“Faith like Job’s cannot be shaken because it is the result of having been shaken”

                                                            – (Page 232, Disappointment with God, Philip Yancey)

I read Philip Yancey’s book a few years ago but breezed through because I was a new Christian and couldn’t really make sense of the struggle he spoke of. Life was mostly good to me and I didn’t really have to question God about anything. Between then and now, I’ve had my own faith crisis, bouts of depression and the realisation that life is not always coffee in the morning with my favorite songs playing. I figured it would be a great time to re-read Yancey’s book.

Yancey bravely articulates the knotty issues of faith and poses the questions Christians think but seldom ask aloud.

Is God unfair?

Is He silent?

Is He hidden?

In the book he shares personal experiences he has had, experiences people in his life have had about God and explores faith stories and faith crises in the Bible. Yancey begins his book with the assumption that everyone reading it either firmly believes in the existence of God (though may have different experiences of what this God is like) or is skeptic about the person of God. He does not make any attempt to argue the existence of God to atheists. If he tried to, the book would definitely have been longer.

True atheists do not, I presume, feel disappointed in God. They expect nothing and receive nothing. But those who commit their lives to God, no matter what, instinctively expect something in return. Are those expectations wrong? (Page 41)

In this book, Yancey tries to see things from God’s perspective, reading through the entire Bible, exploring God’s relationship with Adam, down to the Israelites, down to the early church in the New Testament. He explores the ways the very present God in the early books of the Bible, showed Himself less and less until Jesus came on the scene after which He appeared to hide behind the curtains completely. He explores God’s relationship with some people in the Faith Hall of Fame in Hebrews 11 and how it was through moments of trials and deep life disappointments, moments when their faith came under fire they held on fiercely to the idea that God was still good, and still with them.

This book was unique to me because unlike other books that attempt to explain the problem of pain and faith, Yancey did not use the common response to life’s unfairness Christians use such as: Don’t complain so loudly! You will forfeit this opportunity to demonstrate your faithfulness to non-believers” or “Someone is always worse off than you. Give thanks despite your circumstances”. He doesn’t tiptoe around life unfairness or the senselessness of pain especially to good people. What he argues is we tend to equate life’s unfairness to mean God is unfair. One story that deeply affected me was that of his friend Douglas who he calls ‘a modern Job’.

When asked if he felt disappointed in God he said,

“I have learned to see beyond the physical reality in this world to the spiritual reality. We tend to think. “Life should be fair because God is fair.’ But God is not life. And if I confuse God with the physical reality of life – by expecting constant good health, for example – then I set myself up for a crashing disappointment’ (page 204)

Was Yancey successful in making a case for God? I’m not sure the book was ever about arguing God’s case. It’s a book about personal experiences: the author’s, people in the Bible’s, that of other people he mentioned in his book. In the end, the reader can safely draw the conclusion: a personal interaction with this God is the only case that can be made for Him. One faith-defining experience for Yancey, as seen in the book, was another series of unanswered questions for someone he wrote about in the book.

Would I recommend this book to someone else? Definitely. Would we have the same experiences reading it? Probably not.

Rating: 3.5/5

My recommendations for this month are:

  1. So you’ve been publicly shamed – Jon Ronson (about the art of public shaming)
  2. Say you’re one of them – Uwem Akpan (because, the title)
  3. A bit of difference – Sefi Atta (because people say Sefi is good stuff)

Dont forget you only have to read one book

Your turn:

What book did you read?

Summarise

Evaluate and critique the book

Wrap up with the strengths and weaknesses and mention if you would recommend the book to other people

Give a numerical score/rating.

Remember, I will be picking out the best two reviews to receive prizes from Konga.com

Responses

  1. Sparks and Tingles

    bill

    I did not read any book this month other than my stash of Mental Floss and GQ magazines – it is our busy season (Covers Face). I am looking forward to picking something up when I read all the reviews eventually. Can I suggest that we mirror the reviews here on goodreads.com too? It will be easier to track from there.
    4+
  2. Katniss
    Ohh I loved Say You’re One of Them. Minus the editing issues it’s probably one of the best short story collections I’ve read. Read The Fishermen and Nights of the Creaking Bed. Will be back after work with an evaluation..
    0
  3. J
    I am not much of an expert in giving reviews but let me say a little about Chigozie Obioma’s The Fishermen. I read this book after coming across it’s Man Booker prize shortlisting and although I do not think it lives up to it’s ‘mythic’ description, it nevertheless was a good and dare I say difficult read.

    So the book is basically about four brothers from a quite middle-class family–the oldest 15, and the youngest nine– who take advantage of their father’s extended absence to skip school and go fishing at a forbidden river. There they encounter Abulu, a vision-seeing madman whose prophecy of violence follows the boys through their lives, and shakes up their family in both devastatingly tragic and yet redemptive ways.

    The story although simplistic was rather ‘true and real’ especially in the Nigerian context. Ok how do I explain this? We are typically a very religious and superstitious bunch of people and with a simple story, Obioma was able to show how we let the seeming abstract significantly affect our physical world. It is a book that you can easily relate to and even if you can’t, would find rather fascinating.

    The first half of the book seemed bleh but halfway through something happens that triggers the events to come as well as brings together some elements from the beginning, and that propels you to read the rest of the novel with fervor.
    Obioma has an interesting way with words and paints vivid images (such that you can actually see yourself in the scenarios that he is trying to describe) with very simple and simultaneously emotive language. See ehn, you would occasionally stop and marvel at the construction of some sentences. or maybe that behavior is peculiar to me. lol!

    I mean at the end of the book I felt like I knew the boys Ikenna, Boja, Obembe and Ben and I was rooting for their love and brotherhood. And at this point let me add that If you’re one of those people who can’t read novels where bad things happen to children you should give this one a hard pass. I was almost teary eyed when one of my favorite xters died and that was not even the most depressing part of the book.

    To conclude, I’d give it a 3.5 out of 5. Very good debut novel from Obioma. Maybe a little revolting – vomit, excrement, penises, rivers of blood. Sex, mystical beliefs, political riots – all in a jumble. Maybe a little disjointed and confusing at the beginning but the artistry of his phrasing would keep you interested till the very end when everything comes together.

    4+
    1. Ibukun Post author
      Did you say you’re not an expert on giving reviews? I beg to differ. Looks better than mine!
      I quite liked Chigozie’s book although I did find some parts very disturbing (anything to do with the madman was disgusting to be honest).
      Aside that, it was a decent read.
      1+
    2. Bami
      Yes! Agreed. I admit, halfway through I got impatient and wanted to know where we dey go sef. I no wan see madman for my dreams. Definitely a good start for this author.Would love to see more of his work and even better writing from him. Imagery was on point so much so I had to take many breaks with this book.
      0
  4. J
    And because I have a 100BooksIn2016 goal I am jumping on every book challenge I can find.

    Nice one Ibukun.

    And yes, Sefi is good stuff. But I think I’d be reading Uwem Akpan first, because, the title.

    lol…

    0
  5. The Alchemist
    I read Embassytown by China Miéville.

    In summary, it’s set in the far future, where humans have colonized a distant planet, home to the enigmatic Ariekei, sentient spider-like beings with two mouths who are famous for their language, one that only a pairs of human clones thinking as one can speak (it requires two mouths and one mind). Also the Ariekei cannot lie.

    Avice Benner Cho, a human born on Embassytown has returned home after years of deep-space adventure. She cannot speak the Ariekei language , but she is part of the language because when she was a child, they used her as a figure of speech.

    When the ruling human government sends a new ambassador that isn’t a clone but a pair of two separate people, this infects the minds of The Ariekei, leading to violence, addiction and madness. Avice becomes embroiled in a battle to understand what has gone wrong with the language she is a part of and stop it before Embassytown is destroyed.

    In evaluating the book I’d have to say the book is a wonderful exploration of language and what it means to actually communicate. Yes it’s science fiction but much of its considerations about how we understand concepts using place holder sounds another limits of that are superb. The characters are rich and complex. The descriptions are wonderful. Miéville’s writing is sometimes like poetry.

    I will say this though: It’s not an easy book to read. At all. It is full of big, strange, wildly imaginative ideas (such as machinery that are actually living creatures and interdimensional travel), it is full of made up words and it philosophises on the details and elements of language.

    But if you manage to get through the first few chapters and immerse yourself in that world you get a great adventure story with a fascinating theme that is hard to put down.

    I personally consider it one of the best books I’ve ever read. And cannot praise it highly enough. It is as ursula k leguin said “a fully achieved work of art”

    Rating: 5/5

    3+
  6. BlackPearl
    My book seems too simplistic compared to the ones you guys read and i’m almost tempted to not post a review but as i promised myself that i would be an active part of the 1M1B challenge this year, i will post.

    I read Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes. And as a Shonda-Stan, i was rooting for the book to be great! I read some reviews before i got into it and it almost dissuaded me from reading… I’m glad it didn’t.
    In Year of Yes, Shonda discusses her life and how it had become stagnant. Even though she was succeeding in work, she was failing in life and dying slowly inside. She discusses the people and events in her life that caused her to decide to say YES to everything she was asked to do. She talks about how it was a hard thing to do for someone that is so shy and reserved and also how it changed her life and her relationship with people around her. It explains how she went from almost dying everyday to actually living and loving life now.

    I actually loved and enjoyed the book. It has some moments that are repetitive and it is not a self help book but more of a book about a specific person’s journey towards having a better life for herself and her loved ones. However, I was able to take out some lessons from it to help my life forward and help me not get into a space that will regress me. The biggest lesson in the book is to say yes to life and to happiness. Say yes to those things that scare you and say yes to people that help you grow and definitely say NO to negative things, people and influences. I loved seeing the human side of a woman i respect and look up to and seeing her thought processes in creating works of art that i enjoy. It is not a hard read and i think that was a good thing for my first reading of the year. But like I said, there were several places where it was too repeated.

    What describes it best for me is that the book reads like she is having a conversation, one on one, with me. I like that. I would recommend it to people but don’t approach it like you are reading a self help book. Just have fun with it.

    Rating: 3.8/5

    1+
  7. Tessa Doghor
    Christianity is all about expecting something.

    To even be a Christian, you must that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek HIm.

    So you should expect
    The truth is that man was created to seek, so you will subconsciously seek something (money, sex or power) so you can determine to seek God.

    As for me, God has proven to me that He is the with me, ever present one, that is great. If I was never expecting Him to prove His promises in my life, would I have come to know Him more intimately.

    Intimacy seems like a great word when it is linked to God.

    When it is linked to other people, sometimes there is regret that you even give some people the time of the day.

    Christianity is not service to an absent God, I believe that with expectation there is the danger of feeling disappointed a lot because of timing but I pray that you can hang in there until God meets you. Have faith (not in tradition or people or things or the way things always seem to go), have faith in God.

    2+
  8. Katniss
    So The Fishermen,
    The story is about family, love, anger, superstition, broken dreams and redemption in a nuclear family of 6 kids with emphasis on the eldest four and told from the perspective of one of the kids many years after.
    Read the reviews on the front and back pages before I started reading and my expectations were quite high when I saw words like lyrical, mythic, poetic, ingenious and in addition, NY Times book review is convinced he’s Achebe’s heir (move over, Chimmamanda) !!
    I liked that the chapters were named metaphorically for particular characters. Example from chapter 9-The Sparrow ”..Ikenna was a sparrow,a fragile delicate bird. Little things could unbridle his soul…this was because he was, in fact, a sparrow; a fragile thing who did not design his own fate..” and henceforth. But I think my favourite chapter was the last one, The Egrets which talks about hope in relation to his younger siblings who were too young to understand the tragedy that befell their family and as such emerged relatively unscathed.
    Unlike J, I liked the first half of the book because it gave me enough backstory on the main characters such that I was able to care about them much later in the book(yes, including Abulu) but the second half takes the most points. The narrator also kept alluding to some event that was going to change his family, just giving enough of a hint to keep me reading ferociously. Or at another time he let us know Boja had been found after ‘revealing himself’ but instead of going straight to the how and where, he took us back in time to talk about the fact that Boja’s labour was precipitate and that he was a bed wetter.I enjoyed reading all that, adding to the suspense but if the author were telling me the story in person, I’d have hit his head at that point and urged him to go straight to the point.
    The novel was full of sentences that were well crafted with metaphors, innuendos and whatnot giving it a lyrical flow(yes, they were right!)e.g “Then we all watched as the knife moved in Boja’s hand with unaccustomed ease…as if he had handled the knife several times before, and as if he were destined to handle it yet again”. The author says the novel is a critique of Nigeria both pre- and post-colonialism and I could see how the period of their father’s presence could be likened to the colonial times and the period when their mother held sway as post-independence, which is really when our already existent problems unfolded. Abulu’s prophecy could stand for the West’s consistent prediction of our disintegration and like the four brothers(north, south, east and west) we appear to be on the path to proving them right( case in point, Biafrans and BH)
    So basically it was a very good read. I was sometimes torn between reading super fast because I couldn’t wait to know what happened next and reading slow because I didn’t want to finish the story. It evoked in me a kaleidoscope of emotions-sadness mostly, hope sometimes, disgust a few times(picture a crowd watching a mad man ‘rape’ a corpse) and sadly, many times I found myself judging their mother for her perceived weakness and inability to shepherd her flock.
    In summary, it was a great read, would definitely recommend it and I’m looking forward to his second novel.
    3.75/5
    1+
  9. Katniss
    Nights of the Creaking Bed is a collection of about 14 short stories filled with various characters- a perverted teen who lusts for his mother’s naked body, a lonely wife who aches for her recently returned ex-lover, a conductor who falls in love with the wrong girl, a single mother whom life has dealt cruel blows and so many others. Its a collection of tales about poverty, want, violence, death,etc
    I felt at some points that the author was trying too hard to be shocking with sentences like “your mother is fucking someone’s husband” told to a child by his classmate or maybe that’s just the prude in me because these things do happen
    There are several strange but real scenarios that I could imagine happening like a woman beginning some sort of strange relationship with her rapist or the police scolding a man and telling him to go back home when he goes to report a crime.
    I could tell that the author has a very vivid imagination but his writing is just ok (I can’t even write o). There were moments of literary brilliance especially in stories like The Passion of Pololo, Ahmed and Onions.
    Also Age of Iron which follows an old prophet who is thought of as mad because he predicts a future of doom in an already post-apocalyptic world where laughter is a crime and ?blacksmithry is the only profession as iron is all they have left. I wish it was made into a novel of its own especially because of the similarities to life as we know it. My least favourite story was Buzz maybe because I had trouble thinking of a Nigerian policeman as some sort of hero..or something
    It was mostly good but the prose wasn’t on the level of the Adichies of this clime and too many sad endings that make you think life is just a pot of beans. Will definitely recommend it especially to some lazy people I know who have trouble reading 200 page novels at a stretch. Lol
    3/5
    2+
    1. Ibukun Post author
      Ah you’re deep oh. You read two books on the list this month?
      NICE!
      I found Toni’s book disturbing (but maybe cos I find everything disturbing).
      I would recommend it to lazy readers as well.
      0
      1. Katniss
        Haha deep ke? I took 5 novels with me to nysc camp and read 4 of them(only because I started having a little fun much later) . I used to be a voracious reader in my former life..
        Ps- where can one get Disappointment with God in abuja. I prefer hardcopy sturvs
        0
  10. Dare
    Nice review you have there Ibukun..You make me want to get yancey’s book immediately. i hope i would be able to do justicw to mine also.

    I read….And the mountains Echoed ~Khaled Hosseini

    Summary: This is going to be a hard one as the book contains many stories within a story.

    The novel started with a touching and emotional fable that a father is telling his two children Pari and Abdullah. A farmer who works hard to make a living is forced to give up one of his five children to a monster called Div. He and his wife decided to randomly choose from their five children and the unlucky one happens to be the youngest and favourite of them, which he eventually released to the monster so as to avoid other consequences which may led to him losing all of his five children. The farmer consumed with grief and guilt decides to track down the giant so as to get his son back which he later found in a garden full of other children playing and happy with no memory of the past. Although his first instinct is to take his son home, the div asked him to think about the boy’s future if taken back to the village, what kind of life would supercede the one he already has at the moment. The father unable to summon the will to take the child to the village leaves without his son

    ” You are a cruel” says the man
    when you have lived as long as i have replies the div, you find that cruelty and benevolence are but shades of the same colour”.

    Within pages, the storytelling father hands his three year old daughter (Pari) to a wealthy couple leaving his brother (Abdullah) in grief. Years down the road, we meet friends, doctors, chauffeurs, people whose lives are changed through this one event and many more. **Some relevant and others very irrelevant**
    Later,Pari grew up in paris to become a mathematician and marries a drama teacher with three chikdren of their own. Abdullah also left Afghanistan for California running a restaurant with his wife and named their only child Pari after his sister he lost.

    All her life, Pari felt the absence of something or someone fundamental to her own existence “sometimes it is vague, like a message sent across shadowy byways and vast distances, a weak signal on a radio other times it felt so clear, this absence, so intimately close it made her hear lurch” says the writer. Pari later learnt she was adopted and sort out to look for her brother who was already suffering from Alzheimer’s disease by the time she found him.

    In evaluating the book, I will say its a great book with many words and produces images that flow like poetry as the stories within the story are touching and emotional with a spark of life’s hardship. I smiled,cried (small) and felt pity right alongside the unfortunate characters also many unnecessary charcaters in the book such as Markos and Thalia’s stories etc. The lose you and you begin to lose interest.
    It has a surprising ending as its not the ” happily lived ever after ending”. i would recommend you get your hands on it .

    Rating: If not for the many characters, it would have been perfect but i’m rating it less 4/5.

    …Reading “The art of learning by Josh Waitzkin” for february

    1+
    1. Ibukun Post author
      Looks like Khaled has a penchant for sad (realistic?) endings. I’ve read his Kite Runner and the end was also bittersweet. I would recommend you read that in March if you haven’t read it already.
      Thank you for your review!
      0
  11. Dare
    Thank you for recommending Kite Runner..but for now i think i take a pass on khaled books maybe till December…Enough of the sad endings,thanks to your short review “wont want to do a back to back.
    0
    1. Ibukun Post author
      Haha! I’m happy to announce to you that you are one of the winners for this month! And you get a free book from Konga!
      Will mail you how you can claim your prize shortly
      1+
      1. Dare
        ***Yipee***
        Thank you Ibukun and Konga.
        I dedicate it to my frd “shindara” who has always been my competitor..She can read for africa and to the TNC family.Love you guys for being “REAL”
        Loooolz dedication
        0
  12. Michael Inioluwa Oladele
    I read Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
    Americanah is a love story by Adichie.
    It centers on Ifemelu, a young Nigerian girl who receives a scholarship to study abroad. After she leaves for the States, her secondary school boyfriend, Obinze also tries to get a visa and travel to America, but he is denied one. Determined, he travels to European without legal travelling papers. He is caught and deported.
    Ifemelu continues her life in America. As an African, it is not easy. Soon enough, she gets broke and gets in need of money to pay her rent and do other various things. This leads Ifemelu to a one-time prostitution affair with a white man who pays her a hundred dollars just to snog her.
    Ashamed of her acts, Ifemelu does not know how to relate what she has done to Obinze and as a result cuts all contact with him.
    Obinze gets to Nigeria and starts a life. He soon becomes a rich man in Lagos and settles down to family life.
    Ifemelu opens a blog on racism in America so as to share what she as an African has been passing through, being black. Her blog prospers and she soon becomes rich enough to fend for herself. After years of blogging and dating three different white men, she returns to Nigeria, fully accomplished.
    While preparing to return, she has sent mails to Obinze, whom she had not contacted for years, telling him of her return plan.
    Getting to Nigeria, she settles down with the help of friends. After some time, she hooks up with Obinze again. Though now a family man with two weeks and a wife he does not love but pity, Obinze continue his love affair with Ifemelu.
    A time comes when jealousy comes in. Obinze who is a family man now has to share his time between his family and Ifemelu. This angers Ifemelu though she does not really show it. After a while, Obinze returns home and tells his wife he wants a divorce. He expected the latter to screams but she instead begs him. This even makes the divorce harder.
    A fight begins between him and Ifemelu. Obinze leaves for Abuja. While in Abuja, he reasons with himself and declares that though he is not happy in his marriage, he does not want to leave his kids alone. With this in mind, he returns to Lagos and tell Ifemelu what’s on his mind.
    Ifemelu does not object. ‘Come in,’ she says and this marks the continuation of their love story.

    The two majors themes in the book are racism and love and how one affects the other.
    It’s a good book. You should check it out.

    1+
  13. Orteri
    Like Michael, I finally read Americanah. I dint want to read it back then cos of the hype. But I finally found a reason to and read I did.

    Set in post-colonial Nigeria, America and the United Kingdom; Americanah tells the story of an adventurous and very expressive young lady, Ifemelunanma. Born to a very religious mother and verbose father. While at school, she meets and falls in love with Obinze, whose was initially set up, for her friend. Their love blossoms as they discover their love for books, among other passions. A chance for Ifem to join her Aunty in America, to further her education; will turn out to be a major test for their love.

    I’ve always felt that Chimamanda’s expressions and writings are bigger than her. This book reinforced that belief. It throws up issues of race, feminism and love among others. True to her nature, Adichie maintains a very descriptive and almost ‘naked’ style of writing, that bares all for the reader to literally, see.

    Ifemelu finds it difficult to secure a job in America and is forced into a one-off experience with a white man, which changes the course of her life and relationship with Obinze. Having cut ties with him, out of guilt (I considered it very childish), Ifem moves on and dates three other men in America. All the while, life has happened for Obinze, whose unfortunate brief sojourn in the UK, has been erased by his sudden wealth and affluence. Even amidst his new found comfort, Obinze isn’t happy as his desire for at least, closure with Ifem is not met, yet.

    Ifemelu’s decision to return home is reinforced by her desire to see Obinze, much more than her tiredness with the familiar, yet strange world of races and the reasoning of Americans. Their belated meeting reignites the high school romance. However, Obinze’s status as a married man makes their affair, illicit and Ifem’s jealousy threatens to separate the lovers once again. Now, this is where I had a problem with Adichie, why not just end the story there, jejely. Allow the readers, decide or even predict if, Obinze would stick with his wife out of pity and family or damn the consequence, or go back into Ifemelu’s arms. Deciding the end of the story was not fair to me, and I’m sure some other readers, as well.

    That aside, I totally loved the book. The beautiful lgbo names; the growth of both lead characters and many other things, that were vividly relatable in the novel. Now I can confidently say, the book deserved all the hype it generated back then and more.

    I’m still looking for ‘the Fishermen’ in Sokoto and I hope to read it, before the end of the year. I’ve started reading Top Fasua’s ‘Things To Do Before Your Career Disappears’. Hopefully, I’d finish that and pick up one of the recommended ones for the month. If not, I’d just lay my hands on any good book and read. But my all means, read I must!

    1+
  14. Bami
    I went through 2 books each month in 2015 (my poor bank account). But 2016 reading has been some serious struggle. I’ve been wanting to read more works from Nigerian and/or African authors and I believe I will get great suggestions from 1M1B, so looking forward to keeping up with it.

    So I TRIED to read Amos Tutuola’s “the palmwine drinkard” but ehn I can’t do this ghosty ghosty stuff oo. I had to stop. I’ll try again, but not for night time reading. But it gave me a chance to re-read Happiness Like Water by Chinelo Okparanta. It’s quite possible one of my favorite collection of short stories. I’ve been hearing about Sefi Atta so I will check out some of her work.

    0
  15. Ibukun
    First of all I dont know how to write a review so pardon.

    Secondly I did this draft January 21st. Had no idea I did not post it.

    What book did you read? I read the first book on the list – Toni Kan’s “Nights Of the Creaking Bed”. Reason: a visit to Patabah was not convenient at the time and it was the only one I could find where I was.

    Summarise: Being a collection of 14 short stories, that would not be easy. All I can say is that certain common themes run through most of the stories, the most prevalent being sex, taboos, poverty, friendships(only two stories did this for me but rather strongly), dysfunctional family settings(absent fathers and overburdened mothers), love, filth etc

    Evaluate and Critique: I have not read any Nigerian book in at least 12 years so the sex shocked me. Lol. For some reason I did not think a Nigerian book would go into that much detail lol and I cringed once or twice. But of course that is my personal problem. However, I did find the candour very refreshing

    Strengths and weaknesses: I am no authority on what a strength is or what a weakness is. I also like to think that even with reviewers, judgments still majorly reflect preferences. Ergo:

    What I liked about the book – Like I mentioned earlier, Toni Kan says it as it is. Bold.Uninhibited. Unrestrained. This is not just with the descriptions but with the issues described. The manner of fact way of treating themes we get hypocritical about was refreshing to me. He got my attention from the beginning with “My mother was a kept woman”. I also particularly liked the story of the child who eventually got abandoned by his mother in the city. A lot of parents, especially single mothers with little or no support think of their kids like nooses around their necks. But even now in 2016, people who have these situations as their true stories do not speak about these things. Africans would rather talk about how the West is corrupting us and our children. The same level of immorality and decadence is here.

    Also I liked the twist with “The Car They Borrowed”

    What I did not like about the book – Some of the stories were indeed amazing but none of the descriptions particularly jumped at me. For me there was no “quotable quote”. When I read books I look out for similes and metaphors etc that I find brilliant. When something jumps at me, I read it two more times and then underline to add to my vocabulary. I did not underline any page of this book.

    What Ileft me feeling some typa way – The way religious conflict was presented in the Broda Sonnie story where a guy pretty much hacked his sister’s boyfriend to death ………

    I would sure recommend the book but I’d be careful about it. I feel like not every book lover would love this one.

    Numerical score/rating: 3.5/5

    On a lighter note, does the author live in Oyadiran Estate ?

    I may not read Uwem Akpan’s book as I am generally not a fan of short story collections. I take time to settle in and the stories finish so fast.

    This depends on what I find though so I’m off to check Cassava Republic.

    See y’all when I finish the next book.

    Cheers.

    0
  16. Princewill
    Hello TNC, I still think the 1M1B challenge is a great idea, so thumbs up once again.

    This month I read a book by Dr. Kevin Leman “The Real You”
    In his book,” The Real You” he opens up to the readers into discovering the reasons why they act the way they do. He uses the first two parts of the book to explain the four human temperaments, how they play an important role in shaping a good relationship if applied properly. These temperaments includes:

    1. SANGUINE: This category of people are the ones with the “Let’s do it the fun way” motto. Sanguine needs are mostly social; that is they want to be noticed, appreciated, affirmed, accepted, and even adored. They tend to be animated and playful, spontaneous and optimistic, funny and lively. Sanguines also have weaknesses. They are so disorganized that they spend half their life looking for their car keys and the other half apologizing for missed appointments. Boredom and rejection are gets Sanguines down.

    2. CHOLERICS: Cholerics eat, sleep, and drink power and control. Whereas sanguines say “Let’s do it the fun way.” The choleric’s mantra is “Let’s do it my way.” Cholerics’ favorite emotional menu is obedience (towards them), appreciation for accomplishments, and respect for their ability. Cholerics come in handy when you need someone to take charge and make snappy (usually correct) judgements.

    3. MELANCHOLIES: Whereas the sanguine says “Let’s do it the fun way.” And the Choleric says “Let’s do it my way.” The melancholy says “Let’s do it the right way.” Melancholies put a lot of emotional energy into getting something done correctly. Melancholies can be brooding and very sensitive, but they are also usually marked with good manners, self-depreciation, and obvious attention to detail including in their grooming.

    4. PHLEGMATICS: “Can’t we all just get along?” that’s the song of the phlegmatic, who suggests, “Let’s do it the easy way.” As calm and collected individuals, phlegmatics aren’t likely to make impulsive decisions. They are often popular because they are rarely offensive. They will hang in there until the last dog is hung.
    In trying to distinguish the four kinds of personalities, Dr. Leman did not make one personality higher than the others. He explains it in such a way that enables the readers to accept and develop their personal traits and characters. He goes further to bring in his personal experience with his family’s into the picture which in a way proves, to some extent that the book was not based on mainly ficticious events. He also explains how the birth order of an individual affect the way (s)he acts towards certain issues. Emphasizing mainly on the fact that most Cholerics are first-born, Phlegmatics, Middle-born, and sanguines, last-borns.
    In the third part of the book, the writer emphasizes more on childhood memories and how they affect our way of thinking. He takes the reader back to their childhood memories and explains why choleric, melancholies, phlegmatic, and sanguines think the way they do. He lectures the reader on how to remember events that took place during their childhood and also points out how those events shaped them into the person they became.
    In the final part of the book, Dr. Kevin Leman talks about the understanding of one’s love language, mentioning also that as temperaments differs, so does love language, and points out how opposite attracts.
    He wraps it all up by listing out six personality makeovers which are as follows:

    i. Look Back: here he urges his readers to look back at their past no matter how hard it might hurt. Since, to move forward, we have to resolve past issues and events lest the make us fall.
    ii. Take Small Steps: Here he makes it clear that personality change does not happen magically, it is a gradual process.
    iii. Improve your self-talk
    iv. Marshal your imaginative energy
    v. Know your Destination
    vi. Give yourself room to fail.

    CRITIQUE
    Dr. Kevin Leman in his book “The Real You” plays the role of a psychologist, a father, a teacher, and to some extent, a mentor. He wrote the book in a way that it seems like an interactive session with his readers. His combination of religion gave the book a spark that is somewhat irresistible since most inspirational writers are or claim to be atheists. But at one point he got so caught up writing about other people’s success story that he forgot his audience.

    RECOMMENDATION
    I recommend the book to others because it is a great piece to know and study what temperament your partner is, what your partner’s love language is thereby reducing the mistakes in relationship that later cost someone emotionally and or otherwise.

    RATINGS
    I rate the book 3/5

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