According to Cassandra Clare, “one must always be careful of books, and what is inside of them, for words have the power to change us.” The must-read books we have compiled will definitely leave an impression on you and have you thinking differently.
Gone are the days when a few Nigerian-authored books were used just for school literature studies; in recent times, Nigerian literature has transcended from classroom novels to more intriguing and imagination-stretching stories. Contemporary authors are taking Nigerian books to a global standard with more engaging and award-worthy storytelling.
You may have heard the saying: “if you want to hide anything from a black man, put it in a book.” Well, that saying doesn’t hold water anymore – at least not in Nigeria – because the average Nigerian is always in search of new literal knowledge.
If yours was like most Nigerian homes, you’ll recollect that we were forced to read as kids but now it is your sole responsibility to keep reading if you want to keep learning. And who doesn’t want that? The benefits of reading are not limited to just entertainment. If you read quite regularly, an improved vocabulary and writing skills will be your gain and of course, you’ll also become more knowledgeable on diverse subject matters.
We’ve curated 6 must-read books by Nigerian authors that will have you entertained and informed…
1. When Trouble Sleeps by Leye Adenle
When Trouble Sleeps is a thriller that reveals the sinister side of politics, murder and red light district.
Amaka, the main character in this novel is a tenacious woman who is passionate about bringing justice to abusers and greedy politicians. As we can predict, this dragged her into the hate list of the big goons as they seek to silence her by any means possible. This story takes a predictable twist as Amaka finds herself entangled in a scandal that seeks to ruin her reputation and everything she has worked so hard to build.
This novel exceptionally takes a heroic step to fight for sex workers who are always at risk but highly neglected due to the immoral nature of their business. Amaka, their saviour has to find ways to curl out of the mess and outsmart those bent on bringing her down.
2. Children of Blood and Bones by Tomi Adeyemi
When enchanting magic meets racism and oppression in a book you’re bound to get trapped in its quicksand. This trilogy is packed full with quintessential plots threatening to burst through the pages.
If ever in search of West African mythology, look no further. Grab this book and popcorn because this adult fantasy novel would put your imagination to great use with its enchanting scenes and interesting creatures.
It debuted at number one on The New York Times best-seller list for young adult books and is currently being developed into a movie by Fox 2000/Temple Hill Productions.
3. Dust to Dew by Betty Irabor
Betty Irabor shows us she is human after all in her biography “Dust to Dew” as she reveals her battles through her success journey. This super woman gave us hope as she discussed depression and how she handled it. This book will teach you that every success has a story and one thing every successful person has in common is they never gave up when life threw curve balls at them, they stood up and adjusted their crowns.
The publisher of one of Nigeria’s top magazines ‘Genevieve’ released this book at such a timely season when the majority of youths are getting depressed from broken dreams and unmet life expectations. We like to refer to this book as a word in due season.
4. My Transition Hours by Goodluck Jonathan
We all had questions and comments when the former president of the Federal Republic Of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan decided to concede defeat after he lost the 2015 elections. While some thought that action was born from pure humility and worthy of emulation, others labelled it weakness and cowardice.
Soothingly, the former president quenched our curiosity and doused any raging unsettled questions about his stepping down as he finally broke his silence with the release of “My Transition Hours.” Expectedly, he got both heavy backlash and commensurate applauds for it.
We dare say that this book would be one of the most relevant documents in Nigerian history ever written by a president.
5. The Famished Road by Ben Okri
We have all come across various Nigerian novels centred on the Abiku/Ogbanje (spirit child) character but this book by Ben Okri gives us a new and different view. This novel shows that love conquers all as it focuses on Azaro, an Abiku who journeyed to earth and fell in love with his earthly parents. This love was so strong that he refused to return to the spirit world despite constant persuasive attacks from his spirit siblings.
According to Ben Okri: “The novel was written to give me reasons to live. Often the wonder of living fades from us, obscured by a thousand things. I wanted to look at life afresh and anew and I sought a story that would give me the right vantage point. It is also meant to be a humorous book – from the perspective of the spirits, the deeds and furies of men are tinged with absurdity. Poverty compelled me to break off writing the novel in order to shape another, different book which would help keep me alive. This was a book of short stories and it forced compression on me.”
This is a novel that will make you question everything you thought you knew.
6. Welcome to Lagos by Chibundu Onuzo
Welcome to Lagos is proof of Onuzo’s natural storytelling skills. In it, she manages to cut across different regions and languages – from Niger Delta to Lagos and London. She, however, centres on Lagos with this funny story which depicts the never disappointing bustling city.
Welcome to Lagos is Onuzo’s second novel and has made appearances on many respectable book lists since its debut. Ironically, the novel begins in Niger Delta where there is a fracas between military men and the militants. As the violence became worse, Chike, a platoon leader flees with his subordinate and heads towards Lagos where he met unlikely kinds of people embarking on a similar journey. A more vibrant platoon is formed with Chike as their guide.
As unpredictable and dramatic as the story was with its endless twists, Onuzo manages to stay in control of the plot and it shows beyond a reasonable doubt that she is no fluke.
Photo Credit| As Captioned
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