MY 5 BEST READS OF 2013
By Faraja Nyalandu
The thought of coming up with my 5 best reads of 2013 was easier inspired, easier thought and easier promised than done. I did not realize that sharing what you read is
like sharing your deep secrets. The choices we make of what to read is a true reflection of who we are and our state of mind at that point of deciding. The other tricky part was
selecting which books are worthy of the category ‘best’. Or rather what makes them best.
After so many re-runs of what I have read this year, here is what I finally came up with. In no particular order:
1. THE FUTURE by AL GORE
This is what I am currently reading with just a few pages to go. It is the perfect
anecdote to end the year 2013. For anyone, who has also read Al Gore’s An
Inconvenient Truth will clearly appreciate Gore’s depth of the subject matter at hand and how he can deliver tough knowledge with clarity. I could not resist this
one when I saw it at a newsstand at Schiphol Airport. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand the emergence and shift in global powers,
trends in science and technology and how humans evolve, disrupt and drive global change. As you might have guessed, he has also covered a thorough
discussion on ecosystems
2. RULE OF LAW vs. RULERS OF LAW
(Justice Barnabas Albert Samatta’s Road
to Justice) Compiled and Edited by ISSA SHIVJI and HAMUDI MAJAMBA
I bumped into this book at a street vendor at Posta in Dar while looking for another legal book. It is second-hand. Justice Samatta had a legal career of forty
one years and retired from the bench on a very high note. I am glad that his life, his career and his great judicial decisions have been documented, as should be
the case with other great leaders of Tanzania. He served with high standards of ethics, professionalism and integrity. Here is a quote from his Farewell speech at
his retirement ceremony, ‘The road to justice is the only road a judicial officer should travel on. He or she must not even contemplate travelling on the road to
political convenience or compromise of principles.’ The book is great for inspiration to serve. For lawyers, it is like a behind-the-scenes coverage of his
judicial statements and legal principles.
3. PEACE FROM BROKEN PIECES by IYANLA VANZANT
I almost hated the person who gave me this book LOL! I got this e-book as a birthday present from a friend. I read the Prologue and
decided it was too heavy for me. The prologue was about a mother narrating the death of her daughter and so much more that died with her daughter. The pain,
the dark days and the emptiness. The book was about to give me the blues and I had to let go. I eventually gathered enough courage to return to it and I am glad I
did. This is the only book on this list that made me cry, I cried so much. Several snorts later, it was a great reminder that I should always count my blessings.
Great for soul searching!
4. GOD’S POWER TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE by RICK WARREN
I had been admitted in a hospital for a few days and had requested a family friend to buy for me a Christian book. This is what he got for me. At that point in
time I did not understand the message he was conveying by bringing me a book that implies I have to change. (Eh!). After reading it, I understood. There is
always room for improvement. Human beings are constantly evolving, we are not meant to remain the same. It is a powerful book that uses the Bible to convey
that power. The book has amazing words that speak to the heart, soul and mind all at once.
5. AMERICANAH by CHIMAMANDA ADICHIE
May I first of all declare that I collect Chimamanda Adichie’s literary works? Yes I do. I have been reading her books from the early days of her career and I am
such a proud fan. I bought the last in store copy of this book at a bookshop on the 1st floor of the Westgate Mall in Nairobi. Lucky me. It had been flying off the
shelf. What I like most about Adichie’s books is the honesty. She is brutal but she is honest. Americanah looked at the dreams versus realities of young Africans.
She has gone out to set our standards in subtle yet bold ways. She is contemporary. She speaks for now, about now…yes, from a ‘now’. It is refreshing.
For a good laugh:
LIVE, BELIEVE, WORRY A BIT by WALDO PANCAKE.
What sort of name is that? WALDO. PANCAKE. SMH!
To give you an idea of this book, here is what the author considered to put out as an extract of the book. ‘You know that millisecond between adverts when there’s
nothing to do? Now you can fill it up by reading a page of this book. Saying that, the walk to the toilet to retrieve it will probably use up all the time. Unless you’re
watching TV in the toilet.’
That is what made me buy the book. He is such a nutter.