books

Typewriter Tuesdays – I’m Judging You

‘Privilege comes in many forms, and being popular is one of them.’ – Luvvie Ajayi

After about four months of barely reading anything I’m finally back on my usual routine of actually completing a book before an entire month expires. With time I’ll soon be back on the one book per two weeks steeze too – watch this space. But I digress…

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Typewriter Tuesdays – Adultery

Another Tuesday, another book review!

Hello fellow bookworms. Are you all feeling the pinch of January yet? It’s payday week and I’m just counting down the days man, it’s been way too long, the struggle is so real. Anyway, that aside… I finally got done reading Paulo Coelho’s much anticipated new novel, Adultery and for the first time ever… He has disappointed me.

Let me at least give you a short synopsis first before I give my own two cents. Adultery is a story that revolves around Linda, a successful journalist with a loving wealthy husband and children she adores. Despite all this, Linda is depressed. She hates her life, her marriage and is looking for some kind of drastic change to her monotonous life. She takes on an interview with her high school sweetheart which turned into more of an office romp than anything else… and it is after this that she does a double take on her life and makes it her mission to find out why she is so depressed. She tries to reignite the spark in her marriage with her husband, it worked for like two weeks and back to days of melancholy she went. She tried to ‘talk it out’ with a traditional healer… He only made her feel worse. She seeks vengeance on her high sweetheart’s wife but even that didn’t give her the satisfaction she needed.

There is of course a lot of what Coelho is known for in the book, a lot of deep quotes that give you insight to various aspects of your life and it is actually those sections of the book that kept me reading by the way. He knows how to keep his readers glued to his books despite the poor storyline in this one. And of course in relation to the title, there are some forced sex scenes.. because she is actually committing adultery (guess he had to put that in somewhere) and this book kind of makes you question what you want in regards to love in your life.

The review in the Independent had this much to say about it… “This reader would be open to a moment of seeing the divine in Nature, of being reminded we are small beings part of a larger mysterious entity: “And the eagle tells me: ‘Come. You are heaven and earth, the wind and the clouds, the snow and the lakes.’” But, at odds with the words and actions gone before, the resolution is too glib, verging on the patronising.”… Ummm yeah, so I’ll just leave that there.

Paulo Coelho, I love your work but this; I think this was just an ‘Omg I need to release a book before everyone thinks I have stopped writing’ type of lightbulb moment. Not your best. Let’s go back to the Manuscripts in Accra and Brida story flow types, we’ll always be your loyal fans no matter what though, don’t worry.

2015 really hasn’t started out with the best written works for me it seems. I need to pick the next book I read very carefully, I have to write at least one positive review before March. Yes, before March, suggestions are highly appreciated! I’ll leave you all with one quote from the book that particularly stuck to me:

“Love isn’t just a feeling, it’s an art. And like any art, it takes not only inspiration but also a lot of work.” Coelho

Enjoy the week ahead and hope we all get paid by this weekend! January needs to end.

Typewriter Tuesdays – David and Goliath

This month’s book review is of Malcolm Gladwell’s ‘David & Goliath’, one of the best books I have read this year no doubt.
 
Malcolm Gladwell, for those who don’t know is a world-renowned author with several international bestsellers under his belt, the most popular being his book Outliers. Outliers and David and Goliath are albeit a tad bit similar in that they both dwell on the underdog coming out on top but each describing the process in a different way. 
There have been mixed reactions to David & Goliath, which is Gladwell’s most recent work. Critics both love it and are frustrated by it and by this I mean they love its message, which of course is always something one wants to hear, but they also cannot stand the repetitive stand he has slowly started taking in his books. Mixed reviews are expected though; he would not be an international bestselling author without them! I on the other hand particularly learned a lot from this book. Gladwell tells his story as if teaching a class. He actually talks to us readers and his skill at that makes one glued to every single word he writes. David & Goliath was obviously titled as such as there is a lot of allegorical references to the biblical story of the boy shepherd and the giant. It all boils down to one simple fact: being the weaker one in the ring doesn’t always constitute failure. In fact it sometimes assures the very opposite.
David had nothing going for him when he had to face Goliath except his speed thanks to his small frame and his sling. Goliath on the other hand was fully armored and built to kill yet somehow he was defeated by those two things that everyone thought would be David’s downfall… ‘More is not always better.’ Malcolm Gladwell.
A chapter in this book talks about turning your disadvantages into advantages. Gladwell introduces it quite precisely by saying, “We have a definition in our heads of what an advantage is and the definition isn’t right. And what happens as a result? It means that we make mistakes. It means that we misread battles between underdogs and giants. It means that we underestimate how much freedom there can be in what looks like a disadvantage.” He goes on to explain this chapter by using dyslexia as the main focus. Certain difficulties we may involuntarily have may work for us than against us. Gladwell refers to these as desirable difficulties, such as in the case of British billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson, Big time trial lawyer, David Boies, and Goldman Sachs president Gary Cohn all of whom are dyslexic. They did not let that hinder their hunger for success in life. They are innovators, who Gladwell describes as people who have to be able to imagine things that others cannot and be willing to challenge their own preconceptions.
A good local example of one such innovator is self-made multi-millionaire, Heshan De Silva. He is not dyslexic but he did have some ‘desirable difficulties’ of his own as well. Heshan’s story is one that will be told for generations to come especially because he is part and parcel of today’s generation; he is only 25. He suffered from drug addiction, alcoholism and even attempted suicide after seeing his life spiral down the way it did. He dropped out of college and tried to start over. No one gave him the time of day and job rejections were in the bucket load until he decided that if no one will open a door for him, he would make his own door and open it himself. With only less than 150$ to his name, he started a small insurance business. Today, the 25-year-old venture capitalist and founder of the De Silva Group, is worth over $10 million. Just like David, he was the weaker one in a sea of huge white sharks, but he did not let himself get eaten. Instead he taught himself how to swim even faster, without a single university degree to his name.
David and Goliath is made up of these types of stories and more. Though repetitive, due to its similarity to Outliers, it’s not such a bad thing to be reminded that the Underdog actually does always win.

Typewriter Tuesdays – Fault In Our Stars

So Fault In Our Stars came out in theatres about a month ago I think… Before that I had no interest in John Green’s books at all but decided to check out the book before watching the movie because the book is always better than the film adaptation. Always. I’m yet to watch the film so will let you guys know if once again, this statement is actually true.

So far though, the book has won me over. I am officially on the John Green bandwagon! Let’s talk about Fault In Our Stars now shall we?

As I got into the first few chapters, I thought this was going to be another cliche, teenage romance type novel. I was partially wrong. It is a kind of teenage romance novel but not as cliche and with a lot more adult humor, sarcasm and quite a lot of cancer terminology than usual.

That’s because the story is based on two cancer patients. 16 year old Hazel Grace and 17 year old Augustus Waters. Hazel, diagnosed with lung cancer meets the ever witty Augustus Waters at a cancer support group she had dreaded going to at first. Augustus has osteosarcoma and had actually been cleared of his tumor after having his leg amputated but life really isn’t fair to all of us sadly. The cancer comes back 10 fold later in the story.

Hazel and Augustus form a quick bond and underplay their feelings for each other all the while having one goal in common. Their mission to find the author of a book they love to find out the ending of said novel. This takes them on an impromptu trip to Amsterdam to meet the author, but the trip proves futile in that aspect (said author ended up being a drunk bastard), but was significant in bringing the two of them closer than ever…. And then Augustus semi-ruins the mood by announcing the return of his cancer. Things change from there for Hazel who was not expecting to see her boyfriend go through stage 4 of cancer.

Okay so I guess it is a typical teenage romance type novel BUT in my defense, it really captured all my emotions and I am a hopeless romantic. I just don’t blast it on the PA system. It’s a wonderfully written book, think that’s why it draws you in more and more as you turn the pages. The storyline could have been a happier one but as John Green himself says, ‘The world is not a wish-granting factory.’ I finished this book in a week… quite a feat for me considering my 24hr schedule lol. Also tells you that it is a really good book to read for leisure purposes, perfect book for when you just want something to cosy upto during these long winter nights we have been having of late.

Favorite quote in this book- ‘You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world, but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices.’

1st impression of John Green’s work – Love! Think I shall invest in more of his works now.

Typewriter Tuesdays – 50 Shades Of Grey

Happy New Year guys!!

Can’t believe it’s 2014… feels like 2012 was just yesterday but that’s now TWO years ago man. Goodness time is super flying! Just making me older and older with every passing year:-/ If any of you don’t know, my birthday is in January so the new year nowadays always makes me feel weary instead of giddy of my upcoming aging process lol.

Well, you know the saying that everyone sings every 31st December… New Year New Me..?? Yet that never ever happens? Unless you are as disciplined as the 844 system lol. So this year I did’t write down a bunch of resolutions I know I’ll forget by… today haha. I didn’t proclaim to the social media world about my hopes and dreams of the year because contrary to that Law of attraction ish, I feel people are out there to get you for all your positive vibes and dreams and you end up crushed and giving up before you could even try. I just prayed to God Almighty for these 3 things to fill my 2014 and years to come- Growth, Love & Happiness. I think everyone should aspire for this as well esp in our world right now that is filled with so much evil, greed, power and hate. We need more ACTUAL growth in our lives than the new fancy cars that seem to have tripled on the streets, we need more love shown than dead bodies filling our morgues and cemeteries, we need more happiness than what we get from just a few hundred followers on twitter and likes on Instagram. I just feel I need more than that in my life. We need more than that. Both you and I need BETTER than that.

Anyway, this post wasn’t meant for this. It’s book review day! And today I’m doing one on the one and only 50 Shades Of Grey! Yes people… I did actually read it. Little old prudish me took exactly ONE week to read all THREE books in this series. Granted I was on Thanksgiving break at the time haha, but still! 3 books in a week?? That’s a damn record! So 50 shades is an erotica type of novel that is based around the lives of plain jane college student Anastasia Steele and Adonis millionaire Christian Grey. They meet by mistake thanks to Anastasia’s roommate who was meant to interview Mr Grey for the school newspaper but gets sick and sends Anastasia on her behalf. Mr Grey intrigued by Anastasia’s don’t care nonchalant attitude decides to keep tabs on her. Learn her, know her and soon enough want her. His type of wanting though?? Kind of eery, creepy perhaps? Borderline dangerous yo!

Me thinks Mr Grey here has some insane sex obsession thanks to losing his virginity at 15 to one of his mother’s friends who showed him a rather ‘different’ way of having sexual intercourse. Since then he treats women in a rather unorthodox manner… he likes to dominate the woman. Literally and figuratively. And being the gentle man that he is, he asks them to sign contracts first to agree to never disclose their rather awkward relationship to anyone. I think what makes this series so intriguing is the way in which he handles Anastasia especially. I don’t know about ya’ll but I am not fan of dominatrix type of love and BDSM tactics… it’s just kind of sexist? for lack of a better word? And in my opinion quite demeaning to women. Anastasia, a virgin upon meeting Mr Grey didn’t sign the contract at fIrst till she gave herself to him first… the normal way. And then she asked for a taste of the BDSM and realized she can’t handle and leaves Mr Grey devastated. But then another twist in this book is how Mr Grey is able to learn to switch off his inner ‘beast’ when he sees the physical and psychological damage it does to Anastasia. No woman has ever had this effect on him and that’s what kept me reading this rather badly written (in my opinion) book, just to see what happens to them as a couple.

I won’t disclose what happens in the other two books here otherwise we shall have a really really long post on our hands because once I put on my feminist voice there’s no stopping me haha. I’m not recommending this book but I’m not saying don’t read it either. It’s whatever tickles your fancy I guess… If you like erotica books (which I do read from time to time, who doesn’t??) then try it out. If you are completely appalled by anything ‘sex’ in a book then just leave it on the bookshelf and skip over to the more ‘wholesome’ section. In terms of literary skill, E.L. James is just a retired English TV executive who was going through a mid life crisis as she wrote this, so no wonder it’s not so ‘wow’ on the writing style but kudos to her for capturing a world wide audience and topping bestseller lists and Forbes lists thanks to people’s secret love for erotica books lol. I hear there’s a film adaptation that will be out next year… I don’t know how I feel about that, it’s basically going to be violent porn on a screen. But who knows, they may TRY censor something right Hollywood??

Anyway, I won’t be watching it. I liked the story line though, so try it out, lemme know what you think of it. Btw this wasn’t my ultimate choice of book to start 2014 typewriter tuesdays with haha.. I was just talking about it with my friend @MsBibalove the other day and *lightbulb moment*!! Just started writing and here we are.

Happy first week of work, school and whatever else you are getting up to this year. Hope 2014 is great so far!