Five books to snuggle up with this holiday season

The holiday season will unprecedentedly be different from any other holiday we have had. With Tiers and social distancing taking up and down the country, and all over the world really, this is the chance where you get to find the most compelling, deeply human stories of history, identity, romance, family and more.

We're here with a few good picks and books that have made it on to the best list of 2020. Whether you’re looking to disappear from the real world or explore the world through someone else's eyes, there’s something here for you.

1. A Promised Land, Barack Obama

In this highly anticipated first volume of his presidential memoirs, Barack Obama tells the story of his 'improbable odyssey' from young man searching for his identity to leader of the free world.

A Promised Land shares Obama's compelling story in great detail - describing his historic presidency and everything else in between, including his earliest political aspirations to the pivotal Iowa caucus victory that showcased the power of grassroots activism.

He also chronicles the historic night of November 4, 2008, when he was elected 44th president of the United States,ultimately becoming the first African American to hold the nation's highest office.

Reflecting on the presidency, Obama offers a unique perspective about what it was like running for office as a Black American, the forces that opposed him both at home and internationally, as well as the limits of presidential power. H also shares insights into the dynamics of US partisan politics and international diplomacy.

Explore the highs, lows and lessons in this powerful book filled with hope and plenty of edifying stories.

Rating: 9/10

2. African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle & Song, Kevin Young

African American poetry is a literary landmark and one of the most edgy and ambitious compilations of Black poetry ever published. With over 250 poets, Kevin Young showcases poems from the colonial period right through to the present day.

Across a shaky history, vital centres such as Harlem, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, and the Bay Area, Black poets created a rich and multifaceted tradition that started in 1770 and culminated in the artistic outpouring emerging through the Black Lives Matter movement.

Kevin Young ensure that he amplifies poetic movements and writing collectives, tracing the influence of creatives on the development of other creatives. Together, these 250 voices, old and new, celebrated and neglected, form a brilliant and inspirational anthology of talented poets across generations, making for a breathtaking and educational 1170 page read.

Rating: 8/10

3.A Dutiful Boy, Mohsin Zaidi

A Dutiful Boy follows the story of Mohsin who grew up in a poor pocket of east London, in a devout Muslim community. His family were religiously conservative and close-knit family

From a young age, Mohsin felt different but in a home where being gay was inconceivable he also felt very alone. This is the story of a family's love, a battle with shame and a long journey to acceptance.

Moshin knew he was gay fro man early age but also knew such an admission was inconceivable in a religious culture where homosexuality was still taboo.

Deeply moving and profoundly important, Mohsin's story shed's light on his journey both personally, academically and from a career perspective.

Rating: 8/10

4.Memorial Drive, Natasha Tretheway

Incorporating true crime investigation with a heart wrenching autobiography, Memorial Drive is an account of racism, murder and the unshakeable bond between a mother and daughter.

The book chronicles the story of Natasha Trethewey, who at nineteen, found her world turned upside down when her former stepfather shot and killed her mother. Grieving and still new to adulthood, she confronted the "twin pulls" of life and death in the aftermath of unbearable trauma and now explores the way this experience shaped the artist she became.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning US poet's story runs deep and is a compelling story that looks at a shared human experience of sudden loss and absence but also a glimpse at the enduring ripple effects of white racism and domestic abuse.

A chillingly memoir, power language and an intimate story of a poet sharing a difficult part of her life.

Rating: 8.5/10

5.Girl, Woman, Other, Bernardine Evaristo

Girl, Woman, Other follows the lives and struggles of twelve diverse characters. Predominantly women, black and British, they tell the stories of their families, friends and lovers, across the country and through the years.

Girl, Woman, Other is also about struggle, love, joy and imagination. The book culminates with Bernardine Evaristo's protagonists who are all from different generations, faiths, classes, politics and heritages, and a few men too – thrown together at a party for what has been dubbed a 'soap opera-style grand finale'.

Each storyline brings the reader round to a position of empathy and all the characters are flawed and have complex pasts.

Vibrantly contemporary, this novel is ever-dynamic and utterly irresistible. As a result, there is something unconditional about the relationships here – the protagonists support each other, and are often forgiving and gentle.