I read everyday, all the time, some days. Reading is a way of life. I read when I’m on the toilet seat, in a bus, in bed. Paperbacks, hardcover or ebooks. I read them all. I read approximately 400 books in the year 2018 but the books on this list are my top 10 favorites. They include fiction, non-fiction, biographies, celebrity memoirs and self help. And they are all worth a read, I promise you. (I submitted this article to Patabah Bookstore’s blog a couple of months ago and till date, they haven’t published it. So, I’m carrying my L and coming to post it on my own blog)
1. Joyce Meyer- Battlefield of the Mind:This book was one of the gifts from my uncle for my Law school graduation. I delayed reading it until August last year. It was, it is transformational. It made me shiver, it challenged me, how I thought about things, how I thought about people.Here are some quotes from the book:”Think about what you are thinking about””One of the greatest revelations of my life is: I can choose my thoughts and think things on purpose. In other words, I don’t have to just think about whatever falls into my mind.“”You’re not crazy if you talk to yourself. In fact, your thoughts are “talking” to you all the time. And the way you talk to yourself is one of the most important things in your life. You can never get beyond what you think—especially what you think of yourself.”
” I remember having this determination that someday, I would do something great. It would rise up in my heart at times when I was told I would never be anyone or do anything“I gave this book to a friend I was worried about and she sent me a message crying and thanking me. If you have not read this book, please purchase it and read it. It is transformational.
2. Cheryl Strayed: Tiny Beautiful Things- I got to know of this book via a Twitter recommendation. It’s a selection of advice columns and it is extremely relatable. I was once in a crisis situation and it’s completely true what people say about not knowing how much strength you do have until being strong is your only option, other than killing yourself, that is. That strength is not something that I can explain. It’s not something I have had cause to puzzle myself to replicate. It just appears. But if I had a friend who was in a crisis situation and was looking to me for strength, even if I couldn’t explain how I got through sufficiently to them, I can always point them in the direction of this book and say, hey, I know you are in Pain right now, inexplicable, terrifying pain. You’re not on Planet earth right now, you’re on Planet I failed my examination or Planet Major Depression or even Planet My tooth hurts but I don’t have enough money to fix it. I’m sorry about that but while you should mourn, you should also encourage yourself to get better.This book is lovely. Take it from me.
3. Meg Jay- The Defining DecadeI once watched Meg Jay give a TED talk. I go back to that talk constantly. But it was only until this year that I realized that she had written a book as a follow up or is it the other way around.
I knew I had to have the book and wow, this book. OhEmGee. Wow. This book resonated so much with me. This book had me crying and laughing, making copious notes and preparing for my future. This book is so so amazing. And it is worth every penny. I’ll leave you with this amazing quote from the book- “Forget about having an identity crisis and get some identity capital. Do something that adds value to who you are. Do something that’s an investment in who you might want to be next.”
4. Kevin Kwan: Crazy Rich AsiansI had quite some trouble deciding which one should be my fourth recommendation and which should be the fifth. But this quote, and the fact that there were 2 more books for me to read within an 18 hour period decided it for me.”… all that talk of “being in love” or “finding the right one” was absolute nonsense. Marriage was purely a matter of timing, and whenever a man was finally done sowing his wild oats and ready to settle down, whichever girl happened to be there at the time would be the right one.“And the opening scene of the book, wow! Able God, shower your blessings oh.
5. Trevor Noah: Born a CrimeThis book slayed me. I know most people read it a long time ago but it wasn’t until last year that I finally got around to reading it. And it did not disappoint. Just look at these quotes:”People love to say, “Give a man a fish, and he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he’ll eat for a lifetime.” What they don’t say is, “And it would be nice if you gave him a fishing rod.” That’s the part of the analogy that’s missing.”And this one “We spend so much time being afraid of failure, afraid of rejection. But regret is the thing we should fear most. Failure is an answer. Rejection is an answer. Regret is an eternal question you will never have the answer to”
6. Gabrielle Union- We’re going to need more wineIf you saw me reading this book, I forgive you for being confused as to my personality. This book made me laugh, it made me weep, and it left me feeling raw. Especially the chapter, Code 529 and how she talks about how she can never sit with her back facing the door. PSA: The aftermath of sexual assault and violence is a very complicated process in multifarious ways. And if you remain unsure of who to believe, it’d do a lot of good for you to restrain yourself from making any damning comments either way while you make up your mind.Quotes: “Still, I struggle with the questions: Does this wig mean I’m not comfortable with my blackness? If I wear my hair natural, do I somehow become more enlightened? It is interesting to see the qualities ascribed to women who their hair in braids or in natural hairstyles, even among black people. We have so internalized the self-hatred and the demands of assimilation that we ourselves don’t know how to feel about what naturally grows out of our head.” (pg. 51, “Black Girl Blues”)“How are we supposed to give them all the knowledge, all the power, and all the pride that we can, and then ask them to be subservient when it comes to dealing with the police? ‘This is how you have to act in order to come home alive.’
It’s an age-old us against -us oversimplification, that boils down to the belief that the lighter your skin tone, the more valuable and worthy you are. The standard of beauty and intelligence, that has historically been praised by the oppressor, has been adopted by the oppressed.”She also talked about having 9 miscarriages but considering the fact that she now has Kaavia James Union Wade, her daughter, I think all the pent up pain went, gone with the wind.
7. Kelley Armstrong – Cainsville Series (Omens, Visions, Deceptions, Betrayals, Rituals) I got turned on to Kelley Armstrong books in 2013. Her books are usually paranormal romance including vampires, werewolves, shamans. I do not know why exactly but I love the concept. But this is a departure from her usual style of writing. I picked up the first book in the Cainsville series; Omens and to my surprise, I found myself returning, again and again to finish the rest.
8. Tomie Balogun: Investment Clubs: How to create wealth beyond your payThis book is fantastic. It’s a how to guide on investment clubs, a concept I had no idea about until I saw the title of this book.If you want to invest more this year, get this book.
9. Stephanie Obi: Knowledge is the new gold.This book is a cheat sheet for the creation of online courses. Stephanie Obi is a great motivator, encourager and total boss lady. If you have thought about creating an online course but you’re stumped on how to, this book is my recommendation for you
10. Sophie Amoruso: GirlbossLast but not least, I truly wish I could adequately portray my feelings about this book. I was just so surprised that so many of the thoughts I’d had were shared by others. It’s a lovely read, short too. Perhaps, give it a try?