99 cent books
How Stupidity Saved My Life by Okechukwu Ofili
Mr. Ofili has written a gem of a book filled with pearls of wisdom. He shares with readers 18 ways to have a better life by making the right choices. His conclusions are underscored by news stories, anecdotes, and moments from his own life when he realized that he was doing something wrong and that there was a better way to handle the situation.
I appreciate how candidly he drew from his own experiences and lightened up the book with humor. I enjoyed his funny and telling sketches to illustrate (literally) his points. I liked the stories that tackled tough issues, from growing up in another culture, racism, a tendency to overanalyze, and financial challenges, among others. While the life’s lessons the author shared are grounded in common sense, he packaged them in an easy-to-read, thought-provoking book. His stories made me want to know more about his personal life, but I’ll have to wait for him to share more if he writes a follow-on book.
If there’s any reason to give this book 4 out of 5 stars, it’s because it ends before you know it, and the wisdom he imparts is quite fleeting. It’s not the kind of book that those seeking help to change their own lives can rely on for solid advice. The author does not take enough time to help the reader apply it to their own lives or even sink in. It’s a great read for what it offers. His advice might not be equally applicable to all, but he left it up to readers to decide if they agree with his advice. Not everyone is an engineer or has an engineer’s mind (myself included), but his anecdotes cut across a wide demographic.
I recommend this book to anyone who prefers to learn life’s lessons from others than the hard way — on their own.
How Stupidity Saved My Life is now available at:
Liquorice Twists by Dorte Hummelshoj Jakobsen
Ms. Jakobsen wrote an intriguing collection of flash fiction crime stories. Each story has a surprising ending with a creative twist (hence, the title). Toward the end of the book, I began to wonder what unexpected conclusion to expect in the each subsequent story. The stories are well written with some interesting literary flourishes and contemporary themes. One story, “The Caller,” is particularly good.
My one wish is that the stories were longer. They left me wanting more, but most were over as quickly as they began. I would have liked to see more detail and character development; that said, Ms. Jakobsen did a good job developing the characters and story as far as she could in a limited amount of space.
It’s definitely worth the read. At $0.99, the price can’t be beat.
Liquorice Twists is now available at: