Just to put the cards on the table, I am the kind of reader who reads mostly for the fun of it, and these days I am gravitating towards a very specific genre, African Fantasy…
I am not likely to pick up a non-fiction book, unless otherwise the book universe conspires for it to be so; for example, someone whose opinion I value, personally recommends it or if I know the author. I hope this doesn’t set a trend, where authors will cosy up to me, for an exclusive review on Becoming The Muse📚 I should hire a PA… one can dream…🤣
Mcdonald Gurura compiled an anthology of inspirational stories from Zimbabwe To The World titled RESET: An A-Z Guide To Thriving In Trying Times.
RESET: An A-Z Guide To Thriving In Trying Times
On the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, RESET is a compilation of stories from 26 of Zimbabwe’s leading influencers across different disciplines, from banking to music. RESET is a testament to the spirit of unwavering faith in the face of trying times.
The alphabetically arranged titles carry a message of hope, inspiration and insights from the lived experiences of the contributing authors whose bios make them people to watch for.
The book opens with a foreword from Dr Lance Mambondiani whose closing remarks are a call to goodness:
"Do good by you and when done; Please Do good by others."
From the A in Aim to Z in Zone; you will get servings of inspiration in all shapes and sizes. Each author contributes from a unique personal perspective. I especially liked that it ends with a poem by the spoken word artist Peggie Shangwa who goes by the stage name Umind?!
Leaving indelible marks That we too were here And we conqured We were not lost in the zone -excerpt from A poem by Umind?!
I would actually get the book just for the one poem, not to take away from anything else shared ^_^
I happened to get my hands on a special copy with signatures from some of the contributors and while reading through it, was pleasantly surprised to find some familiar faces, people I have met and some I dream of meeting; and some people who have graced this blog ^_^
For a book titled the A-Z Guide To Thrive In Trying Times the formatting and layout do not best bring out the cleverly thought out alphabetic arrangement of titles. Could have borrowed from the dictionary concept of Drop Caps and Bold Letters, maybe even had the book edge perforated and colour coded for thumb indexing and easy navigation to each story…..
Did a small part of me not whisper to me as I read the book, yeah this is a bunch of feel-good rhetoric packaged as fodder for motivational speakers… Possibly, but could also be from a sentiment of jealousy, that I didn’t make it into this book… *eyes the anthologer, hmm is that even a word? Well it should be… okay then anthologist*
The world can be an ugly place and those who try to spread hope and inspiration, well, the world needs those.
I think McDonald best wraps this anthology in this quote taken from an interview in The Standard Style:
“It is a message to coming generations that this is what we went through and these are the stories of Zimbabweans and how they experienced or dealt with it so more than anything, we are that this book will speak to generations to come”
I too would want this effort to succeed and be frustrated when such a good collection drops the ball with something easy like printing & formating.
Sigh . . .
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Its the little things ^_^
Books like this put me off because they are filled with feel-good bs as you so described yourself. There is a huge market for those that are looking for hope and inspiration, but it’s just not for me. I do like the A-Z arrangement, though. And I probably would totally read if it at least one of the contributors was someone I knew.
I would read it, cause I was pleasantly surprised to see that I know someone who contributed to the book. I did not even know they were into writing. I cause