Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams

Author: Candice Carty-Williams

Genre: Novel, Psychological Fiction

Pages: 352

Publication Year: 2019

Synopsis

Meet Queenie Jenkins, a 25 year old Jamaican British woman straddling two cultures and belonging fully to none. She lives in London and works at the Daily Read- a National Newspaper – where she is constantly forced to compare herself with her white peers.

Queenie is struggling in every sense of the word. Her relationship is falling apart, her life shredding into many pieces. Amidst all of this, she seeks the most basic things of all: love, care, and a strong awareness of who she really is.

Main Points

  • It might take some time to affirm one’s self-worth.
  • Racial segregation can exist in subtle ways.
  • Our voices matter. We need to learn to stand up for ourselves.
  • Black lives matter.
  • True friends are priceless.
  • Embrace your blackness.
  • The little things we say, the comments we make might take a toll on people than we thought it would.
  • Grow through your pain.

Full Review (Spoilers beyond this point)

Queenie, the debut novel by Candice Carty-Williams features moving themes that accurately depict the life of a black British woman.

The novel is set in South London and follows the main character, Queenie, a 25-year-old Jamaican British.

Queenie is a journalist, who is weighed down by anxiety. So many negatives taint her life: her boyfriend, Tom, has asked her to move out, she gets a medical report that breaks her. She carries two cultures within her and constantly struggles to define her own identity. At some point, she describes herself as ‘alternative’- not white enough to be white; not black enough for black.

When Tom asks to live away from her for 3 months, she moves out, hoping that at the end of the breather, things will get back to normal. Soon enough, she realized how much of a fool’s fantasy it was.

While all of this goes down, Queenie wrestles with the memories of her childhood. Her mother, drunk in love with an abusive lover left her to live alone at 11.

When she was in school, she was accused of being black on the outside but white on the inside. All of this blends with the event that unfolded at Tom’s place, where she had to deal with sly comments about her body, inappropriate yet somewhat acceptable to the white spectators.

Her situation pushes her to take comfort in the wrong places- sexcapades with different kinds of people: a junior doctor, a cabbie, her office colleague, who turned out to be one of the worst hook-ups of all.

With the help of her close friends, Darcy and Kyazike, Queenie finds her feet and gets the start to a happy ending she so much deserves.

Amidst the streams of worries and personal anxieties that cramps her main character’s life, Candice Carty-Williams points us to surrounding social and political issues that black people experience: The subtle tones of racism and gentrification.

“You cannot, you must not, brutalize the black body, but that is what we are seeing. It is all we are seeing. That is the message given. And it is traumatizing. Our people continue to suffer. The trauma is too heavy for us to bear.”

Candice steers our minds to these important and timely conversations. She opens our eyes to see the brutalities for that they are. She reminds us that black lives matter.

All in all, she has crafted an unforgettable book that I hope everyone will read.

“Black Lives Matter does not diminish any lives other than ours. That’s not what it’s about. What we’re saying right now is that we are the ones who are suffering.”

Candice Carty-Williams (Queenie)

Queenie is a modern representation- raw and honest- of what a young woman may need to filter out on her way to finding the love and power that flows within her.

It was great to see the world through Queenie’s eyes.

Book Review – The 48 Laws Of Power by Robert Greene

  • Book Title: The 48 Laws Of Power by Robert Greene
  • Author: Robert Greene
  • Published: 1998
  • Language: English
  • Pages:  452
  • Rating: 4.5
  • Genre: Self-help, Development

 

Today, I’ll do a brief summarised review of 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene. This book is extremely popular and likewise, its wisdom is very powerful. The book written by Robert Green is circled around being a powerful, impactful, and influential human Being.

 

The 48 Laws of Power listed as infographic : The48LawsOfPower

 

“When you are trying to impress people with words, the more you say, the more common you appear, and the less in control. Even if you are saying something banal, it will seem original if you make it vague, open-ended, and sphinxlike. Powerful people impress and intimidate by saying less. The more you say, the more likely you are to say something foolish.”
-Robert Greene, The 48 Laws of Power”

 

So the book has 48 laws, that are like I said all based on being powerful. There are dozens of laws, but I’ll highlight the most influential ones.

 

Law 2 – Never Put Too Much Trust In Friends. Learn How To Use Enemies.

 

This Law completely changed the way I thought about friends in all sorts of dealing. The book teaches us that you should never place much trust in friends. It starts with the example, that you will never put a hand under a lion’s mouth because you know it’ll bite you. However, if the lion were your friend, you wouldn’t hesitate. Therefore, you wouldn’t know when he will bite you.

 

“Be wary of friends-they will betray you more quickly, for they are easily aroused to envy. They also become spoiled and tyrannical.
― Robert Greene, The 48 Laws of Power

 

The point being that, we are aware of our enemies, and the harm they can do. Hence, we are always warned. In contrast, friends will act like friends, but you never know when they will harm you and bite you back.

 

Law 15 – Crush Your Enemy Totally.

 

Another great thing about this book is that it has a completely different perspective. And the way, it supports that perspective is incredible. I mean the rest of the books will tell you to be merciful and leave the wounded. However, this book says that you should never give your enemy another chance.

 

All great leaders since Moses have known that a feared enemy must be crushed completely. (Sometimes they have learned this the hard way.) If one ember is left alight, no matter how dimly it smolders, a fire will eventually break out. More is lost through stopping halfway than through total annihilation: The enemy will recover, and will seek revenge. Crush him, not only in body but in spirit.
― Robert Greene, The 48 Laws of Power

 

According to the 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene. When you crush your enemy totally, he won’t come back for you again. On the other hand, if you leave him, he will always come for revenge. Therefore, if you are having problems or issues with someone. Just completely abandon them, and learn the art of ignorance. This point is mostly war-oriented, so not everyone would like it.

 

Law 7 – Get Others To Do The Work For You. But Always Take The Credit.

 

Apart from the usual laws that can get you powerful. This book in general has some laws, that can be applied to all rules of life. For example, this point Get others to do the work for you, but always take the credit speaks a lot about entrepreneurship.

 

We look at all the successful people that have built/done things that nobody would have imagined. However, we never look at the people who did it for them, or the ones that had a great role in the project. For example, Mark Zuckerberg is now hailed as a very successful entrepreneur and he takes all the credits. In the same vein, we forget that it was Dustin Moskovitz who did all the coding for Facebook. And the idea of Facebook was originally introduced by Winklevoss brothers.

 

In the end your helpers will be forgotten and you will be remembered. Never do yourself what others can do for you.
― Robert Greene, The 48 Laws of Power

 

Entrepreneurs as we discussed on smart donnys. Build an automated business, where they do very little contribution. However, they are the ones who always take the credits.

Conclusionman reading a book at a desk

 

The book is absolutely great. If you are someone trying to improve their personality, life, business, or in overall become a really powerful human being. You should not miss 48 laws of Power by Robert Greene. This book has 4.2 ratings on Goodreads, and it excels in reputation. I’ve attached the 10 laws out of the 48, so you can get an idea about the book.

 

  • Law 1. Never Outshine the Master
  • Law 2. Never Put Too Much Trust in Friends, Learn How to Use Enemies
  • Law 3. Conceal Your Intentions
  • Law 4. Always Say Less Than Necessary
  • Law 5. So Much Depends on Reputation – Guard It With Your Life
  • Law 6. Court Attention at All Costs
  • Law 7. Get Others to Do the Work for You, but Always Take the Credit
  • Law 8. Make Other People Come to You – Use Bait if Necessary
  • Law 9. Win Through Your Actions, Never Through Argument
  • Law 10. Infection: Avoid the Unhappy and the Unlucky

A Book of Yuval Noah Harari Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

What makes the people to know about history of human kind by its 4 major proportions.

Author: Yuval Noah Harari

Genre: Non-finction

Publisher: Harper

Word Count: 133,110

Number of Pages: 464

Publication Year: 2014 in English

Blurb

Yuval Noah Harari tells about the brief history of human kind by distributing the book into four major eras.

It was highly accepted by the general public and scholars with expertise in related disciplines are highly critical of its scientific claims.

Yuval explain all the major four portions by the historical perspective and get its hugely acceptance.

Main Points

  • There have been three major revolutions in human history: the scientific revolution, the agricultural revolution, and the scientific revolution.
  • Homo sapiens conquered the world by its unique language.
  • The scientific revolution took place between 70,000 and 30,000 years ago. This allowed Homo sapiens to communicate at a level never seen before in the language.
  • As far as we know, only Homo sapiens can talk about things we have never seen, touched or smelled.

Full Review (History perspective)

Yuval Noah Harari is a writes of three popular books. He faces many questions by reader and community upon sapiens.Is a new world war approaching?Is God come back?What does the rise of Donald Trump mean?What civilization dominates the world: the West, China, Islam?Can nationalism solve the problems of inequality and climate change?What should we teach our children?

He start his journey from the book sapiens which is highly accepted by the general public as well as by the scholars. He write “Homo Dues” which is also a popular book and tells about the future perspective of the world.

By getting huge critical questions and the argumentation from the readers. He write the book “21 Lesson for the 21st century” upon argumentation.

“Sapiens: A brief history of Humanity” offers a provoking insight into the speedy growth of humanity round the world. Yuval Noah Harari strategies the difficulty with a completely unique point of view, frequently opposite, so that it will without a doubt make you observed. the author’s clear writing fashion makes it smooth to read.

One must need to read if you are not familiar with this book.

  • Early human development.
  • Transition from hunter-gatherers to agricultural societies.
  • The strength of shared myths in the formation of humanity.

Harari surveys the history of humankind in the Stone Age up to the 21st century, that specialize in Homo sapiens. He distribute the history of Sapiens into four major components:

  • Cognitive Revolution (c. 70,000 BC, when Sapiens advanced creativeness).
  • Agriculture Revolution (c. 10,000 BC, the agricultural development).
  • The unification of humankind (the consolidation of humankind politics towards one empire globaly).
  • The clinical Revolution (c. 1500 CE, the emerging of science).

Why i like Yuval Noah Harari?

I really enjoyed the historical aspects that Harari used beautiful by his imagination and concepts for the historical aspects and telling the future concern of his next book Homo Dues. Harari try to realistic touch to the history by his effective argumentation and imagination, he boost everyone to read the book by his strong provoking imaginations.

It’s an excellent book that I recommend, everyone must read this book.

Review: How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Smart Donnys

How to win friends and influence people by Dale Carnegie emphasis of many aspects of communication. If you are struggling with confidence, or you think your morals need improvement. This classic by Dale Carnegie, often recommended by many successful individuals would be your ideal choice.

Now the book is completely circled around communication, leadership, role model, and morals. Likewise, there are a lot of good points. However, my personal favourite points were related to Arguments, General Behaviour and Co-Operation.

TOP 25 WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE QUOTES (of 74) | A-Z Quotes

“When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but with creatures bristling with prejudice and motivated by pride and vanity.”

Dale Carnegie

The most notable advice was that we should start giving other people a sincere Importance. When the other person feels important, he will like you. Therefore, Instead of telling your wife, your day was excellent and stuff. Why don’t you ask her how…

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A Review of Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers: The Story of Success

What makes some people stand out from the crowd?

Author: Malcolm Gladwell

Genre: Non-fiction

Word Count: 63,510

Number of Pages: 304 (A5)

Publication Year: 2008

Blurb

Outliers tells the story of successful people with the intent of uncovering the untold stories about their success.

Is it talent? Is it luck? Or is it sheer preparation that makes these successful people in our generation?

Malcolm Gladwell breaks the answers down with easily communicated ideas to reinforce that indeed, success is more than talent and the things we’ve always thought it was.

Main Points
  • Passion, talent, and hard work are just a few of the many variables in the success equation.
  • Outliers are beneficiaries of extraordinary opportunities and cultural legacies.
  • No genius ever makes it alone.
  • 10,000 hours is just about the time it takes to become an authority in any field.
  • Location and culture affect who we eventually grow up to become.

Full Review (Spoilers beyond this point)

Malcolm Gladwell, known for his deep and thoughtful writing, challenges yet another facet of our human ideologies in his book, Outliers. He asks a very simple question: What makes some people stand out from other people?

He began the journey by telling a Roseto story about the mysteries of long life that had its roots beyond health factors. While every other person in surrounding towns in Italy was dying of heart attacks, the Rosetans lived a long peaceful life because of their social interactions.

Malcolm revealed that other factors beyond our diet affect our health. Could it be the same technicalities apply to success? That other seemingly unrelated factors beyond intellect are what determines who makes it and who does not?

Malcolm Gladwell, through a series of other stories, began to open our eyes to some of the other variables involved: chance, time, opportunities, location, effort, practice, where we come from.

For instance, certain traits make black immigrants more successful: the fact that they work harder than most of their counterparts- to make a living and sometimes, to get decent jobs.

If that culture of hard work is passed on to their kids, we see a generation of people naturally rising above the competition in whatever fields they choose. It’s all cause and effect.

The same way, Malcolm pointed out why Asians are naturally prolific in maths and calculations, a culture he tied to years of concentration that was involved in working on rice paddies.

He also mentioned how 10,000 hours is perhaps the magic number for success. ‘Practice for that long and you’ll be nothing short of a professional at what you do.’

What I loved about Outliers

I particularly enjoyed the fact that Malcolm Gladwell used beautiful storytelling to make the home run on his points. Malcolm doesn’t try to force his opinions down your throat, but rather, he opens your eyes to these important things.

All in all, it’s a good book, one that I’d recommend for everyone.

Check out three important lessons you can pick up from Outliers.

Book of the week: This Will Be My Undoing: Living at the Intersection of Black, Female and Feminist in (White) America

Book Title:

This Will Be My Undoing: Living at the Intersection of Black, Female and Feminist in (White) America

Author: Morgan Jerkins

Published: 2018

Language: English

Pages: 272

Author of summary and review: Sabrina Mahar

Rating: 4.5

Genre: Biography, Autobiography

Introduction:

This Will Be My Undoing is an autobiography book of Morgan Jerkins. It was published in 2018 and was among the New York’s Best Selling books of 2018. She is a graduate of Princeton University. This book has 10 chapters.

She has delivered this book in an engaging and reflective tone. She has shared her journey from childhood to adulthood. What and how much racism she had faced. She has also shared her dating and relationship stories in which how she was rejected. This book is for all the women, whether white or of color. It gives an impression and thought of how much racism and segregation black women face during their whole life. How much they struggle to adapt and be a part of normal white society. But still, they face racism.

Apart from sharing her own life stories, you may find advice and empowerment for Black women. These suggestions and guidance are not bound to black women only. They are helpful and motivating for women of all color. She has nicely portrayed the experience of being Black women in America. She has depicted her undergraduate years at Princeton with deep affection by sharing the encounters that molded her perspective as an author.

She has also shared her adulthood difficulties when she moved to New York. From her insecurities to her accomplishments, she has shared everything. It has also excellent learning guidance that being born Black is powerful.

From the slavery of earlier centuries to objectifying and treated as sexual and entertainment objects, she has also shared history and American politics.

She has eloquently written her autobiography by giving an insight into her life experiencing racism because of being a Black woman in a white segregationist and patriarchal country. It is a well-written, engaging, and valuable essay collection.

Main points of the book:

1- Being black is powerful.
2- You deserve to be loved beyond measure.
3- Accept your uniqueness.
4- Blacks are no less than anyone.
5- American’s age-old discrimination and prejudice to Blacks are continuing in today’s society.

Summary:

Morgan jerkins have started the book by sharing her desire that she wanted to be the cheerleader. She shares how she faced racism during the auditioning of the cheerleader’s team. She and other black girls did not make it. How that incident developed an awareness of race within her.
She tried to assimilate into white culture by wearing jewelry and clothes that were the symbols of whiteness.

She has described her unpleasant encounters and bullying in school when she moves to Williamstown. Her school mate bullied her and been racist and put violence to her. She has thanked her for how she has become more assertive because of her friend’s behavior.

She has shed light on how growing up a black woman is different. She writes that she has never participated in face cut-outs because these cut-outs were always on the white bodies, Yet another racism in the land of make-believe.

She has shared in detail how most of the Black mothers plait their daughter’s hair to grow quicker, and then perm them. There are a detailed knowledge and understanding shared by her regarding the Black women’s hair of their hairstyling and perming to see the actual length. She tells the white classmates of her age were seemed to be more invested in the latest lip gloss colors than in their hair. Whereas, the black female classmates talked about whose hair might be fake, whose hair might be real. She has shared her painful experience of perming her hair in the salon. How much her skin was burned, and it had caused pain in the scalp. She soothed herself by imagining her self pretty when the session will complete. Further, she explains how the African-American perm is made and how harmful it is for the scalp and health.

Black women are constantly aware of how much their appearances are examined. They painstakingly put themselves through the beauty rituals so that they could fit in the white women society and world. She shares some history by saying that the slaves were not encouraged to invest in hair care. They had no oil, comb, herbal ointments to treat their hair. So they applied Cornmeal and Kerosene for scalp cleaners, Coffee as a natural dye, and Butter to condition the hair.

The black women are not afforded ownership over their own identities, bodies, the color of their skin, and the texture of their hair.

In the late nineteenth century, white women wore bustles to make their buttocks look bigger, whereas the same big buttocks of black women are seemed and considered as disgusting. She has told that white women are not pressurized to look like anyone else but themselves. If they adopt a fashion sense or try to darken their skin color then that is considered acceptable and original. But, it is opposite for black women.

One can never experience how it is to feel and be like a Black woman. Their bodies are always vulnerable. Black women have not just to be good but they have to be better to meet the white female standards. She writes how she thought she will seem desirable to a man if she spoke less and be silent. She shares her all relationships with how they didn’t commit to her, and she felt rejected.

Even though she excelled academically and was successful professionally, but she did not achieve the relationship success she desired. Also, being too successful came in her way of dating a guy.

She has shared her harmonious relationship with her Stepfather, who was later diagnosed with dementia. She has also shared her failures and her achievements. When and how she was accepted in the Ivy league college.

Being a drug addict and alcoholic is okay and chic for White women. But on the other hand, if a Black woman takes drugs, and drinks alcohol, then they are treated differently and harshly.

She has mentioned about her trips to Russia and Japan. She had adored the Japanese people. She and her mother had not felt any racism during the tour of Japan. The people of Japan were more hospitable towards Black than Americans.

Black women are special. She wishes to see more Black women-centered stories and movies to be written and directed by black women around the world.

Conclusion:

It is a well-written, engaging, and valuable essay collection. As morgan jerkins write in her book that, This book is not about all women, but it is meant for all women, and men, and those who do not adhere to the gender binary. It is a good read for the people of every color to get to know and understand how much racism they have faced or are facing till today. Her essays offer a deep, thorough, and careful analysis of American culture, society, and history.

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