood friend and the best man at their wedding. As Roy endures his prison sentence, their once-strong love slips away. Then, after five years, Roy’s conviction is unexpectedly overturned, and he returns to Atlanta, ready to rebuild their life together.
This poignant love story delves into the hearts and minds of three people tethered and torn apart by uncontrollable forces. An American Marriage is a storytelling masterpiece, offering an intimate exploration of the inner struggles of individuals compelled to reconcile their past as they forge ahead, embracing both hope and pain, into an uncertain future.
THE FIRST WOMAN
AUTHOR: JENNIFER NANSUBUGA MAKUMBI
Kirabo, a clever, determined, and imperfect young girl, is nurtured by her adoring grandparents in the wonderful village of Natteria, located in rural Uganda. However, as she steps into her teenage years, a sense of longing for the mother she’s never known begins to cast a shadow over her. This narrative, both grand and intimately emotional, weaves the tale of Kirabo’s quest to find her mother, her exploration of the evolving roles of women across history, and the profound implications it holds for her future.
HOW BEAUTIFUL WE WERE
AUTHOR: IMBOLO MBUE
Set in the fictional African village of Kosawa, this book tells the story of a community living in constant fear amidst the devastating environmental degradation caused by an American oil company. Incidents of pipeline spills have left once-fertile farmlands barren, and children are suffering the fatal consequences of consuming toxic water. Promises of environmental cleanup and financial restitution to the villagers are made but ultimately disregarded. The government, under the rule of a brazen dictator, operates solely to serve its own interests. With limited options, the residents of Kosawa make the resolute choice to stand up and fight back, embarking on a struggle that spans decades.
Narrated through the eyes of a generation of children and the family of a young woman named Thula, who evolves into a revolutionary, How Beautiful We Were is a brilliant exploration of the clash between the relentless pursuit of profit, lingering vestiges of colonialism, and the unwavering determination of a community to safeguard its ancestral land. It showcases a young woman’s willingness to sacrifice everything for her people’s freedom.
BORN A CRIME
AUTHOR: TREVOR NOAH
This is a memoir about a man’s coming-of-age, unfolding against the backdrop of the waning days of apartheid in South Africa and the tumultuous era of freedom that followed. It explores Trevor Noah’s earliest journey from apartheid-era South Africa to The Daily Show desk.
Noah was conceived through a union between a white Swiss father and a Black Xhosa mother, a forbidden pairing that could have led to five years in prison at the time. As living proof of his parents’ indiscretion, Noah spent much of his early life hidden indoors, subject to his mother’s extreme and often absurd measures to shield him from a government that could have seized him at any moment.
When South Africa’s oppressive white rule finally ended, Noah and his mother embarked on a remarkable adventure, openly embracing the newfound opportunities earned through generations of struggle. Born a Crime is the tale of a mischievous young boy evolving into a restless young man, navigating a world where his very existence was considered impossible. It’s also a testament to the profound relationship between this young man and his fearless, rebellious, and deeply religious mother—an unbreakable bond as she became his steadfast teammate, resolutely determined to save him from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that threatened both their lives.