BOOK REVIEWS start on demilhadey.com!

Issa Book Review series with Charles Kadib…

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How many books have you read this year, guys?

1, 2?

Okay, well, I have good news for you!

I want to help you double those numbers!


With a new book review section on this blog, of course.

You must have heard me (sorry, read me 😋) say countless times: A good writer is one who reads and reads until he cannot but write. Do you agree?


The first post in this series is on the book: The Litigators by John Grisham.


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Enjoy!


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John Grisham’s The Litigators will resound with many people who toil week to week at a job they absolutely detest; those who put in all those long hours and all the while dream of a time when they would no longer have to face another dreary monday morning.

It follows the protagonist, David Zinc, who one day freezes at the entrance of his office; paralysed with the fear of facing another day of gruelling unpleasantness and at the same unnerved by the prospect of quitting and losing his only source of income.
The book at first flashes back and forth between the day he has, after he practically runs away from his job, and those of two other lawyers at a decrepit law firm which David ultimately gravitates towards.

The three men join forces to sue a huge pharmaceutical company with huge dreams of landing a large settlement and the resultant events spirals into a tale of selfishness, greed, sloppiness laced with humour and a constant undercurrent of tragedy. All three of the major characters are pathetic in one way or the
other.

There is the senior partner Finley with an unagreeable wife who hates and is hated by everybody and whom Finley secretly wishes dead, there is the junior partner Figg who is described as “always being on a countdown of some sort”. In fact as the story opens, he counting down to when his driving license would be reactivated due to a drunk driving incidence. He is also counting days of being sober.

David, the lead protagonist is probably the most stable of all the characters as he is hampered with neither an unbearable wife nor a drinking problem. But his confusion and constant bewilderement for most part of the book is both painful and comic to watch. As he gains confidence however, he becomes assertive and in the end saves the firm from ruin. Yet despite their diverse backgrounds, they all share the singular interest of longing for a better life. Reading the book, I was however struck by three important lessons that sprang from how the characters
reacted to their dreams:

1. Never settle
Finley’s greatest problem in the book is that he never seems willing
to move outside his comfort zone, he is reluctant to take any sort of
chance and as a result, he is probably the most miserable character in
the book.
His other two associates on the other hand are always on the go. Figg
in his clumsy reckless manner and David with his calculated steps.
Their various attempts drive the story and each of them will
eventually drag the firm either way. The most important thing about
them however is the movement, their emphatic rejection and a strong
unwillingness to settle for a life that made them constantly
miserable.

2. Hard work ALWAYS comes before success
Of the three major characters, Figg is the most ambitious. He works tirelessly, dreams of the big cases, advertises shamelessly as far as the firm’s budget permits and is never out of courage and energy. However, his sloppiness, hastiness, and ineptitude at due diligence not only crushes all his hopes of “hitting it big” but also drags his partners into an unimaginable financial mess.

Au contraire, David’s case which pulls his partners out of their disaster is a case that was built prudently and diligently. He turns over each stone meticulously and it is no surprise he scores where Figg fails.

3. Make your own luck
David’s case which was built with all care, succeeded because of one major ingredient.

Unlike the impatient Figg who was ready to drop the case, David spends months patiently combing shops and other likely places in search of his missing link. He builds his case at great personal expense as the firm was more interested in a suit that ultimately crumbles. He eventually finds it through a lucky chance; but it is his persistence and belief which made it so.

In the end, there is no good luck or bad luck; we all make our own luck and we do that only if we never give up trying.


Did you enjoy this review?


If yes, tell us in the comments! If no, still tell us, let’s make the next one much better for you.

Also, scroll to the bottom of this page to follow demilhadey.com for more reviewssss. 😊


To get this book Charles reviewed, you can buy it  from Roving Heights, a Lagos bookstore here.


Or on Amazon here.

Writing – A Hobby or a Job?

This is the endless debate. 

To some, writing is a thankless job. A personal hobby that deserves only oohs and aaahs. ‘Oh, your words are so moving’ is basically what they feel writing deserves.

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Image from etsy.com

And for another set, its the far opposite. They are writing mercenaries. You pay, I write. Some even go on to do quite aggressive ‘copying and pasting’ from the net to meet up with the numerous jobs they take on. They are willing to dip their hand in every writing pie as long as long as it will pay the bills.

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Says the mercenary writer.

I don’t take sides. But I will simply advocate a balance and share what has worked considerably for me. Do note.

1. The mercenary is a Jack of all trades and master of none. His knowledge of writing is only as deep as the job of the moment requires him to. The hobbyist is a full-time pleasure reader; this pays off in the long run, but his skill still remains blunt somewhat as he isn’t deliberate in learning the do’s and don’ts of WRITING.

Balance: Do it for the craft. Do it for the job. But make sure that you are developing your writing skills constantly, job or not.

2. The mercenary writer soon overburdens himself. Since, his biggest motivation is the money, he will take on any job, as long as it pays, and he or she soon finds out he . The hobbyist doesn’t even know people pay for written content. he is content in his non-profit bubble.

Balance: Pick an area of writing expertise and focus your strength there. Explore, but do not spread yourself too thin across different jobs. Understand that good content (spoken or written) is what sells and earns. Understand that good content brings monetary profit. Treat it with such value.

3. The mercenary most likely understands that words shape societies and charges appropriately. The hobbyist writer is ignorant of this. he does not know fully the power of words.  Written words are ‘personal’, he or she says.

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Image from etsy.com

Balance: I agree with the mercenary. Charge appropriately, except in cases you choose not to.

So, which one are you: MERCENARY or HOBBYIST? What steps will you take to create a balance if you are on either of these extremes now? Share with me in the comments!

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Some great suggestions:
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Want to reach out to me? Do so at demilhadey@gmail.com

 

5 Books to Kick Off Your 2018 Reading Resolutions

Farafina Books

2018 is the year to read more, isn’t it?

This tweet by Wale Lawal proves this much, with its many retweets and likes.

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However, it can also be overwhelming to decide which books to start with. Especially books that will keep you asking for more.

So, here are 4 books to start your New Year book resolutions with, especially if you are looking to read more African literature.

1. Yewande Omotoso: The Woman Next Door

In her novel, Yewande writes about two prickly old women, one black and one white, who discover, after 20 years of exchanging digs and insults, that they might help each other.

Hortensia and Marion are anything but friends and would like it to remain that way. But then a repair project leaves Hortensia with a broken leg and Marion in need of temporary housing.

Published by Kachifo Limited under its Farafina imprint, this is one…

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