Thursday, January 3, 2019

Madeline's Must-Read List for 2019

Orion Books
Happy new year readers and writers!

Being that it's January, it's that time again to make my list of reading wishes and predictions for the year. My last list was quite interesting seeing as I managed 50% of the books featured. But alas! A new year has arrived and I am here to share my must-read list for 2019.

1. Queenie, Candice Carty-Williams
I first caught wind of Candice Carty-William's debut novel in the late summer of last year. It's colourful cover with a side profile of a faceless woman immediately caught my attention and roused my envy at the individuals lucky enough to have already read the sample copies. What I find interesting is that the publishers have created four different cover designs. I am not quite sure why this is, but I guess it adds to the fun factor of the book.

To give you a quick low down, the book, named after its main protagonist, follows the life of Queenie Jenkins. She is a 25 year-old Jamaican Brit, who is having quite a tough year dealing with a broken relationship, family and career issues. Readers, I am pretty sure we will enjoy this dark comedy as we see Queenie unfurl the complicated web of race, identity, love and independence.

Queenie is due for release in April.

When the book is not coming out until next year so you have to take a photo of the promotional card instead 😫😫 I have read that Queenie is an unflinchingly raw depiction of a young woman trying to navigate her way in the world. It is a book about identity, independence and carving your own path. . . Friends please look out for this. Its release is scheduled for next spring. I can't wait to review this on the blog! . . I'd also like to congratulate Candice for penning this novel. I'm so pleased I had the chance to stop you briefly in the very busy Black Girl Fest, just to say "Well done". #buildingwomenwithwords . . . #bookblogger #blackandbookish #bookstagram #bookstagrammer #blackandbookish #blackwomenwriters #instablog #freelancer #femaleentrepreneurs #womenwhowrite #blackgirlswhoblog #womenwhowrite #blackbritishbloggers #bb_bloggers
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2. Don't Touch My Hair  - Emma Dabiri

This is another one scheduled for spring this year.  Don't Touch My Hair is a collection of essays which explores the dismantling of colonisation (yes, despite the technicalities, colonisation still exists!) through the prism of hair. I have already cracked open the pre-sale sample to read a few pages, and I cannot wait to get into the rest of it.

I am lucky to have been in the same room as Emma,  a teaching fellow in the Africa department at SOAS and a Visual Sociology PhD researcher at Goldsmiths University, when I attended Black Girl Fest last year. Frankly, I was in awe of her wisdom, and I cannot wait to follow Emma's writing journey.

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 3. Safe - Derek Owusu
Last year was the year of the black British female, as far as writing was concerned. Well this year, it seems the fellas are taking over! I absolutely cannot wait to read this collection of essays by black British men, edited by Derek Owusu. 

Safe promises to offer rich writing, which will confront the question of what it means to be a black man in Britain today. Woop woop!

4. Oh My Gods  - Alexandra Sheppard
"Between keeping her family’s true identities secret, trying to impress her new friends, and meeting an actually cute boy, Helen’s stress levels are higher than Mount Olympus." - Pontas Agency

I am always excited when I see my fellow British women win in the publishing game. Well done Alexandra Sheppard for the publication of your young adult fiction book, which was actually published today. This piece of writing which explore the themes of family and identity will be a fun read. Yay!

Other books from last year, which I still would love to complete are:

5. An American Marriage - Tayari Jones
6. Children of Blood and Bone - Tomi Adeyemi
7. The Hate You Give - Angie Thomas
8. Heads of the Colored People - Nafissa Thompson-Spires

You know what? I'm gonna leave it there. You know why? Because this year I really want to leave room for black, female indie writers. In fact, wherever you are in the world, if you fall into this category, send me an email at with details of your independently published work, and I will consider it for a review. I want to help at least five of you sisters out.

What are your reading goals for 2019? Will you be reading any of these books? Which one are you waiting for me to review the most? Comment below!

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  1. I honestly don't really have any books on my radar - I'm just getting back into being a library girl, and so whenever I see recommendations, I check for them in my local library.

    The books you mentioned seem interesting, but I'm mostly intrigued by Queenie, as I haven't read fiction in a very long time

    Berry Dakara Blog

    1. Hi Berry! Just read on your blog about you getting back to the library. Well done girl! I am so looking forward to Queenie too. Please do continue to share your reading journey!


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