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Book I read: The Biography of Paulo Coelho – A Warrior’s Life

Paulo Coelho biography

One fine morning, on my way to work, I found our estate watchman reading a huge book with a black cover and was curious. You see, I always found him reading mainstream best selling authors (the ones we loved in high school like Jeffrey Archer, Sydney Sheldon – I found him reading a James Hardly Chase with those hot cover images one time). That guy is a reader. And readers are in my heart.

Back to the big black book. It turned out to be the biography of who else? THE Paulo Coelho. Of course you know Paulo Coelho, and you would pause to have a serious look at it. You also wouldn’t leave it at the Inama Bookshop even if the price were a whole 200 bob, would you? Especially if you are Esther Kute – when I was at Bata, she made me download all pirated ebooks of Paulo Coelho I could find online. And she keeps tweeting his books.

If you are a wannabe writer like me, the biography of possibly the biggest writer ever is not something you would leave. You would want to know how he started, how he wrote his first book (btw, I have been writing my first book since I knew how to write back in primary school). How he sold all the millions he sold. What his inspirations are.

And so, I asked him if he could swap the book for the one I had in my bag – one of those Harlequin romance novels… and he agreed! Either he was bored with the biography, or he wanted to have a rush of blood. Those Harlequins are very very steamy.

First thing I did was take a picture of the book and tweet it at Esther Kute. Gloaty much? And went on to read it every day for two weeks. I stopped driving to work and started taking the slowest matatus just so that I could have enough time to dip myself into the life of Paulo Coelho.

And I learnt that Paulo Coelho is one of the most fucked up people you will ever hear about. That guy is gross, and has lived just the life. Made me wonder if one needs to be that screwed up to the a famous writer.

Because his experiences gave birth to all his books.

The writer, Fernando Morais describes Paulo Coelho’s from his miraculous birth. He was pronounced dead at birth by doctors, but his mom’s prayers brought him back (believe in prayer, folks). He was an awkward child, huge not-so-good-looking head (like mine back in the day)… And too troublesome.

Paulo Coelho biography - A Warrior's Life

But he was still a good writer as a kid; telling his parents that he wanted to be a writer when he grew up. Which they were against because his father was an engineer and they wanted him to follow in those steps.

This writing passion burner through his heart and mind through the years, writing his diary religiously… And failing in all schools went to. His mind was elsewhere; drugs, wanton sex and writing.

So much so that he spent several months in a pyschiatric hospital because, he was literally mad.

Not that it changed him, because Paulo Coelho went deeper into drugs, a hippie sex life, conning, cultism and Devil Worship.

Oh… and a two time prisoner of Brazil’s dictatorship, not for his right against the government – Paulo Coelho was a coward – but one time for a mistaken identity and the other for his lyrics. He made his riches writing lyrics for several music stars like Raul Seixas (my new favourite rockstar).

For him, life was one huge experiment. He traveled the world, tried different religions, and listened to the voices in his head.

Most importantly. Like the boy in his book The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho followed and achieved his dream.

He became a great writer.

The book is a great one. It’s a very graphic account of the life of a writer who went against the odds to become a writer.

I recommend.

Paulo Coelho found a place in my Stolen and Gifted Books Shelf

It found a place in my Stolen and Gifted Books Shelf

Medical May: Books I Read in May Medical books May

In May, I decided to look for Medical books. Not those long, technically boring books with the difficult words that made me not join KMTC, but novels. Stories told by some of the world’s most creative writers.

Read on:

Tell Me Your Dreams – Sidney Sheldon

Tell me your dreams Sidney Sheldon_MEDICAL BOOK

What if there were other independent people living in your body and you don’t know of their existence? What if these people hang out with different people, love different things, have sex with different people. And kill people without your knowledge?

Yes, that is real and it is called MultiplePersonality disorder (MPD) which is

a mental disorder characterised by at least two distinct and relatively enduring identities or dissociated personality states. These states alternately show in a person’s behaviour, accompanied by memory impairment for important information not explained by ordinary forgetfulness.

Now, in this story, in a way only Sidney Sheldon can tell, is about Ashley Patterson, an introverted workaholic, her co-workers, Toni Prescott, an outgoing singer and dancer, and shy artist Alette Peters… who are, of course living within her. Now, she… they… have killed 4 men in the same manner: castrated after having sex.

All evidence points to Ashley because, of course, she was there, there was vaginal evidence, and she was in possession of the murder weapon…. and the young, ambitious lawyer, David Singer puts his reputation on the line to prove that Toni and Alette are not Ashley.

What follows is one of the best medical, psychotic and legal drama I have ever read.

I read this novel in the commute, at work, at home in bed… everywhere. Because once you start reading Sidney Sheldon, you don’t just put Sidney Sheldon down.

Against Medical Advice (True Story) – James Patterson

Against Medical Advice - James Patterson _ a Medical Book

By now, if you read my Books series, you know I am a Patterson diehard. And since May was my Medical Month, I had to read a Patterson… only that this time it was a true, unfortunate story.

It is the life story of a seventeen-year-old guy, Cory Friedman, which started when he was five years old. One morning, Cory woke up with the uncontrollable urge to shake his head. From that day on, his life became a misery of such things. His body would just do things unexpectedly and uncontrollably, like walking like a spider, hopping around, clapping hands, rubbing his nose, climbing trees and involuntary utterances. This set him on fifteen years of medication upon medication, treatment upon treatment–a constantly changing regimen that left him and his family feeling like guinea pigs in an out-of-control experiment.

It soon became unclear which tics were symptoms of his condition and which were side effects of the countless combinations of drugs oscillating between  OCDTourette syndrome, and an anxiety disorder.

The only certainty was that it kept getting worse. Simply put: Cory Friedman’s life was a living hell.

Subjected to debilitating treatments and continuous ridicule, Cory became devastatingly aware of how he appeared to others. With the love of his family and the support of a few steadfast teachers and medical professionals, he fought for his very life, and you will cheer his amazing successes.

Btw, the other writer, Hal Friedman is Cory’s father, so the story is from the horse’s mouth.

That’s it. I could only read these medical books in a Month, lest I became a doctor. The rest were novels and Google stuff… but those don’t count as books, do they?


Books I Read in January


Yaay! I am achieving one of my New Year Resolutions – Reading. Last month started late and I promised myself to read two books, I finished the second book on January 31st. Makofi… Pa…Pa…Pa! (Funga! Fungua!). I may sound excited but it is the small wins that matter in life, right? This month I will read 4 books.

Here are the books I read:

The Teeth of the Tiger – Tom Clancy

Jan Books - The Teeth of the Tiger - Tom Clancy

Tom Clancy, for me, is up there with James Patterson and Jeffrey Archer as some of my favourite writers. The books you just can’t pass on the street (zile za soo) or online. He has never disappointed and he didn’t disappoint with this book. He just waxes a straightforward story. Those stories where you somehow know how it is going to end, but you have no way of knowing how.

The Teeth of The Tiger is an intelligence thriller which starts from the top. In Rome, a Mossad chief is assassinated and the murder piques the interest of the Campus, (now, The Campus is a secret intelligence agency that doesn’t follow any rules, but are guided by lots of intelligence. More like kwekwe but smarter). The Campus uses the most intelligent people since it runs a Financial cover, and all recruits, killers or not have to be smart, above smart.

Jack Ryan Jr., the son of former president Jack Ryan (tuseme Jimmy Kibaki was huko), soon discovers the Campus’ operations. Wanting to serve his country in the post-9/11 world, he is hired by the agency as an analyst. Elsewhere, Brian Caruso, a cousin of Jack, is a U.S. Marine returning from Afghanistan to be decorated for his achievements in battle. Dominic Caruso, his brother, is an FBI agent who, while investigating a kidnapping of a little girl, finds her in a tub raped and killed. Caruso kills the suspect, in very high precision. The Caruso brothers are soon recruited into a Campus strike team, chosen for their ability to kill enemies in cold blood.

However, Brian is unsure of the morality of carrying out preemptive assassinations, even against terrorists. This changes when radical Islamics cross the U.S.-Mexico border and attack several suburban malls. This part reminded me a lot of the Westgate attack where terrorists just shot people. (This book will also help you understand what goes on in the terrorists’ minds when they shoot people). Brian and Dominic happen to be at one of the malls when the attack occurs. Although they efficiently find and kill all four shooters, dozens of people are killed; similar massacres occur at most of the other targeted sites. When a child dies in his arms after the attack, Brian abandons his earlier moral qualms. The Campus decides the brothers are ready and implements a “reconnaissance-by-fire” strategy to flush out the terrorist leaders.

How they do that is something you should read for yourself, but it doesn’s involve guns – it’s science. 🙂

Deliver us from Evil – David Baldacci

Deliver us from Evil - David Baldacci Books

David Baldacci is another writer who weaves stories like it ain’t your business. I don’t know what that is, but I think it is quite cool. No? Deliver Us from Evil is not a gospel book. It doesn’t talk about God, apart from the areas where a girl, Reggie Campion—28 and gorgeous, kills someone and prays to God to understand why she did it. You see, Reggie is a member of a secret vigilante group that looks for heartless mass killers who killed lots of people in the Soviet and Nazi eras.

That’s how it starts, Reggie killing such an old timer who had thought he was above the law. The rest of the novel is focused on the pursuit of another killer, Fadir Kuchin.

Evan Waller, aka Fadir Kuchin, aka “the Butcher of Kiev,” aka “the Ukrainian psychopath,” is one of those deep-dyed villains a certain kind of fiction can’t do without. Serving with distinction as part of the Soviet Union’s KGB, he joyfully and indiscriminately killed thousands. Now, many years later, posing as a successful businessman, he’s vacationing in Provence, France where, unbeknownst to him, two separate clandestine operations are being mounted by people who do not regard him with favor. Reggie’s group, which she is heading, and another more official but secret group led by the studly, tall Shaw. Okay, Shaw seems to be one of the people I hate, or jealous about. He is too handsome.

While their respective teams reconnoitre and jockey for position, studly boy meets gorgeous girl. Monster-hunters are famous for having trust issues, but clearly, these are drawn to each other(what would you expect?). Shaw saves Reggie’s life. She returns the favour (hapa kule). The attraction deepens and heats up to the point where team members on both sides grow unsettled by the loss of focus. This actually almost costs them, because at some point Waller kidnaps them and plays a hunting game with them. More like Tom Cholmondeley hunting Kenyans in his expansive ranch, with dogs and guns. People die.

In the end, the stalkers strike, bullets fly, screams curdle the blood, love has its innings and a monster does what a monster’s got to do.

This kept me glued.

If you need any of these books, tell me the book yoiu will be giving me in return and I will be happy to do the exchange. Hakuna vitu za bure 🙂

And, if you have read a book that you would like to share with these good people, contact me and we will make that possible. Sharing is caring!


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