Love for Worship.
Confidence for Pride,
Truth for Lies,
Meekness for Weakness,
Silence for Fear,
Self Control for Cowardice,
Sharing for Boasting,
Openness for Naivety,
Fashionable for Attention Seeking,
Hard Work for Eye Service
Success for Luck,
Contentment for Laziness,
Generosity for Foolishness,
Courage for Rudeness,
Introverted for Snobbish,
Bookish for Nerdish,
The Fear of God for the Fear of Them!
In my life, I’ve always yearned for,
Someone so strong,
To love and to care for me,
And in my heart, I’ve prepared,
A place so warm,
To welcome this dream,
Then you came into my life,
Loving me like no one could,
Making my dream true,
You are my dream, You are my world,
You are my one, my whole, my all,
You give me love, you give me joy,
And you will always be the one,
My only dream…
Featured image: A lovely dream by Evelyn Hamilton
Words heal, Words Kill,
Words Live, Words Cleave,
To the ears that receive,
To the heart that gives,
Like a two edged sword,
Like a soothing balm,
Like a broken record,
Like the air we breath,
In the hearts they warm,
In the hearts they break,
They speak life,
They speak death,
I hear the clock ticking,
I am playing in the sand,
I hear the school bell ring,
I dance for my mum and dad,
I am afraid,
I am a liar,
I have my first kiss,
I break his heart,
I party till I drop,
I learn the hard way,
I yearn for him,
I walk with God,
I get him back,
I lose a child,
I lose a sister,
I am blessed with children,
I am afraid,
He breaks my heart,
I lose myself,
I jump off a plane,
I lose my mother,
I turn to God,
I find myself,
I have no fear,
I look back,
I look ahead,
This is my Time!
My Sister The serial Killer was a quick, fun, read packed with dark humor. A story about two sisters raised by the same parents who suffered abuse from their father but turned out to have personalities as different as the way they looked. Ayoola, the beautiful younger sister who turned the heads of every man in sight and Korede, the responsible elder sister who seemed to always have her act together shared a bond which is not uncommon among siblings. However, the unusual thing here was that Ayoola killed her boyfriends while Korede helped her clean up the mess. Contrary to the publisher’s blurb, I didn’t think Korede was bitter or jealous of her beautiful sister Ayoola. Ok, maybe a bit jealous sometimes but I would rather say she was more co-dependent and a serious enabler to her sister than anything else. In a world where you are raised to always look out for and protect your siblings especially your younger siblings, it seemed almost natural for Korede to play the role she played in Ayoola’s life even if she was more affected by Ayoola’s actions than Ayoola herself. Unfortunately, I didn’t quite find a character I liked in the entire book. Korede May have been one to sympathize with but in my opinion she had so many opportunities to break free from her sister’s manipulation and stronghold. I also felt the book ended a bit abruptly, not the ending I expected or wished for but this is what fiction is all about. It takes you on a journey without a warning about how it will all end.
My favorite quotes from this book would be:
“I can’t pinpoint the exact moment I realized that Ayoola was beautiful and I was….. not. But what I do know is that I was aware of my own inadequacies long before”.
“No. You know nothing about me, or the woman you are about to propose to. And by the way, Ayoola would never wear a ring less than three carats. He stares at me as though I am speaking another language, the ring box still clutched in his hand. What a waste of time all this was”.
“He isn’t deep. All he wants is a pretty face. That’s all they ever want”.
If you love satires and dark humor, then this is a good book to read this holiday. Kudos to Oyinkan Braithwaite on this one! We are proud of you.
Published: December 2018 by Narrative Landscape Press
Purcahse @ http://www.narrativelandscape.com
P/s Please buy the Nigerian version of this book and help grow the naira.
The Author: OYINKAN BRAITHWAITE is a graduate of Creative Writing and Law from Kingston University. Following her degree, she worked as an assistant editor at Kachifo, a Nigerian publishing house, and has been freelancing as a writer and editor since. In 2014, she was shortlisted as a top-ten spoken-word artist in the Eko Poetry Slam, and in 2016 she was a finalist for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize. She lives in Lagos, Nigeria.
Published: 2018 by University Press Plc
Purchase @ http://www.fb.me/Mannequin.novel
Publisher’s Blurb: Mannequin is situated in the modern day oil-rich city of Port Harcourt, Nigeria, where a small percentage of the population live in affluence. The story tells of the subtle destruction of the lives of promising young people saddled with heavy financial burdens. While telling her story, the author beautifully weaves into it her deep knowledge of music and art.
My Thoughts: This book of only 74 pages is one that can be read in one sitting although it took me a while to get into the story. The story was set in the city of Port Harcourt where I was born and raised, therefore, the familiar names and places drove the story home and made it me quite real as if I actually knew some of the characters. Mannequin is a story which brings to light the difficulties young people face when they are pulled down by the hand of fate and have to live a life that they were not prepared for. Tekena a young promising university graduate, raised by an affluent family suddenly finds himself as the bread winner of his family when his father is incapacitated and can no longer provide for him and his siblings. The harsh reality of realizing that all your friends and well wishers who flocked around you when the going was good, are no where to be found can either make or break you. This was thought provoking for me as I begin to wonder if for any reason, my husband and I can no more care for our kids if they have the skills to cope with the harsh realities of life. This has made me to re-evaluate my strategy in the way I am raising my children. I am now determined to find and learn ways to equip them with survival skills that will help them if the going gets tough. If Tekena had these coping skills, he may have found it easier to manage his new reality and learn how to carry the burdens that came with it.
This book may interest mostly young adults and even parents like me who may find something to learn from the story as I did. Enjoy your day….
Published: February 2016 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Purchase on http://www.amazon.com
Publisher’s Blurb: Memory is an albino woman languishing in Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison in Harare, Zimbabwe, where she has been convicted of murder. As part of her appeal, her lawyer insists that she write down what happened as she remembers it. As her story unfolds, Memory reveals that she has been tried and convicted for the murder of Lloyd Hendricks, her adopted father. But who was Lloyd Hendricks? Why does Memory feel no remorse for his death? And did everything happen exactly as she remembers?
The Author: Petina Gappah is a Zimbabwean writer with law degrees from Cambridge, Graz University, and the University of Zimbabwe. Her short fiction and essays have been published in eight countries. She lives with her son Kush in Geneva, where she works as counsel in an international organisation that provides legal aid on international trade law to developing countries.
My Thoughts: This book has tarried long on my reading list for quite a number of months and I am so glad I picked it amongst the last five books to read before this year comes to a close. First of all, this book is so well written, easy to read and utterly descriptive. Memory could have been Nigerian for all I care and Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison one of the many prison facilities in Nigeria. African countries are so alike, its almost disturbing…. I could relate to Memory’s story on so many levels so much that I found humor in this sad but interesting narrative. This book, in one story was able to touch on so many issues such as racism, adoption, love, forgiveness, stigmatization, discrimination, politics and the decay of government facilities/infrastructure in Zimbabwe (Africa as a whole I would say). From the prison wardens, Synodia, Mathilda and Loveness to the inmates, Verity, Jimmy and Beulah, each character had a story to tell in the story. Memory’s life after she went to live with Lloyd was a blessing but still complicated as all things in life and yet most people envied her life with Llyod thinking it was a bed of roses with a cherry on top. In her journal Memory wrote” She does not understand how someone who once lived in such a mansion can so calmly sleep on a mattress on the floor of a prison cell or eat bread with green mould on it. I would like to tell her that poverty holds no terrors for me, because I have known it and I have conquered it. I want to tell her, but I am not sure she will understand it, that even the big mansions hold their secret miseries. I would like to tell her that they hold more of them because there is more room for them”.
In the end as always, I learnt a lot. I have learnt again, to be slow to pass judgement even on things that I see and I have evidence because sometimes, things are not always how they seem to be. If not, like Memory, you would spend your whole life believing something that wasn’t true and by the time you find out, it may be too late. From the book I quote memory again, ” My mind keeps going back to that memory of seeing Llyod hand over the bills, a false memory on which I have built the foundation of my life, or to put it more accurately, a true memory from which I have made false assumptions”.
I loved reading this book, please get a copy and read it. It will make you sad, laugh, cry and think hard. Enjoy……
As a follow up on my last post, we have not left out our non-fiction lovers. Here is a list of Amazon’s non-fiction bestsellers for 2018. You can look up these titles and save them for your holiday reading. Happy Holidays lovelies!
With extraordinary access to the West Wing, Michael Wolff reveals what happened behind-the-scenes in the first nine months of the most controversial presidency of our time in Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House. Since Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States, the country―and the world―has witnessed a stormy, outrageous, and absolutely mesmerizing presidential term that reflects the volatility and fierceness of the man elected Commander-in-Chief. This riveting and explosive account of Trump’s administration provides a wealth of new details about the chaos in the Oval Office, including:
— What President Trump’s staff really thinks of him
— What inspired Trump to claim he was wire-tapped by President Obama
— Why FBI director James Comey was really fired
— Why chief strategist Steve Bannon and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner couldn’t be in the same room
— Who is really directing the Trump administration’s strategy in the wake of Bannon’s firing
— What the secret to communicating with Trump is
— What the Trump administration has in common with the movie The Producers. Never before in history has a presidency so divided the American people. Brilliantly reported and astoundingly fresh, Fire and Fury shows us how and why Donald Trump has become the king of discord and disunion.
2. Girl Wash your Face by Rachel Hollis
With wry wit and hard-earned wisdom, popular online personality and founder of TheChicSite.com founder Rachel Hollis helps readers break free from the lies keeping them from the joy-filled and exuberant life they are meant to have. Founder of the lifestyle website TheChicSite.com and CEO of her own media company, Chic Media, Rachel Hollis has created an online fan base of hundreds of thousands of fans by sharing tips for living a better life while fearlessly revealing the messiness of her own. Now comes her highly anticipated first book featuring her signature combination of honesty, humor, and direct, no-nonsense advice. Each chapter of Girl, Wash Your Face begins with a specific lie Hollis once believed that left her feeling overwhelmed, unworthy, or ready to give up. As a working mother, a former foster parent, and a woman who has dealt with insecurities about her body and relationships, she speaks with the insight and kindness of a BFF, helping women unpack the limiting mind-sets that destroy their self-confidence and keep them from moving forward. From her temporary obsession with marrying Matt Damon to a daydream involving hypnotic iguanas to her son’s request that she buy a necklace to “be like the other moms,” Hollis holds nothing back. With unflinching faith and tenacity, Hollis spurs other women to live with passion and hustle and to awaken their slumbering goals.
3. Fear: Trump in the White House by Bob Woodward
With authoritative reporting honed through eight presidencies from Nixon to Obama, author Bob Woodward reveals in unprecedented detail the harrowing life inside President Donald Trump’s White House and precisely how he makes decisions on major foreign and domestic policies. Woodward draws from hundreds of hours of interviews with firsthand sources, meeting notes, personal diaries, files and documents. The focus is on the explosive debates and the decision-making in the Oval Office, the Situation Room, Air Force One and the White House residence. Fear is the most intimate portrait of a sitting president ever published during the president’s first years in office.
4. 12 Rules for Life by Jordan B. Peterson
What does everyone in the modern world need to know? Renowned psychologist Jordan B. Peterson’s answer to this most difficult of questions uniquely combines the hard-won truths of ancient tradition with the stunning revelations of cutting-edge scientific research. Humorous, surprising, and informative, Dr. Peterson tells us why skateboarding boys and girls must be left alone, what terrible fate awaits those who criticize too easily, and why you should always pet a cat when you meet one on the street. What does the nervous system of the lowly lobster have to tell us about standing up straight (with our shoulders back) and about success in life? Why did ancient Egyptians worship the capacity to pay careful attention as the highest of gods? What dreadful paths do people tread when they become resentful, arrogant, and vengeful? Dr. Peterson journeys broadly, discussing discipline, freedom, adventure, and responsibility, distilling the world’s wisdom into 12 practical and profound rules for life. 12 Rules for Life shatters the modern commonplaces of science, faith, and human nature while transforming and ennobling the mind and spirit of its listeners.
5. Becoming by Michelle Obama
In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America—the first African-American to serve in that role—she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare. In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms. Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations—and whose story inspires us to do the same.
6. The Subtle Art of not giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
In this generation-defining self-help guide, a superstar blogger cuts through the crap to show us how to stop trying to be “positive” all the time so that we can truly become better, happier people. For decades, we’ve been told that positive thinking is the key to a happy, rich life. “F**k positivity,” Mark Manson says. “Let’s be honest, shit is f**ked and we have to live with it.” In his wildly popular Internet blog, Manson doesn’t sugarcoat or equivocate. He tells it like it is—a dose of raw, refreshing, honest truth that is sorely lacking today. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k is his antidote to the coddling, let’s-all-feel-good mindset that has infected American society and spoiled a generation, rewarding them with gold medals just for showing up. Manson makes the argument, backed both by academic research and well-timed poop jokes, that improving our lives hinges not on our ability to turn lemons into lemonade, but on learning to stomach lemons better. Human beings are flawed and limited—”not everybody can be extraordinary, there are winners and losers in society, and some of it is not fair or your fault.” Manson advises us to get to know our limitations and accept them. Once we embrace our fears, faults, and uncertainties, once we stop running and avoiding and start confronting painful truths, we can begin to find the courage, perseverance, honesty, responsibility, curiosity, and forgiveness we seek. There are only so many things we can give a f**k about so we need to figure out which ones really matter, Manson makes clear. While money is nice, caring about what you do with your life is better, because true wealth is about experience. A much-needed grab-you-by-the-shoulders-and-look-you-in-the-eye moment of real-talk, filled with entertaining stories and profane, ruthless humor, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k is a refreshing slap for a generation to help them lead contented, grounded lives.
7. A Higher Loyalty by James Comey
Former FBI Director James Comey shares his never-before-told experiences from some of the highest-stakes situations of his career in the past two decades of American government, exploring what good, ethical leadership looks like, and how it drives sound decisions. His journey provides an unprecedented entry into the corridors of power, and a remarkable lesson in what makes an effective leader. Mr. Comey served as Director of the FBI from 2013 to 2017, appointed to the post by President Barack Obama. He previously served as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, and the U.S. deputy attorney general in the administration of President George W. Bush. From prosecuting the Mafia and Martha Stewart to helping change the Bush administration’s policies on torture and electronic surveillance, overseeing the Hillary Clinton e-mail investigation as well as ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, Comey has been involved in some of the most consequential cases and policies of recent history.
8. Educated by Tara Westover
Tara Westover was 17 the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her “head-for-the-hills bag”. In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged in her father’s junkyard. Her father forbade hospitals, so Tara never saw a doctor or nurse. Gashes and concussions, even burns from explosions, were all treated at home with herbalism. The family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education and no one to intervene when one of Tara’s older brothers became violent. Then, lacking any formal education, Tara began to educate herself. She taught herself enough mathematics and grammar to be admitted to Brigham Young University, where she studied history, learning for the first time about important world events like the Holocaust and the civil rights movement. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home. Educated is an account of the struggle for self-invention. It is a tale of fierce family loyalty and of the grief that comes with severing the closest of ties. With the acute insight that distinguishes all great writers, Westover has crafted a universal coming-of-age story that gets to the heart of what an education is and what it offers: the perspective to see one’s life through new eyes and the will to change it.
9. You are Badass by Jen Sincero
In this refreshingly entertaining how-to guide, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author and world-traveling success coach, Jen Sincero, serves up 27 bite-sized chapters full of hilariously inspiring stories, sage advice, easy exercises, and the occasional swear word. If you’re ready to make some serious changes around here, You Are a Badass will help you: Identify and change the self-sabotaging beliefs and behaviors that stop you from getting what you want, blast past your fears so you can take big exciting risks, figure out how to make some damn money already, learn to love yourself and others, set big goals and reach them – it will basically show you how to create a life you totally love, and how to create it now. By the end of You Are a Badass, you’ll understand why you are how you are, how to love what you can’t change, how to change what you don’t love, and how to use The Force to kick some serious ass.
10. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
You can go after the job you want…and get it! You can take the job you have…and improve it! You can take any situation you’re in…and make it work for you! Since its release in 1936, How to Win Friends and Influence People has sold more than 15 million copies. Dale Carnegie’s first book is a timeless bestseller, packed with rock-solid advice that has carried thousands of now famous people up the ladder of success in their business and personal lives. As relevant as ever before, Dale Carnegie’s principles endure, and will help you achieve your maximum potential in the complex and competitive modern age. Learn the six ways to make people like you, the twelve ways to win people to your way of thinking, and the nine ways to change people without arousing resentment.
Here’s a list of Amazon’s top 10 most sold books (fiction) for 2018, if you are still unsure of what you may want to spend the upcoming holidays reading. This can serve as a guide and help you choose. I haven’t read some of books on the list and I am already drawing up a Christmas reading list from here to snuggle up and read, with some tea of course…..
In the year 2045, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.
2. Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
Crazy Rich Asians is the outrageously funny debut novel about three super-rich, pedigreed Chinese families and the gossip, backbiting, and scheming that occurs when the heir to one of the most massive fortunes in Asia brings home his ABC (American-born Chinese) girlfriend to the wedding of the season.
When Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home, long drives to explore the island, and quality time with the man she might one day marry. What she doesn’t know is that Nick’s family home happens to look like a palace, that she’ll ride in more private planes than cars, and that with one of Asia’s most eligible bachelors on her arm, Rachel might as well have a target on her back. Initiated into a world of dynastic splendor beyond imagination, Rachel meets Astrid, the It Girl of Singapore society; Eddie, whose family practically lives in the pages of the Hong Kong socialite magazines; and Eleanor, Nick’s formidable mother, a woman who has very strong feelings about who her son should–and should not–marry. Uproarious, addictive, and filled with jaw-dropping opulence, Crazy Rich Asians is an insider’s look at the Asian JetSet; a perfect depiction of the clash between old money and new money; between Overseas Chinese and Mainland Chinese; and a fabulous novel about what it means to be young, in love, and gloriously, crazily rich.
3. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
Everyone in Shaker Heights was talking about it that summer: how Isabelle, the last of the Richardson children, had finally gone around the bend and burned the house down.
In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is meticulously planned – from the layout of the winding roads, to the colours of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules.
Enter Mia Warren – an enigmatic artist and single mother – who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenage daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than just tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the alluring mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past, and a disregard for the rules that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.
When the Richardsons’ friends attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town and puts Mia and Mrs. Richardson on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Mrs. Richardson becomes determined to uncover the secrets in Mia’s past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs to her own family – and Mia’s.
Little Fires Everywhere explores the weight of long-held secrets and the ferocious pull of motherhood-and the danger of believing that planning and following the rules can avert disaster, or heartbreak.
4. The President is Missing by Bill Clinton & James Patterson
As the novel opens, a threat looms. Enemies are planning an attack of unprecedented scale on America. Uncertainty and fear grip Washington. There are whispers of cyberterror and espionage and a traitor in the cabinet. The President himself becomes a suspect, and then goes missing… Set in real time, over the course of three days, The President Is Missing is one of the most dramatic thrillers in decades. And it could all really happen. The President Is Missing is Bill Clinton and James Patterson’s totally authentic and spellbinding thriller.
5. Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate
For readers of Orphan Train and The Nightingale comes a “thought-provoking [and] complex tale about two families, two generations apart . . . based on a notorious true-life scandal.”*Memphis, 1939. Twelve-year-old Rill Foss and her four younger siblings live a magical life aboard their family’s Mississippi River shantyboat. But when their father must rush their mother to the hospital one stormy night, Rill is left in charge—until strangers arrive in force. Wrenched from all that is familiar and thrown into a Tennessee Children’s Home Society orphanage, the Foss children are assured that they will soon be returned to their parents—but they quickly realize the dark truth. At the mercy of the facility’s cruel director, Rill fights to keep her sisters and brother together in a world of danger and uncertainty. Aiken, South Carolina, present day. Born into wealth and privilege, Avery Stafford seems to have it all: a successful career as a federal prosecutor, a handsome fiancé, and a lavish wedding on the horizon. But when Avery returns home to help her father weather a health crisis, a chance encounter leaves her with uncomfortable questions and compels her to take a journey through her family’s long-hidden history, on a path that will ultimately lead either to devastation or to redemption. Based on one of America’s most notorious real-life scandals—in which Georgia Tann, director of a Memphis-based adoption organization, kidnapped and sold poor children to wealthy families all over the country—Lisa Wingate’s riveting, wrenching, and ultimately uplifting tale reminds us how, even though the paths we take can lead to many places, the heart never forgets where we belong.
6. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling
Harry Potter’s life is miserable. His parents are dead and he’s stuck with his heartless relatives, who force him to live in a tiny closet under the stairs. But his fortune changes when he receives a letter that tells him the truth about himself: he’s a wizard. A mysterious visitor rescues him from his relatives and takes him to his new home, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. After a lifetime of bottling up his magical powers, Harry finally feels like a normal kid. But even within the Wizarding community, he is special. He is the boy who lived: the only person to have ever survived a killing curse inflicted by the evil Lord Voldemort, who launched a brutal takeover of the Wizarding world, only to vanish after failing to kill Harry. Though Harry’s first year at Hogwarts is the best of his life, not everything is perfect. There is a dangerous secret object hidden within the castle walls, and Harry believes it’s his responsibility to prevent it from falling into evil hands. But doing so will bring him into contact with forces more terrifying than he ever could have imagined. Full of sympathetic characters, wildly imaginative situations, and countless exciting details, the first installment in the series assembles an unforgettable magical world and sets the stage for many high-stakes adventures to come.
7. The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn
Anna Fox lives alone—a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times . . . and spying on her neighbors. Then the Russells move into the house across the way: a father, a mother, their teenage son. The perfect family. But when Anna, gazing out her window one night, sees something she shouldn’t, her world begins to crumble—and its shocking secrets are laid bare. What is real? What is imagined? Who is in danger? Who is in control? In this diabolically gripping thriller, no one—and nothing—is what it seems.
8. The Outsider by Stephen King
An unspeakable crime. A confounding investigation. At a time when the King brand has never been stronger, he has delivered one of his most unsettling and compulsively readable stories. An eleven-year-old boy’s violated corpse is found in a town park. Eyewitnesses and fingerprints point unmistakably to one of Flint City’s most popular citizens. He is Terry Maitland, Little League coach, English teacher, husband, and father of two girls. Detective Ralph Anderson, whose son Maitland once coached, orders a quick and very public arrest. Maitland has an alibi, but Anderson and the district attorney soon add DNA evidence to go with the fingerprints and witnesses. Their case seems ironclad. As the investigation expands and horrifying answers begin to emerge, King’s propulsive story kicks into high gear, generating strong tension and almost unbearable suspense. Terry Maitland seems like a nice guy, but is he wearing another face? When the answer comes, it will shock you as only Stephen King can.
9. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she lived and made love with her husband, Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now.
10. The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
Ernt Allbright, a former POW, comes home from the Vietnam war a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes an impulsive decision: he will move his family north, to Alaska, where they will live off the grid in America’s last true frontier. Thirteen-year-old Leni, a girl coming of age in a tumultuous time, caught in the riptide of her parents’ passionate, stormy relationship, dares to hope that a new land will lead to a better future for her family. She is desperate for a place to belong. Her mother, Cora, will do anything and go anywhere for the man she loves, even if it means following him into the unknown At first, Alaska seems to be the answer to their prayers. In a wild, remote corner of the state, they find a fiercely independent community of strong men and even stronger women. The long, sunlit days and the generosity of the locals make up for the Allbrights’ lack of preparation and dwindling resources. But as winter approaches and darkness descends on Alaska, Ernt’s fragile mental state deteriorates and the family begins to fracture. Soon the perils outside pale in comparison to threats from within. In their small cabin, covered in snow, blanketed in eighteen hours of night, Leni and her mother learn the terrible truth: they are on their own. In the wild, there is no one to save them but themselves. In this unforgettable portrait of human frailty and resilience, Kristin Hannah reveals the indomitable character of the modern American pioneer and the spirit of a vanishing Alaska―a place of incomparable beauty and danger. The Great Alone is a daring, beautiful, stay-up-all-night story about love and loss, the fight for survival, and the wildness that lives in both man and nature.
Published: August 2018
Genre: Christian Fiction
Publisher’s blurb: Sometimes first loves don’t turn out the way you plan them to. . .Beautiful, strong and confident, Peju Adams has always been a woman who knows what she wants. When she finally reunites with her teen love, Abdul Layeni, it’s a dream come true. He’s the kind of man she wants to be with. In fact, he’s the only man she’s ever known. Their love stronger than ever, she’s determined that nothing will keep them apart again. But it seems fate has other plans for them. In a struggle for love, will she come to realize who her first love really is? Once upon a first love is a story filled with new beginnings, betrayal, disappointments, heartbreaks, pain and love.
The Author: Temitope Omotosho is a loving, caring, friendly person. She is passionate about impacting the world through timeless wisdom and knowledge in her thought provoking stories and writing that applies to all ages. Her stories and articles cut across love, relationship and romance in a way that does not deny the relevance of love in our everyday life. She is a devoted Christian, passionate about bringing people to the knowledge of God’s true and unfailing love.
My Thoughts: I set out to read a love story. A happily ever after of pure and innocent first love that blossomed into something real. Something I could relate to. I am married to my first love, we met when I was sixteen and he was nineteen. Just like Peju and Abdul, we broke up for a while and got back together knowing that we were heading for a happily ever after as we had dreamt and promised each other when we were teenagers. . Even as Peju’s story and challenges differed from mine in certain ways (as my husband and I married as Christians), I found them the same as in the end we both discovered who our first love really is. For Peju, it was the fact that she had to choose between obeying God’s command about marriage and her own desires, for me it was thinking that my husband’s love was enough for me and putting his love on a pedestal that only God’s love can exist . I believed that our love could conquer any storm but learnt through the years that only God’s love can stand through the test of time. That only God can love you completely even when you are at your worst and that it is only He that sustains a marriage and life itself.This story is so complete that I can never do justice to stating how I feel. I loved all the characters and how their lives and experiences reflected God’s undying love for us and his constant desire to have us close to him. Eliana’s character is one I would hope for my daughters to have, God fearing and obedient but honest and always trusting God’s will in her life. Not wanting my thoughts to be a spoiler for you all, I will summarize the entire story with Peju’s last thoughts “”Her first love was not the one who she had loved since her secondary school but the one who had loved her even before she was born. The one who had seen her through the pain of the last month. The one who is love himself. She couldn’t believe she had given God up just because of her love for Abdul. That she should deny Jesus because of an old flame. It was almost like nailing him on the cross all over again and joining the Jews to chant for his death and crucifixion. Yes, she loved Abdul but he wasn’t her everything. He wasn’t who she was going to give up everything for”. I was reminded of many fundamental things in my relationship with Christ and my daily work with God. I am grateful I read this story and I urge everyone to read it. It will put things in perspective for you. It will help you know where to go to fill that emptiness in your soul that no man or woman can fill. In as much as I still have a couple of books to go before this year ends, I doubt if any of them will impact on my life as this one has but you never know, right? Congratulations to Tope Omotosho on this great book. I look forward to reading other titles from her.