100 books like Easy Motion Tourist

By Leye Adenle,

Here are 100 books that Easy Motion Tourist fans have personally recommended if you like Easy Motion Tourist. 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 Devil's Peak

Brenda Chapman Author Of Blind Date: A Hunter and Tate Mystery

From my list on crime fiction with intriguing lead characters.

Who am I?

I’ve been addicted to reading mysteries and crime fiction since I was a kid, and I naturally fell into writing in these genres—I’m currently in the midst of penning my fourth series! There’s nothing better than discovering a new, well-written series and following along with interesting, complicated main characters over several books. These favourite recommendations of mine will take you to Ireland, Scotland, South Africa, Sweden, and my very own Canada without ever having to leave home. Hopefully, you’ll discover some new authors, and their main characters will bring you as much enjoyment as they’ve given me. 

Brenda's book list on crime fiction with intriguing lead characters

Brenda Chapman Why did Brenda love this book?

Benny Griessel has elements of a stereotypical cop who drinks too much and loses his family as a result, but Griessel’s humanity and self-loathing set him apart as a protagonist. He doesn’t believe that he’s any good as a detective or a human being, yet his ability to solve murders and to connect with people contradict this self-destructive inner dialogue. Themes of redemption, forgiveness, and revenge drive the book (and series), making this more layered than a simple whodunit. I like Griessel’s resolve to change and become a better person, even as he fights having a drink every hour of every day. His compassion, empathy, and humility ultimately seal the deal for me. I particularly enjoy the glimpses Meyer gives into South African society and policing.

By Deon Meyer,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Devil's Peak as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the author of Thirteen Hours - A Sunday Times '100 best crime novels and thrillers since 1945' pick

The former freedom fighter known as 'Tiny' has finally achieved his dream of a peaceful life. But then his beloved son is taken away from him. In that moment, he unleashes himself upon a corrupt South Africa. His victims are those guilty of crimes against children.

He goes by the name of Artemis.

Benny Griessel, a fading policeman on the brink of losing his job, family and self-respect, is assigned the case. Benny knows that this is his last chance -…


Book cover of Facets of Death

Paul Mendelson Author Of The First Rule Of Survival

From my list on crime thrillers set in Africa.

Who am I?

Africa can easily become an obsession: an extraordinary continent, blessed with breath-taking beauty and wonderful people, yet cursed by climate, corruption, war, and… crime. This continent is the most incredible setting for stories about people driven to crime, victims of crime, the detection of crime. Based in the UK, but a frequent visitor to Southern Africa, having written many non-fiction books, South Africa (and Cape Town in particular) was always going to be my choice of setting for my crime novels. For me, a good novel – within any genre – transports the reader into an unfamiliar world, absorbs them in the lives of the characters, and reveals insights which touch on their own lives.

Paul's book list on crime thrillers set in Africa

Paul Mendelson Why did Paul love this book?

Michael Stanley is an author comprised of two writers: Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip. Their novels, set in Botswana and Zimbabwe, and featuring the enigmatic, Detective Kubu, have enjoyed much success in the UK and the US. Their latest story acts as a prequel, featuring Kubu just as he leaves university and joins Botswana’s CID. As a first case, Kubu is confronted with the theft of millions of dollars of diamonds, the execution of the robbers, a conniving witch doctor, and his son, and a case with international ramifications. Dark and thrilling.

By Michael Stanley,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Detective Kubu, renowned international detective, has faced off with death more times than he can count… But what was the case that established him as a force to be reckoned with? In Facets of Death, a prequel to the acclaimed Detective Kubu series, the fresh-faced cop gets ensnared in an international web of danger―can he get out before disaster strikes?

David Bengu has always stood out from the crowd. His personality and his physique match his nickname, Kubu―Setswana for "hippopotamus"―a seemingly docile creature, but one of the deadliest in Africa. His keen mind and famous persistence have seen him rise…


Book cover of Blood Rose

Paul Mendelson Author Of The First Rule Of Survival

From my list on crime thrillers set in Africa.

Who am I?

Africa can easily become an obsession: an extraordinary continent, blessed with breath-taking beauty and wonderful people, yet cursed by climate, corruption, war, and… crime. This continent is the most incredible setting for stories about people driven to crime, victims of crime, the detection of crime. Based in the UK, but a frequent visitor to Southern Africa, having written many non-fiction books, South Africa (and Cape Town in particular) was always going to be my choice of setting for my crime novels. For me, a good novel – within any genre – transports the reader into an unfamiliar world, absorbs them in the lives of the characters, and reveals insights which touch on their own lives.

Paul's book list on crime thrillers set in Africa

Paul Mendelson Why did Paul love this book?

This book is all about the dark, foreboding atmosphere of its setting, a township in an isolated part of Walvis Bay, in Namibia. Dr. Clare Hart is a police profiler sent in to try to pin down the perpetrator of a gruesome crime against a teenage boy. For all Hart’s professional competence, her emotional and relationship skills are in doubt as her wavering romantic interest, Captain Reidwaan Faizal, arrives to lead the investigation. Fantastically well-observed, very dark, and beautifully written, you lose yourself in its fog-filled pages, but the journey is far from comfortable.

By Margie Orford,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Walvis Bay: a down-at-heel port town, isolated in the vast sweep of the Namib desert. Hard-eyed teenagers run the streets. Prostitutes gather around the transient dockworkers. Nobody chooses to live here. The perfect place to hide a killer...

When a homeless teenage boy is gruesomely murdered, police profiler Dr Clare Hart is brought into this claustrophobic township to work the case. To track down a monster with a taste for young male victims, Clare must enter the world of the desperate street kids who run the rackets of the dock. And Clare is glad for the distraction, a chance for…


Book cover of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

Susan McCormick Author Of The Fog Ladies

From my list on mysteries with senior sleuths and older characters.

Who am I?

I am a doctor, an award-winning writer, and lifelong lover of mysteries. Many mysteries feature smart characters. I prefer those with wise characters, who can teach me something about a life well-lived. Or not. Sometimes the mistakes are more instructive and more fun. Stories with older characters offer a plethora of life experience and wisdom, and usually poignancy and humor as well. From my life as a doctor and my daily visits to my mother’s retirement community dinner table, I see seniors who are strong, wise, vital, and often overlooked. I love stories that give voice to this robust and rich generation who have so much to offer.

Susan's book list on mysteries with senior sleuths and older characters

Susan McCormick Why did Susan love this book?

Some might consider this cheating, as Mma Ramotswe’s age is not obvious as the books progress, but after 23 adventures, I will count her tending toward middle if not old age.

If she is not, the gentle mannerisms and thoughtful concerns of her and her husband, Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni, definitely put the books into this category of wise and poignant characters.

There may still be a mystery to each book, but these stories offer marriage advice, friendship advice, life advice in as joyful and tranquil a way possible.

By Alexander McCall Smith,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Precious Ramotswe, a cheerful woman of traditional build, is the founder of Botswana's first and only ladies' detective agency. Here is a gentle interpretation of the detective role: solving her cases through her innate wisdom and understanding of human nature, she 'helps people with problems in their lives'. With a tone that is as elegant as that which is unfailingly used by his protagonist, Alexander McCall Smith tenderly unfolds a picture of life in Gaborone with a mastery of comic understatement and an evident sympathy for his subjects and their milieu. In the background of all this is Botswana, a…


Book cover of Reforming the Unreformable: Lessons from Nigeria

Alexander Thurston Author Of Boko Haram: The History of an African Jihadist Movement

From my list on post-independence Nigeria.

Who am I?

From the moment I first began reading about Nigerian history, I was drawn to the country’s complexity – the mix of religious traditions, ethnic groups, languages, cultures, and intersecting histories. As a graduate student, I delved deeper into the history of Islam in northern Nigeria, first by reading the secondary literature, then by exploring primary documents, and eventually by conducting my own fieldwork. Sadly, as my interest in Nigeria grew, so too did the country’s ongoing tragedies, including the violence perpetrated by Boko Haram. Nevertheless, there is much more to Nigeria than conflict, as is amply demonstrated by the tremendous contributions of Nigerian novelists, musicians, filmmakers, entrepreneurs, and scholars.

Alexander's book list on post-independence Nigeria

Alexander Thurston Why did Alexander love this book?

Nigeria’s most famous economist and the current Director-General of the World Trade Organization, Okonjo-Iweala is a formidable figure nationally and globally. Her memoir about her time as Finance Minister during the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo (in office 1999-2007) gives insight into debt relief negotiations and major economic reforms. Those reforms look less transformative in retrospect – at least 40% of Nigerians remain mired in poverty, and Nigeria’s debt has climbed again, including during Okonjo-Iweala’s second stint as Finance Minister – but the memoir remains important for understanding Africa’s largest economy.

By Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A report on development economics in action, by a crucial player in Nigeria's recent reforms.

Corrupt, mismanaged, and seemingly hopeless: that's how the international community viewed Nigeria in the early 2000s. Then Nigeria implemented a sweeping set of economic and political changes and began to reform the unreformable. This book tells the story of how a dedicated and politically committed team of reformers set out to fix a series of broken institutions, and in the process repositioned Nigeria's economy in ways that helped create a more diversified springboard for steadier long-term growth.

The author, Harvard- and MIT-trained economist Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala,…


Book cover of Things Fall Apart

Joanne Leedom-Ackerman Author Of The Far Side of the Desert

From my list on books combining international political intrigue, romance, and family drama.

Who am I?

I began my career as a journalist, including working as a reporter on an international newspaper. I left full-time journalism to write fiction where I can combine an interest in international affairs with stories of characters and issues of the heart which drive individuals and often shape events. Over the years I’ve worked and traveled with international organizations, serving as Vice President of PEN International, and on the boards and in other roles focusing on human rights, education, and refugees. I’ve been able to travel widely and witness events up close, walking along the edge of worlds and discovering the bonds that keep us from falling off.

Joanne's book list on books combining international political intrigue, romance, and family drama

Joanne Leedom-Ackerman Why did Joanne love this book?

This was one of the first novels I read in the late sixties as I began reading African writers and studying the novel form and possibilities. Chinua Achebe tells the story of Okonkwo, a warrior in the late 1800s as he tries to resist the British political and religious powers encroaching on his home. Okonkwo is in conflict with his community as they allow the intrusion and succumb to the British.

Through his proverbs, rhythmic prose, and poignant storytelling, Chinua Achebe brings to life this story without polemics and the drier narrative of history books but instead through the passion of a man and his world. As I studied how novels could affect this empathetic magic, I looked to books like Things Fall Apart.

By Chinua Achebe,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Things Fall Apart as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner of International Man Booker Prize 2007.


Book cover of Postcolonial Modernism: Art and Decolonization in Twentieth-Century Nigeria

David Joselit Author Of Heritage and Debt: Art in Globalization

From my list on art and globalization.

Who am I?

I have been professionally involved with contemporary art since the 1980s, when I was a curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston. In the forty years since I've seen an enormous shift in the orientation of American curators and scholars from Western art to a global perspective. After earning my PhD at Harvard, and writing several books on contemporary art, I wanted to tackle the challenge of a truly comparative contemporary art history. To do so, I've depended on the burgeoning scholarship from a new more diverse generation of art historians, as well as on many decades of travel and research. My book Heritage and Debt is an attempt to synthesize that knowledge. 

David's book list on art and globalization

David Joselit Why did David love this book?

This is the best account I know of the double bind that artists subjected to settler forms of colonialism have had to endure. Taking Nigerian modern art as his case study, this eminent Africanist art historian shows how, on the one hand, colonial officials attempted to abolish the indigenous artistic heritage as "savage," or "primitive," while simultaneously blocking African artists from a European art education. To become modern required a negotiation between these dual limitations and ended up producing something very different from Western modernism.

By Chika Okeke-Agulu,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Written by one of the foremost scholars of African art and featuring 129 color images, Postcolonial Modernism chronicles the emergence of artistic modernism in Nigeria in the heady years surrounding political independence in 1960, before the outbreak of civil war in 1967. Chika Okeke-Agulu traces the artistic, intellectual, and critical networks in several Nigerian cities. Zaria is particularly important, because it was there, at the Nigerian College of Arts, Science and Technology, that a group of students formed the Art Society and inaugurated postcolonial modernism in Nigeria. As Okeke-Agulu explains, their works show both a deep connection with local artistic…


Book cover of Purple Hibiscus

Fran Hill Author Of Cuckoo in the Nest

From my list on coming-of-age in which it’s all about the voice.

Who am I?

I’ve taught English for 20 years and the novels I’ve enjoyed teaching most – because the students have enjoyed them most – are those with the first-person perspectives of young narrators. These characters’ voices ring loud and clear as they learn, change, and grow, often suffering and having to find resilience and strength to survive. The limited perspective also takes us into the mind and heart of the protagonist, so that we feel all the feels with them. This is why I chose a first-person perspective for the narrator of my own book ‘Cuckoo in the Nest’: Jackie Chadwick is sarcastic, funny, and observant. Readers love her.    

Fran's book list on coming-of-age in which it’s all about the voice

Fran Hill Why did Fran love this book?

You know when you first go to someone else’s house and realise that not every family lives the way yours does?

It’s part of the coming-of-age process and can be both illuminating and destabilising. In Adichie’s story, set in post-colonial Nigeria, 15-year-old Kambili gets the chance to escape her wealthy but religiously-oppressive household and stay with her vibrant, liberal aunt.

I love the way Kambili’s narrative expresses the new freedom she feels there: she has a voice at last and the liberty to experience a sexual awakening. She needs these new strengths as her own family disintegrates into tragedy.  

By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Purple Hibiscus as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

“One of the most vital and original novelists of her generation.” —Larissa MacFarquhar, The New Yorker

From the bestselling author of Americanah and We Should All Be Feminists

Fifteen-year-old Kambili and her older brother Jaja lead a privileged life in Enugu, Nigeria. They live in a beautiful house, with a caring family, and attend an exclusive missionary school. They're completely shielded from the troubles of the world. Yet, as Kambili reveals in her tender-voiced account, things are less perfect than they appear. Although her Papa is generous and well respected, he is fanatically religious and tyrannical at home—a home that…


Book cover of Noor

Lavanya Lakshminarayan Author Of The Ten Percent Thief

From my list on science fiction novels exploring the near future.

Who am I?

I’m a novelist and game designer from Bangalore. I’ve been a lifelong reader of science fiction and fantasy. Growing up, I almost never encountered futures that included people like me—brown women, from a country that isn’t the UK/ US, and yet, who are in sync with the rapidly changing global village we belong to. Over the last decade, though, I've found increasing joy in more recent science fiction, in which the future belongs to everyone. The Ten Percent Thief is an expression of my experiences living in dynamic urban India, and represents one of our many possible futures. 

Lavanya's book list on science fiction novels exploring the near future

Lavanya Lakshminarayan Why did Lavanya love this book?

This book delves into several themes that scare me about the present, including identity and personhood, surveillance states, and capitalism.

It’s set in futuristic Nigeria, now run by Ultimate Corp, a global corporation that reads like a billionaire tech bro dream-come-true, AKA bad news for everyone else. We follow Anwuli Okwudili, a disabled young woman with cybernetic prosthetics who’s on the run from the law. With a relentless pace, this book effortlessly weaves between the deeply personal struggles of its protagonist and big, world-changing ideas. It forces readers to confront terrifying questions about where we're heading.

By Nnedi Okorafor,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From Africanfuturist luminary Okorafor comes a new science fiction novel of intense action and thoughtful rumination on biotechnology, destiny, and humanity in a near-future Nigeria.

Anwuli Okwudili prefers to be called AO. To her, these initials have always stood for Artificial Organism. AO has never really felt...natural, and that's putting it lightly. Her parents spent most of the days before she was born praying for her peaceful passing because even in-utero she was "wrong". But she lived. Then came the car accident years later that disabled her even further. Yet instead of viewing her strange body the way the world…


Book cover of Incidents at the Shrine

Wole Talabi Author Of Incomplete Solutions

From my list on collections of African speculative fiction stories.

Who am I?

Novels are great. I’ve written one myself. I have also written many short stories for major science fiction and fantasy publishing venues—Asimov’s, F&SF, Analog, Lightspeed, etc. But there is something special about single-author short story collections. They are like tasting platters. They reveal running themes and can be a unique way to explore places—through the imaginations of its authors. For example, many of my stories are set in or feature characters from Nigeria. I hope you enjoy the books on this list and that they show you something new about Africa and what (some) African authors dream about. 

Wole's book list on collections of African speculative fiction stories

Wole Talabi Why did Wole love this book?

I really enjoyed this excellent, ethereal collection of stories from Booker Prize winner Ben Okri who, from early on, has always infused the supernatural and dream logic into his literary work to get at a deeper truth in his very grounded stories about post-independence Nigeria and Nigerians. The lightest on its speculative elements out of all the books I’ve recommended, it’s also a great entry point for literary fiction fans looking to ease into the more flighty and wild parts of African speculative fiction. There are all the realities of life – anxiety, joy, poverty, war, love, but there are spirits and strange things too. Okri’s writing lures you in and takes you on a journey to observe Nigerian life from a skewed angle with unexpected tenderness. 

By Ben Okri,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Incidents at the Shrine as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Incidents at the Shrine is the first collection of stories by the author of 1991 Booker Prize-winning novel, The Famished Road. Whether the subject is a child's eye view of the Nigerian Civil War, Lagos and the spirit world or dispossession in a decaying British inner city, Okri's lyrical, poetic and humorous prose recreates the known and the unknown world with startling power.


5 book lists we think you will like!

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