Book Review: Deception (Daughters of Mannerling #3) By M. C. Beaton

I have chosen to start my reading this year with a series of romance novels because I do not feel ready to read any heavily themed books yet. I believe this mood may last until the end of February as I have a number of romance novels on my TBR ready to be read. This author has been on my list for quite a while and I am happy I have finally gotten around to read her books.

 “Deception” is the third book in the “Daughters of Mannerling” series, however, you do not have to read the first two books to enjoy or understand the story line. This is a typical historical romance story with a twist and a lot of humor.

The beverley sisters are notorious for their obsession with the Mannerling estate, their former home which their father lost to his bad financial habits before his death. The twins, Abigail and Rachel are of marriageable age and despite Harry Dever’s bad behavior towards their elder sister, they don’t mind if either of them could be married to him as he is their only chance to get back their home because his parents are the new owners of the Mannerling estate. Lord Burfield arrives on the scene and things suddenly change for all four Beverley girls as Miss Trumble, their mysterious governess is determined to help the girls regain their reputation.

All the characters were an interesting lot especially Abigail, the bolder and more adventurous of the twins and Miss Trumble, the governess . My least favorite characters were Harry Devers and Prudence Makepeace who were quite cunning and crafty.

With a lot of wit and a bit of suspense, this book is a wonderful escape to relax and enjoy.  I highly recommend this book. On to my next book……

Rating: 4 Stars

Published: Published 2014 by Constable & Robinson

Pages: 214

Genre: Historical Fiction

Purchase @ www.amazon.com/deception

The Author: Marion Chesney was born on 1936 in Glasgow, Scotland, UK, and started her first job as a bookseller in charge of the fiction department in John Smith & Sons Ltd. While bookselling, by chance, she got an offer from the Scottish Daily Mail to review variety shows and quickly rose to be their theater critic. She left Smith’s to join Scottish Field magazine as a secretary in the advertising department, without any shorthand or typing, but quickly got the job of fashion editor instead. She then moved to the Scottish Daily Express where she reported mostly on crime. This was followed by a move to Fleet Street to the Daily Express where she became chief woman reporter. After marrying Harry Scott Gibbons and having a son, Charles, Marion went to the United States where Harry had been offered the job of editor of the Oyster Bay Guardian. When that didn’t work out, they went to Virginia and Marion worked as a waitress in a greasy spoon on the Jefferson Davies in Alexandria while Harry washed the dishes. Both then got jobs on Rupert Murdoch’s new tabloid, The Star, and moved to New York.

Anxious to spend more time at home with her small son, Marion, urged by her husband, she started to write historical romances in 1977. After she had written over 100 of them under her maiden name, Marion Chesney, and under the pseudonyms: Ann Fairfax, Jennie Tremaine, Helen Crampton, Charlotte Ward, and Sarah Chester, she getting fed up with 1714 to 1910, she began to write detectives stories in 1985 under the pseudonym of M. C. Beaton. On a trip from the States to Sutherland on holiday, a course at a fishing school inspired the first Constable Hamish Macbeth story. They returned to Britain and bought a croft house and croft in Sutherland where Harry reared a flock of black sheep. But Charles was at school, in London so when he finished and both tired of the long commute to the north of Scotland, they moved to the Cotswolds where Agatha Raisin was created.

Welcome To 2020!

Happy New Year Bookworms!

We made it!

I am grateful to God to have giving us the opportunity to experience another year and I believe it’s going to be awesome.

What are your bookish goals for this new year?

I am setting a goal to read and review a 100 books this year and I am hoping to exceed this goal.

I also plan to write more poems and record more spoken word poems this year.

Finally I wish to interview at least one author each month and I am keeping my fingers crossed on this one.

Wish me luck!

Whatever your goals are, I wish you all the best and pray that you find fulfilment in all your endeavors.

Have a splendid 2020 form me to you!

 

Book Review: Tomorrow Died Yesterday by Chimeka Garricks

*Last Review of 2019

“Your sister, the silly child. She shouldn’t have married that deluded radical in the first place. There are no radicals in Nigeria, only mad men and martyrs” – Chimeka Garricks in “Tomorrow Died Yesterday”

* Chimeka Garricks happens to be my husband so I may seem to be going overboard on this review but trust me, It’s an honest review!

Since it’s publication in 2011, I have reread this book every single year and this year was not an exception. I have kept it until the end of the year, like a “saving the best for last” thing.

“Tomorrow Died Yesterday” is an exceptionally engaging, thrilling, entertaining and multithemed book about friendship, love, loyalty, politics and the Niger Delta Militancy crisis in Nigeria. Doye popularly known as ‘Dough Boy’ and his militant group kidnapp Brain Manning, a white expatriate staff of Imperial Oil Company. The operation gets complicated when the unexpected happens and pulls Doye’s childhood friends, Amaebi, Kaniye and Tubo into a sea of events that tests their loyalty and friendship for each other. The story is laced with a lot of humor and some romance which spices things up although it also has it’s share of tragedies and a shocking but good ending. It is told from the eyes of several characters who give narratives of events from childhood till date and how each of them interprete all the happening in their lives.

This book was published in 2011 and the militancy in Nigeria’s oil rich Niger Delta is still steamy with more and more kidnaps even today. This is a book that every Nigerian should read especially those who are not from the region and are quick to air their opinions when they actually are ill informed. This book will give you a better perspective on the complex issues surrounding the happenings in the Niger Delta and help many understand why it is a difficult task for the people, the companies and the government to tackle. The story also brings to light the complexities faced in different relationships such as friendships, marriage, parents and their children etc and how life experiences sharpen our characters which make us react in certain ways when faced with challenges.

My favorite character was Amaebi for his Godly heart and determination to stand by what he believed in despite his traumatic experiences. I also loved Deola and Catechist Akassa for their dedication to their faith and wise council. My least favorite character was Wali as he represents a set of people who disguise themselves as problem solvers but instead have fueled the militancy activities in the Niger Delta while lining their pockets in the process.

This book is well written, the characters believable and despite all the time jumps, was easy to read. It is a book that will make you laugh, cry and curse but most importantly it will stay with you for a long time to come. This is one of my favorite books of all time.

I highly recommend this book to everyone and urge you to go out and get a copy.

“Well, I have learnt that true Christianity is about a child-father relationship with God. It’s about living a sin-free, love-filled life. That’s the only way to know it’s real and not necessarily by miracles, preaching, tongues and all the other stuff that is in our faces all the time. Now, I am not knocking these things, they are supposed to be gifts from God. However, Christians should be known by their fruits of righteousness and love, not by their gifts”. – Chimeka Garricks in “Tomorrow Died Yesterday”

Rating: 5 Stars

Published: November 11th, 2011 by Paperworth Books

Pages: 292

Genre: Fiction

Purchase @ www.paperworthbook.com/TDY 

The Author: Chimeka Garricks was born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1975, and was raised in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. He has an LL.B. from the Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt, Nigeria; and an LL.M. in International Commercial Law, from the Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, Scotland. Chimeka considers himself more of a storyteller than a writer. He lives in Lagos, Nigeria, with his wife, Biyai and their three children. Tomorrow Died Yesterday is his first novel.

Thank You Dear Friends!

We have come to the last day of this year and it is the perfect time to reflect and show gratitude to all those who have made it a memorable one.

The icing on the cake this year for me were the interviews I was honored to have both online and “In Conversation” with some phenomenal authors such as Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani, Edify Yakusak, Bisi Adjapon, Olunosen Louisa Ibiza and Tope Omotosho. Thank you for granting me these interviews and I am looking forward to meeting more authors next year.

I really enjoyed writing reviews of almost all 54 book I read this year and the conversations they brought forth. I also took a step forward to record two spoken word poems this year and I hope to do more of this next year.

To everyone who thought this blog was worth following, thank you for making it a fulfilling experience with your comments, likes and contributions. I have connected with a number of awesome people on this platform and I am grateful to God that our paths crossed based on our love for books.

Let’s do this again in 2020 but bigger and better!

Happy New Year in advance!

2019: My Top 12 Best Reads Of The Year

2019 was a good year in books for me. I started the year with a book challenge of 48 books and I was able to exceed that target as I ended up reading a total of 54 books. I feel awesome. Another achievement for me was meeting my goal to read more non-fiction books this year and I was able to bag 12 of them which is an average of one non fiction book a month and I am glad I did.

I read quite a number of very engaging and interesting books this year but some stood out from the lot.

These are my top 12 rated, highly recommended books I read this year. To read my reviews of any of them, click on “Book Reviews” on the menu of my homepage or search for any of them by their titles in the search box.

I have listed these books in no particular order but if I am pressed to choose my best Fiction read it would be ‘The Tattooist Of Auschwitz’ and ‘The Total Money Makeover’ for non/fiction. So here are my best 12 reads of 2019…….

 

the tatooist of austwich

 

Total money makeover

 

The Subtle act of not giving a Fck

 

An American marriage

 

international sisi eko

 

40591267. sy475

 

BBTBT

 

own your life

 

20814511

 

43891559

 

17347634

TCOH

All books can be purchased on http://www.amazon.com or a bookstore near you.

Have a splendid New Year ahead!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review: Piece & Pieces By Paul Ugbede

Earlier this year, I read and reviewed a book by the author titled “Our Son The Minister” (Check out my review by clicking on ‘Book Reviews’ on the home page) and I really enjoyed reading it so my expectations for this one were high and I wasn’t disappointed.

Piece & Pieces is a collection of 8 short stories with diverse themes. From the first story “To Kill A Witch”, where a mother is accused of witchcraft as her daughter dies mysteriously and to the last, “Ayiki Allah” about the infamous Boko Haram Terrorists told by a young recruit, the author takes us on a journey with some shocking tales and others quite entertaining.

My favorite story will be “Obete Ogbege And His Nine Inches” as it made me laugh out loud almost through out the entire story. I also loved “The Incident” and “The Art Of Dying” as I was particularly touched by these stories. My least favorite was “Side By Side” because I didn’t connect with the story at all but on a general note this collection of stories was a well written, concise and a good read.

I highly recommend this book.

Rating: 3.8 Stars

Published: January 7th, 2019 by Paperworth books

Pages: 166

Genre: Short Stories

The Author: Paul Ugbede has a BA in Mass Communication from the University of Jos, Nigeria and is currently the Director, International Centre for Playwriting Development in Africa (ICPDA). He is the author of several published and performed plays to include Dropping Palms, Raping the Land, Trading Places, Two Characters Undefined and Dialing Love. His articles and short stories have appeared on Waza online, Muwado and Jalada online and his play ‘Fire in the Night and other stories’ was included in the 2014 Writivism Anthology edited by Sumayya Lee. Paul Ugbede is the winner of the inaugural Beeta Playwright Competition in 2016. He lives in Lagos.

 

Book Review: Stifling Embrace By J. N. Mbunabo

I received a copy of this book from the author. Thank you, J. N. Mbanubo for the gift.

Stifling Embrace is a collection of 9 short stories that explore the simple but complicated lives of a normal people. “Freckles” reveals the discrimination that people with Albinism face while “One Chance” tells a story of a girl who learns a hard lesson after she accompanies a friend to Abuja from school to make extra cash. The stories have a variety of themes from romantic relationships to relationships between parents and their children and how these relationships affect people in different ways.

For a debut, this was a good attempt. I particularly liked “One Chance” and “Freckles” because of the messages these stories carry. Most of the other stories are what I would call “having Potential” but not quite hitting the right cord. Examples are “Stifling Embrace” and “A Means To An End” which seemed  promising but veered  off course in certain parts and in my opinion too long. My least favorites were “Noonday” and “The New Soul”  as I didn’t connect with these stories at all.

In a nutshell, it was an ok read and I look out for this author in the future. If you are looking for a quick read, you may want to read this book.

Rating: 3 Stars

Published: December 2019 by Nwanne Books

Pages: 198

Genre: Short Stories

The Author: J. N. Mbunabo was born in Lagos, Nigeria. She studied Law at the University of Benin and currently works in the Legal Department of Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund. She is a Chartered Secretary, trained Arbitrator and supporter of worthy courses. She is the founder of Menazuka Care Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting literacy and advancing the protection of child rights. Her poems, short fiction and non fiction have been published online and in print. Outside of serious business, she enjoys telenovelas. She lives in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. Stifling Embrace is her first book.

MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM ME TO YOU

It’s that time of the year again and I hope you are all having a great time!

Don’t forget, Jesus is the reason for the season. As we eat and drink, let us also remember why he was born and the price he paid to set us free from the law of sin and death.

I wish you a splendid Christmas season and hope you are having a “bookish” one!

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that who so ever believeth in him shall not perish but have everlasting life” – John 3: 16

 

Merry Xmas insta

 

Book Review: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

“A Hairbrush is not Gun” – Angie Thomas in The Hate U Give

I decided to read this book because of it’s strong theme and being the winner of the Goodreads 2017 Readers Award for Best Debut Novel and Best Young Adult Novel the reviews have really been great.

The story is narrated by it’s main character, Star Carter. She is a sixteen year old black teenager who lives in Garden Heights, a predominantly black neighborhood with her parents. Her world comes crashing down when she witnesses her best friend Khalil shot at close range by a police officer. Unfortunately for Star, this is not the first time she is a witness the death of a friend but this time she wants her voice to be heard even though she has been traumatised by both events. Inspired by the #blacklivesmatter movement, this is a deeply moving story about racism and the broken criminal justice system in America. This is a story I believe had to be told and I would never forget it.

Reading this book brings to perspective the current issues plaguing the black community in America. It is a genuine and insightful account of what goes on in most black communities such as poverty, street gangs, hard drugs  and the lawful or unlawful  prison bound fathers and sons. As someone who comes from a minority tribe in my country, I understand what is means to be sidelined and discriminated upon. Racism, tribalism, these are just different names wearing the same face and are never acceptable. It is almost as if the system is set up for certain people to fail even before they try and that is why most of the people affected by this are found to be highly religious as they believe their only hope can come from God.  I hope this narrative will spur our young people to keep speaking up against these ills and pave a way for a fairer, better world.

Despite the strong theme, I struggled with this book a bit. I feel it dwelt too much on Star’s teenage thoughts on her personal life (which sometimes were relevant to the story) and issues with her friendships. I understand this is a YA book so I guess I am not within the sphere of it’s target audience but with such a strong theme, my expectation was that the author would take into cognizance that everyone (old and young) would read this book and tone down on some of the “teen stuff”. This made some parts rather boring to read but of course I had to know how the story would end so I braved through it.

Overall, it was a really good book with a strong and relevant theme. It is therefore a must read and I recommend it to everyone especially Young adults.

Rating: 3.5 Stars

Published: February 27th, 2017 by Balzer +Bray

Pages: 464

Genre: Young Adult

Purchase @ www.amazon.com/thehateugive

The Author: Angie Thomas was born, raised, and still resides in Jackson, Mississippi as indicated by her accent. She is a former teen rapper whose greatest accomplishment was an article about her in Right-On Magazine with a picture included. She holds a BFA in Creative Writing from Belhaven University and an unofficial degree in Hip Hop. She can also still rap if needed. She is an inaugural winner of the Walter Dean Meyers Grant 2015, awarded by We Need Diverse Books. Her debut novel, The Hate U Give, was acquired by Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins in a 13-house auction and will be published in spring 2017. Film rights have been optioned by Fox 2000 with George Tillman attached to direct and Hunger Games actress Amandla Stenberg set to star.

Book Review: The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsy

“You have to live like no one else so you can live like no one else” – Dave Ramsey in “The Total Money Makeover”.

This book was highly recommended as a must read by another author, Donna Partow  in her book “Becoming The Woman God Wants Me To Be – A 90 Day Guide To Living The Proverbs 31 Life” and in a bid to follow through I got the book.

This is a must-read for anyone who wants to take control of their financial health. This is not a quick fix, positive push kind of book but one that requires some hard work, persiverance and focus.The author gives advise on how best to get out of debt fast, save and grow wealth using seven steps which he calls “baby steps”. These baby steps are as follows:

  • Put aside an emergency fund (Start with $1,000.00)
  •  The debt snowball – Pay off all outstanding debt except your home mortgage loan starting from the smallest to the highest amount.
  •  Build your emergency fund to cover 3-6 months of your monthly expenses
  •  Invest in a retirement fund (Mutual funds are preferable)
  •  Save for your kids college education
  •  Pay off the home mortgage loan
  •  Build wealth by investing (real estate, mutual funds, etc)

It has been proven by many that you can get to baby step 7 in 7 years. Even if you already have an emergency fund and have no debts to payoff, these baby steps will definitely help you build wealth and reach the pinnacle point.

I loved listening to this audio book because it was read by the author and he sounds so genuine and really motivates you to do better. He wrote this book from the lessons he learnt after he went bankrupt 15 years ago so this is not a theoretical approach to grow wealth but one which has been used by people and has worked for them all. The baby steps suggested in this book are also not cast in stone but can be modified to fit your society or environment.

I will definitely come back to listen to this book a couple of more times in the next few months to allow it sink in and work on building financial freedom for myself and my family. I enjoyed this book a whole lot and I encourage everyone to get a copy, you will not regret it at all.

“Money is good for fun, to invest and to give”- Dave Ramsy in “The Total Money Makeover.

Rating: 5 stars

Published: February 1st 2007 by Nelson Books

Pages: 223

Genre: Non-fiction

Purchase @ www.amazon.com/TMMO

The Author: Dave Ramsey, the nationally-syndicated radio host of “The Money Game” and bestselling author, has helped thousands through Financial Peace University-a 12-week financial planning program. He presents seminars in churches and corporations throughout the country. He holds a degree in finance and real estate and lives with his family in Nashville Tennessee.