Email us :

Call us : 0810 000 0138

These books will jumpstart your 2024, and here’s why you should read themBy Ahmad-Tijani Agbaje on January 7, 2024

From New Year resolutions, to reflecting on 2023 – some oversabi people are already talking about 2025 – the New Year hype is peaking.

Maybe you are one of those on the new year frontline; you already set your goals (if you haven’t, take a look at our goal-setting guide for 2024) and you’re in your running shoes as you read this, ready to fling yourself into the year – No gree for anybody o!

Or, maybe you’re a bit less enthusiastic; not feeling the hype, and you even want to go back to sleep and ignore the new year – after all, it’s just another set of days.

Whatever you’re feeling, we’re here to help (aren’t we always?)

We’ve come up with a short but powerful list of books we know will put a little spring in your step as you legwork into 2024.

Our recommendations will span from moving memoirs and inspiring fiction to personal finances and even one fascinating book about a rich Ghanaian who wants to give you all his money, so you can rest assured it’s not going to be your traditional self-help book spiel.

Grab your reading glasses and let’s get into it!


By Eloghosa Osunde


The seemingly chaotic, wholly engrossing debut of Nigerian author Eloghosa Osunde. Her words follow the lives of “Vagabonds” living in the hustle and bustle of Lagos -  or “Eko” the city’s traditional name – and paint vividly the haunting and hair-raising reality of Nigeria’s outcasts; the poor, the queer, sex workers and more.

Interestingly, Eloghosa incorporates some otherworldly and gruesome aspects; ghosts, spirits and even human organ dealing. While definitely unusual, the different stories share subtle connections through the cut-throat city, some you might even miss if you blink too long.

The book pays homage to the parts of society often shoved in corners or sneered at, and highlights the ruthlessness, smarts, and resilience of Nigerians, before ultimately wrapping up in a satisfying end.


Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds

By David Goggins

Can't Hurt Me

If you like stories about extraordinary transformations and braving storms, this is for you.

Can’t Hurt Me is a memoir by David Goggins chronicling his journey from a poverty-stricken, painfully difficult childhood, being depressed and overweight, and finally overcoming his struggles to become a top athlete and United States Navy SEAL.

The award-winning athlete goes in-depth on how he broke the chains holding him back and explains how much untapped potential humans have – something he calls “The 40% rule”.

Goggins’ grit, tenacity, and inspiring story make Can’t Hurt Me a solid push for anyone on the fence about taking the plunge into their dreams.

In his words, “You are in danger of living a life so comfortable and soft, that you will die without ever realising your true potential.”


Anansi’s Gold: The Man Who Looted the West, Outfoxed Washington, and Swindled the World

By Yepoka Yeebo

Anansi's Gold

It’s fairly common; you are standing in line to use the ATM, and a man comes up to you, maybe he’s even well-dressed, and asks for your help – he is on his way to retrieve a large sum of money stashed somewhere, but sadly, doesn’t have money for transport. So large is this sum, that he promises you – he even swears – that when he gets the money, you’ll receive what you gave him in multiples.

Nigerians, born cynics, are no strangers to the infamous “Yahoo boys” – internet fraudsters – so the probability of this con working is low.

But imagine this deception on a grand scale, fronted with thousand-dollar suits and Italian leather shoes, wouldn’t you consider this man’s proposal?

This is essentially the plot of Anansi’s Gold; the story of arguably the biggest con man in Africa.

The book follows John Ackah Blay-Miezah, a charismatic Ghanian born into poverty, but with aspirations far beyond his means.

After the first President of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah, was falsely accused of hiding the country’s gold overseas, Blay-Miezah saw an opportunity – and he took it. The charming con man stepped forward and claimed to be in cahoots with the president, declaring he had access to Nkrumah’s loot worth billions (there was no such loot). And with a small sum – an investment – you could have some of it too.

Yepoka Yeebo’s book unveils the enterprising man and how he conned hundreds of millions of dollars worth of “investments” from Ghanaians and the international community alike.

Now, we’re not telling you to go out and scam the masses, but there’s definitely some points you can take from John’s charisma and strategy.


How We Fight For Our Lives

By Saeed Jones

How We Fight For Our Lives Saeed Jones

“How We Fight for Our Lives” is a stunningly honest (and at times heavy) memoir written by award-winning poet Saeed Jones that lets us into what it’s like to grow up in the face of adversity, self-hatred, and loneliness. It intricately weaves the events that shaped him into a narrative that resonates deeply with both the African American and queer experience.

Jones masterfully balances personal, and emotional grit but remains honest in this memoir, giving a different exploration of love and violence, hope and hostility, and transformation and resentment. Born in Memphis, Tennessee, and later moving to Texas and New Jersey for education, Jones grapples with his identity as a gay black man, vividly illustrating the struggles against discrimination, homophobia, and racism in his journey.

Unlike typical biographies that mostly focus on an individual’s identity, Jones delves into the universal process of self-discovery. He navigates the inevitable sacrifices and painful transformations necessary to find one’s true self. “How We Fight for Our Lives” is an exploration of survival within a system designed to oppress single mothers and queer men.

The memoir is a celebration of tenacity and strength and offers readers both a coming-of-age story and a source of hope in the face of adversity.


Finding Me

By Viola Davis

Finding Me

Yes, yes, celebrity memoirs aren’t always the most interesting things to read, but Viola Davis’ Finding Me is one that truly stands out from the crowd.

In the Oscar, Emmy and Tony award-winning actress’s sometimes harrowing tell-all, she reveals the trauma that shaped her life and inadvertently led her to stardom.

From her dirt-poor upbringing to her complicated relationship with her parents and the sexual abuse she and her sisters were subjected to from their brother, her story is not pretty, and it’s definitely chilling at some parts, but it’s always honest.

She recounts how Hollywood tried to typecast her because of her appearance, and how it took a trip to Gambia for her to find her voice again after anti-blackness had sunk its claws deeper than she could bear.

Finding Me is a brutally sincere and sometimes ugly offering from one of the generation’s biggest stars, and it packs a punch.

Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot

By Mikki Kendall

Hood Feminism

Feminism, Feminism, Feminism. It’s all over social media and in everyone’s Twitter bios.

But what of the nuance that is black feminism?

In Mikki Kendall‘s thought-provoking essay collection, “Hood Feminism,” she asks the central question: do all women share common interests? Throughout 18 essays, Kendall explores the inherent tension when allies on one front (white feminists) become oppressors on another. Her book is timely, as it coincided with the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment – a movement that disadvantaged black women while centring their white counterparts – the book critically examines the persistent neglect of the needs of marginalised women by mainstream feminists. Kendall does not shy from emphasising the harsh realities faced by women on society’s front lines while mainstream feminism often pursues more privileged goals.

Kendall’s concept of “hood feminism” talks about the messy “razz” choices many women make to survive, challenging the scorn they often face from their more affluent counterparts. She argues that alleviating poverty for low-income parents should be a primary feminist concern, addressing issues such as inadequate wages, food insecurity, and subpar living conditions. The book’s strength lies in Kendall’s personal experiences, illustrating the profound impact of systemic issues on women and their families. Ultimately, Kendall calls for empathy across all intersections of feminism, inspiring and challenging readers to reevaluate their perspectives on race, class, and the shared struggles of women.


The Secret to Success

By Eric Thomas

Secret To Success

“The Secret to Success” by Eric Thomas is an interesting autobiography that chronicles the transformative journey of a determined man who rose from homelessness and a broken family in Detroit to become a globally renowned pastor and motivational speaker – literally grass to grace.

Thomas shares his struggles as a high school dropout, discussing pivotal moments of betrayal and self-discovery – like when he decided to go back to school. He also talks about the influence of key individuals, such as the supportive church community and mentors, who played crucial roles in his pursuit of education and a better life.

“The Secret to Success” also offers a step-by-step guide to living a successful life, emphasising the importance of mindset, environment, and surrounding yourself with the right people. So, if you don’t know where to start, this book will help you.

It’s an easy read that shows that through resilience, mentorship, and the power of love, you can overcome adversity to achieve success.


No matter how you feel about the new year – good, bad, annoyed – we’re certain these juicy reads will spark something in you (you can quote us) and if you want even more reading-related recommendations – like The Story Graph, a nifty app that allows you keep track of your reads by logging them in and writing notes, as well as bookstores and bookclubs – then you should check out our “Efiko” index below (we’re too good).

The “Efiko” Index

Apps and services

The Story Graph


Roving Heights – Lagos & Abuja
The Booksellers – Ibadan
Zamani Bookstore – Kano
Bookville – Port Harcourt
Everest Gate Books – Enugu
Challenge Bookshop – Jos
Terrakulture – Lagos


Happy Noisemaker – Virtual
Rainbow Bookclub – Port Harcourt
Bookclub with love – Abuja
Eagle Nest Bookclub – Anambra
Kawe Africa - Virtual
(For even more Nigerian book clubs, click here)

Book fairs

Nigeria International Book Fair (NIBF)
Kaduna Book and Arts Festival
Lagos Book and Art Festival
Akada Children’s Book Festival
Abuja Literary & Arts Festival
Crater Literary Festival
Sokoto Book and Arts Festival
Umuofia Book Festival
Aké Arts and Book Festival

So, which of our recommendations will you be taking? Or do you already have books lined up for the year?

Tell us in the comments – call it curiosity (amebo, actually).

comments powered by Disqus

Scroll to Top