Essential Reads For The Soul

Did you read Nse Ipke-Etim’s love story, “Becoming Her” last week? OMG! You’d wish to be cuddled up with that one person instantly. Nse who normally feature on a popular blog wrote the story of how the love of her life came to the point of asking for her hand in marriage. This is in addition to the fact that she will be getting married this Valentine, talk about a love like a movie! Ironically, Nse is an actress but before she ever got on set, life had given her its own script and a role which she had been playing even.

One may just be driven to dig up romance books after reading her story and being Valentine season, that’s just in order. Check out Onobello.com recommendations and have yourself a mushy Valentine… Cheers!

If You Stay – Courtney Cole

Author: Courtney Cole
Genre: Fiction
Format: Kindle Edition
Number of Pages: 228 pages
File Size: 432 KB
Publication Year: 2013
Publisher: Lakehouse Press
ASIN: B00BD9HOY2

Tattooed, rock-hard bad-boy with a bad attitude to match, Pax Tate is depicted as a “jerk” in the first pages of the book. His mother died when Pax was seven, leaving a hole in his heart filled with guilt although he doesn’t understand why. What he does know is that he and his dad are left alone and with more issues than they can count. Pax tries to be the kind of child his father can be proud of but to no avail so he pretends his emptiness isn’t there till he meets Mila, is the fresh air to his hardened frown, the beauty to his ugly heart. He doesn’t know how to not hurt her, but he quickly realizes that he&#39d better figure it out because he needs her to breathe.

If You Stay” is a beautiful bold story of love and redemption, a story about facing the darkness and choosing light.

Lost To You – A.L. Jackson

Author: A.L. Jackson
Genre: Fiction
Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 278 KB
Publication Year: 2013
Publisher: Sapphire Star Publishing
ASIN: B00B7SII30

Elizabeth Ayers and Christian Davison didn’t want anything more out of life than they already had till they sat across from each other at a café table after being paired as study partners. Christian wants Elizabeth but she knows better than to give into their intense attraction. Yet there is little she can do to stay away.
“Lost to You” is the prequel to the bestselling romance, Take This Regret by same author A.L. Jackson.

Collide – Gail McHugh

Author: A.L. Jackson
Genre: Fiction
Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 524 KB
Pages: 404 pages
Publication Year: 2013
Publisher: Gail McHugh
ISBN: 1481837125

While harboring secrets of his own, Dillon Parker takes care of Emily Cooper who moves to New York City for a fresh start after losing her mother. Dillon is sweet, thoughtful, and everything Emily has ever wanted in a man.
Then she meets Gavin Blake—a rich and notorious playboy who is dangerously sexy and charming as hell. Emily tries to deny the instant connection she feels, but Mr. Tall, Dark, and Handsome is not inclined to let go so easily. Recovering from his own painful past, Gavin will stop at nothing to win Emily over.

This unexpected encounter compels Emily to question her decisions, forcing her to make a choice that will destroy friendships, shatter hearts, and forever change her life.

 

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Essential Reads For The Soul

As caravans moved through Timbuktu, Mali carrying salt, gold, ivory and other goods which included slaves, the city grew wealthy. This was during the 14th through 16th centuries. With wealth came learning: Traders brought books, and scribes copied them as they passed through. Schools and universities arose. Timbuktu became a great center of learning as well as commerce.

Today, this remote and impoverished city is rich in some 14,000 old books which were once hidden in the time of chaos – in mud walls, Timbuktu’s 120 libraries and in the ground.

Although these books were retrieved and Timbuktu pride itself in the perseverance of these books, the current uprising in Mali has seen Rebel troops burning some of these ancient history. French troops and the Malian army reached the gates of Timbuktu on Saturday and secured the town&#39s airport. But they were too late to rescue the leather-bound manuscripts that were a unique record of sub-Saharan Africa&#39s rich medieval history.

By destroying these books which are part of the world’s heritage, the rebels threaten the world. While it is painful that some of the contents of these book remain a mystery that will never be translated for its meaning (most of the books were written in ancient Arabic), we can graze over the History of these city and try to preserve the knowledge through the larger and long lasting storage system which the advent of technology has provided us.

Here are this week’s Essential Reads:

The Race For Timbuktu – Frank T Kryza

Author: Frank T Kryza
Genre: Biography
Format: Paperback
Book Dimensions: 21.4 x 2.2 x 20.3 cm
Number of Pages: 352 pages
Publication Year: 2007
Publisher: HarperCollins; Reprint edition
ISBN: 978-0060560652

Timbuktu thrived for its gold in the 14th – 19th century. It was a placed much visited by fortune hunters and geographers. Africa&#39s legendary City, not visited by Europeans since the Middle Ages, held the promise of wealth and fame for the first explorer to make it there. In 1824, the French Geographical Society offered a cash prize to the first expedition from any nation to visit Timbuktu and return to tell the tale. Unwilling to trust in the slender chances of a lone explorer, the British sent several on their way. “The Race for Timbuktu” follows Major Alexander Gordon Laing&#39s arduous trek across an unforgiving Sahara, battling unpredictable elements, crippling illness, vicious attacks – and the clock – to be the first white man in centuries to reach the gates of Timbuktu. In bringing Laing&#39s dramatic story to life, Frank T. Kryza also provides a narrative history of the first phase of the colonization of Africa, which in less than a century would see nearly every square mile of the continent occupied by the nations of Europe.  

Frank T. Kryza spent eleven years in Africa and traveled much of the territory described in The Race for Timbuktu. He is a veteran of the energy industry and a former newspaper reporter and editor.

Bytes Of Treasure – Jahman Anikulapo

In this collection of articles by Jahman Anikulapo, the reader enjoys a selection of stories that deal with diverse aspects of the Nigerian media and culture. Published to commemorate his 50th birthday, the book is a compilation of essays, reviews, interviews and more from a career in arts journalism that is almost three decades old.

Divided into aptly defined chapters under headings like ‘Narratives,’ ‘Reviews’, ‘Essays’, and ‘Interviews,’ Bytes of Treasures begins with two excerpts from an upcoming autobiography, which should be worth looking forward to.

Giving an insight into popular culture of the 60s and 70s, Jahman informs us that before Swe Bar, Ember Creek, Aura and Caliente, there was Kakadu, Cool Cats, Empire Hotel, Abalabi, Caban Bamboo and Pegasus.
Similar pieces in the compilation take on a historical tone that highlights the birth of such musical genres as highlife, juju and kokoma.

Jahman is the former editor, The Guardian on Sunday Newspaper; and Programme Chairman at Committee For Relevant Art, Cora

City Of 201 Gods – Jacob K. Olupona

Author: Jacob K. Olupona
Genre: Biography
Format: Paperback
Book Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
Number of Pages: 356 pages
Publication Year: 2011
Publisher: University of California Press
ISBN: 978-0520265561

Jacob K. Olupona focuses on one of the most important religious centers in Africa and in the world: the Yorùbá city of Ilé-Ifè in southwest Nigeria. The spread of Yorùbá traditions in the African diaspora has come to define the cultural identity of millions of black and white people in Brazil, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Trinidad, and the United States. Seen through the eyes of a native, this first comprehensive study of the spiritual and cultural center of the Yorùbá religion tells how the city went from great prominence to near obliteration and then rose again as a contemporary city of gods. Throughout, Olupona corroborates the indispensable linkages between religion, cosmology, migration, and kinship as espoused in the power of royal lineages, hegemonic state structure, gender, and the Yorùbá sense of place, offering the fullest portrait to date of this sacred African city.

Jacob K. Olupona is Professor of African Religious Traditions, African, and African American Studies at Harvard University. He is also the author of Kingship, Religion and Rituals in a Nigerian Community.

 

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Essential Reads For The Soul

“Good books generate constructive criticisms,” Ogochukwu Promise (Phd), a Fiction writer, playwright, poet and essayist was quoted recently. “One of the good things that can happen to a book is for it to generate constructive criticisms, reviews, very honest assessments which arguably help the book, its author and the readers. By becoming curious, going out there to buy and read the book and form personal opinions, people are generally becoming aware, minds are assiduously put to work as they get to determine what they accept or vehemently oppose.”

Talking about good books, we consider the work of a great author and African laureate Chika Unigwe. Chika will make a triumphant return to Nigeria , Enugu precisely, on the 27th of January to be presented with Africa most prestigious Literature Prize, Nigerian Prize for Literature. Chika won the USD100,000 prize for her book, “On Black Sisters’ Street” which the judges said was a work of great value. Let’s take a look at the work and some others.

Chika Unigwe – On Black Sisters’ Street

Author: Chika Unigwe
Genre: Fiction
Format: Paperback
Book Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
Number of Pages: 272 pages
Publication Year: 2012
Publisher: Ohio University Press
ISBN: 978-0821419922

Four very different women have made their way from Africa to Brussels. They have come to claim for themselves the riches they believe Europe promises but when Sisi, the most enigmatic of the women, is murdered, their already fragile world is shattered. Drawn together by tragedy, the remaining three women – Joyce, a great beauty whose life has been destroyed by war; Ama, whose dark moods manifest a past injustice; Efe, whose efforts to earn her keep are motivated by a particular zeal – slowly begin to share their stories. They are stories of terror, of displacement, of love, and of a sinister man called Dele.

“[‘On Black Sisters Street’ is] boiling with a sly, generous humor. Unigwe is as adept at conveying the cacophony of a Nigerian bus as she is at suggesting the larger historical events that propel her characters. ‘On Black Sisters Street’ marks the arrival of a latter-day Thackeray, an Afro-Belgian writer who probes with passion, grace and comic verve the underbelly of our globalized new world economy.”
-The New York Times Book Review

Teju Cole – Open City

Author: Teju Cole
Genre: Fiction
Format: Paperback
Book Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
Number of Pages: 272 pages
Publication Year: 2012
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
ISBN: 978-0812980097

Possibly the only negative thing to say about Cole&#39s intelligent and panoramic first novel is that it is a more generous account of the recent past than the era deserves. America&#39s standing in the world is never far from the restless thoughts of psychiatry resident Julius, a Nigerian immigrant who wanders Manhattan, pondering everything from Goya and the novels of J.M. Coetzee to the bankruptcy of Tower Records and the rise of the bedbug epidemic. In other words, it is an ongoing reverie in the tradition of W.G. Sebald or Nicholson Baker, but with the welcome interruptions of the friends and strangers Julius meets as he wanders Penn Station, the Upper West Side, and Brussels during a short holiday, and amid discussions of Alexander Hamilton, black identity, and the far left–a truly American novel emerges. Julius pines over a recent ex, mourns the death of a friend, goes to movies, concerts, and museums, but above all he ruminates, and the picture of a mind that emerges in lieu of a plot is fascinating, as it is engaged with the world in a rare and refreshing way.
“[A] prismatic debut . . .  beautiful, subtle, [and] original.”—The New Yorker

Philip Begho – Songbird

Author: Philip Begho
Genre: Fiction
Format: Paperback
Book Dimensions: 8 x 5.2 x 0.4 inches
Number of Pages: 176 pages
Publication Year: 2002
Publisher: Philip Begho
ISBN: 978-9783222441

The novel Songbird tells the gripping, yet liberating, story of the lovely teenage girl, Alero, who is gifted with an incredible singing voice. Alero desires to exploit her talent to the utmost by embarking on a full-time singing career, but society has different plans for her and a struggle ensues.

Author of over one hundred books, Philip Begho  is an award-winning Nigerian writer (dramatist, children&#39s writer, novelist, short story writer and poet). He has tried his hand at many jobs, including working as a journalist, a lawyer, a banker, and a university teacher. But he has now chosen to do what he likes best and currently works only as a writer.

“I began writing at the age of eleven at King&#39s College Lagos when materials were solicited for the school magazine and my short stories were accepted and published. Being able to break out from working as a lawyer to working as a writer, has been a dream come true. The price has been steep, but the fulfillment of any dream sweetens the pain of the price.”

 

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Essential Reads For The Soul

As it is, it’s still a very New Year and in the light of the ongoing Flashback on Nigeria Protest: A Lagos Account, we continue to look at the writings of great Nigerians. These write-ups proffer immediate and future solutions to the deficiencies plaguing the nation.

Amongst these writers is the ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo who just concluded works on his latest book titled The President Explains. Also we have deviated a bit to bring you an interesting work, a comic titled June XII which will help inspire the spirit of patriotism in you. All these and more in this week’s OnoBello’s Essential Reads for the Soul.

Be Inspired!

Olusegun Obasanjo – The President Explains

Still very relevant in our national life, the former president Olusegun Obasanjo remains an enigma whose voice even in international affairs is still important and he continues to inspire. In the book The President Explains, Obasanjo rendered his voice on his policies and programmes.  This was done to allow a review of his presidency to either condemn such policies and programmes or possibly mark them up as truly relevant then and even now as some have suggested. Now, it will be difficult for any future revisionist to distort his stewardship because he has been quite sensitive to the burden of history by giving a democratic account of his leadership in his own words, now in print and quite frankly The President Explains is a model for current and future leaders at such critical levels to emulate. 

With such transparent documentation of a president’s policy, Obasanjo has been able to challenge other leaders on their transparency, both the past and the present leaders.

ICS Comics – June XII (Issue One)

JUNE XII is comic book brought to you by Creations Studios Limited (ICS) Comics and Features. It was released digitally.

Contrary to the title, the comic’s storyline is not about the life and times of the believed winner of the Nigerian June 12, 1993 elections. Here is the creators’ credo in a nutshell: “If a king is incorrupt and his subjects remain corrupt, such a king will soon be deposed and the land will fall into pure chaos and injustice. But if there were to be but one man amongst the people who stands against the corruption of the populace, the king may yet rule over a peaceful blessed land.

“The key is one man, any one man willing to stand and make that difference. That man is you. That man is June 12.”

June XII is therefore a hero created not only for the downtrodden but also for all Nigerians who aspire to an honest life. The Imperial Creations Studios Limited’s team sums up its intentions with the hope that “you like the concept and story and will help us build June XII into not just a comic brand but a force that will not only represent the struggle of one man for the democratic freedom of his fellow citizens but one that will also inspire you and me to stand up and be the one man that makes the difference.”

Conscience And History – Dr. Peter Otunuya Odili

Dr. Peter Otunuya Odili, former governor of Rivers State, who has been criticized by masked and direct beneficiaries of his administration, has told his story in very simple, sometimes racy but clinical details only himself could have known.

A common saying in Nigeria goes thus, “most of what is wrong with us is that Nigerians forget history very and too easily. In a 502-page autobiography, Dr. Peter Otunuya Odili has pulled the lie from under the feet of those who live off telling fables and passing them on as facts. The book is a telling indictment on the Nigerian media that provided so much fertile ground for falsehood to be peddled over these last eight years without as much as attempting to investigate as they say, to get to the bottom of the story.

Born into a polygamous family of 12 siblings from five wives, Peter is the only surviving child of his mother Princess Janet Okwei, herself an only daughter.

His early childhood though uneventful is remarkable for Dr. Odili&#39s ability to develop a very high sense of awareness not only for his environment but his burning desire to learn.

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Essential Reads For The Soul

Have you ever heard the saying “what you are reading now determines where you will be in the next 2-5 years.” Little wonder books are so important to schools. As we begin the year 2013, we want to inspire you to be the change you want to see in Nigeria but first, learn from this great authors. You can be your own academy, go beyond your comfort zone. Grab these books which you would not have read ordinarily and absorbed the knowledge they offer, at the end you will find out you are better for exploring the avenues.

Dyed Thoughts: A Conversation in and from My Country – Nwachukwu Egbunike

Author: Nwachukwu Egbunike
Genre: Essay
Format: Paperback
Book Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 1 inches
Number of Pages: 388 pages
Publication Year: 2012
Publisher: Feathers and Ink
ISBN: 978-9785004656

Although, one of the greatest difficulties in reviewing a book made up of articles written at different points in time is uncovering a common thread that unites all the articles contained in it, Nwachukwu Egbunike has spared his readers the difficulty by establishing a common thread of love, patriotism, optimism, empathy for Nigerian in all her travails which runs through the book uniting the various articles in the collection of essays.
The collection of articles is quite impressive and covers themes such as life, death, politics, social conditions, interpersonal relations, the spirit of enterprise, decay of infrastructure, comatose social services, gender and the role of women, the arts and also religion. All this in a writing that speaks hope even when the subject at hand is sad and in a style which does not patronize the reader or the subject under treatment.

With very deft sarcasm, Nwachukwu Egbunike exposes the superstition of the average Nigerian, the preaching industry with its new found obsession with demons, witches and wizards, the unending exploitation of travelers by either the agberos or the MOPOL, the everyday drama one witnesses of east bound buses and the poor condition of our roads.

The collection of essays should be useful to any student of Nigeria’s contemporary history, politics and sociology as it sheds important light on certain key events and societal dynamics. They should certainly help explain why we have fared so badly in our efforts as a nation and perhaps point to the things we need to do to move beyond our present developmental stasis.

Tears Of The Lonely – Ayo Oyeku

Author: Ayo Oyeku
Genre: Fiction
Format: Paperback
Book Dimensions: 5 x 0.4 x 8 inches
Number of Pages: 192 pages
Publication Year: 2011
Publisher: Trafford
ISBN: 978-1466905498

Do the tears of the lonely ever dry? Okiki&#39s world is awakened by a strange encounter with a mysterious cashew tree, a talking tree. He finds solace in the mysterious tree as he leans on its tutelage to battle the vicissitudes of his family life. He faces the challenge of an intolerable father, Adigun, who grossly abuses his wife and makes life unbearable for his three children. Amope, a humble-hearted mother, with pious extravagances, would not allow her children to show ill feelings toward their benefactor as she battles with epilepsy. All these culminate in the mind of Doja, Amope&#39s first son, as he awaits the accurate time to pin his father&#39s callousness against the walls of vengeance. The stage is set when Okiki grasps education as his lasting panacea to end his tears. But darkness begins to roam around his flickering light of hope when his father escapes to the city with his secret lover, his brother is being pursued by a weight of guilty conscience, and his sister&#39s marital dream is being smeared in their pursuit to salvage Amope&#39s life. This is a heart-rending and inspiring story set in Nigeria&#39s post independence years, creating a perfect imagery of a failing nation through a dysfunctional family, while the vision for a glorious future is set in the eyes of a lonely child.

Ayo Oyeku, a Nigerian writer who showed his early niche for writing in 2004 when he published two children storybooks; First Among Equals and Noble Ambition. Afterwards, his writings started appearing in various anthologies across the globe. His commitment to nation building, earned him the State Leadership for the Read and Earn Campaign Team (REC).

Blunted On Reality – Chinedu W. Achebe

Author: Chinedu Achebe
Genre: Fiction
Format: Paperback
Book Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.4 inches
Number of Pages: 174 pages
Publication Year: 2012
Publisher: Chinedu Books
ISBN: 978-0615629254

Often times when authors decide to write an African story, they choose to focus on Africans based in Africa, forgetting that there are millions of Africans in the diaspora making stories and creating realities. These are realities that should be showcased, celebrated and at least discussed. Chinedu Achebe in his first book, Blunted On Reality, uses his book to paint a vivid picture of the professional Nigerian based in Houston Texas. In this book, he puts several stories together with the win of President Obama in the United States as the centerpiece story.

We know how excited minority communities were to have President Obama win the election but this is the first book in which various view points of his win was discussed. This book is obviously fiction but the genre is quite unclear. Blunted on Reality fuses everyday lives of Nigerian Americans, different perspectives from romance to politics all in one place, so there is something for everyone.

Chinedu W. Achebe who bears the same surname with the famous Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe, is of Igbo descent and was born in Richmond, Virginia. He received his bachelor&#39s degree in Economics from the University of Houston and currently resides in Houston,Texas.

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Essential Reads For The Soul

Our reading practice produces intellectual results. In our generation, we have come to appreciate that reading is indeed a historical entity that is used to create – first – the knowledge and secondly material substance. This applies to every form of reading and reading materials.

 

The themes that are prevailing in this week’s Essential Reads For The Soul are centered on the social vices in Nigeria. It has been often said that those thing that leads to development in a nation are not the huge projects the government undertake but the little actions of patriotic citizens. Therefore we recommend that you lay hold of the materials below to motivate the patriotism in you.

Get Inspired!


The Spider King’s Daughter – Chibuzor Onuzor

Author: Chibuzor Onuzor
Genre: Fiction
Format: Paperback
Book Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.3 x 1.1 inches
Number of Pages: 256 pages
Publication Year: March 1, 2012
Publisher: Faber & Faber
ISBN: 978-0571268894

 

Chibuzor Onuzor places the reader right inside Lagos, highlighting several salient issues in Nigerian society such as the large (and increasing) gap between the rich and the poor, human trafficking by highly organized criminal groups and of course the corruption in the Nigerian government. One can feel the afternoon heat under which the hawker sells and hear the loud noise of the traffic going past him in the constant traffic jam. One feels his exhaustion and his hardship too. The author added twist of humor, painting the rigor the character is faced with in comic relief, a great way to be reminded of the humor that can be found in tough living conditions.

The book has a cinematic sweep and works on different levels. The narration is relayed by two voices. There is a Romeo and Juliet feel to the narrative even if that tension is not apparent to the two youngsters at the beginning. The narrative voices function like two cameras’ allowing two different perspectives on the same issues; the same scenes, the same actions where it involves the major characters, Abike Johnson, scion of the wealthy Johnson dynasty and Runner G a.k.a. The Hawker son of Emmanuel Toyosi Sodipo.

The Spider King’s Daughter is a coming-of-age tale that tackles bigger issues than the fledgling love story between two people from different ends of the track which is at the centre of the book. There is the concern with corruption in high places, HIV/AIDs, destitution and human trafficking.

Chibundu Onuzo was born in Nigeria in 1991 and is the youngest of four children. She is currently studying History at Kings College, London. When not writing, Chibundu can be found playing the piano or singing.

The Secret Lives Of Baba Segi&#39s Wives – Lola Shoneyin

Author: Lola Shoneyin
Genre: Fiction
Format: Hardcover
Book Dimensions: 7.6 x 5.1 x 1 inches
Number of Pages: 288 pages

Publication Year: June 29, 2010
Publisher: William Morrow
ISBN-10: 0061946370

Set in modern-day Nigeria, Bolanle Alao who is the newest and youngest of Baba Segi&#39s wives, threatens to upset the balance of power — she is educated and beautiful, though naïve about the relationship dynamics among the other three wives in the house. Raped at 15, Bolanle considers herself disgraced and unwanted until Baba Segi, an overweight, malodorous businessman welcomes her into his family, no questions asked, until it seems she cannot conceive. Like the other wives, she feels she has been saved by Baba Segi, who accepts all of them politely, but beyond brief mentions of his sexual encounters and visits to the toilet, Baba Segi is a peripheral character. When greedy Iya Segi and Iya Femi plot to run young, sweet Bolanle out of the family, the result is disaster. It is Bolanle&#39s unexpected submissiveness that leads her and her husband to uncover a secret that forces him to assert his control over the family. Shoneyin masterfully disentangles four distinct stories, only to subtly expose what is common among them.

 

The book tackles some pretty deep themes in only 280 fast-paced pages such as illiteracy, jealousy, polygamy amongst others. It&#39s also a meditation on gender, power, class, and the idea of sacrificing one&#39s self for security. Bolanle harbors a sad secret, and the other wives have some big secrets of their own. The novel is told from the alternating perspectives of each of the four wives. Baba Segi himself doesn&#39t have a voice until near the end of the novel. Despite the alternating voices, the novel maintains a smooth flow and a clear narrative.

 

The writer Lola Shoneyin lives life joyously on her own terms, tastefully wearing her smarts and sensuality in a world bound in rigid emotional ropes of hypocrisy. She uses her works to give suggestive solutions to the prevailing shortcomings of the Nigerian society.

Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani – I Do Not Come To You By Chance

Author: Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani
Genre: Fiction
Format: Paperback
Book Dimensions: 8 x 5.2 x 1.1 inches
Number of Pages: 402 pages
Publication Year: May 5, 2009
Publisher: Hyperion
ISBN: 978-1401323110

Adaobi Tricia Nwauban&#39s debut novel is interesting from beginning to end. She paints the Nigerian atmosphere vividly, pulling you into the story. She does such a wonderful job of making the characters come to life you find yourself rooting for them to succeed in their notorious 419 scams. A fascinating look into the highs and lows of the fraud that has proliferated, with the advent of modern technology in a country rife with corruption. In this highly entertaining novel, Kingsley Ibe is an engineering school graduate who can&#39t find a job and still lives at home with his family. After his girlfriend rejects him and his father dies, Kingsley is taken on by his Uncle Boniface (aka Cash Daddy), who is in the business of Internet scams, otherwise known as 419s. Soon, Kingsley is writing e-mail solicitations to the gullible of cyberspace, and any qualms he may have had about ripping off innocent people evaporate as he steps into the good life with a big new house, a Lexus and a new love interest (who doesn&#39t know how Kingsley earns his money). Meanwhile, Cash Daddy develops political ambitions and gains some ruthless enemies bent on crushing him. As the plots converge, Kingsley must decide whether to sell his soul to build a 419 kingdom. Although the narrative follows a somewhat predictable trajectory, Kingsley&#39s engaging voice and the story&#39s vividly rendered setting prove that while crime may not pay, writing about it as infectiously as Nwaubani does certainly pays off for the reader.

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Essential Reads For The Soul

Reading is not just about completing a book. No matter what the reading material is, be it magazine, comic, novel or blog, one predominant purpose of reading is the need to satisfy a curiosity. At the end of the day, knowledge is being acquired.

In this light, today’s Essential Reads for the Soul is aimed at helping you channel your yearning for knowledge towards a positive direction.

 

Get inspired!

Charles Novia – Nollywood Till November

Author: Charles Novia

Genre: Biography

Format: Paperback

Book Dimention: 8.9 x 6 x 0.5 inches

Number of Pages: 152 pages

Publication Year: July 11, 2012

Publisher: AuthorHouse

ISBN: 978-1477224991
 
Charles Novia spared no detail in exposing the scandals that dominates Nigerian Movie Industry, Nollywood.
Nollywood Till November provides readers with an insight into the early days of Nollywood, and the challenges facing the industry, such as sex, the new generation of producers, as well as the relationship with the press.

Also embedded in the book is the story of the author, Charles Novia from his trudging days as a struggling film maker in the then cabal-styled Nollywood, to his eventual triumph And success as a major force in Africa’s biggest film industry. Through his memoirs as he chronicles his life, he reveals a personal perspective of the monumental struggles each of the now-famous personalities in Nollywood must have faced on their road to fame.

His bluntness about issues concerning Nollywood which he expressed in the book has earned the book the tag, “The Book of Secrets.”
CharlesNovia is a renowned producer and director, a screenwriter and more recently delved into music production with the establishment of November Records, a branch of November Production where he is the CEO. With over 40 movies to his credit, he is widely acknowledged as a foremost creative entrepreneur in Nollywood. He is married to Happy Novia and they have a lovely daughter, Nosakhare.

Nollywood has always been a scandalous affair, and this book Spares no details, as the veteran film-maker puts it bluntly and gives it raw in what has been described as Novia, known for his bluntness on issues concerning Nollywood believes Nollywood Till November…Memoirs of a Nollywood Insider “stands out because it is the first of its kind written by a core Nollywood filmmaker in the form of memoirs which encapsulates personal testimonies of landmark events and productions which all aided the growth of Nollywood”.

Already released in America and Europe, the 155-page memoir is available on www.Amazon.com

 

Tunde-Success Osideko – The Game Changers

The Game Changer is a timely masterpiece that deals with the most critical subject in the country today; how to get your dream job in a country with a devastating dearth of unemployment. T unde Osideko extensively shares the most important principles for attracting one’s dream job irrespective of economic realities based on his detailed studies and discussions with numerous job seekers over the years, as well as his rich experience connecting hundreds of Nigerians to their dream jobs.

 

Tunde-Success Osideko is a motivational speaker, writer, enterprise developer and business/career coach. He has a first degree in Mathematics from the University of Ibadan and currently pursuing an MBA in Leicester University with focus on Human Resources.
His book “beyond the grip of limitations” caught the attention of the Lagos based magazine Genevieve in 2010 where a review was done on it.

The game changer comes highly recommended by Dele Momodu and is available www.tunde-successosideko.com

Conquering Teenage Pitfalls – Achionu Chiagozie Winifred

Conquering Teenage Pitfalls by Chiagozie Winifred Achuonu, connects the stakesholders that are in the first contact in the early formative years of youngsters. This include, the family, parents and teachers, counsellors, and teen instructors. These are Chiagozie’s major Target in the book.

The author assert this by saying: “The bulk of the work in training children is done by parents and the home, while religion, teachers and the society also play a role”.

The nine chapter publication which seeks to inspire and encourage teenagers to overcome and live above fears and challenges that could impinge them from achieving their dreams in a society bedevilled by corruption draws experience from Chiagozie’s teenage years. The 100-page book begins with a drive from the apt definition of teen-age and teenage sociology; through to the last chapter, where in the view of the author reiterates the fact of determination as the means of overcoming challenges of choice and of necessity. She backs this up with her personal stories.

Chiagozie Winifred Achuonu is a passionate teen educator, whose interest in family life knowledge has led her to places as far as Yobe State, where she thought Family and Community Life Education during her National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) days. She holds a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Mass Communication. Her simple rendition and very straight forward conversational language makes the work – Conquering Teenage Pitfalls, a reader friendly book.

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Essential Reads For The Soul

 

Reading is learning. Reading is one of the few act that it excess cannot hurt anyone. As a matter of fact, reading is an art. The more in-depth reading, the better the literary appreciation. Reading gives one access into the mind of the author.


 

Andre Gide Puts it this way:

To read a writer is for me not merely to get an idea of what he says, but to go off with him and travel in his company.

 

In today’s Essential Reads for the Soul, we want you to take a journey into the minds of these great authors from the motherland. Get inspired!

 

Night Dancer – Chika Unigwe

Author: Chika Unigwe

Genre: Fiction

Format: Paperback

Book Dimensions: 5.5 x 8

Number of Pages: 272

Publication Year: June 7, 2012

Publisher: Jonathan Cape

ISBN: 978-0224093835

 

A powerful novel that appeals to the emotion. It deals with the relationship between mothers and daughters and how this affects the bond of the family. It also takes into cognizance, the right of a child in the family and how it should be respected. Presenting a vista of Nigeria over the past half-century, it is a vibrant and heartfelt exploration of one woman’s search for belonging.

 

Mma is in search of her identity. She is also in search of answers to her late mother’s past actions. Why did she flee her family and bring her to a new town when she was a baby? What was she escaping from?

Although her mother had left her everything, she is alone and desperate to know the answers to this questions and more. Like, who are father is.

 

Chika Unigwe, holds a Ph.D in Literature from University of Leiden in the Netherlands, she won the Nigeria Prize for Literature for her novel, On Black Sister’s Street. Her latest novel, Night Dancer, was published in Dutch in 2011 and in English in 2012.


A Bit Of Difference – Sefi Atta

 

Author:  Sefi Atta

Genre: Fiction

Format: Hardback

Book Dimensions: 5.25 x 8

Number of Pages: 224

Publication Year: 2012

Publisher: Interlink Publishing

ISBN: 978-1-56656-892-0

 

Thirty-nine years old Deola Bello is tired of being single and working overseas so when her job takes her back to Nigeria in time for her father’s five-year memorial service, she finds herself turning her scrutiny inward. In Nigeria, Deola encounters changes in her family and in the urban landscape of her home, and new acquaintances who offer unexpected possibilities. Deola’s journey is as much about evading others’ expectations to get to the heart of her frustration as it is about exposing the differences between foreign images of Africa and the realities of contemporary Nigerian life. Deola’s urgent, incisive voice captivates and guides us through the intricate layers and vivid scenes of a life lived across continents. With Sefi Atta’s characteristic boldness and vision, A Bit of Difference explores the complexities of our contemporary world.

 

Sefi Atta is the author of two previous novels, Swallow and Everything Good Will Come, and a collection of short stories, News from Home. She has been awarded the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa and the NOMA Award for Publishing in Africa. Her novels have been published around the world and translated into numerous languages, and her radio and stage plays have been performed internationally. She was born in Lagos and now lives in Mississippi.

 

Fine Boys – Eghosa Imasuen

Author: Eghosa Imasuen

Genre: Fiction

Format: Paperback

Book Dimensions: 5.5 x 8

Number of Pages: 380

Publication Year: May 30, 2012

Publisher: Farafina-Kachifo

ISBN: 978-978-50187-1-4

The story starts in Warri, 1992. 16-year-old Ewaen is waiting for university to begin; waiting for something to happen. He is sick of watching his parents fight, Months later, Ewaen and friends are finally enrolled as freshmen at the University of Benin. Their routine now consists of hanging out in a parking lot trading jibes, chasing girls and sex, and learning to manage the staff strikes and crumbling infrastructure. But Nigerian campuses in the 1990s can be dangerous places, too. Violent confraternities stake territories and stalk for new recruits. Amidst all these, an incident of petty crime snowballs into tragedy.

Fine Boys is Eghosa Imasuen’s second novel. In the witty, colloquial style fast becoming his trademark, Imasuen presents everyday Nigerian life against the backdrop of the pro-democracy riots of the 1980s and ‘90s, the lost hopes of June 12th, and the terror of the Abacha years. Indeed Fine Boys is a chronicle of not just a time in Nigeria, but its post-Biafran generation.

Eghosa Imaseun who is also a doctor has been able to joggle between the two professions with no huddles.


 

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Essential Reads For The Soul

They say if You want to keep a secret, keep it in a book, therefore the elites of this world have priced themselves on reading extensively because “Knowledge is indivisible. When people grow wise in one direction, they are sure to make it easier for themselves to grow wise in other directions as well. On the other hand, when they split up knowledge, concentrate on their own field, and scorn and ignore other fields, they grow less wise – even in their own field.” (Isaac Asimov, The Roving Mind)

 

Today&#39s reading recommendations have been chosen carefully to stir the soul in you to greatness. Get inspired!

 

 

He Dared – Offonmbuk C. Akpabio

Author: Ofeonmbuk C. Apkabio

Genre: Biography

Format: paperback

Book Dimensions: 0.6 x 0.9 x 0.1 inches

Number of Pages: 356 pages

Publication Year: February, 2011

Publisher: Xlibris Corporation

ISBN: 978-1456867379

 

 

A resourceful reprisal of the life and times of Okuku Udo Akpabio, the great colonial ruler of the Annang people of Nigeria in today’s Akwa Ibom State.

 

A man of immense insight, Okuku Udo Akpabio had to surmount very daunting circumstances to emerge as the shining light and patriarch of the Great Akpabio family. He married as many as 29 wives and they were married into the family by Udo&#39s first wife; Nne Eyen Mboho.

 

Although he lacked Western education, he gave the training of his children in the white man’s school pride of place. In 1903, when the white colonialists arrived in a forceful manner that was in no way peaceable. Okuku Udo Akpabio was elected by his people of Ukan Ikot Ntuen to be their representative as dictated by the British Administration Office at Ikot Ekpene. He thus became a “Chief by Government Warrant”. Then the “Administration elected Udo Akpabio as the first president of the court, Obong Esop, in Ikot Ekpene – a position he held until his retirement from the administration.” He would later become first paramount ruler of the district as a result of the paramount chiefdom established by the British colonial administration.

 

Udo Akpabio played a pivotal role in stemming the riots across the Owerri and Calabar districts such that Margery Perham in her book Ten Africans singled him out as the only paramount ruler to “initiate and work committedly (sic) to preserve life and property during the riots.”

 

According to Offonmbuk Akpabio, “Strengthening the traditional institutions greatly enhanced the role of Okuku Udo Akpabio as an administrator of Ikot Ekpene District, a dispenser of justice, and guardian of the norms and values of the people.” Okuku Udo Akpabio distinguishes the white man from the black man thusly: “The white men are great in their fashion of doing things.

 

 

 

Steve Jobs – Walter Isaacson

Author: Walter Isaacson

Genre: Biography

Format: Hardcover

Book Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.4 x 1.8 inches

Number of Pages: 656 pages

Publication Year: October, 2011

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

ISBN: 978-1451648539

 

 

“I have done all that I can do.”

 

This was the reply of Steve Jobs at the end of the authorised biography when asked what it felt like to be relinquishing the control of Apple.

 

Born into a humble background, Steve says his life changed at about ten “when I realised I was smarter than my parents.” His parents realised it too and helped him develop his genius.

 

He lived with his parents in a house that had a garage where they tinkered with stuff all the time. He had a neighbour who was an engineer and who introduced him to electronics. Steve Jobs also belonged to the Hewlett Packard Explorers Club which offered them insight via mentoring engineers who told them about the brave new things HP was working on. He was also a student of John McCollum’s famed electronic class. McCollum is a Silicon Valley legend, a former Navy pilot who felt that “electronics was the new auto shop.” He even made a call to Bill Hewlett, one half of Hewlett Packard who gave him a job at one of their plants thus exposing him to the inner workings of the electronic industry.

 

The point here is that Steve Jobs had access and advantage and these coupled with his genius set him on the path of technological innovation never before seen since, maybe, Thomas Edisson.

 

He dropped out of school but stayed back and took the courses he liked which included a calligraphy class. “If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would never have had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since windows just copied Mac, it’s likely that no personal computer would have them.” He says.

 

The story of Steve jobs and Apple, of how he built, lost and regained control is the classic American story writ large and Walter Isaacson does a fine job of it but it is also in many ways a cautionary tale about the limits of ambition and ego. Steve Job died at 56 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. He was a brilliant, talented, driven, ambitious and well accomplished man but as this book makes clear, his was a very conflicted personality. To put it mildly, Steve Jobs was not a very good person.

 

 

 

Purple Hibiscus – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Author: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Genre: Fiction

Format: Paperback

Book Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.4 x 0.9 inches

Number of Pages: 336 pages

Publication Year: Reprint edition April, 2012

Publisher: Algonquin Books

ISBN: 978-1616202415

 

 

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie studied medicine at the University of Nigeria then decided to come to the United States to study communications and political science. She recieved multiple awards for Purple Hibiscus which included Commonwealth Writers Prize 2005: Best First Book. she was also recognised and interviewed by Oprah. She explores what it means to be Nigerian, also what it means to be Nigerian-American in the book.

 

Purple Hibiscus is set in postcolonial Nigeria. The central character is Kambili Achike, a member of a wealthy family dominated by her devoutly Catholic father and a newspaperman who is focused on telling the truth of the upheaval in Nigeria, The story is told through Kambili’s eyes and is essentially about the disintegration of her family unit and her struggle to grow to maturity. A key period is the time Kambili and her brother spend at the house of her father’s sister, Ifeoma, and her three children. This household offers a marked contrast to what Kambili and Jaja are used to. Though Catholic, it practices a completely different form of Catholicism, making for a happy, liberal place that encourages its members to speak their minds. In this nurturing environment both Kambili and Jaja become more open, more able to voice their own opinions.

 

 

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Essential Reads For The Soul

Reading expands the mind and helps elevate to a greater height. We have therefore compiled a list of best selling books to help you stretch your imagination and keep you thinking, it’s all about being a better person.

 

The first two of the three recommended books for this week are books that are currently trending in the literary world as they have been shortlisted for the Nigeria prize for Literature 2012, where they stand a chance to win One hundred thousand United States Dollars (USD 100,000). A total of 214 books were submitted for the 2012 edition of The Nigeria Prize for Literature, and now only 3 books are left for the judges to select a winner on the 1st of November, 2012, at an exclusive event.

 

Today’s reading recommendations are to re-inspire your habit of reading and to introduce you to quality features where you can learn.

 

Enjoy!

 

Onaedo: The Blacksmith’s Daughter – Ngozi Achebe

 

Genre: Fiction Novel

Format: Paperback & E-book

Book Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5 x 0.8 inches

Number of Pages: 360

Publication Year: March, 2010

Publisher: Mandac-Goldberg

ISBN: 978-0982647318

 

“Onaedo- The Blacksmith’s Daughter” is a work of fiction and the tale of two women separated by four hundred years of history. There are twists and unexpected turns in the storyline right from the beginning to end.

 

The book is an introduction to an African world that will haunt and surprise; an exquisite story told from a point of view that is rarely heard. It is a tale of two women separated by time but linked by history. Maxine a modern American woman who is half white and half African comes across a set of diaries written by a slave in the 16th century in her quest to connect with her Nigerian father. Then there is Onaedo a young woman from that era who found herself in the middle of events that were set in motion in a country far away from her small town in Igboland in West Africa.

 

The main character in the book, Onaedo, an Igbo girl, starts her life in an idyllic, the daughter of a renowned blacksmith with her own trials and tribulations as a young, independent minded girl growing up in a traditional society but then becomes caught up in the Portuguese slave trade in the age of discovery.

 

There are poignantly drawn sharp storylines and an unforgettable cast of characters and villains; from Oguebie the renegade who betrays his own people of Abonani, to Aku and Ugodi, Onaedo’s aunt and mother both of whom try to guide her through her coming of age into womanhood in Igbo society. The activities of the two Portuguese slave merchants, Pasquale and Alvarez, have a far reaching effect on the lives of the many people that they come in contact with.

 

On Black Sisters’ Street – Chika Unigwe

 

Genre: Novel (Based on true stories)

Format: Paperback

Book Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.9 x 19.8 cm

Number of Pages: 304

Publication Year: September 2010

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 978-0099523949

 

‘On Black Sisters&#39 Street’ is a probing and unsettling exploration of the many factors that lead African women into prostitution in Europe, and it pulls no punches about the sordid nature of the job. Four naive young women, Sisi, Joyce, Ama and Efe, fall under the money-making spell of pimp-daddy “Senghor Dele” in Lagos.

 

At the house on Zwarterzusterstraat four very different women have made their way from Africa to claim for themselves the riches of Europe. Sisi, Ama, Efe and Joyce are prostitutes, the girls who stand in the windows of the red-light district, promising to make men&#39s dreams come true – if only for half an hour and fifty euros. The murder of Sisi, the most enigmatic of the women, shatters their already fragile world and as the women gather to mourn, the stories they have kept hidden are finally told.

 

Drawn together by tragedy, these four women reveal, each in her own voice, what has brought them to their present lives. Joyce, a great beauty whose life has been destroyed by war; Ama, whose dark moods manifest a past injustice; Efe, whose efforts to earn her keep are motivated by a particular zeal and finally, Sisi, whose imagination takes her far beyond the squalor of her reality. These are stories of terror, of displacement, of love, and of a sinister man named Dele.

 

Raw, vivid and suffused with the power of the oral story-telling tradition, ‘On Black Sisters&#39 Street’ is a moving story of the illusion of the West through African eyes, and its annihilation. It is also, however, a story of courage, of unity and of hope

 

A Bit Of Difference – Sefi Atta

 

Genre: Fiction Novel

Format: Paperback

Book Dimensions: 8 x 5.5 x 1 inches

Number of Pages: 224

Publication Year: September 2012

Publisher: Interlink Books

ISBN: 978-1566568920

 

With Sefi Atta’s characteristic boldness and vision, A Bit of Difference limns the complexities of our contemporary world. The novel is an up-close portrait of middle-class Nigeria exploring the boundaries of morals and public decorum. It is pitched between humor and despair, with stripped-down, evocative prose.

 

At thirty-nine, Deola Bello, a Nigerian expatriate in London, is dissatisfied with being single and working overseas. Deola works as a financial reviewer for an international charity, and when her job takes her back to Nigeria in time for her father’s five-year memorial service, she finds herself turning her scrutiny inward. In Nigeria, Deola encounters changes in her family and in the urban landscape of her home, and new acquaintances who offer unexpected possibilities.

 

Deola’s journey is as much about evading others’ expectations to get to the heart of her frustration as it is about exposing the differences between foreign images of Africa and the realities of contemporary Nigerian life. Deola’s urgent, incisive voice captivates and guides us through the intricate layers and vivid scenes of a life lived across continents.

 

Sefi Atta is the author of two previous novels, Swallow and Everything Good Will Come, and a collection of short stories, News from Home, all published by Interlink Books. She has been awarded the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa and the NOMA Award for Publishing in Africa. Her novels have been published around the world and translated into numerous languages, and her radio and stage plays have been performed internationally.

 

 

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Essential Reads For The Soul

Reading expands the mind and helps elevate to a greater height. We have therefore compiled a list of best selling books to help you stretch your imagination and keep you thinking, it’s all about being a better person.

 

Hardly anything is better for the mental, spiritual and creative health than resolving to read more. Today’s reading recommendations are to re-inspire your habit of reading and to introduce you to quality features where you can learn.

 

Enjoy!

 

Wings Of the Night – Azuka Onwuka

Author: Azuka Onwuka

Genre: Fiction Novel

Format: Paperback & E-book

Book Dimensions: 8 x 5.2 x 0.4 inches

Number of Pages: 144

Publication Year: July, 2012

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

ISBN: 978-1478115960

 

‘Wings of the Night’ is a novel that challenges some notions about life as well as draws the reader’s attention to some important aspects of life. ‘Wings of the Night’ has many themes, but the chief among them is that we should not give up in the face of challenges, no matter how weighty or insurmountable they may seem. Challenges are meant to bring out the best in us, not defeat us. There is also the theme of the need for us to know our genealogy or ancestry and not be ashamed of it.

 

The storyline is about Nduka. Fatherless from the cradle, bereaved of wife and son in his prime, Nduka seems to have a magnetic implant, which pulls disasters to him as carrion attracts scavengers. Is he atoning for the sins of his ancestors or his sins? Is this the evil hand of an envious uncle at work? Or is he merely star-crossed? 22 years in the making, and set in both 15th century and 21st century Igboland.

 

‘Wings of the Night’ is picturesque, compact, suspense-filled, literary fiction in which the past is inextricably woven into the present and breath-taking incidents gallop after each other from the first page to the last. Abandoned by his gods, forsaken by his ancestors, and betrayed by man, Nduka recoils from society, choosing his sheep as his new family. Wherever the winds lead, he follows like a lunatic. Neither the elements nor wild beasts will deter him. But it seems that the more he flees from life, the more he flees to his destiny, even though not without tears and blood.

 

The author, Azuka Onwuka has a knack for storytelling. He sucks you in, carries you along and by the time you are done, you are part of the scenery and the characters. He wrote as the Igbos of the old talked, with proverbs. This is a dying act and Onwuka by this singular deed, has put the engine in motion to revive this art. Considering that this is his first novel, he has set a standard that would make me anticipate his next offering with much eagerness.

 

 

There Was A Country – Chinua Achebe

Author: Chinua Achebe

Genre: Historical Biography

Format: Paperback

Book Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.6 x 1.4 inches

Number of Pages: 352

Publication Year: October, 2012

Publisher: Penguin Press

ISBN: 978-1594204821

 

World renowned poet and African respected writer, Chinua Achebe, has taken the minds of Nigerians back to the hard times of the late 60’s during the Biafran War or the Nigerian Civil War, in a book titled ‘There Was A Country’. The book is a personal history of Biafra as remembered by Achebe, described in detail and personal words the description of how the events during the war came about.

 

Achebe has already written extensively about Biafra in poems, short stories and essays. There Was a Country draws on much of this material. A dozen poems are dispersed throughout the text. His accounts of the mental-health burdens and role of women resonate with short stories from his Girls at War.

 

In his new book, Achebe writes about many things. His memoir is a deeply reflective tour de force into the events that shaped the Achebean era – an era of great promise that slipped into great infamy. Chinua Achebe has given shape and form to the truths of this era.

 

The defining experience of Chinua Achebe’s life was the Nigerian civil war, also known as the Biafran War, of 1967–1970. The conflict was infamous for its savage impact on the Biafran people, Chinua Achebe’s people, many of whom were starved to death after the Nigerian government blockaded their borders. By then, Chinua Achebe was already a world-renowned novelist, with a young family to protect. He took the Biafran side in the conflict and served his government as a roving cultural ambassador, from which vantage he absorbed the war’s full horror. Immediately after, Achebe took refuge in an academic post in the United States, and for more than forty years he has maintained a considered silence on the events of those terrible years, addressing them only obliquely through his poetry. Now, decades in the making, comes a towering reckoning with one of modern Africa’s most fateful events, from a writer whose words and courage have left an enduring stamp on world literature.

Achebe masterfully relates his experience, bothas he lived it and how he has come to understand it. He begins his story with Nigeria’s birth pangs and the story of his own upbringing as a man and as a writer so that we might come to understand the country’s promise, which turned to horror when the hot winds of hatred began to stir. To read There Was a Country is to be powerfully reminded that artists have a particular obligation, especially during a time of war. All writers, Achebe argues, should be committed writers—they should speak for their history, their beliefs, and their people.

Marrying history and memoir, poetry and prose, There Was a Country is a distillation of vivid firsthand observation and forty years of research and reflection. Wise, humane, and authoritative, it will stand as definitive and reinforce Achebe’s place as one of the most vital literary and moral voices of our age.

 

How Laziness Saved My Life – Okechukwu Ofili

Author: Okechukwu Ofili

Genre: Motivational/Inspirational

Format: Paperback & E-Book

Book Dimensions: 8 x 5 x 0.4 inches

Number of Pages: 178

Publication Year: May, 2012

Publisher: OfiliSpeaks

ISBN: 978-0984572533

 

After Okechukwu Ofili’s first book, everything seemed to be going well for the engineer turned blogger turned speaker, but all that changed when he visited the doctor’s office for a routine check-up and was diagnosed with a life threatening disease. He later found out that his diagnosis was a result of over working himself at his job. After seeing other people getting burnt out from work, he decided to write his second book to show that contrary to popular belief, laziness can actually save your life! The result is the witty “How Laziness Saved My Life”.

 

The book is a collection of radical business ideas for tired, overworked and frustrated people looking for an easier way to get stuff done. ‘How Laziness Saved My Life’ is a hilarious attack at the way corporations and businesses push themselves and their employees to the brink of stress.

 

With chapters such as “Three Things I Learned From Getting Kicked In The Head”, “Why We Need Fewer Meetings and Managers” and “What WashingUnderwear Taught My About Customer Service”, Okechukwu Ofili was able to poke fun at the work institution as we know it but at the same time offer simple solutions for managers and entrepreneurs to help get the most out of themselves and their employees without killing anyone in the process.

 

The book is not your regular business book written by an MBA student and filled with dramatic case studies and business theories. Rather it is an accidental business book, filled with crazy and sometimes hilarious stories that often contain powerful and endearing business lessons.

 

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Essential Reads For The Soul

Reading expands the mind and helps elevate to a greater height. We have therefore compiled a list of best selling books to help you stretch your imagination and keep you thinking, it’s all about being a better person.

 

Hardly anything is better for the mental, spiritual and creative health than resolving to read more. Today’s reading recommendations are to re-inspire your habit of reading and to introduce you to quality features where you can learn.

 

Enjoy!

 

‘The Funeral Did Not End’ By Sylva Nze Ifedigbo

 

 Author: Sylva Nze Ifedigbo

Genre: Fiction (Short Stories)

Format: Paperback & E-book

Book Dimensions: 5.5 x 8

Number of Pages: 296

Publication Year: August, 2012

Publisher: Dada Book

ISBN: 978-978916614-5

 

‘The Funeral Did Not End’ is a collection of twenty stories that peers into the fabric of the Nigerian Society, offering a delightful insight into the everyday life of Nigerians. The writer has successfully merged his penchant for social commentary with his capacity for observing that same society with a keen eye and a mind that understands perfectly well, how to negotiate the threshold where the profound meets the mundane.

 

From the first story to the very last one in the 20-story collection, ‘The Funeral Does Not End’ brims with a depth of knowledge of the Nigerian state and the Nigerian situation that could only have come from a conscious effort by the writer to pay close attention to instances others see as commonplace and ignore.

 

The stories are immediately familiar; the characters people one could put faces and provide names to from the immediate environment. The wow factor is the ability of the stories to hold you and cause you to wonder at your place in the whole. They question our politics, our humanity and our reason for being.

 

The 20 stories are – Tunji’s Proposal, Lunch On Good Friday, Death On Gimbiya Street, The Funeral Did Not End, On The Hot Seat, The Call room, Share The Money, One Lonely Harmattan Night, Sound Proof, On the Line From America, The Second Invitation, Musa the Hired Supporter, My Abroad Husband, Blood Is Not So Thick, Sister Stacy, Council Meeting, The Scourge Of Vandals, The Lord Of The Creek, The Smoke And the Fire, and Guilt Trip.

 

A copy of this book can be gotten in various outlets across the country, so for more information,

visit the book’s Facebook page or email books@dadaenterprises.net .

The book is available for digital download at http://www.takada.com.ng/ .

 

‘The Son Of Our Father’s Concubine’ By Seun Salami

 

Author: ‘Seun Salami

Genre: Fiction (Short Stories)

Format: Paperback & E-book

Publication Year: August, 2011

Publisher: Vine Media

ISBN: 978-97891556-13

 

This book is a collection of 8 short stories that will make you reflect on your position in life. The stories deal with subjects like rape, faith, the search for identity/adventure, and so on, but they are all tragedies.

 

‘The Son of Your Father’s Concubine’ is a distinct work of fiction with different tales that delves into the crevices of life, extracting knowledge from the unexplored and under-explored areas of life. In this thought provoking literature, the author, ‘Seun Salami, takes on the often ignored subjects like relationships, rape, national development, faith, and many more. As you read the book, you will find out why it is interesting, rich and full of wisdom

 

In “Kweku’s Return”, a young brilliant footballer travels to Europe for greener pastures, only to fail in his attempts and has to return in the most unexpected of ways.

 

In the title story, “The Son Of Your Father’s Concubine”, a young chaste Christian girl in the church choir who was raped on her way home from a vigil on Saturday of Easter. She got pregnant and didn’t realize it early enough. Her world takes a turn for the worse when her parents and the church turn their backs on her because she refused to confess who she had been ‘fornicating’ with. A year later, she meets the man who raped her and he is now a pastor. From then, the story takes an unprecedented twist.

 

The Son Of Your Father’s Concubine is thought provoking and should be grabbed off the shelves in bookstores. The book is available at major bookshops in Lagos as well as selected places in other states; Hub Media Stores, Silverbird Lifestyle Stores, Terra Kulture, Debonair Bookshop, University of Ibadan bookshop, Obafemi Awolowo University Bookshop and Bundle of Joy in GRA, Benin.

 

For more information about the book, you can follow the author on Twitter @SeunWrites or on Facebook| Seun’Salami.

The book is available for digital download at www.vinemediang.com

 

‘London Life, Lagos Living’ By Bobo Omotayo

 

Author: Bobo Omotayo

Genre: Fiction (Short Stories)

Format: Paperback

Number of Pages: 192

Publication Year: January, 2011

Publisher: RnB

ISBN: 978-9789170609

 

This book may resonate particularly with those living in the diaspora who often visit home or those who have moved back—that constant comparing and that feeling of being a hybrid are all a part of this book. Bobo Omotayo provides witty, honest and sometimes controversial musings on Lagos life.

 

Bobo Omotayo has compiled a collection of short stories including some previously published and also new material laced with the same wit and honesty as his once controversial postings. The short stories are predominately based on the author’s life experiences in Lagos. It documents his experiences of work, life, love and social circles in two contrasting but equally cosmopolitan cities; and comes complete with a glossary providing definitions of slang and other colloquial sayings, specific to both London and Lagos.

 

The book is peppered with an array of art, illustration and photography – courtesy of a handful of international artists, photographers and illustrators. London Life, Lagos Living is one of a kind; a rare coffee-table style book with sharp and witty written content, full of several laugh-out-loud moments whilst also being aesthetically pleasing thanks to the assortment of eye-catching yet thought-provoking images.

 

The book is available at Terrakulture, Bogobiri, The Lifehouse, Orchid Bistro, AAF, Debonairs Bookstore and other bookstores. For more information, or to order the book you can email the author at boboomotayo@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter @boboomotayo. You can also visit the website

 

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