Top 5 Book Recommendations for your 2024 Reads

Discover the fascinating world of books for your next read in this collection. Our editors have compiled a top 5 book recommendations list for everyone looking to explore various fictional novels by some award-winning authors. These books, mainly set in Africa and the diaspora, will entertain, make you cry and possibly scream at the characters you will come to hate. Happy reading!

See book list Below:

01. Small Worlds – 7/10

This novel by award winning Author, Caleb Azumah Nelson – is about the life of the lead character Stephen who explores his life in London and Ghana, enjoying music and dancing. The book which seems to be a continuation of his debut book Open Water – highlights the stories of coming of age, discovery, black youthfulness, love and the relationship between fathers and sons. Some readers have mixed reviews about the book because of how it’s  written poetically, But others do enjoy it for the lyrical references it makes to Stephen’s love for music. The book recently won the Swansea University Dylan Thomas Prize for 2024. It’s a must read. 

02. Maame – 10/10

The story of  Maddie, affectionately called “Maame” is the story of a young woman who is tied to her Ghanaian family so much that she has no life of her own. Maame juggles taking care of her father who has Parkinson’s disease alone, while an absent big brother James and mother who constantly travels to Ghana for business. Set in London, England, the book invites its readers to understand the dynamic of growing up to immigrant parents in the UK. It also addresses themes of self identity, depression, love and guilt, death and the beautiful frustrations of being a black woman in the world. Maame is written by Jessica George.

03. Butter Honey Pig Bread – 8/10

A fictional book by Francesca Ekwuyasi, based in Nigeria, tells the story of the relationship a mother has with her twin daughters, who end up being separated by a series of life events. The book depicts the mother, Kambirinachi as an Obanje (a reincarnated being) in Nigeria culture who lived and died many times before choosing to stay in the end, get married to the love of her life and birth the twins, Kehinde and Taiye. The book chapters are in the POVs of these characters. It is a good read that highlights the Nigerian culture, death, grief and a bit of the supernatural world. 

04. Open Water – 10/10

“ You do not want to leave each other. Because to leave is to have the thing die in its current form, and there is something. Something in this that neither is willing to relinquish” 

– Open Water

The debut novel of the Author, Caleb Azumah Nelson is described as a “beautiful lyrical modern love story”. The book is written from a second person point of view and is quite poetic, similar to Small Worlds. But the author was very brilliant in not naming any characters and allows his readers to assume the role of the narrator, a black British man who works as a photographer. And a second character, the dancer and his love interest. Despite reading from a YOU perspective, you get to see the character developments in the book. Many book readers have praised the author for showing the vulnerability of a Black man, loving and facing some challenges with his mental health. 

05. Tomorrow I Become a Woman – 10/10

The book is written by Aiwanose Odafen. It explores the relationship between a mother and her daughter. Obianuju, the daughter and protagonist of the story is faced with various pressures being a woman in Nigeria and as a married woman. This gut-wrenching book tells how her life goes downhill after being married. The book highlights the abuse she faces in her married life, the nature of female friendships and a love story set in a politically war filled nation. Tomorrow I become a woman, is highly praised and should be on your reading list for the year. 

Enjoy reading these books from our recommendations. And stay tuned for more

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