100 books like Settlers

By Jimi Famurewa,

Here are 100 books that Settlers fans have personally recommended if you like Settlers. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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 East of Acre Lane

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 modern classic – one that provides a slice of a very pivotal time in Black British history.

The 1980s saw a lot of civil unrest in Britain, from workers’ strikes to uprisings fuelled by racial tensions and police brutality. East of Acre Lane is set in Brixton – a neighbourhood in London that saw its fair share of uprisings – amongst the young Black Caribbean community.

It is such an authentic portrait, down to the musicality of the slang and dialects used. It’s immersive, it’s got action, it’s moving, it’s everything!

By Alex Wheatle,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Alex Wheatle writes from a place of honesty and passion' Steve McQueen, director of Small Axe

East of Acre Lane is the fast-paced and razor sharp story of a young man trying to do the right thing from celebrated author Alex Wheatle, one of the figures who inspired Steve McQueen's Small Axe

It is 1981, and Brixton is on the verge of exploding. Biscuit lives with his mother, brother and sister, trapped hustling on the frontline for the South London badman Nunchucks. As the patience of the community breaks and the riots erupt, Biscuit must make a choice that could…


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 Dominion: An Anthology of Speculative Fiction from Africa and the African Diaspora

Eugen Bacon Author Of Mage of Fools

From my list on afro-centric speculative fiction from Africa.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an African Australian writer and have a deep passion for black people's stories. I write across genres and forms, and my award-winning works are mostly Afrocentric. I have a master's degree in distributed computer systems, with distinction, a master's degree in creative writing, and a PhD in creative writing. I am especially curious about unique voices in black speculative fiction in transformative stories of culture, diversity, climate change, writing the other, and betwixt. I am an author of several novels and fiction collections, and a finalist in the 2022 World Fantasy Award. I was announced in the honor list of the 2022 Otherwise Fellowships for ‘doing exciting work in gender and speculative fiction’.

Eugen's book list on afro-centric speculative fiction from Africa

Eugen Bacon Why did Eugen love this book?

Dominion is a unique black speculative fiction that integrates stories from prominent voices from Africa and the diaspora, including Suyi Davies Okungbowa, Dare Segun Falowo, Mame Bougouma Diene, Dilma Dila, and more. Featuring a foreword by Tananarive Due, the award-winning anthology offers African spirituality, magical realism, Afrofuturistic stories, dystopian worlds and tales that confront in many ways colonialism, social injustice, and capitalism.  

By Zelda Knight, Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki, Nicole Givens Kurtz , Dilman Dila , Eugen Bacon , Marian Denise Moore , Rafeeat Aliyu , Suyi Davies Okungbowa , Odida Nyabundi , Michael Boatman

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Dominion is the first anthology of speculative fiction and poetry by Africans and the African Diaspora. An old god rises up each fall to test his subjects. Once an old woman's pet, a robot sent to mine an asteroid faces an existential crisis. A magician and his son time-travel to Ngoni country and try to change the course of history. A dead child returns to haunt his grieving mother with terrifying consequences. Candace, an ambitious middle manager, is handed a project that will force her to confront the ethical ramifications of her company's latest project—the monetization of human memory. Osupa,…


Book cover of Afro-Catholic Festivals in the Americas: Performance, Representation, and the Making of Black Atlantic Tradition

Jeroen Dewulf Author Of From the Kingdom of Kongo to Congo Square: Kongo Dances and the Origins of the Mardi Gras Indians

From my list on Atlantic cultural history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a philologist with a passion for Atlantic cultural history. What started with a research project on the African-American Pinkster tradition and the African community in seventeenth-century Dutch Manhattan led me to New Orleans’ Congo Square and has meanwhile expanded to the African Atlantic islands, the Caribbean, and Latin America. With fluency in several foreign languages, I have tried to demonstrate in my publications that we can achieve a better understanding of Black cultural and religious identity formation in the Americas by adopting a multilingual and Atlantic perspective. 

Jeroen's book list on Atlantic cultural history

Jeroen Dewulf Why did Jeroen love this book?

This edited volume studies Black festive traditions in the Americas that are rooted in African interpretations of early-modern Iberian customs. It shows how, from the beginning of the transatlantic slave trade, enslaved and free Africans in the Americas used Catholic brotherhoods as spaces for cultural and religious expression, social organization, and mutual aid. By demonstrating that the syncretic development of certain Black performance traditions in the Americas is a phenomenon that already set in on African soil, it breaks with previous scholarship that (mis)interpreted these festive traditions in the Americas as new, Creole syncretisms. I am convinced that this pioneering book will strongly affect the way future generations of scholars will come to understand Black cultural and religious identity formation in the Americas.

By Cécile Fromont,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Afro-Catholic Festivals in the Americas as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This volume demonstrates how, from the beginning of the Atlantic slave trade, enslaved and free Africans in the Americas used Catholicism and Christian-derived celebrations as spaces for autonomous cultural expression, social organization, and political empowerment. Their appropriation of Catholic-based celebrations calls into question the long-held idea that Africans and their descendants in the diaspora either resignedly accepted Christianity or else transformed its religious rituals into syncretic objects of stealthy resistance.

In cities and on plantations throughout the Americas, men and women of African birth or descent staged mock battles against heathens, elected Christian queens and kings with great pageantry, and…


Book cover of Searching for Zion: The Quest for Home in the African Diaspora

Joan Steinau Lester Author Of Loving before Loving: A Marriage in Black and White

From my list on biracial marriage/families with fascinating angles.

Why am I passionate about this?

Sixty-one years ago I, a young white woman, married a Black man and together we had two children. Raising them (and then watching my biracial children grow to maturity) started my career, professionally and personally, as an anti-racism activist and scholar. They also caused me to question “race”: how did this myth come to be accepted as reality? How could people who were segregated as Negro, as my children were called in the 1960s, have come out of my body, called “white”? As a writer and avid reader, I am fascinated by every aspect of “racial identity.” 

Joan's book list on biracial marriage/families with fascinating angles

Joan Steinau Lester Why did Joan love this book?

A memoir by a young biracial woman who travels to Israel, Jamaica, Ethiopia, Ghana, and the U.S. South, searching for her own identity. 

The pleasure in the memoir comes from her journey. She is a good storyteller and takes us inside her often uncomfortable encounters with folks she has romanticized as being the “real” Black folks. Raboteau discovers, after searching for ten years all over the world, that rather like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, her true home lies within. 

One of the things I loved about the book was her well-told conversations and visits with people in countries I knew little about. The book was the winner of American Book Award.

By Emily Raboteau,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A decade in the making, Emily Raboteau’s Searching for Zion takes readers around the world on an unexpected adventure of faith. Both one woman’s quest for a place to call “home” and an investigation into a people’s search for the Promised Land, this landmark work of creative nonfiction is a trenchant inquiry into contemporary and historical ethnic displacement.
At the age of twenty-three, award-winning writer Emily Raboteau traveled to Israel to visit her childhood best friend. While her friend appeared to have found a place to belong, Raboteau could not yet say the same for herself. As a biracial woman…


Book cover of Omenana to Infinity

Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki Author Of Bridging Worlds: Global Conversations on Creating Pan-African Speculative Literature In A Pandemic

From my list on introduce you to African speculative short fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an African speculative fiction writer who had long hoped to see the development of African speculative fiction being embraced by the larger SFF community, it was a joy to see all these anthologies showcasing the works of Africans and platforming them for a larger audience to see. And it's been a joy as well to contribute to this growth both as an award-winning writer and editor of African speculative short fiction. 

Oghenechovwe's book list on introduce you to African speculative short fiction

Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki Why did Oghenechovwe love this book?

Omenana to Infinity is an anthology of collected works formerly published in Omenana Magazine. The anthology is edited by Mazi Nwonwu and Chinelo Onwualu, like the magazine its stories are culled from. The duo also founded and edited the magazine which is the first African, exclusively speculative fiction magazine. It's important to me because it contains some of the earliest works of speculative short fiction by African writers I would read as an issue of a magazine and did a great lot in platforming speculative fiction writers on the continent. 

Book cover of Born in Blackness: Africa, Africans, and the Making of the Modern World, 1471 to the Second World War

Noel Keough Author Of Sustainability Matters: Prospects for a Just Transition in Calgary, Canada’s Petro-City

From my list on myth demonstrating why sustainability matters.

Why am I passionate about this?

Injustice has always motivated my research and activism. I have always been fascinated by nature and by the complexity of cities. For 25 years I have pursued these passions through the lens of sustainability. In 1996, I co-founded the not-for-profit Sustainable Calgary Society. My extensive work and travel in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, have given me a healthy skepticism of the West’s dominant cultural myths of superiority and benevolence and a keen awareness of the injustice of the global economic order. My book selections shed light on these myths and suggest alternative stories of where we come from, who we are, and who we might become. 

Noel's book list on myth demonstrating why sustainability matters

Noel Keough Why did Noel love this book?

In these times of Black Lives Matter, emboldened white-supremicists, and with European dominance descendant, Born into Blackness is a revelatory and blunt dose of historical reality. I was not fully aware of the centrality of the slave economy in Europe’s rise to global dominance. Most importantly, I was ignorant of the level of cultural, political, and economic sophistication of the African nations when the Portuguese first explored the west coast of Africa. I had some understanding of the Haitian revolution and its manifestation of the enlightenment ideals, but this book opened my eyes to the historical ripples of the revolution: the Louisiana purchase, ceding much of present-day Southern US from Napoleon’s France; the sale and forced-march of thousands of slaves into the cotton-growing south, fueling an economic take-off that made the US an imperial power.

By Howard W. French,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Born in Blackness as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In a sweeping narrative that traverses 600 years, one that eloquently weaves precise historical detail with poignant personal reportage, Pulitzer Prize finalist Howard W. French retells the story of medieval and emerging Africa, demonstrating how the economic ascendancy of Europe, the anchoring of democracy in America and the fulfillment of so-called Enlightenment ideals all grew out of Europe's dehumanising engagement with the "darkest" continent.

Born in Blackness dramatically retrieves the lives of major African historical figures whose stories have been repeatedly etiolated and erased over centuries, from unimaginably rich medieval African emperors who traded with Asia; to Kongo sovereigns who…


Book cover of The Year’s Best African Speculative Fiction

Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki Author Of Bridging Worlds: Global Conversations on Creating Pan-African Speculative Literature In A Pandemic

From my list on introduce you to African speculative short fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an African speculative fiction writer who had long hoped to see the development of African speculative fiction being embraced by the larger SFF community, it was a joy to see all these anthologies showcasing the works of Africans and platforming them for a larger audience to see. And it's been a joy as well to contribute to this growth both as an award-winning writer and editor of African speculative short fiction. 

Oghenechovwe's book list on introduce you to African speculative short fiction

Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki Why did Oghenechovwe love this book?

It's the first of its kind, the first installment in a line of Year's Best African Speculative Fiction anthologies meant to spotlight the works of African writers and writers of African descent. Year's Best anthologies have been a genre thing for over 5 decades. This is an important installment in the development of African speculative short fiction. It was published by the editor as well in a small press he founded, Jembefola Press. The anthology made him the first African editor to be a Hugo award best editor finalist and a Locus award best editor and best anthology finalist.

By Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Year’s Best African Speculative Fiction as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

WINNER BEST ANTHOLOGY, WORLD FANTASY AWARDS

“You are bound to be wonderstruck.”—Lightspeed Magazine
“A must-read.”—Locus Magazine
“Highly recommended.”—The British Fantasy Society


The world's first ever “year’s best” anthology of African speculative fiction. Edited by Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki, The Year’s Best African Speculative Fiction collects twenty-nine stories by twenty-five writers, which the press describes as “some of the most exciting voices, old and new, from Africa and the diaspora, published in the 2020 year.”

The anthology includes stories from Somto O. Ihezue, Pemi Aguda, Russell Nichols, Tamara Jerée, Tlotlo Tsamaase, Sheree Renée Thomas, Tobias S. Buckell, Inegbenoise O. Osagie, Tobi Ogundiran,…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Africa, African diaspora, and black people?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Africa, African diaspora, and black people.

Africa Explore 254 books about Africa
African Diaspora Explore 22 books about African diaspora
Black People Explore 72 books about black people