Happy New Year, everyone!

New year, new books to anticipate.

Below is my annual collage of new books to anticipate this year. I’ve compiled 99 new African, African-American, Black-Brit and Caribbean books that look very promising. Please note – this list/collage is just a snippet of books by Black authors 2021 has to offer!

Hover over the images to read the blurbs and/or to pre-order the books.

(this post contains Amazon affiliate links)

MORE books to look out for in 2021:

[image via Goodreads]

Only on the Weekends by Dean Atta

The Blurb

Fifteen-year-old Mack is a hopeless romantic – he blames the films he’s grown up watching. He has liked Karim for as long as he can remember, and is ecstatic when Karim becomes his boyfriend – it feels like love.

But when Mack’s dad gets a job on a film in Scotland, Mack has to move, and soon he discovers how painful love can be. It’s horrible being so far away from Karim, but the worst part is that Karim doesn’t make the effort to visit. Love shouldn’t be only on the weekends.

Then, when Mack meets actor Finlay on a film set, he experiences something powerful, a feeling like love at first sight. How long until he tells Karim – and when will his old life and new life collide?

To be published September 2021

[image via KT Literary]

No One Dies Yet by Kobby Ben Ben

The Blurb

An unsettling tale of murder in a country whose dead slaves are shackled with stories that must be heard.

The Year of Return, linked to the 400th anniversary of slaves landing in the US, memorialised the many who died during the slave trade in Ghana, particularly at Elmina Castle, while encouraging members of the African diaspora to visit.

As Black diasporans around the world make the pilgrimage to West Africa, three African-American friends join in the festivities to explore Ghana’s colonial past and its underground queer scene. They are thrust into the hands of two guides, Kobby and Nana, whose intentions aren’t clear, yet they are the narrators we have to trust. Kobby, a modern deviant according to Nana’s traditional and religious principles, offers a more upscale and privileged tour of Ghana and also becomes the friends’ link to Accra’s secret gay culture. Nana’s adherence to his pastor’s teachings against sin makes him hate Kobby enough to want to kill.

To be published Fall/Spring 2021

[image via Zeba Blay]

Carefree Black Girls by Zeba Blay

The Blurb

Carefree Black Girls is an exploration and celebration of black women’s identity and impact on pop culture, as well as the enduring stereotypes they face, from a film and culture critic for HuffPost.

In 2013, Zeba Blay was one of the first people to coin the viral term “carefreeblackgirls” on Twitter. It was, as she says, “a way to carve out a space of celebration and freedom for black women online.”

In this collection of essays, Blay expands on that initial idea by looking at the significance of influential black women throughout history, including Josephine Baker, Michelle Obama, Rihanna, and Cardi B. Incorporating her own personal experiences as well as astute analysis of these famous women, Blay presents an empowering and celebratory portrait of black women and their effect on American culture. She also examines the many stereotypes that have clung to black women throughout history, whether it is the Mammy, the Angry Black Woman, or more recently, the Thot.

To be published October 2021

[image via Goodreads]

The Selfless Act of Breathing by JJ Bola

The Blurb

Michael decides to flee to America and end his life once all his savings run out. JJ Bola’s second novel is a story of millennial existential angst told through the eyes of a young Londoner who seems to have it all – a promising future, a solid career, strong friendships, a blossoming love story – but it’s the unbearable weight of life that leads him to decide to take his own.

As he grapples with issues bigger than him – political conflict, environmental desecration, police brutality – Michael seeks to find his place within a world that is complicated and unwelcoming.

Although he finds solace in the people that surround him, he alone must decide if his life is worth living.

To be published October 2021

[image via Anchor]

Woman, Eat Me Whole by Ama Asantewa Diaka


Woman, Eat Me Whole is a collection of poetry focusing on subjects including womanhood, the body, consent and the author’s Ghanaian heritage.

To be published 2021

[image via Miles Morland Foundation]

VAGABONDS! by Eloghosa Osunde


Nigerian writer and visual artist Eloghosa Osunde’s VAGABONDS!, is a novel of oppression and defiance among the people and spirits of Lagos.

To be published 2021


What new releases are you excited about? Please do share!

Check out the new books I highlighted in: 2020 | 20192018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015


To support the book blog with a one time contribution, kindly go to: paypal.me/africanbookaddict


Hey everyone!

I hope the month of February is treating everyone well. Over the weeks, I’ve been consuming great literature gems online. Below is a compilation of some of the LIT links I highly recommend you indulge in:


Raised by a single, independent mother, one young woman struggles with her familial inheritance and the relationship between self-sufficiency and social isolation.

(Image via Longreads via Klaus Vedfelt/Getty)

This isn’t the first time I’m mentioning Zoë’s name on this platform. In previous LIT Links posts, I highlighted her short story- Safe House, which was featured in AFREADA two years ago; she was also among the 75 Ghanaian writers highlighted in the GH at 60 | Our Writers & Their Books series, back in March.

Read My Secondhand Lonely and marvel at Zoë’s visceral, lucid writing. I hope she blesses us with a full novel or collection of short stories in the near future! Don’t be surprised when you see Zoë Gadegbeku’s name in lights soon.


  • AFREADA’s Valentine’s Day Short Story Collection – In case you’ve been living under a rock, AFREADA held a Valentine’s Day short story competition, where writers could submit love/romance-related stories for a chance to win £100! The competition is over now – as Valentine’s Day has passed (check out the winning story – HERE), but a bunch of the stories have been compiled into an ebook! Check out the breathtaking stories, for free – HERE.


  • Oldie but Goodie: Book review – African Love Stories: An Anthology edited by Ama Ata Aidoo. We’re still in the month of love! Two years ago, I reviewed this wonderful anthology on love stories, which was published in 2006. I gave the book 5 stars and encourage everyone to enjoy some love stories once in a while!


  •  Market FiftyFour is a new platform that publishes and markets affordable audio and e-books in African languages! Marthe van der Wolf and Melat G. Nigussie who are both Ethiopian, run Market FiftyFour.

Their first publication is entitled – Sheekadii Noloshayada (in English – The Story of Us), which is a a collection of short stories published in Somali by Hanna Ali. I recently had the opportunity to read the English version of the collection by Ali and I’m excited to review it soon. I look forward to the future projects Market FiftyFour will be publishing and hope more stories are from the Horn of Africa are published, as stories from that region of the continent aren’t really popular in the mainstream literary sphere!

(Image via Market FiftyFour)


  • Listen to episode 14 of The Sankofa Book Club, where I was joined Co-founder – Akua, to discussed their December book – Questions For Ada by Ijeoma Umebinyuo. The Sankofa Book Club was featured on this platform last year, and it’s still a popular post!

I had lots of fun recording with Akua over the Christmas break on this phenomenal poetry collection. I’ve spoken ad nauseam about this collection as it was the BEST book I read in 2017. If you’re still wondering whether you should purchase Questions For Ada, what are you waiting for? Enjoy the episode!


  • Libros Agency is an online bookstore and publishing agency based in Kenya, founded by Giovanni Patrick and Carly Gilbert. The aim of Libros Agency is ‘to have the unheard and unread stories of talented authors in the hands of  yearning readers.’ They have a good selection of books in their online bookstore, which delivers books digitally. Check them out if you want to enjoy the unread stories of talented writers!

(Image via Libros Agency)


  •  I hope Black History Month has been inspiring so far! If you’re active on social media (Twitter & Instagram), definitely follow the annual #ReadSoulLit photo challenge which was curated by Didi of Brown Girl Reading 4 years ago, with the aim of encouraging the love of books by African-American authors.

Check out Didi’s interview with Leslie Reese of blog – Folklore & Literacy, and read on how the #ReadSoulLit photo challenge begun and why it’s important. Its not too late to join the photo challenge- it’s running till the end of Black History Month!



Check out:

LIT Links Mélange ILIT Links Mélange II

LIT Links Mélange IIILIT Links Mélange IV

The Africa Center: Blogger Spotlight + LIT links mélange III

Hey everyone!

The Africa Center – which is based in New York, is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, multidisciplinary institution, provides a gateway for engagement with contemporary Africa. They’ve started a Bloggers Spotlight series that features African bloggers who have caught their eye. African Book Addict! is the first feature of the series.

Click the image below to check out the interview where I speak with Evelyn Owen about African Book Addict!, literature by writers of African descent, the literary scene in Accra and more:

Special thanks to Evelyn Owen and the team over at The Africa Center for the feature. I’m super grateful 🙂

Other interesting LIT links to indulge in:

  • Chigozie Obioma: who should I write for – Nigerians, Africans, or everyone? via The Guardian. I know a couple of Nigerians who weren’t crazy about Obioma’s debut – The Fishermen. They simply weren’t blown away by the storyline and some felt the text was laden with petty details – details that seem commonplace to the average Nigerian. I absolutely loved Obioma’s debut, but hearing a couple of readers’ complaints made me question his target audience. In this article, Obioma eloquently asserts that his writing is for everyone as he believes the best literature is accessibly to all.
  • Book bloggers are real readers via The Irish Times. Tunrayo of the blog Tunrayo’s Thoughts tweeted this AMAZING article to me last week. The article articulates and basically defends the role of book bloggers and the influence we hold. I loved it!
  •  We Can Be Heroes via Lenny Letter. In this very timely piece (Black History Month, duh!), black women writers pay homage to the women who’ve inspired them most. Featured writers include Zinzi Clemmons, Nicole Dennis-Benn, Jazmine Hughes and more!

Images via #ReadSoulLit Twitter hashtag timeline

I hope Black History Month 2017 has been inspiring so far! If you’re active on social media (Twitter & Instagram), definitely follow the annual #ReadSoulLit photo challenge (curated by Didi of Brown Girl Reading) to engage with other book lovers of African-American literature and discover many recommendations of books written by Black authors!

Sula by Toni Morrison

Date Read: February 16th 2015

Published: 1982

Publisher: Plume

Pages: 192


The Blurb

This rich and moving novel traces the lives of two black heroines from their close-knit childhood in a small Ohio town, through their sharply divergent paths of womanhood, to their ultimate confrontation and reconciliation.

Nel Wright has chosen to stay in the place where she was born, to marry, to raise a family, and become a pillar of the black community. Sula Peace has rejected the life Nel has embraced, escaping to college, submerging herself in city life. When she returns to her roots, it is as a rebel and a wanton seductress. Eventually, both women must face the consequences of their choices. Together, they create an unforgettable portrait of what it means and costs to be a black woman in America.


Review – ★★★ (3 stars)

Toni Morrison is a brilliant writer. Some bits of this novel were a bit dry and uninteresting, but Sula is a lovely story.

Sula Peace and Nel Wright were childhood friends from the same (fictional) town – the Bottom, in Ohio in the 1930’s. Nel came from a stable, strict household, while Sula was from a less strict household that did not seriously abide by social conventions. Despite Nel’s mother’s warnings, Nel constantly spent her time with Sula. They were inseparable, shared deep secrets (Chicken Little’s death) and were sometimes mistaken as sisters.

After high school, Sula decided to attend college in Nashville, while Nel immersed herself into motherhood, devoting her life to her husband and her three sons. When Sula returns to the Bottom, 10 years after she graduated, it was obvious that her relationship with Nel was not as intimate as before. Commentary from residents of the Bottom suggested that Sula had become a promiscuous woman who had affairs with married men, but Nel disregarded the gossip and continued to believe in the sisterhood they shared.

I really disliked Sula Peace. She was a selfish, wicked soul. Nel Wright was a bit more innocent and didn’t live for herself – I feel she lived for her husband, her kids, and Sula. I found the demise of Nel and Sula’s sisterhood predictable- especially given their similar YET very different character traits. Other characters like Eva (Sula’s one-legged grandmother), Hannah (Sula’s mother) and Shadrack help consummate the storyline in a way where readers learn life lessons from them. I loved Eva’s character- she symbolized a strong, resilient and almost heartless matriarch in my eyes.

Overall, it is Morrison’s unique writing style that made me appreciate this novel. Sula was not an exciting or extremely intriguing read for me. I’ll rummage through my Mom’s bookshelves and read another Toni Morrison soon. Maybe I’ll read The Bluest Eye or Tar Baby next.

★★★ (3 stars) – Good book. I recommend it, I guess.

Purchase Sula on Amazon

A Deeper Love Inside: The Porsche Santiaga Story by Sister Souljah

Date Read: January 28th 2015

Published: 2012

Publisher: Emily Bestler Books/ Washington Square Press (Simon & Schuster, Inc)

Pages: 432

Sister Souljah porsche

The Blurb

At last, mega-bestselling author Sister Souljah delivers the stunning sequel to The Coldest Winter Ever that fans have been eagerly waiting for. Frighteningly fierce, raw, and filled with completely unpredictability, this coming-of-age adventure is woven with emotional intensity.

A Deeper Love Inside is written in the words of Porsche Santiaga, Winter’s sharp-tongued, quick-witted younger sister. Porsche worships Winter. A natural born hustler, Porsche is also cut from the same cloth as her father, the infamous Ricky Santiaga.

Passionate and loyal to the extreme, Porsche refuses to accept her new life in group homes, foster care and juvenile detention after her wealthy family is torn apart. Porsche- unique, young and beautiful – cries as much as she fights and uses whatever she has to reclaim her status.

Unselfishly, she pushes to get back everything that ever belonged to her loving family. In A Deeper Love Inside, readers will encounter their favorite characters from The Coldest Winter Ever, including Winter and Midnight. Sister Souljah’s soulful writing will again move your heart and open your eyes to a shocking reality.


Review – ★★★★ (4 stars)

This was a fun read! It was a bit slow in the beginning or first 150 pages, but it got better. I read The Coldest Winter Ever about 10 years ago and all I remember is that it was ahhh-mazing! With that said, A Deeper Love Inside: The Porsche Santiaga Story is not a sequel – this book has very little to do with Winter, Porsche’s older sister.

This book is a coming-of-age and cautionary tale that focuses on how ghetto-born, 10 year old Porsche Santiaga, coped with being sent to juvy (juvenile detention) after her family was separated by the arrest of her father- Ricky Santiaga who was a notorious drug lord from Brooklyn, New York. After spending about 2 years in juvy and forming some key friendships (The Diamond Needles) that positively influenced her life, she successfully escapes juvy with some members of the Diamond Needles and soon learns many, many, many lessons about love and life through her painful adventures.

Love is the reason behind all of Porsche’s actions- whether good or bad. She was striving to bring her separated family back together, only to realize that life outside of juvy had really changed and maybe the familial love disappeared…

Sister Souljah is the only urban fiction author I’ve read and I respect her writing sooo much. Unfortunately, books in the Urban Literature or Urban Fiction genre are not given the same respect as other literary genres. But these are stories that need to be read to possibly help end the sad cycles of drug abuse, senseless killings, alcoholism, teenage pregnancies, the spread of HIV/AIDS, etc in the Black community. There is so much to say about this book and I don’t want to give away any spoilers…but I’m glad it ends on a positive, uplifting note. I love the fact that Porsche heals and found real love in Elisha, who loved and appreciated her deeply- a love she had been craving and working hard for, to no avail from her sister and mother.

I gave this 4 stars because the beginning was quite slow and almost made me want to give up. Also, The Coldest Winter Ever and Souljah’s memoir, No Disrespect were more exciting reads compared to this book. But I highly recommend this! It’s a relevant narrative.

Other well-known Urban Fiction writers:

Sapphire (author of PUSH which was adopted into the film, ‘Precious’), Teri WoodsZane (her books are a blend of urban fiction & erotica), Nina FoxxKimberla RobyK’wanOmar Tyree (author of the popular book, Flyy Girl), Eric Jerome DickeyDonald Goines.

*Check out this great Youtube video by Tiffany (TiffReads) for an extensive discussion on Urban Fiction, for other recommendations and to learn more about the genre if you are interested – HERE(This video was part of the February #ReadSoulLit Photo/Booktube Challenge on social media, organized by Didi of Brown Girl Reading)*

★★★★ (4 stars) – Great book. Highly recommend!

Purchase A Deeper Love Inside: The Porsche Santiaga Story on Amazon

You Can’t Keep A Good Woman Down by Alice Walker

Date Read: January 18th 2015

Published: 1981

Publisher: Harvest Books

Pages: 180

Alice Walker

The Blurb

A natural evolution from the earlier, much acclaimed short story collection In Love & Trouble, these fourteen provocative and often humorous stories show women oppressed but not defeated. No longer do they excuse the aggression of others, no longer are they suspended in their unhappy condition. The women here claim every bit of space they make.

These are modern stories: about love, lust, fame and cultural thievery, the perils of pornography, abortion and rape; the delight of new lovers, and the rediscovery of old friends, affirmed even across self-imposed color lines.


Review – ★★★★★ (5 stars)

Lovely, lovely, lovely collection of 14 short stories. If you want to think and learn something new, this is a must-read! You Can’t Keep A Good Woman Down is a classic. Most of the stories are pretty deep though. Alice Walker tackles issues from feminism/womanism to pornography to death to poverty to fame, abortion, the civil rights movement etc. All the women in these stories have some odds going against them, but find different ways of dealing with the prejudices. Even though these stories tug at your emotions, Walker ensures there are positive, humorous bits to all the stories allowing readers to see the light in the situations of each character in the stories.

I love how Walker makes references to Ida B. Wells, Audre Lorde and other prominent black women who have helped shape (black) American lives for the better. I also enjoyed Walker’s writing style in this collection. The sentence structures and style of writing leave room for various interpretations of her stories. When I re-read this, I will surely learn more things that I didn’t grasp from this first reading. Besides her critically acclaimed novel – The Color PurpleYou Can’t Keep A Good Woman Down is another great novel showcasing Alice Walker’s versatility as a writer.

Note: Prior knowledge on the Civil Rights Movement would help you thoroughly appreciate the stories in this book. Also, I think you must be 18 years or older to read this book – some descriptions are QUITE explicit!

My favorite stories were:

“How Did I Get Away With Killing One of the Biggest Lawyers in the State? It Was Easy” – This was a sad and crazy story from beginning to end. Some women are crazy…and dangerous! Loved it.

“Coming Apart” – I think every married couple should read this story- together. It’s sooo deep! It has you thinking about sex in such a different, non-flippant way. I’ll have to read it again to fully understand the concepts discussed in the story, but I learned how pornography has terrible consequences in relationships/marriages.

“The Abortion” – I just felt sick to my stomach reading this story. There weren’t many gory descriptions, but it was just miserable. I think I resented the main character. She was a selfish woman and expected her husband to make her happy, when happiness is really from within.

“A Sudden Trip Home In The Spring” – After the death of her father, Sarah – who is the only black girl in her school, questions whether she is in the right school as she sometimes feels out of place. I loved the calmness of this story. Some bits reminded me of my undergraduate experience at Middlebury College.

Like I said, if you want to think and learn something new, read this!

Oh! Today- February 9th, is Alice Walker’s 71st birthday! Happy Birthday Alice Walker!

★★★★★ (5 stars) – Amazing book, I loved it. Absolutely recommend!

Purchase You Can’t Keep A Good Woman Down on Amazon

Happy Black History Month! African-American Book Covers (showcase 4)

Why not celebrate Black History Month by admiring lovely book covers by 30 brilliant African-American/ Black authors?

Pick up a copy of one of these to commemorate Black Literature. Enjoy!

Check out more amazing book covers by African and Caribbean writers here.

And!! Check out (and join) #ReadSoulLit on social media (Twitter & Instagram) which was created by Didi of Brown Girl Reading (@FrenchieDeeDee). It’s a February Book Photo Challenge to celebrate Black History Month – her blog: http://browngirlreading.com

Happy Black History Month! 🙂