Wednesday, December 23, 2015

How is your faith? By David Gregory

It took a while to get into this book but when I finally did, my reading speed became a sprint. I didn't put it down until I got to the last page [except for when I had to use the bathroom] and even found myself digging into the acknowledgment pages.

David wrote this book with a soul. There are few writers who have mastered the art of weaving words into sincere memoirs. Any reader would be endeared by this style.

Judging by the title of the book, I expected to be bombarded with information overload about religion and all that but to my surprise the book ended up to be a beautiful piece of ethnography mixed in autobiographical narrative.

I was intrigued by his zest for journalism. I was also intrigued by his love for life and life of love, as expressed in the pages that narrated how he bonded with his father and sparked up his relationship with Beth, who became his wife despite age and religious gaps. It was interesting that what appeared to be a traumatic upbringing did not destroy his ability to raise a family.

David talked openly about his mother's alcoholism, family struggles, betrayal, workplace politics and the hustling to climb up the ladder. He talked about small and big victories. He didn't present himself as a saint and spoke easily about when he fell short and how he struggled to make amends.

And yes-- he talked about how faith helped him through each phase.

Yay, yay, yay-- I was a bit paranoid when I first started reading... my little knowledge about Judaism and Jewish culture didn't ignite any enthusiasm at all. But like I said earlier, the soulful way David told his story broke down every paranoia and I soon found myself drawn into the pages as the story unfolded.

David's many interpretation of faith - Judaism, Christianity, Islam etc. - didn't cause me to lose anything by reading the book. Instead, it strengthened my believe in God and His love expressed through Jesus Christ. The book also encouraged me to learn not to separate my faith from my work. I especially appreciate how David discussed these things by putting a human face to each of them. Yep, it wasn't another of those abstract discourse.

You might not meet a President George Bush who might ask you "how is your faith?" [David says that is what spurred him to embark on his journey]. But you can open you heart and be liberated.

We live in a secular world that takes pride in stigmatising people who believe in God through His son Jesus Christ. How can you believe in a God that you cannot see? Well, that is why it is called faith! Look closely, you will see God in everything and everywhere. There is a God. He has expressed His love to us by sending us His only son Jesus Christ. Our role is to believe. Of course, the doubts will always set in but it won't quench our faith if we don't let it.

I'll recommend How is your faith? to everyone interested in journalism or interfaith marriage. But most importantly to anyone out there interested in diving deeper in their spiritual journey, beyond the peripheral of this secular world. I don't 100% agree with the principles shared in the book but I appreciate David for having the courage to share his story.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

I like this book, "Lean In" very much. The author's voice is very authentic. No pretentious high sounding i-want-to-sound-intellengent innuendos one often finds in these genres of literature. 

"Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead" by Sheryl Sandberg.

I started reading this book at a point in my career when I was pulling back-- and I'm so glad I found Sheryl's Lean In just in time. All I am doing now is leaning in, all weight forward :-). May God bless everyone who has the courage to share their stories for those coming up to learn from.

This book puts everything into perspective and gives you the courage to have that one-on-one conversation with yourself-- yes, that honest talk we cease to have after a certain phase of life. 

As ambitious as I look and sometimes appear, there are times when I have been so sure of myself and then, not to sure of myself.

Sheryl shares her story and through her story you'll see that it is okay not to know it all. But she doesn't stop at that, she encourages you to learn to put a step forward and be better than you have become. Her honest approach in picking different issues and addressing them one after the other is commendable. There is no rush.

I'm still reading it. But just thought to stop by here and say-- highly recommended!

Every girl, boy, woman and man should read this.

But most importantly, every girl, lady and woman should read it. Now I wish I had read this book in 2013! Anyway, life saving principles are never too late to apply.

Happy reading!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Adultery by Paulo Coehlo

If we are connected on Social Media [WhatsApp especially], you'd have received one of my broadcasts about my search for Paulo's Adultery. Finding a local bookstore to purchase this book was a hard nut to crack. Just at the point of almost giving up, my very good and kind friend, Zika, bought me a copy from the jand! Woot!!

Bookstores in Nigeria, we can do better!

Now back to my review:

I read Paulo's The Alchemist.

That book set a certain standard for what to expect from any book written by him. So when I started reading "Adultery," it was with the same enthusiasm, interest and fondness.

I was a bit disappointed. This is not to say the book isn't a good read. I think it might appeal better to a certain group of people at a certain phase of life.

And yeah, I'm going to hide the book far away from my baby niece who has a penchant for reading my books. That is to say, if you think "Half of a Yellow Sun" was sensual or provocative, wait until you read Adultery.

The plot wasn't so bad.

I admire Paulo's ability to infuse so many other important sub-themes under the main theme of adultery.

It covered love, jealousy, the futility of playing with fire, redemption, insecurity, hope, forgiveness, pretence, lies. loneliness etc.

“It’s loneliness. Even though I’m surrounded by loved ones who care about me and want only the best, it’s possible they try to help only because they feel the same thing—loneliness—and why, in a gesture of solidarity, you’ll find the phrase “I am useful, even if alone” carved in stone. Though the brain says all is well, the soul is lost, confused, doesn’t know why life is being unfair to it. But we still wake up in the morning and take care of our children, our husband, our lover, our boss, our employees, our students, those dozens of people who make an ordinary day come to life. And we often have a smile on our face and a word of encouragement, because no one can explain their loneliness to others, especially when we are always in good company. But this loneliness exists and eats away at the best parts of us because we must use all our energy to appear happy, even though we will never be able to deceive ourselves."

Taking it out of the context of marriage-- I think we can all identify with Linda and Jacob -- the two main characters.

Everyone think our lives are perfect. No one notice the struggle and discontentment. Yeah--sometimes we experience that discontented emotion with our lives and crave for something more-- more exciting. We find what we think it is and realize what we had was way better. Linda was lucky to not to loose it all before she found her way back.

Redemption c'est possible!

Some more quotes from Adultery:
“You only need to hide if you’re doing something you shouldn’t.”
“Going after a dream has a price. It may mean abandoning our habits, it may make us go through hardships, or it may lead us to disappointment, et cetera. But however costly it may be, it is never as high as the price paid by people who didn’t live. Because one day they will look back and hear their own heart say: ‘I wasted my life.’ ”
"Learn to love better. 
This should be our goal in the world: learn to love.
Life offers us thousands of opportunities for learning. Every man and every woman, in every day of our lives, always has a good opportunity to surrender to Love. Life is not a long vacation, but a constant learning process.
And the most important lesson is learning to love.
Loving better and better...

The book had a lot going on. Isn't that what adulthood is all about? A lot going on!

I'll rate the book a four star. BUT like I mentioned to someone who asked if it was worth reading: what you'll get out of this book is very personal. This is one book you need no blanket feedback to decide on whether or not to read.

By the way, I found this picture of other collections by Paulo. I have only two checked off the list so far:

Have a good read!

Monday, November 3, 2014

"The Digital Economy" - A McGraw-Hill Publication

The Digital Economy ANNIVERSARY EDITION: Rethinking Promise and Peril in the Age of Networked Intelligence

By Don Tapscott

With a new foreword by Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google

ISBN: 9780071835558

Price: $38.95 CDN

When Don Tapscott wrote The Digital Economy in 1994-95, The Digital Age was in its infancy. The pioneering Netscape Web browser 1.0 was in beta, websites didn’t do transactions, we all used dial-up modems, and smartphones didn’t exist. Google, YouTube, Netflix, Facebook, Twitter wouldn’t appear for many years.

Yet Tapscott’s analysis, raising issues such as networked business models, the impact of technology on privacy, the inevitable demand for corporate transparency, and the influence of new media on successive generations, deftly captured the many opportunities and challenges that lay in store for society. His pioneering term “digital economy” is now ubiquitous.

The Digital Economy is still a solid primer to understanding the impact of digital technology. In this 20thAnniversary Edition, Tapscott reflects on what has occurred since 1995 and how we arrived where we are. Even with 20-20 hindsight, most analysts fail to understand what the past two decades have meant.

In THE DIGITAL ECONOMY, Anniversary Edition: Rethinking Promise and Peril in the Age of Networked Intelligence (October, 2014; HC, $38.95), Tapscott offers fresh commentary on today’s ever-accelerating digital churn, and how we can all prepare for the next wave of innovation.

As with all disruptive platforms and social revolutions, networked intelligence destroys as it creates, writes Tapscott. “Technology is also the foundation of new species of businesses that are capable of wiping out entire industries. Digital Conglomerates such as Google are achieving leadership roles in a dozen industries, where they do a better job with a fraction of the employees. Excess Capacity Networks like Uber, Lyft, and Airbnb hold the power to wipe out jobs in industries ranging from taxis to hotels. Data Frackers like Facebook are acquiring vast treasure troves of data that position them to dominate multiple industries.”

In this new edition, he also covers:

· Frictions between present-day Industrial Capitalism and the Digital Economy
· The radical effects of the Internet on the traditional corporate structure
· Social media’s dramatic influence on business collaboration and culture
· Government transparency, citizen empowerment, and the creation of public value
· How digital content and collaboration is overhauling teaching and learning.

In an era where information has the ability to transform society, corporations, business, media, and learning, Tapscott still believes we all have the power to control the flow, and even shut it off if necessary. “Adopt a values statement for yourself and your family, and constantly revise it as the world and conditions change.Harness the power of new technologies and transparency for the good; design them, rather than having them control you.”

About the Author:
Don is one of the world’s leading authorities on innovation, media, and the economic and social impact of technology and advises business and government leaders around the world. He has authored or co-authored 15 widely read books including Macrowikinomics: New Solutions for a Connected Planet; the 1992 bestsellerParadigm Shift; and most recently Radical Openness: Four Unexpected Principles for Success. The 20thAnniversary Edition of Don’s hit The Digital Economy contains 12 new essays addressing the original topics of the book. His book Wikinomics was the best selling management book in the United States in 2007.

Over 30 years Don has introduced many seminal concepts that are part of contemporary understanding. Don recently collaborated with Thinkers50 and the Rotman School of Management to create the groundbreakingDon Tapscott App -- an interactive tool that explores Don’s thinking in a number of key areas.

In 2013, Thinkers50 awarded Don the Global Solutions Award for launching and leading the Global Solution Networks program at the Martin Prosperity Institute. This program is investigating how the digital revolution enables new models of global problem solving, cooperation and governance. Thinkers50, the definitive list of the Top 50 business thinkers in the world, listed Don as the 4th most influential management thinker alive. In 2011, Don was 9th on the list. In 2012, Don opened TEDGlobal in Edinburgh where his talk, 4 Principles for the Open World, was viewed by more than a million people online.

He is an Adjunct Professor of Management at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, and the inaugural fellow at the Martin Prosperity Institute. In 2013, Don was appointed as the Chancellor of Trent University. He also plays a Hammond B3 organ in the band Men in Suits that has raised millions of dollars for worthy charities.

You can read more about his CV, experience, and background at where there are links to Tapscott’s work in many of the world’s most important publications, radio and television networks.

Monday, March 3, 2014

For your reading pleasure! youth #education #volunteering #entrepreneurship

Hard copies available at:
  • Terra Kulture Bookstore, Tiamiyu Savage street Victoria Island, Lagos
  • Florence and Lambard publishers and booksellers, 202-204 Ikorodu road, Palmgroove bus stop, Lagos
  • Media store, Silverbird Galleria, Abuja
  • And a university campus near you!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


In the present age of Information overload where youths can easily get confused about how to chart their future path, Half A Loaf & A Bakery provides tested practical survival ideas and guides for youths to make the best of whatever situation they find themselves.

More than ever before, the global economic depression has brought to the fore the need for youths to have total education beyond academic knowledge, not only to compete for the available limited job opportunities, but to come up with new ideas and concepts.

Divided into five sections, Half A Loaf & A Bakery covers critical issues every youth should have a clear understanding of, which includes challenges of getting started and survival strategies, money matters and overcoming fears that can easily abort dreams if not properly addressed.

The importance of acquiring education in the face of tempting opportunities and the need for adequate preparation for adulthood were also properly articulated based on the experiences of the writer, those interviewed and others cited.

The main key lessons in the book are summarized in the following subtitles:
  • Before graduation: get started
  • Money matters
  • Don’t freak-out of fear
  • Don’t drop out
  • Learn the art of transitioning.
Unlike in the past when youths have to wait to graduate before thinking of what to do with their life, this book lives up to the promise of inspiring them to know what and how to learn before graduation.

There are many cited case studies for readers to learn from and convince them about how practicable the ideas contained in the book are.

Half A Loaf & A Bakery is indeed a valuable resource material and should be a recommended text for Entrepreneurship courses being offered by higher institutions in the country.

By: Mr. Lekan Otufodunrin.

Managing Editor, Online, The Nation.
Have you read it?
ISBN: 978-978-936-307-0
Author: Jennifer Ehidiamen
Interviewer: ‘Funso Bukoye 
Foreword: Mrs Oby Ezekwesili
Publisher: Click Weavers Communication (CWC) Limited
To buy your copies, please visit:

The Media Store (bookstore) at Silverbird Galleria Abuja.
Florence & Lambard Publisher and Booksellers 202-204 Ikorodu road, Palm Grove, Lagos.
Or buy online:

Read and share your review!! Thanks.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Memoir of a Kidnap-Victim Parent: Bringing Elizabeth Home.

Title:                      Bringing Elizabeth Home – A Journey of Faith and Hope
Author:                  Ed & Louise Smart with Laura Morton
Genre:                    Non-Fiction
Publishers/Year:  DoubleDay/2003
Pages:                     211
Chapters:                25
ISBN:                      0-385-51214-7
Reviewer:             Sotunde Oluwabusayo


“Hope like faith is the evidence of things not seen. You can’t have faith without hope.”

Every parent had one time or another thought about the unspeakable, unthinkable question: “What would you do if one of your children was taken from you?” – The worst nightmare any parent or family could ever face.

At first I was skeptical about picking the book on the shelf of the book store. It wasn't the usual book I read but I read the summary on the flap of the book and I was hooked – I wanted to know what happened and how the parents coped (Sometimes reading other people's story can help you put things into perspective).

The Book: “Bringing Elizabeth home” tells the story of young Elizabeth Smart (the eldest daughter of Louise and Ed Smart) who was kidnapped by Brian David Mitchell aka Immanuel and his partner Wanda Barzee for 9 months. It is a true-life horrific review of a parent dilemma, facing the possibility of  loosing a child to an horrible experience.

Elizabeth Smart’s story was one of the compelling true crimes that rocked the international media in 2002.

I did not know about Elizabeth’s story during the time it made global news in 2002 but hearing or reading about stories of children kidnapped is not new to me. It’s all in the media.

But when Elizabeth was kidnapped, she became everyone’s daughter.

At first her parent thought she had gone to sleep in another room as it was the norm if Mary Katherine, their nine years old daughter had kicked her in her sleep – but the girl persisted that Elizabeth has been kidnapped.  

Her father assumed that she had had a bad dream.

But she went on, “You won’t find her. A man came and took her. He had a gun.”

Mary Katherine’s account later proved true as it will take Elizabeth’s parent another nine month to find their fourteen years old daughter. This was just few days after her maternal grandfather passed away.

Through it all, memories and family kinship as well as the parent’s marriage were tested as they were all subjected to media and police scrutiny.

They had to cope with the press outside their home twenty-four hours a day, the invasive line of questioning from the police and the pressure of Elizabeth’s absence. The family was on edge all the time.

Leaks to the media were occurring - leading to mistrust between the Elizabeth’s family and the police.

The police asked several questions and even went as far as pointing fingers to the victims. As they say, “Everyone is a suspect.”

Elizabeth’s father – Ed said on his daughter’s disappearance: “They tried to rip apart everything we held near and dear. Our marriage, our children, our integrity, our faith – all of it was put to question after Elizabeth kidnapping.”

At a point after Elizabeth’s disappearance, world famous forensic expert, Henry Lee, who consulted on the OJ Simpson trial, was invited to look into the case to see if there was a missing link in the investigation.

But eventually, with the help of the media and a 911 call from good-willing citizens, they were able to find Elizabeth and her abductors - Brian David Mitchell and Wanda Barzee.

Mary Katherine’s description of Elizabeth’s abductor which had been ignored by the Salt Lake police was later televised on the TV show: “America’s Most Wanted” - thanks to the photos provided by Wanda Barzee’s son.

Elizabeth’s parent met Brian David Mitchell (the man who would later kidnap their daughter)  as one of the local homeless persons who do little yard work for them. But he did not give them his real name; rather he called himself “Immanuel.” It was after he kidnapped Elizabeth that “Immanuel” was not his real name.

Though not many parents are as lucky as Elizabeth’s parent, the book gives a sense of hope that miracle still happen and even if you have lost a child or relative to kidnapping, you can channel your pain towards helping other people   – at least in your own little way.

While noting that regretfully, such miracles do not always happen in kidnapping cases; Louise and Ed in their word said: “Having our daughter back home, in our arms, is nothing short of a miracle. It is the ultimate proof that God answers prayer. Granted sometimes the answer is not the one we pray for, but still it remains an answer.”

One of the good things that however came out of the ordeal was that the family became stronger than before and even the Amber Alert bill and the Child Protection Act was signed into law by then US president, George W. Bush.

“Bringing Elizabeth home” though tells the story of a parent’s struggle through the time of waiting, the pain, guilt, suspicions, disappointment  and frenzy media who would do anything to sell their story (to the extent of brandishing the story to suit their purpose); life lessons on hope, faith, survival and the importance of family and friends in everyday life were quickly brought into the attention of the readers.

The book was written by Elizabeth’s parent, exploring the pain in their heart concerning the situation and the joy that goes with finding their missing daughter.

Indeed, the story drove one important point home: that no matter how we try in this world, there are always sick and twisted people that may want to mar your happiness but with faith, everything can return to “normal” - There is always a light at the end of the tunnel and good do triumph evil if there is hope and strong faith in God.

“Though our experience was painful, through our faith and a trust in God’s power we gained tremendous strength, which became the cornerstone of how we survived,” Elizabeth’s parent recounted in the book.

Another point driven home in this book is that: Nothing is more important than family.

Family, the prayers of so many friends and strangers and trust in God are what got them through this experience –and having survived, they have no doubt that they can preserve any situation as long as those three things are in their lives.

However, Ed and Louise, though I respect their privacy, somewhat fail to give a detailed account of what it was like to "cope" during this trying period and most of the time their religion and being a devout Mormon family  came into bear too many times to count.

Regardless, the book is an emotional and enjoyable read – giving hope that all is not lost if only there is faith.

After reading the story, I could not help but find out how Elizabeth is fairing. Today Elizabeth Smart is a “Smart” young lady living her life as an example of faith and hope with her husband. Her abductor, Brian David Mitchell and Wanda Barzee are both serving time at the federal prison.

Elizabeth’s book “My story” will be out on October 7, 2013 - recounting her nine months ordeal  - eleven years after her painful and rewarding journey .

                                                                 My Story Autographed by Elizabeth Smart

I hope I get to read it J - to remind me once again that Miracles do happen.