This is a great time to discover books that speak to you in the middle of such tumultuous life changing times as the Coronavirus.
The virus has attacked humanity but on a daily basis humanity shows resilience, finds new ways of doing things and fights back.
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I have seen people come back from the brink after being seriously ill from the virus, I have seen friends pass on at this time both from the virus and other ailments, I have seen babies born, new friendships birthed, old ones re-validated.
I have seen families bandy together like never before, I have seen love blossom and I have seen blue skies and a gentle breeze which has become a luxury. It is time to read those things that speak to our hearts and strengthens our mental resolve that in spite of this pandemic, we will be fine.
I have selected five very fine human beings who happen to be writers to share what they are reading at this time. Enjoy!
1. I am starting with author enabler and former President of the Association of Nigerian Authors, who also happens to be a politician and an author, Dr Wale Okediran. He was recently appointed Secretary General of the Accra based Pan-African Writers Association (PAWA).
He is the author of ‘Tenants of the House’ and has just recently released Children’s books on the Coronavirus including ‘Halima Saves Her Village’. “One of the books I am reading during this lockdown is ‘The Choice of Edith Ever’.
The book depicts how the horrors of the holocaust couldn’t break the author Dr Edith Ever. On the contrary, the experience helped her to live again with a life changing affirming strength and remarkable resilience. The book reveals our capacity to transcend even the greatest horrors and use the suffering for our benefit and others.
A great lesson during this Pandemic. I am re-reading Anton Chekhov’s seven short Novels because Chekhov, generally recognised as one of the greatest short story writers in the world is one of my role models because of our similar backgrounds; a medical Doctor who ran an open clinic for the poor before turning to writing full time.
Although he was not a politician, his writings depicted a sympathy for the Russian people. He created the famous anecdote that he was married to medicine but his mistress was writing. In my own case, I seem to be married to three lovers Literature, Medicine and Politics.”
2. Finalist at the NLNG literature competition, MC, Public Speaker and author of 7 books, among them “The Great Fall”. Chinyere Obi Obasi gives us her lockdown collection. Character Matters by Mark Rutland and Unstoppable by Ndidi Irene Ugba .
“These books are all designed to make a better person of me. Post-Covid one needs to be intentional in all they do and how they approach their businesses and their lives employing the highest level of diligence, discipline and hard work. In addition, I have really spent this time completing many books I started years ago.” Chinyere is currently re-reading Seven habits of highly successful people by Stephen Covey.
3. Entrepreneur, Magazine Editor, Creative Writer, Motivational Speaker, and philanthropist, Ezinne Kufre Ekanem is author of upcoming book, ‘Up You. Married to my brother Kufre Ekanem, she is an amazing mother. Her words.
“In the face of everything going on in our world today and in my life personally, The Power of Meaning. Crafting a life that matters by Emily Esfahani Smith leapt at me. It is now more pertinent to live meaningfully. The Pandemic has shown that how I define “meaning” needed to be rethought and retold and this book is helping me to do just that.The second book I have been reading is Without Rival by Lisa Bevere.
The last five months has been a season of challenge and opportunity for me. A season when I needed to hear and know God’s love for me reinforced over and over again. This book lived up to its promise of helping me discover why I am a daughter without rival, entrusted with a promise without rival., to complete an assignment without rival, that is destined for an eternity without rival. I recommend it to any woman seeking to discover true purpose.
I am re-reading Paul Coehlo’s “The Alchemist. Easily one of my favourite authors, I read this book once every year. It helps to sharpen the saw for me as I journey on my path to discover my personal legend. I see bits of me in Coehlo’s protagonist, Santiago, a shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of worldly treasure as extravagant as any ever found.
The story of the treasures he finds along the way teaches us as only a few stories can about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, learning to read the omens strewn along life’s path and above all following our dreams The book reinforces three of my beliefs, ordered paths, seek and you shall find, dream and become.”
4. Benjamin Ubiri, winner of the ANA Literary Journalist of the year 2009, is a poet, Journalist, storyteller, on-air personality and author of The book of Chibok and the upcoming book, I am a Therapist. Well known as Ben 200, half man, half amazing has shared the books he is re-reading at this time.
“The world is an Egg by Niyi Osundare. His collection of Poems is always an inspiration for me and allows me moments of deep thought. The Ifeajuna Mnuscript by Demola Adeniran. The title suggests an age long mystery, history locked behind the hidden thought of Major Emmanuel Ifeajuna. Another book I am re-reading is The Education of a British protected Child by Chinua Achebe.
I watch my children locked out of school by Covid and I read poetry and prose. These essays help me reflect on our nation state. Alpha Song by Mark Nwosu. Nwosu’s language is as enticing as it is engaging.His crazy plots and winding storylines helps me to have a new conversation with myself about what I will do post-covid. Don’t look at me like that by Eugenia Abu. This is a special time for me as I was affected by the lockdown and the squeeze from Covid 19. In this book, I search for new meaning of freedom and redemption.
5. Rahina Idris, a self-mastery and behavioural Coach/Trainer. She is the author of Boundless; secrets to realising and rocking your hidden potential and a John Maxwell Team Member. “During the pandemic I got myself engrossed in a book by Brian Tracy “The Power of Self Confidence. It is a book on how to build your self-confidence and become unstoppable.
It focuses on finding strength and helps the reader realise the power that lies within. This book helps readers to refocus and become more effective and confident in their dealings. I read it two years ago and I am re-reading it because I learnt so much from it.
Another book I am reading is Developing the Leader within You by John Maxwell. It is one of the many books I am licensed to teach written by my mentor, John Maxwell. This book has been a reference point for me and I have done Leadership mastermind trainings using same material to help people build leadership skills and capacity. There is no Leadership without influence. The book is about the different levels of Leadership. People follow leaders because of who they are and what they represent.