If you’re a books enthusiast, you’ll probably agree that the act of book buying is just as fulfilling as the practise of reading itself. I can attest to that but sometimes struggle with deciding exactly which books to buy, especially given the sometimes overwhelming scope of choice. Hence why I often lazily stick to what’s familiar and buy books based on other books I’ve read by the same author. I pretty much make these safe purchases with absolutely no prior knowledge of the book I’m buying, other than it was written by an author I admire.
Part of the fun of reading is discovering new stories and their authors, gleaning insight from new genres and different narratives. It’s for this reason that I’m currently focussing my reading on books that were written by authors from different ethnic minorities, with the intention of featuring them on the BAME Books series I’ve just started on my Booktube channel; LochanReads Book Reviews. Check out the first instalment of that series below, but in today’s post I’m going to be sharing with you the 6 Books I Bought Because Of The Author.
These Women by Ivy Pochoda (Ecco, 2020)
I bought this book because of the award-winning Wonder Valley, a powerfully told story that shines a light on the dark cobweby corners of L.A. and the search for redemption. I thought that Pochoda’s use of characterisation was superb and I loved the grittiness of it so when I heard about These Women which was released in the U.K. in November 2020, I was more than eager to procure myself a copy, no questions asked.
These Women is about a serial killer case in West Adams, South L.A., where victims are mostly female sex workers. The case began in 1999, at which point 11 murders were committed and 15 years later the killer is still at large, until the killings begin again.
The Emperor’s Babe by Bernadine Evaristo (Penguin Books, 2002)
I bought this book because of Girl, Woman Other, joint winner of the 2019 Booker Prize that was published in 2019 by Penguin Books. I loved this book so much that I also bought Mr Loverman and absolutely adored that as well. The Emperor’s Babe was tonally different to these other novels, in that it is a story written in verse and set in London during the rule of the Roman Empire in the second century.
The Emperor’s Babe is a satirical tragedy, written in verse and it’s set in London (Londinium) during the time of Roman occupation in the second century. Enter Zuleika, our spirited protagonist, a nubian beauty who’s parents migrated to Londinium from Sudan. She’s captured the attention of Emperor Septimus Severus, the only African to command such a high seat of power, and is forced to become his mistress.
Earthlings by Sayaka Murata (Granta Books, 2020)
I bought this book because of Convenience Store Woman which was published in 2018 by Portobello Books. It can be described as psychological domestic fiction. I thought this book was intriguing and unique and I loved it even more the second time I read it. I haven’t read Earthlings yet but based on the merits of the former book, I’m brimming with expectation.
“Natsuki isn’t like the other girls. Together with her cousin Yuu, she spends her summers in the wild Nagano mountains, hoping a spaceship will take her home. When a terrible sequence of events threatens to part the cousins for ever, they make a promise: survive, no matter what. Now, Natsuki is grown. She lives quietly in an asexual marriage, pretending to be normal, and hiding the horrors of her childhood from her family and friends…” – Source: Waterstones *
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The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (Cover Edition: Bloomsbury Publishing 2011)
I bought this book because of the beautifully written masterpiece that is A Thousand Splendid Suns, which was published the following year in 2018 by Bloomsbury Publishing. This book was both devastating and hopeful. It left a deep impression on me and superbly explored the themes of womanhood and misogyny. I was so moved by this book that I was immediately drawn to Hosseini’s critically acclaimed The Kite Runner and thus purchased it with barely a second thought.
“Twelve-year-old Amir is desperate to win the local kite-fighting tournament and his loyal friend Hassan promises to help him. But neither of the boys can foresee what will happen to Hassan that afternoon, an event that is to shatter their lives. After the Russians invade and the family is forced to flee to America, Amir realises that one day he must return to Afghanistan under Taliban rule to find the one thing that his new world cannot grant him: redemption.” – Source: Waterstones *
Kafka on the shore by Haruki Murakami (Vintage, 2005)
I bought this book because of the collection of short stories, Men Without Women, which I enjoyed as a ruminative contemporary novel. I thought it was symbolic and daring and though I wasn’t overwhelmed by it, it did make me curious to read more of Murakami’s work. So naturally, I bought Kafka On The Shore, not quite knowing what to expect but interested nonetheless. I also enjoyed Norwegian Wood, which also made the case for this book, but sadly Kafka On The Shore ended up being an overly abstract disappointment.
“Kafka Tamura runs away from home at fifteen, under the shadow of his father’s dark prophecy. The ageing Nakata, tracker of lost cats, who never recovered from a bizarre childhood affliction, finds his pleasantly simplified life suddenly turned upside down…There is a savage killing but the identity of both victim and killer is a riddle…” Blurb, back cover
Freshwater by Akaeke Emezi (Faber & Faber, 2019)
I bought this book because of Emezi’s first young adult novel, PET. This book is a bold, post-modern read that I found to be extremely imaginative and diverse. I was instantly captured by Emezi’s futuristic style and was excited at the prospect of reading Freshwater, a book that felt both radical and spiritual. I thought the concept was -as the title would suggest- fresh and the writing was pure artistry but I was also confused by it, in a way that might be likened to looking at a piece of abstract art and not quite knowing the intent behind it. I definitely want to read Freshwater again though, in order to give it a worthy review.
“As Ada fades into the background of her own mind and these selves – now protective, now hedonistic – seize control of Ada, her life spirals in a dark and dangerous direction. Narrated from the perspectives of the various selves within Ada, and based in the author’s realities, Freshwater explores the metaphysics of identity and being.” – Blurb, back cover
As far as this list goes, buying books based on the author is a pretty reliable system (most of the times) but of course it can also be satisfying to branch out into unfamiliar reading territory. Check out the posts below for more reading inspiration and also let me know if you have ever bought books because of the author.
*These links are not sponsored.