Fall is here, ya’ll! The turning of the leaves, the longer nights, and the official return of sweater weather is more than enough reason to burrow under the covers with a great book and your favorite cup of tea.
Here are a few fave reads of mine to help keep you warm this autumn season…
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Nigerian author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, has an uncanny ability to paint stories so rich in character, humor, and intelligence, that it often has the effect of leaving this reader absolutely breathless and yearning for more. I heard about Americanah years ago, but only picked it up recently when I needed a good, long break from my usual Netflix & Chill routine. Americanah is certainly a love-story, but it’s so much more than that. It offers a searing critique of race politics in the US, while also providing commentary on the very real difficulties, obstacles, and injustices faced by those emigrating to a new and distant land, particularly when those who are emigrating are black. It is also a love letter to the ever-changing Lagos that both main characters, Ifemulu and Obinze, call home. Americanah follows the lives of Ifemulu and Obinze, two teens who fall in love in the military-controlled country of Nigeria of the 1990’s and flee to America and England, respectively, in search of better lives. Their journeys take them on two very different and divergent life paths, each suffering their own share of indignities and trauma along the way. Yet somehow, they never forget the love that they carry for each other despite the many hardships thrown their way.
I want to think that God smiles when a black woman is brave enough to love herself.Soft Magic by Upile Chisala
Soft Magic by Upile Chisala
There are many days when I wake up consumed with the hurt and anger that simply comes with being a black woman in this world. On those days, I pick up Soft Magic, a stunning collection of poetry and prose from Malawian writer, Upile Chisala. Her exquisite short poetry provides me with the words of solace that I need to not just get through the day, but to get up and make my mark in the world, no matter how I’m feeling or what I’m going through. Chisale’s masterful collection of poetry continually brings me joy, healing, and the wonderful knowing that I am not alone in my sadness, my fears, my struggles, and my anxieties.
Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
I first set eyes on this book while browsing the shelves at my local Urban Outfitters. Intrigued by the matte black cover, as well as the title itself, I picked it up and started reading. Divided into four parts – the hurting, the loving, the breaking, the healing- this beautifully raw and honest poetry collection explores themes as difficult as sexual trauma and as joyful as finding love with remarkable deftness. Penned at the age of 21, Indian-born Canadian poet, Rupi Kaur, captures the immeasurable loss, sadness, and grief that love often brings us while also highlighting the joy, peace, and comfort that we can experience in this life when we dare to love ourselves unabashedly.