Elevate Your Life With Books

A handbook to help you read, learn and execute.

“Contrary to popular wisdom, knowledge is not power-it’s potential power. Knowledge is not mastery. Execution is mastery. Execution will trump knowledge every day of the week.”
— Tony Robbins

When reading books, the gaining of knowledge is only half the work. The rest you need to do, and in order to fully benefit from the book you need to apply that knowledge. At The Book Neighbourhood, we emphasise the need for execution, or else that knowledge may be worthless.

We’ve designed and written this handbook that will help you get into the habit of reading for benefit. In it you’ll choose the different life areas you want to focus on, choose (with our help) books that are relevant and resonate with the challenges you’re facing, and offer step-by-step guides on how to extract as much information as you can from the books and apply it to your life for improvement, development and growth. It is a well-organised handbook that will help you restructure your life and organise it in a way that makes it easier to approach your problems with more clarity and with more useful tools – from books.

We will be announcing the release date soon and hope it will change your life.

While you wait, you can download our free guide to help you get into the habit of reading. Download the Read Like A Boss guide here, and warm yourself up for the handbook by working your way to becoming an avid reader.

It’s been said a million times and I’ll still say it – not doing something is just as much of a
habit itself. Reading is a habit but so is not reading.

Review: Diary of a Young Girl – Anne Frank

“Although I’m only fourteen, I know quite well what I want, I know who is right and who is wrong.”

Hitler’s obsession with having a “pure” race lead to an unspeakable period of barbaric and brutal war against the Jews and other million others targeted for racial, ideological and political reasons. When he became Chancellor in 1933, he did not waste time in starting his anti-Jewish operation.

There was mass transportation to concentration camps where imprisonment, mass gassing, death from starvation and diseases, and other merciless crimes against humanity took place.

The years from 1942 to 1945 were a time when Jews from all over Europe were sent to these concentration camps and it is during these years that Anne Frank put down pen to paper to pour down her account of the time she spent in hiding with her family, another family of three and a friend.

Anne’s diary entries begin in June 1942, on her 13th birthday, about a month before they go into hiding. In July they go into hiding in a building where his father’s office is and here begins their two-year hiding.

Anne records the atmosphere in their dwelling, describing the environment itself, the food, the daily activities that are mostly reading and writing, and the rows that take place among them.

Below them, on the ground floor is a warehouse that is used during the day, and at that time they have to stay as quiet as possible to avoid getting caught. As grim and tragic as their circumstances are, Anne expresses hope and a positive outlook on life.

“I’ve found that there is always some beauty left — in nature, sunshine, freedom, in yourself; these can all help you.”

There are times when she writes about her pain, depression, crying herself to sleep but her writing still bursts with impressive wisdom, maturity, introspection, intelligence and wit.

Her diary shows her depth of feeling, things she doesn’t share with anyone else but feels so strongly about. Her opinions are strong and she has an independent mind, as well as a clear direction that she wishes to take after the war.

“I don’t want to have lived in vain like most people. I want to be useful or bring enjoyment to all people, even those I’ve never met. I want to go on living even after my death!”

There are many things to enjoy about this diary, especially Anne’s belief in freedom, despite the confines she and her family are in where freedom has been taken away from them.

She expresses a belief – freedom for people to live in peace and freedom of self. In the midst of fear of being discovered and taken away, she still shows courage and cheerfulness.

Her thirst for learning is unquenchable. She finds comfort in reading, learning and writing. In the depth of a miserable situation where the future is unpredictable and she has no idea about the other side of the war, she still commits to absorbing knowledge and creating.

“I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.”

I enjoyed The Diary of a Young Girl because of how it can shift one’s perspective on their own suffering and worries. It’s inspiring and informative in the way that it takes you into her contemplation of the war. It’s also a good read for people who are interested in history and war.

The last diary entry is on 1 August 1944 and shortly after an informer tells on the family. Their place is raided and they’re taken away. Anne died in 1945. Only her father survived and when he returned after the war, he found the diary kept by his office workers. Anne had wanted to become a writer and to publish the diary, and her father published it in her memory.

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Powerful Quotes From Chimamanda’s ‘Dear Ijeawele’.

This pocket-sized book is packed with powerful and inspiring messages about feminism and femininity.

Let’s get right into the quotes. I hope you feel inspired.

– The knowledge of cooking does not come pre-installed in a vagina.

– Teach her that if you criticize X in women but do not criticize X in men, then you do not have a problem with X, you have a problem with women.

– We have a world full of women who are unable to exhale fully because they have for so long been conditioned to fold themselves into shapes to make themselves likeable.

– Isn’t it odd that in most societies in the world today, women generally cannot propose marriage? Marriage is such a major step in your life, and yet you cannot take charge of it; it depends on a man asking you.

– Be a full person. Motherhood is a glorious gift, but do not define yourself solely by motherhood. Be a full person. Your child will benefit from that.

– In every culture in the world, female sexuality is about shame. Even cultures that expect women to be sexy−like many in the West−still do not expect them to be sexual.

– Tell her that her body belongs to her and her alone, that she should never feel the need to say yes to something she does not want, or something she feels pressured to do. Teach her that saying no when no feels right is something to be proud of.

– People will selectively use “tradition” to justify anything.

– If she likes makeup, let her wear it. If she likes fashion, let her dress up. But if she doesn’t like either, let her be. Don’t think that raising her feminist means forcing her to reject femininity. Feminism and femininity are not mutually exclusive.

I would suggest you read this book along with ‘We Should All Be Feminists’.

Hyped Books I Found Underwhelming

“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”
― Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood

I often find my IG timeline flooded with the same books, just different accounts and different poses. Some of these books also make it onto the pages of figures who are worth learning from, and so it becomes easy to choose a book because there is so much hype about it.

There are times when I want a book that matches the mood I’m in or which can help me deal with a particular issue, and so I’ll Google and get a list of popular books that match what I’m looking for. Some of them do deliver, they really live up to the hype while others leave me wondering what the fuss really is about.

However, I do believe that it’s not because the books I find underwhelming are bad. It’s just a preference thing. Some books are powerful and amazing for some people while they suck for others. Just like everything else in this world- music, food, art, people, etc.

So, here’s a list of books I went running to buy because I was told they were mind-blowing but didn’t work for me.

Adultery by Paulo Coelho

I read this back when I used to commit to a book. If I started a book, I had to finish it. And so I tortured myself through Adultery, constantly saying, “Please tell me it gets better. Please tell me it gets better,” until I reached the last page. Before this I’d read The Devil and Miss Prym, The Alchemist, Veronika Decides to Die, Brida, By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept, The Winner Stands Alone and Manuscript Found in Accra. I loved all of them, some more than others, but Adultery became my last.

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John le Carré

When I read the reviews I saw, “thrilling, intelligent, pleasant, chilling…” but I didn’t experience any of those. It was okay but it didn’t keep me at the edge of my seat. When I got to the end I really wondered if that was it. That’s it? That’s the story? It clearly wasn’t for me.

The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau

I read this in Jan or Feb this year and wrote a review. I believe if I had read this four or five years ago, I’d have fallen in love with it, revisited it even. I think once you’ve read a whole lot of business, self-help or entrepreneurship books, some being absolutely powerful and life-changing, when you read one that sounds like a repetition of what you’ve already learned, you can become easily bored. That’s what happened with The $100 Startup, so I’d still recommend it as a good book but just not for me.

The Art of War by Sun Tzu

I didn’t enjoy it because I didn’t fully understand it. I only got to appreciate the book when I read The Art of War for Women by Chin-ning Chu, which I found absolutely impressive and useful. The original text by Sun Tzu is on the list of books that changed history but whose history, I ask. Wealthy people, dictators and the whole cluster of people in positions of power swear by it but I honestly didn’t get it.

Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

This is a good book and a necessary book. I say this because I appreciate the message she’s sharing. We need to hear more female voices promoting women empowerment and I appreciate the way she raises a voice for women and their space in the workplace and home. I reviewed it and I took only the great bits and gave it a positive review. The only thing for me was that the book was not exciting. It talks about crucial issues but it wasn’t stimulating. There’s a way to make even the most serious matters sound exciting, and this one just didn’t do it for me.

The Woman Next Door by Yewande Omotoso

This book has a few parts that are funny and pleasant to read. It’s also a good story overall, all the right and basic elements of good storytelling are in there. But it didn’t have that punch, it didn’t knock my socks off. I read it but once I closed it, I quickly forgot about it.

What Colour is Your Parachute? by Richard Nelson Bolles

I couldn’t!

The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley

I don’t think I’m the target audience.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck by Mark Manson

There are many gems in the book and you will leave with something that will help make some change in the way you see things. I bought it because of the title, it’s a really cool title. Somewhere in the middle, I lost interest and my enthusiasm dropped significantly until I couldn’t force anymore and had to put it down. I did, however, pick it up again and finished it even though it still wasn’t as amazing as it had first started.

The 5AM Club by Robin Sharma

I’m a fan of Robin Sharma’s work and there’s always so much to learn. The way I feel about his work is the way I feel about Paulo Coelho’s work, inspiring and motivating, but repetitive. If you read more than three of his books then you will notice how a lot of times you pick up the same or similar lines, or the same lesson. Maybe it’s intentional but it can be exhausting. Another reason I didn’t enjoy this book as much is that I think the advice is great but it doesn’t fit into my personal life, I can’t follow it, there’s not much room for it. I did try to personalise the advice so that it can work for my schedule and my home and work life, but it didn’t happen.

What are some of the hyped books you found underwhelming?

Review: Jazz by Toni Morrison

“What’s the world for you if you can’t make it up the way you want it?”

The early 20th century marked the growth of jazz music in America. In the 1920’s the music spread into parts such as New Orleans, and Harlem, the ‘City’ where we find the characters in Jazz. The music began way before it was labelled jazz, from the days of slavery when people would sing to pass time, to bleed away the sadness with their voices and to keep the African voice alive.

Louis Armstrong

What sets jazz music apart is the element of improvisation, which gives artists the ability to express themselves in any way they want, and still keep a soulful and enjoyable rhythm. This element is what I first noticed about the way this story mirrors the genre itself.

Middle-aged Joe Trace meets eighteen-year-old Dorcas when he’s selling cosmetics at her aunt’s place. Thereafter begins their affair and months later when Dorcas grows tired of him, he shoots her after following her to a party. Joe’s wife Violet arrives at the funeral and slashes the dead girl’s face with a knife. Some weeks after the funeral Violet starts visiting Dorcas’s aunt and the visits become regular. Meanwhile, Joe is lost in deep grief for this dead lover.     

Jazz music has travelled with black African-Americans, their experiences, struggles, pains, and joys, through song and dance. The narrator, whose identity we don’t know, tells the story and relates the scenes in the same change of notes, short and long, as in jazz music. We encounter the love triangle in many parts of the book, repeated in a way that reveals something new or reminds us of something we know.

Toni Morrison splits open the characters and feeds us the right pieces throughout the story, creating a sort of web that takes from their pasts and connects back to the present, to the love triangle and its tragedy. We discover pieces from these characters’ fractured identities and come to understand how they are connected without them knowing they are, and why they behave the way they do.

I read Sula before Jazz and whereas with the former I loved the story and the characters more, with the latter I absolutely loved the storytelling. It felt like I was reading a long beautiful poem. I do have to mention, however, that I had tried to read it about three times and couldn’t get past the first chapter and once I finally got into it I figured it was because you have to stay with the narrator and not get lost. For me, it required my full attention, unlike other books that I’ve read with less focus and could still follow.

Jazz is an unforgettable piece of art. It’s powerful literature that achieves the goal of leaving the reader moved and having learned something deep and valuable about the human condition, as good literature often does. The characters come to you in flesh and bone, and throughout the story, you taste their realness and hear their voices. Their individual stories, which the narrator reveals by travelling back and forth through time, become so palpable and make it possible for the reader to keep diving in for more and more.

Brilliant. Exquisite. Important.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Review: Sula by Toni Morrison

Nel and Sula share an intense friendship while growing up in the neighbourhood of Bottom, the hills above the valley town of Medallion, Ohio. Nel comes from a neat and orderly home and a rigid and conventional family, while Sula comes from a disorderly household, a family of disregard for social conventions. Sula has a fiery spirit and can’t sustain any emotion for long while Nel appears to be more consistent. However, with their contrasting personalities, they both have distant mothers and both have an adventurous spirit, along with an urge to explore whatever beckons their curiosity and interest.

Sula comes from a family of strong and independent women who enjoyed maleness, and that enjoyment they took and did with it in their own design and rules. Sula’s grandmother Eva has a regular flock of male callers but for its own sake and not really to sleep with. Hannah, Sula’s mother, attaches no passion to her relationships with men and is into spontaneous sexual adventures with mostly friends’ and neighbours’ husbands.

Around the time that Nel marries, Sula goes off to study and returns ten years later on a peculiar day, which makes people suspicious of her. She hasn’t changed – still the same with her sharp tongue, feisty attitude and determined to live her own life by her own rules. Their friendship is broken when she betrays Nel. Sula is vilified by everyone and they believe that she leaves behind chaos wherever she passes. All these beliefs bring them together against one evil, and they start improving their family lives. When Sula is dying, Nel finally pays her a visit.

Sula is a provocative read that examines good and evil and confronts the idea of morality. It questions what we believe to be moral and not. We see good and evil as things that change with perspective and sometimes with convenience. For example, the married men who see no evil when they cheat on their wives and sleep with Sula but vilify her when she sleeps with white men.

I love the way Auntie Morrison shows us how the make-up of a home and a family, knits into the fabric of a person’s character. Just like her mother and grandmother, Sula shows a blatant disregard for social code and does whatever pleases her. We also get to witness friendships and the things that affect and influence them.

I absolutely love the way she brings out female independence, personal and sexual liberty, and individualism. The Peace women are unapologetically what they say they are and if anyone doesn’t like it they can go suck it. A lot of stories, especially set around the same period (1919 to mid-1960s) usually have docile women who took what they were given as their lot in life and readily accepted a position of belonging to men. The Peace women, even after a husband who left, one who died and a lover who disappears as soon as he sees signs of serious feelings, they belong to themselves.

“Lonely, ain’t it?
Yes, but my lonely is mine. Now your lonely is somebody else’s. Made by somebody else and handed to you. Ain’t that something? A secondhand lonely.”
― Toni Morrison, Sula

If you’ve read any of Auntie Morrison’s work then don’t expect any less. Her words are agents of transformation and her characters become a sort of transportation for the reader to a place of empowerment. As long ago as the story is set, it can easily speak in a language that our generation can understand. Sula is a powerful book – satisfying, heavy and intelligent.

Review: A Song Flung Up To Heaven by Dr Maya Angelou.

Before reading A Song Flung Up to Heaven, I had only read the beloved I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. This was after I had found her poetry online, seen her in movies and watched her beautiful poetry videos. I read this right after watching her Netflix documentary, Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise three times. Yes, three times. This book is the sixth in her autobiography series.

A Song Flung Up to Heaven begins with Dr Angelou returning to the States from Ghana, where she is leaving her son behind, and a husband she is separated from. She’s returning to work with Malcolm X at his foundation, the OAAU, but not long after her return and before she’s even had the opportunity to meet up with him, Malcolm is killed. Dr Maya shares her pain and grief, and the disappointment she had at people for their inaction.

Malcolm X. Image: This is Africa

She takes us from San Francisco after hearing the news, to Hawaii where she realises that singing for convenience does not help. She then leads us back to LA where we see how the American system seeps into the lives of black folks. As her story progresses we discover how her writing journey unfolds and we meet all the incredible people who helped her along the way, such as James Baldwin. Another tragedy finds her when just as she prepares to move to New York to go work with Martin Luther King, she receives the news that he has been killed.

Martin Luther King. Image: Brandeis

It’s Dr Angelou’s openness and honesty about her life that makes for such as wonderful read. I love her stories because of how they leave me when I’m done. She was a black woman, who had so many obstacles, tribulations, grief, and disappointments but she chose to confront the world with a different attitude. It’s inspiring. Her story also lets us in on the American people and what they went through, but not in a depressing fashion. Her intelligence and exuberant personality shine through in this account of her life. It’s incredible. It ends with her starting the first sentence of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Perfect!

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Title: A Song Flung Up to Heaven

Author: Maya Angelou

Published: 2002, Random House

Genre: Autobiography

My Reading Journey (Part 2) – How My Reading Evolved

From Catherine Cookson to Napoleon Hill.

I previously shared how I got into reading in Part 1 and mentioned some of the titles I started out with when I was a young reader. Here, I continue with my reading journey and show you how my book preferences and reading habits have changed over time.

When I was young I loved fiction and my selection of what to read was just random. My taste was dictated by what was available and so I enjoyed books by authors like Catherine Cookson, Sidney Sheldon, Jackie Collins, Eric van Lustbader, Dean Koontz, Nora Roberts, and Jonathan Kellerman, because they dominated our bookshelf.

There wasn’t much African fiction, they weren’t as available in libraries either. In addition to the two I previously mentioned, Marabi Dance and Kaffir Boy, I only remember Nelson Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom. The stories I fed on were therefore, predominantly American and British. The few books in my mother tongue, Setswana, were only accessible in the classroom.

Setswana books

When I reached high school I was introduced to Bessie Head’s Maru and George Orwell’s Animal Farm, the only prescribed reading material for English. I instantly fell in love with Head and to date, I’ve probably read Maru more than ten times.

Except for nursery rhymes (it is poetry), I only entered the world of poetry in high school. Mending Wall by Robert Frost and Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night by Dylan Thomas, were our staples. I hated poetry and I didn’t do well in it either.

I had my school reading and books at home but my curiosity about the world added other kinds of reading. I used to visit our public libraries to read the most random books and on the most random topics, such as studies on Haemophilia, the male reproductive system (don’t ask), social psychology and about scientists like Isaac Newton, Dmitri Mendeleev, John Dalton and Galileo Galilei. There was no research or school projects on these type of books and topics, but pure curiosity.

It was when I got to university that the world of books expanded for me. The UCT Library became my haven. By the third year, just before I dropped out, I was at the library instead of lectures. That was where I discovered a cornucopia of reading pleasures and in that, I finally found African books. I found Es’kia Mphahlele, Nadine Gordimer, Dambudzo Marechera, Chinua Achebe and Buchi Emecheta. I fell in love with African stories, finally. Why had I been deprived of these beautiful and rich literary texts before?  

I already wanted to be a writer and had already dropped out of Accounting even though I was still showing up on campus, mainly for the library and the beer at the UCT Club. After dropping out and while sleeping on a friend’s couch, I met her roommate, a shitty English major student who ridiculed my lack of knowledge on English classics, which he referred to as “true and pure literature.” Fuck him! But as much as I hated the insecurity he planted in my head and wanted to dismiss it, I desperately went on a search for these books that I’d fail at becoming a writer if I didn’t read. The first were Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, followed by Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, and then George Eliot’s Simon Marner.

I enjoyed them very much but the actual author who took my spark for writing and turned it into an intense flame, filling my head with passion and possibility was Fyodor Dostoevsky. When I first read Notes from Underground I knew I had found my path. Writing, books, and words were what I wanted to consume and produce, for the rest of my life. Then I read Crime and Punishment and the literary world became home.

While chasing my dream of becoming a fiction writer I also discovered poetry that would create a deep love for the genre. I read Miss Maya Angelou and I was hooked. She had me with Phenomenal Woman, I was sold. Then I read Tupac’s The Rose that Grew from Concrete and Langston Hughes’s poems. I fell in so deep that I tried my hand at it and published my own collection, Poetically Ghetto. Another topic for another day.

I was still reading strictly fiction and poetry until in my early twenties when I met my now husband, who only read non-fiction. We influenced each other’s preferences and shortly after we met he was reading David Baldacci and I was collecting a lot of books by the likes of Stephen Covey, Robert Kiyosaki, Robin Sharma, Robert Greene and Napoleon Hill.

And so began a vigorous journey into extensive reading, and intensive self-education.

“A teacher can kindle your mind and let you memorize information, but true education is often self-education.”
― Debasish Mridha

My Reading Journey (Part 1) – How I Got Into Reading.

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
― Dr. Seuss, I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!

I get asked a lot about how I got into the habit of reading. When did I start? Which books got me hooked?

I don’t really have a definite time or book title. All I know is that I found myself in an environment of books at a very young age and have always loved them. I grew up in a house of readers. Books had always been there and it was just a normal thing to grab a book and read. I can’t even remember if I was read to as a child but I do remember grabbing random titles off the shelf and spending hours glued to the pages.

I’d say out of everyone at home, my aunt was my biggest bookfluence. She was always reading and she was the one who collected and filled up our shelves. She worked in libraries a lot, in work that involved information and today she still refuses to retire from her library specialist job.

Although I used to read whatever I wanted without any strict rules, she would always bring almost age appropriate books. I say ‘almost’ because the books were for young readers but they were usually a few years ahead of me but not adult reading. For example, I read Sweet Valley High when I was around eight or nine.

Image: Goodreads

I remember how in primary school I’d spend a lot of days during lunch and afterschool at the library. I still remember how insanely obsessed I was with the series AlphaPets. I have a feeling if I saw them on a shelf today I would definitely buy the complete set. Yes, that obsessed.

Even though there weren’t strict rules on what I could and couldn’t read, there were definitely books I knew I’d get into trouble for reading. I used to hide a copy of Mills & Boon and climb up a tree for privacy or sit in the outside toilet pretending to have a long constipated visit.

We also had a collection of the incredible Reader’s Digest Condensed Books. I managed to salvage a few of them. Yay! They were such easy and convenient reads – a collection of abridged best-selling novels. Yes, please.

My Papa was also a great bookfluence in my life. I used to read his collection of books which were mostly on things he was into, such as meditation, personal development, spiritual wellbeing, and martial arts. In my teenage years, he used to buy me a lot of self-help books which I dreaded reading because I didn’t really understand much of them. He bought me a copy of Norman Vincent Peale’s The Power of Positive Thinking when I was in my early teenage years.

Image: Goodreads

I also grew up watching my grandparents have their early morning cup of tea reading something. My grandma would read the paper from start to finish, every single article. My grandpa would also do a thorough read of the daily paper but he also had his own favourite genre. If he wasn’t busy working I’d find him with either a biography or a book on politics. Although his choice never interested me, it was the action of reading that I watched from a young age that contributed to my love of reading.

On the days that I’d visit my mom, I’d “borrow” some of her books. It was at her house where I met Jackie Collins and Danielle Steele. I’d read a bit of Steele and some I wouldn’t enjoy so much but Collins, man! I think my first of her books was The World is Full of Divorced Women but my absolute favourites were from the Santangelo series. I also remember how for the thrill of mischief I stole my mom’s husband’s copy of Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead and ended up falling in love with it. I did return it. I’m a reader, not an animal.

Image: Goodreads

Then my favourites – comic books. For as long as I can remember, we always had a lot of those at home. I did enjoy Marvel and DC but I was addicted to Richie Rich, Asterix & Obelix, Archie, Scooby-Doo and many others. I was too young to even have any awareness of some of these comic books’ blatant racist shit. And do you remember MAD the humour magazine? I absolutely loved it. I didn’t even get most of the content but it made me laugh.

I don’t remember which particular book from my early reading got me hooked to reading and birthed my deep love for writing but I know the top ones – Marabi Dance by Modikwe Dikobe (I desperately want a copy), Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane and Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt.

Coming from an area where most households placed emphasis on reading as a classroom activity (a reading culture doesn’t always fare well in poor areas) and leisure books being so removed from their worlds, I am super grateful to have been brought up surrounded by books and people who were my reading models. They widened my view of the world and helped me become the person I am.

As it was done for me, I do the same for my children.

Book Review: Tribes by Seth Godin

“We need you to lead us.”

The Internet has broken down geographical boundaries and made it easier to create movements, groups of people who share ideas, and spread messages of empowerment and growth. These groups are called tribes and they’re flourishing everywhere. Tribes is about these movements and the connections they have, the connections that need you as a leader to create a platform where they share the same belief and spread their ideas.

Seth Godin reminds us that these leaders of tribes can come from anywhere and can be anyone. The barriers of leadership have been brought down and it’s no longer left to top executives or managers to lead. And so, Godin asks, why not you? Why not now?

“I’m not sure where I’m going. I’ll lead.” – Emmanuelle Heyman

He recommends two things to create a movement – shared ideas and a way to communicate. Godin talks about being a heretic, an outsider, someone with novel ideas and someone willing to step forward to make a difference. He does agree that fear exists but that you should drown it out by telling yourself a different story. There is no way around discomfort but through it.

Just as he has mentioned in Linchpin, he reminds us again of the need to ditch the factory path. Tribes do remarkable things, they do innovative things and the marketplace rewards innovation. In Tribes he also strongly discourages sheep behaviour, or what he calls sheepwalking. Leaders of tribes initiate and where they’re told an idea is stupid or impossible, they go first.

I’ve read Purple Cow and Linchpin and this one is my favourite.

It addresses a problem that organisations have – people stuck in the status quo and being afraid to lead without authority. He provides effective solutions. In this fast-paced world where people are constantly in search of remarkable products and services, organizations need everyone, regardless of their position, to lead.

What I love about Seth Godin’s books, is the way he writes in a free and simple way. Anyone can understand. As a marketing guru one would expect his work to speak only to those with an ear trained for marketing but anyone, in any career, can grasp his message and most importantly, use it.

I’d recommend it for people who want to do away with mediocrity and are in search of a way to use their passion and vision to spread great ideas and change. If you want your product or service to really meet your customers’ needs and make sure that you build connections that lead to more connections, then grab a copy of Tribes. It will inspire you and change the way you see and do things.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

For more of his work, visit his webiste, Seth Godin

Title: Tribes

Author: Seth Godin

Published: Piatkus, 2008

Genre: Self-help

You can sit with us.