The fabulous Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie spoke eloquently about The Danger of a Single Story back in 2009. She shared the importance of seeing people like yourself in fiction and warned that if we only hear one story about a group of people, we can’t truly begin to understand them. It’s easy to fall into a ‘reading rut’, though, where we tend to read the same sort of books by the same people. To help you to discover new books from a wider range of voices, we’d like to introduce the first Better Read Reading Challenge. This term, we’ve been inspired by Black History Month.

The plan is simple – read a book that matches each of the categories below. (If you can find a book that matches more than one category, that’s allowed!) We’ve suggested some titles you might like to try below. You can borrow them from Swansea University Libraries. You can find your own books too, though – share your ideas using #suBetterRead.

The challenge runs until 6th January, so you can save some of these to read over Christmas vacation. If you don’t manage to cover all the categories by January, don’t worry – this is just for fun, so you can take as long as you want to! Let us know how you get on @SwanseaUniLib on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

A book by a black author that won an award in 2018 or 2019

An American Marriage, by Tayari Jones (winner of the Women’s Prize for Fiction)

The Perseverance, by Raymond Antrobus (winner of the Rathbones Folio Prize and the Ted Hughes Award)

Kumukanda, by Kayo Chingonyi (winner of the Dylan Thomas Prize)

A book of fiction or non-fiction about the Windrush generation

Small Island, by Andrea Levy

The Lonely Londoners, by Samuel Selvon

Windrush: the irresistible rise of multi-racial Britain, by Mike Phillips & Trevor Phillips

A non-fiction book about black British history

Staying Power: The History of Black People in Britain, Peter Fryer

Black and British: A Forgotten History, by David Olusoga

The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, by Olaudah Equiano

A genre fiction book by a black author (genre fiction can include crime, fantasy, romance, science fiction, horror…)

Kindred, by Octavia E. Butler

Thief! By Malorie Blackman

Devil in a Blue Dress, by Walter Mosley

Student in library pulling a book of the shelf

October 14th, 2019

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