87 books like East of Acre Lane

By Alex Wheatle,

Here are 87 books that East of Acre Lane fans have personally recommended if you like East of Acre Lane. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Rosewater

Jendella Benson Author Of Hope and Glory

From my list on introducing you to Black London.

Why am I passionate about this?

Much of the Britain that's exported to the world is fed by the monochromatic myth of nobility and royalty, but the heart of Britain is multifaceted and multicultural. I didn’t grow up in London, but grew up visiting family here and ‘The Big Smoke’ had an allure for me. The people were all different colours and ethnicities and it truly felt like the most exciting place in the world. I moved here the week I turned 18, and I haven’t left. It's a harsh, expensive city, and it's much too busy to provide anyone with any lasting sanity, but here I found a version of Black Britain that I was missing in my hometown.

Jendella's book list on introducing you to Black London

Jendella Benson Why did Jendella love this book?

Besides the fact that I love a messy, sexy love story, Rosewater captures the very real feeling of being in your mid-20s in a beautiful but harsh city and trying to work your ish out.

Elsie, the main character, is a poet, which I feel leads a song-like quality to the narrative. This is for dreamers and lovers and those who kind of know what they want but are scared of throwing themselves at it fully. 

By Liv Little,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Rosewater as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A TODAY and LGBTQ Reads Most Anticipated Book of 2023 * A Goodreads Buzziest Debut Novel of the New Year * An Electric Lit Most Anticipated LGBTQ+ Book of Spring 2023 * A Bustle Most Anticipated Book of Spring & Summer 2023 * A Nylon April 2023 Must-Read Book * An Ebony Required Reading Pick for April

For fans of Bolu Babalola and Tia Williams comes a "tender, soulful, and sexy" (Phoebe Robinson) debut novel about finding love in an unexpected place.

Elsie is a sexy, funny, and fiercely independent woman in south London. But several things in her life…


Book cover of Small Worlds

Jendella Benson Author Of Hope and Glory

From my list on introducing you to Black London.

Why am I passionate about this?

Much of the Britain that's exported to the world is fed by the monochromatic myth of nobility and royalty, but the heart of Britain is multifaceted and multicultural. I didn’t grow up in London, but grew up visiting family here and ‘The Big Smoke’ had an allure for me. The people were all different colours and ethnicities and it truly felt like the most exciting place in the world. I moved here the week I turned 18, and I haven’t left. It's a harsh, expensive city, and it's much too busy to provide anyone with any lasting sanity, but here I found a version of Black Britain that I was missing in my hometown.

Jendella's book list on introducing you to Black London

Jendella Benson Why did Jendella love this book?

This is a gorgeous book to be savoured slowly.

It is suffused with music throughout (and the nerd within me loves the reoccurring literary motifs and phrases that definitely lend a musical quality to the book) and took me back to lazy summer days as a teenager when I first moved to London and the city felt wide open with excitement and possibility.

This is another love story, but one about community, family and the first loves that we learn from our parents.

By Caleb Azumah Nelson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Small Worlds as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An exhilarating and expansive new novel about fathers and sons, faith and friendship from National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 honoree and Costa First Novel Award winning author Caleb Azumah Nelson

One of the most acclaimed and internationally bestselling “unforgettable” (New York Times) debuts of the 2021, Caleb Azumah Nelson’s London-set love story Open Water took the US by storm and introduced the world to a salient and insightful new voice in fiction. Now, with his second novel Small Worlds, the prodigious Azumah Nelson brings another set of enduring characters to brilliant life in his signature rhythmic, melodic prose.

Set…


Book cover of Settlers: Journeys Through the Food, Faith and Culture of Black African London

Jendella Benson Author Of Hope and Glory

From my list on introducing you to Black London.

Why am I passionate about this?

Much of the Britain that's exported to the world is fed by the monochromatic myth of nobility and royalty, but the heart of Britain is multifaceted and multicultural. I didn’t grow up in London, but grew up visiting family here and ‘The Big Smoke’ had an allure for me. The people were all different colours and ethnicities and it truly felt like the most exciting place in the world. I moved here the week I turned 18, and I haven’t left. It's a harsh, expensive city, and it's much too busy to provide anyone with any lasting sanity, but here I found a version of Black Britain that I was missing in my hometown.

Jendella's book list on introducing you to Black London

Jendella Benson Why did Jendella love this book?

This book fills a gap that I didn’t know was missing until I read it.

Not much has been written documenting the history of Black Africans in 20th/21st Century London, but Jimi Famurewa covers the migration, the cultural contributions, the food, the music, the community…ah, it really covers a lot.

Non-fiction is never really my go-to but is immensely readable and the research is thorough and sharp. It filled in some the gaps in the word-of-mouth anecdotes you hear from the older generation, as well as introduced me to corners of our history that I wasn’t as familiar with.

By Jimi Famurewa,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Settlers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A journey into the extraordinary, vibrant world of Black African London which is shaping modern Britain. What makes a Londoner? What is it to be Black, African and British? And how can we understand the many tangled roots of our modern nation without knowing the story of how it came to be? This is a story that begins not with the 'Windrush Generation' of Caribbean immigrants to Britain, but with post-1960s arrivals from African countries like Nigeria, Ghana, Zimbabwe and Somalia. Some came from former British colonies in the wake of newfound independence; others arrived seeking prosperity and an English…


Book cover of The Lonely Londoners

Jendella Benson Author Of Hope and Glory

From my list on introducing you to Black London.

Why am I passionate about this?

Much of the Britain that's exported to the world is fed by the monochromatic myth of nobility and royalty, but the heart of Britain is multifaceted and multicultural. I didn’t grow up in London, but grew up visiting family here and ‘The Big Smoke’ had an allure for me. The people were all different colours and ethnicities and it truly felt like the most exciting place in the world. I moved here the week I turned 18, and I haven’t left. It's a harsh, expensive city, and it's much too busy to provide anyone with any lasting sanity, but here I found a version of Black Britain that I was missing in my hometown.

Jendella's book list on introducing you to Black London

Jendella Benson Why did Jendella love this book?

Another classic, but this time set a generation before East of Acre Lane.

This follows members of the Windrush generation as they try and make their way in a city that is hostile in weather and temperament. There is a lot of humour here amongst the occasional bleakness, but either way it’s a revelatory read. Again, language is really important here to really hear the voices of the characters.

Admittedly, I read this quite late in the game, but could instantly see why it’s one of the classics.

By Sam Selvon,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Lonely Londoners as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Lonely Londoners, an unforgettable account of immigrant experience and one of the great twentieth-century London novels, now in in a stunning Clothbound Classics edition.

At Waterloo Station, hopeful new arrivals from the West Indies step off the boat train, ready to start afresh in 1950s London. There, homesick Moses Aloetta, who has already lived in the city for years, meets Henry 'Sir Galahad' Oliver and shows him the ropes. In this strange, cold and foggy city where the natives can be less than friendly at the sight of a black face, has Galahad met his Waterloo? But the irrepressible…


Book cover of Blood Done Sign My Name: A True Story

Charles Oldham Author Of Ship of Blood: Mutiny and Slaughter Aboard the Harry A. Berwind, and the Quest for Justice

From my list on fascinating but not so well known true crimes.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m both a history buff and a criminal defense attorney. I grew up in a small North Carolina town, as the son of two educators who encouraged me to read anything I could get my hands on. My favorite stories were adventures and mysteries, especially courtroom dramas. Clarence Darrow was my historical hero, so I guess it wasn’t surprising that I would attend law school and try my hand at legal practice. I practiced criminal law for about 15 years, long enough to get a feel for how investigations and trials really work. That experience had a major impact on my own writing, and how to pick out a really fascinating true story.

Charles' book list on fascinating but not so well known true crimes

Charles Oldham Why did Charles love this book?

In one of my very favorite books of the past twenty years, Tim Tyson describes the brutal racist murder of a Black man in small-town North Carolina in 1970. He also goes into the aftermath, which Tim personally observed with the eyes of the ten-year-old son of the town’s Methodist minister. His father tried sincerely, with little success, to bridge the town’s racial divide as militant young Blacks took to the streets, burning warehouses. Tim is a remarkably poignant storyteller, and every page is stamped with his compassion, his wit, his keen eye for human nature. And most especially, with the wisdom that he learned from his father over the years. Some folks have compared it with To Kill a Mockingbird, and I definitely agree. And on a personal note, Tim’s father, Reverend Dr. Vernon Tyson, was a friend of my family for many years.

By Timothy B. Tyson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Blood Done Sign My Name as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The “riveting”* true story of the fiery summer of 1970, which would forever transform the town of Oxford, North Carolina—a classic portrait of the fight for civil rights in the tradition of To Kill a Mockingbird
 
*Chicago Tribune

On May 11, 1970, Henry Marrow, a twenty-three-year-old black veteran, walked into a crossroads store owned by Robert Teel and came out running. Teel and two of his sons chased and beat Marrow, then killed him in public as he pleaded for his life. 
 
Like many small Southern towns, Oxford had barely been touched by the civil rights movement. But in the…


Book cover of The Hardhat Riot: Nixon, New York City, and the Dawn of the White Working-Class Revolution

Timothy N. Thurber Author Of Republicans and Race: The GOP's Frayed Relationship with African Americans, 1945-1974

From my list on Republicans and Democrats in the 1960s.

Why am I passionate about this?

I developed a strong interest in current events, especially politics, in high school. What the government does, or does not do, struck me as a vital piece of the puzzle in trying to explain why things are the way they are. That soon led, however, to seeing how the past continues to influence the present. No decade is more important than the 1960s for understanding our current political climate.

Timothy's book list on Republicans and Democrats in the 1960s

Timothy N. Thurber Why did Timothy love this book?

On May 8, 1970, just days after the killing of four college students at Kent State University, construction workers in New York City violently attacked a group that had gathered to protest the Vietnam War.

Kuhn offers a riveting account of the events (dubbed the “Hardhat Riot” by some and “Workers’ Woodstock” by others), but he also situates them into a broader story of how the war and other developments of the 1960s exacerbated divisions within the Democratic Party between white, heavily unionized blue-collar workers in the urban North and an emerging class of college-educated professionals. 

Nixon successfully courted many of the blue-collar workers on the way to his landslide victory in 1972. Kuhn is no apologist for the workers, but he also avoids facile stereotypes about the white working class, some of which persist to this day.  

By David Paul Kuhn,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Hardhat Riot as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In May 1970, four days after Kent State, construction workers chased students through downtown Manhattan, beating scores of protestors bloody. As hardhats clashed with hippies, it soon became clear that something larger was happening; Democrats were at war with themselves. In The Hardhat Riot, David Paul Kuhn tells the fateful story-how chaotic it was, when it began, when the white working class first turned against liberalism, when Richard Nixon seized the
breach, and America was forever changed. It was unthinkable one generation before: FDR's "forgotten man" siding with the party of Big Business and, ultimately, paving the way for presidencies…


Book cover of Rebels Against the Future: The Luddites and Their War on the Industrial Revolution: Lessons for the Computer Age

Gareth Southwell Author Of MUNKi

From my list on why we should rise up against our robot overlords.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a philosopher, writer, and illustrator from Wales, UK. I grew up on ’70s sci-fi—Star Wars (the original trilogy!), Battlestar Galactica (the original series!), The Black Hole (Remember that?! No? Oh well…). Space travel, flying cars, sassy computers you could banter with, cute robots who would be your best friend—it was a time when the future seemed just around the corner. But now, as these things finally start to arrive, I feel I’ve been mis-sold. Data theft? Mass surveillance? Killer drones? Election manipulation? Social media bot farms? This isn’t the future I signed up for! Or maybe I should have read the terms and conditions…

Gareth's book list on why we should rise up against our robot overlords

Gareth Southwell Why did Gareth love this book?

But can you fight the future? Isn’t it inevitable? This is often how tech companies try to make us think, and that anyone who opposes “progress” is a Luddite. But, as Patrick Sale makes clear in this excellent and heartbreaking historical study, the original Luddites—a protest movement that swept the industrial heartland of 19th Century England—were not anti-technology; they merely thought technology should serve people, not profit. Faced with the destruction of their livelihoods and their traditional way of life, they destroyed machines and burnt factories because that was the only outlet they had for their rage and desperation. And when the “inevitable march of progress” comes to trample you too, you may see that they had a point.

By Kirkpatrick Sale,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Rebels Against the Future as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Kirkpatrick Sale is at the tumultuous centre of a technology backlash, actively challenging Bill Gates on the one hand and the Unabomber on the other. The subject of bets, barbs, and grudging praise in the pages of WIRED, The New York Times, Newsweek, and The New Yorker, Rebels Against the Future takes us back to the first technology backlash, the short-lived and fierce Luddite rebellion of 1811. Sale tells the compelling story of the Luddites'struggle to preserve their jobs and way of life by destroying the machines that threatened to replace them he then invokes a new-Luddite spirit in response…


Book cover of The Devil's Own Work: The Civil War Draft Riots and the Fight to Reconstruct America

Zachary M. Schrag Author Of The Fires of Philadelphia: Citizen-Soldiers, Nativists, and the 1844 Riots Over the Soul of a Nation

From my list on mob violence.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am fortunate not to have witnessed any major riots myself; the worst I’ve endured was a 1993 street fight in Moscow between parading Communists and the police, with bricks on one side and clubs and water cannon on the other. But even a relatively gentle protest march that draws a police response can be an astonishing spectacle, transforming a familiar, modern city into a medieval battlefield of massed crowds confronting armored men on horseback. And I am fascinated by the place of crowd actions in democratic societies. The right to assemble is embedded in our constitution, but there’s a fine line between public expression and mob rule.

Zachary's book list on mob violence

Zachary M. Schrag Why did Zachary love this book?

The four days of deadly fighting that shook New York City in July 1863 are best known as the Civil War Draft Riots, but they combined multiple, overlapping grievances. While some men rioted in outrage that poor men must fight while rich men could buy an exemption, others seized the chance to lynch African Americans, settle old political scores, loot shops, or smash the grain elevators and street-sweeping machines they blamed for their unemployment. Schecter connects the intimate, block-by-block events of a riot with the largest debates facing the nation, helping to explain the ultimate disappointment of Reconstruction.

By Barnet Schecter,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Devil's Own Work as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This lively best-selling story - now in its third edition - will appeal to youngsters diagnosed with ADD or ADHD. Otto is a high-octane young car whose motor is always running in overdrive. He also has trouble paying attention in school, is easily distracted, and acts without thinking. Otto and his parents visit a special mechanic, who prescribes medication to slow down Otto's racing motor and who shows him many ways to be more focused and organized and better able to get along with others. Reflecting a multiple-treatment approach to ADHD, Otto's experience includes counseling and other non-medical supports in…


Book cover of Riot Medicine

Zilla Novikov and Rachel A. Rosen Author Of The Sad Bastard Cookbook: Food You Can Make So You Don't Die

From my list on how you can DIY through troubled times.

Why are we passionate about this?

We have backgrounds in writing, activism, and being messed up, so making The Sad Bastard Cookbook together made sense. Our inspiration was partly realizing that most of the recipes purporting to be “good for mental health” require a laundry list of unusual ingredients and a drawer full of spoons, and partly meeting someone who didn't know about cooking eggs in instant ramen. So we crowdsourced recipes from our community, added our naturally witty, radically progressive commentary, and roped in Marten Norr as illustrator. The ebook's free—we know that dealing with poverty, overwork, mental health issues, physical disability, and exhaustion is hard enough without scraping up money for your emotional-support cookbook.

Zilla's book list on how you can DIY through troubled times

Zilla Novikov and Rachel A. Rosen Why did Zilla love this book?

A practical, easy-to-read, free guide to solidarity, collective action, and keeping people alive during protests, Riot Medicine is a valuable addition to any library and a necessary book for activists.

Available in multiple formats, from a zine refresher on first aid to a textbook reference for medic collectives, this wealth of comprehensive knowledge can save lives as we confront the worst of what the state throws at us.

By Hakan Geijer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Riot Medicine as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Book cover of The Lido

Sally Page Author Of The Keeper of Stories

From my list on losing yourself in on a rainy day.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a writer who will never give you a sad ending! I love books that reflect on life (the good and the bad) but that look for the positive in people. My experience has taught me that there is so much good to find—and as I explore in my debut novel, The Keeper of Stories, everyone has a story to tell. My first novel was published when I was 60, so I am also a believer that you should never underestimate anyone. And I love to see that reflected in books.

Sally's book list on losing yourself in on a rainy day

Sally Page Why did Sally love this book?

Of course I was always going to pick one of my daughter’s novels! Two women of very different ages come together to save their local Lido. This is a book about community and the power of friendship. And if you like swimming it is definitely the book for you!

By Libby Page,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Lido as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE SUNDAY TIMES TOP TEN BESTSELLER

'Feel-good and uplifting, this charming novel is full of heart' LUCY DIAMOND

'Tender, thought-provoking and uplifting' DAILY MAIL

Meet Rosemary, 86, and Kate, 26: dreamers, campaigners, outdoor swimmers...

Rosemary has lived in Brixton all her life, but everything she knows is changing. Only the local lido, where she swims every day, remains a constant reminder of the past and her beloved husband George.

Kate has just moved and feels adrift in a city that is too big for her. She's on the bottom rung of her career as a local journalist, and is determined…


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