Kenya’s Top 2017 Reads
1. The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives by Lola Shoneyin (KES 1,350)
To the dismay of her ambitious mother, Bolanle marries into a polygamous family, where she is the fourth wife of a rich, rotund patriarch, Baba Segi. She is a graduate and therefore a great prize, but even graduates must produce children and her husband’s persistent bellyache is a sign that things are not as they should be.
Bolanle is too educated for the ‘white garment conmen’ Baba Segi would usually go to for fertility advice, so he takes her to hospital to discover the cause of her barrenness.
Weaving the voices of Baba Segi and his four competing wives into a portrait of a clamorous household of twelve, Lola Shoneyin evokes an extraordinary Nigerian family in splashes of vibrant colour.
This book has proven popular even though it was published in 2010. The popularity has further been driven by the author, Lola Shoneyin, visiting Nairobi for a performance of the book by Maimouna Jallow, doing a book reading and signing at Prestige Bookshop and meeting the fans of her work.
2. Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg (KES 1,100)
In Lean In, Sandberg digs deeper into why women’s progress in achieving leadership roles has stalled, explains the root causes, and offers compelling, commonsense solutions that can empower women to achieve their full potential. Combining personal anecdotes, hard data, and compelling research to cut through the layers of ambiguity and bias surrounding the lives and choices of working women. She recounts her own decisions, mistakes, and daily struggles to make the right choices for herself, her career, and her family. She provides practical advice on negotiation techniques, mentorship, and building a satisfying career, urging women to set boundaries and to abandon the myth of “having it all.” She describes specific steps women can take to combine professional achievement with personal fulfillment and demonstrates how men can benefit by supporting women in the workplace and at home.
Written with both humor and wisdom, Sandberg’s book is an inspiring call to action and a blueprint for individual growth. Lean In is destined to change the conversation from what women can’t do to what they can.
3. Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur (KES 1,550)
Rupi Kaur’s Milk and Honey is a collection of poetry and prose about survival. About the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity.
The book is divided into four chapters, and each chapter serves a different purpose. Deals with a different pain. Heals a different heartache. Milk and Honey takes readers through a journey of the most bitter moments in life and finds sweetness in them because there is sweetness everywhere if you are just willing to look.
4. I’m Too Pretty to be Broke by Joan Thatiah (KES 580)
In I’m Too Pretty To Be Broke, Joan Thatiah combines personal anecdotes as a mother,daughter,sister and wife with hard facts and research in cutting through the layers of lies that women tell themselves.
Self-published Kenyan author, Joan Thatiah has had her book flying off the shelves. Her other book ‘Things I’ll tell My Daughter’ has also proved to be popular with the Kenyan readers.
5. Unbowed: A Memoir by Wangari Maathai (KES 1,200)
In Unbowed, Nobel Prize winner Wangari Maathai recounts her extraordinary journey from her childhood in rural Kenya to the world stage. When Maathai founded the Green Belt Movement in 1977, she began a vital poor people’s environmental movement, focused on the empowerment of women, that soon spread across Africa.
Persevering through run-ins with the Kenyan government and personal losses, and jailed and beaten on numerous occasions, Maathai continued to fight tirelessly to save Kenya’s forests and to restore democracy to her beloved country. Infused with her unique luminosity of spirit, Wangari Maathai’s remarkable story of courage, faith, and the power of persistence is destined to inspire generations to come.
6. Raila Odinga: Flame of Freedom by Raila Odinga/Sarah Elderkin (KES 2,900)
2017 has been a very political year for Kenya has the country has gone through one of the most intense, hotly-contested elections since independence. Amidst all this, the former Prime Minister, Raila Odinga, who was also a contestant in the August elections, is a man Kenyans have wanted to understand.
The Flame of Freedom chronicles the remarkable journey of one of Africa’s leading politicians and statesmen. Raila Odinga;s life-story mirrors the triumphs and tragedies of Kenya’s struggle to entrench multi-party democracy and the rule of law into the fabric of the State. The book is a testament to his courage, determination and sacrifice in the cause of peace, development and public service. It is a bold call to action for all African leaders.
7. Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes (KES 1,500)
In this poignant, hilarious and deeply intimate call to arms, Hollywood’s most powerful woman, the mega-talented creator of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal and executive producer of How to Get Away with Murder and Catch, reveals how saying YES changed her life – and how it can change yours too.
Profound, impassioned and laugh-out-loud funny, in Year of Yes Shonda Rhimes reveals how saying YES changed – and saved – her life. And inspires readers everywhere to change their own lives with one little word: Yes.
8. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi (KES 1,300)
When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a medical student asking what makes a virtuous and meaningful life into a neurosurgeon working in the core of human identity – the brain – and finally into a patient and a new father.
What makes life worth living in the face of death? What do you do when when life is catastrophically interrupted? What does it mean to have a child as your own life fades away?
Paul Kalanithi died while working on this profoundly moving book, yet his words live on as a guide to us all. When Breath Becomes Air is a life-affirming reflection on facing our mortality and on the relationship between doctor and patient, from a gifted writer who became both.
9. Dead Aid by Dambisa Moyo (KES 1,350)
We all want to help. Over the past fifty years $1 trillion of development aid has flowed from Western governments to Africa, with rock stars and actors campaigning for more. But this has not helped Africa. It has ruined it.
Dead Aid shows us another way. Using hard evidence to illustrate her case, Moyo shows how, with access to capital and with the right policies, even the poorest nations can turn themselves around. First we must destroy the myth that aid works – and make charity history.
10. What it Means When a Man Falls from the Sky by Lesley Nneka Arimah (KES 1,900)
A stunning collection of short stories from Caine-Prize shortlisted and Commonwealth Writer’s Prize winner Lesley Nneka Arimah, WHAT IT MEANS WHEN A MAN FALLS FROM THE SKY is a debut with all the imagination of Helen Oyeyemi’s The Icarus Girl and the toughness of Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels.
Characterised by their vividness, immediacy and the author’s seemingly endless ability to conjure worlds at once familiar and unsettlingly different, this collection showcases the work of an extraordinarily talented writer at the start of a brilliant career.
11. Why Nations Fail by Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson (KES 1,800)
Is it culture, the weather, geography? Perhaps ignorance of what the right policies are? Simply, no. None of these factors is either definitive or destiny.
Otherwise, how to explain why Botswana has become one of the fastest growing countries in the world, while other African nations, such as Zimbabwe, the Congo, and Sierra Leone, are mired in poverty and violence?
Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson conclusively show that it is man-made political and economic institutions that underlie economic success (or lack of it). Korea, to take just one of their fascinating examples, is a remarkably homogeneous nation, yet the people of North Korea are among the poorest on earth while their brothers and sisters in South Korea are among the richest. The south forged a society that created incentives, rewarded innovation, and allowed everyone to participate in economic opportunities. The economic success thus spurred was sustained because the government became accountable and responsive to citizens and the great mass of people. Sadly, the people of the north have endured decades of famine, political repression, and very different economic institutions—with no end in sight. The differences between the Koreas is due to the politics that created these completely different institutional trajectories.
12. Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security by Sarah Chayes (KES 1,850)
Since the late 1990s, corruption has reached such an extent that some governments resemble glorified criminal gangs, bent solely on their own enrichment. These kleptocrats drive indignant populations to extremes—ranging from revolution to militant puritanical religion. Chayes plunges readers into some of the most venal environments on earth and examines what emerges: Afghans returning to the Taliban, Egyptians overthrowing the Mubarak government (but also redesigning Al-Qaeda), and Nigerians embracing both radical evangelical Christianity and the Islamist terror group Boko Haram. In many such places, rigid moral codes are put forth as an antidote to the collapse of public integrity.
The pattern, moreover, pervades history. Through deep archival research, Chayes reveals that canonical political thinkers such as John Locke and Machiavelli, as well as the great medieval Islamic statesman Nizam al-Mulk, all named corruption as a threat to the realm. In a thrilling argument connecting the Protestant Reformation to the Arab Spring, Thieves of State presents a powerful new way to understand global extremism. And it makes a compelling case that we must confront corruption, for it is a cause—not a result—of global instability.
13. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (KES 900)
Paulo Coelho’s masterpiece tells the mystical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure. His quest will lead him to riches far different—and far more satisfying—than he ever imagined.
Santiago’s journey teaches us about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, of recognizing opportunity and learning to read the omens strewn along life’s path, and, most importantly, to follow our dreams.
14. Questions for Ada by Ijeoma Umebinyuo (KES 1,690)
The artistry of QUESTIONS FOR ADA defies words, embodying the pain, the passion, and the power of love rising from the depths of our souls. Ijeoma Umebinyuo’s poetry is a flower that will blossom in the spirit of every reader as she shares her heart with raw candor. From lyrical lushness to smoky sensuality to raw truths, this tome of transforming verse is the book every woman wants to write but can’t until the broken mirrors of their lives have healed. In this gifted author’s own words—“I am too full of life to be half-loved.” A bold celebration of womanhood.
15. UnBounded by Boniface Mwangi (KES 3,000)
In just over a decade, Boniface Mwangi has risen from poverty to prominence in Kenya. He is renowned for his powerful photographs and his courageous protests calling for social justice. However, little is known about the man himself.
UnBounded is a collection of engaging personal stories that takes us through some of the people, places and events that have shaped Boniface, easily one of Kenya’s best known photographers and activists. It is a portrait of the child, the man and some of the human, harrowing and even humorous episodes that he has witnessed and photographed.
This book tells of the two remarkable women – his mother and grandmother – who influenced his character and inspired his drive to raise awareness about poverty, inequality and corruption.
His work as a photo-activist is grounded in social engagement, collective action and the need for justice. This is the story of a man full of determination and warmth, a man who lives his life to make a difference.
16. Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom (KES 1,000)
Maybe it was a grandparent, or a teacher or a colleague. Someone older, patient and wise, who understood you when you were young and searching, and gave you sound advice to help you make your way through it. For Mitch Albom, that person was Morrie Schwartz, his college professor from nearly twenty years ago.
Maybe, like Mitch, you lost track of this mentor as you made your way, and the insights faded. Wouldn’t you like to see that person again, ask the bigger questions that still haunt you? Mitch Albom had that second chance. He rediscovered Morrie in the last months of the older man’s life. Knowing he was dying of ALS – or motor neurone disease – MItch visited Morrie in his study every Tuesday, just as they used to back in college. Their rekindled relationship turned into one final ‘class’: lessons in how to live.
TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE is a magical chronicle of their time together, through which Mitch shares Morrie’s lasting gift with the world.
17. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini (KES 890)
Mariam is only fifteen when she is sent to Kabul to marry Rasheed. Nearly two decades later, a friendship grows between Mariam and a local teenager, Laila, as strong as the ties between mother and daughter. When the Taliban take over, life becomes a desperate struggle against starvation, brutality and fear.
Yet love can move a person to act in unexpected ways, and lead them to overcome the most daunting obstacles with a startling heroism.
You can also check out The Kite Runner
18. The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy (KES 1,890)
The Ministry of Utmost Happiness takes us on a journey of many years-the story spooling outwards from the cramped neighbourhoods of Old Delhi into the burgeoning new metropolis and beyond, to the Valley of Kashmir and the forests of Central India, where war is peace and peace is war, and where, from time to time, ‘normalcy’ is declared.
The Ministry of Utmost Happiness is at once an aching love story and a decisive remonstration. It is told in a whisper, in a shout, through tears and sometimes with a laugh. Its heroes are people who have been broken by the world they live in and then rescued, mended by love-and by hope. For this reason, they are as steely as they are fragile, and they never surrender. This ravishing, magnificent book reinvents what a novel can do and can be. And it demonstrates on every page the miracle of Arundhati Roy’s storytelling gifts.
19. Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell (KES 890)
A few years ago, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie received a letter from a dear friend from childhood, asking her how to raise her baby girl as a feminist. Dear Ijeawele is Adichie’s letter of response.
Here are fifteen invaluable suggestions – compelling, direct, wryly funny and perceptive – for how to empower a daughter to become a strong independent woman.
From encouraging her to choose a helicopter, and not only a doll, as a toy if she so desires, to having open conversations with her about clothes, make-up and sexuality; debunking the myth that women are somehow biologically arranged to be in the kitchen making dinner, and that men can ‘allow’ women to have full careers, Dear Ijeawele goes right into the heart of sexual politics in the twenty first century.
It will start a new and urgently needed conversation about what it really means to be a woman today.
21. Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi (KES 1,190)
Ghana, eighteenth century: two half sisters are born into different villages, each unaware of the other. One will marry an Englishman and lead a life of comfort in the palatial rooms of the Cape Coast Castle. The other will be captured in a raid on her village, imprisoned in the very same castle, and sold into slavery.
Homegoing follows the parallel paths of these sisters and their descendants through eight generations: from the Gold Coast to the plantations of Mississippi, from the American Civil War to Jazz Age Harlem. Yaa Gyasi’s extraordinary novel illuminates slavery’s troubled legacy both for those who were taken and those who stayed—and shows how the memory of captivity has been inscribed on the soul of our nation.
22. Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue (KES 1,900)
Jende Jonga, a Cameroonian immigrant living in Harlem, has come to the United States to provide a better life for himself, his wife, Neni, and their six-year-old son. In the fall of 2007, Jende can hardly believe his luck when he lands a job as a chauffeur for Clark Edwards, a senior executive at Lehman Brothers. Clark demands punctuality, discretion, and loyalty—and Jende is eager to please. Clark’s wife, Cindy, even offers Neni temporary work at the Edwardses’ summer home in the Hamptons. With these opportunities, Jende and Neni can at last gain a foothold in America and imagine a brighter future.
However, the world of great power and privilege conceals troubling secrets, and soon Jende and Neni notice cracks in their employers’ façades.
When the financial world is rocked by the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the Jongas are desperate to keep Jende’s job—even as their marriage threatens to fall apart. As all four lives are dramatically upended, Jende and Neni are forced to make an impossible choice.
Most books about the history of humanity pursue either a historical or a biological approach, but Dr. Yuval Noah Harari breaks the mold with this highly original book that begins about 70,000 years ago with the appearance of modern cognition. From examining the role evolving humans have played in the global ecosystem to charting the rise of empires, Sapiens integrates history and science to reconsider accepted narratives, connect past developments with contemporary concerns, and examine specific events within the context of larger ideas.
Dr. Harari also compels us to look ahead, because over the last few decades humans have begun to bend laws of natural selection that have governed life for the past four billion years. We are acquiring the ability to design not only the world around us, but also ourselves. Where is this leading us, and what do we want to become?
24. Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson (KES 2,500)
Manson makes the argument, backed both by academic research and well-timed poop jokes, that improving our lives hinges not on our ability to turn lemons into lemonade, but on learning to stomach lemons better. Human beings are flawed and limited—”not everybody can be extraordinary, there are winners and losers in society, and some of it is not fair or your fault.” Manson advises us to get to know our limitations and accept them. Once we embrace our fears, faults, and uncertainties, once we stop running and avoiding and start confronting painful truths, we can begin to find the courage, perseverance, honesty, responsibility, curiosity, and forgiveness we seek.
There are only so many things we can give a f**k about so we need to figure out which ones really matter, Manson makes clear. While money is nice, caring about what you do with your life is better, because true wealth is about experience. A much-needed grab-you-by-the-shoulders-and-look-you-in-the-eye moment of real-talk, filled with entertaining stories and profane, ruthless humor, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k is a refreshing slap for a generation to help them lead contented, grounded lives.
25. Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah (KES 1,850)
Trevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid poverty to becoming one of the biggest names in comedy began with a crime: his birth.
Born to a Black Xhosa mother and a white Swiss father at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison, Trevor was kept indoors for most of his early life, hiding from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away.
Finally liberated by the fall of apartheid, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure into the dangers and opportunities of a new South Africa.
26. Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo (KES 1,750)
Yejide is hoping for a miracle, for a child. It is all her husband wants, all her mother-in-law wants, and she has tried everything – arduous pilgrimages, medical consultations, appeals to God. But when her relatives insist upon a new wife, it is too much for Yejide to bear. It will lead to jealousy, betrayal and despair.
Unravelling against the social and political turbulence of 1980s Nigeria, Stay With Me sings with the voices, colours, joys and fears of its surroundings. Ayobami Adebayo weaves a devastating story of the fragility of married love, the undoing of family, the wretchedness of grief, and the all-consuming bonds of motherhood. It is a tale about our desperate attempts to save ourselves and those we love from heartbreak.
27. We are Going to Need More Wine: Stories That Are Funny, Complicated, and True by Gabrielle Union (KES 2,800)
One month before the release of the highly anticipated film The Birth of a Nation, actress Gabrielle Union shook the world with a vulnerable and impassioned editorial in which she urged our society to have compassion for victims of sexual violence. In the wake of rape allegations made against director and actor Nate Parker, Union—a forty-four-year-old actress who launched her career with roles in iconic ’90s movies—instantly became the insightful, outspoken actress that Hollywood has been desperately awaiting. With honesty and heartbreaking wisdom, she revealed her own trauma as a victim of sexual assault: “It is for you that I am speaking. This is real. We are real.”
In this moving collection of thought provoking essays infused with her unique wisdom and deep humor, Union uses that same fearlessness to tell astonishingly personal and true stories about power, color, gender, feminism, and fame. Union tackles a range of experiences, including bullying, beauty standards, and competition between women in Hollywood, growing up in white California suburbia and then spending summers with her black relatives in Nebraska, coping with crushes, puberty, and the divorce of her parents. Genuine and perceptive, Union bravely lays herself bare, uncovering a complex and courageous life of self-doubt and self-discovery with incredible poise and brutal honesty. Throughout, she compels us to be ethical and empathetic, and reminds us of the importance of confidence, self-awareness, and the power of sharing truth, laughter, and support
28. The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae (KES 1,650)
’m awkward—and black. Someone once told me those were the two worst things anyone could be. That someone was right. Where do I start?
Being an introvert (as well as “funny,” according to the Los Angeles Times) in a world that glorifies cool isn’t easy. But when Issa Rae, the creator of the Shorty Award-winning hit series The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, is that introvert—whether she’s navigating love, the workplace, friendships, or “rapping”—it sure is entertaining. Now, in this New York Times bestselling debut collection written in her witty and self-deprecating voice, Rae covers everything from cybersexing in the early days of the Internet to deflecting unsolicited comments on weight gain, from navigating the perils of eating out alone and public displays of affection to learning to accept yourself—natural hair and all.
The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl is a book no one—awkward or cool, black, white, or other—will want to miss.
29. Thomas Sankara Speaks by Thomas Sankara (KES 2,500)
When Thomas Sankara gained power he worked towards the expulsion of colonialism in Burkina Faso. His foreign policies were centred on anti-imperialism and rejecting foreign aid. Some of his domestic policies included preventing famine, prioritising education and public health and empowering women.
In this collection of his speeches and interviews, from 1983 until before his assassination in 1987, his true revolutionary spirit is encapsulated – this is proven in his iconic ideas.
30. What Happened by Hillary Clinton (KES 2,790)
For the first time, Hillary Rodham Clinton reveals what she was thinking and feeling during one of the most controversial and unpredictable presidential elections in history. Now free from the constraints of running, Hillary takes you inside the intense personal experience of becoming the first woman nominated for president by a major party in an election marked by rage, sexism, exhilarating highs and infuriating lows, stranger-than-fiction twists, Russian interference and an opponent who broke all the rules. This is her most personal memoir yet.
In these pages, she describes what it was like to run against Donald Trump, the mistakes she made, how she has coped with a shocking and devastating loss, and how she found the strength to pick herself back up afterwards. With humour and candour, she tells readers what it took to get back on her feet – the rituals, relationships and reading that got her through, and what the experience has taught her about life. She speaks about the challenges of being a strong woman in the public eye, the criticism over her voice, age and appearance, and the double standard confronting women in politics.
31. Who Moved My Cheese by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson (KES 690)
It is the amusing and enlightening story of four characters who live in a maze and look for cheese to nourish them and make them happy. Cheese is a metaphor for what you want to have in life, for example a good job, a loving relationship, money or possessions, health or spiritual peace of mind. The maze is where you look for what you want, perhaps the organisation you work in, or the family or community you live in. The problem is that the cheese keeps moving.
In the story, the characters are faced with unexpected change in their search for the cheese. One of them eventually deals with change successfully and writes what he has learned on the maze walls for you to discover. You’ll learn how to anticipate, adapt to and enjoy change and be ready to change quickly whenever you need to.
32. The Seat of the Soul by Gary Zukav (KES 1,890)
This iconic book encourages you to become the authority in your own life. It will change the way you see the world, interact with other people, and understand your own actions and motivations. In it, Gary Zukav takes you on a penetrating exploration of the new phase that humanity has entered: one where harmony, cooperation, sharing and reverence for life become more important than the ability to manipulate and control. Using his scientist’s eye and philosopher’s heart, Zukav shows us how to participate fully in this evolution, enlivening our everyday activities and all our relationships with meaning and purpose.
33. The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman (KES 1,400)
In The 5 Love Languages, you ll discover the secret that has transformed millions of relationships worldwide. Whether your relationship is flourishing or failing, Dr. Gary Chapman s proven approach to showing and receiving love will help you experience deeper and richer levels of intimacy with your partner starting today.
The 5 Love Languages is as practical as it is insightful. Updated to reflect the complexities of relationships today, this new edition reveals intrinsic truths and applies relevant, actionable wisdom in ways that work.
34. The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin S. Sharma (KES 850)
A Fable About Fulfilling Your Dreams and Reaching Your Destiny by motivational speaker and author Robin Sharma is an inspiring tale that provides a step-by-step approach to living with greater courage, balance, abundance and joy.
The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari tells the extraordinary story of Julian Mantle, a lawyer forced to confront the spiritual crisis of his out-of-balance life, and the subsequent wisdom that he gains on a life-changing odyssey that enables him to create a life of passion, purpose and peace.
35. Season of Crimson Blossoms by Abubakar Adam Ibrahim (KES 1,650)
From another author who held a book reading and signing at Prestige Bookshop in 2017, Season of Crimson Blossoms, is of love and longing – set against the undercurrents of political violence –unfurls gently, reveals layers of emotion that defy age, class and religion.
An illicit affair between 55-year-old widow Binta Zubairu and 25-year-old weed dealer and political thug Hassan ‘Reza’ was bound to provoke condemnation in conservative Northern Nigeria. Brought together in startling circumstances, Binta and Reza discover a need that only each can satisfy in the other. Binta, a grandmother of five, yearns for intimacy after sexual repression of her marriage, the pain of losing her first son and the privations of widowhood. Meanwhile, Reza seeks to lessen the pain of estrangement from his mother, and the increasingly remote link to his father, by seeking solace in an unconventional emotional and physical relationship.
36. The Art of War by Sun Tzu (KES 850)
Sun Tzu’s Art of War, compiled more than two thousand years ago, is a study of the anatomy of organizations in conflict. It is perhaps the most prestigious and influential book of strategy in the world today. Now, this unique volume brings together the essential versions of Sun Tzu’s text, along with illuminating commentaries and auxiliary texts written by distinguished strategists. The translations, by the renowned translator Thomas Cleary, have all been published previously in book form, except for The Silver Sparrow Art of War, which is available here for the first time.
37. The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham (KES 2,190)
The greatest investment advisor of the twentieth century, Benjamin Graham taught and inspired people worldwide. Graham’s philosophy of “value investing” — which shields investors from substantial error and teaches them to develop long-term strategies — has made The Intelligent Investor the stock market bible ever since its original publication in 1949.
Over the years, market developments have proven the wisdom of Graham’s strategies. While preserving the integrity of Graham’s original text, this revised edition includes updated commentary by noted financial journalist Jason Zweig, whose perspective incorporates the realities of today’s market, draws parallels between Graham’s examples and today’s financial headlines, and gives readers a more thorough understanding of how to apply Graham’s principles.
38. The Wait by DeVon Franklin (KES 1,400)
President/CEO of Franklin Entertainment and former Sony Pictures executive DeVon Franklin and award-winning actress Meagan Good have learned firsthand that some people must wait patiently for “the one” to come into their lives. They spent years crossing paths but it wasn’t until they were thrown together while working on the film Jumping the Broom that their storybook romance began.
Faced with starting a new relationship and wanting to avoid potentially devastating pitfalls, DeVon and Meagan chose to do something almost unheard of in today’s society—abstain from sex until they were married.
39. The Looting Machine by Tom Burgis (KES 1,400)
The Looting Machine’ is a searing exposé of the global web of traders, bankers, middlemen, despots and corporate raiders that is pillaging Africa’s vast natural wealth. From the killing fields of Congo to the crude-slicked creeks of Nigeria, a great endowment of oil, diamonds, copper, iron, gold and coltan has become a curse that condemns millions to poverty, violence and oppression. That curse is no accident.
This gripping investigative journey takes us into the shadows of the world economy, where secretive networks conspire with Africa’s kleptocrats to bleed the continent dry. And like their victims, the beneficiaries of this grand looting have names.
40. Memoirs of a Kenyan Spymaster by Bart Joseph Kibati (KES 1,500)
Bart Joseph Kibati, who started dreaming as a schoolboy of becoming a James Bond type intelligence agent and rose to become a deputy director of intelligence with the notorious Special Branch, the predecessor of the National Intelligence Service, tells all in this first ever memoir by a top level Kenyan spy-master.
Kibati’s memoir also offers an insight into Kenya’s political and social history.
41. Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry (KES 2,500)
The book highlights the four core emotional intelligence skills which are self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management. In order to exceed one’s goals one not only has to identify one’s EQ skills but must also learn to develop these skills into strengths. Keeping this purpose in mind, the authors have focussed on how these four core skills can be achieved and strengthened. They have offered strategies for self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management. The strategies are full of insights and are straightforward. A daily practice of these strategies will help people respond effectively to their emotions. They equip a person to overcome the daily obstacles and help bring about a positive change in life. Lastly, man is incomplete without relationships. and so the strategies for relationship management are sure to deepen the connections people already have and also help critical relationships work.
42. The Whistler by John Grisham (KES 2,350)
Lacy Stoltz is an investigator for the Florida Board on Judicial Conduct. She is a lawyer, not a cop, and it is her job to respond to complaints dealing with judicial misconduct. After nine years with the Board, she knows that most problems are caused by incompetence, not corruption.
But a corruption case eventually crosses her desk. A previously disbarred lawyer is back in business with a new identity. He now goes by the name Greg Myers, and he claims to know of a Florida judge who has stolen more money than all other crooked judges combined. And not just crooked judges in Florida. All judges, from all states, and throughout U.S. history.
What’s the source of the ill-gotten gains? It seems the judge was secretly involved with the construction of a large casino on Native American land. The Coast Mafia financed the casino and is now helping itself to a sizable skim of each month’s cash. The judge is getting a cut and looking the other way. It’s a sweet deal: Everyone is making money.
43. Start-Up Nation by Dan Senor & Saul Singer (KES 900)
START-UP NATION addresses the trillion dollar question: How is it that Israel – a country of 7.1 million, only 60 years old, surrounded by enemies, in a constant state of war since its founding, with no natural resources– produces more start-up companies than large, peaceful and stable nations like Japan, China, India, Korea, Canada and the UK?
With the savvy of foreign policy insiders, Senor and Singer examine the lessons of the country’s adversity-driven culture, which flattens hierarchy and elevates informality – all backed up by government policies focused on innovation. In a world where economies as diverse as Ireland, Singapore and Dubai have tried to re-create the “Israel effect”, there are entrepreneurial lessons well worth noting. As America reboots its own economy and can-do spirit, there’s never been a better time to look at this remarkable and resilient nation for some impressive, surprising clues.
44. From Third World to First: The Singapore Story, 1965-2000 by Lee Kuan Yew (KES 2,250)
The story of that transformation is told here by Singapore’s charismatic, controversial founding father, Lee Kuan Yew. Rising from a legacy of divisive colonialism, the devastation of the Second World War, and general poverty and disorder following the withdrawal of foreign forces, Singapore now is hailed as a city of the future. This miraculous history is dramatically recounted by the man who not only lived through it all but who fearlessly forged ahead and brought about most of these changes.
Delving deep into his own meticulous notes, as well as previously unpublished government papers and official records, Lee details the extraordinary efforts it took for an island city–state in Southeast Asia to survive at that time.
45. Riding on a Tiger by Moody Awori (KES 1,990)
Riding on a Tiger is the epic journey of discovery. It tells the story of a man lured by both the thrill of adventure and the courage to lose sight of the shore to discover the mysteries of the sea of life. This work seeks to re-constructs the authors beginnings in a large God-fearing family in the early decades of the 20th century and how those beginnings became the anvil on which his character as an unrelenting businessman and philanthropist were forged. In this bare-all work, Uncle Moody says it all. From how he came to live in whites-only neighbourhoods before his time, through the plunge into the tumultuous world of politics, to what led to the much famed prison reforms. It is a story of a nation as seen through the eyes of one who has seen it all.
46. The Black Swan by Nassim Nichols Taleb (KES 1,550)
Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s phenomenal international bestseller The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable shows us how to stop trying to predict everything – and take advantage of uncertainty.
What have the invention of the wheel, Pompeii, the Wall Street Crash, Harry Potter and the internet got in common? Why are all forecasters con-artists? What can Catherine the Great’s lovers tell us about probability? Why should you never run for a train or read a newspaper?
This book is all about Black Swans: the random events that underlie our lives, from bestsellers to world disasters. Their impact is huge; they’re impossible to predict; yet after they happen we always try to rationalize them.
47. The 80/20 Principle by Richard Koch (KES 1,650)
The 80/20 principle is one of the great secrets of highly effective people and organizations.
Did you know, for example, that 20 percent of customers account for 80 percent of revenues? That 20 percent of our time accounts for 80 percent of the work we accomplish? The 80/20 Principle shows how we can achieve much more with much less effort, time, and resources, simply by identifying and focusing our efforts on the 20 percent that really counts. Although the 80/20 principle has long influenced today’s business world, author Richard Koch reveals how the principle works and shows how we can use it in a systematic and practical way to vastly increase our effectiveness, and improve our careers and our companies.
The unspoken corollary to the 80/20 principle is that little of what we spend our time on actually counts. But by concentrating on those things that do, we can unlock the enormous potential of the magic 20 percent, and transform our effectiveness in our jobs, our careers, our businesses, and our lives.
48. Born on a Tuesday by Elnathan John (KES 1,500)
Told through the irresistible voice of a young boy, Dantala, Born on a Tuesday is a masterful and haunting coming-of-age story set against the backdrop of extremist politics and religion in Northern Nigeria. Dantala is a naive but bright Quranic student, who falls in with a gang of street boys, surviving on a regime of petty crime and violence. After being paid to set fire to the local headquarters of an opposition party, Dantala is forced to run for his life. Still reeling from the trauma of events, he stumbles into a Salafi mosque where he quickly becomes the favoured apprentice of the Sheikh and finds stability and friendship. From his place of refuge, Dantala confronts the hurdles of adolescence, first love and the splintering of family life – as his mother becomes increasingly unstable in the wake of a family tragedy and his brothers join a rival religious sect. But as political and religious tensions mount, he is torn between loyalty to his benefactor, Sheikh Jamal, and adherence to the Sheikh’s charismatic advisor, Malam Abdul-Nur. When bloodshed erupts around him, Dantala is tested to his limits.
49. Through My African Eyes by Jeff Koinange (KES 3,000)
Jeff Koinange is a multi-award winning journalist who has won a TV Emmy and a Peabody Award.Among other assignments,during his illustrious career,he covered Africa for more than two decades. He was the CNN Lagos Bureau Chief for five years before becoming the Network’s senior Africa Correspondent in Johannesburg.
Prior to that, he worked for Reuters Television as Chief Producer stationed in Nairobi,then Abidjan and later Johannesburg. He currently hosts a popular controversial TV talk show, Jeff Koinange LIVE, in his native Kenya.
50. Dance of the Jakaranda by Peter Kimani (KES 1,500)
Set in the shadow of Kenya’s independence from Great Britain, Dance of the Jakaranda reimagines the special circumstances that brought black, brown and white men together to lay the railroad that heralded the birth of a nation. The novel traces the lives and loves of three men-preacher Richard Turnbull, the colonial administrator Ian McDonald, and Indian technician Babu Salim-whose lives intersect when they are implicated in the controversial birth of a child.
With its riveting multiracial cast, the novel could well be a story of globalisation. Yet the novel is firmly anchored in the African storytelling tradition.