Buzzfeed (my main source of all worthy information) recently posted their list of 30 Summer Books To Get Excited About. It’s a very good list, with a wide range of diverse reads which I am totally here for, so I do recommend that you take a look for yourself.
Below I’ve listed my personal picks – some from the Buzzfeed list and some from my own TBR pile, which I really hope I get a chance to read this summer.
What are you hoping to read this summer? Let me know in the comments.
Old in Art School by Nell Painter
Synopsis: At the age of 64, Nell Painter leaves a successful academic career to matriculate as an art student. In her memoir, Painter fervently defends reviving old passions, welcoming a more elastic identity and challenges what it means to be an artist, at the same time encouraging her readers to do the same.
IMHO: Seems like one to read, if like me, you are in the midst of a career transition or preparing to start over in late in life, and wondering what the hell you’re doing, if it’s too late, if your talented enough etc. Follow your dreams baby!
Get it on Amazon – June 2018
How to love a Jamaican by Alexia Arthurs
Synopsis: A collection of stories about home, identity, how we define family and what we owe them as told through the eyes of various Jamaican characters. In one story ‘Bad Behaviour’, a mother sends her 14-year-old daughter to live with her grandmother in Jamaica because she’s afraid of her burgeoning sexuality. In another ‘Mermaid River’, a teenager finally joins his mother in Brooklyn after being raised by his grandmother in Jamaica, and finds a stranger.
IMHO: I actually quite enjoy short stories – I know they are not everyone’s cup of tea. But with themes around identity and relationship, I’m quite excited at the prospect of reading this one – though it’s not yet available in the UK until August. Boo!
Get it on Amazon – August 2018
I Can’t Date Jesus: Love, Sex, Family, Race, and Other Reasons I’ve Put My Faith in Beyoncé by Michael Arceneaux
Synopsis: A hilarious memoir, though rooted in a painful past. Michael Arceneaux writes about growing up in a violently anti-gay movement, and slowly coming out, despite being afraid and coming to terms with the fact that the church he grew up in hasn’t not made room with him. Despite what seems like heartbreaking experiences, there is a lot of joy, such as when Arceneaux talks about the power of Beyonce’s music in his life.
IMHO: To be honest, this book had me at the title! But also I’m intrigued to know about Arceneaux’s experience of faith as a gay black man and how it affected or defined his life for better or worse as the case may be.
Get it on Amazon – July 2018
Welcome to Lagos by Chibundu Onuzo
Synopsis: Five runaways who become unlikely allies ride the bus from Bayelsa to Lagos in hope of a better life. They are a private, a housewife, an officer, a militant and a young girl. They each share a need to escape and a dream for the future but end up sharing a burden that none could have expected.
IMHO: I picked this up in a bookstore in Berlin, earlier this year and sadly haven’t had a chance to read it yet. The synopsis is very promising, and I’ve heard such good reviews about this novel that it is very high on my TBR list. Expect a Just Read It in the coming months!
Get it on Amazon
When I Hit You by Meena Kandasamy
Synopsis: A young woman falls in love and marries a dashing university professor, moving away with him to a rain-washed coastal town. But her seemingly perfect husband turns out to be a perfect monster, as her beats her into obedience. With family pressuring her to stay in the marriage, she swears to fight back in move of resistance that could either kill her or set her free.
IMHO: Being totally honest, I am a little weary of reading this novel given the subject matter of domestic violence. That said a promising review of the novel revealed that it moved readers to laughter, tears, anger and action! For that alone, I’m on board. A review is sure to be coming soon.
Get it on Amazon