Books that kept me company in the first half of 2017; Part 1

5:15:00 PM

My home library is growing

Happy second half of 2017 beautiful people, 

I am so excited about this new half and the things God has in store, which you know I will definitely be sharing as they unfold. This past weekend, I decided to go hang out with one of my best friends, which ended up being a marathon of series watching - it felt so good just unwinding, and no punching on my BlackBerry. When I was browsing through his collection, I saw he had Me Before You, the movie, I had just finished the book and wanted to see if the movie nailed it...well I didn't get to the 5th minute and decided to binge on one of those drama, scheming, back stabbing type of series instead. (judge me...I was unwinding and sometimes trash TV makes the best TV then) 

When I got home, I wanted to do a post on Me Before You, the book, but it morphed into a two part series of the books I had read through the first half of 2017 plus the ones I hope to read...it was an overthrow. Through my planning of the Kenyan round of Akili ni Mali, I tried my best to read at least one and a half to two books each month. Most of the books I read were mostly those I bought (or given) during my month long USA speaking tour. 



1. I bought Me Before You because of an email I had gotten from a disabilities advocacy group, when the movie came out, that mentioned there was false presentation of people with disabilities. Because I am a books over movie person, I got the book, which took me one year to read (shame) and when I tried to watch the movie this weekend, I just couldn't mostly because I was comparing scenes with the book, which in my opinion, nailed it. Jojo Moyes is an amaaaaazing author, the book is hilarious, I can't count the number of times I was reading it in public and crying because of laughter. I got to a point where it was about to end and I had to put it down to prolong my friendship with the characters...I definitely cried at the end.  

Me Before You, is about Will, a big shot who has a BlackBerry...ok he gets hit by a bike and becomes a quadriplegic who needs a caregiver. Lou gets the jobs which is a 6 months contract which she later discovers is the time Will agreed to give his folks before they take him to some place people to end their lives. Lou is determined to change Will's mind with a calendar of activities...well I won't tell you how it goes buuuut you must read this book, it teaches a lot, at least it taught me. I definitely know movies water down a lot and I promise to give the movie a second try so as to see, and address, issues raised by the advocacy group. 
Get this book, if you want to laugh and cry while asking yourself some serious questions, go get it...plus the copy I got, had discussion questions, which makes it good book club material especially in addressing care giving, right to live (and die) and other family dynamics. 
2. I bought The Vegetarian because it was filed under psychological, had a lovely red cover and i am a vegetarian and I thought it might help me with all those many questions people ask me about being vegetarian, from where I get my Bsomething and thought I'd get psychological understanding to vegetarism...dont judge me. The Vegetarian was completely opposite of what I thought, it was more than opposite, it was TWISTED!!! The type of twisted where you don't see the twists and turns as they come. The book is about this lady who becomes a vegetarian, a weird type, because of a dream she had and she just grows thin and her hubby is worried so he informs her fam and they get her to a family get together where they try to force feed her meat and she stabs herself, ends up in hospital. On the other side, her brother in law is an artist and when he and his wife (her sister) are discussing her (the main character) she (the wife) mentions a mark on her (the main character) ass, is bottom better?, which becomes an obsession for the guy, the mark not the...ok never mind. Anyway he volunteers to do check ups on her and it spirals not into an affair but something that's a cross breed of mental health issues, art gone real wrong, suicide and so so much more...if you are up to getting some twisting, get this one 
Oooh it is a PG - VSNL all those type of book
3. Listening to the Heart; a Contemplative Journey to Engaged Buddism by Kittisaro and Thanissara 
This was among the gifts from Ari Nessel, founder of The Pollination Project when I visited the Bay Area. It is on a real life journey into Buddhism by two people, each taking a chapter to introduce a concept of Buddhism (suffering, meditation, desire, wounded warrior) as they speak about their transition process to joining Buddism, being a monk and nun and leaving their respective monasteries to get married and move to South Africa. This book is amazing if you are curious about Buddhism (and other religions), also if you want to learn about meditation and other concepts of Buddhism. If you practice something other than Buddhism, there are still some things you can pick. I personally loved the chapter on a steady mind and the practice of presence and my best quote, which is what Ari, signed on the cover for me, there are two kinds of suffering ; the suffering that leads to more suffering and the suffering that leads to the end of suffering. 
My recommendation ; it depends on curiosity, your foundation in what you believe in (how rooted and grounded you are) and also how wise you are with what you pick and decide not pick.


4. Purpose driven life by Rick Warren  
I do this annually during the 40 days of Lent and every year I learn something new. I have gone through a process on renewal in purpose this year with the birth of Akili ni Mali which is a storytelling tour which through storytelling, I spark healing journeys as much as I spark mental health conversations. I recommend it for everyone at any stage in life they are in. There are amazing gems about self, God, purpose, others in there. It's a 40 day devotional that you can do alone or in a group. 
 I will definitely plan to do it again next Lent which runs from February 14th to March 30th, unless guided otherwise. From experience, there is nothing as fulfilling as knowing your why as spelt out by Your Creator and walking daily in your God given purpose. It's good to have a journal to record all that the LORD shares through the sessions.

5. Starting from Zero; How to build an online business when starting with nothing by Fred Lam 
Just like I prefer books over movies, I also prefer hard copies over ebooks and audio books. I decided to get this free ebook from a entrepreneurship newsletter as recommendation by Robert Kiyosaki (Poor Dad, Rich Dad) with hopes of getting ideas for setting a store for my tote bags given I will be travelling a lot and I want it to have a system to keep things running without me being physically present. 
I read all the 170 or so pages in one sitting, it felt like a get rich type of book and like it was written in a hurry, the English would have been better ...and it left me wondering how and why Kiyosaki did the foreward and recommendation. 
Catch Part 2 of this tomorrow for books 6-10, books on my wishlist and subjects I am looking for recommendations in.



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