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Category Archives: Book Reviews

CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE COUNTRY SOUL – REVIEW

Chicken Soup For Country Soul
Disclaimer – This is not a cook book!

You know, just like every other teenage soul, I had no interest in books like Chicken Soup For The Soul. Trust me.
However, two years ago, I got about eight classics, at the same time; Zig Ziglar, Jack Canfield, Myles Monroe, Napoleon Hill and others. My journey started.
My relationship with Chicken Soup For The Soul, however, started in 2016, long after I read Jack Canfield’s ‘How To Get From Where You Are To Where You Want To Be’. Jack is blunt and that’s a good thing. I got a spin off of Chicken Soup For The Soul, it’s anniversary edition containing stories from literally all the Chicken Soup books and I couldn’t wait to read more.
This week, I read Chicken Soup For The Country Soul and its a must-read for everyone.
My reviews are a bit informal but enjoy!.
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Chicken Soup For The Country Soul.
Chicken Soup For The Soul Books.
Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Rom Camacho.
1998.
Inspirational/Motivational Book.

CSFTCS is a collection of short stories revolving around the American country music industry, Nashville; it’s stars; their fans and life, in general. Now, these stories may be centred about country music but it’s more than that. It’s life, in a closer look.
There are stories on Love and Kindness, On Family, The Power of Faith, Living The Dream, Overcoming Obstacles and Hardships and The Power of A Song.
Some stories made me reflect, some made me cry, others made me want to never stop dreaming and some made me belly-out with laughter.
The book is divided into six sections, with each having a number of stories. On Love And Kindness contained stories of giving, impacting kindness and love. On Family contained stories of a father’s love, the power of family, the love of a wife, loss and so on. The Power Of Faith was that section that taught me to keep on believing! Living The Dream contained stories of struggle, trying to make it in the music business and in life, dreaming big and never giving up. Overcoming Obstacles and Hardships was the reminder that tough times never last but tough people do! The Power Of A Song was the perfect never-ending end to stories that are more than stories. It was the reality that songs should be more than songs. Music should heal, should have a message and it can, it already has!
It’s amazing that some of these stories are true stories. Some, fiction but not any less mind-blowing.
As my friend, Rafiat once said, ‘So many words’. But, now, these are so many words of impact, imprinting impact.
You know, reading about all these stars in the papers, watching them on Tv, they look so high up there. In a way, reading this book, reading their stories, by them and by others deeply humanises them, at least for me. Dolly Parton wrote ‘I Will Always Love You’. I sincerely never knew until I read this. I’ve always known Whitney Houston for the song. In her story, she describes her encounter with a fan whose life was changed by the song. The Power Of A Song.
Stories like Teddy Bear, The Frog Finally Got Its Wings, God bless the U.S.A, A Special Gift will never leave me.
I can say for a fact that I have learnt so much. From reading a book, yes. It’s funny how some things just really get to you.
I think I started getting the whole inspiration vibe, from the Acknowledgment segment of the book.
(Yes, I actually read The Preface)
The words the authors wrote.
That’s all I have to say.

One of my favourite things about the book is the little quotes above each story. Here’s my favourite one!
Your talent is God’s gift to you. How you use it is your gift to God.
– Country Saying.

Chicken Soup For The Country Soul is an excellent read, with great content and great writing. Each story, distinct, yet has a connective bond with the next. It’s refreshing. It was written in 1998, almost twenty years ago. Yet, reading it in 2017, it still works! It’s a timeless piece.
I highly recommend the other Chicken Soup For The Soul books as well as ‘How To Get From Where You Are To Where You Want To Be’ by Jack Canfield.
You’ll love them!

Rating – A

Review by Titilope Adedokun

Published by Great Opara

 
 

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BOOK REVIEW – WHO MOVED MY CHEESE?  

Who Moved My Cheese?

(1998)

Spencer Johnson

Hi guys! Welcome to a new semester and a new series of book reviews. I know all of us have seen our first semester results, and while some are in the deep trenches of regret, others are working out ways to make this semester better. This brings us to our first book review of the semester; a book titled “Who Moved My Cheese” by Spencer Johnson. An advice I’d give you is not to read it as a mere story, but to pick out the core values in it and use it to make all areas of your life better.
A group of old school friends is gathered for dinner and the topic of conversation gets on to change – in career, relationships and family life. One of those present contends that change no longer bothers him after having heard ‘a funny little story’ called Who Moved My Cheese?
The story involves four characters who live in a maze: the mice Scurry and Sniff, and two ‘littlepeople’, Hem and Haw. All is going well because they have found a huge source of their favourite food, cheese. Cheese here represents whatever it is you are seeking. The key point here is how the creatures react to this huge supply of cheese they had found. While Sniff and Scurry still wake up early to go to the supply and still check all other areas in the Maze for change that may have occurred, Hem and Haw had become so comfortable that they have even moved their houses to be near the CheeseStation and it has become the centre of their lives. But they do not notice that the cheese supply is getting smaller, and are devastated when they arrive at the site one morning and find the cheese is gone.
This is where the story splits in two. Scurry and Sniff quickly accept the loss of the cheese and go off into the maze in search of other sources. The littlepeople, because they have built their lives around the big cheese, feel they are the victim of some kind of fraud or theft. Yet this only makes things worse, as their clinging on ensures that they go hungry. Meanwhile, the mice move on and find new cheese. Read the rest of this entry »

 
 

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Book Review: Red By Samuel Abu

  Books, books ,books, a tool by writers and readers to delve into the endless possibilities of imaginary realms. I guess this was the same Story for Thomas Hunter, it’s just that his was more of both realities than one imaginary world.
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Posted by on April 20, 2016 in Book Reviews

 

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Book Review: Nadia Davids- An Imperfect Blessing

Book Review: Nadia Davids- An Imperfect Blessing

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  Nadia David’s “An Imperfect Blessing” is a beautiful novel that captures culture, religion, and discovery of identity, combining the three into an educational as well as enjoyable work of fiction.

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Posted by on April 19, 2016 in Book Reviews

 

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BOOK REVIEW – NO LONGER AT EASE, by CHINUA ACHEBE

BOOK REVIEW – NO LONGER AT EASE, by CHINUA ACHEBE

“No Longer at Ease” is a very interesting novel written by Chinua Achebe. It is set in the 1960s at the time of African independence from European colonialism.
Chinua Achebe audaciously tackles questions of morality in this beautiful novel. Centered on the Umuofia native, Obi Okonkwo, Achebe develops a character who struggles with governmental corruption in the form of bribery, amongst other issues.
No Longer at Ease opens with Obi on trial for a rather unfortunate misdeed. The judge says:
“I cannot comprehend how a young man of your education and brilliant promise could have done this.”
Achebe briefly exposes a defenseless and hopeless Obi before taking the reader to the starting point of Obi’s story. We’re given a description of Obi as a bright-eyed young man, returning to his hometown in Nigeria, upon completing his college education in England. He is hailed as heroic among the Umuofia villagers for being awarded the first opportunity, by the Umuofian Progressive Union, to travel abroad on scholarship to receive a “white-man” education and returning with a degree. Obi accomplishes what is considered among the villagers a seemingly impossible deed, and embodies an arrogant and smug persona. Within a few weeks of his return, Obi is given an honorable job with expectations to acquire and maintain financial security. However, Obi finds himself in unforeseen financial difficulties that leaves him questioning the notion of tradition versus progression within the Umuofia culture. Being brought up in a generation that will begin to use education as a tool against colonialism, Obi is faced with major decisions that will re-examine the principles that he was raised on.
In England he meets a Nigerian girl, Clara Okeke, studying at one of the colleges and immediately falls in love with her. Here, the first clash of his life occurs.
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Posted by on March 23, 2016 in Book Reviews

 

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BOOK REVIEW: ‘BLACK’ by TED DEKKER

Have you ever wanted to live in the future while remaining in the present? Sounds cool right?
Well… it wasn’t exactly “cool” for Thomas Hunter in “Black”, the first of the Circle Series written by Ted DeKker.
(Ted DeKker is an awesome writer who uses the art of suspense WELL..you will literally not close your eyes for days until you finish this book.)
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Posted by on February 24, 2016 in Book Reviews

 

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BOOK REVIEW- AMERICANAH

“Americanah” is one of the best books I’ve ever read and it’s written by one of our own, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. It’s an awesome book of great impact and importance.

This book is about the African diasporic experience in the USA and England, woven around the love story between Ifemelu and Obinze, teenagers attending a Nigerian university who have to leave the country because of the university strikes in Nigeria (I’m sure you Akokites can understand). Ifemelu moves to the United States, where she attends an American university and starts a blog dealing with race issues in America, while Obinze moves to England and ends up becoming an illegal immigrant.

The book brings up the controversial issues of race and immigration in the Untied States. The difference between being black in Africa and being black in the States is brought up as Adichie is very aware at the subtleties between cultures. An example is people’s pity when they realize you’re African, and their need to talk about their charitable donations to the continent . I’m sure a few of you that have traveled out can relate with this embarrassing ordeal:

“Ifemelu wanted, suddenly and desperately, to be from the country of people who gave and not those who received, to be one of those who had and could therefore bask in the grace of having given, to be among those who could afford copious pity and empathy.”

Being a recently-turned afro-ganger (I’m still hoping on my lowcut to grow lol), I was pleased about Adichie bringing up the topic of natural hair:

“I have natural kinky hair. Worn in cornrows, Afros, braids. No, it’s not political. No, I am not an artist or poet or singer. Not an earth mother either. I just don’t want relaxers in my hair…By the way, can we ban Afro wigs at Halloween? Afro is not costume, for God’s sake.”
That part made me laugh.

I also loved the fact that Adichie talked about Africans deciding to return to Africa after having lived abroad. This is something that happens with impunity, Africans hurrying to go to US or England (the supposed paradise) and then not finding satisfaction there because they’re disconnected from their roots:
“And yet there was cement in her soul. It had been there for a while, an early morning disease of fatigue, a bleakness, a borderlessness. It brought with it amorphous longings, shapeless desires, brief imaginary glints of other lives she had lived.”

Perhaps contrary to popular belief, not all Africans in the diaspora are running from Africa in search of the golden fleece; many have questioned what they are doing abroad in the first place and want to move back home. What most people don’t realize is that Africa is growing and developing and that people might actually be happy to live here.
I love books that tell a story but are still very much in tune with the present situation. Americanah captured beautifully well the life of a Nigerian and I’m sure anyone who picks it up can relate to it as controversial issues some writers shy away from are audaciously discussed.
I highly recommend this book! 🙂

IMG 20160118 082514  Adeyemi Christianah from the Law Class of “17 enjoys writing, reading and photography…(and eating). She loves the idea that with books, one can live in another reality and encourages everyone to pick up a book today!

 
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Posted by on February 2, 2016 in Book Reviews

 

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