My late friend and fellow #CNWriter Hammed Ajiboye was passionate about books. Every week, he would put up “My Top Ten Books” on his blog; a series that featured readers’ best books ever. He passed before I could send him mine, but it recently crossed my mind that Hammed would want to see it published. So here it is:
- Mark of the Lion Series by Francine Rivers
I love everything Francine Rivers writes, and I often joke that she must write on a dry fast; how else can the incredible anointing that accompanies her gift be explained? This series which consists of 3 books- A Voice in the Wind, An Echo in the Darkness and As Sure as the Dawn- changed my life FOREVER. Life transforming fiction!
- Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
You’ll never see success the same way after reading Outliers. This book was especially instructive for me as a parent. Raising children to be successful requires knowledge of the hidden things this book brings to light.
- Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Adichie
Chimamanda Adichie is another writer I love to read, and I’m happy to say I’ve read all her books. Beyond her excellent writing, Half of a Yellow Sun represents Nigerian history that was hidden from me as if by conspiracy. We were not taught about the civil war in school, and adults only mentioned it in passing. Even as a Nigerian adult, I did not know how real the agony was, how much we lost as a people, and how significant the war will always be until I read this book and my eyes were opened. A true classic.
- The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis
Besides the letters of Apostle Paul, this is the main reason I’m totally in love with the epistolary genre and prefer to write that way. Letters are the best.
- (Everything written by) Maeve Binchy
- So Long a Letter by Mariama Ba
I’m a great lover of letters, and this novel is one lengthy letter; the longest letter I have ever read. For its epistolary form, I love it. But more than that, this bookmarked my awakening as a feminist and shaped my sense of sisterhood with other African women. Regardless of nationality, religion, mother tongue, or even whether our official language is French or English, our struggles as African women are really the same, and we must stand hand in hand, shoulder to shoulder.
- Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
Reading this book, for me, is like enjoying delicious chicken pepper soup. Chinua Achebe’s mastery of the English Language is on full display not in big words, but in simple, elegant prose that only people truly comfortable with the language can pull off. I’ve read it several times, and each time I’m made aware, afresh, that we were a people with values, beauty, and a rich cultural heritage before the British came. I wish I could live in Urhoboland before the white man, as I have lived in pre-Colonial Igboland through Things Fall Apart.
- This Present Darkness by Frank Peretti
Living in this physical world, it is easy to get caught up in activities and happenings and forget that there is also a very real, very active spiritual world that influences this one. Whenever I get lazy and complacent in putting on my spiritual armour daily, this book reminds me that we are in a constant battle- and it is not against flesh and blood.
- The Only Son by John Munonye
This book, unlike many others written about the colonial masters, focuses on the good that they brought- primarily, education. The wonder of simple things we now take for granted, like being able to spell one’s own name for instance, and to read, can be seen through the pages of this beautiful book.
- What No One Tells The Bride by Marg Stark
Book of my heart! The title says it all. Every bride should read it before the wedding.