You may want to add these books to your reading list. Read their reviews in this post.

Outwitting the Devil by Napolean Hill

What a read

I’ll start with my thoughts about the author. I’ve read a bit of his famous book “Think And Grow Rich” and even from that, you can see where his mind is at already. He’s a spiritual person. He acknowledges that we are more than just our physical bodies and that our thoughts are incredibly powerful. I like this because as a Christian, that’s what my faith teaches too.

The title is intriguing… “the devil”. A taboo topic.

So onto the actual book. There are so many statements from this “devil” that actually support what the bible says with explanation. For example, “guard your heart for out of flows the issues of life” – Proverbs 4:23

This “devil” will confirm the truth of this with explanation as to why is critical to watch your thoughts, meditation and words.

The book is mostly an interview between the author and this “devil” where he answers the interviewer’s (author’s) questions. They are questions about life: why people don’t accomplish their dreams and goals, the effects of failure, the importance of thoughts and self-control, our emotions, how and why successful people become successful, laws of nature, creating opportunities, problems with formal education and religion etc… All of which is incredibly insightful.

Where I’m at loggerheads with the book is where this devil alludes to there being no real “hell” as we know it. But perhaps this ‘devil’ isn’t the devil of the bible, Satan…. Also, he doesn’t acknowledge Jesus as Lord. He makes reference to an Artificial Intelligence as God, but personally, I don’t know if this title does God justice. But hey, it isn’t the bible! ‍♀

However, my stance with respect to my faith aside, this book is written incredibly well, very articulate and I really do recommend it. It has opened my eyes to A LOT.

This is not a book about faith, and if you do decide to pick it up -which you should – I believe you’ll take some very precious gems from it.

Gentlewoman by Enitan O. Bereola II

Gentlewoman is not a title you hear every day so that was what first drew me in… that and photo on the front cover of the woman with a lopsided crown on her head.

It’s an honest book about etiquette when it comes to navigating everyday life from relationships to professional networking and in between. It covers fun stuff like dating and the funny and uncomfortable stuff like hygiene. And all of this is from a man’s perspective with contributions from women and other men. It acknowledges the struggles that women face in modern society and celebrates our strengths and triumphs.

Gentlewoman is brilliantly written with a literary creativity uncommon in the category of “self-help” books. Together, the quality content, gripping humour and ease of reading and makes it a useful reference guide for today’s gentlewoman.

The 5 languages of Love by Gary Chapman

Initially, I wasn’t aware of how popular this concept of ‘love languages’ was. The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman was initially written for married couples and its popularity inspired revised editions such as this one (Singles Edition). It has sold over half a million copies since its publications in 1995 and has been translated into 49 languages.

I was gifted this book and when I saw it I thought, Aww, what a lovely front cover. That coffee looks pretty! (Btw, I don’t even drink coffee). Then I got stuck right into it. It was really insightful and I read it without prior knowledge of what a love language was so I went in with quite an objective view, and I was not disappointed.

Love is a word that is thrown about carelessly in our everyday speech and it has so many meanings. But what is it? Family, friends, prized possessions, food, hobbies…

Love is patient, love is kind, love is not jealous, love is not proud, love is not rude, love is not selfish, love is not evil, love is enduring, love believes, love hopes… love never fails.  – 1 Corinthians 14:4-8

Love is important and we all receive and express love in different ways. The 5 Love Languages explains the five ways that love is given and received by all human beings everywhere. It is backed by practical and relatable examples and includes a profile that allows you to self-assess to identify your love language or languages!

People may receive and give love in all five highlighted ways but for every individual, there are one or two that speak louder than the others.

The 5 love languages are:

  1. Words of Affirmation
  2. Gifts
  3. Acts of Service
  4. Quality Time
  5. Physical Touch

I encourage you to read the book to get a better understanding. This edition, Single Edition, is basically the original The 5 Love Languages with an emphasis on single adults –  really you could read any edition of The 5 Love Languages and get the picture. The book gives detail of each of the love languages, tools on how to discover your own love language and that of others, a discussion of dating relationships leading to marriage, loving your children as a single parent and finally, why love is paramount for success in life.

After doing the test in the back of the book (there is also an online version here), I discovered that my love language is Words of Affirmation.

Humans of New York by Brandon Stanton

This one’s a little bit different to what I normally share because it’s not a novel.

I first came across Humans of New York on Facebook a couple of years ago and I was immediately taken by candid photographs accompanied by people’s personal and simple stories.

Humans of New York is a photoblog started by a photographer, Brandon Stanton, in November 2010.

It’s a compilation of lots of stories of random people from New York. Some stories are happy and some of them are sad but it really makes you appreciate the diversity of people and our experiences. What I like the most is that it’s reflective of people with cultural and ethnic roots from all over the world just as makes up the people who live in New York.

This isn’t a book that you’d pick up and read from start to finish but it’s nice to read a few stories now and then to remind yourself of how big and yet how small the world is.

If you’re a user of social media, do follow Humans of New York on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

Homecoming by Yaa Gyasi

Why did I pick up this book? Quite simply, because the author’s name jumped out at me. Yaa Gyasi. It’s a Ghanaian name, from the Ashanti tribe, where my family is from. Homegoing is her phenomenal debut novel.

That was my initial reason for picking it up: a Ghanaian name. Then I read the blurb which summed up the story in something along the lines of the Gold Coast, America, slavery and family tree and now I was really intrigued. I’ve always been curious about African and American relations as it pertains to the traditional trans-Atlantic slave trade which spanned centuries. I am curious about family lineage and history and its influence on culture today and prospects for the future. Also, I enjoy analysing how society appropriates changes and adaptations that we introduce in out worlds.

Although this story is fiction, this story is real… if you know what I mean.

So intricately, carefully and passionately written, Homegoing is not a book you would regret reading. It speaks of all major happenings from the 18th century to the present age, telling the unwritten tales of those who came before us.

The novel begins with two sisters: Effia and Esi, who are separated before they even meet. What follows is a whirlwind of adventure through generations from the 1700s to the present time in two countries over two continents, simultaneously. From Elmina Castle in the former Gold Coast to the cotton fields of Mississippi, from the ancient traditions of the Akan people to the crack epidemic of 1980’s America, this story is one of perseverance, strength and love of a people.

I picked up this book because of a name, and I’m so glad I did

Not so perfect life by Sophie Kinsella

This is a book I listened to on the Audible app and it was narrated by Fiona Hardingham.

I chose this book because I’m a fan of Kinsella’s stories. The first book I read of hers was The Undomestic Goddess that had me laughing so hard I was in tears. I then moved on to the Confessions of a Shopaholic series and I’ve also read some of her standalone books in between.

Her books tend to feature a young female protagonist navigating her life working in commercial London. Perhaps, that’s why I can relate as I too am a young woman living and working in London. Although that may be what draws me in, what causes me to stay are the outrageously comical plots.

My Not So Perfect Life follows the life of Katie; a recent university graduate who has moved from Yorkshire to London to pursue a career in advertising. The story tells of the troubles she faces socially, work-related and in her relationships, but also her breakthroughs.

I recommend this book to young people who have embarked on a journey to pursue a career which requires them moving away from what’s familiar. This story will encourage you – you aren’t the only one! And if you like a good laugh – or several – this is the book for you.

If you prefer the hard copy of a book, it is being released later this month and can be pre-ordered on Amazon.


Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

What inspired me to pick up Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was her TED talk from 2009 entitled ‘The Danger of a Single Story’. Prior to this, I had heard her name floating around and the greatest association for me came from the film ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’ which is based on one of her earlier novels. I listened to her TED talk and this beautiful woman spoke and delivered her message so well, engaging the audience through humour and candid life experiences. She was open-minded and well-rounded. And she was an African woman with influence transcending the Motherland.

I actually listened to Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie on the Audible app, as opposed to reading the actual book. It was narrated by Adjoah Andoh who did an exceptional job of being the voices of all the various characters in the novel: from Nigerian to American to British – and all the vast variations that exist within those people groups.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was an easy read, humorous, educational and relevant. It gives insight of the politics in Nigeria in the late 20th century, to the political climate during Barack Obama’s journey to the position of Leader of the Free World, as the 44th President of the United States of America. It highlights the issues expats from Africa face as they travel to the US and UK in search of better education and work, and shines light on the development opportunities in present-day Nigeria.

This story is of the teenaged Ifemelu as she grows and navigates her way through life across 2 very different countries while appropriating their contrasting cultures over a 15 year period of time. This story speaks of ordinary human experiences: love, pain, celebration and loss. This story is of romance, family, friendship, coming-of-age, career, education and society.

I recommend this book to anyone who would like to explore the narrative of coming-of-age in Nigeria, moving to the Western world, the barriers and opportunities faced, and accumulating this wealth of experience to create a desired future.

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