In 2012: It’s 100 Books or 20,000 Pages! – Plus BONUS link!!!

I recall with nostalgia, how much I loved books – especially new books. The smell of the print brought joy and tranquility to my soul. Though she had never gone beyond the elementary school, my mum always ensured our books for the new session were bought in good time, often a week after the beginning of the third-term vacation. Books excited me, and they still do, and the storybooks were the ultimate. (Did you read “Ralia, the Sugar Girl”?) I was so lucky I never had to be forced to study; it just came natural. We would eagerly take turns to read passages from those lovely books in the English language class.

When I saw story books I did not have with my classmates, I never hesitated to borrow and read. I remember reading “A Tale of Two Cities”, “The Three Musketeers” and “Oliver Twist” after I spotted them with Omobolaji Nubi, one of my ‘tom-boy’ classmates in Primary Six. She would later be my contemporary at the Faculty of Engineering, University of Lagos where she studied Electrical/Electronics Engineering. She would bring several novels from home and we would all devour the content, whether they were brand new or relics from her family library. It was fun and I believe she still reads tonnes of pages now.

It’s well over a decade since those days, but I still love books. I love to search and digest new information and share useful bits with friends, and acquaintances who might find them needful and relevant. Reading liberates and engages the human mind, and from the storehouse of processed information, a writer finds substance. I must also acknowledge that reading has helped my vocabulary and register over the years. In the secondary, I succeeded in getting my mum to buy the Punch Newspapers for me every day, then every weekend, and then we couldn’t afford to do that anymore. Also, studying for a degree in Engineering robbed me of considerable time which would have otherwise been spent reading a lot of fiction and top-quality non-fiction. This year I dare to stretch myself a bit.

My goal is to read 100 books or 20,000 pages in 2012 – between January 1, 2012 and the midnight of December 31, 2012. Guess, that’s a tall dream, right? See my Books & I page to follow on my progress as time ticks away. Of course, for every such project, challenges arise which may threaten to make you give up. But, I will not give up. I believe I can do this, and I will. You can also watch out for periodic reviews of some of the selected books on this space. Next week, I should do a post on the challenges and progress so far on the 100-book project.

Below is a tentative list of books I am considering. The titles with asterisks are those I am yet to purchase. Please, feel free to comment and perhaps suggest some titles of books you think I should/must read before the end of this year. I might just add them to my list and purchase them.

BONUS: I stumbled upon a website recently where one could download up to 85 full novels, most of them classics which had been on the Times list. Here’s the link: Do enjoy the rest of the week, and have a great week ahead. Ciao!

Christian Living & Inspirational
1. The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren
2. In His Steps by Charles M. Sheldon
3. The Purity Principle: God’s Safeguards for Life’s Dangerous Trails by Randy Alcon
4. Personal Notes to the Graduate by Laurie Beth Jones
5. How to Hear from God (Learn to Know His Voice & Make Right Decisions) by Joyce Meyer
6. Following God’s Plan for Your Life by Kenneth E.Hagin
7. The Final Quest by Rick Joyner
8. The Call by Rick Joyner
9. The Kingdom Lifestyle by Gbile Akanni
10. Living with Eternity in View by Gbile Akanni
11. Becoming Like Jesus by Gbile Akanni
12. Silent Labours by Gbile Akanni
13. From Bleak to Bliss by Gbile Akanni
14. Tapping God’s Resources for Life and Ministry by Gbile Akanni
15. Understanding the Concept and Conditions for Discipleship by Gbile Akanni
16. The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis*

Management, Leadership & Business (Strategy)
1. Make Today Count by John C. Maxwell
2. Called to Lead – Be the Leader Your Family Needs by Dr. Stephen Adei
3. The Dignity of Manhood by Gbile Akanni
4. The Next Generation Leader (5 Essentials for Those Who will Shape the Future) by Andy Stanley
5. Pathway to Leadership by Gbile Akanni
6. God’s Pattern for Christian Service by Gbile Akanni
7. What God Looks for in a Vessel by Gbile Akanni
8. Man in the Mirror (Solving the 24 Problems Men Face) by Patrick Morley
9. Giants of Enterprise (7 Business Innovators and the Empires They Built) by Richard S. Tedlow
10. The Leader Who Had No Title by Robin Sharma*
11. The Rules of Management by Richard Templar
12. The Art of the Start (The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything) by Guy Kawasaki
13. How to Understand Business Finance – Robert Cinnamon, The Sunday Times
14. The Rules of Work by Richard Templar
15. The Google Story*
16. The Toyota Story*
17. It’s not About the Coffee, it’s About the People: The Starbucks Story*
18. Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant by W. Chan Kim, Renee A. Mauborgne*
19. Understanding Michael Porter: The Essential Guide to Competition and Strategy by Joan Magretta
20. Passion and Purpose: Stories from the Best and Brightest Young Business Leaders by John Coleman, Daniel Gulati, W. Segovia*
21. HBR’s 10 Must Reads: The Essentials by Clayton Christensen, Thomas Davenport, Peter Drucker, et al.*
22. Manage Your Image (HBR OnPoint Executive Edition) by Diane Coutu, Jodi Glickman, Soumitra Dutta, et al.*
23. Guide to Persuasive Presentations by John Clayton, John Daly, Isa Engleberg, et al.*
24. Chasing Stars: The Myth of Talent and the Portability of Performance by Boris Groysberg*
25. The Productivity Paradox: How Sony Pictures Gets More Out of People by Demanding Less by Tony Schwartz*
26. Nine Things Successful People Do Differently by Heidi Halvorson*
27. The Innovator’s DNA: Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators by Clayton Christensen, Jeffrey Dyer, Hal Gregersen
28. Winning in Emerging Markets: A Road Map for Strategy and Execution by Tarun Khanna, Krishna Palepu*
29. The Innovator’s Toolkit by Harvard Business School Press, Harvard Business Press*
30. Good to Great*
31. Success Built to Last*
32. Overloaded Circuits: Why Smart People Underperform by Edward Hallowell*
33. Stop Making Plans; Start Making Decisions by Michael Mankins, Richard Steele*
34. Betterness: Economics for Humans by Umair Haque*
35. The Brand You 50: Or: Fifty Ways to Transform Yourself from an ‘Employee’ into a Brand That Shouts Distinction, Commitment, and Passion! [Hardcover] by Tom Peters (Author)*

Africa, Economics & Business
1. The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
2. Blink by Malcolm Gladwell
3. What the Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell
4. The State of Africa (A History of Fifty Years of Independence) by Martin Meredith
5. The World is Flat (The Globalized World in the Twenty-first Century) by Thomas L. Friedman
6. Africa Rising (How 900 Million African Consumers Offer More than You Think) by Vijay Mahajan
7. The Rules of Wealth by Richard Templar
8. Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working by Dambisa Moyo*
9. How The West Was Lost by Dambisa Moyo*
10. The Changing Structure of the Nigerian Economy – Edited by Charles N.O. Mordi, Abwaku Englama and Banji S. Adebusuyi*
11. Africa’s Odious Debts: How Foreign Loans and Capital Flight Bled a Continent by Léonce Ndikumana and James K. Boyce [Publisher: Zed, 2011]*

(Auto)Biography & History
1. Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela
2. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson*
3. Business at the Speed of Thought by Bill Gates
4. You Must Set Forth at Dawn by Wole Soyinka*
5. Fela: This Bitch of a Life
6. This House Has Fallen: Nigeria in Crisis by Karl Maier (Amazon)*

Relationships & Family
1. How to Talk to Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere by Larry King (with Bill Gilbert)
2. Make Your Contacts Count (Networking Know-How for Business and Career Success) by Anne Baber & Lynne Waymon
3. Connecting: 52 Guidelines for Making Marriage Work by Harold J. Sala

1. Every Day is for The Thief by Teju Cole
2. Open City by Teju Cole*
3. Elegy for the Easterly by Petina Gappah*
4. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak*
5. ‘And thereby hangs a tale’ by Jeffrey Archer*
6. Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro*
7. Disgrace by JM Coetzee*
8. Life and Times of Michael K by JM Coetzee*
9. Memoirs of a Porcupine by Alain Mabanckou*
10. Oil on Water by Helon Habila*
11. Life of Pi By Yann Martel
12. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
13. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
14. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
15. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
16. Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
17. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
18. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
19. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
20. Frankenstein by Mary Wolltonecraft Shelley
21. Dubliners by James Joyce
22. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
23. Paradise Lost by John Milton
24. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
25. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
26. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
27. Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence
28. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
29. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
30. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
31. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
32. 1984 by George Orwell

Creative Non-fiction
1. London Life, Lagos Living by Bobo Omotayo
2. One Day I Will Write about this Place by Binyanvanga Wainaina*

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