Reviewed by Ilze Sinfield
I was delighted to have been given a chance to review ‘Heady Mix’, a fairly new book subscription service showcasing emerging writers from underrepresented groups.
My books arrived in a great, colourful package, and I was so glad to see that they don’t use anything unnecessary for this. I think a lot of the bigger companies can take a leaf out of their book (no pun intended) to reduce wasteful packaging.
The Heady Mix slogan is ‘Diverse stories for curious minds’. They certainly fulfil this promise.
The concept behind it is to ‘showcase emerging writers from underrepresented groups’ and ‘themes are chosen to highlight an issue, a stereotype or bias that impacts the collection’s underrepresented groups’.
The collection we received was centred around Afrofuturism. We expected something good, but not quite as unique as this.
In our package, the following books were included:
- David Mogo, Godhunter by Suyi Davies Okungbowa
- Triangulam by Masande Ntshanga
- Afrofuturism Anthology
David Mogo, Godhunter – this is a debut by Nigerian writer, Suyi Davies Okungbowa. The praise for this is very high and you’ll know why from the very first page. Suiy’s writing is captivating, every sentence effortlessly carrying you to the next, and the next. This was my first book ever in this genre and I was glued to the pages.
I look forward to reading the rest of Triangulam, a novel set in 2050. It promises to ‘mix science-fiction with philosophy and details of South African history seldom explained’ and ‘explore bereavement, sexuality and coming of age’.
I have dipped into the anthology, and this is where I’m going to be honest. It made me feel uncomfortable. This has been done with such great depth and insight, that I had to put my ‘light reading hat’ to one side for this whole collection and actually pay attention. Mull over what’s being said. Challenge some of the very automatic stereotypical thoughts that I’ve started off with.
Which is exactly why the Heady Mix concept is so brilliant. These books were not what I would have chosen, but it showcases exceptional talent and explores something out of the ordinary.
I am so impressed with what Justina, founder and chief curator, has done here. Looking back, their debut collection was from writers of the D/deaf community and following this current collection of African writers, they are focusing on feminist fairytales.
The thought that seems to go into each of these collections is remarkable. I personally look forward to reading more in future and this also solves a problem for those in desperate need of a very unique Christmas present for a loved one.
It is the absolute perfect gift for the person who ‘has it all’, especially if it includes an inquisitive mind.
There are different levels of subscriptions, and Heady Mix is in the process of setting up an online discussion space. I have no doubt that it will be a wonderful addition.
I am thoroughly impressed, it is an easy 5/5 from me. I will recommend this to others and if any of my loved ones are reading this I hope they will get the not so subtle hint about it being the perfect Christmas present!
Prices start from £12
For more information or to buy a subscription visit www.headymix.co.uk.