2017 Reading List

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
Self Improvement 
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.
I would love to know what is on your list for the year. How do you go about selecting what to read? What have you been sharing with your friends, family,  and coworkers?

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