A while ago, a work colleague asked what my favorite book was, and I initially said I don’t know or I don’t have one. He then asked another colleague and they began a discussion on The Prince and other philosophical works.
The truth, however, is that my favorite books (The Namesake, My Sister’s Keeper, contemplating on Americanah ) are fiction and I didn’t feel comfortable sharing them. Though my books have won awards, and even been made into movies, I felt I couldn’t join the conversation unless my favorite book was some “classic”. I later grew some balls and told him all of this. I went on to explain that I prefer fiction because stories teach us life lessons in ways that self-help and philosophical books can’t. Authors can hide behind the mask of fiction to tell how the world really is.
Saying that out loud actually liberated me. Often time I have similar conversations with my peers and have even had one person tell me “If I’m going to be reading, I want to be learning something”. If had come to this realization then, I would have told him that he would probably learn more about life and himself from fiction. Hindsight 20/20.
Stories teach us life lessons in ways that self-help and philosophical books can’t.
As such, for this year, I’ll be alternating between fiction and nonfiction books. Before I get into the 2017 list, I want to share what I read Q4 2015 – 2016. Check the 2014 list here.
Rise – Trip Lee
Lean In – Sheryl Sandberg
Americanah – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie**
The Thing Around Your Neck – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie **
Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office – Lois P. Frankel, PhD
Overwhelmed: How to Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time – Brigid Schulte
I recommend all these books for everyone (men especially should read Lean In and Overwhelmed). Ironically, Overwhelmed was a freebie from my former employer. I also started reading The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene, but it was so dark I decided to read Lean In first cause I needed positivity in my life at the moment. Regardless of the way it is written, I think it’s an important read for women in the workforce. So going to roll that over into 2017 list.
Now on to the 2017 list
God’s Not Dead – Rice Broocks
Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill
Rich Dad, Poor Dad – Robert T. Kiyosaki
The Millionaire Next Door – Thomas J. Stanley
Watchmen* – Alan Moore
Dreams from My Father – Barack Obama
Girls at War and Other Stories – Chinua Achebe
Welcome to Lagos OR Spider King’s Daughter – Chibundu Onuzo (haven’t decided which to read first)
*I tried reading but I could not get into it after four chapters
** I know this appears on the 2014 list, however, I just started and/or finished it
This is just a starting point, as hope to get through more than seven books this year. I’ll continue selecting books from my ever growing book wish list.