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Book Review

Quarantine reading

Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) CEO Phyllis Wakiaga
Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) CEO Phyllis Wakiaga. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Phyllis Wakiaga

CEO, Kenya Association of Manufacturers

What book(s) are on your current reading list?

Letter to My Daughter by Maya Angelou, Leader Shift by John Maxwell, About my Mother by Taha Jelloun, This Child Will be Great by Ellen Sirleaf Johnson (Re-reading this six years later).

Any specific one(s) on your bedside table that you must read before calling it a day?

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I prefer to listen to audiobooks at night. I use Scribd.

Do you have a favourite genre? If so, what is it, and why?

I read widely but I love autobiographies and books on leadership. It’s always interesting to read about other people’s lives. Autobiographies are inspirational because the language comes straight from the individual. It is so much easier to tune in with the thoughts and feelings of the author through their autobiography.

Why do you read? Is it for leisure, work or education?

I love reading for leisure and getting lost in the world off books. My job also requires me to read widely. I am also pursuing my PhD so I also read a lot for research and school work.

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

It’s a great way to unwind and spend time constructively for those who have extra time on their hands.

Mary Anne Waithaka

Ms Mary Anne Waithaka. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Mary Anne Waithaka,

Admissions, Marketing & Communications manager – Rusinga Schools

What book (s) are on your reading list?

Fiction, autobiography, popular culture, and drama. I am currently reading Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. It a contemporary literary fiction book.

I have always admired the author and she is on my list of people to meet one day especially after I listened to her TED talk— The danger of a single story.

Any specific one(s) on your bedside table that you must read before calling it a day?

My favourite go-to book is Daring Faith by Rick Warren. It’s a bible study guide. The lessons in it are good especially during times of uncertainty. There is also Our Daily Bread which is another go to a bible study guide that is easy to read and understand.

Were they recommendations, or random picks?

I read books depending on seasons. Sometimes I enjoy motivation or spiritual books. Then I may switch to romance novel or fiction book. My guilty pleasure is Sophie Kinsella’s series of books. These books warm my heart and I find myself giggling and smiling from cover to cover.

Do you bulk buy books for future reading?

I normally purchase several books at once knowing that I will read them slowly over time. I also read multiple books at a time. It depends on how eager I am to delve in and begin each book.

Do you have a favourite genre?

Most recently, I have started enjoying Christian books as I am getting stronger in my faith. The book can either be a daily study guide or a book focusing on prayer such as Priscilla Shirer’s Fervent Prayer.

Another book that I have read multiple times is Effectual: Keys to Answered Prayer by Sherri Lewis which is an easy yet impactful book that I regularly carry in my handbag.

Do you read for leisure, work or education?

I read for leisure and work. For work, I focus on books that will help me become better at my craft. For leisure, it depends on what I’m craving. It can be a motivational or fiction book.

Daki Mohamed

Ms Daki Mohamed. PHOTO | COURTESY

Daki Mohamed,

Operations Department Compliance Officer – First Community Bank

What book(s) are on your current reading list?

In fiction, Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell and The Testaments by Margaret Atwood (inspired after watching the film, The Handmaid's Tale) while in the autobiography section, Becoming by Michelle Obama.

Any specific one(s) on your bedside table that you must read before calling it a day?

The Holy Quran from King Fahd Complex (the printers of the Holy Book) especially now that it's Ramadhan. During this holy month, we get rewards for every word we read from the Quran

Apart from that, it's a way of getting closer to my God especially when we are living in a world that is full of bad news, a world that can make you astray and forget your Almighty.

Recommendation, or random pick?

Since the Quran has the same scripture and wordings it's a random pick.

Do you bulk buy books in advance say during past travels, for future reading, or did you specifically buy new books recently to delve into during this homestay period?

I bought during this pandemic especially now that I'm on maternity leave too. I am currently reading Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell and finished We're Going to Need More Wine by Gabrielle Union.

Do you have a favourite genre? If so, what is it, and why?

Autobiography, because I get to read about people who have written about themselves, and telling us as it is. As human beings, we tend to see the "celebrities" as heroes but the truth is once we read about them and what they've been through to get where they are we are more encouraged.

Do you read for leisure, work or education?

Leisure and education as I'm still in school currently, studying Marketing at Mount Kenya University. I'm revising for my last paper, an MKU module that I hope to complete in August once this pandemic wave is over God-willing.

How do books help you delve inward when you have to stay where you are? Do you escape through books?

Reading has a way of calming me down. I tend to relax while I'm reading and get in the authors/characters' shoes. By doing this I indulge deeper in the story.

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

It helps in pausing for a few hours and my mind escape. Also while reading instead of watching the news all the time which brings more panic concerning the Covid -19. This period has also made me read randomly on Flu, something that I thought I understood but didn't quite well.

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