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Image by Uju Onyishi

How much African history were you taught in school? As a Nigerian that went to an American high school in Beijing, China, African history was not a part of the curriculum. Even my World History class was heavily centred on European history with a little African and Asian history here and there. As a result, my understanding of the continent as a whole and the country I call home is highly limited.

To educate myself on African history, I turned to historical fiction novels written by African authors about African countries. There are many more African Historical Fiction novels I hope to read, but these are some I have read recently and hope you read too. …


From ghosts to Great Britain and back again.

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Photo by Tom Hermans on Unsplash

June is recognized as Caribbean-American Heritage Month. It is a time to recognize the significance of Caribbean people and their descendants in US history and culture. One way to learn about Caribbean influence, not just in the US, but globally, is through books. Hence my writing this post to encourage you to purchase and read books by Caribbean authors or authors of Caribbean heritage.

These Ghosts Are Family by Maisy Card


Books with phenomenal queer representation

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Photo by Steve Johnson on Unsplash

In celebration of Pride month here are some books I have read this year that include incredible queer representation. These books are not just about suffering due to homophobia, but also discuss important social issues such as poverty, gentrification and immigration. I thoroughly enjoyed every single one of these books and hope you add them to your reading list.

Lot by Bryan Washington


As a non-romance lover myself, I am so glad I read this book.

If you are anything like me, you probably find romance novels incredibly unrealistic and sometimes very problematic. The reading experience is often filled with unconscious eye-rolls.

However, I have been meaning to give contemporary adult romance novels a chance, so when The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary was recommended to me I decided to read it.

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Image by Uju Onyishi

Tiffy and Leon share a flat

Tiffy and Leon share a bed

Tiffy and Leon have never met.

Tiffy Moore has just been through a bad break and is looking for a cheap place to live. Leon Twomey lives in a 1 bedroom apartment in central London and needs some extra money. He is a nurse and works the night shift, so he decides to sublet his apartment to someone that works the typical 9–5. Leon’s girlfriend took care of the interview process, so even as Tiffy moves into the flat she still has not met Leon. They soon start leaving notes to each other about little things, but eventually, the notes get more personal. …


Two daughters, two wives, one story.

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Image by Uju Onyishi

Set in 1980s Atlanta, Silver Sparrow is told in the perspectives of two half-sisters — Dana and Chaurrise. In the first sentence of the book, Dana tells us that her father is a bigamist (a person who marries someone, while still legally married to someone else). Although Dana, who narrates the first half of the book, knows that she is not James’ only daughter and that her mother is not James’ only wife, Chaurrise and her mother are unaware of this fact.

“My father, James Witherspoon is a bigamist.”

Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones

This was absolutely amazing. I was hooked from the first sentence and it just kept getting better. The plot was so engaging and well-paced. …


A heartbreaking story about women born without a voice

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Image by Uju Onyishi

A Woman is No Man by Etaf Rum is the story of three generations of Palestinian women living in Brooklyn, New York. It talks about their struggles with trying to adjust to life in America while maintaining their culture. It talks about the oppression, voicelessness and abuse some Palestinian women are subject to. They women are expected to get married young, stay home cooking and cleaning and have children, specifically sons.

It is a raw, honest and heartbreaking account of the horrors women experience in such a patriarchal culture, where women are treated as disposable:

“A daughter was only a temporary guest, quietly awaiting another man to scoop her away, along with her financial burden.” …


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Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

As a PhD student whose research is 100% lab-based, I have had to seriously think about how I will move my research online in the face of this global pandemic. Universities are closed and access to the lab is highly restricted which means that those of us conducting research in a wet lab environment we will not be able to perform any experiment towards out project for the foreseeable future.

This is an incredibly stressful and uncertain time for all of us, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything to move forward in research.

Here are some ideas of activities you can complete at home that will help you progress in your research. …


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Photo by Sasha Freemind on Unsplash

Loneliness is everywhere. You may have heard it being described as an epidemic. Feelings of loneliness can be crushing and agonising. I have struggled with loneliness for several years and I find that reading about characters, albeit fictional characters, that are facing similar struggles for whatever reason can be comforting.

You might feel like your pain is unprecedented in the history of the world; however, I find that reading books with relatable characters makes me feel less alone and at the very least, seen.

The three books in this list follow characters struggling with feelings of loneliness that stem from a variety of reasons including abuse, societal expectations and mental health challenges. Although their stories are painful to read about, I love them for making feel connected to the characters. …


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Photo by Brandi Redd on Unsplash

As many of us are stuck at home due to COVID-19 induced social distancing and lockdowns, reading is a great way to pass time while still feeling productive. It can also help take your mind away from the anxieties of our present situation, even if only for a moment. Hence I have compiled a list of 6 books I read recently that drew me into their world and were difficult to put down.

These books are also available as audiobooks through Scribd, Audible or Libro FM in case you are concerned about receiving items through the post.

Born A Crime by Trevor Noah


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Image by Uju Onyishi

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho is one of the best-selling books in history. I have heard so much about this book over the years but failed to read it until last week. It’s a rather short book, but it is packed with so much wisdom. This is a book that will inspire you to follow your dreams.

The Alchemist tells the story of Santiago, a Shepard boy that goes on a journey to the Pyramids of Egypt in search of a hidden treasure he dreamt about. Finding this treasure is his “Personal Legend”/ destiny. …

About

Uju Onyishi

I am a first year Biosciences PhD student and a self-proclaimed book worm. I write about books, PhDLife and my attempts at self-improvement.

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