My 2015 Review (Part 1)

2015 was a good year! I’m grateful for everyone who has been reading my blog, commenting, and sharing what they know with me. I hope we do that more this year, and I hope to write things that help you guys as much as I can. I understand the challenges on the economic side, especially for my readers in Nigeria. We fully expected them and I will try to share some tips on how best to navigate 2016.

I did a lot of reading in 2015. I believe I read almost ten books, or more this year. I didn’t really track it. Non-fiction dominated the list, a lot of it finance and business related, given my interests. My stand out books were: New Lombard Street a book about central banking, which goes into the roots of the last recession, modern bubbles and how money works in the 21st century. The Culture Code was about the subconscious influences that determine how we respond to certain things and how they differ from one person, or country, to another. Really insightful for people who are interested in marketing, psychology and selling. You absolutely have to look at it. The Accidental Public Servant x Mallam El-Rufai is a thrilling perspective on Nigerian politics and the challenges of trying to be different. El Rufai, being who he is, ruffles feathers all the time, including in this book, but it really made me rethink my stance on never working in the public sector (for about 5 minutes, before the villification of Ngozi Iweala quickly reminded me). Still an educative book, probably the most eye opening book by a public officer ever in Nigeria. The Partnership: The Making of Goldman Sachs was a detailed expose of the founding and rise of one of my most admired firms in the Street. I read it to understand what these people did to build the Wall Street that we know today, and how we could do the same for Nigerian finance. I’m currently reading House of Morgan x Ron Chernow for the same reason.

I read plenty of other stuff, many of them technical and goal oriented, but also including a few novels thanks to TheReadClub on Twitter. There was one fiction read that impressed me to no end. The name is Binti by Nnedi Okoroafor. It’s an afro-futuristic space novella, about the Namibian people and one very special girl. The writing is magical and also very African. I ordered all of Nnedi’s books after reading that, and I hope by the end of this year to have gotten through them.

I also read How to Be A Nigerian by Peter Enahoro. Considering how long ago this was written, it’s the most perfect portrait of Nigerians I’ve ever seen, and required reading for all of us. We should’ve read this in school, to be honest. It gives one a lot to think about.

This year, my goal is to read at least one fiction book a month. I also have more development oriented books, as well as healthcare books on my list. So much to do, not nearly enough time. Kindle has been a great help, and for that, I thank God.

If you guys have favorite African writers I should pay attention to, please send them my way. All other book recommendations are also very welcome.

In my next post, I’ll discuss my investments in 2015 and the challenges of last year’s economic environment.

Please share your comments below, I really want more book suggestions!

Have a great year ahead.

 

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