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A Literary Conversation | JANUARY

I love and enjoy reading and this year, I decided to read with more intent. Much more than the knowledge gained, the vocabulary that becomes expanded and the numerous places I travel to from reading books, I decided to actually journal about my reading activities this year and also write out lessons learnt from each book.

I read at a pace of one book a week so that should be about 4 books a month except when a book has too many pages and I have to go through it in two weeks. I actually belong to a book club but because I already had a book I wanted to start the year with, I couldn't follow the reading schedule from the onset of the month so I decided to just freestyle it for the month of January. The books I read are

1. You Have A Brain - Dr Ben Carson
2. Adored - Tilly Bagshawe
3. Small Great Things - Jodi Picoult
4. The Great Gatsby - - F. Scott Fitzgerald
    To Kill A Mockingbird  - Harper Lee
    The Tumour - John Grisham 



1. YOU HAVE A BRAIN

A friend mentioned that he was reading this book and it was the title that got me. Just that, nothing else. I asked him for the plot of the book and I don't know what he said to make me interested in reading it but I asked that he send it still. Actually, I don't think it was something he said because he claimed to be laboring to read it and he mentioned how similar it is to all other of Dr Carson's books. I'm forever a fiction chic, if I don't outgrow it that is. I feared that I wouldn't be able to read this book to the very end but after the first two chapters, I knew there was no going back. I even went on to take the Personal Assessment Test attached to the book that I initially thought I'd ignore.

PLOT : "You have a brain" are the four words Dr Ben's mother used to say to him whenever he erred and she expects better of him. It was basically a 'factory reset' statement that he claims went on to spur him into becoming what he is today. Safe to say I've found myself murmuring those words to myself a few times since after reading this book.
Enough story, let's get down to some of the nuggets I picked up from this book that you might find helpful
- There's no such thing as useless knowledge, because you never know what little bit of information is going to open doors for you. Basically, try to know whatever you can -no matter how little - about different things.
- How far you go (in life) is determined largely by how far you are willing to go.
- Don't be so set on your goals that you run your race, eyes always straight ahead like a horse with blinders on, unable to see any other direction. Be wide-eyed and flexible enough to see where your learning (or interests) might take you.
- Learn to identify, choose and live with acceptable risks.
- God has given us a resource of unimaginable power and infinite potential to pursue unlimited opportunities.
Fun Fact : While trying to pick up these highlights from the book for this post, I ended up rereading almost half of the book. Yes, it's that goood and has so much more gems than the 5 up there!


2.  ADORED - Tilly Bagshawe

I found this author through the legendary Sidney Sheldon whose book I've once dedicated a post to (Book Talk : Sidney Sheldon's - If Tomorrow Comes ). She wrote sequels to a lot of his books and I thoroughly enjoyed them so I decided to check out her personal works. The plot of this book is quite simple. A typical Hollywood family and the many controversies that surround them. This was just a random fun read that my brain needed at the time. I didn't get to highlight much but lines that spoke to me are

-"It’s amazing what resources and what strengths we have, once we get up the courage to use them". This is so true!
- "A lady (man) should never lose her (his) composure, no matter how trying the circumstance. Whatever it takes, she (he) must maintain her (his) dignity and draw it like a shield around her (him)". A big yes to maintaining our dignity.



3. SMALL GREAT THINGS

I started this book with the mindset that I'd probably shed a tear or two because I've read 2 of  Jodi Picoult's books - My Sister's Keeper (this has a movie) and The Storyteller - where I was so destabilized because her books are deep and have emotions dripping over from each page. However, I didn't cry throughout the time I read this book. I only got angry. Really angry at the fact that racism exists and that it ever existed.

PLOT : There's an African American labour nurse who is the best in the hospital where a white supremacist couple go to deliver their first child. She's assigned to them but because they hate black people, they request that she's changed. Of course, she gets angry but she stays away. Due to some unforseen circumstances, she's once again left with their child and while she's with him, she discovers he has stopped breathing. Unsure about whether to disobey orders and save his life or go ahead with obeying orders and having the child die, she decides to perform some resuscitative activities only to stop when she hears footsteps. Eventually, the baby dies and this same father who could have gone ahead to sue the whole hospital decides to sue only this black nurse because there has to be a scapegoat and she's the perfect one. A person of color. 

It's definitely a 10 for me because it's such a well written book and one that addresses one of the world's most disturbing prejudices. It's like a must read for everyone. 
Fun fact : The title of this book was inspired by Civil Rights Movement leader Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. who said "If I cannot do great things, then I can do small things in a great way". Apparently he was referring to acting on eradicating racism but I think that quote can be applied to other areas in life. 

4. The Great Gatsby
    To Kill A Mockingbird 
    The Tumour - John Grisham

You're probably wondering if and how I managed to read 3 books in a week. I didn't. As I knew I'd be extremely busy this week, I decided to go for books with short chapters but along the line, I realized I wasn't enjoying the books. I'd still read these books as I know they're good ones but there was literally no joy or patience? so I found myself abandoning the first and then the second till I miraculously found John Grisham's The Tumour that I finished in no time because it has only 53 pages. It's his first Non-legal thriller and he claims it's the most important book he has ever written. Even though he's the first author I fell in love with and I've read almost all his books, I'd have to agree because this book addresses tumors in humans and talks about Focused Ultrasound an effective but not yet so popular method of treating this condition. 

Writing this was fun! 
I hope to read more exciting books this February. I've kicked off the reading journey with Jojo Moyes' new book - Still Me. It's a sequel to 'Me Before You'. 

-Have you read any of these books? Which would you like to read? Just leave a comment with your mail address if you want any. 
-Are you more of book or a movie person? 
-What books have you read recently? Which are you currently reading? 
- Is there any book you've come across and you think is a must read? Let us know.
- This doesn't have to be just about books. What fun movies have you seen recently? Apparently everyone is looking forward to seeing Black Panther and I'm totally clueless about it. Shame or not or you're in the same boat with me? 

I always want to hear from you. Kindly leave me your thoughts. xx 

Comments

  1. I'm liking the Small Great Things..
    I haven't been able to read anything for a while... Except school books and wattpad 🙄
    But I'd love to check new ones out.
    By the way... Have you read Everyday by David Livingston? I hear it's quite the eyeopener and stirs up some....should I say controversial...thoughts.
    ♥️

    www.girleccentric.wordpress.com

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    1. It's an amazing book!. I feel you on the school books ish, I know by the time I resume school, reading novels is going to be almost impossible. Wattpad is actually cool tho but I hate that most of the stories are unfinished.
      I'd check out that book and see if I can get it.
      Thank you Favour 💜💜

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  2. I love the lesson you shared about how there's no such thing as useless knowledge. My friend's mum used to tell us this all the time. Adored sounds like a nice, interesting book. I always like books like that after reading something 'deep'.
    Small Great Things sounds so good, my blood was even boiling reading the plot. I'm sure it's an amazing read.
    Books over movies any day! Having said that, I'm looking forward to Black Panther but I don't know much about the plot if I'm being honest. One of the songs from the soundtrack called All The Stars is so good though, I'm hyped! xx

    Coco Bella Blog

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    1. I don't know anything about Black Panther tbh. Yess, team books over movies. There really is no such thing as useless knowledge. xxx

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  3. These are nice books. I love all books written by Dr Ben Carson. To me, he's an excellent writer. I haven't come across the one in this post though, I'll look for it and read. I'll check out Tilly as well since she writes sequels for the king of fiction Sidney Sheldon.



    http://www.lilyofnigeria.com

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    1. He's excellent! At some point I just had to pause and go "Woww, such wisdom". If you're a fan of e-books, I could send it.
      Sidney Sheldon, the king of fiction, yasss 😍🙌

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  6. It is my goal to revisit To Kill a Mockingbird. Its been some years. Thanks for sharing.
    www.NancyUgo.com

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