August has always been a time for the three R’s: rest, relaxation and reading some really good books!
So to that end, here’s my selection of books for the August TBR pile.
Love in Colour by Bolu Babalola
A high-born Nigerian goddess feels beaten down and unappreciated by her gregarious lover and longs to be truly seen. A young businesswoman attempts to make a great leap in her company, and an even greater one in her love life. A powerful Ghanaian spokeswoman is forced to decide whether to uphold her family’s politics, or to be true to her heart.
In this stunning collection of love stories, Bolu Babalola reimagines magical folktales from West Africa, iconic Greek myths, ancient legends from the Middle East and stories from countries that no longer exist in our world. Taking a step towards decolonising tropes of love, Love in Colour is a celebration of romance in all its forms.
Promising review: ‘I am in love with every single word Bolu Babalola has written…So rarely is love expressed this richly, this vividly or this artfully.’ Candice Carty-Williams
Available for pre-order from Sevenoaks Bookshop
All My Lies Are True by Dorothy Koomson
Verity is telling lies. . . And that’s why she’s about to be arrested for attempted murder. Serena has been lying for years. . . And that may have driven her daughter, Verity, to do something unthinkable…Poppy’s lies have come back to haunt her . . . So will her quest for the truth hurt everyone she loves?
Everyone lies. But whose lies are going to end in tragedy?
All My Lies Are True is the gripping sequel to the Ice Cream Girls. A story about love, obsession and coercive control, this is a must-read for psychological thriller fans.
Promising review: A compelling page-turner. It’s thrilling. Honest and raw…The suspense and drama was on another level. No one does it like Dorothy! – Black Girls Book Club
Available to order from Hive (to order from independent bookshops)
To Liberty! The Adventures of Thomas-Alexandre Dumas by Catherine Johnson
An exciting adventure set in revolutionary France which tells the true story of Thomas-Alexandre Dumas, a swashbuckling hero whose mother was an enslaved African woman and whose father was a French noble.
To Liberty! The Adventures of Thomas-Alexandre Dumas is part of the Bloomsbury Readers series, which is aimed at getting children to read independently in Key Stage 2, with book-banded stories by award-winning authors.
Promising review: A brilliant read as a precursor to reading any of Dumas’ novels, or as a stand-alone as an historical biographical account. – Amazon
Available to order from Bloomsbury Books
African Europeans: An Untold History by Olivette Otele
As early as the third century, St Maurice—an Egyptian—became leader of the legendary Roman Theban Legion. Ever since, there have been richly varied encounters between those defined as ‘Africans’ and those called ‘Europeans’. Yet Africans and African Europeans are still widely believed to be only a recent presence in Europe.
Olivette Otele traces a long African European heritage through the lives of individuals both ordinary and extraordinary. Shining a light on a forgotten past from Emperor Septimius Severus, to enslaved Africans living in Europe during the Renaissance, Otele continues her exploration all the way to present-day migrants moving to Europe’s cities. In this fascinating book, she uncovers a history that has been long overlooked, and sheds light on questions very much alive today—on racism, identity, citizenship, power and resilience.
Promising review: ‘Yoking together the “African” and the “European”, too often treated as entirely separate categories, Otele skilfully invites her reader to navigate the multiple intersecting worlds inhabited by her characters. This is fundamentally reparative writing that undoes the cultivated ignorance around race and blackness in Europe and shows us what is irrefutably true—that black history is European history, indeed, world history.’ — Priyamvada Gopal, Professor of English, University of Cambridge, and author of Insurgent Empire
Available to buy from Hurst Publishers
Intimations: Six Essays by Zadie Smith
Drawing on her own personal experience of the coronavirus lockdown, Zadie Smith has written six short essays to capture her thoughts and feelings surrounding the events of 2020 so far.
“There will be many books written about the year 2020: historical, analytic, political and comprehensive accounts. This is not any of those. What I’ve tried to do is organise some of the feelings and thoughts that events, so far, have provoked in me, in those scraps of time the year itself has allowed. These are, above all, personal essays: small by definition, short by necessity.”
Promising review: Empowering, lucid and lyrical, Zadie Smith’s meditations on the life in lockdown are both sharply observant and deeply comforting. – Waterstones
Available to buy from Penguin Random House