Showing posts with label book review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label book review. Show all posts

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Book Review: I am a woman, I am not dumb.



Today's post is a twofer- book review post as well as Word! post. If you check my labels on the right side of this page, you will see that I write reviews on books I have read under "book review" labels and also write inspirational and Christian-related stuff under "Word!" labels. Well this book by Matthew Ashimolowo of the KICC Ministries def falls under both categories, and what can I say...I recommend the book to every lady (and even every sensible man)!

In his book, Matthew Ashimolowo gives some serious insight into what every woman should look out for when choosing her man. It's that simple. Serious insight based on God's Word, backed up with scripture, very straightforward and to the point. I particularly like the way Pastor Matthew wrote the book. It is not the usual long prose split into chapters, instead it has many key points on the actions of a wise woman as he put it, with articles written on each point. Each point and it's article did not cover more than two pages. So it is basically 101 key points that are straight to the point. No long story. You can pick up the book at any time and browse through the key points as a quick reminder.

You can see how the writer let's us know in no sympathetic terms how we get it wrong so many times, maybe due to desperation or social pressure or because he is so damn hot and sexy- but these reasons only come back to burn us badly in the long run! From experience, from stories I have read and heard from friends, we women are really too sentimental and we need to focus more on what we DESERVE. We need to focus on our own self esteem. The right guy is the one who will love us for who we are. Of course we need to work on ourselves, it's all about compromise and being a better person day by day, because just as we pray for the right man, the right man is probably praying for the right woman as well! However Pastor Matthew Ashimolowo is showing us in his book the red flags we should watch out for, and basically things we should look for in a man, based on God's Word. These are things we should even pray about, so that God will help us seek out men with these qualities.

You need to read the book to understand and appreciate it. "Wise women do not get into emotional attachments", "Wise women avoid the I cant help it syndrome", "Wise women do not get foolishly passionate". You know we fall into these traps ever so often don't you? I just read the "Why Men marry Bitches" book by Sherry Argov which I will review next month, and the book is about how men will rather go for a woman who knows her worth, who doesn't fall so quickly into bed with a man, who carries herself with pride and esteem and who knows when to say "no". Now "Why Men marry Bitches" is not even a Christian book, but it speaks the truth ladies. "I am a woman, I am not dumb", speaks the same message, bringing it from the viewpoint of the Word of God.

Here are a few of my fave points from the book.

Wise single women refuse to act like wives i.e washing, cooking and hosting friends
They do not accept engagement without being properly courted
They do not lower their standards and sell themselves short
They are wise to say no in courtship to things they do not want in marriage
A wise woman builds relationships that are based on values not valuables

And this one- for the stingy men who over-flog the "I don't want a materialistic woman" issue as well as those ladies who think it's cool to not expect gifts and stuff from your man..... read the last paragraph!

If a MALE writer who should normally be biased about such issues should write this, with scripture backing it up, then it must be the absolute truth! Just remember to consider the man's financial status and the fact it's not really about the price all the time, but it's about the attitude and intention.

The book is available in Christian stores and also on eBay and Amazon.

Got any other relationship books you recommend?


Friday, 21 February 2014

Book Review: Americanah by Chimamanda N. Adichie

Have you read Chimamanda Adichie's most recent book- "Americanah"? It's a very popular book and I know a couple of friends who love the book a lot. Well, a few of you may know that I absolutely love all her books. Half Of A Yellow Sun brought tears to my eyes, and it takes a lot to make me cry. And no, I did not cry because it was an essentially "sad" book, like Danielle Steel or V.C Andrews books (lol). No, her books are just a perfect blend of suspense, politics, history, humour, more humour, bluntness....So I read Americanah a few months ago and decided to share my thoughts with you.

But of course, as with my other book reviews, I won't ruin the experience for you. In fact this is gonna be a short post, I promise! 

Americanah, they say, is a subtly political novel. I agree. Chimamanda writes about racial discrimination, politics, self esteem and love. The plot is so interesting; you get captivated right away. The book shows the experience of a simple Naija girl (Ifemelu) who went to the states - leaving her sweetheart behind, her experiences, breakthroughs, love-life, her blog (yep, I definitely connected with Ifemelu on this note lol) etc. I was particularly THRILLED when I realized that the book very subtly attacks one major issue I have with my fellow Nigerian brothers and sisters- the inferiority complex. I am one of those who can not stand a fake accent, or any justification for faking an accent. I don't even understand where the idea stems from. It is an accent, meaning it is peculiar to race, culture, your roots, so why try to adopt another person's accent? We are a generation that has become so influenced by the Western world- the slangs, dressing, so many things (I say a lot of "gonna" and "wanna" and "yo" for example), but accents should not be copied; they should be allowed to come naturally. These foreigners actually know when we are faking it, and they admire those who are themselves. I once dated a foreigner who was raised in the US and had the full American accent thingy going on, and the very first time we spoke, he told me he was so impressed that I did not try to fake an accent! That really got me thinking. Good, well-enunciated English is great. A fake accent is just dodgy. And that silly belief that a white man would not understand what we are saying unless we speak like they do is total rubbish. They would. Period. Now I see the common situation where you can't help it, maybe because you just feel you have to "blend" with the rest, but the truth is that faking an accent is majorly an inferiority issue, and whenever Chimamanda deftly slipped this into her plot, along with many other issues that border on inferiority complex, I just smiled happily. I feel like every Nigerian should read this book, because it will help with self awareness, self esteeem, appreciation for who we really are, the colour of our skin, the texture of our hair, it will help us realize that the classiest way to be, is to be YOU.

And the lovely thing about the book is that, you will realize these things but still "enjoy" the book- I mean, what I wrote about self awareness and all that might make you think the book is boring, too serious and all that, but that is not the case at all. Like I said, the book is actually humorous :-)

OK I snapped some pics of some of my fave pages- this one (the first few lines) below made me laugh because I agree, there is something irresponsible and too-feminine-for-you-mister-man, about a man licking ice cream from a CONE. I just feel men should take ice cream from cups, with a spoon. Leave the licking-from-a-cone to ladies and kids! Lol!

This one (first paragraph) was deep- about relationships. Missing something you no longer want, and the fact that you may sometimes grieve the loss of what could have been.

Now this one below is something every naturalista would absolutely relate to! Just read it and you would see what I mean! I had a very similar experience just last week when I went to get cornrows done at the salon!

This one also made me laugh. It reminds me of a friend of mine who once dated a white girl. I have always noticed this sense of achievement and accomplishment in his tone whenever he talks about his relationship with her, which totally irritates me :-) and don't get me wrong- I am one of those Nigerian ladies who can actually see herself dating and marrying a white man, but.....just read what's below and you would get what I am trying to say lol.

There are so many other pages I would have liked to share with y'all but like I said, this post is not meant to be's beginning to get lengthy, so I'd better wrap up now : -)  

In summary, this book is beautiful. Like Chinua Achebe said, Chimamanda came almost fully made (I feel the same way about singer-rapper Drake- Drake came almost fully made in my opinion haha), meaning she is so talented, she skipped all the trial and beginner stages and just came on the scene to wow and impress us. After Half Of A Yellow Sun (is the movie even out at the cinemas yet?), Americanah is my next fave book by Chimamanda Adichie.

So give it a read when you can will you? It's quite pricey though....N5,500. But well worth it. I am planning a giveaway to be posted in the next couple of days so stay tuned if you want a chance to get this book for free! :-)

Have you read any of her books? Let me know what you think of them if you have!


Saturday, 14 December 2013

"We should all be feminists".

Many of you know about Beyonce's feature on her latest album on the song "Flawless". Click this tumblr link to listen to the song and of course the inspiring speech by our very own Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. 


And to watch the full speech ("We should all be feminists") she gave at a Ted Talks Event months ago, check it out below:


Monday, 14 October 2013

2013 Caine Prize winners- my review

Hi guys!

I don't know what to call this post-book review or short story review....
But my very good friend Olly sent me 5 short stories that were selected as the top 5 short stories for the 2013 Caine Prize For African Writing some month's ago. Now the exciting thing was that 4 out of the 5 shortlisted writers were Nigerian (whoop!). So I read these stories recently and I was impressed at how well Africans have been able to depict so much about our continent through their stories. Here's my review on the stories. 

"Foreign Aid" by Pede Hollist (Sierra Leone): This one was funny-from the very first page. The guy who has been "americanized" comes back home to show off only to realize that home folks are set in their ways and are not ready to change their ways of thinking. The irritation and disgust he felt at several occasions was hilarious.

"Bayan Layi" by Elnathan John (Nigerian): The way the writer shows how peer pressure, gang fights and hooliganism develops and grows amongst very young men is commendable. But the story also shows how beneath a hard,cold front, there lies beneath a soft, fearful and insecure interior and most times that interior forces its way into the open when one does not expect it.

"America" by Chinelo Okparanta (Nigerian): Aaaaah this one was interesting. If you like to read about 2 women in love with each other, you would probably like this one! But this is actually also a typical love story and it speaks of the sacrifices and struggles lovers face just to be together.

"Whispering Trees" by Abubakar Adam Ibrahim (Nigerian): Deeeeep. Thought provoking. Inspiring. Slightly enigmatic and disturbing. The story takes you through the ordeal of a young man struck by tragedy and his life-changing, supernatural and very unexpected experience later on.

"Miracle" by Tope Folarin (Nigerian): My favourite! Oh I really enjoyed this one. I don't even wanna say too much cos I know I would just end up giving you the full story! But anyway I love the story because of how the writer subtly shows us how deluded people could be, mostly because they have the need to be deluded, and how people yearn for the miraculous, so bad that they even begin to desperately paint pictures for, you have to read it to understand. I am not doing the story any justice. I believe in miracles-please do not get me wrong;but this story is such a crafty blend of insight, humour and wit! :-)

OK so guess who won? Tope Folarin! And of course I felt good satisfaction inside when I checked the Caine's Prize website to find that he won. I would have voted for "Miracle" if I had the chance to.

I got the chance to check out Elnathan John's blog as well and I must say, I enjoyed many of his writings, albeit controversial in some cases, but most of them are also funny, witty and sarcastic. But I particularly liked his blog bio. What struck me about it was the absolute honesty it reflected. I totally admire anyone who is not afraid to say how he feels, how he truly feels inside. That takes a lot of guts, confidence and wisdom. Here's what it says:

Elnathan is a writer and lawyer. Although he is routinely called a journalist, he rejects this title, preferring instead to be called a writer. His works have appeared in ZAM Magazine, Per Contra, Evergreen Review and the Caine Prize for African Writing anthology 2013. He writes for Sunday Trust and Metropole. He has never won anything. This record was almost disrupted by the Caine Prize when they accidentally allowed his story on the shortlist in 2013. Of course, he did not win. In 2008, after being lied to by friends and admirers about the quality of his work, he hastily self-published an embarrassing collection of short stories which has thankfully gone out of print. He hopes to never repeat that foolish mistake.He has just completed work on a new collection of short stories and is working on a novel. Nobody seems to want to publish his collection of short stories. This puzzles him. He really loves those stories. Elnathan is touchy about his skin and man boobs and isn't bold enough to grow hair. One of his new goals is getting to a weight below his current 100kg and losing his fast growing beer belly. He hopes to start a family comprising a partner, no kids and two hairy pets.

After reading that, you kinda feel like you like him already, right? lol.

What are your favourite short story writers?

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Book review: The Casual Vacancy by J.K Rowling


Any Harry Potter fans in the house? I read my first Harry Potter book back in 2003 I believe and I got hooked from there on. I have read 90% of the series and watched all the movies. My first was "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire". I marveled for months about how talented a single lady could be at make-believe, fantasy, mythical creatures etc. I have read just a few that I did not quite enjoy as much and "The Deathly Hallows" was just meh! to me. But in general, J.K Rowling holds my utmost respect. Now many people think the Harry Potter series is only for kids-I totally disagree, but even if you feel so, then read her first adult novel outside of the Harry Potter series-"The Casual Vacancy".

This came out last year and I read it sometime in January/February this year. Why I did not think of doing a review on this earlier, I can't tell, but I really enjoyed this book. Enjoyed as in, I was absolutely entertained, amused and couldn't wait to get back to it :-) I was sooo skeptical when I first heard about the book, because I felt "Hey she writes only mythical, adventure-ish, surreal stuff! What does she know about the world out there?!" Well she proved me and many others wrong. She did a very fine job of exposing what really goes on beneath people's smiles and polite nods. And she wrapped this up in a thick cloak of humour that just got me flipping the pages.

So, about the BOOK. Of course I won't "spoil" the book for y'all-I'll just wet your appetite a bit. Think of a community where there's so much scheming, jealousy, cheating, drug use, gossip, hypocrisy and lots more going on? Kinda like Desperate Housewives without the occasional ridiculousness and the "blood-thirsty" villains. That's what J.K Rowling decided to write about. She adopted the well-known writers' style of focusing on individual characters and families and then gradually interweaving these separate characters together (the fun part lol), and of course with all this comes the scandals exploding, the secrets leaking and more surprises popping up.

So there's the teenage crush gone bad, the adult secret crush, the suicidal character, plenty plotting and scheming involved in politics and all that drama going on in the book. And I like I said, it's a very funny book too!

I also like the way she subtly introduces some level of ethics and sense-of-rightness at the end of the novel. So it isn't just a feel-good book, it's a book that encourages commitment, a sense of responsibility for the youths and older ones alike, forgiveness, avoidng drug use, loyalty and fairness. I actually read on Wikipedia that she originally planned to title the book "Responsibility" because she wrote the book to promote the responsibility we need to have to ensure our own happiness and that of others.

So next time you are going book-shopping, look out for The Casual Vacancy. You'll love it :-)
I hope! lol


Thursday, 20 June 2013

Book Review: Diary of a misfit


Please don't click to look inside lol. If you wanna know about the book just check Amazon. I got the pic from Amazon via Google and the pic with the "click to look inside" tag was the only one I could find. I am not in any way a sponsored promoter of this book so I just did not feel the need to embed a link to the book. But anyhowz, the book review. I read this one a few months ago. First it's a book written by and best suited for teenagers (I know, hold on! lol). But for avid readers, it is worth reading-particularly as this teenager in question is Nigerian and you just get curious when you hear about stuff like that you know! She is a great writer though, and I can tell she would get better as she grows.

The book is centred around the life of an American teenage girl living in the US, as she deals with boy crushes, a changing body, sexuality and other deep and hard life lessons. I like the way Angel Okwuosa puts humour into almost every page of her book. That, in my opinion is not as easy as it sounds.

Oh and how come I read the book? It was when I spent some days at my aunts and I needed reading material. Her kids LOVE reading, and have tons of books. So I picked up this one amongst others.

My verdict? Good read for your younger teenage siblings, kids or friends. Or for you if you are curious, or if you are a teenager of course ;)


Thursday, 7 March 2013

Book review- 26a by Diana Evans

So I read this book a week ago. Took me about 2 days and I wanna describe my thoughts on this book in a few words-haunting, funny, nostalgic, witty, sad, blunt. It is a novel set in the UK, but partially set in Nigeria, about (don’t worry I won’t spoil the novel for you :-) ) a set of twins growing up, their struggles as young girls, then teenagers and finally women, coping with life as it is, coping with their parents and a not-too-happy home, coping with the past and the present and generally trying to fit in. I particularly loved the way the writer, Diana Evans (won the Orange Prize for New Writers by the way) was able to perfectly capture the thought-processes of a young, curious mind. You would read the book and be reminded of how you saw things as a little girl/boy, the analogies you made, the pure, innocent deductions, the expectations, hopes, disappointments.

I also liked how she illustrates the closeness between two siblings and how easy it is for them to drift apart. The book definitely haunted me to an extent-no I did not have nightmares or anything like that but if you have a penchant for the mystical, howbeit subtle, and in some instances not so subtle lol, then you would like the book. If you liked Chimamanda Adichie’s short story “Ghosts” from “The thing around your neck” about the man who had lost his wife and had some weird experiences where his wife would kinda visit him some nights and he wasn’t even scared at all (spooky huh) and he met an old friend who was believed to have died, and we couldn’t help wondering whether or not he had met a real man or a ghost….then you would enjoy the book. But do not get me wrong, it is only about 20 percent haunting; it is actually a very fine book that I would recommend anytime!

If you have read the book or have any comments please feel free to let me know what you think!  :-)