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Tendai Huchu's Top Book Recommendations

Want to know what books Tendai Huchu recommends on their reading list? We've researched interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles to build a comprehensive list of Tendai Huchu's favorite book recommendations of all time.



Uganda’s history reimagined through the cursed bloodline of the Kintu clan in an award-winning debut.

In 1750, Kintu Kidda unleashes a curse that will plague his family for generations. In this ambitious tale of a clan and of a nation, Makumbi weaves together the stories of Kintu’s descendants as they seek to break from the burden of their shared past and reconcile the inheritance of tradition and the modern world that is their future.
Recommended by Tendai Huchu, and 1 others.

Tendai HuchuIs this not a fun read?…Just the ambition of it, and the sweep of it, and the depiction of these ancient African kingdoms that you don’t really get anywhere else in popular culture. (Source)

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This September Sun

This tender and moving novel follows Ellie, a shy girl growing up in modern Zimbabwe who has a close attachment to her grandmother Evelyn. One day, Ellie receives the news that her beloved grandmother has been brutally murdered, apparently without reason. The narrative then backtracks to Rhodesia in 1946. Evie, a young English war widow moves to a new continent, where she knows no one, and enters into a passionate and dangerous affair with a powerful, married man. She wonders, Will he ever leave his wife? Can life go on after the love has gone? Bravely addressing the political and... more
Recommended by Tendai Huchu, and 1 others.

Tendai HuchuI particularly like this book because of how it moves over a very long time span. (Source)

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Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

Librarian note: Alternate cover edition of 9780765356154.

Sophisticated, witty, and ingeniously convincing, Susanna Clarke's magisterial novel weaves magic into a flawlessly detailed vision of historical England. She has created a world so thoroughly enchanting that eight hundred pages leave readers longing for more.

English magicians were once the wonder of the known world, with fairy servants at their beck and call; they could command winds, mountains,...
Recommended by Lev Grossman, Tendai Huchu, and 2 others.

Lev GrossmanIt’s a magic that feels absolutely real, as if the book were an eyewitness account. Not since Lewis has the supernatural been such a thrilling, immediate, concrete presence on the page. It’s no accident that I began The Magicians in 2004 – Strange is the book that woke me up to the power of the new fantasy. Read it, and you may be woken up too. (Source)

Tendai HuchuI chose this book because it really blurs the line between fiction and history. Just the use of footnotes and references to texts that likely don’t exist yet unless Susanna Clarke writes them in! (Source)

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THINGS FALL APART tells two overlapping, intertwining stories, both of which center around Okonkwo, a “strong man” of an Ibo village in Nigeria. The first of these stories traces Okonkwo's fall from grace with the tribal world in which he lives, and in its classical purity of line and economical beauty it provides us with a powerful fable about the immemorial conflict between the individual and society.

The second story, which is as modern as the first is ancient, and which elevates the book to a tragic plane, concerns the clash of cultures and the destruction of Okonkwo's world...

Barack ObamaAs 2018 draws to a close, I’m continuing a favorite tradition of mine and sharing my year-end lists. It gives me a moment to pause and reflect on the year through the books I found most thought-provoking, inspiring, or just plain loved. It also gives me a chance to highlight talented authors – some who are household names and others who you may not have heard of before. Here’s my best of 2018... (Source)

Jacqueline NovogratzThe first book I read by an African author. Achebe is unflinching in his portrayal of the challenges of change, the relationships of colonialism, and power/powerlessness. (Source)

Sam KileyI think what’s so fantastic about it is that it’s sort of portentous, if that’s the right word, in that it captures that moment between the end of colonisation and independence, and the inevitable crushing of Africa’s dreams. I can’t remember exactly when it was written, but it was very early on in the process. It sounds really pessimistic – I mean, it’s a beautifully written book, but it’s the... (Source)

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War And Peace

War and Peace broadly focuses on Napoleon's invasion of Russia in 1812 and follows three of the most well-known characters in literature: Pierre Bezukhov, the illegitimate son of a count who is fighting for his inheritance and yearning for spiritual fulfillment; Prince Andrei Bolkonsky, who leaves his family behind to fight in the war against Napoleon; and Natasha Rostov, the beautiful young daughter of a nobleman who intrigues both men.

As Napoleon's army invades, Tolstoy brilliantly follows characters from diverse backgrounds—peasants and nobility, civilians and...

Vanora BennettAlthough it was published in 1869, War and Peace deals with events half a century earlier. This makes it one of the first historical novels – and, all these years later, it’s still the greatest. (Source)

Tendai HuchuTolstoy does something which is very unusual in War and Peace and which, for his time, was pretty profound: he sees the conditions of the ordinary soldier on the battlefield. (Source)

Niall FergusonAs a middle aged man, I react differently to Tolstoy than I did when I first read War and Peace at about 15. (Source)

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