top of page
  • Writer's pictureAbs

5 Books to Read This Summer

Updated: Aug 22, 2023

This summer I haven't read as much as I would have wanted to. So I decided to ask a few people within my circle, the summer reads they'd highly recommend and these are the books I was presented with.


1. "The River Between" by Ngugi wa Thiong'o"

"It was my first interaction with African literature and I was hooked. The words, the story, the characters and how I could literally envision myself in the community setting was amazing. Couldn’t drop it.”

- Nana Yaw Ofori Atta


2. "This Monk Wears Heels" by Kodo Nishimura

"Personally I find the book very helpful to my current life.
This Monk Wears Heels is about Nishimura Kodo, a Japanese who is a certified Buddhist monk and also famous makeup artist who identifies as Gender gifted. In the book he tells of his experiences living in Japan and how the teachings of a monk relates to our daily life. He also talks about embracing who we are and not forcing ourselves to be anything otherwise. I can relate to his experience of being born mixed race in Japan.
Generally in the traditional Japanese society, the norm is everyone doing the same things; not bending the rules and following the historical patterns of not accepting different people in the Japanese culture.
When he left japan is when he freely was able to be who he is now "

- Alexandra Tomiyama
Fashion Designer & Artist


3. “Kindred” by Octavia E. Butler

"Imagine it’s the 1970’s. You just turned 26, you’re a newly wed woman, and you just moved into a lovely house in California with your husband. Considering you’re both writers, filling your bookshelves brings you joy.
And that’s what you’re doing when you suddenly find yourself disappearing… literally… and before you can do anything, you’re taken thousands of miles and years back, to the 1800’s and to a place where a plantation owner’s son boy is drowning….

Whew…. crazy, isn’t it!

Well, you do return…after saving this boy… and your husband is of course in absolute awe. You both don’t know what happened, and you’re just too shocked to make any sense out of it. You try to forget about it…
But then it starts to happen more often… you go back and forth between this slave era, and your current time.
Between the dangers, threats and decisions that come with being a black woman jumping between these eras, you learn to survive, and to some extent, even thrive.
This book taught me a lot, and had me oscillating between laughter and tears, anger and relief. It was my first Octavia Butler book, and I’ve already read two others! The plan is to finish all her books before the year is out!"

- Elise Tirza Ohene-Kyei, MD, MPH
Doctor and Author


4. “A spell of Good Things” by Ayòbámi Adébáyò

"I love it when a book doesn’t go the way I expected it to. Although it explored themes that are common in my culture, I was not expecting some of the turns it took!
A Spell of Good Thing explored the disparities between the rich and the poor, in modern Nigeria, and how intertwined these classes actually are, regardless. and the consequences of overlooking the differences.
Two families - one rich, one impoverished, one politically connected, one not, navigate life, dealing with the education of their children, providing their wants and needs, and generally making it work.
What happens when fate causes these two families to collide - their destinies held in each others hands?
I don’t want to put up spoilers, but this was an enjoyable book, with an unexpected ending that gave me a lot to think about! It was my second read from Adebayor, and just as refreshing as her first - 'Stay With Me.'"

- Elise Tirza Ohene-Kyei, MD, MPH
Doctor and Author


5. “Fourth Wing” by Rebecca Yarros

This is the kind of book you read to escape into fantasyville. A world where humans fly dragons, women lead and conquer, everything is unreal but feels so real. Rebecca takes us on quite the journey! Your heart will be broken in the first few pages - yes - and once you recover, feel elated with all the successes and joys of the protagonist, I hope you're able to recover from the betrayals that follow. I'M IN RECOVERY.

- Abs Kyei


51 views2 comments

Recent Posts

See All


Aug 21, 2023

hey!!! nice job on getting through those summer books! I was totally thinking of going into detail about how one of the books wraps up, but I'm totally on board with not giving any spoilers. Definitely a solid read. Thanks for sharing!

Aug 21, 2023
Replying to

Thanks Rita! Which book did you love?

bottom of page