According to my mother, I started reading at the age of 2. I would say 4, because 2 is just unrealistic. The first book I ever read was the Bible, because it was the first book I came across. Then slowly I progressed to other books. I read anything from Harry Potter (Like duhhhh, Harry Potter is embedded in us Britons), to Twilight (Team Jacob by the way) to Nigerian historical novels. I love anything, from fiction to autobiographies.
Well let me save you the history of my literary journey and recommended to you some (I have a lot) of my favorite books that you may have or not might have come across. These books deal with everything; history, war, love, comedy and drama. You are bound to be interested in at least one.
1) The World Unseen by Shamim Sarif
This book tells the complicated love story of two women of Indian descent, living in Apartheid South Africa. I read this book when I was about 17 in year 11. (Last year of secondary school, British educational system.) It really was an eye opener for me. Definitely not your regular love story ,thanks to the historical context of the book. Most of us learn about the apartheid in history class, but we never learn about the social complexities within the system. The beauty of this book, to me, is to see someone finally show that love is the same, regardless of your sexuality.
2) Half of A Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche
This is one of those books where you shed a tear, just because you are done reading it. It is that captivating. Many of you know Adiche from her feminist excerpt in the Beyonce song, Flawless. Anyone who really knows me, knows I am OBSESSED with Chimamanda Adiche. I look up to her in so many ways. She has inspired my feminist journey. Best of all, she is from the Igbo tribe in Nigeria, just as I am. This book is definitely one of my favorite books written by her, or any other modern day African author for that matter. It tells the stories of different characters during the civil war of Nigeria in the 1960s, from the view of the newly independent Republic country Biafra. I also recommended this book because it is close to heart for me. It is set in the context of the stories my grandparents and parents told me while growing up; The Biafran War. A MUST READ!!!
3) The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
This book is currently sitting comfortably on my dorm desk right now. I read it about it 3 weeks ago for the third time. That shows the extent of how much I love it. I am a romantic novel snub, and my standards are set high. In order to love this book, you have to understand it is not your average love story. It tells the remarkable lifelong love story of a young girl and a time traveller, who she meets when she is 6 during one of his time traveling escapades. Their love story spans across a sea of time literally. Unfortunately, I watched the movie adaptation before I read the actual book, BIG MISTAKE. The movie, like most novel adaptation movies, did it NO justice. So even if you have seen the movie, which was quite popular, still pick up the book. It's much much better.
4) The Help by Kathryn Sockett
Oh Lawd, do I love this book. If you've been reading this post, it's obvious that I love books set in a historical context. This book is set in the south, 1960s, during the civil rights movement. It is so much more than just a book about people fighting for civil rights. It tells the story of a young white woman who recently graduated from college. She begins to write about the stories of black maids who work for white families. WARNING: Do not read this book in public, you stand the risk of looking like an absolute idiot when you burst out laughing. It takes a great writer to find humor in such unhappy times.
All these books had one thing in common for me, I was sad to see them end. I love to be captivated and taken to a different world when I read a book. The books above did exactly that for me. So I urge you guys to pick one and join me in what I like to call Literary Heaven. We might have different taste and you might not like it. However these are books I personally enjoyed and hope that you will too.