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Book Reviews

1.Book Title: ‘UNBOWED One Woman’s Story’ By Wangari Maathai

It is not surprising that Wangari Maathai’s name, remains engraved in the lives and hearts of the people that crossed her path. This memoir is a hands-down, no-holds-barred look into the multi-faceted life of this brave heroine. She was a child of the African soil who was in the forefront in planting trees, women rights and environmental conservation.

The memoir reveals her achievements. It also details the pains, struggles and demons that she had to overcome in her path to success. Indeed, it is these struggles that shaped her into an unforgettable icon and predictably, earned her a Nobel Peace Prize in 2004.

You can find your copy of the book at Text Book Center and Prestige Bookshop.

Review submitted by Owen Kariuki

2. Book Title: ‘Dreams in a Time of War’ By Ngugi Wathiongo

This biography lets us into Ngugi’s early life, his family and his experiences during Kenya’s colonial period. His young days were marked by ending wars. At home it was between family members, as he came from a polygamous home. On the outside the ongoing fight for Kenya’s independence split loyalties between modernity and long held traditions, between government and freedom fighters and between Christianity and traditional religious practices. The young Ngugi however, kept alive his desire to acquire an education and join Alliance High School. It is this ‘pact to have dreams even in a time of war’ that he makes with his mother. The memoir affirms that you can still be successful; in spite of the uncertain and severe conditions you find yourself in.

Review submitted by Muchira Gachenge

3. ARROW OF GOD by Chinua Achebe

Change is one of those inescapable facets in our lives that we are meant to adapt to, or else we do not survive. This is exactly what is portrayed in Chinua Achebe’s Arrow of God which follows the story of a powerful chief, Ezeulu, who battles the winds of change that threaten their traditions, to diminish his authority over the six villages of Umuaro and to impose the colonial rule in Northern Nigeria. Touted as Achebe’s favorite book, it is filled with political satire, ethnic dispensation and wise sayings. It is surely some of the greatest words put to paper by an African writer of substance.

Review submitted by Owen Kariuki


Following his enchanting way of storytelling, Paulo Coehlo undeniably stretches the limits of fiction and the biblical literary works with this piece, The Fifth Mountain. I immediately knew I had bumped into a good book as it, along many more under the author’s name, has been translated to 80 languages!

The Fifth Mountain takes the reader through the life of a young prophet Elijah and his mission against a rebellious king Ahab and wife, Jezebel. However, it sheds light on the struggles we know not of characters such as Elijah, and his reluctance to call. It also focuses on how what rises above the worldly desires in life is having an overwhelming sense of duty and pride.

I found it very eye-opening, and fantastic in drawing attention, the character-building was well done, I couldn’t be more proud of reading this piece. A silky 9/10.

You can find this and many other books out of Paulo Coelho’s library like The Alchemist and The Pilgrimage in Text Book Centre and other leading bookstores.

Review Submitted by Owen Kariuki

 5. I AM MALALA By Malala Yousafzai with Christina Lamb.

If you are looking for an example of a heroine, someone who stood firm and courageous in the face of calamity, then do not go farther than Malala Yousafzai.

This is a non-fictional story of the Pakistani girl who stood up for education and was shot by the Taliban in 2012. Having won the non-fiction book of the year, this book takes you through Malala’s extraordinary journey from her remote village in Pakistan to being a flagbearer for education in her country and the youngest winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.

I am Malala is a passionate and intense autobiography that shows how one girl took the step to be the voice of change in the world. A definite 9/10.

review submitted by Owen Kariuki

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