Book Review: Everything is F*cked – A Book About Hope by Mark Mason

A few months ago, I read ‘The Subtle Art of not Giving a F*ck’ by this author and I really enjoyed reading it (you can read my review by clicking “book reviews” on the homepage menu).

However, I didn’t t really feel the same way about this one. There were some good points here but generally it was a disappointing read. It felt like I was being given history lessons that were somewhat disjointed and in some parts I wasn’t even sure of the direction the book was taking.

What I got from this book is a better understanding of behavioral patterns in human beings and why they exhibit these behaviors. It gives advise on realistic  expectations that we should have of ourselves and others and understand that happiness or joy does not necessarily mean a lack of pain but “trying to see the glass half full than half empty”.

The part I didn’t like at all (amongst others) was the “how to start your own religion”. At some point I had to skip the entire chapter as it didn’t resonate with me at all.

I rate this book a 2 stars however, listening to the audio book was a good experience because it encouraged me to listen to the whole book on the go.

Published: May 2019 by Harper

Pages: 288

Genre: Non-Fiction

Purchase @ http://www.amazon.com

The Author: Mark Manson (born 1984) is a professional blogger, entrepreneur, and former dating coach. Since 2007, he’s been helping people with their emotional and relationship problems. He has worked with thousands of people from over 30 different countries. He regularly writes and updates his blog at: http://www.markmanson.net

 

Book Review: An Enemy Called Average by John Mason

“You can’t fulfil your destiny on a theory, it takes work”

Listening to this audio book is an experience I can only express by saying I would definitely read this book again in the near future. It was also quick as it only takes one hour, fifteen minutes to listen to the entire audio book.

‘An Enemy Called Average’ is a book filled with many nuggets of wisdom on how to rise above mediocrity. Being part of a society that applauds mediocrity, it is easy to feel that you are doing something great when you are actually just average. It teaches you to take a step back and realistically assess your “achievements” whether they are actually where you and the people around you think you are or you have an overblown impression of your accomplishments. This is not a book to make little of what you have done but one that challenges you to do more and aim for the best instead of settling for less especially when you know there is more to achieve.

My two biggest take-aways from this book are:

  1. The fact that “change is the most constant thing in life”. I have always known this fact but Mason brought in a perspective I have never really thought about which is preparing for the change ahead in every situation. Expecting it and being mentally ready for that change.
  2. The second is “having the power to say ‘NO’ to many good ideas”. A jack of all trade is a master of non, therefore focusing on the most important things at a given time is key to your success. ‘No’ may mean, not right now because I have to finish what I am doing no matter how great the idea or venture is. This piece of wisdom, I will always keep fresh in my head.

There  were so many others and I will definitely go back and listen again because I would love to ponder on some of the points raised in this book and see how I can apply more of the principles taught in this book to my life.

I can’t think of anything I didn’t like about this book. It was that good.

I rate this book a gorgeous 4 stars and I recommend it to anyone looking for positive and practical ways to improve his/her life. In fact, everyone needs to read this book at one point in their lives.

Published: August, 2011 by Simple Truths LLC

Pages: 127

Genre: Non-Fiction/Self-Help

Purchase @ http://www.amazon.com or get audio book @ the SRIBD App on Andriod or iPhone app stores.

The Author: John Mason is a national best-selling author, noted speaker, and executive author coach. He is the founder and president of Insight International and Insight Publishing Group. He has authored twenty-five books including “An Enemy Called Average,” “You’re Born an Original Don’t Die a Copy,” and “Know Your Limits—Then Ignore Them” which have sold nearly two million copies and are translated into thirty-eight languages throughout the world. These books are widely known as a source of sound wisdom, genuine motivation, and practical principles. His writings have been published in Reader’s Digest along with numerous other national publications. And seven of his books have reached the #1 spot on Amazon best-seller lists. Known for his quick wit, powerful thoughts, and insightful ideas, he is a popular speaker across the U.S. and around the world

 

My 2019 Books: Mid-Year Book Tag

Welcome to the second half of 2019!

Half year reviews are quite popular on booktube ( They are called Mid-year Book Tag Freak Out by booktubers) and I love the concept so I have decided to join the bandwagon. It is basically a recap of books that you have read in the first half of the year and you do this by answering 13 questions.

I am really pleased that I am right on track with my 2019 book challenge which is twice the number of books I read last year. I am hoping to exceed my target this year like I did last year but let’s see how it goes. Wish me luck!

  1. Best Book I read this half year: I have read a number of really good books this half year but the book that really stood out for me was ‘The Tattooist of Auschwitz’ by Heather Morris. I listened to the audio book and it was a fantastic experience. I love, love, love.

the tatooist of austwich

2. Best Sequel I have read this year: I haven’t read any sequel yet this half year but I have some on my TBR waiting on my night stand and I hope to get around to read them soonest.

3. New release I haven’t read but I want to: This would probably be ‘I’ll keep Loving You’ by Tope Omotosho. It was recently published and I have not gotten around to reading it. It is a sequel to a book I read last year and I am curious to know how the writer has extended the story line further.

i'll keep loving you

4. The most anticipated book to be read when it is released: ‘A Broken People Playlist’ by Chimeka Garricks

5. Biggest disappointment for the year: My biggest disappointment was ‘Educated’ by Tara Westover. The book was over hyped in my opinion and totally missed the mark for me.

educated by tara westover
Educated by Tara Westover

6. The Biggest Surprise: My biggest surprise was ‘International Sisi Eko and Other Stories’ compiled by Hope Eghagha and Karen King-Aribisala. I didn’t like the cover and also for some reason didn’t expect much from the collection of stories but to my surprise, it turned out to be a very enjoyable read. I was pleasantly surprised.

international sisi eko

7. New Favorite author: I would pick Angela Hunt as I plan to read more of her books.

8. New fictional crush: Unfortunately, I don’t have any yet.

9. New favorite character: Lale Sokolov in ‘The Tattooist of Auschwitz’ by Heather Moris

10. The book that made you cry: Non have made me cry so far.

11. The book that made you happy: ‘The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenberk by Bethany Turner. Happy book, funny book, happy ending! I loved it and I would definitely read it again.

The secret life of Sarah Hollenbeck

12. The most beautiful book you have bought this year: ‘Of Women and Frogs’ by Bisi Adjapon. I was drawn to this book because I loved the cover. It is one of the few books I have pre-ordered this year and it wasn’t a bad read either.

of women and frogs

13. Books that you need to read by the end of the year: Wow! This is a really long list but I will list a few…..

  • The Immortal by Amy Kuivalainen
  • Everything is F*cked – A book about hope by Mark Mason
  • The Woman in the Mirror by A. J. Finn
  • I’ll Keep Loving You by Tope Omotosho
  • An Orchestra of Minorities by Chigozie Obioma
  • A Conspiracy of Ravens by Othuke Ominiabohs
  • The Wide Acre Trilogy (Wide Acre, Favored Child and Meridon) by Philippa Gregory
  • A Lineage of Grace by Francine Rivers
  • Total Money makeover by Dave Ramsey
  • A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
  • etc…..

Book Review: Risen – The Novelization of the Major Motion Picture by Angela Hunt

“Love, Clavius. I loved you enough to present my blood as your sin offering. Enough to give my life as your peace offering. forgiveness is yours, if only you will accept it”. “It can not be that simple”, I argued. Even the Jews know that a man has to live a holy life, do certain things, offer sacrifices——-“. “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me” Yeshua said.

I bought this book a week to Easter because I wanted to read something that would remind me of Christ’s passion for all mankind. Unfortunately, life happened and I didn’t get to read it until now but it’s better late than never!

I thoroughly enjoyed this book from start to finish. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen the movie yet so I can not tell if the book represented the movie well enough. Nevertheless, it was a really good read to say the least. As a Christian, the resurrection of Christ is the foundation of my faith. Therefore, reading a story which brings in the historical and cultural events and facts around the time Yeshua (Jesus) was crucified and resurrected from the dead, gave me a better insight of the Gospels in the Bible.

The story is told from the eyes of a Roman Soldier, Clavius and a Jewish widow, Rachael. Clavius, the Tribune, has been directed by Pilate to investigate the rumor about the missing body of Yeshua who was crucified three days earlier and was threatening to cause a possible unrest in Jerusalem. Clavius is determined to get to the bottom of this and his investigation leads him through a journey which leaves him a different man. Rachael who is a Jewish widow, encounters Yeshua as he carries his cross to be crucified and follows the crowd to watch his crucifixion. The experience drives her to seek answers to many questions about Yeshua especially with the strange news of his resurrection. Clavius and Rachael experience Yeshua’s love in different ways that change their lives and understanding of who God (Adonai) is and his expectations of us as his children.

I loved the way the story was told from the eyes of a Jew and a gentile and how they both came to “believe” in the truth. The little touch of romance also spiced it up so well for me however, I was disappointed at how that panned out in the end but ‘God’s ways are not our ways’ so I accept that part of the story with a heavy heart. Both fictional and biblical characters in the story were well developed and this made the story come alive. ‘Risen’ is another reminder of God’s love and compassion towards us. A confirmation that there is no favoritism with God.

“While we were yet sinners, God sent his only Son to die so that we can be saved only if we believe”. God’s arms are always wide open. It doesn’t matter what you have done or not done, his love covers a multitude of sins. Accept the gift of salvation, through the death and resurrection of Christ and enjoy the freedom God has freely given to all men.

I rate this book a solid 4.5 stars and I recommend it to everyone. Please go out and get it!

Published: December, 2015 by Bethany House Publishers

Pages: 320

Genre: Christian Fiction/Historical Fiction

The Author: Christy-Award winner Angela Hunt writes for readers who have learned to expect the unexpected in novels from this versatile author. With over three million copies of her books sold worldwide, she is the best-selling author of more than 100 works ranging from picture books (The Tale of Three Trees) to novels. Now that her two children have reached their thirties, Angie and her husband live in Florida with Very Big Dogs (a direct result of watching Turner and Hooch and Sandlot too many times). This affinity for mastiffs has not been without its rewards–one of their dogs was featured on Live with Regis and Kelly as the second-largest canine in America. Their dog received this dubious honor after an all-expenses-paid trip to Manhattan for the dog and the Hunts, complete with VIP air travel and a stretch limo in which they toured New York City. Afterward, the dog gave out pawtographs at the airport. Angela admits to being fascinated by animals, medicine, psychology, unexplained phenomena, and “just about everything” except sports. Books, she says, have always shaped her life— in the fifth grade she learned how to flirt from reading Gone with the Wind. Her books have won the coveted Christy Award, several Angel Awards from Excellence in Media, and the Gold and Silver Medallions from Foreword Magazine’s Book of the Year Award. In 2007, her novel The Note was featured as a Christmas movie on the Hallmark channel. Romantic Times Book Club presented her with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006. In 2006, Angela completed her Master of Biblical Studies in Theology degree and completed her second doctorate in 2015. When she’s not home reading or writing, Angie often travels to teach writing workshops at schools and writers’ conferences. And to talk about her dogs, of course.

Purchase: www.amazon.com/risenbyangelahunt

or on Instagram from @sepherbooks

July 2019: Top 10 New Books For This Month

Welcome July! This new month is promising us some fantastic reads that will soon be on the book stands. Be the first to grab a copy of any of these Top 10 highly rated books coming out this month. This list has a variety of genres and there is something for everyone.

  1. The Bookish Life of Nia Hill by Abbi Waxmanthe bookish life

Expected Publication Date: July 9th, 2019 by Berkeley

Pages: 352

Genre: Fiction

Publisher’s Blurb: The only child of a single mother, Nina has her life just as she wants it: a job in a bookstore, a kick-butt trivia team, a world-class planner and a cat named Phil. If she sometimes suspects there might be more to life than reading, she just shrugs and picks up a new book. When the father Nina never knew existed suddenly dies, leaving behind innumerable sisters, brothers, nieces, and nephews, Nina is horrified. They all live close by! They’re all–or mostly all–excited to meet her! She’ll have to Speak. To. Strangers. It’s a disaster! And as if that wasn’t enough, Tom, her trivia nemesis, has turned out to be cute, funny, and deeply interested in getting to know her. Doesn’t he realize what a terrible idea that is? Nina considers her options.
1. Completely change her name and appearance. (Too drastic, plus she likes her hair.)
2. Flee to a deserted island. (Hard pass, see: coffee).
3. Hide in a corner of her apartment and rock back and forth. (Already doing it.)

It’s time for Nina to come out of her comfortable shell, but she isn’t convinced real life could ever live up to fiction. It’s going to take a brand-new family, a persistent suitor, and the combined effects of ice cream and trivia to make her turn her own fresh page.

Purchasewww.amazon.com/thebookishlifeofninahill

2. The Gifted School by Bruce Holsingerthe gifted school

Expected Publication Date: July 2nd, 2019 by Riverhead

Pages: 304

Genre: Fiction

Publisher’s Blurb: Smart and juicy, a compulsively readable novel about a previously happy group of friends and parents that is nearly destroyed by their own competitiveness when an exclusive school for gifted children opens in the community. This deliciously sharp novel captures the relentless ambitions and fears that animate parents and their children in modern America, exploring the conflicts between achievement and potential, talent and privilege. Set in the fictional town of Crystal, Colorado, The Gifted School is a keenly entertaining novel that observes the drama within a community of friends and parents as good intentions and high ambitions collide in a pile-up with long-held secrets and lies. Seen through the lens of four families who’ve been a part of one another’s lives since their kids were born over a decade ago, the story reveals not only the lengths that some adults are willing to go to get ahead, but the effect on the group’s children, sibling relationships, marriages, and careers, as simmering resentments come to a boil and long-buried, explosive secrets surface and detonate. It’s a humorous, keenly observed, timely take on ambitious parents, willful kids, and the pursuit of prestige, no matter the cost.

Purchase: www.amazon.com/thegiftedschool

3. The Nickel Boys by Colson Whiteheadthe nickel boys

Expected Publication Date: 16th July, 2019 by Doubleday

Pages: 224

Genre: Historical fiction

Publisher’s Blurb: Colson Whitehead brilliantly dramatizes another strand of American history through the story of two boys sentenced to a hellish reform school in Jim Crow-era Florida. As the Civil Rights movement begins to reach the black enclave of Frenchtown in segregated Tallahassee, Elwood Curtis takes the words of Dr. Martin Luther King to heart: He is “as good as anyone.” Abandoned by his parents, but kept on the straight and narrow by his grandmother, Elwood is about to enroll in the local black college. But for a black boy in the Jim Crow South in the early 1960s, one innocent mistake is enough to destroy the future. Elwood is sentenced to a juvenile reformatory called The Nickel Academy, whose mission statement says it provides “physical, intellectual and moral training” so the delinquent boys in their charge can become “honorable and honest men.”In reality, The Nickel Academy is a grotesque chamber of horrors, where the sadistic staff beats and sexually abuses the students, corrupt officials and locals steal food and supplies, and any boy who resists is likely to disappear “out back.” Stunned to find himself in such a vicious environment, Elwood tries to hold on to Dr. King’s ringing assertion “Throw us in jail and we will still love you.” His friend Turner thinks Elwood is worse than naive, that the world is crooked and the only way to survive is to scheme and avoid trouble. The tension between Elwood’s ideals and Turner’s skepticism leads to a decision whose repercussions will echo down the decades. Formed in the crucible of the evils Jim Crow wrought, the boys’ fates will be determined by what they endured at The Nickel Academy. Based on the real story of a reform school in Florida that operated for one hundred and eleven years and warped the lives of thousands of children, The Nickel Boys is a devastating, driven narrative.

Purchasewww.amazon.com/thenickelboys

4. Wilder Girls by Rory Powerwilder girls

Expected Publication Date: July 9th, 2019 by Delacorte Press

Pages: 368

Genre: Fiction (Sapphic Horror)

Publisher’s Blurb: It’s been eighteen months since the Raxter School for Girls was put under quarantine. Since the Tox hit and pulled Hetty’s life out from under her. It started slow. First the teachers died one by one. Then it began to infect the students, turning their bodies strange and foreign. Now, cut off from the rest of the world and left to fend for themselves on their island home, the girls don’t dare wander outside the school’s fence, where the Tox has made the woods wild and dangerous. They wait for the cure they were promised as the Tox seeps into everything. But when Byatt goes missing, Hetty will do anything to find her, even if it means breaking quarantine and braving the horrors that lie beyond the fence. And when she does, Hetty learns that there’s more to their story, to their life at Raxter, than she could have ever thought true.

Purchase: www.amazon.com/wildergirls

5. Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jacksonnever have i ever

Expected Publication Date: July 30th, 2019 by William Morrow

Pages: 352

Genre: Fiction (Thriller)

Publisher’s Blurb: Amy Whey is proud of her ordinary life and the simple pleasures that come with it—teaching diving lessons, baking cookies for new neighbors, helping her best friend, Charlotte, run their local book club. Her greatest joy is her family: her devoted professor husband, her spirited fifteen-year-old stepdaughter, her adorable infant son. And, of course, the steadfast and supportive Charlotte. But Amy’s sweet, uncomplicated life begins to unravel when the mysterious and alluring Angelica Roux arrives on her doorstep one book club night. Sultry and magnetic, Roux beguiles the group with her feral charm. She keeps the wine flowing and lures them into a game of spilling secrets. Everyone thinks it’s naughty, harmless fun. Only Amy knows better. Something wicked has come her way—a she-devil in a pricey red sports car who seems to know the terrible truth about who she is and what she once did. When they’re alone, Roux tells her that if she doesn’t give her what she asks for, what she deserves, she’s going to make Amy pay for her sins. One way or another. To protect herself and her family and save the life she’s built, Amy must beat the devil at her own clever game, matching wits with Roux in an escalating war of hidden pasts and unearthed secrets. Amy knows the consequences if she can’t beat Roux. What terrifies her is everything she could lose if she wins. A diabolically entertaining tale of betrayal, deception, temptation, and love filled with dark twists leavened by Joshilyn Jackson’s trademark humor, Never Have I Ever explores what happens when the transgressions of our past come back with a vengeance.

Purchasewww.amazon.com/neverhaveiever

6. The Golden Hour by Beatriz Williamsthe golden hour

Expected Publication Date: July 9th, 2019 by William Morrow

Pages: 480

Genre: Historical Fiction

Publisher’s Blurb: The Bahamas, 1941. Newly-widowed Leonora “Lulu” Randolph arrives in Nassau to investigate the Governor and his wife for a New York society magazine. After all, American readers have an insatiable appetite for news of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, that glamorous couple whose love affair nearly brought the British monarchy to its knees five years earlier. What more intriguing backdrop for their romance than a wartime Caribbean paradise, a colonial playground for kingpins of ill-gotten empires? Or so Lulu imagines. But as she infiltrates the Duke and Duchess’s social circle, and the powerful cabal that controls the islands’ political and financial affairs, she uncovers evidence that beneath the glister of Wallis and Edward’s marriage lies an ugly—and even treasonous—reality. In fact, Windsor-era Nassau seethes with spies, financial swindles, and racial tension, and in the middle of it all stands Benedict Thorpe: a scientist of tremendous charm and murky national loyalties. Inevitably, the willful and wounded Lulu falls in love. Then Nassau’s wealthiest man is murdered in one of the most notorious cases of the century, and the resulting coverup reeks of royal privilege. Benedict Thorpe disappears without a trace, and Lulu embarks on a journey to London and beyond to unpick Thorpe’s complicated family history: a fateful love affair, a wartime tragedy, and a mother from whom all joy is stolen. The stories of two unforgettable women thread together in this extraordinary epic of espionage, sacrifice, human love, and human courage, set against a shocking true crime . . . and the rise and fall of a legendary royal couple.

Purchasewww.amazon.com/thegoldenhour

7. God’s of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Expected Publication Date: July 23rd, 2019 by Del Rey

Pages: 352

Genre: Historical Fiction (Fantasy)

Publisher’s Blurb: The Mayan God of Death sends a young woman on a harrowing, life-changing journey in this dark fairy tale inspired by Mexican folklore, for readers of The Song of Achilles and Uprooted. Here we shall begin to tell a story: a tale of a throne lost, of monsters and magic. A tale of gods and of the shadow realm. But this, our story, it begins in our world, in the land of mortals. It begins with a woman. For this story, it is her story. It begins with her. The Jazz Age is in full swing, but Casiopea Tun is too busy cleaning the floors of her wealthy grandfather’s house to listen to any fast tunes. Nevertheless, she dreams of a life far from her dusty, small town in southern Mexico. A life she can call her own. Yet this new life seems as distant as the stars, until the day she finds a curious wooden box in her grandfather’s room. She opens it–and accidentally frees the spirit of the Mayan God of Death, who requests her help in recovering his throne from his treacherous brother. Failure will mean Casiopea’s demise, but success could make her dreams come true. In the company of the strangely alluring god and armed with her wits, Casiopea begins an adventure that will take her on a cross-country odyssey, from the jungles of Yucatán to the bright lights of Mexico City–and deep into the darkness of the Mayan underworld. Mixing the excitement of the Roaring Twenties with Prehispanic mythology, Gods of Jade and Shadow is a vivid, wildly imaginative historical fantasy.

Purchase: www.amazon.com/Godsofjadeandshadow

8. Three Women by Lisa Taddeothree women

Expected Publication Date: July 9th, 2019 by Avid Reader Press / Simon Schuster

Pages: 320

Genre: Non-Fiction

Publisher’s Blurb: Desire as we’ve never seen it before: a riveting true story about the sex lives of three real American women, based on nearly a decade of reporting. It thrills us and torments us. It controls our thoughts, destroys our lives, and it’s all we live for. Yet we almost never speak of it. And as a buried force in our lives, desire remains largely unexplored — until now. Over the past eight years, journalist Lisa Taddeo has driven across the country six times to embed herself with ordinary women from different regions and backgrounds. The result, Three Women, is the deepest nonfiction portrait of desire ever written and one of the most anticipated books of the year. We begin in suburban Indiana with Lina, a homemaker and mother of two whose marriage, after a decade, has lost its passion. She passes her days cooking and cleaning for a man who refuses to kiss her on the mouth, protesting that “the sensation offends” him. To Lina’s horror, even her marriage counselor says her husband’s position is valid. Starved for affection, Lina battles daily panic attacks. When she reconnects with an old flame through social media, she embarks on an affair that quickly becomes all-consuming. In North Dakota we meet Maggie, a seventeen-year-old high school student who finds a confidant in her handsome, married English teacher. By Maggie’s account, supportive nightly texts and phone calls evolve into a clandestine physical relationship, and he promises that they’ll skip school on her eighteenth birthday and make love all day. Instead, he breaks up with her on the morning he turns thirty. A few years later, Maggie has no degree, no career, and no dreams to live for. When she learns that this man has been named North Dakota’s Teacher of the Year, she steps forward with her story, turning their quiet community upside down. Finally, in an exclusive enclave of the Northeast, we meet Sloane — a gorgeous, successful, and refined restaurant owner — who is happily married to a man who likes to watch her have sex with other men and women. He picks out partners for her alone or for a threesome, and she ensures that everyone’s needs are satisfied. For years, Sloane has been asking herself where her husband’s desire ends and hers begins. One day, they invite a new man into their bed — but he brings a secret with him that will finally force Sloane to confront the uneven power dynamics that fuel their lifestyle. Based on years of immersive reporting, and told with astonishing frankness and immediacy, Three Women is a groundbreaking portrait of erotic longing in today’s America, exposing the fragility, complexity, and inequality of female desire with unprecedented depth and emotional power. It is both a feat of journalism and a triumph of storytelling, brimming with nuance and empathy, that introduces us to three unforgettable women — and one remarkable writer — whose experiences remind us that we are not alone.

Purchase: www.amazon.com/threewomen

9. Lock Every Door by Riley Sugarlock every door

Expected Publication Date: July 2nd, 2019 by Dutton

Pages: 384

Genre: Fiction (Thriller)

Publisher’s Blurb: No visitors. No nights spent away from the apartment. No disturbing the other residents, all of whom are rich or famous or both. These are the only rules for Jules Larsen’s new job as an apartment sitter at the Bartholomew, one of Manhattan’s most high-profile and mysterious buildings. Recently heartbroken and just plain broke, Jules is taken in by the splendor of her surroundings and accepts the terms, ready to leave her past life behind. As she gets to know the residents and staff of the Bartholomew, Jules finds herself drawn to fellow apartment sitter Ingrid, who comfortingly, disturbingly reminds her of the sister she lost eight years ago. When Ingrid confides that the Bartholomew is not what it seems and the dark history hidden beneath its gleaming facade is starting to frighten her, Jules brushes it off as a harmless ghost story . . . until the next day, when Ingrid disappears. Searching for the truth about Ingrid’s disappearance, Jules digs deeper into the Bartholomew’s dark past and into the secrets kept within its walls. Her discovery that Ingrid is not the first apartment sitter to go missing at the Bartholomew pits Jules against the clock as she races to unmask a killer, expose the building’s hidden past, and escape the Bartholomew before her temporary status becomes permanent.

Purchasewww.amazon.com/lockeverydoor

10. Dark Age (Red Rising Saga, #5) by Pierce Brown

Expected Publication Date: July 30th, 2019 by Del Rey

Pages: 704

Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy

Publisher’s Blurb: The #1 New York Times bestselling author of Morning Star returns to the Red Rising universe with the thrilling sequel to Iron Gold. For a decade Darrow led a revolution against the corrupt color-coded Society. Now, outlawed by the very Republic he founded, he wages a rogue war on Mercury in hopes that he can still salvage the dream of Eo. But as he leaves death and destruction in his wake, is he still the hero who broke the chains? Or will another legend rise to take his place? Lysander au Lune, the heir in exile, has returned to the Core. Determined to bring peace back to mankind at the edge of his sword, he must overcome or unite the treacherous Gold families of the Core and face down Darrow over the skies of war-torn Mercury. But theirs are not the only fates hanging in the balance. On Luna, Mustang, Sovereign of the Republic, campaigns to unite the Republic behind her husband. Beset by political and criminal enemies, can she outwit her opponents in time to save him? Once a Red refugee, young Lyria now stands accused of treason, and her only hope is a desperate escape with unlikely new allies. Abducted by a new threat to the Republic, Pax and Electra, the children of Darrow and Sevro, must trust in Ephraim, a thief, for their salvation—and Ephraim must look to them for his chance at redemption. As alliances shift, break, and re-form—and power is seized, lost, and reclaimed—every player is at risk in a game of conquest that could turn the Rising into a new Dark Age.

Purchase: www.amazon.com/darkage#5

Enjoy your reads this month!

Book Care: 5 Ways To Keep Your Books In Good Condition

If you are a bookaholic like me, books are probably one of your priced possessions. Ensuring that my books are well kept and will outlive me, is my ambition as it would all be a waste to have spent a lot of  money buying so many books when they will be destroyed and can not be used by another generation.

Here are 5 ways that have helped me keep my books in good condition and I am positive it will be of help to you too.

Book shelf

  1. Store your books in a book shelf: If you don’t already own a book shelf, then go and buy one. Shelve all your books preferably in an upright position and support them with bookends so they won’t slump. You can also decorate your book shelf with picture frames and other nice decorations. This would make you feel good, I promise you.

 

book care hands

     2. Always handle your books with clean hands: Don’t handle your books with dirty or stained hands. Always wash your hands before handling books to avoid stains. Doing this would make your books look unkept and old.
bookmarks

3. Use Bookmarks: Do not fold pages of your book while reading to mark pages. Always use a bookmark preferably a flat one. This will reduce the chances of wear and tear of the books.

 

picking out a book from the shelf

4. Pick up your book from the middle of the spine: Especially books stored on a book shelf, always hold the book from the middle of the spine (and not from the top) and pull out of the shelf carefully. This helps to preserve and keep the spine in place.

book under sunlight

5. Keep books away from direct sunlight:  Direct sunlight or any high intensity light are not good for your books as they cause fading of paper and colors. Books should be stored in places with good lighting which enhances the lifespan of the books.

 

So if you are not already practicing the above tips, what are you waiting for? Let’s keep those beautiful books in good shape!

 

RBWNG

Book Review: After The Lie by Kerry Fisher

Kerry Fisher always seems to exceed my expectations with her stories, writing style and wit. This book held me spell bound and even with its 316 pages, I was through with it in one day despite all I was doing.

The story is about Lydia who is married to Mark with two kids and they have a pretty normal life together. The problem is that there is a big secret from Lydia’s past she has never told her husband or anybody else in her life. Lydia and her parents moved far away from their past and have never looked back probably hoping that it would never rear it’s ugly head but some things in life always have a way of showing up when you least expect it. When Sean (Lydia’s first love) moves to town with his family, it threatens Lydia’s perfect new life. The fear of being revealed drives Lydia into more deceit and in the end almost costs her everything she has worked so hard for (Trying not to give spoilers)

This story really got me thinking about how easy it is for two people to be in a relationship for years and still not really know much about themselves. Even a relationship as close as a marriage. At different times while reading this story I was so frustrated with Lydia as I kept on hoping (literarily screaming into the pages of my book) that she would tell Mark (a great husband, friend and father) the truth about her past and free herself from the guilt and pain but the thing is, the longer you stay back from telling the truth about anything, the harder it is to come clean. One little lie can spiral into a huge monster you can not control. Lydia had been married to Mark for about 20 years and this is too long a time to keep such a secret. I would have loved to blame her mother who was overbearing, judgmental and who constantly ensured that Lydia never forgot she was to blame for all that happened in their lives and she owed the family to keep her mouth shut. However, Lydia on the other hand, knew her husband well enough to know that he would have accepted her for who she was so I ultimately blame her.

I loved almost everything about this story. I only wished I could read faster so I would get to the end and know how it all ended as the suspense nearly killed me. Fortunately, I did get to the end and It was worth my time. The down side for me was that It seems to be the same theme as my last Kerry Fisher read ‘The Secret Child’. Yes this is a different story with colorful characters but generally about the same thing – keeping secrets that come back to haunt you later in life.

I highly recommend this book and also all Kerry Fisher books available. I find her an incredible author and I rate this book 4.5 stars!

 

Published: April, 2016 by Bookouture

Pages: 316

Genre: Fiction

Purchase on www.amazon.com/afterthelie

Author: Kerry Fisher is the bestselling author of five novels, including The Silent Wife and The Secret Child. She was born in Peterborough, studied French and Italian at the University of Bath and spent several years living in Spain, Italy and Corsica. She is married with two children and her dog.

My Top 7 Online Book Sellers

For those of us who prefer books to shoes, knowing the right book stores or book sellers to get our bookish fix from is a very essential part of our lives.

I have recently been asked by quite a few people about where and how I purchase most of the books I read and I have had to give each of them this information individually. Based on this, I have decided to put together a list of my top 7 online book sellers so anyone who may need this information can easily get it from here.

Why online? I find shopping online more convenient these days as getting to a bookshop in a very busy city like Lagos, Nigeria can be a hassle. All you need is an electronic device with internet access and you are good to go.

And they are……….

  1. http://www.amazon.com: Almost any and every book you can think of is on this site. This is my first “port of call” when I am looking books to buy and the book reviews also help you choose especially if you are not familiar with author. When I travel outside Nigeria, I mostly purchase books from amazon. However, amazon also ships to Nigeria so you can buy any book you can not purchase from any local book seller.
  2. http://www.bookpeddler.ng : This online book seller is also available on Instagram as @bookpeddlerng and also has a twitter handle. They have a good collection of both fiction and non fiction books and I find their service very professional and timely. This seller is highly recommended.
  3. http://www.rhbooks.com.ng : Roving Heights Books is not only an online book store but also has physical stores in Lagos and Abuja. They are also on Instagram as @rovingheights and you can make book orders either on the website or on Instagram. With a wide collection of books, it is one of my go-to book stores.
  4. TheBookmarketNg : You can make purchases from this seller on Instagram (@thebookmarket_ng), Facebook or Twitter on @thebookmarketng. They also have bookstands at Coco Café Abuja, Clever Kitchen Abuja, Nutrihit Café Abuja and Cofee Bar Abuja.
  5. Sepher Books: This is my one stop online store for Christian fiction books. You can make purchases by messaging them on their Instagram page @sepherbooks or call the phone number on the bio. They have a wide range of books to choose from and the service is superb!
  6. http://www.kawebooks.com: Kawe Books sell a wide variety of books written by African and mostly Nigerian authors. They also have a variety of Nigerian school text books for Secondary school pupils. They are also available on Instagram @kawebooks and on twitter.
  7. SCRIBD.com: With the SCRIBD App on your electronic device, you will fall in love with audio and ebooks. Subscribing to this app has helped me to read more books on the go. The App is available on the Apple App Store and also on Playstore  for android phones.

So Bookworms, You can check out any of these awesome booksellers for your book fix any day, anytime. Enjoy your book shopping!

Book Review: It’s Not about The Burqa Edited by Mariam Khan

“Wavering between that (and this), (belonging) neither to these nor to those”  – Suruh Nisa 4:143

It’s not about the Burqa is a book that expresses the different  experiences of 1st/2nd generation immigrant Muslim women of color in Britain. This anthology of 17 essays written by Muslim women aims at giving them an opportunity to have a voice and speak for themselves as they have always been spoken over or left out in conversations pertaining to their lives.

As a Muslim woman of color, a mother, a professional, a northern Nigerian and an African, this collection of essays represent diverse expressions of our story as Muslim women and how we go through our individual struggles in life with cultural expectations, religious expectations and societal presumptions of who we are and should be. It touches on the struggle of women to be seen, heard and understood especially in a society where others are telling our narrative when they have not walked in our shoes.

For the first time, I am reading stories which reveal the daily struggles of educated/professional Muslim women who are overwhelmed with the process of finding a fit in this myriad of the different parts of themselves and still go ahead to make a difference in their communities. . Being a Geoscientist, I am naturally adventurous and analytical and I would prefer to be seen and known as “ME”, I would like people to see me and other women like me beyond the way we dress. To acknowledge that we are all the same in many ways and different in ways that we may never be able to comprehend but try to have empathy and throw our assumptions and judgements to the wind. To know that these women are heroines in their own rights and need to be seen and heard as such.

These stories do not only bother on Muslim women but on anyone who is going through life’s challenges and fighting the fight to overcome. My favorites in the collection are: The Clothes of My Faith, Life was Before I was Woke, A Woman of Substance, Hijabi (R)evolution, Feminism Needs to Die and There’s No such thing as a Depressed Muslim.

This is a powerful book on self awareness, acceptance and making a positive difference in people’s lives. I rate it 4 stars and highly recommend it to everyone.

“Writing is dangerous because we are afraid of what the writing reveals: the fears, the angers, the strengths of a woman under a triple or quadruple oppression. Yet in that very act lies our survival because a woman who writes has power. And a woman with power is feared.1”
Mariam Khan, It’s Not About the Burqa: Muslim Women on Faith, Feminism, Sexuality and Race

Published: February 2019 by Picador

Pages: 272

Genre: Anthology (Non-Fiction)

Author: Mariam Khan is an intersectional feminist, diversity-in-books pusher and freelance writer. She is the editor of It’s Not About the Burqa, an anthology of essays by Muslim women.

Purchase: www.amazon.com/it’s not about the burqa

or on instagram from @rovingheights (Roving Heights Bookstore)

Guest Contributor: Aisha MusaAisha Musa

Aisha is a devout Nigerian Muslim, Geoscientist and mother. She loves reading both fiction and non-fiction books in her spare time, going on field expeditions and interacting with like – minds. She is an emerging voice for women’s development and empowerment especially in third world countries and strives to be a dependable role model to career women and mothers alike. She lives in Lagos, Nigeria with her family.

Book Review: Lagos Noir Edited by Chris Abani

“You’ll recall the evening of her first transgression and that you had forgotten about her being half naked in your bedroom, trying on your clothes. And you’d despised yourself on this. You’d wished you had not stayed quite, had not walked over to your side of the bedroom and picked up your phone from the dresser, when you should have slapped the girl across the room. Your mother always said you had a heart like an akara – you could go through fire and remain soft. Turns out your mother was right”.

JOY by Wale Lawal…… Surulere

Another collection of short stories done and dusted. After reading International Sisi Eko,  I decided to continue on the short stories route as my time for reading in the past month has been limited.

Lagos Noir is a collection of 13 short stories about Lagos, Nigeria with a noir theme ( a genre of crime film or fiction characterized by cynicism, fatalism and moral ambiguity). This collection paints vivid pictures of the dark side of Lagos from different parts of the city and my favorites will be Joy, Heaven’s Gate, Eden, Choir Boy and Killer Ape.

It wasn’t a captivating read especially the introduction which I found a bit disjointed. I was only  able to finish reading this book because I didn’t read the book in a chronological manner. This helped me as I abandoned stories that were not catchy at the beginning and looked for another interesting one depending on my mood. I eventually succeeded in reading all the stories in the end  and I am grateful I did.

As someone who is not a fan of the Noir theme, I may be biased in my critic of this book however, I think if some of the stories were better structured with well developed characters, it wouldn’t have mattered whether I like the genre or not.

I am rating this book a 3 stars particularly because of my top three stories,  Joy, Heaven’s Gate and Eden, If not I would have given it a lower rating. If you like dark stories or noir themed books, then you may find this book interesting.

Published: June 2018 by Akashic Books

Pages: 224

Genre: Noir

Author: Christopher Abani (or Chris Abani) is a Nigerian author. He was a political prisoner in Nigeria at various times during 1985 and 1991. At times he was held in solitary confinement and he was held on death row for some time after being sentenced to death for treason. He is a Professor at the University of California, Riverside and the recipient of the PEN USA Freedom-to-Write Award, the 2001 Prince Claus Awards, a Lannan Literary Fellowship, a California Book Award, a Hurston-Wright Legacy Award and the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award. Selections of his poetry appear in the online journal Blackbird.

Purchase @ www.amazon.com/lagosnoir