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“I’m not saying that you have to be a reader to save your soul in the modern world. I’m saying it helps.” — Walter Mosley

I have always devoured books. Why, exactly, I’m not sure. Obviously a big reason to read is because it is fun. As Petrarch, a famous book lover observed some 700 years ago, “books give delight to the very marrow of one’s bones.”

But if I was honest, I would say the real reason that I have spent so much time with my nose inside this book or that book is because I have been searching for something: a way to life. There is a Latin expression: liber medicina animi [a book is the soul’s medicine]. I guess that is what I have been after, the medicine.

I get asked by LORA students to share books I’m reading.

So I decided instead of answering each question one at a time, let me to share my reading list for 2019 [Jan to Dec 2019].

I hope you will find this list helpful.

Each book on this list, I give a summary of what the book is about, and my rating of the book out of 10 in red.

This list is not in an order of highest rating, but in the sequence and order I have read them from the start of the year.

The following are the books I have read for 2019:

  1. Becoming by Michelle Obama – The former first lady of the USA shares her amazing journey to the White House together with her husband. She is an amazing writer and she takes us through what life is like being the first lady of the US. This is an amazing read, thoroughly enjoyed it. [9/10]
  2. The Runaway Project by David Eagleman – a deep-dive into the creative mind, a celebration of the human spirit, and a vision of how humanity can improve our future by understanding and embracing our ability to innovate. If you are crazy about innovation and creativity, this book is for you. [9/10]
  3. Why Women Manipulate Men by Charlize Venter – very interesting book about how men are manipulated. A very interesting book, I will just leave it at that 🙂 [9/10]
  4. Turning Pro by Steven Pressfield – I love how Steven Pressfield writes, he gets to the point. His books are short and sweet. In this book Pressfield highlights the distinction between what ordinary people do and what professionals do and what you need to do to turn Pro. [9/10]
  5. Let It Go – TD Jakes – Forgiveness and healing are often difficult things for people. In this amazing book TD Jakes talks about various ways to forgive people, and also mostly to forgive yourself. [9/10]
  6. Marketing: A Love Story by Bernadette Jiwa – Entrepreneurs [and everyone] has no shortage of ideas, but we struggle to package and sell these ideas as stories to people who may resonate with them. In this book, Bernadette does a good job of unpacking storytelling as a way of connecting our ideas to people. [9/10]
  7. Difference by Bernadette Jiwa – What if, instead of finding ways to be one step ahead of your competition, you could build and market your business to give people a reason to choose you? What if you could completely reinvent a category or experience? What if you could stop trying to beat the competition, and become the competition? Bernadette answers these questions in this amazing book. [9/10]
  8. Hunch: Turn Your Everyday Insights Into the Next Big Thing by Bernadette Jiwa – Trust your intuition [gut], how often do we do this, especially in business? Bernadette Jiwa shows you how to harness the power of your intuition so you can recognise opportunities others miss and create the breakthrough idea the world is waiting for. [8/10]
  9. The Age of Surveillance Capitalism by Shoshana Zuboff – This book almost got me to throw my phone in the river and run for the hills. Shoshana does a sterling job of highlight the behind the scenes of what Google and Facebook are doing with our data. That like or retweet on your social media, is used for cash. We are being watched and monitored and soon we will be manipulated by our own data. Amazing book, well researched and holds back no punches [9/10]
  10. The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr – What is the internet doing to our brains. Is it shortening our attention span? Is is making us impatient? This book drove home, more effectively than anything else I have seen, just how addictive the Internet is. As he says, you don’t want to admit to yourself how much you crave internet stimulation, and how frequently you check mail, SMSes, social media updates and similar inputs. I immediately turned off all of these to see what would happen. I’m afraid to say that I was very much more productive than usual. I have since adopted to switching off and deleting some Apps on my phone. [9/10]
  11. Storyworth by Matthew Dicks – Whether we realise it or not, we are always telling stories. On a first date or job interview, at a sales presentation or therapy appointment, with family or friends. One of the best books on storytelling. Lots of advice, details and examples. My only complaint is that the main points are hidden among LOTS of stories. I guess it makes the book more entertaining, but most important parts are harder to find. [8/10]
  12. The Irresistible Introvert by Michaela Chung – The Irresistible Introvert is a mix of memoir, manifesto and self-help that combines Chung’s personal struggles with introversion, celebrates the unique traits of introversion and finally, offers sound advice on how to navigate both the professional and personal realm as introvert in a society that favors extroverts. I loved it. [8/10]
  13. The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World by Marti Olsen Laney – here are so many interesting facts/statistics that Dr. Laney throws into this book. For instance: Introverts are outnumbered 3:1 in this world. Introverts live longer than Extroverts. Introversion has been directly linked to intelligence. Introverts loose their words more easily, dislike eye-contact, and shirk when required to engage in “small talk.” [7/10]
  14. The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future by Kevin Kelly – Kevin projects forward over the next 30 years to see where he thinks technology will take us. Anyone can claim to be a prophet, a fortune teller, or a futurist, and plenty of people do. What makes Kevin Kelly different is that he’s right. In this book, you are swept along by his clear arguments until it finally hits you: The technological, cultural, and societal changes he is foreseeing really are inevitable. It is like having a crystal ball, only without the risk of shattering. [9/10]
  15. AI Superpowers, China, Sillicon Valley and the New World Order by Kai-Fu Lee – such a powerful book on entrepreneurship, innovation and AI. What Kai-Ful Lee has managed to do so well in this book is to compare and contrast the Chinese and American approaches to entrepreneurship and innovation. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I may read it again. [9/10]
  16. Failing Forward by John C Maxwell – One of the oldest books on business failure and how to overcome it. If you are an entrepreneur, you will experience failure more often, this books is something that may help you to overcome it. [8/10]
  17. Fragile Bully: Understanding Our Destructive Affair with Narcissism in the Age of Trump, by Laurie Helgoe – This book is a thought-provoking and, at times, deeply personal exploration of narcissism. Looks beyond the sound bites of self-aggrandizing celebrities and selfish tweets to the real problem of narcissism. [8/10]
  18. Creative Quest by Ahmir Questlove Thompson – known professionally as Questlove [stylized as ?uestlove] is musician, bandleader, designer, producer, culinary entrepreneur, professor [yes professor], and journalist. Love this book! Love how it is written without all the fancy creative theory jumbo. It is relatable. And so inspiring to see that even famous and great creatives like Questlove have creative blocks too. He gives some very usable advice and tips too. It is a great book for everyone, not just creatives since you can apply his advice and experiences to anybody starting anything new. [7/10]
  19. The Medici Effect by Frans Johansson – The beginning of the European Renaissance can be traced to the city of Florence in Italy. At that time, the most influential family that played a key role in the creation of the renaissance is the Medici Family. The Medici Family of Renaissance Italy’s patronage helped develop European arts and culture. Frans Johansson’s The Medici Effect shows how breakthrough ideas most often occur when we bring concepts from one field into a new, unfamiliar territory, and offers examples of how we can turn the ideas we discover into path-breaking innovations. [8/10]
  20. When China Rules the World by Martin Jacques – I have been a fan of Martin Jacques’s amazing TED talk on the Understanding the Rise of China for some time. This book is no different from the talk except that he goes deeper in the book. Martin does an amazing job of unpacking China’s tradition, views, philosophy and economic plans and approach to development. This is a must read for anyone in the development space. [9/10]
  21. The Book of Beautiful Questions by Warren Berger – I love hearing and asking great questions. It has been a journey of mine for the past 15 years. During this time, I have found several great books on questioning, and this book is no exception. Here is one example of a great question in the book: Do I think more like a soldier or a scout?” A soldier’s job is to defend, while a scout’s purpose is to explore and discover. I am guilty sometimes of being too much the soldier and not enough scout. [9/10]
  22. The Artist’s Journey by Steven Pressfield – I love Pressfield’s books, they are quick, to the point and written as if he is talking.”“Your artist’s journey is unique to you. You alone are on your path. Your job is only to follow it and be true to it. Who knows what heights it may eventually bear you to? You are an artist. Your journey–however humble, however fraught, however beset with thorns and thistles—is part of a noble, cosmic cause. It is not meaningless. It is not in vain. It is a portion of a grand adventure. The artist’s journey is the hero’s journey of the human race.” This is how he starts his book. I will recommend The Artist’s Journey for artists [regardless of the artistic medium] to read and apply on their own artistic journey. [8/10]
  23. We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo – Darling, the young narrator of this powerful debut novel, lives in a town in Zimbabwe called Paradise, a misnomer if ever there was one. A collection of shacks inhabited by displaced families, the run-down town is just a stone’s throw from neighboring Budapest, where whites and wealthy Africans absorb the good life. [8/10]
  24. James Baldwin A Biography by David Leeming – James Baldwin is an amazing human being. He was one of the great writers of the last century. In this biography, Leeming deals extensively with Baldwin’s precarious [and shifting] place on the racial divide, with his homosexuality, and with the mental instability that led to suicide attempts. I learned so much about him that I didn’t know. [9/10]
  25. Nelson Mandela: By himself – The authorised book of quotations [edited by Sello Hatang and Sahm Venter] – This collection, gathered from privileged authorised access to Mandela’s vast personal archive of private papers, speeches, correspondence and audio recordings, features nearly 2000 quotations spanning over 60 years, many previously unpublished. [8/10]
  26. The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg – Human beings are creatures of habit. We live most of our lives on autopilot, repeating our habits over and over every day. How to form new habits that are progressive is what Charles Duhigg explores in this book.  This is not a self-help book conveying one author’s homespun remedies, but a serious look at the science of habit formation and change. Very interesting stuff. [8/10] 
  27. The Creative’s Curse by Todd Brison – You will write things, and they will suck. You will draw things, and they will be terrible. You will make music, and nobody will like it. Today you do something amazing, tomorrow you do something terrible. Creativity has it’s ups and downs. In this book Todd Brison, talks about how to live a life between creative amazing and creative not so amazing. [8/10]
  28. Born to Kwaito by Esinako Ndabeni and Sihle Mthembu – incredible book, as someone who witnessed the birth of Kwaito, this books does an amazing job of sharing stories of artists who were at the centre of starting Kwaito. Stories of Mandoza, Brothers of Peace [BOP], Arthur, Makendlas, Mapaputsi, TKZee, Mandoza, Boom Shaka, Trompies, Bricks are shared in this book. What I enjoyed in this book is the connection of the dots about what makes these artists similar and what sets them apart apart from their music. [9/10]
  29. Humility Is The New Smart: Rethinking Human Excellence in the Smart Machine Age by Edward D. Hess – As machines become better at doing our jobs, we keep relevance by becoming better human beings. I loved this book. Very well-written and super engaging. Hess talks about four skills in order to stay relevant in the new smart machine age and gives you the tools to develop those skills yourself. Put in practice, these skills don’t just impact your professional performance but every aspect of your life – family, social, well-being. Do not pass up this book. [9/10]
  30. Trust: Creating The Foundation For Entrepreneurship in Developing Countries by Tarun Khanna – This book will deepen your understanding of how for-profit, nonprofit, or governmental entrepreneurship can be a powerful force for economic and social progress in developing countries. The book is conceptually insightful in placing a distinctive spotlight on the critical role of trust in the entrepreneurial process. [9/10]
  31. Hope Deferred: Narratives of Zimbabwe Lives by Peter Orner and Annie Holmes – The situation in Zimbabwe represents one of the worst humanitarian emergencies today. This book asks the question: How did a country with so much promise, a stellar education system, a growing middle class, a sophisticated economic infrastructure, a liberal constitution, an independent judiciary, and many of the trappings of Western democracy, go so wrong? [7/10]
  32. Why Smart People Do Stupid Things with Money by Bert Whitehead – This book deals with financial matters in a very straight forward way. It was easy to understand. I kept seeing my own financial habits in the book and how I could change and improve how I manage my money. [7/10] 
  33. From My Mama’s Womb by Duduzile Mashinini – This is an amazing by Dudu Mashinini on her life story. She shares how she could hear voices from her Mama’s womb before she was born. She narrates how she was born into a broken family and had to overcome the challenges that came with avoidant attachment style. It’s a spiritual story of personal overcoming and rising above depression. This reminds of how early child attachment styles affects us later as adults. [8/10]
  34. The Book of Secrets: Unlocking the Hidden Dimensions of Your Life by Deepak Chopra – I thought this book was a little hard to get into, and some sections I appreciated more than others. Overall I enjoyed the book. [6/10]
  35. Leap First: Creating Work That Matters by Seth Godin – Seth always makes me think. Sometimes he reminds his readers of what they already know, and often he clarifies what we feel in our hearts but only dare to hope might actually be qualities, actions and experiences we can strive for and achieve. Short and useful. [8/10]
  36. Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice from the Best in the World
    by Tim Ferriss – Timothy asks carefully framed questions of some of the most successful people in the world an in effort to ferret out how they came to the place that they are now. I found this book fascinating in its breadth and diversity. It highlighted in my mind that there is not one path to success or fulfillment. [9/10]
  37. The Super Afrikaners: Inside the Afrikaner Broederbond by Ivor Wilkins and Hans Strydom – This book exposes the secret workings of the Broederbond. It sheds a light on why Afrikaners continue to have such powerful grip over South Africa’s economy and over social superiority in South Africa. The strong foundations the Afrikaners laid down for their collective economic success in the mid-90’s through the Broederbond is of prime interest and should be something we learn from for our own economic liberation. [8/10]
  38. The Zulu Wedding by Dudu Busani-Dube. The book, which tells a story of Lou who’s been promised to the Zulu king in marriage to repay an old ancestral debt, is an Africa-meets-modern-day story. Lou has been running from this obligation since the death of her parents when she was 15. When she meets her soulmate, Tex, she realises she has to return to South Africa to confront her demons. [8/10]
  39. Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl – Man oh man, this book neh. extremely intense book, first published in 1946. The author shares his experiences in four different German concentration camps in WWII, including Auschwitz, and how he coped with those experiences and saw others cope with them, or not. He discusses his approach to psychiatry, called logotherapy, based on the belief that each person needs to find something in his or her life, something particular and personal to them, to give their life meaning. We need to look outside ourselves. [9/10]
  40. How To Grow Your Small Business by Jane John-Nwankwo – Starting a business is one great task, but growing it is another thing. Why do you think many new businesses close up in the first two years? The answer is: They failed to grow the business. [6/10]
  41. Capital in the Twenty First Century by Thomas Piketty – Everyone should read this book. This is not a book just for economists. This is a book for everyone no matter your profession or stage in life because it illuminates the arch of wealth and where we are now. [9/10]
  42. Down 2nd Avenue by Es’kia Mphahlele – This is Es’kia Mphahlele’s autobiography of his South African childhood and his struggle against discrimination. The memoir tells of his childhood in Maupaneng, a small village outside Polokwane, and Marabastad, in Pretoria. Here he showed academic promise. This resulted in a career as a teacher. After a number of years, though, he was barred from teaching because of his vocal opposition to the segregation and discrimination occurring in schools. Mphahlele then worked for Drum magazine in various capacities. The biography culminates in his exile from South Africa in 1957. Down second avenue is Mphahlele’s personal account of his struggle for identity and dignity in the face of the growing discriminatory policies of the South African government. It is a compelling mix of humour and pathos. [9/10]
  43. Free Prize Inside by Seth Godin – Seth writes innovative, thought provoking and fun to read marketing books. This book is all of those things. After all, any book that had the first 100,000 copies available inside a cereal box (get it, the Free Prize Inside?) must be innovative, thought provoking and fun. This is written as a marketing book and so if you are an entrepreneur, have a marketing interest or responsibility, I believe it is a must read. [9/10]
  44. Survival is not Enough by Seth Godin – The idea behind this book is pretty simple, and the title summarises it perfectly in just four words. Shift happens, and survival is not enough any more. The best way for you stay ahead of the curve is to constantly innovate, to thrive during times of change by embracing the shift and, wherever possible, causing the shift to happen in the first place. [9/10]
  45. The Dead Drink First by Dale Maharidge – One of the best books I have read this year. I like learning about history and this here is a powerful story on the history of the World War II. This is an inside account of what happens during a war. The negative consequences of any war. I now understand what they mean when they say, there are no winners in a war. I learned so much about how many dead soldiers are unaccounted for from previous wars and what is being done to bring them home. [9/10] 
  46. The Modern Stoic: Understand Ancient Stoic Philosophy and Learn Practical Ways To Develop Perseverance, Resilience & Calm in Today’s Complex World
    by Nicholas Hill – It’s a thin, I would say it’s an introduction to Stoicism philosophy. It does a decent of introduction. I would love to go deeper on this philosophy. [6/10]
  47. Extraordinary Leadership by Robin Sharma – Very short read with several good tips, but nothing earth shattering. [6/10]
  48. Astonishing the Gods by Ben Okri – This is my first Ben Okri read, this guy is not a easy simple English writer. But he has a way of saying something simple is a sophisticated but amazing way. I loved this novel. I will re-read it, because as much as I loved how he tells the story, he is highlighting a journey of standing out, of being an outcast, of being invisible in a society where everyone is trying to be visible. [8/10]
  49. Quit Your Job and Hire Yourself by Matt Lawrence – Working an unfulfilling job can be absolutely soul crushing for someone who has bigger ideas. “Quit Your Job & Hire Yourself” is a quick start guide to starting and building the business of your dreams. This short, yet comprehensive book covers everything from building an effective team to funding your startup. [7/10]
  50. The Minimalist Way: Minimalism Strategies to Declutter Your Life and Make Room for Joy by Erica Layne – This book is a bit different then most other minimalist books. The author doesn’t just tell you how to get rid of “stuff” but walks you through the effort needed to declutter your heart and mind; the more subtle obstacles we face in the minimalist process. Well worth the read. [9/10]
  51. Raising Positive Kids in a Negative World by Zig Ziglar – I can’t say enough about this book, great read, lots of helpful tips on parenting. It really makes you think about what you say, how you say it and how we act towards our children. Great great great book. [9/10]
  52. Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman – Interesting book about how the mind works, errors in judgement and memory and what to do to not fall prey to our minds` shortcuts (literally). Take home messages: Quick thinking and multitasking increases error rate. For the mind to comprehend something; it must be relative. Focusing on what we want is very important. What we assume as making a logical decision may just be misjudgment under influence. [8/10] 
  53. The Theory of the Leisure Class by John McWhorter – A difficult book to read, it is not written in simple to follow language. Veblen coined the term “conspicuous consumption” in this book and you’ll learn all why golf and table manners are important if you want to be “upper class”. This book is about how and the elites, the rich and wealthy always engage in conspicuous spending. [7/10]
  54. Notes on a Nervous Planet by Matt Haig – Matt Haig has carved his niche as an authority on depression. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who has suffered with panic and anxiety or anyone who wants a better insight into the mind in overdrive. This is a book you can turn to when you going through that off day. [9/10]
  55. Shaping the Future of the Fourth Industrial Revolution by Klaus Schwab –  This is a follow up book on the Fourth Industrial Revolution by Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum. The WEF website is more interesting than this book. Maybe it is because he tries to summaries all those interesting articles into a single Manual of Survival in the 4IR. He argues that it is important for governments, industries and individuals to think of Systems when building the structure of the 4th Industrial Revolution. It reads like a typical MBA textbook.I was underwhelmed by this book, a bit dry. [6/10]
  56. The Stellenbosch Mafia – Inside the Billionaire’s Club by Pieter Du Toit – This book is like watching Housewives of Johannesburg, except it will the Millioneers of Stellenbosch in a book format. It is about how the rich [old money] of South Africa live. [6/10]
  57. Coconut by Kopano Matlwa – Coconut tells the story of two young girls living on far and opposite ends of one world, and although they couldn’t be more different, they are connected by one reality: trying to navigate through a South Africa that suggests that they somehow do not fit in it. It exposes the savory side of the lives of South Africa’s “golden children” and the fallacy of the ‘Rainbow Nation.’ [8/10]
  58. Murder at Small Koppie: The Real Story of the Marikana Massacre by Greg Marinovich – In this book, Greg Marinovich explores the truth behind the Marikana massacre, looking specifically at the largely untold slaughter at Small Koppie. Drawing on his own meticulous investigations, eyewitness accounts and the findings of the Marikana Commission of Inquiry. [9/10]
  59. Why Social Media is Ruining Your Life by Katherine Ormerod – In this book, Katherine discusses the effects of social media in our lives. The internet [social media] has created competition where people post their flawless lives and people are in a race to create the impression that they are living a more perfect flawless life than the next person. This is a very interesting book. In How Social Media is Ruining Your Life, Katherine explodes our social-media-addled ideas about body image, money, relationships, motherhood, careers, politics and more, and gives readers the tools they need to control their own online lives, rather than being controlled by them. [9/10]
  60. The Essential Finance Handbook for Entrepreneurs by Precious Mvulane – Numbers, finances are often an entrepreneur’s least favourite topic. This is a remarkable handbook that entrepreneurs should have. This book looks at financial goals, understanding your financials, identifying key stakeholders, designing financial controls and systems and conducting financial evaluations. It’s a must have for entrepreneurs. [9/10]
  61. The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters by Priya Parker – One of the best books I have on creating a gathering of people, be it two people or more than 1000 people. This is useful book to those whose job it is to plan meetings, conferences, and the like and a worthy survival manual for consumers of the same.It is has fascinating stories, great insights and I highly recommend it. “Hosts of all kinds, this is a must-read!” — Chris Anderson, owner and curator of TED [9/10]
  62. Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About The World, and Why Things Are Better Than You Think by Hans Roslin – This is amazing book. In this book Hans Roslin dispels the myth about certain issues using data. The book is organized into chapters addressing instincts that lead us to think wrongly about the world, and Rosling uses data and anecdotes from his decades of work as an international doctor/researcher to reset our intuitions. There are ten instincts addressed: gap, negativity, straight line, fear, size, generalization, destiny, single perspective, blame, and urgency. Sadly, Hans Rosling died of pancreatic cancer before this book was released. It was written as a joint effort with his son Ola and daughter-in-law Anna, co-founders of the Gapminder Foundation that pulled together many of the statistics used here. They completed it after his death, but it is written in his voice: serving as a final message to the world from a remarkable educator and human being. [9/10]
  63. The Anatomy of Loneliness: How To Find Your Way Back To Connection by Teal Swan – Loneliness is something that all people experience; the question is to what degree. There is a kind of loneliness that can be remedied by simply being around other people and there is a kind of loneliness that can’t.  It is this second form of loneliness, the kind that exists even when we are in a crowded room, that causes us to truly suffer. This loneliness is a genuine sense of isolation.  It is this form of loneliness that needs to find resolve. In this book Teal talks about how to find solutions to this type of loneliness without causing harm to ourselves in the process. One of my favourite reads for 2019. [9/10]   
  64. Trust Me, I’m Lying, Confessions of a Media Manipulator by Ryan Holiday –This book “ruined” the internet for me. I can’t read any sort of news online without thinking about how it is either the product of corporate/country spoon-feeding positive news to boost their tourism numbers or a targeted attack to ruin someone or something. Actually a lot of what is in this book I already knew or suspected, but I did not realise how bad it was or the very serious consequences. [8/10]
  65. The Art of Quiet Influence by Jocelyn Davis – In this amazing book, Davis shows how anyone, not just people with titles, can get important things done by using influence without authority. Persuasion is pressuring someone to do what you want them to do, never mind what they want. Influence, as define by Jocelyn, is about working with others to co-create a new way, our way. Wonderful read, great examples. [9/10]
  66. Silence: The Power of Quiet in a World Full of Noise by Thich Nhat Hanh – Powerful. Life-changing read. Just reading this book reminded me of the importance of taking time to sit in silence and stillness. I highly recommend this book for anyone overwhelmed with their busy life and wanting a way to increase mindfulness in a practical manner. It’s written with such a simple, easy, manner that it’s not only a joy to read but gives you ways to incorporate mindful practice into a busy lifestyle. [9/10]
  67. How Europe Underdeveloped Africa by Walter Rodney – This book was written a while back, 1972 to be precise. Dr. Walter Rodney spares not a word covering the four centuries of slavery and one century of colonization in Africa, but rightly starts with the history of Africa, speaking of prosperous societies, plundered by slavery and colonization and deprived of a chance to grow, but instead continuously underdeveloped. [9/10]  
  68. Miles to Go: The Lost Years by Chris Murphy – I somehow struggled with this book. I wanted to read about Miles Davis, but this book is more about Chris Murphy and the journey he shared with Miles. It paints a good picture about the life of a band on the road. [6/10] 
  69. Listen to This: Miles Davis and Bitches Brew by Victor Svorinich – If you are  curious about Miles Davis and his creative process, this book is a good read. Victor Svorinich takes us into Miles Davis’s attitude and approach to creating music. Victor talks about how Bitches Brew was recorded, how it was conceptualised and why. He takes us through what was happening in and around Miles’s life. He doesn’t shy away from calling out certain musicians for problematic moments during the sessions. I loved it. [9/10]
  70. Fortune At The Bottom of the Pyramid by C.K Prahalad – This is an inspiring book and a very timely read, it was written around 20 years back, but is super-relevant today. CK Prahalad shows we can solve poverty. The book is not about grants or monetary aid. It’s about strategies to create ecosystems which converts Bottom of pyramid population [poor communities] into micro-creators and micro-consumers. The author contends that BOP is a huge market opportunity. If you are into social entrepreneurship, development work, innovation, this book should be a bible to you. One of my all time favourite. [9/10] 
  71. I Hear You: The Surprisingly Simple Skill Behind Extraordinary Relationships by Michael S. Sorensen – “Being listened to and heard is one of the greatest desires of the human heart” – Richard Carlson. Such a simple concept and yet it seems like the need frequently goes unmet. Have you ever had a conversation with someone who is obviously listening to the words you are saying but did not seem to get what you meant? Or understood your point and were obviously disconnected from the emotion or weight of the situation? This book is all about the power of validation and how to use it in your life. [9/10]
  72. The Soul of Sorbet by Ian Fuhr – Oh man, I loved this book. It’s a truly soulful book. In this book Ian Fuhr, the founder of Sorbet, talks about how he built the business to be one of the largest beauty franchise business in Africa. At the core of the foundation is servanthood. Servant leadership to his staff, servant service to customers, and other stakeholders. [9/10]
  73. Betting on a Darkie by Mteto NyatiThis is a book about leadership. If you are looking for a role model and mentor in corporate leadership I recommend this book. [7/10]
  74. Questions Are The Answer: A Breakthrough Approach to You Most Vexing Problems at Work and in Life by Hal Gregersen – Questions can be an effective way to get at key issues without bruising egos, both for the person asking the question [who may be afraid to look stupid or to challenge a superior] and for the person receiving the question [who may take offense at any suggestion that his proposal might be flawed]. As Hal and the people he quotes say repeatedly in the book, the key to getting the right answer is to ask the right question. Questioning is both an art and a skill. [9/10]
  75. Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell – Another vintage Malcolm book. This is an important book, unlike his other amazing books. This not an inspirational, step-by-step, this-is-how-to-succeed kinda book. It is an important book because we meet and interact with strangers daily. We think we know how talk and read strangers, and it turns out we actually don’t. After reading this book, I know that I will look at strangers differently, and that I will be a different stranger to others.From that perspective, I recommend that anyone reads this book. [9/10] 
  76. The Home Front: Life in America During World War II by Dan Gediman, March C Little The scope and brutality of the violence during the war is an eye-opening and stark contrast to the celebrations of America’s national unity that is often associated with the time period. “1943 became one of the country’s most racially violent years of the 20th century. I have learned so much about how brutal the second war was. War is not romantic, there are no victors in war. People’s lives are destroyed. Even those who are deemed victors, the trauma they experience post the “victory” haunts them for the rest of their lives. [9/10]
  77. The Future of Capitalism: Facing The New Anxieties by Paul CollierThoroughly enjoyed this book. This has to be the best book I have read about what is broken in our current political / economic system and some interesting ideas on how to fix it. Although I don’t agree with all of Collier’s suggestions, I think he is right more often than not. [9/10]
  78. The Story of Human Language by Prof John McWhorter – An interesting overview of the language development, passing throw the world’s first language, dialects, language mixture, pidgins and creoles. Overall, the content is engagingly exposed. [8/10]
  79. Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela DuckworthI felt like this book was very impactful. Duckworth simplified the message, shared many examples, and showed the way to grow and cultivate grit. The book increased my hope that I can become more gritty and to reach my most important goals. That hope by itself increases my grittiness a touch. There was so much meat in this book. Each chapter had me thinking and reflecting about the value and necessity of trying again. [9/10]
  80. Ultralearning: Accelerate Your Career, Master Hard Skills and Outsmart the Competition by Scott H. Young – This book about learning. How do you learn a new skill within a short space. Ultralearning is “a strategy for acquiring skills and knowledge that is both self-directed and intense.” [7/10]
  81. Dare to Lead: Brave work. Tough conversations. Whole hearts by Brene Brown I truly loved this book. The book is well researched. It digs deeper and clarifies complex emotional issues into simple concepts to grasp. You have to read this book if you lead people. But you have to read this book even when you lead no one, because even when you lead no one, you are leading yourself. Except the few cursing and swear words, I truly believe this is an important book to have. [8/10]
  82. Business Storytelling Guide: Creating Business Presentations Using Storytelling Techniques by Luis Cubero – This book shows how to use Joseph Campbell’s “Hero’s Journey” story structure to create captivating and compelling business presentations. The audience is the hero, you are the mentor, and the goal is to defeat the shadow. In business terms, this means creating an audience-centric presentation that is meaningful and compelling. Use the techniques provided in the Business Storytelling Guide to keep your audiences on the edge of their seats. [8/10]
  83. TED Talks Storytelling: 23 Storytelling Techniques from the Best TED Talks by Akash Karia – In this book the author talks about a very significant & important part of public speaking: Storytelling. It is a quick read with great bullet points and a summary outline at the end. Whether you’re doing public speaking, pitching an idea or just writing a novel or screenplay, these points are good to come back to over and over again. [6/10]
  84. Wired for Love: How Understanding Your Partner’s Brain and Attachment – Style Can Help You Defuse Conflict and Build a Secure Relationship by Stan Tatkin – Stan Tatkin uses neuroscience, psychology, attachment theory, and anecdotes to demonstrate that any couple can be happy and find fulfillment in one another if they take the right steps, allow themselves to be vulnerable, and invest the effort. [8/10]
  85. Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire – This is a classic book. If you are in education or are doing development work, this book is a must read. It is a radical book, with revolutionary thoughts that encourages education as a tool to be creative, not education as a tool to teach the continued meeting of the status-quo i.e oppression. [9/10]
  86. The Republic by Plato – Plato’s ideas are bold and controversial and very much relevant even today. Whether you agree with Plato or not, he is a phenomenal writer and thinker. It’s an easy read but some of the concepts and thoughts are not easy to grasp on first read. [7/10]
  87. The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism by Edward E. Baptist. – This has to be the best book I have read on transatlantic slavery. It is well researched and documented. If you want to understand what happens to Africans when they left the continent and arrive in the USA, Edward Baptist does an amazing job of researching and writing about various key stories that shaped the rise American economy on the back of slaves. [9/10]
  88. The Cuban Revolution: A Captivating Guide to the Armed Revolt that changed the course of Cuba, including stories of leaders such as Fidel Castro, Che Guevara and Fulgencio Batista – This was an amazing book. It gives a clear history of Cuba, how it was colonised and how Raul Castro, Fidel Castro and Che Guevara overthrew the Baptista regime. [9/10]  
  89. Nikola Tesla: A Captivating Guide to the Life of a Genius Inventor by Captivating History – This book is about the life of Nikola Tesla, his genius innovations, his struggles with his peers. Although Tesla’s work was a major factor in the success of the second Industrial Revolution, he died alone, impoverished, and largely shunned by the scientific community that once hailed him a genius. I still personally think Tesla is the not celebrated enough for his contribution in the world of science and innovation. [9/10]
  90. Talk Less, Say More: 3 Habits to Influence Others Make Things Happen by Connie Dieken – This book is about how to be more influential with saying less. Talk Less, Say More lays out a powerful 3-step method called Connect, Convey, Convince (R) and guides you in how to use these habits to be more influential. [9/10] 
  91. Ancient China: A Captivating Guide to the Ancient History of China and the Chinese Starting from the Shang Dynasty to the Fall of the Han Dynasty by Captivating History – To understand present-day China, its politics, society, and culture in general, we have to go back to the beginnings of the Chinese civilization. In this book, you will be led on a journey through almost 2,000 years of Chinese history, showing you all the ups and downs of those ancient times, the sufferings and joys of the Chinese people, along with their greatest achievements and failures. [9/10]
  92. History of India: A Captivating Guide to Ancient India – India is the second most populous country in the world, one of the biggest economies in the world but also facing many challenges such as high poverty levels. An interesting read about certain things we didn’t know about the country. [6/10] 
  93. Disarming the Narcissist: Surviving and Thriving with the Self-Absorbed by Wendy T. Behary – This book shows how to move past the narcissist’s defenses using compassionate, empathetic communication. It explains how narcissists view the world, how to navigate their coping styles, and why, oftentimes, it’s sad and lonely being a narcissist. Wendy writes about how to relate to narcissists without triggering aggression. By validating some common narcissistic concerns, also how to be heard in conversation with a narcissist. [8/10]
  94. Ghana Must Go by Taiye Selasi – This is novel about a Nigerian/Ghanaian family who are fragmented when Kweku, the father, is wrongly dismissed from his post as a surgeon in a Massachusetts hospital. Too ashamed to admit his predicament to his family he abandons them and moves back to his native land. His loyal Nigerian wife Fola and their four children are left to piece together the mystery of his disappearance. The novel begins with Kweku dying of a heart attack in his new Ghanaian home. To all intents and purposes he is dying of a broken heart. His death will reunite a family which has splintered as a result of his disappearance. [8/10]
  95. The East African Slave Trade – Thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Having read the trans-atlantic slave trade to the Americas, this book is about the East Africa slave trade to India. The stories of slavery was harrowing. It was also interesting to compare and contrast the differences between the treatment slaves received from the East vs. the West. [9/10]
  96. Stillness is the Key by Ryan Holiday – One thing I really liked about this book was how he also gives examples from other schools of thought on the topic of stillness, such as Buddhism and Christianity, as well as Stoic, Cynic, and Epicurean philosophy. If you’re looking for an easy-to-read book that will inspire you to become a better person, this book is worth picking up. [9/10]
  97. I Hear You by Michael S. Sorensen – This book is about the whats, whys, and hows of one of the most valuable [yet surprisingly little-known] communication skills: validation. Whether you’re looking to improve your relationship with your spouse, navigate difficult conversations at work, or connect on a deeper level with friends and family, this book delivers simple, practical, proven techniques for improving any relationship in your life. [7/10]
  98. Find Another Dream by Maysoon Zayid I first heard of Maysoon when she gave her TED talk titled: I got 99 problems … palsy is just oneThis book is about the true story of how a Muslim Jersey girl with cerebral palsy creates her own path to stardom. Maysoon is a comedian, so you will find a lot of humor in the book, however the book touches on a number of issues, growing up and dealing with discrimination as a Palestianian, women, a person with disability. I thoroughly loved it. [9/10]
  99. The Burnout Generation by Anne Helen Petersen Man oh man, this book really sobered me up. This book looks at how burnout affects a lot of young people, even though I’m willing to bet that it effects people of all ages. This book covers everything from debt to social media to the blurred boundaries between our professional and personal lives. What sobered me was that you may actually be burned out and not know about it. In fact a lot of people are burned-out but are not aware. [9/10] 
  100. Be the Boss Everyone Wants to Work For by William A Gentry – This is a good book for first time bosses. If you are used to working by yourself and you are promoted to a management role where you are to lead people, this book is for you. Becoming a leader for the first time is one of the biggest and most stressful psychological and emotional shifts you will ever experience. You’re suddenly given an important job that has almost nothing in common with what you’ve been trained to do. [9/10]
  101. Vagabond by Lerato Mogoatlhe – Once in a while I read a travel book. And this while I got hold of Vagabond. Initially I didn’t know what vagabond is, so I looked it up: Vagabond is a person who wanders from place to place without a home or job. Lerato became a vagabond when she decided to wander into West East Africa. Initially it was meant to be a 3 months thing, but it turned out to be a 5 years thing. Lerato has a way of telling stories of tension in her travels. For instance, she lands at Senegal, not yet booked a place to sleep, she has limited funds because funds from her freelance gig didn’t come through etc. In the process she tells amazing stories of African legends, amazing women she encounters travels. [9/10] 
  102. Stepp’d In Blood: Akazu and The Architects of the Rwandan Genocide Against the Tutsi by Andrew Wallis – This book is well-researched regarding the Rwandan genocide. It goes deeper to the heart of the issues, stories, horrors and atrocities. In order to appreciate a country, it is important to appreciate its history, no matter how difficult it is. Stepp’ed in Blood is an important read. Genocides are traumatic, however it is important know where we come from, so that we avoid the past mistakes.[9/10]

No I’m not a fast reader, I make time to read and reflect.

This year I tried to read many topics outside of my domain of interest [entrepreneurship, innovation and management]. I read books with topics ranging from music, world war, slavery, a bit of biographies, history, philosophy, psychology, and education.

“In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you.” – Mortimer J. Adler

Most of these books absolutely got to me.

Would I encourage anyone to read more book? Most definitely. Create time to read, it is the best investment you can make for yourself.