Kenya’s 51 Best Sellers in 2019

 

Kenya’s 51 Best Sellers in 2019

2019 has been a good year for Kenyan  writers.With books like Dragonfly Sea by Yvonne Owour , Sulwe by Lupita Nyang’o ,Pursuit of Peace in Africa by Gen Daniel Opande being among the most sort after books.The list below shares Kenyan’s favorites; both new and old in the past year!

  1. The Dragonfly Sea – Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor 2,890

On the island of Pate, off the coast of Kenya, lives solitary, stubborn Ayaana and her mother, Munira. When a sailor named Muhidin, also an outsider, enters their lives, Ayaana finds something she has never had before: a father. But as Ayaana grows into adulthood, forces of nature and history begin to reshape her life and the island itself. From a taciturn visitor with a murky past to a sanctuary-seeking religious extremist, from dragonflies to a tsunami, from black-clad kidnappers to cultural emissaries from China. Ayaana ends up embarking on a dramatic ship’s journey to the Far East, where she will discover friends and enemies; be seduced by the charming but unreliable scion of a powerful Turkish business family; reclaim her devotion to the sea; and come to find her own tenuous place amid a landscape of beauty and violence and surprising joy. Told with a glorious lyricism and an unerring sense of compassion, The Dragonfly Sea is a transcendent story of adventure, fraught choices, and of the inexorable need for shelter in a dangerous world.

 

  1. Manchester Happened – Jennifer Makumbi 2,150

How far does one have to travel to find home elsewhere? The stories in Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi’s collection attempt to measure that distance. Centered around the lives of Ugandans in Britain, Manchester Happened features characters both hyper-visible and unseen, they take on jobs at airport security, care for the elderly, and work in hospitals, while remaining excluded from white, British life. As they try to find their place, they drift from a home that feels further and further away. In an ambitious collection by the critically acclaimed author of KintuManchester Happened explores what happens to those who leave.

  1. The Old Drift – Namwali Serpell 1,890

On the banks of the Zambezi River, a few miles from the majestic Victoria Falls, there is a colonial settlement called The Old Drift. In a smoky room at the hotel across the river, an Old Drifter named Percy M. Clark, foggy with fever, makes a mistake that entangles the fates of an Italian hotelier and an African busboy. This sets off a cycle of unwitting retribution between three Zambian families (black, white, brown) as they collide and converge over the course of the century, into the present and beyond. As the generations pass, their lives—their triumphs, errors, losses and hopes—emerge through a panorama of history, fairy tale, romance and science fiction.

 

4Small Country – Gael Faye 1,290

Burundi, 1992. For ten-year-old Gabriel, life in his comfortable expat neighbourhood of Bujumbura with his French father, Rwandan mother and little sister, Ana, is something close to paradise. These are happy, carefree days spent with his friends sneaking cigarettes and stealing mangoes, swimming in the river and riding bikes in the streets they have turned into their kingdom. But dark clouds are gathering over this small country, and soon their peaceful idyll will shatter when Burundi and neighbouring Rwanda are brutally hit by war and genocide.

  1. Talking to Strangers – Malcolm Gladwell 1,890

The routine traffic stop that ends in tragedy. The spy who spends years undetected at the highest levels of the Pentagon. The false conviction of Amanda Knox. Why do we so often get other people wrong? Why is it so hard to detect a lie, read a face or judge a stranger’s motives?

Through a series of encounters and misunderstandings – from history, psychology and infamous legal cases – Malcolm Gladwell takes us on an intellectual adventure into the darker side of human nature, where strangers are never simple and misreading them can have disastrous consequences.

 

 

  1. Girl, Woman, Other – Bernadine Evaristo 2,390

From Newcastle to Cornwall, from the birth of the twentieth century to the teens of the twenty-first, Girl Woman Other follows a cast of twelve characters on their personal journeys through this country and the last hundred years. They’re each looking for something – a shared past, an unexpected future, a place to call home, somewhere to fit in, a lover, a missed mother, a lost father, even just a touch of hope.

It won the Booker Prize in 2019.

 

  1. The Cape Cod Bicycle War :and Other Stories -1,650

“Insightful stories that reflect on the ramifications of falling from the Kenyan middle class. The loss of its certainties and pretensions leaves Billy Kahora’s young men and women adrift. Their fathers who once commanded and never explained, either desert home or become powerless shadows. Mothers become mentally ill or take comfort in religion or drink but they hang on to maintain the semblance of home. These stories capture the hopes and failures of a particular place and time with skill, insight and an unapologetic, urban Kenyanness of expression.”—Muthoni Garland, author of Tracking the Scent of My Mother

 

 

 

9. Pet – Akwaeke Emezi 1,150

There are no more monsters anymore, or so the children in the city of Lucille are taught. With doting parents and a best friend named Redemption, Jam has grown up with this lesson all her life. But when she meets Pet, a creature made of horns and colours and claws, who emerges from one of her mother’s paintings and a drop of Jam’s blood, she must reconsider what she’s been told.

Pet has come to hunt a monster, and the shadow of something grim lurks in Redemption’s house. Jam must fight not only to protect her best friend, but also to uncover the truth.

  1. Becoming Nigerian: A Guide – Elnathan John 1,450

In Be(com)ing Nigerian: A Guide, Elnathan John provides an affecting, unrestrained and satirical guide to the Nigerians you will meet at home and abroad, or on your way to hell and to heaven. It is a searing look at how power is performed, negotiated and abused in private and in public; in politics, business, religious institutions and in homes. From the exploration of religious hypocrisy to inequality in matters of the heart, the collection is a jab at Nigerian society and what it means to be a Nigerian. Beyond poking fun at the holders of power, it is a summons, a provocation and a call for introspection among all levels of society. As is often said in Nigeria, when you point with one finger, there are four others pointing back at you.

 

  1. Permanent Record – Edward Snowden 2,890

In 2013, twenty-nine-year-old Edward Snowden shocked the world when he broke with the American intelligence establishment and revealed that the United States government was secretly pursuing the means to collect every single phone call, text message, and email. The result would be an unprecedented system of mass surveillance with the ability to pry into the private lives of every person on earth. Six years later, Snowden reveals for the very first time how he helped to build this system and why he was moved to expose it.

 

  1. Digital Democracy, Analogue Politics – Nanjala Nyabola 2,690

From the upheavals of recent national elections to the success of the #MyDressMyChoice feminist movement, digital platforms have already had a dramatic impact on political life in Kenya – one of the most electronically advanced countries in Africa. While the impact of the Digital Age on Western politics has been extensively debated, there is still little appreciation of how it has been felt in developing countries such as Kenya, where Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp and other online platforms are increasingly a part of everyday life.

For traditionally marginalised groups, particularly women and people with disabilities, digital spaces have allowed Kenyans to build new communities which transcend old ethnic and gender divisions. But the picture is far from wholly positive.

 

  1. Making Futures – Sangu Delle 2,400

This collection tells the story of an emerging, dynamic Africa, through the eyes of some of the youngest and most promising African entrepreneurs. Charting the stories of 17 entrepreneurs working in different industries and across Africa, Making Futures: Young Entrepreneurs in a Dynamic Africa showcases the young women and men who are taking charge of their destinies and building business enterprises and innovative non-profits to radically change their lives and the lives of their communities. This collection equips readers with intimate knowledge about the markets and growth across the region, and how young creative entrepreneurs are identifying problems as opportunities and seeding growth in a continent that has been long overlooked, but is poised for explosive growth and opportunity, enabled by technology.

  1. In Pursuit of Peace in Africa – Daniel Opande 2,550

Lieutenant General Daniel Opande, in his autobiography In Pursuit of Peace in Africa, shares his experiences in childhood, education, family and military career until his retirement. He wore many hats: soldier, military leader, peacemaker, humanitarian, peace ambassador and mediator.

Notable highlights include his role in Kenya’s Shifta Campaign of the 1960s and engaging with rebels during peace operations he led in Namibia, Mozambique, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. In retirement, General Opande has occasionally mediated conflicts; among them the 2007, 2008, 2013 and 2017 election crises in Kenya and the aftermath of the 2015 upheavals in South Sudan. This book is a rich inspirational resource for aspiring leaders.

 

  1. What A Time to be Alone – Chidera Eggerue 2,100

Sometimes it’s not easy to find self-worth in a world that seems obsessed with telling us we’re not good enough. Empowering, intimate and full of heart: this highly-anticipated debut book from the online sensation ‘The Slumflower’, aka Chidera Eggerue, the unstoppable force behind the ground-breaking movement #SAGGYBOOBSMATTER, is essential reading for all young women. It’s time to take charge of your life.

In What A Time To Be Alone, The Slumflower will be your life guru, confidante and best friend. She’ll show you that being alone is not just okay: it’s just about the best freaking thing that’s ever happened to you. As she says, ‘You’re bad as hell and you were made with intention.’ It’s about time you realised.

  1. The Tattooist of Aushwitz – Heather Morris 1390                              

In 1942, Lale Sokolov arrived in Auschwitz-Birkenau. He was given the job of tattooing the prisoners marked for survival – scratching numbers into his fellow victims’ arms in indelible ink to create what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust.

Waiting in line to be tattooed, terrified and shaking, was a young girl. For Lale – a dandy, a jack-the-lad, a bit of a chancer – it was love at first sight. And he was determined not only to survive himself, but to ensure this woman, Gita, did, too. So begins one of the most life-affirming, courageous, unforgettable and human stories of the Holocaust: the love story of the tattooist of Auschwitz.

 

  1. An American Marriage – Tayari Jones 1,290

Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of the American Dream. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. Until one day they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years for a crime Celestial knows he didn’t commit.

Devastated and unmoored, Celestial finds herself struggling to hold on to the love that has been her centre, taking comfort in Andre, their closest friend. When Roy’s conviction is suddenly overturned, he returns home ready to resume their life together.

  1. High Performance Habits – Brendon Burchard 3,000

Twenty years ago, author Brendon Burchard set out to discover why some people can easily change, develop skill rapidly and rise in their chosen career field, while others work hard but struggle for decades. What he discovered is a unique set of habits that apply across all areas of our lives, that when practiced lead to success across any domain.

 

 

 

  1. House of Stone – Novuyo Rosa Tshuma 1,290

Bukhosi has gone missing.

His father, Abed, and his mother, Agnes, cling to the hope that he has run away, rather than been murdered by government thugs. Only the lodger seems to have any idea…

Zamani has lived in the spare room for years now. Quiet, polite, well-read and well-heeled, he’s almost part of the family – but almost isn’t quite good enough for Zamani. Cajoling, coaxing and coercing Abed and Agnes into revealing their sometimes tender, often brutal life stories, Zamani aims to steep himself in borrowed family history, so that he can fully inherit and inhabit its uncertain future.

  1. When Breath Becomes Air – Paul Kalanithi 1,000

At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, the next he was a patient struggling to live.

Paul Kalanithi died while working on this profoundly moving book, yet his words live on as a guide to us all. When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a medical student asking what makes a virtuous and meaningful life into a neurosurgeon working in the core of human identity – the brain – and finally into a patient and a new father.

 

  1. Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long Happy Life – Hector Garcia 1,850

We all have an ikigai.

It’s the Japanese word for ‘a reason to live’ or ‘a reason to jump out of bed in the morning’.

It’s the place where your needs, desires, ambitions, and satisfaction meet. A place of balance. Small wonder that finding your ikigai is closely linked to living longer.

Finding your ikigai is easier than you might think. This book will help you work out what your own ikigai really is, and equip you to change your life. You have a purpose in this world: your skills, your interests, your desires and your history have made you the perfect candidate for something. All you have to do is find it.

  1. This Mournable Body – Tsitsi Dangarembga 1,650

A searing novel about the obstacles facing women in Zimbabwe, by one of the country’s most notable authors Anxious about her prospects after leaving a stagnant job, Tambudzai finds herself living in a run-down youth hostel in downtown Harare. For reasons that include her grim financial prospects and her age, she moves to a widow’s boarding house and eventually finds work as a biology teacher. But at every turn in her attempt to make a life for herself, she is faced with a fresh humiliation, until the painful contrast between the future she imagined and her daily reality ultimately drives her to a breaking point.

 

 

  1. Moment of Lift – Melinda Gates 2,450

Sunday Times bestselling debut from Melinda Gates, a timely and necessary call to action for women’s empowerment.’How can we summon a moment of lift for human beings – and especially for women? Because when you lift up women, you lift up humanity.’

For the last twenty years, Melinda Gates has been on a mission to find solutions for people with the most urgent needs, wherever they live. Throughout this journey, one thing has become increasingly clear to her: If you want to lift a society up, you need to stop keeping women down.

In this moving and compelling book, Melinda shares the stories of the inspiring people she’s met during her work and travels around the world and the lessons she’s learned from them. As she writes in the introduction, “That is why I had to write this book – to share the stories of people who have given focus and urgency to my life. I want all of us to see ways we can lift women up where we live.”

  1. Born A Crime – Trevor Noah 1,290

One of the comedy world’s brightest new voices, Trevor Noah is a light-footed but sharp-minded observer of the absurdities of politics, race and identity, sharing jokes and insights drawn from the wealth of experience acquired in his relatively young life. As host of the US hit show The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, he provides viewers around the globe with their nightly dose of biting satire, but here Noah turns his focus inward, giving readers a deeply personal, heartfelt and humorous look at the world that shaped him.

Noah was born a crime, son of a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother, at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents’ indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the first years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, take him away.

  1. A Man of Good Hope – Johnny Steinberg 1,150

When Asad was eight years old, his mother was shot in front of him. With his father in hiding, he was swept alone into the great wartime migration that has scattered the Somali people throughout the world.

This extraordinary book tells Asad’s story. Serially betrayed by the people who promised to care for him, Asad lived his childhood at a sceptical remove from the adult world, living in a bewildering number of places, from the cosmopolitan streets of inner-city Nairobi to towns deep in the Ethiopian desert.

By the time he reached the cusp of adulthood, Asad had made good as a street hustler, brokering relationships between hardnosed Ethiopian businessmen and bewildered Somali refugees. He also courted the famously beautiful Foosiya, and married her, to the astonishment of his peers.

Buoyed by success in work and in love, Asad put $1,200 in his pocket and made his way down the length of the African continent to Johannesburg, whose streets he believed to be lined with gold. So began an adventure in a country richer and more violent than he could possibly have imagined.

  1. My Sister, the Serial Killer – Oyinkan Braithwaite 1,950

When Korede’s dinner is interrupted one night by a distress call from her sister, Ayoola, she knows what’s expected of her: bleach, rubber gloves, nerves of steel and a strong stomach. This’ll be the third boyfriend Ayoola’s dispatched in, quote, self-defence and the third mess that her lethal little sibling has left Korede to clear away. She should probably go to the police for the good of the menfolk of Nigeria, but she loves her sister and, as they say, family always comes first. Until, that is, Ayoola starts dating the doctor where Korede works as a nurse. Korede’s long been in love with him, and isn’t prepared to see him wind up with a knife in his back: but to save one would mean sacrificing the other…

 

  1. Dare to Lead – Brené Brown 1,850

Leadership is not about titles, status and power over people. Leaders are people who hold themselves accountable for recognising the potential in people and ideas, and developing that potential. This is a book for everyone who is ready to choose courage over comfort, make a difference and lead.

When we dare to lead, we don’t pretend to have the right answers; we stay curious and ask the right questions. We don’t see power as finite and hoard it; we know that power becomes infinite when we share it and work to align authority and accountability. We don’t avoid difficult conversations and situations; we lean into the vulnerability that’s necessary to do good work.

  1. Ego is the Enemy -1,450


“I see the toxic vanity of ego at play every day and it never ceases to amaze me how often it wrecks promising creative endeavors. Read this book before it wrecks you or the projects and people you love. Consider it as urgently as you do a proper workout regimen and eating right.  Ryan’s insights are priceless.”
Marc Ecko, founder of Ecko Unltd and Complex

 

 

 

 

  1. The Nickel Boys – Colson Whitehead 2,450

Elwood Curtis has taken the words of Dr Martin Luther King to heart: he is as good as anyone. Abandoned by his parents, brought up by his loving, strict and clearsighted grandmother, Elwood is about to enroll in the local black college. But given the time and the place, one innocent mistake is enough to destroy his future, and so Elwood arrives at The Nickel Academy, which claims to provide ‘physical, intellectual and moral training’ which will equip its inmates to become ‘honorable and honest men’.

In reality, the Nickel Academy is a chamber of horrors, where physical, emotional and sexual abuse is rife, where corrupt officials and tradesmen do a brisk trade in supplies intended for the school, and where any boy who resists is likely to disappear ‘out back’. Stunned to find himself in this vicious environment, Elwood tries to hold on to Dr King’s ringing assertion, ‘Throw us in jail, and we will still love you.’ But Elwood’s fellow inmate and new friend Turner thinks Elwood is naive and worse; the world is crooked, and the only way to survive is to emulate the cruelty and cynicism of their oppressors. The tension between Elwood’s idealism and Turner’s skepticism leads to a decision which will have decades-long repercussions.

  1. Transparent City – Ondjaki 1,890

In a crumbling apartment block in the Angolan city of Luanda, families work, laugh, scheme, and get by. In the middle of it all is the melancholic Odonato, nostalgic for the country of his youth and searching for his lost son. As his hope drains away and as the city outside his doors changes beyond all recognition, Odonato’s flesh becomes transparent and his body increasingly weightless. A captivating blend of magical realism, scathing political satire, tender comedy, and literary experimentation, Transparent City offers a gripping and joyful portrait of urban Africa quite unlike any before yet published in English, and places Ondjaki, indisputably, among the continent’s most accomplished writers.

 

 

  1. The Sun on My Head – Geovani Martins 1,590

The Sun on My Head is a collection of thirteen stories set in Rio’s largest favela, gravitating around the lives of young boys and men who, in spite of having to deal with the anguish and difficulties inherent to their age, also struggle with the violence involved in growing up on the less favoured side of the ‘Broken City’.

They smoke weed, sell weed, and notice the smell of weed lingering on the clothes of passersby in the streets. A boy steals his security-guard father’s gun to show it to his friends, another runs into trouble disposing of a body, and another relapses into an old graffiti habit, with tragic consequences. Drugs and poverty colour them, but these stories also depict the pain of growing up with attendant hopes and desires.

  1. The 5AM Club – Robin Sharma 1,890

Legendary leadership and elite performance expert Robin Sharma introduced The 5am Club concept over twenty years ago, based on a revolutionary morning routine that has helped his clients maximize their productivity, activate their best health and bulletproof their serenity in this age of overwhelming complexity.

Now, in this life-changing book, handcrafted by the author over a rigorous four-year period, you will discover the early-rising habit that has helped so many accomplish epic results while upgrading their happiness, helpfulness and feelings of aliveness.

 

 

32 21 Lessons for  21st Century

“The human mind wants to worry. This is not necessarily a bad thing—after all, if a bear is stalking you, worrying about it may well save your life. Although most of us don’t need to lose too much sleep over bears these days, modern life does present plenty of other reasons for concern: terrorism, climate change, the rise of A.I., encroachments on our privacy, even the apparent decline of international cooperation. In his fascinating new book, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, the historian Yuval Noah Harari creates a useful framework for confronting these fears. While his previous best sellers, Sapiens and Homo Deus, covered the past and future respectively, his new book is all about the present. The trick for putting an end to our anxieties, he suggests, is not to stop worrying. It’s to know which things to worry about, and how much to worry about them. . . . Harari is such a stimulating writer that even when I disagreed, I wanted to keep reading and thinking. . . . [Harari] has teed up a crucial global conversation about how to take on the problems of the twenty-first century.”—Bill Gates, The New York Times Book Review

  1. Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike – Phil Knight 1,450

In 1962, fresh out of business school, Phil Knight borrowed $50 from his father and created a company with a simple mission: import high-quality, low-cost athletic shoes from Japan. Selling the shoes from the boot of his Plymouth, Knight grossed $8000 in his first year. Today, Nike’s annual sales top $30 billion. In an age of start-ups, Nike is the ne plus ultra of all start-ups, and the swoosh has become a revolutionary, globe-spanning icon, one of the most ubiquitous and recognisable symbols in the world today.

  1. 3 Kings: Diddy, Dr Dre, Jay-Z and Hip-Hop’s Multibillion-Dollar Rise – Zack O’Malley Greenburg 2,890

 Being successful musicians was simply never enough for the three kings of hip-hop. Diddy, Dr. Dre, and Jay-Z lifted themselves from childhood adversity into tycoon territory, amassing levels of fame and wealth that not only outshone all other contemporary hip-hop artists, but with a combined net worth of well over $2 billion made them the three richest American musicians, period. Yet their fortunes have little to do with selling their own albums: between Diddy’s Ciroc vodka, Dre’s $3 billion sale of his Beats headphones to Apple, and Jay-Z’s Tidal streaming service and other assets, these artists have transcended pop music fame to become lifestyle icons and moguls.

Hip-hop is no longer just a musical genre; it’s become a way of life that encompasses fashion, film, food, drink, sports, electronics and more – one that has opened new paths to profit and to critical and commercial acclaim. Thanks in large part to the Three Kings-who all started their own record labels and released classic albums before moving on to become multifaceted businessmen-hip-hop has been transformed from a genre spawned in poverty into a truly global multibillion-dollar industry.

  1. Afropean – Johnny Pitts 2,890

Afropean is an on-the-ground documentary of areas where Europeans of African descent are juggling their multiple allegiances and forging new identities. Here is an alternative map of the continent, taking the reader to places like Cova Da Moura, the Cape Verdean shantytown on the outskirts of Lisbon with its own underground economy, and Rinkeby, the area of Stockholm that is eighty per cent Muslim. Johny Pitts visits the former Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow, where West African students are still making the most of Cold War ties with the USSR, and Clichy Sous Bois in Paris, which gave birth to the 2005 riots, all the while presenting Afropeans as lead actors in their own story.

 

 

  1. The Infinite Game – Simon Sinek 2,450

The game of business fits all the requirements of an infinite game. There may be known as well as unknown players. New players can join at any time. Each player has their own strategy and there is no set of fixed rules (other than the law). There is no beginning and there is no end. In an infinite game like business there are no winners or losers. Rather, players simply drop out when they run out of the will and resources to cotinue playing. In this context, business leaders should stop thinking about who wins or who is the best and start thinking about how to build strong and healthy organizations that can stand the test of time.

  1. On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous – Ocean Vuong 1,850

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is a letter from a son to a mother who cannot read. Written when the speaker, Little Dog, is in his late twenties, the letter unearths a family’s history that began before he was born – a history whose epicentre is rooted in Vietnam – and serves as a doorway into parts of his life his mother has never known, all of it leading to an unforgettable revelation. At once a witness to the fraught yet undeniable love between a single mother and her son, it is also a brutally honest exploration of race, class, and masculinity. Asking questions central to the American moment, immersed as it is in addiction, violence, and trauma, but undergirded by compassion and tenderness, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is as much about the power of telling one’s own story as it is about the obliterating silence of not being heard.

 

  1. The Narrow Corridor – Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson 2,450

The Narrow Corridor: States, Societies, and the Fate of Liberty Liberty is hardly the “natural” order of things. In most places and at most times, the strong have dominated the weak and human freedom has been quashed by force or by customs and norms. Either states have been too weak to protect individuals from these threats, or states have been too strong for people to protect themselves from despotism. Liberty emerges only when a delicate and precarious balance is struck between state and society.

There is a Western myth that political liberty is a durable construct, arrived at by a process of “enlightenment.” This static view is a fantasy, the authors argue. In reality, the corridor to liberty is narrow and stays open only via a fundamental and incessant struggle between state and society: The authors look to the American Civil Rights Movement, Europe’s early and recent history, the Zapotec civilization circa 500 BCE, and Lagos’s efforts to uproot corruption and institute government accountability to illustrate what it takes to get and stay in the corridor. But they also examine Chinese imperial history, colonialism in the Pacific, India’s caste system, Saudi Arabia’s suffocating cage of norms, and the “Paper Leviathan” of many Latin American and African nations to show how countries can drift away from it, and explain the feedback loops that make liberty harder to achieve.

  1. A Stranger’s Pose – Emmanuel Iduma 1,590

Through stories remembered and imagined, and images by acclaimed photographers, A Stranger’s Pose draws the reader into a world of encounters in more than a dozen African towns. Iduma blends memoir, travelogue and storytelling in these fragments of a traveller’s journey across several African cities. Inspired by the author’s travels with photographers between 2011 and 2015, the author’s own accounts are expanded to include other narratives about movement, estrangement, and intimacy. These include: an arrest in a market in N’djamena, being punished by a Gendarmes officer on a Cameroonian highway and meeting the famed photographer Malick Sidibe in Bamako.

 

  1. An Orchestra of Minorities – Chigozie Obioma 1,290

 An Orchestra of Minorities: Shortlisted for the Booker Prize 2019A young farmer named Chinonso prevents a woman from falling to her death. Bonded by this strange night on the bridge, he and Ndali fall in love, but it is a mismatch according to her family who reject him because of his lowly status. Is it love or madness that makes Chinonso think he can change his destiny?

Set across Nigeria and Cyprus, An Orchestra of Minorities, written in the mythic style of the Igbo tradition, weaves a heart-wrenching tale about fate versus free will.

 

  1. If Beale Street Could Talk – James Baldwin 1,290

 If Beale Street Could Talk (Penguin Modern Classics Book 35) by [Baldwin, James]Harlem in the 1970s: the black soul of New York City. Tish is nineteen and the man she loves – her lifelong friend and the father of her unborn child – has been jailed for a crime he did not commit. As their families come together to fight for his freedom, will their love be enough?

The Book recently turned into a major motion picture captures the black experience of today in the words of the past. Balwin proves that he can transcend time in his work.

 

 

  1. Bibi: The Turbulent Life and Times of Benjamin Netanyahu 3,000

For many in Israel and elsewhere, Benjamin Netanyahu is anathema, an embarrassment; yet he continues to dominate Israeli public life. How can we explain his rise, his hold on Israeli politics, and his outsized role on the world’s stage? In Bibi, Anshel Pfeffer reveals the formative influence of Netanyahu’s father and grandfather, who bequeathed to him a once-marginal brand of Zionism combining Jewish nationalism with religious traditionalism. In the Zionist enterprise, Netanyahu embodies the triumph of the underdogs over the secular liberals who founded the nation. Netanyahu’s Israel is a hybrid of ancient phobia and high-tech hope; of tribalism and globalism — just like the man himself. We cannot understand Israel today without first understanding the man who leads it.

 

  1. More than Enough: Claiming Space for Who You Are (No Matter What They Say) – Elaine Welteroth 2,090

Elaine Welteroth has climbed the ranks of media and fashion, shattering ceilings along the way. In this riveting and timely memoir, the groundbreaking editor unpacks lessons on race, identity, and success through her own journey, from navigating her way as the unstoppable child of a unlikely interracial marriage in small-town California to finding herself on the frontlines of a modern movement for the next generation of change makers.

 

 

 

  1. Sulwe – Lupita Nyong’o 2,290 

From Academy Award-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o comes a powerful, moving picture book about colourism, self-esteem and learning that true beauty comes from within.

Sulwe’s skin is the colour of midnight. She’s darker than everyone in her family, and everyone at school. All she wants is to be beautiful and bright, like her mother and sister. Then a magical journey through the night sky opens her eyes and changes everything.

  1. John Grisham – The Guardians 2,390

22 years ago Quincy Miller was sentenced to life without parole. He was accused of killing Keith Russo, a lawyer in a small Florida town. But there were no reliable witnesses and little motive. Just the fact that Russo had botched Quincy’s divorce case, that Quincy was black in a largely all-white town and that a blood-splattered torch was found in the boot of Quincy’s car. A torch he swore was planted. A torch that was conveniently destroyed in a fire just before his trial.

The lack of evidence made no difference to judge or jury. In the eyes of the law Quincy was guilty and, no matter how often he protested his innocence, his punishment was life in prison. Finally, after 22 years, comes Quincy’s one and only chance of freedom. An innocence lawyer and minister, Cullen Post, takes on his case. Post has exonerated eight men in the last ten years. He intends to make Quincy the next.

But there were powerful and ruthless people behind Russo’s murder. They prefer that an innocent man dies in jail rather than one of them. There’s one way to guarantee that. They killed one lawyer 22 years ago, and they’ll kill another without a second thought.

  1. Make Your Bed – William H. McRaven 1,450

In 2014, Admiral William H. McRaven addressed the graduating class of the University of Texas, in a video which has since been watched over 10 million times.

He shared the 10 principles he had learned during his Navy Seal training that helped him overcome challenges not only in his long Naval career, but also throughout his life. He explained how anyone can use these basic lessons to change themselves – and the world – for the better . . .

  1. Girls Who Changed the World – Michelle Roehm McCann 1,000

Young women today crave strong, independent role models to look to for motivation. Girls Who Changed the World offers a fun and uplifting collection of influential stories with forty-five more movers and shakers who made a difference early on in life.

From Cleopatra to Mindy Kaling, and Aretha Franklin to Emma Watson – each with her own incredible story of how she created life-changing opportunities for herself and the world – you’ll get to know these capable queens of empires and courageous icons of entertainment. Also included are profiles of gutsy teenagers who are out there rocking the world right now and personal aspirations from today’s young women.

  1. The Ice Monster – David Walliams 2,150

When Elsie, an orphan on the streets of Victorian London, hears about the mysterious Ice Monster – a woolly mammoth found at the North Pole – she’s determined to discover more…

A chance encounter brings Elsie face to face with the creature, and sparks the adventure of a lifetime – from London to the heart of the Arctic!

Heroes come in all different shapes and sizes in David Walliams’ biggest and most epic adventure yet!

 

  1. The Captain Underpants Collection – Dav Pilkey

Zoom into action and join our hero for a triple wedge of chunky action, freaky horror and crispy laffs! There are terrible toilets to defeat, evil aliens to send packing, and heaps of other totally horrible villains too. But will Captain Underpants have the wedgie-power to tackle them all?

 

  1. The Witch Boy – Molly Knox Ostertag 1,350

In thirteen-year-old Aster’s family, all the girls are raised to be witches, while boys grow up to be shapeshifters. Anyone who dares cross those lines is exiled. Unfortunately for Aster, he still hasn’t shifted . . . and he’s still fascinated by witchery, no matter how forbidden it might be.

When a mysterious danger threatens the other boys, Aster knows he can help — as a witch. It will take the encouragement of a new friend, the non-magical and non-conforming Charlie, to convince Aster to try practicing his skills. And it will require even more courage to save his family . . . and be truly himself.

 

 

51. Of Pawns and Players :400

In this book, Kombani takes on the issue of gambling—a craze that has recently taken over the youth as a way of making quick money.

Of Pawns and Players starts with a punch, literally. A man in a white Mercedes accosts a mutura (African sausage) vendor based in Gardenia Estate.

 

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