I recently read Francine Rivers’ Mark of the Lion series, and followers of my blog already know that it changed my life. I decided to ask some Nigerians about the books that have changed their lives. The bookworms were quick to answer, and with great enthusiasm.
‘My earliest memory of myself is lying down on a bed reading a book in Yoruba, J.F Odunjo’s Irinkerindo Ireke Onibudo written in old Yoruba,’ says Monike Charles-Binitie, a Human Resources Manager/Consultant. ‘I love books. Reading Frank Peretti’s series around 1996 changed my outlook on angels. Francine Rivers’ Mark of the Lion series is also a special one for me. I must have read And The Shofar Blew by the same author about 10 times. Then Dee Henderson’s O’Malley series is a tearjerker for me. Ted Dekker’s books make me question if I truly love the way God wants me to love. Sorry, I can’t pick a particular book,’ she concludes with pleasure.
Even those who didn’t start reading early have a lot to say about getting into literature. Mofolusade Sonaike, Founder of Trezorlandia, gushes, ‘I must confess I was never that much of a reader, until I picked up a Francine Rivers novel a few years ago! I took out my meagre salary then and bought all of her books, and I mean all! She is such an amazing writer. She made me love reading. It opens up your mind and builds your ability to visualize things. I once went through a mentoring program with IBM and my assigned mentor, Mr. Weyinmi Egbe made me read Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers and Chris Widener’s The Art of Influence. I read both books twice over!’
Farida, a Business Monitoring and Performance Analyst who is married with a son says, ‘Power of a Praying Woman, Power of a Praying Wife, and Power of a Praying Parent all by Stormie Omartian. Also, What’s It Like to be Married to Me? By Linda Dillow.’ Any books on career and personal development? ‘No, these are the ones that impacted me most,’ she answers.
When asked which books have changed her life, Bisi Olabode-Foghi, Founder, Acier Sena Services and mother of one, also appreciates Stormie Omartian. ‘Power of a Praying Woman’ by Stormie Omartian. This helped empower me with wisdom and awareness as to my own unique God-given strengths as a woman. The Lady, Her Lover, and Her Lord by T.D. Jakes. This book helped put things in the right order they should come, in crystal clear perspective to me even while I was still single. Wouldn’t Take Nothing For My Journey Now by Maya Angelou; a collection of little ‘real-life’ stories and poems that taught me to take pride in being a black woman amongst other things. Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson; a little but most wonderful book that greatly shaped my attitude to life, Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki; this was what helped me realize I couldn’t afford to sit around waiting for paid employment to help me fulfill my dreams,’ she closes.
Not surprisingly, Rich Dad Poor Dad tops the list for other entrepreneurs also.
‘I read Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki when I was about 13 years old, then read from Third World to First by Lee Kuan Yew twice in University. Delivering Happiness by Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh brings customer service to life. I also read books by Kenneth E. Hagin and Bishop David Oyedepo, you’ll need some faith to run a business in Nigeria, actually, in any part of the world,’ says Kunle Jinadu, MD/CEO, Jaramall.
Other business owners also list similar books.
‘The Bible, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey, Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl, Think And Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, and Advanced Selling Strategies by Brian Tracy.” ~ Stanley Oyovota, Founder, Barows 21
‘I don’t read much but amongst the few I have read, I would say The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari (Robin Sharma), The Magic of Thinking Big (David Schwartz) and The Richest Man in Babylon (George Clason) have contributed positively to my life.’ ~ Adebola Olatoyese Aroloye, Founder, Smart Plus Cedar
‘There is no one single book that has changed my life but there are several which stick in my memory for various reasons. Shogun by James Clavell and Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson are a couple that stand out for me. Liar’s Poker by Michael Lewis was another that stood out for me.’ ~ Emeka Mordi, Managing Director, Buyam.com.ng.
For Nigeria’s leading life strategist and author of From College Dropout to Corporate Sellout and From Friend to Fiancée, Steve Harris, it is a single book; My Vision: Lessons on the Road to Excellence by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Makhtoum, the Ruler of Dubai. ‘It’s a great read on inspirational leadership in the modern era, and how he turned Dubai around in 11 years from a backwater emirate to a First World nation. It’s a great book.’
Now that is one book I would definitely love to read! What about you? Which books have changed your life? Share with us in the comments section!
About the writer: Joy Ehonwa is a writer, editor and online proofreader who is passionate about relationships and personal development. She runs Pinpoint Creatives, a copy-editing, ghostwriting and transcription business, blogs at www.anafricandiva.wordpress.com and www.girlaware.wordpress.com, and tweets @JoyEhonwa