Book Reviews

Becoming

Becoming Michelle Obama

Becoming by Michelle Obama will remain my absolute favourite even for generations to come. It is definitely a book I wouldn’t mind going back to over and over again. Personally, I think it is timeless.

First I would like to say thank you to Michelle Obama for writing this book. For, giving most like myself hope that you are just an ordinary girl who just believes in something more and that shouldn’t be left to be ordinary, make it extraordinary. Amongst many reasons this book was one of the reasons, I moved to China. Can I just add – it’s been great.

What it can potentially challenge you to do.

This book challenges you as an individual. It gives you a sense of wanting to become the best version of yourself. While at it getting the journal would be the best idea too.

Finishing this book has been so hard for me. I had a best friend in it. Whenever I felt like I needed some motivation. An indulgence of 5 – 10 pages was good enough to keep me going. I feel like I just lost a best friend and a bigger sister that used to be by my side to tell me that not everything is bad. Not everything should be perfect but rest assured, you surely will figure it out it’s only a matter of time. It’s never too late it’s the journey. Keep going and keep doing great with everything you touch or put your mind into.

A book that will tell you in your 20s that it’s ok, now FIGHT!

What I Know For Sure

What I Know For Sure


My goal: to stay open to all the universe has to offer. Every year. Everyday.

Oprah Winfrey

– mine too Oprah. Mine too.

It’s always great reading about all these successful women. They all have one thing in common. They are ordinary girls who believed in something better and went for it with all they had. There is this life filling feeling that came with reading this book. I loved it.

My takes:

  • If you believe in something go for it.
  • You will not always have it figured out but be open to learning, relearning and unlearning.
  • You will get there, work put it in never goes in vain.

Steal Like An Artist

Steal Like An Artist

It was like reading a magazine article, I LOVED it! Before I became a religious book reader I loved reading magazine articles. I used to even go as far as buying magazines. This is actually one of the things I miss about South Africa. Getting into a grocery store with only the aim of buying necessities and leave with a Cosmopolitan magazine. I guess a magazine can also be declared as a necessity.

Ok! This book: What I took from it;

  • Embrace influence like how Lola Akinkuowo influenced me to buy and read this book.
  • School yourself through the work of others.
  • It validated my thoughts about side projects and hobbies that they are just as important. Really we never know what wonders those could bring. They could bring that one thing you are yearning for, well at least what I am yearning for.
  • Geography is no longer our master – hahaha I agree.
  • Be nice – I constantly tell my friends, my siblings and people around me the importance of being nice obviously you don’t have to turn into people’s doormat but just be nice. Nice is attractive, you may never know what you may attract.
  • Most of the time when I get my stuff done is when I am boring and I am ok with that. Austin Kleon just validated that too that allow yourself to be boring to get stuff done.

I found that most things I read about I knew. I just needed to hear them again.

Overall, do your research, copy from what you find interesting and make it unique when you can.

The Alchemist

The Alchemist is a short inspirational story that takes you on a journey of a young man that had to leave everything behind including what he was accustomed to. To go on a quest for a treasure.

It shows you how everything in the world is written in the stars. If you can dream about it you can achieve it. Not that only but the importance of a journey and the teachings it comes with to prepare you for the outcome.

It shows you how sometimes you will have to choose between something that you are accustomed to and something that you want to have or achieve at the end of the day. Something that you are accustomed to is a comfort zone. We all know what they say about comfort zones – nothing ever grows there.

And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.

Paulo Coelho

Who Moved My Cheese?

Who moved my cheese is a very (Very very very) short story that follows four characters on a quest for cheese in a maze. In this instance, the cheese is disguised as something we individually want to pursue or wish for in life. It could be money, a good job, good health, a healthy romantic relationship or just about anything worth wishing for in my opinion. These characters are Sniff – who sniffs out change early, Scurry – who scurries into action. Haw who learns how to adapt to change when he starts seeing a spark of light from it and the one who is my least favourite Hem – who resists change with all he’s got because of how entitled he feels of what he initially achieved and fears change thinking it will lead to a much worse situation, he is a no risk-taker.

Which character are you?

Just to add, I have identified myself as a Sniff and Scurry and a bit of Haw for possessing the humour to laugh myself out of unfavourable situations.
As simple as it is. I have taken quite a lot from it which I can just refer to as reminders. Like I always say, some things you know them but you just simply need to read about them just so you take them seriously or to remind yourself.

Here are a few of those Reminders that I took from the book:

1. Always be prepared, anything could happen at any point – We saw with Covid right!
2. Don’t allow yourself to be comfortable it gets boring and turns you into a couch potato with no creativity in mind – what a routine!( I am sure we can all agree that routine is boring). I am a recovering addict of comfort zones from a 5 months Lockdown period.
3. It’s safer to keep achieving even after you have achieved, it keeps life interesting with close to enough security.
4. Stop feeling entitled you are not entitled to anything. Things change people change situations change so move on!!!
5. Always change the formula if not it’s always best to add on it just don’t stick to the same one that got you where you are.

My not so Perfect Life

This has to be one of my most favourite books from my 2020 reads. I loved it so much. For some reason is just granted me a feeling of something fresh – a feeling of a brand new start. As soon as I read this book. I could dream again and I wanted to be in love with what I do as much as the protagonist is with her chosen career.

This book made me feel brand new. It is also a book that sold me the London dream in a not so perfect way. After reading this I genuinely just want to move to London!

It left me happy and hopeful about life. I remember telling one of my best friends that I needed something light and relatable and I found it in this book. Loved it! If you are looking for something light, funny and relatable in your 20s. This is your book.

Looking for some motivation to go for that one thing you have been putting on hold? Check the picture down below. GO FOR IT!.

Americanah


If it’s about a woman in a foreign country with the number one reason being trying to make the best out of their young life. I am all in. I am deeply immersed in it.

Despite the expectations, I had prior to reading this book I am very glad they turned out to be quite the opposite but in a positive way. For this very reason, I have been opened up to looking a little deeper into some perspectives I held and have overlooked on being black, coming from a third world country moving abroad, one’s identity, risk-taking, fate and of course wealth. I had to see all these that I had a glimpse of experiencing (and still experiencing) through a lens that is different to mine. You get to also see how life experiences shape you up for either the better or the worse which in most cases they are for the better version of you. How leaving your native country impact your newly found ways of how you view the world around you. 

You will find yourself laughing, wanting to cry a little too often and you will be hooked. I loved it.

Think and Grow Rich

Unlike novels, some books you really need to know why you are reading them to be fully absorbed in them. Had I read this book 3 years ago I would have stopped on page one. First paragraph and probably first word hahaha that might be a little too exaggerated but I hope you get what I am trying to say.

You need to read this book with a mind of an optimistic person if not. I think it will only be a time-waster because it gets to a point where you are forced to visualize your dreams, speak them into existence come up with a plan of action on how you are going to achieve those dreams so it’s not just a dream helper but how you actually plan to achieve those dreams – a dream chaser boost. 

Just like most doctrines in life. Riches do not only mean money but rich in money, rich in good health, rich in happiness the list goes on and on. Anything you may desire you can apply this book as a helping aid and have a plan of action into place and believe you can so that you do it with all your might. 

How can I “ Provide useful service in return for riches.”?

A statement I took that I turned into a question from me to me – How can I “ Provide useful service in return for riches.”? I have always questioned a lot of things about company owners and whenever I was employed by anyone, I would always be curious about what motivated them to found such a company, how much they make. I would usually ask myself (and still usually ask myself actually) if they can offer me this much, how much more were they making? 

Now it has escalated to whenever I see an extremely well-known brand I ask myself. Did the owner of Dior dream this extraordinarily big in life? I wonder what they are doing right now? Do they even wear Dior? Or use the cologne or there is also something better beyond Dior for them? Why am I scared to dream that far? I wonder how did the owner of McDonald’s feel when McDonald’s started spreading all around the world (Mmmm). Starbucks, OMG does the person who owns Starbucks even drink coffee from Starbucks? I wonder if they really dreamt this FAR or it just happened because they were now believers of their extinguished services? 

If a confidence booster when it comes to your wildest dreams was found in a book, this is the book.

#GIRLBOSS

iamablemonyelaSo so many questions run through my head. In a plane, I ask myself. So they are offering me food in a less than 4 hours flight where else some airlines don’t. Are they doing this to set themselves apart? How much less are they making, how much more are they making? Is it even about what are they making now or they have a much BIGGER vision than focusing too much on gains and loses for now? 


#GIRLBOSS
 is such an easy to read memoir. I loved it for that very reason because it shows you that not everything has to be serious! And literally, everything can be written about in whatever style preferred and if it’s worth reading it will be read by the people who are meant to read it and get the message out of it. While following the theme of less seriousness around it supports the message that really, you don’t have to be like everyone else and do things by the book to be a success. You doing things differently does not mean you will not become successful and you could be running away from the uniqueness that has greater chances of leading you to success when trying to do things by the book.

Being common is not everything.

By being different, keep failing at things that you totally feel in you that you don’t like could be the secret to your pot of gold. Sometimes reaching that pot of gold does not come when you are fed up (sometimes), you just keep messing up at things you are not good at until you find things that you thrive in. It’s called fate. When the time is right you get to see that, “Hey I am not that much of a failure, after all. I am just not good at things that I don’t like.”

It shows how much a person can put their heart and soul into what they do simply because they love it. Passion! Anything that you do with passion can turn into an overnight success and even if it doesn’t you still have the passion to drive you, to keep going and that’s what will lead you to success.

I would recommend this book to anyone feeling like an outcast, anyone looking to start their own business or already have a running business and anyone in their 20s too – LOL maybe everyone. It’s easy to read, quite motivational and funny. It’s something light for the soul. 

Things Fall Apart

A book about a man and his love and loyalty for his tribe and remaining true to himself no matter what.

This book has two moods to it. The first part will give you a sense of pride in how most black people in Africa did things pre-colonisation and how happy they were living with certain beliefs.

Then the last two parts come with this sense of loneliness. You know that feeling when you are about to lose something that you loved and believed in so much?

Colonialism is a thing we experienced as Africans although we may not agree with some of the ways of living we had. We were content.

To say the least. I am left hurt even when it’s nothing new. It’s just a reminder of how black people lost it all.

IKIGAI

Pursue your IKIGAI but also remember that it’s ok to not be in a rush. It helps to keep calm. 

I have become obsessed with studying wealthy people’s habits that I had to sit back and at least read about the simple things in life. How the longest people to ever live have managed to stay happy, peaceful and doing the things that they love in their own right.  I just really love wisdom and I think old people have so much of that to offer. 

When I sat back, that’s when I stumbled upon this book. It gives you a sense of calm in your own right. Whether you want to be wealthy (here I go again), you want to keep active, you want a simple, happy and peaceful life. It just all lies in your IKIGAI – your reason for living. 


Keep calm, your own lane, your own pace.


It says you can pursue your IKIGAI but also remember that it’s ok to not be in a rush. One thing we should know and always remember is that we are not in a race and everything that is meant for us will eventually come to us at the right time.  Well,  that does not mean we should wake up, stare into space and go back to sleep every day hoping for those things to come but. Live your life, find new habits that suit your lifestyle and all else will fall into place in time. 

Find your flow, you know those things that you do and find yourself lost in time? Do them often and you might just find your IKIGAI. 
Think about the one thing you wouldn’t want to retire from. Something you would still want to do till your last day on earth after a very long life lived. 

Fun fact: I have found that the Japanese lifestyle is not so different from the Chinese. I guess it’s an Asian thing. 

An American Marriage


I experienced a lot of, “Haibo this book!” moments when I was reading it.
I have to say, it’s not the best book I have ever read but the best book to read(I hope I make sense). It gets you thinking so much about love, loyalty, injustice, marriage, being black, being white, life after loss (the list goes on and on) – without any hassle!
It’s uncomfortable to read but worth it!

Stay With Me

1. To never lose hope- no matter what.
2. To always communicate- regardless of the pain or rejection that could come with the truth.
Those are the two most important things I have learnt from this book.


Willingly I could not put this book down at all with such a very busy week I had while reading the book. I only got to read this book with no disturbances late in the evenings with only three nights having the book renting under my pillow. This is such an amazing novel. It follows such a unique way of writing that shows the gender stereotypes that women had to endure from a very long time ago to this day in the hands of protecting the opposite gender. It’s easing to know that the gender stereotypes are calming down with the years. I loved and still love absolutely everything about this novel.

Ayòbámi Adébáyò did such a great job with this book.

3 Responses

  1. Nomthandazo says:

    ” I just found out most things I read about I knew. I just needed to hear them again.”

    I also love the review on things fall apart.

    Ohhh amazing Mable!!

  2. Upendo Munuo says:

    I’m intrigued to read more books after reading your reviews. Thank you so much for sharing. Where do you buy your books here in China?

    • This is beautiful to hear. Thank you so much. I mostly buy them on Taobao. Although there is limited options still manage to get just a few English books from this bookstore (Check the link below).

      2👈 hi:/信pMZcXkLlWAh信 Becoming: A Guided Journal for Discovering Your Voice 英文原版 成为:探寻内心的声音 米歇尔·奥巴马 笔记本【中商原版】

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