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Book Review

Quarantine reading

From left, Donald Kipkorir, Ory Okolloh and
From left, Donald Kipkorir, Ory Okolloh and Muema Muindi. FILE PHOTOS | NMG 

With the curfew still in place, and the 21-day containment for five of 47 counties under enforcement, it seems we have more time to stay home and reset. This week, Donald Kipkorir, Muema Muindi and Ory Okolloh spoke to BDLife, virtually of course, to get firsthand account on their books shelves, virtual or physical. Voltaire said “Let us read, and let us dance; these two amusements will never do any harm to the world.” Stay home and read, flatten the curve.

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DONALD KIPKORIR,  KTK Advocates: Corporate Law & Commercial Practice, Lawyer

What book(s) are you currently reading?

I am currently reading Michelangelo: God’s Architect by Prof. William E Wallace. Also, just finished Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson.

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What new books have you bought recently either in a book store, during past travels or online?

I bought my last three books last month online from Amazon UK and were delivered within three days of purchase.

Do you have a favourite genre?If so, why?

I’m drawn to non-fiction on extraordinary people in their field or fields. I like more those on people with multi-tasking intelligence.

Is reading for leisure only or to add to your work?

I read purely to stimulate my thought process and expand my mental realm. If the 15th Century had Polymaths, why not our generation?

What do you make of reading and mental health during this global pandemic?

The curfew that has mutated to containment and in foreseeable future, a lockdown demands reading books to maintain our sanity. Reading keeps the devil away.

What's the book on your bedside table?Was it a recommendation and by who?

I’m reading the above book on Michelangelo. I read one book at a time and see to it I complete. Reading more than one book at a time kills the urge to complete. I chose it. It is about architecture, art, religion and philosophy. Few people have same taste like mine. Maybe only one friend who is an architect but has multifaceted intellectual interest like me.

Care to expound on stimulating your thought process?

Mental stimulation is the books opening a world of wonderment, possibility and achievement. Leonardo da Vinci didn’t go to proper school because he was a bastard but it didn’t stop himself teaching. Michelangelo was a sculpture by training but it didn’t stop him being the architect of the biggest church in Christendom. When you read about them, you know society limits our thoughts but we aren’t bound by them. We must create our own rules of success.

ORY OKOLLOH, Former Managing Director, Omidyar Network

What book(s) are you currently reading?

My current read is Capitalism, Alone: The Future of the System That Rules the World by Branko Milanovic.

Do you have any books on your bedside table?

Yes. These include An American Marriage by Tayari Jones, An Impeccable Spy: Richard Sorge, Stalin’s Master Agent by Owen Matthews, Nine Lies About Work: Freethinking Leader’s Guide to the Real World by Ashley Goodall and Marcus Buckingham, Courage to Be Disliked by Fumitake Koga and Ichiro Kishimi, Kicking Away The Ladder by Ha-Joon Chang and Dreyer’s English by Benjamin Dreyer.

Have you bought new books recently to delve into during this home stay period?

Yes, new books during past travels. I buy and stash. I curate from many places, but mostly Twitter and newsletters.

Which is your favorite genre, and why?

Non-fiction, I like reading about people’s experiences.

Is reading a past time only or does it add to your work?

I read for leisure, work and to stay sharp.

What do you make of reading and mental health during this global pandemic?

During the pandemic, I think reading will mean different things to different people. For some an escape, for others time to catch up with backlog, for some something they surprisingly struggle with because it is hard to focus when everything is upside down.

MUEMA MUINDI, Director Strategy and Special Projects, Daykio Plantations.

What book(s) are you currently reading?

I am currently reading Thirst of the Rain God: Secrets of the Maya by J. A Kalis. I have just finished re-reading The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown, third time around. I really enjoyed his thoughts on the history of religion and the nexus of all world religions. It was interesting and I will read it again.

Also just finished my good friends book The Thirteenth Guardian by K.M. Lewis. He is actually Kenyan and this is his first book. Read it on Kindle. Gave it a five-star rating. I believe it is a trilogy. So I am really looking forward to the sequel. He told me he wrote it in 10 days. If you like Dan Brown, you would enjoy K. M. Lewis.

Have you bought new books recently to delve into during this home stay period?

Due to our present circumstances I “borrowed” my daughter’s kindle. I have always been a diehard paper back reader but surprisingly, I am actually enjoying the kindle experience.

Which is your favorite genre, and why?

As for genres, I enjoy a good fantasy book but will also run through a mystery or thriller pretty fast.

Is reading for leisure only or to add to your work?

I read for leisure, strictly.

What do you make of reading and mental health during this global pandemic?

I think this is a great time for a life time reset. When do you get the chance to stop or pause from this rat race? So, if there ever was a time to reset, spend time with family, work out, work out your spiritual journey (Body, Mind and Spirit) there’s no better time than now.

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