Category Archives: Book Reviews

Book Review#7 ‘Years Of Yes’ by Shonda Rhimes

This was a surprisingly good book about confronting your fears and being more open to new experiences. Shonda Rhimes is the writer and producer of several popular TV shows, including “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal” and “How to Get Away With Murder.” A self-described introvert, she realized she was always turning down opportunities to attend gatherings because she would rather stay home with her kids or just keep working.

So she challenged herself to spend a year saying yes to things that scared her, such as going on the Jimmy Kimmel show and giving a commencement speech at Dartmouth. The experiences were positive, and soon it became easier to agree to things that used to scare her. She also got inspired to exercise more and start eating better, and she lost 100 pounds. 

A friend recommended this book to me, saying it had some good stories about balancing work and personal life. I was glad I gave it a chance, because I did find it inspiring and got some useful tips. I listened to this on audio, and Shonda was an entertaining performer. Recommended for those who like project memoirs or life-changing stories.

Favorite Quotes from the book.

  1. “They tell you: Follow your dreams. Listen to your spirit. Change the world. Make your mark. Find your inner voice and make it sing. Embrace failure. Dream. Dream and dream big. As a matter of fact, dream and don’t stop dreaming until your dream comes true.
    I think that’s crap.
    I think a lot of people dream. And while they are busy dreaming, the really happy people, the really successful people, the really interesting, powerful, engaged people? Are busy doing.”
  2. “Happiness comes from living as you need to, as you want to. As your inner voice tells you to. Happiness comes from being who you actually are instead of who you think you are supposed to be.” 
  3. Dreams are lovely. But they are just dreams. Fleeting, ephemeral. Pretty. But dreams do not come true just because you dream them. It’s hard work that makes things happen. It’s hard work that creates change.” 
  4. “Her toolbox is full. She has learned to not let go of the pieces of herself that she needs in order to be what someone else wants. She’s learned not to compromise. She’s learned not to settle. She’s learned, as difficult as it is, how to be her own sun.”
  5. “Lucky implies I didn’t do anything. Lucky implies something was given to me. Lucky implies that I was handed something I did not earn, that I did not work hard for. Gentle reader, may you never be lucky. I am not lucky. You know what I am? I am smart, I am talented, I take advantage of the opportunities that come my way and I work really, really hard. Don’t call me lucky. Call me a badass.”
  6. “Losing yourself does not happen all at once. Losing yourself happens one no at a time.”
  7. “Saying yes . . . saying yes is courage. Saying yes is the sun. Saying yes is life.”
  8. “It’s not bragging if you can back it up,” I whisper to myself in the shower every morning. That is my favorite Muhammad Ali quote. If you ask me, Ali invented modern-day swagger.” 
  9. “You just have to keep moving forward. You just have to keep doing something, seizing the next opportunity, staying open to trying something new. It doesn’t have to fit your vision of the perfect job or the perfect life. Perfect is boring, and dreams are not real. Just . . . DO.” 
  10. “Yes to everything scary.
    Yes to everything that takes me out of my comfort zone.
    Yes to everything that feels like it might be crazy.
    Yes to everything that feels out of character.
    Yes to everything that feels goofy.
    Yes to everything.
    Everything.
    Say yes.
    Yes.
    Speak. Speak NOW.
    “Yes,” I say. “Yes” 

great read!!! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED FOR WOMEN!

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Book Review#6 ‘Stay With Me’ by Ayobami Adebayo

I’m never quite sure what has me rate a book 5 stars. I rarely do so. I think I save my 5 stars for books that have me fully intellectually and emotionally engaged. Stay With Me was that kind of reading experience. Set in Nigeria between the mid 1980s and 2008, Stay With Me is about the tortuous relationship between Yejide and Akin, and their heartbreaking road to parenthood. I don’t want to say too much about the story because it’s best to experience its emotional punch as it unfolds but here are some of the things I loved about Stay With Me:

-I loved the portrayal of Yejide. No one will agree with all of her decisions but Adebayo has created a character that felt so real. The consequences of losing her mother at birth are perfectly woven into this angry, aching and intelligent character.

-There is a lot of love in this book, but it is love between humans. So it comes at a price including bad decisions made out of love, silence where speaking is needed and avoidance because of the fear of loss.

-I loved the portrayal of contemporary Nigeria. As someone who knows relatively little about Nigeria, this book gave me a strong sense of the interplay of traditional culture, modernity and political unrest. Yejide and Akin are university educated and relatively well to do. Yejide runs her own hair salon and Akin works for a bank. Yet they both come from traditional polygamous families, and there is much pressure on Akin to take on a second wife — something Yejide vehemently opposes.

-Although Stay With Me is relatively short, a lot happens in this story and much of it is unexpected. This is not a story with a typical narrative arc but it is carefully and beautifully constructed.
-Adebayo treads intelligently on morally charged territory.
-And the ending — yikes — had me weepy.

I loved it. I highly recommend it. Although I suspect that many will struggle with many of Yejide and Akin’s choices and actions. Thank You Netgalley- Knopf Doubleday Publishing- and the ‘star’ of this book: Ayobami Adebayo 

Book Review#5 ‘Why Men Love Bitches’ by Sherry Argov

I read this book for three reasons. Firstly, it was out of curiosity. Secondly, for experimental purposes and thirdly, the title was catchy.  So I spent the past few days learning about the bitch theory: How to be a bitch. The bitch lifestyle. What the bitch eats, sleeps, thinks. Go for the crotch or rip his heart out straight up.

But first. What the author mean by this term: Bitch

Bitch (noun)- A woman who won’t bang her head against the wall obsessing over someone else’s opinion–be it a man or anyone else in her life. She understands that if someone does not approve of her, it’s just one person’s opinion; therefore, it’s of no real importance. she doesn’t try to live up to anyone else’s standards- only her own. Because of this she relates to man very differently

The “new and improved” bitch is not a bad thing. She is a refined version of the proverbial, “old” bitch. She’s not abrasive or mean, nor does she nag to get what she wants. She speaks with her actions, and she’s only a bitch when she has to be.

According to some, the word derives from the first letters in the following phrase: B abe I n T otal C ontrol of H erself. The only higher crown, the only higher honor, is to be called a “High Maintenance Bitch.” It’s a sign of success, indicating that this is the woman the guy ends up keeping

Pretty great I’d say. I learned a lot from this book… that I will not be using. Why? Because I don’t want to be a “bitch.” I disagree strongly with a lot of points in here. Nice girl syndrome? Maybe. Some points were solid, I won’t do this book a dishonor and be oblivious to them but I believe you can be a “nice girl” and still be firm and strong. I believe you don’t need strategies and game plans in relationships. Trickery and a whole lot of other shenanigans to effect commitment. If you do then don’t be sorry when it feels like a lie. Because it is a lie. The problem wasn’t the advice and tips itself, but more about the context and how they projected the imagery of puppet and puppet master.

Sherry Argov went on. A bitch doesn’t need approvals. She has her own priorities ..her things are equally important for her…she knows who she is….she can take decisions for herself…she knows how to please herself…she doesn’t let her be taken for granted and much more of similar blah blah… so much of idealism that sometimes it was too overwhelming! Do such women exist?? Are such women actually someone a man would long for??

It’s an OK read. Some things are true and we all know about them. There are things which we would like to hold true and some are quite superficial and maybe a bit far from reality. It really depends on context, your background, perspective and so on! You won’t miss anything great if you don’t read it and if you do, it’s not going to change much in you (my personal view!!) just because you read this book!!! And if you get loved by a man because you are a “bitch”, you are one lucky woman! LOL

Few “bitchy” lines from the book:

“Anytime a woman competes with another woman she demeans herself.”

“He must feel that you choose to be with him, not that you need to be with him.”

“When you meet someone who is truly great, he makes you believe you can be great, too. This is the kind of relationship you want, and it’s the only kind of relationship worth having.”

“The most attractive quality of all is dignity.”

“The more independent you are of him, the more interested he will be.”

“Men don’t respond to words. What they respond to is “no contact”.”

“Success in love isn’t about looks, it’s about attitude.”

“If someone else doesn’t like your confidence, that’s their problem.

“Why? You always come before they do, that’s why.”

“Men control the world, but women control the men.”

“If you can’t convince ’em, confuse ’em.”

“You can get away with saying much more with humor than you can with a straight face”

“The nice girl makes the mistake of being available all the time.”

“When a woman acts as though she’s capable of everything, she gets stuck doing everything.”

“It isn’t about looks; gorgeous women get dumped every day.”

“Don’t learn the tricks of the trade. Learn the trade.”

#liveandlearn

Book Review#4 ‘The Subtle Art of NOT Giving A Fuck’ by Mark Manson

Okay, let me just go straight to the point.

I don’t usually go for self help books cause to me they are all the same! Smile more, love more, hate less, don’t give up, it’s gonna be okay, it’s all in your head. Blah blah blah…. but this one was the exception. Anything with curse words on the cover picks my interest 😛 The first half of it was my favorite.

It made me rethink all the times I ever gave a fuck over some of the most irrelevant things in hindsight. It made me realize that it’s sometimes necessary to take a step back and re-evaluate why I think so-and-so on a daily basis.

I also wrote down a lot of Mark Manson’s writing into my notes because I knew I would need it in the near future. Here’s a few pieces that helped me and then some:

1. “The key to a good life is not giving a fuck about more; it’s giving a fuck about less, giving a fuck about only what is true and immediate and important.”

2. Because when you give too many fucks—when you give a fuck about everyone and everything—you will feel that you’re perpetually entitled to be comfortable and happy at all times, that everything is supposed to be just exactly the fucking way you want it to be. This is a sickness. And it will eat you alive. You will see every adversity as an injustice, every challenge as a failure, every inconvenience as a personal slight, every disagreement as a betrayal. You will be confined to your own petty, skull-sized hell, burning with entitlement and bluster, running circles around your very own personal Feedback Loop from Hell, in constant motion yet arriving nowhere”

YES! This is exactly how I feel when I give too many fucks about things that have little lasting impact on my life.

3. “Life is essentially an endless series of problems, Mark,” the panda told me. He sipped his drink and adjusted the little pink umbrella.The solution to one problem is merely the creation of the next one.”
A moment passed, and then I wondered where the fuck the talking panda came from. And while we’re at it, who made these margaritas?
“Don’t hope for a life without problems,”
the panda said. “There’s no such thing. Instead, hope for a life full of good problems.”

Disappointment Panda was one of the best additions to this book.

4. “Who you are is defined by what you’re willing to struggle for. People who enjoy the struggles of a gym are the ones who run triathlons and have chiseled abs and can bench-press a small house. People who enjoy long workweeks and the politics of the corporate ladder are the ones who fly to the top of it. People who enjoy the stresses and uncertainties of the starving artist lifestyle are ultimately the ones who live it and make it.
This is not about willpower or grit. This is not another admonishment of “no pain, no gain.” This is the most simple and basic component of life: our struggles determine our successes. Our problems birth our happiness, along with slightly better, slightly upgraded problems.
See: it’s a never-ending upward spiral. And if you think at any point you’re allowed to stop climbing, I’m afraid you’re missing the point. Because the joy is in the climb itself.”

This book is slowly but surely shifting my world.

5. “A lot of people might hear all of this and then say something like, “Okay, but how? I get that my values suck and that I avoid responsibility for all of my problems and that I’m an entitled little shit who thinks the world should revolve around me and every inconvenience I experience—but how do I change?”
And to this I say, in my best Yoda impersonation: “Do, or do not; there is no ‘how.’ ”
You are already choosing, in every moment of every day, what to give a fuck about, so change is as simple as choosing to give a fuck about something else.
It really is that simple. It’s just not easy.
It’s not easy because you’re going to feel like a loser, a fraud, a dumbass at first. You’re going to be nervous. You’re going to freak out. You may get pissed off at your wife or your friends or your father in the process. These are all side effects of changing your values, of changing the fucks you’re giving. But they are inevitable.
It’s simple but really, really hard.”

6. And let’s be honest here. If you were to add up all the people who have some psychiatric disorder, struggle with depression or suicidal thoughts, have been subjected to neglect or abuse, have dealt with tragedy or the death of a love one, and have survived serious health issues, accidents, or trauma – if you were to round up all those people and put them in the room, well, you’d probably have to round up everyone, because nobody makes it through life without collecting a few scars on the way out. Sure some people get saddled with worse problems than others. And some people are legitimately victimized in horrible ways. But as much as this may upset us or disturb us, it’s ultimately changes nothing about the responsibility equation of your individual situation. Nobody else is ever responsible for your situation but YOU. This is because YOU always get to choose how to see things, how to react to things, hot to value things. YOU always get to choose the metric by which to measure your experiences.

DAMN! Mark Manson. That’s so damn true. There’s no big or small problem. It’s just how you see it.

7. Growth is an endlessly iterative process. When we learn something new, we don’t go from “wrong” to “right.” Rather, we go from wrong to slightly less wrong. And when we learn something additional, we go from slightly less wrong to slightly less wrong than that, and then to even less wrong than that, and so on. We are always in the process of approaching truth and perfection without actually ever reaching truth or perfection.”

I could go on and on about the AWESOME NOTES I wrote will reading this book. But that means, I will write the entire book here.

Damn, I wasn’t prepared for The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck to completely change my worldview in such a meaningful way. I will cherish this book for a long time to come.

In simple terms: the aim of this book is to help the reader to think a little bit more clearly about what they’re choosing to find important in life and what they’re choosing to find unimportant.

I read my as an E-BOOK on my phone and every time I was doing nothing I was scrolling through my phone because of Mark Manson.

#LiveandLearn

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Book Review#3 “I Can’t Make This Up: Life Lessons” by Kevin Hart.

This is a surprisingly inspiring book. Yes, it was inspiring to read about how he overcame a challenging childhood to become the only comedian in history to sell out an NFL stadium, but it was also jam-packed with motivational passages for anyone who is working toward a dream.

I LOVED this book. I really appreciated how honest and genuine the entire book felt. He was upfront about having a writer, and I think Hart and Strauss collaborated perfectly. You can just see the Hart shining through the entire memoir.
This book is not at all what I expected it would be. I didn’t think it was that funny. I chuckled a handful of times while reading it, but I actually liked that about it. Instead of it being a written version of a comedy special (like I thought it would be), it read like an inspirational story that absolutely anyone would love.


There are sooo many things I loved about this book.
1. I loved how much he loves and honors his mom for everything she did for him. He could have whined and complained, but instead he honors her as being the reason why he succeeded.
2. He was not scared to show his ugly side, and I just felt this made it so much more authentic, and showed you how much he has grown as a person. This alone makes you want to strive to become better as well.
3. His positivity is just such a beautiful trait, and it shines throughout.
4. I loved his advice because he cited examples from his own life where he wished he had known or followed his own advice.
5. I admire what a great dad he is despite having a horrible father himself. He never once bashed his dad, but stated facts and expressed his love for his dad nonetheless.

Best Quotes from this book that I’m sure will help me in my journey of writing a book too:

  1. It’s easy to complain about your life—how tough it is, how unfair it is, how stressful it is, how everyone else has it much better. But if you step into the life of someone you envy for just a day, you’ll discover that everyone has their own problems, and they’re usually worse than yours. Because your problems are designed specifically for you, with the specific purpose of helping you grow.
  2. I’ve learned so many valuable lessons in my life, and this was one of the most important: Do your best, always. Because you never know who’s watching.
  3. It just takes one person to say one thing, and your whole life can change. If success happens in part by chance, then the more you expose yourself to it, the luckier you will be. I worked hard in order to get lucky.
  4. That’s when I learned the biggest lesson of all: humility. In the depths of my disappointment and failure, I understood that nothing in life is guaranteed. One day you’re hot, the next you’re not. One day you’re rich, the next you’re poor. One day you’re free, the next you’re in jail. One day you’re alive, the next you are dead. You can work hard. You can be talented. You can know all the right people. You can be smart, rich, beautiful, everything – and still, life can deal you a bad hand. So what are you to do in the face of a reality that can be indifferent, cold even cruel?  All you have to do is play the odds. If you choose to give up, you can be fairly certain that life will pass you by. But if you choose to try your best , you can at least tip the balance significantly in your favor. Life is not about result – we all have the same outcome in the end. Life is about the effort you put into it.
  5. Sometimes you got to take three steps back to know that there’s a lot more steps you can still take backward.

I don’t know if this book is for everyone if you’re not a fan of Kevin’s standup this book may not be for you, but if you love his standup you will definitely recognize a lot of the stories and people in this book.

Got my copy as an Ebook!

#LiveandLearn.

 

 

 

Book Challenge #2: ‘The Naked Face’ by Sidney Sheldon

When I was in high school I was surrounded by readers and they enjoyed reading Sidney Sheldon’s books. Seriously, every recess or break time one one of those Sidney Sheldon readers will sit beside you or in the corner and shouting and screaming. So I was curious of his works, and I tried one of his novel, ‘IF TOMORROW COMES’ and it was good.

I remember when dad would take us to church on Sundays, my sister and I would rather spend time at the church library reading books. And oh yes, she was ‘the shouting and screaming’ type of person when reading a Sheldon’s book. She was hooked. I wasn’t. My favorites were ‘Sweet Valley High and Goosebumps and sometimes, Danielle steel – though some of her books were huge and I was scared of the many pages.

Anyways, last month, I went to a friend’s house and I met ‘THE NAKED FACE’. I was super excited. I quickly shoved it in my bag, without borrowing,  and began reading it immediately I left my friend’s house. I am a slow reader and also, some personal work and school made me throw the book in my bedside drawer days later. Nonetheless, I finished it.

Suspense, Intrigue and passion Novel. I researched and I realized, THE NAKED FACE was Sidney Sheldon’s first novel published in 1970 and it was nominated by the Mystery Writers of America for the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best First Novel. As I researched, I also read some reviews on Sheldon’s books. Most say, it’s easy to predict everything. That his style never changed and so do the twist in the near ends of his books. Well, this might be true.

THE NAKED FACE is about a psychoanalyst in Chicago, Dr. Judd Stevens who’s been followed by an unknown murderer. And he tries to use his skills as a psychoanalyst to identify the murderer or he will be accused of murder or he will be murdered next. It all starts 10 days before Christmas when one of his patients, John Hanson, a homosexual was murdered with a knife in his back. Then Carol Roberts, her sexy assistant, who was covered with acid and tortured to death.

In 10 days, Dr. Judd Stevens will either be killed or be saved from the hands of the criminals. As a doctor he must protect his clients secrets, their worst problems but in the back of his mind, he wonders whether they were the one who wanted to murder him. Too many suspect, too little time. Two agents came to assist him as the story flows, Angeli and McGreavy.

It was an interesting read but from the beginning I predicted the murderer. Sheldon and his twists at the ends of the book, tried to make me lose my own bet, but I stuck to my suspect. And I was right. I was nice to have an old book in my hands again.

Follow: bookish.dodo on instagram where I share awesome quotes from every book I read and review. IT’S ALL ABOUT BOOKS. If you don’t read I think you should start now. You’re missing out!!!!

#liveandlearn

Book Challenge #1: ‘Everything Everything’ by Nicola Yoon

Book Challenge is a thing I have come up with to see how much books I can read as from August 2017 – December 2017. If you do not mind, I just might be that spoiler alert person.


‘Everything Everything’ by Nicola Yoon

‘My disease is a rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house. Have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black-black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.’


What can I say about this book?

I love love love it…But I have also watched the movie. Well, I enjoyed the book more than the movie. Normally, when a book comes out and a movie follows, I look for the book first because movies removes a big chunk of the story as it is timed.

Hope you will enjoy it as I did. You will see the reason why I wanted to start my own book review.

SPOILER ALERT: Love can cure a disease (well, maybe, according to the book.)