The Greatest Bosnian, Nigerian "Coming of age" Books of All Time

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This list represents a comprehensive and trusted collection of the greatest books. Developed through a specialized algorithm, it brings together 305 'best of' book lists to form a definitive guide to the world's most acclaimed books. For those interested in how these books are chosen, additional details can be found on the rankings page.

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Coming of age

The "Coming of age" category of books typically refers to stories that explore the transition from adolescence to adulthood. These books often focus on the challenges and experiences that young people face as they navigate the complexities of growing up, including issues such as identity, relationships, sexuality, and personal growth. Coming of age stories can be set in any time period or cultural context, and may feature protagonists of any gender, race, or background. Overall, the genre offers readers a glimpse into the universal struggles and triumphs of youth, and the process of becoming a fully realized adult.

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  1. 1. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

    The novel follows a young Nigerian woman who emigrates to the United States for a university education. While there, she experiences racism and begins blogging about her experiences as an African woman in America. Meanwhile, her high school sweetheart faces his own struggles in England and Nigeria. The story is a powerful exploration of race, immigration, and the complex nature of identity, love, and belonging.

    The 874th Greatest Book of All Time
  2. 2. Second-class Citizen by Buchi Emecheta

    "Second-Class Citizen" is a poignant narrative about a young Nigerian woman, Adah, who dreams of getting an education and moving to the United Kingdom. Despite cultural and societal obstacles, Adah manages to achieve her dream but is met with more hardship as she faces racial discrimination, an abusive marriage, and the struggle of raising five children in a foreign land. Through her resilience, she continues to strive for a better life, depicting the struggles of immigrants and the strength of women.

    The 1250th Greatest Book of All Time
  3. 3. Ake: The Years Of Childhood by Wole Soyinka

    "Ake: The Years of Childhood" is a memoir that chronicles the early years of a Nigerian boy growing up in the town of Ake. Set in the 1940s, the book vividly captures the author's experiences, from his close-knit family life to his encounters with colonialism and the struggle for independence. Through his insightful and lyrical prose, the author takes readers on a nostalgic journey filled with rich cultural traditions, humorous anecdotes, and poignant reflections on the complexities of childhood.

    The 2216th Greatest Book of All Time
  4. 4. Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

    "Purple Hibiscus" follows the story of a 15-year-old Nigerian girl, Kambili, and her older brother Jaja, who live a privileged life in Enugu. However, their father is a religious fanatic and a domestic tyrant. The siblings are sent to their Aunty Ifeoma's home, a university professor, who provides them a taste of freedom and shows them a different way of life outside their father's oppressive rule. The novel explores themes of colonialism, religious fanaticism, and the post-colonial political situation in Nigeria.

    The 3071st Greatest Book of All Time
  5. 5. Children Of Blood And Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

    In a world where magic has been suppressed and the maji people have been oppressed, Zélie, a young maji girl, embarks on a dangerous quest to restore magic and bring justice to her people. Alongside her brother and a rogue princess, Zélie must confront her own powers and face formidable enemies, navigating a treacherous landscape of betrayal and sacrifice. As they race against time, Zélie discovers that she may hold the key to not only saving her people, but also to changing the destiny of their entire nation.

    The 3215th Greatest Book of All Time
  6. 6. Efuru by Flora Nwapa

    The novel is a poignant exploration of the life of a strong and independent woman in a traditional Igbo community in Nigeria. The protagonist, after whom the book is named, is admired for her beauty, intelligence, and wealth, but she faces personal tragedies and societal pressures. Despite her successes in business and her contributions to her community, she struggles with the expectations placed on her as a woman, particularly with respect to marriage and childbearing. The narrative delves into themes of feminism, tradition, and the role of women in a changing society, as the protagonist navigates her relationships and seeks fulfillment in a culture that often values women primarily through their husbands and children.

    The 3481st Greatest Book of All Time
  7. 7. The Bride Price by Buchi Emecheta

    "The Bride Price" is a novel that explores the life of a young Nigerian girl who, despite her father's disapproval, dreams of furthering her education. After her father's death, she is forced into an arranged marriage due to cultural traditions, but she defies the system and elopes with her lover. However, the consequences of unpaid bride price haunt her, leading to a tragic ending. The book highlights the clash between traditional African values and modern aspirations, the struggles of women in patriarchal societies, and the impact of colonialism on African cultures.

    The 3716th Greatest Book of All Time
  8. 8. The Stillborn by Zaynab Alkali

    "The Stillborn" is a poignant narrative that explores the lives of women in a traditional African society, focusing on their struggles, resilience, and the quest for personal identity. The story delves into the complexities of polygamy, cultural expectations, and the impact of modernity on rural communities. Through the experiences of its female protagonists, the novel highlights the challenges faced by women in their pursuit of education, autonomy, and fulfillment in a male-dominated environment, ultimately offering a critique of the societal norms that stifle their growth and the transformative power of self-awareness and communal support.

    The 4595th Greatest Book of All Time
  9. 9. No Longer At Ease by Chinua Achebe

    The novel centers on a young Nigerian man, educated in England, who returns to his home country with high ideals and a desire to contribute to the development of a post-colonial, independent Nigeria. However, he finds himself trapped between the expectations of his traditional Igbo community and the corrupt practices entrenched in the government bureaucracy. As he struggles to navigate the complex moral landscape, his integrity is compromised, leading to his eventual downfall. The story is a poignant exploration of the challenges of modernity and the clash between traditional values and the temptations of a rapidly changing world.

    The 7191st Greatest Book of All Time
  10. 10. The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma

    "The Fishermen" is a captivating narrative set in 1990s Nigeria, focusing on four brothers whose lives are profoundly altered after a local madman prophesies that one of the brothers will be killed by another. This ominous prediction ignites fear and suspicion among the brothers as they grow up under the watchful eyes of their strict parents in a politically unstable Nigeria. The story explores the complex dynamics of family bonds, the impact of fate intertwined with free will, and the loss of innocence, all woven into the rich cultural backdrop of a changing Nigerian society.

    The 9013th Greatest Book of All Time
  11. 11. The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi

    The novel unfolds the mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of a young Nigerian named Vivek Oji. Through a non-linear narrative and multiple perspectives, the story delves into Vivek's complex identity and the struggles with gender, family expectations, and societal norms in a contemporary Igbo community. As the characters grapple with their grief and the secrets Vivek left behind, the novel explores themes of love, acceptance, and the liberating power of embracing one's true self. The poignant tale reveals the transformative impact Vivek had on the lives of those around him, even as they come to terms with the enigmatic nature of his life and untimely death.

    The 9562nd Greatest Book of All Time
  12. 12. The Girl With The Louding Voice by Abi Daré

    The novel follows the inspiring journey of a young Nigerian girl who yearns for an education and a better life beyond the confines of her small village and the oppressive customs that limit women's opportunities. Despite being trapped in a series of servitudes after being sold into marriage at a young age, she refuses to let her dreams be silenced. With indomitable spirit and determination, she navigates through a myriad of challenges, using her "louding voice"—her bold, resolute inner voice—to speak out for herself and others like her, in pursuit of her ambition to learn and to be heard in a world that often tries to quiet the voices of girls and women.

    The 10251st Greatest Book of All Time

Reading Statistics

Click the button below to see how many of these books you've read!


If you're interested in downloading this list as a CSV file for use in a spreadsheet application, you can easily do so by clicking the button below. Please note that to ensure a manageable file size and faster download, the CSV will include details for only the first 500 books.