BOOK CLUB



Every month I'll be writing reviews for 2 published-for-purchase and 1 published-for-free stories. If you would like your chance for a book of yours or you know an author with a particular work of theirs worth reading you can send me an email at caterina.efe@gmail.com with 'Book Club Suggestions' in the subject heading, and in the email you should detail the book name, one sentence why it should feature on the Book Club and where it can be purchased, or if it's made free, where it can be read.

Please be reminded that there is no guarantee that the book will be featured but if it is, you'll be notified via email within four weeks.



SEPTEMBER'S LITERARY HARVESY hand-picked by Caterina Efé



                                                TITLE: The Godfather
                                                AUTHOR: Mario Puzo 

EFÉ'S 2 CENTS:
For a story that Mario Puzo only wrote to make money this 1969 classic gangster novel vibrates with depth. Set in the 1940s just at the end of WW2, it centres around the reserved Micheal Corleone a decorated soldier who's father - the Godfather wants to make into the next Don and drama unfolds from there on duh, duh, duh...



The novel covers so many facets of life both socially, economically and politically and the story to me is all about survival. Surviving in an ever money-hungry capitalist world, surviving as an immigrant working towards having a fresh start on new soil but also wanting to preserve the culture and traditions of home, surviving to keep hold of one's justifications of the righteousness in the bad that those close to us do and surviving to fight the ever corrupt institutions who are supposed to govern and be after our best interests.



I adored reading the book as much as I enjoyed watching the film and its sequels. Obviously a book on the subject of a mafioso man will include much violence, but there is something in the way that Puzo writes that doesn't glorify the violence but sort of gives it some level of class, that can convince the reader that the act is just and necessary.



It took me a few days to read the book because my eyes were just magnetised to the words on the page. The writing style is very simple and unpretentious and I think that Puzo is not credited enough for creating this masterpiece that has had unprecedented influence in today's popular culture.


WHERE TO BUY THE BOOK: 
AMAZON (click on link) http://amzn.to/2bTvMPj
MORE INFORMATION ON THE AUTHOR:  
                                             www.mariopuzo.com



                                                     
                                              TITLE: The War of Art
                                              AUTHOR: Steven Pressfield

EFÉ'S 2 CENTS:
The 'War of Art' primarily focuses on writers but relates to artists of other disciplines or anyone for that matter working towards achieving a goal and how one should be aware and must combat against this oppressive force called Resistance.



I'm not really much of a reader of self-help books but I have never felt so akin to a book in this genre before. The book is simply timeless and I just love the no bullshit tone in which Pressfield writes as it cuts right straight to the point and what you take from it is priceless.



One would think that living in a time of technology, improved medical care, freedom of speech and luxury of free education, means that we have no excuse to settle down and churn out masterpieces at ease without constraints. I would be the first one to admit that, as an artist, with so many ideas that are just waiting to be executed, I struggle with Resistance daily. In uncomplicated words Pressfield explains how to navigate through those situations and to keep your eye on the prize.



He also highlights that whenever you seek to do great things there is always going to be resistance from yourself, family, friends, and other uncontrollable circumstances... but you should read the book because what I am saying to you only scratches the surface.


WHERE TO BUY THE BOOK: 
AMAZON (click on link) http://amzn.to/2c0nnFC
MORE INFORMATION ON THE AUTHOR:  
                                      www.stevenpressfield.com



                                                        TITLE: Preordained
                                                AUTHOR: Ada Eche



EFÉ'S 2 CENTS:
I cannot sing enough praises for this story! The story is about a prostitute who, by fate, attends a party where she meets the man who saved her from a bin when she was a baby and she also gains the interest of the governor's son who will stop at nothing to get what he wants and what he wants is Nwanyieze, the prostitute.

Ooh, honestly, I have completely and utterly fallen in love with this story and if anyone knows anything about me is that I have a great affinity for any story that has redemption as its underlying theme.



The beautiful thing that Ada, the author, does is to openly and objectively write the complexities of a vulnerable character who doubts her worth because of the immoral nature of her job but is too prideful (typical Nigerian!) to not still have values and boundaries to not totally debase herself. For this reason, the reader is drawn to be compassionate and is unable to judge Nwanyieze as it highlights the tragic situation that is ever so prevalent in so many parts of the world where girls (and boys) find that they do not have a choice due to the cards that they have been dealt with in life.



From the picture-perfect descriptions of several locations in Lagos, to the well-developed humane characters who are fully fallible yet endearing, to the gripping plotline that pulls at the emotions of readers – this is an all-consuming book and a virtual page-turner. What else could you want? Read and be consumed by the tale of the King's wife – Nwanyieze.

WHERE TO READ THE BOOK: 
                         MORE INFORMATION ON THE AUTHOR:  
                                             www.wattpad.com/user/Ada_Eze1





APRIL'S LITERARY HARVESY hand-picked by Caterina Efé



TITLE: The Coldest Winter
AUTHOR: Sister Souljah
                                              
EFÉ'S 2 CENTS:
The story is about a girl called Winter, the daughter of a wealthy drug-dealing father and how her and her family's life changes after she turns sixteen – and that's putting it plainly. 
 

This is the only “urban book” I've read in over five years. The reason for this is because I feel other books that would fall into this genre are just a repetition of the themes covered in this book and this may be a highly biased opinion but whatever - 'The Coldest Winter' is the best story in the genre. Usually when I attempt to read 'urban' books, I get turned off by the fact that the writing is soulless and narrow.

The subject matter of illicit drugs and crime is already a 'dirty' topic that already bring strong negative connotations in anyone's mind, but what Sister Souljah succeeds in doing is to inject human qualities that will resonate in the reader's heart well after one has finished reading it. Yes, you may not like the protagonist, Winter a lot of the time and yes she may do certain acts that may dub her young, dumb and foolish but Sister Souljah writes her in such a way you find yourself empathising with her and realise it's just about a girl trying to find herself in a lost world.


It took me less than a twenty-four hours to finish the book, and I can be a pretty slow reader, so this is proof of how attached I was to the storyline. Do not miss out on this literary gem.

WHERE TO BUY THE BOOK: 
AMAZON (click on link) http://amzn.to/1RZERNX
MORE INFO ON THE AUTHOR:  

 
                                                   TITLE: Post Office
                                                       AUTHOR: Charles Bukowski
EFÉ 'S 2 CENTS:
Oh! Bukowski! The love of my life! Reading the Post Office was like having an epiphany. This is just a story of Bukowski narrating his time as a postman, through the character of Henry Chinaski. You might think, “Oh that shit must be boring,” but I say you'll be missing out on the time of your life if you don't read it.

I tend to lean towards stream of consciousness stories, because I love the feeling of knowing what's going on in someone's brain. Though the cynicism and borderline apathetic tones may seem pretty anti-climatic for literature lovers, the whole essence is finding the extraordinary in the ordinary, mundane aspects of life as Bukowski surely does with his dry humour.

And when you finish reading this book, don't you dare not read his poems, they are what is so rare to find in modern art – a strong voice.      

WHERE TO BUY THE BOOK: 
AMAZON (click on link) http://amzn.to/1MMthtu
MORE INFORMATION ON THE AUTHOR:  
                                                www.bukowski.net

                                                 TITLE: Do You Remember?
                                                         AUTHOR: Penny Hawking

EFÉ'S 2 CENTS:
Where do I even start with this story? It's the apple of my eye, the Nutella to my toast, the jerk seasoning to my chicken. In the words of Kanye West, this book is a “living, breathing changing creative expression.” Penny's story is a tale about a couple trying to salvage their marriage after the woman suffers amnesia due to a car accident.



I love stories like this because the reader will be forced to empathise with both characters, each of them having made mistakes that have both negatively affected their marriage. And I like how it shows that it's not just one whose at fault, whilst the other one is just an innocent flower who just got trampled on by their disloyal partner- there is zero superficiality in this book. It hits you raw and leaves you gasping for more.

I'm in love most with the dialogue because on a more analytical view, the reader sees that the relationship is suffering from some major communication problems by what they say and what they choose not to say. And the old adage comes to mind – communication is key.

And the fundamental truth that Penny continuously hammers into the reader's head is this – you get out, what you put in to your relationship.

WHERE TO READ THE BOOK: 
Valent Chamber (click on link) valentchamber.com/viewstory.php?sid=1659
                         MORE INFORMATION ON THE AUTHOR:  
                                           www.wattpad.com/user/penny88




MARCH'S LITERARY HARVEST hand-picked by Caterina Efé


TITLE: Messy Spirituality
     AUTHOR: Michael Yaconelli

EF
É'S 2 CENTS:
Aided by anecdotes from his church members and his own shortcomings, Yaconelli renewed my faith in the unmatchable grace of God. He demonstrates that no matter who you look up to as your Christian mentor i.e. pastor, youth counsellor, parents etc everyone at some point in their life struggles with the feeling of not being worthy Christians.

I was able to finish this book within two weeks, but this book can be easily read in one sitting. What I especially like about this book is the simplistic language used to make it easy to seep into one's mind. For me it has become a book of lifetime spiritual encouragement, and if you want that too you can purchase the book for a next-to-nothing price when you buy a used version (and even though mine was a used version, it looked brand new to me).


WHERE TO BUY THE BOOK: 
AMAZON (click on link) amzn.to/240QXjg
MORE INFORMATION ON THE AUTHOR: 
 
TITLE: Lover's Dance
AUTHOR: K. Carr


EFÉ'S 2 CENTS:
Even though I'm not the greatest advocate for romance novels,"Lovers' Dance", a story about two star-crossed lovers really got me all mushy. Carr's command in the use of imagery is just exceptional and it is constant from start to finish.

For anyone looking for a well engineered story, please read this one. The story is mainly set in London, so for anyone who hasn't visted the English capital, you will be having the ultimate tour guide. From visual to kinaesthetic to gustatory imagery, you'd feel like you've been teleported into the world of the characters. The protaginist's pain becomes your pain, their pleasure becomes your pleasure and for this reason the reader becomes a sensory board for the characters as Carr makes it so effortless for the readers to FEEL EVERYTHING.


WHERE TO BUY THE BOOK:
AMAZON (click on link) http://amzn.to/1QbqZ29
MORE INFORMATION ON THE AUTHOR:


TITLE: Hit Record
AUTHOR: Mathy C.


EFÉ'S 2 CENTS:
Depression is something that people often find embarrassing to talk about because it makes them vulnerable just like the protagonist in "Hit Record", who uses a video camera, at the suggestion of her friend, as a therapeutic tool to vent her emotions, and from then on the story unfolds.

The quirky layout of the story, a hybrid of script and prose form, enhances the reader's experience, ironically, it almost gives a more intimate look into the protagonist's state of mind, as opposed to when she was off camera. Mathy, writes the pains of suffering from depression so elegantly but simply that makes it an enjoyable read, one that the reader can still empathise with the protagonist.

Another win for the story is that it delves into a different culture, as it's set in South Africa and it shows that depression can be suffered by anyone of any nationality, though it's something not expressed in Africa as a continent.


WHERE TO READ THE BOOK:
MORE INFORMATION ON THE AUTHOR:

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