Buy Season of Migration to the North from Bookshop.org, Book Depository or Waterstones.
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Season of Migration to the North by Tayib Saleh
I was thrilled when JJ agreed to take part in my Desert Island Books series, and my recording my podcast with him was a real reminder of my ongoing love for both books and the writers behind them.
A book by the west African writer and educator, on his life story being initiated into the Dagara tradition. The book touches on religion and African spirituality, ritual and a return to ‘home.’ Sometimes you read it and think, wait, this is a memoir? As in, these things actually happened? It’s a marvelous book that reminds us that there is so much more out there than what we see and know.
We Real Cool (+Will To Change) by bell hooks
Buy The Wretched of the Earth from Bookshop.org, Book Depository or Waterstones.
For all basketball fanatics and enthusiasts. The book is an everything book about NBA basketball, filled lots of fun facts, stats, trivia and debates that fan of the game has had at one point. It is wonderfully illustrated and entertaining for all to read.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
Buy Songs from Under the River from Bookshop.org, Book Depository or Waterstones.
Cheekily sneaking in two books in one from the professor, author and feminist, writing on the subject of masculinity, patriarchy and society; the latter book on Black masculinity. hooks writes with a clarity and precision that is insightful for all to read.
The Wretched of the Earth by Frantz Fanon
Of Water and the Spirit by Malidoma Patrice Some
This rare gem by the Ghanaian writer, published in 1979 as part of the Heinnemann series of African writers, details the fall of a fictional African Kingdom and its eventual descent into enslavement. A challenging read, the prose is dense with language, but if I could have written any book, it would be this. Armah is a literary luminary, one can only guess the imagination that it took to write this book. Written with such depth and detail, care and compassion, sternness but also forever pointing to the sunset. You are guaranteed to feel things, always, whilst reading.
Buy Of Water and the Spirit from Bookshop.org, Book Depository or Waterstones.
Songs from Under the River by Anis Mojgani
A beautiful collection of poetry from poet Anis Mojgani. His words touch on a number of subjects, and transports you through many worlds, with such tenderness, and imagination, and love, gently tearing the seams of your heart and stitching them back together.
Buy We Real Cool from Bookshop.org, Book Depository or Waterstones.
Basketball (And Other Things) by Shea Serrano
A critical and incisive analysis of the legacies and impacts of colonialism (and slavery) on oppressed people, and its broader social and political implications. Sometimes, you wonder why the world is the way the way that it is, this is one of the books that provides a brilliant answer to that question.
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Two Thousand Seasons by Ayi Kwei Armah
From his favourite collection of poetry, to the book touches on religion and African spirituality, ritual and a return to ‘home, read on to find out which eight books JJ would take to the sandy shores of a desert island. Be sure to follow JJ on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
Buy Basketball (And Other Things) from Bookshop.org, Book Depository or Waterstones.
Buy The Very Hungry Caterpillar from Bookshop.org, Book Depository or Waterstones. A story of a young Sudanese man who returns home to a small village after winning a scholarship to study at a prestigious university. The surreal unravelling of the story that challenges convention is told through beautiful, lyrical prose and existential fervor.