All posts filed under: Book Reviews

2015 in Books: Classy, Sublime & Intelligent

In typical eurekanaija fashion, I’d like to talk about my favourite books of 2015. My criteria for this list are: Re-readability: I’d totally read these books again in 2016. Change factor: These books changed me or helped me find/create myself. Let’s jump right to it, shall we? 1. Emily Post’s Etiquette: Why:  I was talking with one of my friends early in the year and we lamented the fact that we didn’t go to finishing school. Etiquette is the next best thing. What I Loved: First published in 1922 and constantly updated since then, it remains an enduring reference point for good manners. Before you roll your eyes, it’s not just about using the right fork or the proper way to pour wine (even though I learned that too). The book continuously emphasizes the most important etiquette of being kind to other people. From tipping service staff (waiters, salon attendants) to putting phones away at dinner tables to proper behaviour at different places of worship to introducing people to each other so they aren’t left standing in awkward …

On Writivism, A Great Book I Read, Klo5 and Holiday Season in Nigeria

I’ve meant to blog about this for a while but I kept losing my drafts… Super late, I know but our Pemi won the Writivism Prize 2015! I say our Pemi because she’s ours… Lol. I’m not famzing, I promise. We’ve shared a bed (now I sound like I’m famzing). Anyhow, I’m super-pleased for her, and slightly envious that she got to go on holiday to Uganda as part of making the Writivism shortlist. And now I want to write more stories, so I can enter competitions that allow me go on holidays. Have you read Pemi’s deliciously scary story? Have you checked out the super-cool blog, Nik-Nak.co she collaborates on? Thank me later! I got this amazing book, The Art of Possibility by Ben and Roz Sander, a year ago from Ozoz of kitchenbutterfly.com fame. It’s slightly strange in that it’s not your typical self-help book. It’s not teaching you how to be the best XYZ but how to get to a point where being the best XYZ doesn’t matter. Here’s an example of one of …

Changes, Mid-Year Reviews and A Book I Loved

Hola! I’m so sorry for the long silence. I’m right in the middle of moving from one flat to another and while it’s not super hectic (because we’re taking our sweet time), it is taking up a lot of my energy. The 21-Day Challenge‘s ended! How did it go for you? I enjoyed it immensely (even though I skipped a few days, sha). I feel more…zen. And it forced me into a habit of only seeing the good things. I might have winked at my reflection a few times. And it’s halfway through the year. How are your plans going? Your resolutions? I feel slightly anxious about work. I’m getting to a place where I feel like I need a change, and soon. We’ll see… What books are you reading? A colleague at work recommended “The Rosie Project” by Graeme Simsion and I gobbled it in two days. Loved it. It’s the kind of love story I like and I could totally relate to the main character because I’m slightly obsessive too. Lol. I still …

Book Review: The Good Earth (a.k.a. Mo' Money, Mo' Problems)

 Like I’m not even kidding. The book should be called Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems. Because that’s what happened. Mr. Wang Lung starts the book as a poor man and as his fortunes change for better, for worse, so do his problems. Okay, no spoilers. But just remember: Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems. Why did I pick this book? I got it free of charge with my Kindle Unlimited subscription. It said “Pulitzer Winner” on the cover and I’m at that point in my life where I prioritize the books to read. Google says 150,000,000 books have been published in the world. Even if I read one book per day, I would need to live about 350,000 years. So I decided to only read prize winners. Yes, I know I’ll miss out on a lot of really fantastic books that haven’t won prizes. But hey, no time.  I find Pearl Buck’s writing style fascinating. I’m not sure if it was intentional but for a long time, the story is told from Wang Lung’s point of view. It …

Which Were Your Favourite Books of 2013?

 The year’s winding up, and as usual, I want to find out which of the books you read in 2013 had the most effect on you, and why. Please share your favourite fiction book, and your favourite non-fiction book. You can reply in the comments’ section and you can take the conversation to Twitter/Facebook with the hashtag #abookIreadin2013.  I’ll go first.  Favourite Fiction Book of 2013: This was a difficult choice because I read so many fantastic books this year. But Khaled Hosseini’s “And The Mountains Echoed” wins, beating “Children of the Jacaranda Tree” and “Burma Boy”. I love how Khaled writes, I love his stories, I love the sense of kinship I feel with Afghans after reading his books. I totally recommend this book. Favourite Non-Fiction Book of 2013: This was an easy choice. Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In (labelled the “Feminist Bible” in some circles) is a thought-provoking book for women who have careers outside of their homes. I don’t agree with all of Sheryl’s ideas (e.g. I don’t think it’s as easy as she makes it …

On Fela! and The Book Thief.

First, FELA! Amazing. The dancing, the music, the sheer energy! Out of this world! The storyline itself, meh. But then again, I didn’t go to see Fela’s biography enacted. I went to see a Broadway production. And it was spectacular. The turn-out was lower than expected; I heard the play was shunned because peeps were miffed at the thought of a wholly American cast and (horror of horrors! *said in his pseudo-Nigerian accent*) an American/Haitian Fela. Haha! Please! Stop with the beef already. Why didn’t a Nigerian Director hit upon the idea? What stops a Nigerian from still producing a Fela play? Let’s face it: we let Fela die in our hearts, in our minds. He’s an international icon! They celebrate him, his music is taught in schools! And we, we rejected our prophet, reduced him to much less than a symbol. We forgot him and put him on the shelves, the back burner, the archives or wherever the hell it is we relegate our “heroes past”. It really is shameful that it took foreigners …

Book Review: The Secret Lives of Baba's Segi's Wives By Lola Shoneyin.

The first time I heard of Lola Shoneyin, it was in an interview she gave where she stated that she wrote because it beat ironing! I wish I could make a similar choice… ‘No, Daddy. I can’t iron your shirts, I want to write.’ Haha! Lola’s first novel, The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives, chronicles the history and happenings of a polygamous household. I started the book expecting a Fuji House of Commotion kind of scenario; lots of humor, petty jealousy, and cat fights between rivalling wives. Well, check on all counts. Except that the humor arises from the author’s amusement at her characters, the jealousy is more virulent than petty, and there are no cat fights, no physical combat. Just deliberately hurtful (very hurtful) words. Ok, I thought, a serious book. Lola tells the story of the Alao family with highly evocative descriptions and with an elegant plot. Baba Segi, the head of the household, is married to four wives, Iya Segi, Iya Tope, Iya Femi and Bolanle. As the story progresses, we …