Book reviews

Book Reviews – The May Edition!!

Hoorah! I return after what feels like an eternity; thank you for staying loyal (I revoke any credit to Chris Brown) and choosing to bear with me. Right. Onto the good stuff…

School is out for the summer (just 3 more months until I am released from the shackles of study!) so I have had more time to indulge in the next best thing after sliced bread – reading 🙂 I bring to you, a review on three books I have read over the past couple of months and as always let me know if you have read any and/or if you have any recommendations.

miniaturist

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton 

This was 100% worth the wait. Written by 28 year old Jessie Burton (I frickin love millennials!) it is a tale about young 18 year old Petronella who leaves home to join her husband – a well to do successful merchant. It is a story of mystery and misfortune as Petronella’s wedding gift – a beautiful doll house starts to bear startling resemblance to her reality.

Verdict: A little slow to start but it is literally an exceptional book. Extremely well written with the necessary injects of twists and turns; I honestly get why it generated so much hype last year. 

white teeth

White Teeth by Zadie Smith 

I know this a cult classic so I will refrain from going into detail about this book as I am sure many of you are familiar with it but it was disappointing for me; I just couldn’t get into it! Sad to say because one of my favourite books EVER WRITTEN period is On Beauty by Zadie so I was very disappointed to say the least.

Verdict: Zadie is a heavyweight within the literary world but this did not keep me up at night at all. I don’t actually know what else to say to be honest so I think I should just leave it there. *Awkward*

confidence code

The Confidence Code by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman 

Katty and Claire discuss why women lack self-confidence within the workplace and often hold themselves back by being bridled with self-doubt. They look at why women often operate in the workplace as they do at school – study hard and think that they will get rewarded; this approach is just not sustainable in the workplace.

Verdict: I think because I read Lean In first (book review found here), it is quite similar BUT I really liked this book and I could identify with a lot of things that was relayed. I think the main takeaway is: confidence can be created; you don’t have to be born confident in order to become confident within the workplace. 

Hope you found that useful! The next books on my list are:

  • The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
  • Secret History by Donna Tartt
  • Girl Boss by Sophia Amoruso

I will be sure to keep you posted 🙂

Until we speak again…I’m out. xx

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Book reviews

Read All About It!! Book Reviews…

Me, top right with Taiye Salesi and the stylish Mary bottom right with Taiye

Me, top right with Taiye Salesi and the stylish Mary bottom right with Taiye

***DISCLAIMER: This is a long one so grab a cup of tea! ***

When I was younger, my mum used to make my eldest brother take me to Shepherds Bush Library fortnightly as I was never allowed to sit in front of the TV for hours on end. It was there that my deep and long love affair with books began…

My favourite authors as a child were Malorie Blackman, R.L Stein, Terry Pratchett, Courtia Newland – I could go on and on. This has now been replaced with more age appropriate authors (lol) such as Chimamanda Adiche, John Grisham and Ben Okri.

So I am forever indebted to my amazing mother for helping me to cultivate a noteworthy habit; knowledge is indeed power. Enjoy my review on some of the books I have read this year.

Americanah

 

 

 

 

 

 

Americanah by Chimamanda Adiche

I went to see Chimamanda Adiche as part of the Guardian Book Club events and I was sooo star struck (will try and fish out the pic of me grinning like a prat!). She didn’t disappoint. My oh my, it is pretty self explanatory as to why she writes so well. She is super intelligent, eloquent and quick witted. It all made sense.

Americanah follows the love story of Ifemulu and Obinze, childhood sweethearts who leave the shores of Africa to forge better lives aboard. As Nigerians that now form part of the African diaspora, life presents them with a number of challenges that would be deemed as alien back home. And this is the beauty of the book; Chimamanda explores a number of contentious issues that are all too familiar for those living within the diaspora. It is all weaved into this unconventional love story showing just how complicated life can be. Life never moves along a linear trajectory which is why I found this book to be so relatable.

Ghana must go

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ghana Must Go by Taiye Salesi

I also saw Taiye Salesi in person at the Stylist book club event but I hadn’t actually read the book at that point. I was intrigued nonetheless because to say the room was packed is an understatement.

However, despite the raving reviews that night, I have to say, I agree with friend and cousin who both said that the book was difficult to read (you were right Kofo and Mary!) The prose was far to complicated which made it hard to follow. The characters were interesting though but overall, it just wasn’t enjoyable.

gone girl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

This book is everything. You know a book is fantastic when you jump on the train and everyone is reading the same book, each person peering over the top of their book, giving that gentle nod of approval. Thank you to my beautiful and sophisticated friend Tosin for recommending it and to Stylist magazine too who did a review very early on.

Gone Girl is the twisted tale of Nick and Amy Dunne who paint the perfect picture of marriage. They seem madly in love until Amy goes missing and you start to see cracks in the paintwork. I cannot say anymore without giving it away so if you haven’t read it yet you’re snoozing!

20 out of 10 mate; nothing else left to say here.

lean in

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lean In by Cheryl Sandberg

I was beside myself when the gorgeous Titi presented me with this book for my birthday. I was literally planning to buy it within the next week or so, so it was very timely.

THIS BOOK IS IT. What I love most about this book is yes whilst gender inequality within the workplace is still very much an issue, what we fail to discuss more is the internal barriers that exist that hold us back even more. She challenges women to lean in and sit at the table and to raise our hands even if we are afraid to do so. I really do suggest that every woman reads this book; there are so many nuggets and takeaways and the best part is that Cheryl shares her own personal experience which makes it much more relatable.

And that brings me to the end of this review. I might do a two part series…we’ll see.

P.s. the books I am currently reading are:

  •  White Teeth by Zadie Smith – The cult classic written by one of the greatest authors of our time. It has taken me a while to get round to reading it and I know I am super late but better late than never. I read her second book On Beauty and that was literally one of the best books that I have ever read in my life.
  • Hard Choices by Hillary Clinton – my fav Ibby got this for me and whilst I thought it would be more about Hillary’s political career and life in general, it is actually about US foreign policy and American governance which I used to loathe (I went to SOAS!) But now I am more open minded especially as I am currently studying US foreign policy as part of my postgrad degree. It ties in nicely.

In any case, I will be sure to let you know what I think of them in due course. In the meantime let me know of your thoughts on any of the books mentioned.

Until the next time…xxx

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