The Books & More Gift List 2020

We have curated a book list that will appeal to the hearts of all book lovers and lend a helping hand to anyone seeking to buy a gift for a bookish loved one.

Our first book is Elizabeth Okoh’s debut that came out in July. The Returnees is novel is about returning to your homeland and discovering something precious, so we had to pick this Africa and Diaspora inspired jewellery from Omi Woods.
Kereen Getten’s When Life Gives You Mangoes is a sweet and delicate exploration of young friendship set against the backdrop of a tropical Jamaican island. This Neroli Mango Lip Treatment from HelloAloe perfectly captures the book’s vibe and would make a delightful gift for the ladies in your life who want to feel pampered.
Described as “inventive, intimate, witty and wise,” Love in Colour is Bolu Babalola’s modern take on love stories from West African history, mythology and folkore. This bright Kente African Print Jumper from Sky Harrison captures the joyful and unashamedly romantic tone of the book. Even better – it’s unisex.
Alternatively, this Deep Green Head Wrap from Love YaaYaa embodies the vivacious female characters in Babalola’s tales.
The Deep Blue Between is a sweeping historical epic set in the 19th century that follows the lives of twin sisters torn apart after a brutal raid on their West African village. Separated by unfathomable distance, the sisters fight to find their way back to each other. These Ebony Women Figurines from Capri Gold match the themes of sisterhood, feminism and magic explored in Ayesha Harruna Attah’s novel.
Dean Atta’s The Black Flamingo combines prose and verse to tell the story of Michael, a mixed-race gay teen growing up in London who finds a sense of identity as flamboyant drag persona, the Black Flamingo. What better way to celebrate this lyrical coming-of-age tale than with the Bougie Candle from Tribal Unicorn?
Raybearer, a stunning young adult epic fantasy by Nigerian-American author Jordan Ifueko, tells a tale of loyalty, fate and love as seen through the eyes of the protagonist, Tarisai. This Men’s African Lion Chain Pendant from Strongous symbolises the kind of strength that Tarisai aspires to. The bonus is that anyone can wear it, regardless of gender.
Released at the very beginning of 2020, Riot Baby was heralded as Tochi Onyebuchi’s first novel geared towards adults. Using elements of both fantasy and science-fiction, it deftly conveys what it means to be Black in the United States today. This Black Lives Matters Fist from Twin Fuego Family shows solidarity with the book’s portrayal of the love, fury and revolution that defines the Black experience.
Set in a rural Ugandan village, Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi’s The First Woman is about the blossoming of a young girl in a community determined to silence her dissident views. This glorious Headwrap Women Art from Cinnamon & Brown presents an image of the feminist queen that The First Woman wants you to be.
The Voting Booth is a teen romance novel that follows spunky Marva Sheridan and jaded Duke Crenshaw as they prepare to vote in the first election of their lives. As both Marva and Duke come to learn, fighting against a rigged system and championing electoral democracy is no mean feat. Therefore, what better way to show that you mean business than with this Garabato Pathways Backpack from Mmmm by CSpringer? Handy and practical, this gift is sure to be an asset to whoever you gift it to, no matter if they’re young or old.
Conjure Women is about mother-daughter duo, Miss May Belle and Rue, and their master’s daughter, Varina, as they navigate the American South’s social landscape during the Civil War era. A stunning debut worthy of an hours-long binge read, brew up a cuppa hot cocoa using this Hot Chocolate Kit from Dark Brown Sugars and sink into Afia Atakora’s imagined world.
The Black Kids by Christina Hammonds Reed is a young adult novel that speaks to the events of the 1992 LA riots, and indeed, the Black Lives Matter Movement of 2020 America. In it, wealthy Black teenager Ashley Bennet begins awakening to the cruel realities of class, race and violence when four police officers are acquitted for the assault of Rodney King. However, life’s never as grim as it seems, and just like this Rise and Slay mug from Avila.Diana says, we can always find the strength to fight on another day.
Transcendent Kingdom, Yaa Gyasi’s follow-up to the critically acclaimed Homegoing, tells the tale of Ghanaian immigrant Gifty as she struggles to reconcile her African ideals with her new American culture. Dive into this novel about family, loss, belonging and religion while enjoying the yummy treats, from another Ghanaian family, found in the Signature Box from Uncle John’s Bakery.
In Candice Iloh’s Every Body Looking, Ada leaves home for the first time to pursue her freshman year at a Historically Black College. With her newfound freedom, she tries to figure out her identity and to live it loud and proud – just like these kente cotton socks from Afropopsocks.
Ties That Tether by Jane Igharo is a rom-com that delves into the socio-cultural complications of interracial relationships. Azere promised her dying father that she would marry a Nigerian man, even after immigrating to Canada. However, she instead finds herself falling for Rafael Castellano, a man who is decidedly not Black. A glass of wine and a cosy night in lounging on cushions clothed in Decorative Covers from My Ankara Love provide the perfect setting to read this laugh-out-loud love story.
A mystery thriller set in the world of Black R&B, Tiffany D. Jackson’s Grown has been hailed as an essential piece of literature in the #MeToo era for “providing a searing examination of misogynoir, rape culture, and the vulnerability of young Black girls.” In other news, these sparkly Obi Hoops from Oma the Label are just as eye-catching as the earrings worn by the lady in the book’s cover illustration.
Lastly is Justin A. Reynold’s Early Departure. A touching and at time’s heart-wrenching story, its exploration of life, death, and friendship is a great reminder of why we need to appreciate our loved ones while we have them around. Celebrate the female loved ones in your life by gifting them the Women’s Elmington Midnight Watch from Vitae London.
As for the men in your life, put a smile on their faces by cherishing them with Vitae London’s Ada Midnight Watch.

The Top Books of 2019

November 28, 2020

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