Books to add to your reading list from content creators and first time authors
that will make you think
When social-first content creators aren’t creating content online, they’re busy writing books about issues important to them and the world in which they are navigating.
With growing audiences online, some creators have decided to take their content creation offline and have written memoirs, survival guides, works of fiction and self-help manuals.
This year, the Sunday Times Bestseller charts have been packed with influencers sharing their stories and giving their new and long standing followers a different way in which to consume content.
Here, we want to share with you a few books that dive deep into topics like race and identity, mindfulness, university and more. Proving their talents are far reaching, these creators have gone old school and put down their cameras and pen to paper.
Nicole Ocran and Emma Slade Edmondson – The Half of It
Hosts of the critically acclaimed podcast Mixed Up, Nicole Ocran and Emma Slade Edmondson will discuss what it truly means to be mixed-raced and all the different layers that fall into this in their upcoming debut book. The pair delve into everything from culture and identity, to interracial relationships, adoption, and understanding the historical context of mixed-race people which culminates in a rounder and deeper appreciation for the mixed-identity.
In The Half of It, which is out next year, Emma and Nicole will explore race and identity through the lens of the mixed race experience, creating a space for discussion and illuminating the true nuances of the mixed-raced identity and what this really means. If their podcast is anything to go by then we know this will be a roaring success!
Grace Victory – How To Calm It
Award-winning digital-first creator Grace Victory has written a book unlike any other on mindfulness. Her second book, How To Calm It, was published early this year by #Merky Books, Stormzy’s imprint within Penguin Random House.
This non-fiction book, which has a foreword by Black Minds Matter UK, is an insight into how we can learn to process what’s going on inside our minds, heal our bodies for the better and learn to love ourselves. Filled with tangible tools, creative exercises and tailored tips, How To Heal It is the perfect accompaniment on your journey to detangling what’s going on in your head, and making a commitment to value yourself each and every day.
Candice Brathwaite – I Am Not Your Baby Mother
Founder of Make Motherhood Diverse, Candice Brathwaite is the author of I Am Not Your Baby Mother, a book about the problematically homogenous portrayal of maternity in British media. Described as ‘urgent and eye-opening’, Candice’s book is an inspirational guide to life as a black mother.
I Am Not Your Baby Mother explores the various stages in between pregnancy and your child’s first day at school, while facing hurdles such as white privilege, racial micro-aggressions and unconscious bias along the way. Written in her trademark sense of humour and refreshing straight-talking style, the result is a call-to-arms that will allow mums to take control and make them want to scrap the parenting rulebook to mother in their own way.
Florence Given – Women Don’t Owe You Pretty
Artist and feminist social activist Florence Given covers everything from body image, toxic beauty standards, and identity-building in her debut novel Women Don’t Owe You Pretty.
Described as an ‘incredible mouthpiece for modern intersectional feminism’, Florence will help you to tackle and challenge the limiting narrative you have been bombarded with your whole life, and determine feminism on your own terms.
Through Florence’s story you will learn how to protect your energy, discover that you are the love of your own life, and realise that today ‘is a wonderful day to dump him’.
Candice Carty-Williams – Queenie
Everyone has been talking about Queenie, the debut novel from Candice Carty-Williams.
The book is described as a ‘luminous debut’ and a ‘joy-filled, painfully funny coming-of-age story set in modern Britain’. Candice brings to life the fabulously flawed, defiant but vulnerable Queenie Jenkins who is classed by many as one of the stand out fictional creations of the twenty-first century.
The book tackles issues like mental health, race, class and consent and has made Candice one of the most talked-about and adored authors of her time. At the British Book Awards in June 2020, Candice became the first black woman to win the “Book of the Year” accolade.
Jack Edwards – The Ultimate University Survival Guide: The Uni-Verse
Lifestyle creator and YouTuber Jack Edwards has written a complete, unfiltered university handbook for students everywhere. From university applications to socials, The Ultimate University Survival Guide is filled with helpful tips and tricks, real advice and fun anecdotes, and is perfect to turn to for any questions you have about university – and we had a lot.
When he first enrolled as a student at Durham University, Jack took his camera along and documented his experiences on YouTube. Since then, he’s graduated university and continues to make the university experience a little less terrifying for those currently applying – and hopes to increase the accessibility and inclusivity of higher education for all.
Niran Vinod and Damola Timeyin – How To Build It: Grow Your Brand
So many of us are trying to monetise our side hustles these days, and the usual 9-5 is no longer the norm for everyone. In come Niran Vinod and Damola Timeyin with How To Build It: Grow Your Brand, their debut book on why building your brand is a necessity – and how you can make it relevant in the digital age and give it longevity.
Their useful guide, published by Stormzy’s #Merky Books, helps you through all the key areas you should know about as you build solid foundations for your brand to thrive and grow. The step-by-step book is packed full of creative tasks and personal insight from creative strategists Niran and Damola who have worked with some of the world’s most renowned brands, and will set you on the road from nowhere to everywhere.
Ashley ‘Dotty’ Charles – Outraged: Why Everyone is Shouting and No One is Talking
BBC presenter and DJ Ashley ‘Dotty’ Charles explores the ‘insatiable taste for outrage in today’s world’ and calls for a return to civility in her debut book Outraged: Why Everyone is Shouting and No One is Talking.
Described as ‘the powerful new voice of her generation’, Dotty provides us with the essential guide to living through the age of outrage and looks at how in order to enact change and make a difference online, we need to learn to channel our responses. In a world where cancel culture is thriving, Dotty’s debut non-fiction book is timely, relevant and candid.