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  • Photo Credit: Pixabay

  • Photo Credit: Pixabay

  • Photo Credit: Pixabay

  • Photo Credit: Pixabay

Monday, 22 May 2017

Book Review: Stay with me by Ayobami Adebayo

This for me is book 21 of 52 in my 2017 reading list.
Although, I did not plan to read it any time soon, I had to because I was hearing too many wonderful things about it, and everyone was right. It took me just 2 days to read as I could not bear to put it down for long.

The book tells the story of a married couple, Yejide and Akin Ajayi, struggling to have children of their own, then the woman eventually gets pregnant, her first two children dies, by the time she got pregnant with the third, she became emotionally detached and she left the baby with her husband, and relocated to Jos, Plateau State, but that's not the main issue. The main issue was that her husband had fertility issues, so he set up his own brother to sleep with his wife so as to get her pregnant (I thought this things happen only in the movies they show on African Magic Yoruba). Anyway, that action by the husband leads to so many other plot twists and even a fight eventually between the two brothers.

In my opinion, Ayobami is one of those authors breaking the negative stereotype that African, and especially Nigerian authors are not very good. The book was intense. I absolutely loved it. The plot twists were jaw dropping. When I thought I had it all figured out, it just takes another turn. The narrative is so powerful and it mirrors the typical beliefs, customs, culture, and rites in the Yoruba tradition. She even had folklores in the book!

Likes: I like that the plot twists weren't cheesy story lines, and I also like that it ended in a 'lovey-dovey' way as any other way could have broken my heart!

I could not find a flaw in the book, so I'll give it a 5/5

Book Details
Blurb: Yejide is hoping for a miracle, for a child. It is all her husband wants, all her mother-in-law wants, and she tried everything-arduous pilgrimages, medical consultations, dances with prophets, appeals to God. But when her in-laws insist upon a new wife, it is too much for Yejide to bear. It will lead to jealousy, betrayal and despair.

Unravelling against the social and political turbulence of 80s Nigeria, Stay With Me sings with the voices, colours, joys and fears of the time. This is a devastating story of the fragility of married love, the undoing of family, the wretchedness of grief, and the all-consuming bonds of motherhood.

Stay With Me  is a tale about our desperate attempts to save ourselves and those we love from heartbreak.

Number of pages: 304
Version read: Hardcover
Publisher: Ouida Books
Year: 2017


Book Details credit: Book cover | Photo credit: Me
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Saturday, 20 May 2017

Author Spotlight - John Adair

John Adair was born in Luton, England on May 18, 1934.

He had his early career in the military serving in a number of positions. 

He obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1959 from Trinity Hall, Cambridge, a doctorate from King's College London in 1966, and a BLitt degree from Jesus College, Oxford in 1971.

After being a senior lecturer in military history and adviser in leadership training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, and Associate Director of The Industrial Society, in 1979 John became the world’s first Professor of Leadership Studies at the University of Surrey.

He has written over 50 books, translated into many languages including 'How to Grow Leaders', and 'Effective Leadership Development'

In 2009, he was appointed Chair of Leadership Studies United Nations System Staff College in Turin, and he is president Adair International.

A review of his book 'The art of creative thinking' can be found here.

Credit: wikipedia.com | johnadair.co.uk || Photo credit: johnadair.co.uk 
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Monday, 15 May 2017

Book Review: The Smart Money Woman by Arese Ugwu

The Smart Money Woman is my book 20 of 52, one of the best books I've read on finance so far, and it took me 7 days to read.

The book tells the story of Zuri, a young Nigerian lady who finds herself in a mess with a finance. The book subtly takes readers through potential causes of financial challenges and proposes solution to them. 

At the end of each chapter, there are questions and points which serves as a guide on how to handle one's finances. The most important thing I learnt from the book is that every of my financial savings and investment should have a reason or goal tied to it.

Apart from the main character, Zuri, there were also Zuri's friends and their characters also touched some threats to one's finances such as impulsive buying.

I liked that the book contained practical steps and it was truly written for the Nigerian (or African woman). This brings me to another point which the book raised in several instances: 'African girls/women should not be raised to think that they have to be dependent on a male to provide for them financially'. Another thing I liked about the book was the cover design, it was very attractive and the glossy feel-awesome.

What I didn't like: Maybe it's my copy, but the binding did not feel very strong to me, and I feel that some pages will come undone in the near future. Also, sometimes I felt like the Author was stylishly advertising some business organisations, well, this is not a bad thing, but at a point I began to roll my eyes whenever I saw such lines.

My verdict: 4/5

Favourite quote:
"Ultimately, what makes us wealthy is not how much we earn but how we can systematically use a proportion of the income we earn to build us assets that pay us over time"

Book Details:
Blurb: An African girl's journey to financial freedom.
Meet Zuri. She's living a fabulous life. Great car, gorgeous apartment, well paid job.
Meet Zuri. Broken down car, an apartment she can't afford, a job she's about to lose.
What's a broke girl got to do?
With her best friends Tami (the flighty fashion designer), Lara (the tough oil and gas executive), Adesuwa (the conservative lawyer), and Ladun (the fabulous housewife), Zuri grows a little, learns a lot and navigates her way to making better financial decisions and building wealth.
The book tackles, debt, spending, the consumerist culture of the African middle class, the fear and misconceptions surrounding money and the lack of it, love, friendships, cultural and societal pressures and the roles they play in success. With each chapter comes a Smart Money Lesson, there to help you work your way up the financial ladder.
Number of pages: 210
Author: Arese Ugwu
Version read: Hard copy
Publication year: 2016
Publisher: Smart Media Africa

Buy: Amazon (Hard copy) | Amazon (Kindle) | Konga | Kobo

Book Details taken from the book cover. Photo credit: Me
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Saturday, 13 May 2017

Author Spotlight - Iremide Akinsola

Today on Author Spotlight is Iremide Akinsola who I had the wonderful privilege of asking him some questions about himself. Read the excerpts below:
T: Tell me about yourself in terms of when and where you were born as well as your educational background
I: My name is Iremide Akinsola. My birthday is 29th August. I am a Christian. My hobbies are reading, writing, listening to music and watching football. I am an alumnus of the great Bowen University! By God’s grace, I am a qualified Chartered Accountant.
T: What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?
I: Hmm.. Nope. I've not done that. I read about my favorite writers, but that's about all I do..
T: What is the first book that made you cry?
I: I don’t remember the particular book. But, it was the Mark of the Lion Series by Francine Rivers; A Voice in the Wind, An Echo in the Darkness and As Sure as the Dawn. The story brought tears to my eyes; it holds a special place in my heart. 
T: What was the last book you read?
I: The Greatest Salesman in the world by Og Mandino
T: Does writing energize or exhaust you?
I: Energize. Writing energizes me! I consider it a great privilege that God reveals his mind to me and considers me a channel to transform lives through the ministry of writing.
T: Have you ever gotten writer's block?
I: Sometimes it happens that I have something forming in mind and it doesn't come together on paper. So in cases like that, I wait and ruminate on it until it forms in my mind before I put it on paper.
T: Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
I: No. I write fiction, so I sometimes view things from another person’s perspective. That doesn’t count as a pseudonym, does it?

I: What inspired me to write Men of Like Passions (free ebook available via the link)
The realization that the heroes of faith were people subject to similar struggles that we face, but they overcame. The book is God’s message to and through me. It is a challenge and an encouragement; a challenge from the victories of heroes past and an encouragement for modern believers to overcome. It’s a journey guide; a book that I believe would be helpful for our sojourn on earth at every stage of the race. I blog at iremideakinsola.wordpress.com. You can head over there for Christian stories, Bible studies and my reflections from time to time.
Thank you for the privilege. I am grateful. God bless you. Amen.

So, there you have it, a little about Iremide Akinsola, we pray that his inspiration to write never ceases. Amen. 

A review of his book Men of Like Passions can be found here.

Photo credit: @princeire on Instagram
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Monday, 8 May 2017

Book Review: Men of Like Passions by Iremide Akinsola

When I learnt that Iremide had a free book on his blog, I was curious, I wanted to know what the book was about as I follow him on his Facebook page as well as his blog where he writes amazing stories. Anyway, since the book was free, I went to his blog, downloaded the book and added to my reading list (made it number 19), and I was not disappointed at all! So, this is book 19 of 52 in my 2017 reading list.

The book discusses seven characters (in random order: Joseph, Esther, Hannah, Paul, Gideon, Peter and Mary) in the Bible who can otherwise be referred to as 'unworthy' but God chose them and used them for his purpose. Although we might have learnt about this stories in our various Bible study and Sunday school classes, Iremide brings a fresh perspective to these stories as he summarises them, reminds us how we are like these characters but can still be used by God, and then using study guides helps readers reflect on how these characters are just like us in many ways.

My personal take home from this book was to improve my communication with God as well as trust Him more. The book took me about 24 hours to read and use the study guides too.

What I like about the book: It served as a fresh reminder that God can use me and I should strive to improve my relationship with Him. I also liked that it has study guides (although it seemed like a Sunday school booklet to me because I read it on a Sunday that I wasn't able to go to church), so I was able to study very well. Lastly, it was free (who doesn't like free books?).

What I didn't like: The book was too short! (This is not a bad thing, it is actually a good thing to me because I think when a book is very good, we don't want it to end).

My verdict: 4.8/5

Favourite quote:
"If we are truly going to be who God wants us to be, we should expect divine interruptions"

Book Details:
Blurb: The Bible presents us with life stories of several people. Some of them excelled, others did not. For those who excelled, they sometimes seem to be ideal individuals who have little in common with us. This could not be further from the truth. The purpose of this book is to unveil the connection that we have with these people who faced similar challenges and overcame. It is to encourage us that if these men and women of like passions can succeed, then we also can succeed despite all odds.
Number of pages: 60
Version read: eBook 
Publication year: 2016
Publisher: Awesome Multi-Services
Source: Free eBook copy available on his blog

Book Details and photo taken from the book cover
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2017 Reading Challenge

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