TBB’s Recommended Reads July 2021

It is likely too early to say whether or not football is truly ‘coming home’ …

… but I can say with complete conviction that there are some great books to look out for this month. From All My Lies Are True, the latest thriller by bestselling author Dorothy Koomson, to Jo Hamya’s poignant debut Three Rooms, you will not be stuck for something to read.

Sista Sister by Candice Brathwaite
Author of I Am Not Your Baby Mother, Candice Brathwaite’s much anticipated second book Sista Sister is a sharp collection of smart and fearless essays, packed full of advice and wisdom that Candice wished she’d received as a young Black girl growing up in London.

Written in her trademark straight-talking, warm and funny style, Candice discusses topics from family, money to Black hair and fashion, as well as relationships and colourism. This is a fascinating read that is certain to have a profound impact on conversations about Black British life.

Promising reviews:
The woman bringing a fresh perspective to the mumfluencer world’ – Grazia
Accessible, sometimes shocking, honest, and feels written from the heart’ – Bernadine Evaristo

The Sex Lives of African Women by Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah
This revelatory collection highlights the diverse experiences of sex, sexualities, and relationships of African women and the journeys – both mental and physical – that they have undergone to own their sexuality.

Drawing both from the African continent and the global diaspora, The Sex Lives of African Women uniquely amplifies the voices of individual women from across the African continent and its global diaspora. From finding a queer community in Egypt to living a polyamorous life in Senegal to understanding the intersectionality of religion and pleasure in Cameroon to choosing to leave relationships that no longer serve them, these narratives are as individual and illuminating as the women who share them.

The Sex Lives of African Women is a deep insight into the complex tapestry of African women’s sexuality and bestows upon all women inspirational examples to living a truly liberated life.

Promising reviews:
A captivating diasporic work of sensual geographies. Teeming with freedom and agency. Utterly triumphant’- Irenosen Okojie
A beautiful, delicate, and sometimes brutal exploration of African Womanhood and sexuality, honest and moving. A vital treasure’ – Bolu Babalola

I Know What You Have Done by Dorothy Koomson
Do you have any idea what the people you know are capable of?
What if all your neighbours’ secrets landed in a diary on your doorstep?
What if the woman who gave it to you was murdered by one of the people in the diary?
What if the police asked if you knew anything?
Would you hand over the book of secrets?
Or … would you try to find out what everyone had done?

Bestselling author Dorothy Koomson delivers a heart pounding thriller of pace and menace, as a diary revealing her neighbours’ darkest secrets turns up on a woman’s doorstep.

Promising review:
The suspense and drama was on another level. No one does it like Dorothy‘ – Black Girls Books Club

Three Rooms by Jo Hamya
Autumn 2018, a young woman moves into a rented room in university accommodation, ready to begin a job as a research assistant at Oxford. Living and working in the spaces that have birthed the country’s leaders, she is both outsider and insider, and she can’t shake the feeling that real life is happening elsewhere.

Eight months later she’s in London working as a temp contract at a society magazine and paying £80 a week to sleep on a stranger’s sofa. Summer rolls on and England roils with questions around its domestic civil rights: Brexit, Grenfell, climate change, homelessness. Meanwhile, tensions with her flatmate escalate, she is overworked and underpaid, and the prospects of a permanent job seem increasingly unlikely until finally she has to ask herself: what is this all for?

Three Rooms is the story of a search for a home and for a self. Driven by despair and optimism in equal measure, the novel also poignantly explores politics, race, and belonging, as Jo Hamya asks us to consider the true cost of living as a young person in 21st-century England.

Promising review:
A stunning achievement . . . In every way possible, Three Rooms is a novel for our times‘ – Courttia Newland

We Need to Talk About Money by Otegha Uwagba
Otegha Uwagba explores her own complicated relationship with money in this extraordinarily candid personal account.

An unforgettable blend of memoir and cultural commentary, We Need To Talk About Money is a vital exploration of stories and issues that will be familiar to most. This is a book about toxic workplaces and misogynist men, about getting pay rises and getting evicted. About class and privilege and racism and beauty. About shame and pride, compulsion and fear.

In unpicking the shroud of secrecy surrounding money – who has it, how they got it, and how it shapes our lives – this bold, honest account of Otegha’s journey upturns countless social conventions, and uncovers some startling truths about our complex relationships with money.

Promising reviews:
In this compelling book, Otegha confronts the British aversion to discussing money and in doing so reveals she is one of the most original and talented young writers we have’ – Sathnam Sanghera

Personal but universal, Uwagba’s story of navigating university and the world of work while dealing with the pressures of class, lack of privilege and misogyny, is illuminating, eye-opening and reassuring’ – The Bookseller

All the books mentioned in this list are available from Hive and other online retailers and bookstores.


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