f you celebrate Christmas, you’re probably used to the full swing of preparing the gifts, the outfits, the invitations and the RSVPs.
Giving and receiving gifts for Christmas has always been somewhat of an ordeal for me. I never know what to give to whom and usually end up having to politely smile and say thank you for some weird gift I end up getting (and know I’ll never use ).
These days, I just ask for books or gift cards and in turn, I give out gift cards too – this way, the recipients get to buy for themselves, what they really want, and all is well.
Books make for great gifts!
As we always do around this time every year, Akaninyene and I have put together a shortlist of books that we think would make for amazing gifts. The books included in this shortlist, are books that we have read this year, and while we may have written reviews for some, that may not be the case for all.
‘An Orchestra of Minorities’ by Chigozie Obioma
An epic, devastating tale of the love between two (socially) unequal lovers, the impact of societal structures, colonialism, and immigration. The perfect gift for readers who are willing and ready to take their time with a book. Immerse yourself in the world of Chinonso and Ndali in contemporary Nigeria.
‘My Sister the Serial Killer’ by Oyinkan Braithwaite
A refreshing, dark, funny, and engaging read about two Nigerian sisters – one of which has the unfortunate habit of killing her boyfriends. This book turns crime fiction on its head, and I can almost promise that you’ll enjoy it (especially if you have an appreciation for Nigerian literature)! Ideal for people who may not be too keen on reading very long books. This book would be a great choice for a younger cousin, but also for anyone else in the family – it’s just that much fun.
‘Travellers’ by Helon Habila
A heartbreaking, unforgettable, and pertinent book about all kinds of travellers, from tourists to refugees. Ideal for anyone who’s looking for beautifully crafted prose and precisely moulded characters. An absolute stunner that will warm your heart and break it a second later. Helon Habila is a creative genius, and this book will make for a beautiful gift for anyone who’s well-versed in literature and can appreciate a high level of literary craft and talent.
‘Born on a Tuesday’ by Elnathan John
‘How to be an Anti-Racist’ by Ibram X. Kendi
An accessible introduction to racism, what it means, how it thrives and what we can do about it. Ideal for anyone who is eager to learn more about the world and how to influence it positively, but also for the occasionally racist uncle (or aunty) who may not appreciate the gift initially but may end up reading it when nobody is looking. Read the Literandra Mini-Review.
‘Superior. The Return of Race Science’ by Angela Saini
Last, but certainly not least, one of my favourite non-fiction reads of 2019. A book that is more pertinent and important than ever. Angela Saini critically examines where race science came from, where it’s at at the moment and where it is likely to be going. She interviews former Nazis and gets in touch with sympathisers and supporters of racial science. It’ll make for a great gift for anyone who may or may not believe in ‘racial’ differences between humans, or anyone who is not sure what to believe. This book will clearly and accessibly make a compelling case.
And that’s it! I hope you’ve seen a book that peaks your interest, whether it be a gift for one of your loved ones or for yourself!
Happy Reading and Happy Holidays!