Books

Books

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    Blink by Malcolm Gladwell

    Ksh 999

    Brief Summary Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking. Drawing on cutting-edge neuroscience and psychology and displaying all of the brilliance that made The Tipping Point a classic, Blink changes the way you'll understand every decision you make. Never again will you think about thinking the same way. Malcolm Gladwell redefined how we understand the world around us. Now, in Blink, he revolutionizes the way we understand the world within. Blink is a book about how we think without thinking, about choices that seem to be made in an instant - in the blink of an eye - that actually aren't as simple as they seem. Why are some people brilliant decision makers, while others are consistently inept? Why do some people follow their instincts and win, while others end up stumbling into error? How do our brains really work - in the office, in the classroom, in the kitchen, and in the bedroom? And why are the best decisions often those that are impossible to explain to others? In Blink we meet the psychologist who has learned to predict whether a marriage will last, based on a few minutes of observing a couple; the tennis coach who knows when a player will double-fault before the racket even makes contact with the ball; the antiquities experts who recognize a fake at a glance. Here, too, are great failures of "blink": the election of Warren Harding; "New Coke"; and the shooting of Amadou Diallo by police. Blink reveals that great decision makers aren't those who process the most information or spend the most time deliberating, but those who have perfected the art of "thin-slicing" - filtering the very few factors that matter from an overwhelming number of variables.

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    Self Search by Kelvin Agengo

    Ksh 1199

    Brief Summary In Self Search, Kelvin mines from the depths of his life’s experiences, hours of research, and meditation to bring out and share some fundamental lessons that prove very empowering as one travels the journey of life. Through this riveting yet deeply reflective collection, you will be inspired to open your eyes and perceive the patterns of life, the infinity that exists in all, conduct an audit of your internal drivers, have a grasp of the practical empowering meaning of gratitude, focus, embody grit, finish well and above all, be ready for the life that comes upon the attainment of your goals, when you get there.   

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    The Legacies of Julius Nyerere

    Ksh 3399

    Brief Summary The Legacies of Julius Nyerere: Influences on Development Discourse and Practice in Africa. Julius Kambarage Nyerere is widely recognized as one of the most important African figures of the twentieth century. From politics to economics to language policy and education, Nyerere has had an important influence on development discourse and practice in Africa and beyond. The essays in this book offer a critical reflection of these influences good, bad, and undecided. Written by scholars with extensive experience in development debates in Tanzania and other parts of Africa, the essays cover a wide range of themes and points of view. Contributors include Ngugi wa Thiong'o, John S Saul, Julius Nyang'oro, Cranford Pratt, Gerry Helleiner, Colin Leys, Eunice Njeri Sahle, and David A McDonald.

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    Development as Rebellion A biography of Julius Nyerere

    Ksh 6399

    Brief Summary Julius Kambarage Nyerere was born on April 13, 1922 in Butiama, on the eastern shore of lake Victoria in north west Tanganyika. His father was the chief of the small Zanaki tribe. He was 12 before he started school (he had to walk 26 miles to Musoma to do so). Later, he transferred for his secondary education to the Tabora Government Secondary School. His intelligence was quickly recognized by the Roman Catholic fathers who taught him. He went on, with their help, to train as a teacher at Makerere University in Kampala (Uganda). On gaining his Certificate, he taught for three years and then went on a government scholarship to study history and political economy for his Master of Arts at the University of Edinburgh (he was the first Tanzanian to study at a British university and only the second to gain a university degree outside Africa. In Edinburgh, partly through his encounter with Fabian thinking, Nyerere began to develop his particular vision of connecting socialism with African communal living. On his return to Tanganyika, Nyerere was forced by the colonial authorities to make a choice between his political activities and his teaching. He was reported as saying that he was a schoolmaster by choice and a politician by accident. Working to bring a number of different nationalist factions into one grouping he achieved this in 1954 with the formation of TANU (the Tanganyika African National Union). He became President of the Union (a post he held until 1977), entered the Legislative Council in 1958 and became chief minister in 1960. A year later Tanganyika was granted internal self-government and Nyerere became premier. Full independence came in December 1961 and he was elected President in 1962. Nyerere’s integrity, ability as a political orator and organizer, and readiness to work with different groupings was a significant factor in independence being achieved without bloodshed. In this he was helped by the co-operative attitude of the last British governor – Sir Richard Turnbull. In 1964, following a coup in Zanzibar (and an attempted coup in Tanganyika itself) Nyerere negotiated with the new leaders in Zanzibar and agreed to absorb them into the union government. The result was the creation of the Republic of Tanzania. Ujamma, socialism and self reliance As President, Nyerere had to steer a difficult course. By the late 1960s Tanzania was one of the world’s poorest countries. Like many others it was suffering from a severe foreign debt burden, a decrease in foreign aid, and a fall in the price of commodities. His solution, the collectivization of agriculture, villigization (see Ujamma below) and large-scale nationalization was a unique blend of socialism and communal life. The vision was set out in the Arusha Declaration of 1967 (reprinted in Nyerere 1968):

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    Twisted: The Tangled History of Black Hair Culture by Emma Dabiri

    Ksh 1799

    Brief Summary Stamped from the Beginning meets You Can't Touch My Hair in this timely and resonant essay collection from Guardian contributor and prominent BBC race correspondent Emma Dabiri, exploring the ways in which black hair has been appropriated and stigmatized throughout history, with ruminations on body politics, race, pop culture, and Dabiri’s own journey to loving her hair. Emma Dabiri can tell you the first time she chemically straightened her hair. She can describe the smell, the atmosphere of the salon, and her mix of emotions when she saw her normally kinky tresses fall down her shoulders. For as long as Emma can remember, her hair has been a source of insecurity, shame, and—from strangers and family alike—discrimination. And she is not alone. Despite increasingly liberal world views, black hair continues to be erased, appropriated, and stigmatized to the point of taboo. Through her personal and historical journey, Dabiri gleans insights into the way racism is coded in society’s perception of black hair—and how it is often used as an avenue for discrimination. Dabiri takes us from pre-colonial Africa, through the Harlem Renaissance, and into today's Natural Hair Movement, exploring everything from women's solidarity and friendship, to the criminalization of dreadlocks, to the dubious provenance of Kim Kardashian's braids. Through the lens of hair texture, Dabiri leads us on a historical and cultural investigation of the global history of racism—and her own personal journey of self-love and finally, acceptance. Deeply researched and powerfully resonant, Twisted proves that far from being only hair, black hairstyling culture can be understood as an allegory for black oppression and, ultimately, liberation.

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    The Secret Lives of Baba Segis Wives by Lola Shoneyin

    Ksh 1399

    Brief Summary African-born poet Lola Shoneyin makes her fiction debut with The Secret Lives of Babi Segi’s Wives, a perceptive, entertaining, and eye-opening novel of polygamy in modern-day Nigeria. The struggles, rivalries, intricate family politics, and the interplay of personalities and relationships within the complex private world of a polygamous union come to life in The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives—Big Love and The 19th Wife set against a contemporary African background.

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    Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay

    Ksh 1899

    Brief Summary Pink is my favorite color. I used to say my favorite color was black to be cool, but it is pink—all shades of pink. If I have an accessory, it is probably pink. I read Vogue, and I’m not doing it ironically, though it might seem that way. I once live-tweeted the September issue. In these funny and insightful essays, Roxane Gay takes us through the journey of her evolution as a woman of color while also taking readers on a ride through culture of the last few years and commenting on the state of feminism today. The portrait that emerges is not only one of an incredibly insightful woman continually growing to understand herself and our society, but also one of our culture. Bad Feminist is a sharp, funny, and spot-on look at the ways in which the culture we consume becomes who we are, and an inspiring call-to-arms of all the ways we still need to do better.

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    Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

    Ksh 1399

    Brief Summary A novel of breathtaking sweep and emotional power that traces three hundred years in Ghana and along the way also becomes a truly great American novel. Extraordinary for its exquisite language, its implacable sorrow, its soaring beauty, and for its monumental portrait of the forces that shape families and nations, Homegoing heralds the arrival of a major new voice in contemporary fiction. Two half-sisters, Effia and Esi, are born into different villages in eighteenth-century Ghana. Effia is married off to an Englishman and lives in comfort in the palatial rooms of Cape Coast Castle. Unbeknownst to Effia, her sister, Esi, is imprisoned beneath her in the castle's dungeons, sold with thousands of others into the Gold Coast's booming slave trade, and shipped off to America, where her children and grandchildren will be raised in slavery. One thread of Homegoing follows Effia's descendants through centuries of warfare in Ghana, as the Fante and Asante nations wrestle with the slave trade and British colonization. The other thread follows Esi and her children into America. From the plantations of the South to the Civil War and the Great Migration, from the coal mines of Pratt City, Alabama, to the jazz clubs and dope houses of twentieth-century Harlem, right up through the present day, Homegoing makes history visceral, and captures, with singular and stunning immediacy, how the memory of captivity came to be inscribed in the soul of a nation. Generation after generation, Yaa Gyasi's magisterial first novel sets the fate of the individual against the obliterating movements of time, delivering unforgettable characters whose lives were shaped by historical forces beyond their control. Homegoing is a tremendous reading experience, not to be missed, by an astonishingly gifted young writer.

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    Four Things Women Want from a Man by A R Bernard

    Ksh 1499

    Brief Summary After decades of preaching, teaching, and counseling, influential Christian leader A.R. Bernard reveals the four qualities women want in a man—qualities that make for a satisfying and happy relationship. As a longtime pastor of a big-city church, A.R. Bernard has witnessed couples in every stage of life. He’s been with them as they experienced dizzying joys, unspeakable tragedies, and everything in between. As men and women have come to Bernard for spiritual counseling and advice, he’s learned patterns of behavior that are repeated time and again. After almost four decades of preaching, teaching, and counseling, he’s seen that while every situation is unique, people’s behaviors and consequences are amazingly consistent. With this in mind, Bernard has developed a simple system for understanding how couples relate to each other. Maturity, decisiveness, consistency, and strength—these are the four things women want and need most from a man. In his book, Bernard teaches readers how to identify and cultivate these traits toward a happy and long-lasting relationship—one built to weather any storm.

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    Goodbye Yesterday by Cindy Trimm

    Ksh 2099

    Brief Summary Goodbye, Yesterday!: Activating the 12 Laws of Boundary-Defying Faith. Your yesterday does not define your tomorrow. This book will set you free from the past, change the way you see yourself, and push you to pursue your future and all that God has for you. Each of us is born with a seed of greatness, but in many of us, it never grows to maturity because we don’t realize our full potential. We continue to live day-to-day based on the failures, defeatist attitude, and purposelessness of the past rather than acknowledging that we were created for more. Using insights gained from the Book of Genesis, Goodbye, Yesterday! teaches readers the 12 principles of faith they need to be set free from the past, change the way they see themselves, and move fully into all that God has for them to do and to be. It enables readers to renegotiate their future, redefine their destiny, reestablish their dominion in a world of chaos, and realize their full potential as God’s representatives on the earth. This book will help readers move beyond the self-defeating behaviors and mind-sets of the past and embrace the “awesome” person God designed them to be!

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    This Is What America Looks Like by Ilhan Omar

    Ksh 2899

    Brief Summary This Is What America Looks Like: My Journey from Refugee to Congresswoman. Ilhan Omar was only eight years old when war broke out in Somalia. The youngest of seven children, her mother had died while Ilhan was still a little girl. She was being raised by her father and grandfather when armed gunmen attacked their compound and the family decided to flee Mogadishu. They ended up in a refugee camp in Kenya, where Ilhan says she came to understand the deep meaning of hunger and death. Four years later, after a painstaking vetting process, her family achieved refugee status and arrived in Arlington, Virginia. Aged twelve, penniless, speaking only Somali and having missed out on years of schooling, Ilhan rolled up her sleeves, determined to find her American dream. Faced with the many challenges of being a Muslim refugee, she questioned stereotypes and built bridges with her classmates and in her community. In under two decades she became a grassroots organizer, graduated from college and was elected to congress with a record-breaking turnout by the people of Minnesota—ready to keep pushing boundaries and restore moral clarity as she sees it in Washington D.C.  "

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    Scars of a Nation by Peter Mbuthia

    Ksh 2799

    Brief Summary Scars of a Nation: Survivor of Kiambaa Church Massacre and the Elusive Justice. On December 30, 2007, declaration of highly disputed presidential election results triggered widespread violence across Kenya. The height of the violence was on January 1, 2008 when attackers who were unleashing murderers' violence on supporters of the presidential candidate who had just been declared winner meticulously planned and torched down Kenya Assemblies of God church full of women, children, and old people who had sought refuge there after learning of an imminent attack on Kiambaa Village in Eldoret Kenya. Seventeen people, mostly women and children, were burnt alive inside the church, and more than eighteen other people were shot with arrows, hacked with machete, and killed outside the church. Anthony Njoroge Mbuthia, who was then ten years old, survived the church fire but with very severe burns. He was treated in Kenya for one year and then referred to Shriners Hospital for children in Sacramento, California, USA, for reconstructive surgery. The international community led by the UN, USA, and the African Union quickly intervened to stop the murderers' violence that was becoming genocide, and thereafter mediation efforts between the combatants gave rise to a government of national unity that incorporated all political stakeholders. Investigations into the violence revealed that crimes against humanity were committed by well-organized and properly financed tribal militias. Several people, among them two who would later become president and deputy president, were indicted by the international criminal court that seats in The Hague, Netherlands. While Anthony was recuperating at the hospital and while he was suffering acute pain, he asked, "Dad . . . why did they burn the church? I thought the church is a sacred place?" I had no simple answer. Scars of A Nation is a true story that gives a witness narration of what transpired during and after the violence. A father's effort to seek for Justice for their son at the International Criminal Court, and a cry for Justice for Victims of the 2007/08 post election violence. The book has a full chapter dedicated to the causes of conflicts and violence in Kenya/Africa.

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