Book review: “The monk who sold his Ferrari”

I do realize that I will ever only write reviews on books I think you should read. And “The Monk who sold his Ferrari” by Robin Sharma is just one of those books everyone needed to keep on their kindle or in their book shelf. Although written in the form of a novel this book is nothing but. The whole book is a candid conversation between two old friends, one of whom used to be a high shot lawyer but after a heart attack radically changed his life. So radically that he was not seen for three years, nobody knew he had set of to find true meaning in life and eventually spent several month living and learning with monks high up in the Himalaya mountains. This book is no mere time killer to keep you busy when you haven’t paid your DSTV (cabel tv) subscription, this book could potentially transform your life. Let me correct myself, YOU could potentially change your life with the very practical and many times spiritual advice given!

The book is obviously based partially on eastern religions and rituals but if you are open to change your life and to better yourself this book will speak to you regardless of your faith. It talks about simple things like taking a moment at the beginning of everyday to meditate and to think through the day ahead, and to take a moment at the end of the day to reflect over what you could have done differently. The book talks about how your mind is a garden and you should take control over what you plant in it, to keep the weeds out. It reminds us that time is not a renewable source, and that we are all given the same number of hours in a day, we need to spend them wisely. Every chapter ends with a few key points and I read the book with pen in hand.

I will leave you with a few quotes:

“The quality of your life is determined by the quality of your thoughts”

“The purpose of life is a life of purpose”

“For what lies behind you and what lies in front you matters little when compared to what lies within you”

“The most important moment is now. Learn to live in it fully and savor it”

“Happiness is a journey, not a destination”

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The Fortunes of Africa – Book review

I’m an interval reader (if that’s even an expression?), by that I mean I can read nonstop for weeks, one book after the other, only to not pick up a book for several month thereafter. The book I’ve decided to review in my first book review is a book that took me many month to cover, and not only because it’s no less than 686 pages (excluding chapter notes) to get through, but because of its content. “The Fortunes of Africa” where the author Martin Meredith attempts to cover 5000 years of the history of the African continent is not a book to take lightly. I actually had to put this book down from time to time out of sheer exhaustion, it was at time overwhelming and I found myself getting very emotionally affected but what I was taking in. This book, or at least books like it, should be mandatory reading not only in schools but to anyone ever contemplating moving to and /or already living on the continent. It is obviously impossible to squeeze in 5000 years of rich and diverse cultures from such a vast continent in one single book, no matter how many pages. But the author has done a fine job in comprising a history book taking the reader from the mighty Pharaohs to Great Zimbabwe to the first Arab traders and eventually the advent of European explorers and consequently the beginning of colonial rule. At the very end of the book we catch up with the 21st century and it is with sadness that I realize what mighty potential Africa had that has gone to waste over the centuries. Not only was the African society not allowed to fully develop due to slave trade and colonial rule, but the newly independent states where handed over to a western schooled elite that saw no benefit in sharing their power and subsequent wealth with the masses. This book was a heavy read, but it has deepened my understanding of so many aspects of what Africa is today.  I think I need to read something lighter next, like a romantic novel with a happy ending or just a magazine, yes, a magazine about cooking and the latest interior designs….!