9 Adult Black British Books to read now and forever

Hi all
Here in the UK, the month of October celebrates Black History Month, it’s a great opportunity to recognise the contributions of great African and Caribbean descent Britons. I also want to take the chance to highlight some amazing books and authors.

I’m continuing on with my little Black History Month recommendations list but this time instead of YA books (see also my instagram post) I’m going Adult.
As I mentioned before this is only a small sample of the many amazing, must read Black British authors and books out there, I picked ones I’ve either heard tons and tons about or I myself have read them. But there’s many others I could have included.
This list is just another way for me to celebrate the amazing Black British authors who publish every year who should be supported and hyped all year around.


Contemporary=👣
Fantasy=✨
Historical=⏳
LGBTQIA=🌈

Mystery=🔍
Romance=💘
Sci-fi=🪐
Short Stories=📚

📚🪐✨👣Nudibranch by Irenosen Okojie

In this stunning new collection of short stories from the award-winning author of Butterfly Fish, offbeat characters are caught up in extraordinary situations that test the boundaries of reality . . .

A love-hungry goddess of the sea arrives on an island inhabited by eunuchs.

A girl from Martinique moonlights as a Grace Jones impersonator.

Dimension-hopping monks sworn to silence must face a bloody reckoning.

And a homeless man goes right back, to the very beginning, through a gap in time.

Nudibranch is a dark and seductive foray into the surreal.

[Amazon – Hive – BookDepository]


👣Mr. Fox by Helen Oyeyemi

Fairytale romances end with a wedding. The fairytales that don’t get more complicated. In this book, celebrated writer Mr. Fox can’t stop himself from killing off the heroines of his novels, and neither can his wife, Daphne.
It’s not until Mary, his muse, comes to life and transforms him from author into subject that his story begins to unfold differently.
Meanwhile, Daphne becomes convinced that her husband is having an affair, and finds her way into Mary and Mr. Fox’s game.
And so Mr. Fox is offered a choice:

Will it be a life with the girl of his dreams, or a life with an all-too-real woman who delights him more than he cares to admit?
[Amazon – Hive – BookDepository]


👣💘The Returnees by Elizabeth Okoh

After a bad break up, 25-year-old Osayuki Isahosa leaves begind everything she holds dear in London to return to Lagos, Nigeria: a country she hasn’t set foot in for many years. Drawn by the transformations happening in the fashion industry in the city, she accepts a job at House of Martha as their Head of PR. While waiting at Milan airport for her connecting flight to Lagos she meets Cynthia Okoye and Kian Bajo.

Cynthia Okoye is a 21-year-old recent graduate whose laissez-faire attitude to life has become her undoing. Unsure of how else to help put her life back on track, her father banishes her ot live with his brother in the capital city where she’s required to attend the National Youth Service Corps.

Kian Bajo is a wannabe Afrobeat star whose left everything he knows in London to make it big in Lagos., Enthralled by the international success of young artists from his motherland, he will go to any lengths to conquer the Lagos music scene.

After the plane lands at the Lagos airport, they all go their separate ways but their lives will intertwine again and change the course of their lives forever.
[Amazon – Hive – BookDepository]


🌈Lote by Shola von Reinhold

Solitary Mathilda has long been enamored with the ‘Bright Young Things’ of the 20s, and throughout her life, her attempts at reinvention have mirrored their extravagance and artfulness. After discovering a photograph of the forgotten Black modernist poet Hermia Druitt, who ran in the same circles as the Bright Young Things that she adores, Mathilda becomes transfixed and resolves to learn as much as she can about the mysterious figure. Her search brings her to a peculiar artists’ residency in Dun, a small European town Hermia was known to have lived in during the 30s. The artists’ residency throws her deeper into a lattice of secrets and secret societies that takes hold of her aesthetic imagination, but will she be able to break the thrall of her Transfixions?

From champagne theft and Black Modernisms, to art sabotage, alchemy and lotus-eating proto-luxury communist cults, Mathilda’s journey through modes of aesthetic expression guides her to truth and the convoluted ways it is made and obscured.
[Amazon – Hive – BookDepository]


🌈⏳👣Rainbow Milk by Paul Mendez

Rainbow Milk is an intersectional coming-of-age story, following nineteen-year-old Jesse McCarthy as he grapples with his racial and sexual identities against the backdrop of a Jehovah’s Witness upbringing and the legacies of the Windrush generation.

In the Black Country in the 1950s, ex-boxer Norman Alonso is a determined and humble Jamaican who has moved to Britain with his wife to secure a brighter future for themselves and their children. Blighted with unexpected illness and racism, Norman and his family are resilient in the face of such hostilities, but are all too aware that they will need more than just hope to survive.

At the turn of the millennium, Jesse seeks a fresh start in London – escaping from a broken immediate family, a repressive religious community and the desolate, disempowered Black Country – but finds himself at a loss for a new centre of gravity, and turns to sex work to create new notions of love, fatherhood and spirituality.
[Amazon – Hive – BookDepository]


🔍True Murder by Yaba Badoe

Eleven year old Ajuba has been abandoned at a Devon boarding school by her Ghanaian father. Haunted by the circumstances of her mother’s breakdown and the ghosts of the life she left behind in Ghana, she falls under the spell of new girl Polly Venus and her chaotic, glamorous family.

But all is not what it might seem in the Venus household and Ajuba struggles to make sense of things as they tear each other apart in front of her. One day the girls find what they think are a dead kittens wrapped up in an old coat in the attic of the Venus’ manor house…the bones turn out to be those of a dead baby.Obsessed with the detectives of the American magazine serial “True Murder”, the girls set out to find out what happened to the baby. As the summer draws to a close, three tragedies conflate, with catastrophic results.
[Amazon – AbebooksWaterstones]


👣The 392 by Ashley Hickson-Lovence

Set entirely on a London bus travelling from Hoxton to Highbury and taking place over just 36 minutes, the events of The 392 unfold through a cast of charismatic characters coming from very different worlds.

On the 392 are all the familiar faces you might expect to see on any bus ride through inner-city London in the grips of gentrification: delinquent school kids, the high- flyers, the weird, the wonderful and the homeless.

These Londoners share two things: a bus journey and a threat. A threat which is ready to blow apart everything they know. 

[Amazon – Hive – BookDepository]


Hold by Michael Donkor

Moving between Ghana and London, Hold is an intimate, moving, powerful coming-of-age novel. It’s a story of friendship and family, shame and forgiveness; of learning what we should cling to, and when we need to let go.

Belinda knows how to follow the rules. As a housegirl, she has learnt the right way to polish water glasses, to wash and fold a hundred handkerchiefs, and to keep a tight lid on memories of the village she left behind when she came to Kumasi.

Mary is still learning the rules. Eleven-years old and irrepressible, the young housegirl-in-training is the little sister Belinda never had.

Amma has had enough of the rules. A straight-A pupil at her exclusive South-London school, she has always been the pride of her Ghanaian parents. Until now. Watching their once-confident teenager grow sullen and wayward, they decide that sensible Belinda might be just the shining example Amma needs.

So Belinda is summoned from Ghana to London, and must leave Mary to befriend a troubled girl who shows no desire for her friendship. She encounters a city as bewildering as it is thrilling, and tries to impose order on her unsettling new world.

As the Brixton summer turns to Autumn, Belinda and Amma are surprised to discover the beginnings of an unexpected kinship. But when the cracks in their defences open up, the secrets they have both been holding tightly threaten to seep out.
[Amazon – Hive – BookDepository]


🌈👣💘Mr. Loverman by Bernardine Evaristo

Barrington Jedidiah Walker.
Barry to his friends.
Trouble to his wife.

Seventy-four years old, Antiguan born and bred, flamboyant Hackney personality Barry is known for his dapper taste and fondness for retro suits.

He is a husband, father and grandfather.

And for the past sixty years, he has been in a relationship with his childhood friend and soulmate, Morris.

Wife Carmel knows Barry has been cheating on her, but little does she know what is really going on. When their marriage goes into meltdown, Barrington has big choices to make.
[Amazon – Hive – BookDepository]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.