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  • Photo Credit: Pixabay

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  • Photo Credit: Pixabay

Monday, 26 June 2017

Book Review: 50 Billion Dollar Boss - Kathey Porter and Andrea Hoffman

This book was not part of my 2017 reading list at all, but I was attracted to the title, moreover, it was free to download. After downloading it, my aim was to read it in future (and this means not anytime this year), but one day, I just flipped through, and I knew I was going to read it soon.
The book took me about 9 days to read making it 26 out of 52 books this year.

The book tells the story of African American women who had become success stories in their chosen line of business. It starts with a brief background on each of these women, and then tells how they started in business, the challenges and downfalls they faced and how they were able to rise through them. There were about 12 women in total who told their stories, and although they each had a different story to tell, they had similar tips and recipes to offer to become successful in business. These women have faced rejection, sexism, racism, poverty, divorce, sicknesses, and all sorts but they rose in spite of these adversities.

Of all the women, the story that strikes me the most is that of Dr. Michele Hoskins, the Founder and CEO of Michele Foods. This woman started her syrup and food company from a recipe that was passed down to her by her mom & great moms before her. I was impressed that she was able to build on what was passed to her and make a success story out of it. I was also impressed that she was not afraid to see through and embrace relevant opportunities.

At the end of each story in the book, there were tips (what was called moves) to becoming a 50 billion dollar boss. I have to add that apart from the tenacity of this women, they also had an enabling environment such as access to loan and finance, as well as little or no bureaucratic bottlenecks in starting a business as we would typically have in Nigeria, but I'm glad things are getting better, and one can only hope that business will continue to thrive and exist in Nigeria.

Likes: Short stories and tips for building a successful business
Dislikes: I wish some of the stories had more detail in them.
Verdict: 4.25/5
Favourite quote: "Growing your business is a process and will not happen overnight. You should ask for help and step out of your comfort zone."


Book Details

Blurb:
For too long there have been few 'blueprints' for young women entrepreneurs - particularly African-American women entrepreneurs—to follow. While women are starting businesses in unprecedented numbers, many African-Americans are first-generation entrepreneurs, and there have been few role models for them to emulate and learn from.

The impact of African-American women in business is undeniable. According to the 2014 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report commissioned by American Express OPEN, while firms owned by women of color are smaller than non-minority women-owned businesses, their growth in numbers and economic clout is generally far outpacing that of other women-owned entities. Businesses owned by African-American women led that growth, up 296% from 1997 to 2014, generating nearly $50 billion in revenue. It is, in a sense, a second Black Renaissance, creating what we like to call the '50 Billion Dollar Boss.'

African-American women continue to excel and shape society across industries. This book recognizes them for their business acumen and examines how they creatively solved business challenges and identified opportunities to grow and sustain their businesses.

Edition:  1st Edition (2016)
Version read: PDF copy
Source: Lagos Business School Online Library
Number of pages: 181
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

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Monday, 19 June 2017

Book Review - Seriously...I'm Kidding by Ellen Degeneres

I watched that TV show where Ellen gave this book to everyone in the audience, but never did I imagine that I'll one day read it, until I saw it on someone's Instagram post, then I told myself I was going to find it and read it, and that's exactly what I did, making it book 25 of 52 in my 2017 reading list. It took me 2 days to read.

When I first picked the book, I didn't know what to expect. Ellen is a comedian, so I was curious about what she had to write, and the title is catchy too.
The book contains random stories on different issues and events some of which had happened in her life. 
I enjoyed reading the book, and although it's hard to believe, it had some terrific quotes in it ranging from quotes about life in general, to family, and even health. I actually got out a pen and paper to write down some of these quotes. My favourite is: "Constantly learn new things". It's hard to believe that such a funny book will have great quotes.
Likes: Every single thing
Dislikes: Absolutely nothing
Verdict: 4.5/5
Book Details
Blurb
"Sometimes the greatest things are the most embarrassing." Ellen Degeneres' winning, upbeat candor has made her show one of the most popular, resilient and honored daytime shows on the air. (To date, it has won no fewer than 31 Emmys.) Seriously... I'm Kidding, Degeneres' first book in eight years, brings us up to date about the life of a kindhearted woman who bowed out of American Idol because she didn't want to be mean. Lively; hilarious; often sweetly poignant.

Year: 2011

Version Read: PDF

Number of pages: 136

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

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Monday, 12 June 2017

Book Review: Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

This book, where do I begin? I honestly loved reading it, I don't even know where to begin. Chimamanda questions gender roles and ideas and how they are cloaked sometimes under culture and traditions, and this book was not any different.

In the book, she suggests 15 ways on how to raise a feminist daughter or child. Of all the 15 suggestions, the one that strikes me the most is the first one: Be a full person. In this suggestion, she challenges her reader to be a full person on her own. In my understanding, this simply means-be complete in yourself, don't depend on any person or anything to be complete. I think this is very important as it is very easy to find our sense of worth in other people or things such as money, marriage, or our career.

This is book 24 of 52 in my 2017 reading list, and it took me just 2 days to read. It should have taken me less because this book is actually a very short one.

Likes: Every single suggestion the book raised and the brevity of the book
Dislikes: None I can think of
Verdict: 5/5
Favourite quote: "Your feminist premise should be: I matter, I matter equally. Full stop"
Book details
Blurb:


A few years ago, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie received a letter from a dear friend from childhood, asking her how to raise her baby girl as a feminist. Dear Ijeawele is Adichie's letter of response.

Here are fifteen invaluable suggestions--compelling, direct, wryly funny, and perceptive--for how to empower a daughter to become a strong, independent woman. From encouraging her to choose a helicopter, and not only a doll, as a toy if she so desires; having open conversations with her about clothes, makeup, and sexuality; debunking the myth that women are somehow biologically arranged to be in the kitchen making dinner, and that men can "allow" women to have full careers, Dear Ijeawele goes right to the heart of sexual politics in the twenty-first century. It will start a new and urgently needed conversation about what it really means to be a woman today.


Version read: Hardcover

Number of pages: 55 

Publisher: Kachifo

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Monday, 5 June 2017

Book Review - Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

This is book 23 of 52 in my 2017 reading list and it was our book of the month in my book club. 

I always knew Sheryl Sandberg was a big name in Tech but somehow I never paid attention to her and what she stood for. 

The book is a call for women to stand up and be more confident and outspoken in their careers and life choices. The book encourages women not to have to choose between their career and their home, and it also encourages women not to dumb down their career before they even get into a relationship. Although, she claimed it was not a feminist manifesto, but I was shocked at a point when the book went from 0-100 then 0 again on feminism (that is not a bad thing, I was just surprised because the title didn't give this away at all).

Anyway, for me, it reinforced the idea that women all over the world are mostly forced to choose between their career and their home. I liked that she pointed out that we need to communicate our needs more often, especially when we can, to our employers and partners.

Likes: I liked that the book did not bash any gender or institution, instead it was a call for both genders to be more supportive and helpful to one another. 

Dislikes: It took me longer than I expected to read. 

Verdict: 4/5

Reading time: 12 days (that's way too long!)

Favorite quote: "Owning one's success is key to achieving more success"

Book Details

Blurb
Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In is a massive cultural phenomenon and its title has become an instant catchphrase for empowering women. The book soared to the top of bestseller lists internationally, igniting global conversations about women and ambition. Sandberg packed theatres, dominated opinion pages, appeared on every major television show and on the cover of Time magazine, and sparked ferocious debate about women and leadership.

Ask most women whether they have the right to equality at work and the answer will be a resounding yes, but ask the same women whether they'd feel confident asking for a raise, a promotion, or equal pay, and some reticence creeps in.

The statistics, although an improvement on previous decades, are certainly not in women's favour – of 197 heads of state, only twenty-two are women. Women hold just 20 percent of seats in parliaments globally, and in the world of big business, a meagre eighteen of the Fortune 500 CEOs are women.

In Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg – Facebook COO and one of Fortune magazine's Most Powerful Women in Business – draws on her own experience of working in some of the world's most successful businesses and looks at what women can do to help themselves, and make the small changes in their life that can effect change on a more universal scale.

Edition read: PDF
Number of pages: 144
Published: March 11th 2013 by Knopf

Buy: Konga |  Amazon (Hardcopy) | Kobo | Alibris
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Monday, 29 May 2017

Book Review - Death Of a Temptress by P.F. Ford

This is my book 22 of 52 in my 2017 reading list. I don't really enjoy reading crime series (apart from Grisham books), but I got a free copy of this and I knew I had to read it.

The book is about a detective and his colleagues investigating into the disappearance of a young woman.
When I started reading the story, I thought I had it figured out, until I got to the end at the real culprit was uncovered. I was surprised at the turn of events by the time I got to the end of the book, and the last paragraph was even a shocker for me. At different points while reading, I got afraid for the detectives investigating the disappearance.

Likes: I liked that it wasn't easy for me to determine who the culprits were, I mean, I had no clue! I also liked that it was set in London and some nearby towns, I like London (Don't judge me!)

Dislikes: Sometimes, I felt the book was taking a downward spiral but it quickly got revived

My verdict: 3/5

Reading time: 7 days

Book Details
Blurb:When DS Dave Slater is the victim of a botched investigation, he quickly gets bored of sitting at home twiddling his thumbs, but when his boss hands him a case to be investigated ‘discreetly’, Slater sees a chance to redeem himself. As he delves into the missing person case, Slater discovers there could be some link between a girl leading a double life and the police officers who made him a scapegoat for their own failings. When he is nearly pushed under a London bus, he realises the stakes are even higher than he had imagined. 
Joined by fellow scapegoat Norman Norman, Slater is plunged into a tangled web of corruption, blackmail, deception…and possibly the most cunning murder he has ever seen. But can he and Norman wade through the ever-widening pool of suspects to find the killer?
Number of pages: 844
Version read: Kindle Edition
Year: 2014
Source: Free copy from the Author


Book Details credit: Book cover goodreads.com
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