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What To Read Next?

Five Kenyan books you will love

BY Joan Thatiah

Mar 25, 2021, 09:06 AM

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We stopped listening to people who say that there are no good Kenyan books. Because we have seen them and read them, we know that there are many beautifully written Kenyan books in our bookshops.

 Here is a look at five books to add to your reading list this year.

My Life In Crime

My Life In Crime
They say that classics are books that everyone praises but no one reads but it’s not so with John Kiriamiti’s My Life In Crime. This best-selling crime thriller, which is a fictionalized account of the author’s criminal life in the 60s and 70s, is as funny as they come.

Other than the author’s hilarious account of what dating and surviving was like in post-colonial Nairobi, the book which is currently being turned into 
a movie starring Nollywood big weights like Jim Lyke is real.

Without using big words or a complicated plot, the author clearly shows you the cityscape of the 70s and 80s, and the struggle to survive in it.

Diary OF The Miaha

Diary of the Miaha
If you are a fan of life writing, you should get yourself a copy of 
Verah Owocha- Dinda’s Diary of the Miaha. Miaha is the Luo name for a newlywed woman and in the book, Verah bleeds onto the pages.

When you hear that it’s a book written by a woman during her first year of marriage, you might dismiss it because who wants to read another story by a starry-eyed, rose-colored glasses–clad woman, right?  Diary of the Miaha is raw. 

The author candidly writes about her growing up in an imperfect community, falling prey to a sexual predator, and then getting subjected to female genital mutation. Most Kenyan women will find pieces of themselves in between the pages of this book.


You know those smooth-talking men who put their hand on your cheek, gaze into your eyes and make you feel as if you are the only woman on earth? That’s how Jackson Biko’s writing feels. When you read his blog, you feel like he is talking to you.

His first book Drunk is even better. It is well written and relatable as it tackles alcoholism which is still a huge problem amongst Kenyan youth.

Making Cents

Making Cents
Nothing keeps the Kenyan woman awake these days like thoughts on how to 
make that extra coin. Waceke Nduati the author of Making Cents clearly knows this. The best thing about Making Cents isn’t even the fact that it is a book on how to put your ducks in a row money-wise but that it is in easy, chewable bits.

 You know that confused look you get on your face when your money guy is trying to explain stock trading the money market to you, Making Cents will have you nodding because you get it.

Drug Paradise

Drug Paradise
Kariuki Kimuyu is a provocative writer. If you are an adrenaline Junkie, Drug Paradise is for you. It tells the story of a young chef who gets caught up in a drug cartel. His brave attempt to quit is told in a fast-paced and dramatic way. In the author’s words, it’s a case of either you hold the gun or you run away from the gunman.

Just like in his blog Kisauti, the author’s writing is very bold. There are sections on crime and sex that are very forward and will have you thinking about your High school days when you were stashing Mills and Boons novels in your textbooks so you wouldn’t get caught.