If

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash
If you can keep your head when all about you     
  Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,   
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;   
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,   
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!
– Rudyard Kipling
Source: A Choice of Kipling’s Verse (1943)
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Book Review (unfiltered): The Four

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Okay so first of all, let’s get all the niceties out the way…

Thanks so much for stopping by!

So. I need to send out a HUGE apology to everyone who has gone out on my recommendation to purchase this book which is, in my informed and humble opinion, incredibly overpriced and to be honest a huge piece of American entrepreneur propaganda bullsh*t. Why you ask? lets get to it then!

“I hope the reader gains insight and a competitive edge in an economy where it’s never been easier to be a billionaire but it’s never been harder to be a millionaire.”

– Scott Galloway (Author of The Four)

Scott Galloway is an incredibly well- researched writer in the scope of the four companies he writes about (Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Google) however I personally think that his defense in later chapters of his book regarding why these four companies specifically and why not others was incredibly weak.

Let’s take the one example that I got to that made me throw this book away where he states reasons why Alibaba could never be a company that influences consumer culture. Bullshit right? Cause we know how big Alibaba is and how much of a big deal Jack Ma is from reading ” The house that Jack Ma built“. The author essentially writes off Alibaba based on his ignorant opinion that its not a company that is big enough in America and can therefore never even begin to compete with Amazon. Wait what? I’m not sure who deemed America the centre of the universe but last time I checked Asia has a bigger population than America and Alibaba is highly utilized in China, more so than Amazon. Sooo… how can Amazon be taking over in the bigger scheme of the rest of the world…..? Don’t get me wrong, it is an amazing organization isatin, with an amazing history, however, no corporate, no matter how big and “innovative” is immune to the burning platform syndrome.

As I said, I think the author is well researched but I loathed the ignorance and bias undertones towards a specific region so much that I literally had to throw that book away; it won’t be making it into my collection but it was certainly informative in some areas which were good enough to document.

So in conclusion, if you are looking for fast facts of “the four”, definitely pick this expensive piece of sh*t up, however if you are looking for an objective, well- written observation of who the four leading organizations are  that are taking over “the world”- don’t pick this book up. It spits on entrepreneurial efforts of billionaires with successful business models, who don’t fit the stencil of the “American dream”and God knows we don’t need anymore marginalisation in this cold world.

Some highlights and interesting observations below (if you still care to read):

Chapter 1:

  •  55% of people search for a product start on Amazon vs 28% on Google which definitely shows consumer confidence on the platform that is Amazon.

Chapter 2:

“Instinct is a powerful chaperone, always watching and whispering in your ear, telling you what you MUST do to survive”

  • Galloway sets the scene around consumerism and the role of men and women in this context by referencing Hunters and Gatherers, with a comparison of the modern day man and woman to the Paleolithic and Neolithic people

” if you google biggest mistakes in business history, the majority of results are risks that firms failed to take such as excite and blockbuster passing on acquiring google and Netflix respectively….”

  • Write up on Amazon’s floating warehouse

Chapter 10-“The Four and You”:

My favorite chapter to be honest! Galloway sneakily starts off with the following phrase

” follow your talent, not your passion”

It’s fantastic and so so relevant! In chapter 10, Galloway basically breaks down the critical components one needs in order to stand out in the 21st century. He highlights the number of “good” graduates there are but goes on to state that “good” is just not good enough to survive the digital age. He breaks down key focus areas one must master/ apply in order to beat the curve, show you have grit, and generate wealth.

These are the sorts of things your mentor must be talking to you about; sharing of insider secrets for your success, Not, “tell me how’s work?”.

page 266: together the horsemen employ 418000 employees- the population of Minneapolis. If you combine the value of the 4 horsemens public shares of stock, it comes to $2.3 trillion. CRAAAAZY…

 

 

BOOK REVIEW: BARE (GET THIS BOOK NOW!)

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I hardly ever listen to the radio when I drive (long story) but as fate would have it yesterday afternoon, I was tuned into Metro FM along with a myriad of other fellow South African’s who were curious to hear about and understand Jackie Phamotse’s rendition of the underbelly of South Africa’s 1% and their very interesting lifestyle in her latest book titled “BARE”. I found myself being so engrossed by her story and strength to actually speak out and tell her story and the stories of the women around her who had been sucked into this elite yet damaging lifestyle and social circle.

As soon as the interview ended I was on the phone with Exclusive Books, doing everything I possibly could to source a copy of her book. Curiosity had gotten the better of me, so I bought it, then read it today and here are my thoughts, very briefly.

Firstly I must note that I think the way Jackie decided to structure the story worked well. It allows the reader to literally sink into the book. The book was written in chronological order and is based on a story about a girl named Treasure Mohapi. The story takes the reader through Treasure’s upbringing (which is sadly a very relatable story for any South African child) and the author highlights elements that build up to when she ends up in Johannesburg  as a blessee and ultimately leading to her spiritual demise.

As a character, one can see how the author has woven personal and borrowed experiences to deliver the message and I think because of this, it is a great storyline and lives up to the purpose. I do believe she will continue to make a killing off the book sales however I do believe that it was not personal enough. At some points it almost read like a story and yes, maybe the experience was too graphic to share directly, but I think it would have left readers gasping more had it been written in the form of a memoir because what she exposes us too is REAL. This is not a story, its a reality and if the aim is to drive awareness around this life and the repercussions, give it to the reader straight. It isn’t a fairytale and I think some parts/ events of the book could have been glamorized which is extremely dangerous as it is potentially misleading.

I must say though, in hindsight maybe reading BARE could have made me think  a bit differently about materialistic possessions, its somewhat of a “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari” for the Johannesburg female yuppie. It makes one see how having a purpose and knowing your “why” is so important because the value of life can get quite meaningless when everything you can possibly desire becomes attainable to you.

So in closing:

Highlights: The Hockey Club story of course! (See the two pages I posted on my Insta stories last night)

Lowlights: The progression to the blessee storyline was too dragged out, if you want to save yourself time, read from when Treasure got to matric (which is inevitably in the middle of the book- I KNOW….ghaad)

Would I recommend this book: DEFINITO

If you have managed to get a copy of this book, please like the post and share your views! lets get this convo flowing peeps 🙂

BOOK REVIEW: THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN (Final Review- holy crap!)

Paula Hawkins: Author of The Girl On The Train (Numer 1 New York Times Bestseller)

Okay, so let me start off by saying, I AM SHOOK. Also in this into I must give kudos to Paula Hawkins I would be lying if I said after each of my reading sessions I wasn’t the slightest bit afraid or paranoid at night. The Girl On The Train (TGOTT)was such an incredibly well written book and I am happy that I picked it to join my other children on the shelf.

When I initially purchased TGOTT, it was primarily because of what I had read about its similarities to Gone Girlby Gillian Flynn. If we have ever had a conversation around books, you know how much I loooooved Gone Girl- the book, not the movie (yuck), so I thought “hey why not?”.

Upon the commencement of reading this book, I must admit, I experienced hectic nostalgia back to when I was reading Gone Girl (GG) back in 2015 and I was slightly disappointed because as I went through the book I could very easily pick up where the storyline was going and predict how sections of the book would turn out. However, although similar (from a storyline perspective) it was absolutely NOTHING like GG. GG was an introduction to how twisted relationships/ humanity can get, then TGOTT just took the baton and rode that narrative all the way to psycho thriller land.

Paula’s writing, if I can compare it to food, is like a macaroon from Laduree ; light and delicate, on your palate but full of flavor. It’s nothing like what you have ever experienced before and it leaves you wanting more after the first bite. I was gasping, experiencing chest pains, getting disappointed at character’s stupid decisions, everything! I. FELT. IT. ALL and I was so impressed by these feels.

Personally, I think some authors fail to provide the correct level of detail a reader need for suspense and they also fail to deliver the plot twists at the right time and in the right way and boy does Paula Hawkins deliver! She is so descriptive that I could even go out and direct the movie for TGOTT (I am so afraid to watch the movie, I know already that it will be a let down). Reading this book took me back to the days when I used to be obsessed (trust me, what you see on my Instagram page is nothing compared to how I used to be) with Kathy Reichs novels. Yes, I know I say every book is a page turner, (even though its because I choose to read really good books, HOWEVER, this one was beautiful. Simply beautiful.

Highlights: The ending (Just before “the end”), when Rachel, Anna and Tom have a young reunion. I LOVED THE ENDING…I will leave it there.

Lowlights: Hmmm,not many, I wish Scott featured more after he lost his marbles and also I wish the transition to my highlight could have been written better, it felt a bit knee- jerky, especially after Anna and Rachel’s history. I found Anna was too calm for my liking when she saw Rachel at her doorstep. It almost seemed unreal/ unnatural because I know for a fact that is not how a human being would behave- but these characters are psyco, so hey, maybe it works haha!

Would I recommend this book: YAAAS! It won’t take a crime thriller enthusiast to love this book.

Get your copy of The Girl On The Trainhere  and let me know what you think(South Africa).

Hope you enjoyed my review! Don’t forget to like the post and leave your comments around your views if you read the book as well 🙂

Book Review: The girl on the train (my thoughts so far)

Why am I reading (and possibly closing out my year with) The girl on the train by Paula Hawkins? Well firstly because I needed a book that would guarantee to heal the trauma I experienced from attempting to read The heart is a lonely hunter, and secondly because I could no longer resist staring at, and not just reading the very first hardcover book to make my collection!

It’s been a week since I started reading The girl on the train and I must say, I am pleasantly surprised. From the moment I scooped this gem up at the Exclusive Books sale for R160 (from R400) I can certainly say the accountant in me was hella chuffed.

If you know me well enough you know how much I die for psycho thriller reads! When I read that The girl on the train was similar to Gone Girl, I simply couldn’t resist giving the book a chance and well… so far I must say, its pretty close!

The book is set and written in the UK. The main character, Rachel, is a millennial alcoholic divorcee whose picture perfect future was swept right under her and she is now forced to live through her ex husband moving on with a new woman that he decided to marry, have a child with (something that a barren Rachel couldn’t accomplish) and live with in a house that Rachel picked out and bought for the both of them to start their future.

At this point in the book, Rachel is basically hitting rock bottom. Her alcoholism and unemployment are at an all time high and she finds herself behaving in unexplainable ways. For reasons elaborated in the book, Rachel resorts to stalking her ex in order to cope and deal with her trauma and throughout this almost ritualistic activity, she picks up on another couple, not staying too far from her ex husband to pay interest to as well. One day, Rachel gets so intoxicated that she blacks out and the next thing she knows, she’s naked in bed with a gash on her head. the next day, the police show up at her doorstep looking for answers relating to her activities the previous night that could possibly be linked to a kidnapping (of her ex husband’s daughter) and the disappearance of the woman she stalked from time to time.

I read Gone Girl 2 years ago, although the storyline is there in my mind it is quite fuzzy. So far I can definitely see why people would compare this book to it however, something in my gut tells me that The girl on the train is hands down more well written than Gone Girl. Paula Hawkins really knows how to keep a reader in suspense and desperate to turn the pages of her story. Another thing I seem to love now which this book shares with Americanah, is that each chapter is the story of a different character, I think it’s an amazing way to tell and showcase a complex story from a specific character’s perspective while building up to a specific point when all these lives will collide and make sense as one.

All in all, so far, so amazing! I’m really enjoying The girl on the train and would certainly recommend it to anyone who enjoys psycho thrillers, suspense and just reading about messy human beings so you can live vicariously through them- or validate your own bad decisions!

Don’t forget to subscribe for email notifications and follow the blog so you can read my final review of the book! If you’re curious to read other book reviews you can click on the tag “book review” on the home page and this will take you to all the book reviews I have published so far on FemaleMillennialMusings 🙂

Book Review: To Kill a Mockingbird (Part 2)

It has been two weeks now since I finished reading To Kill a Mockingbird; during a DMC that I engaged in with one of my friends today we found ourselves questioning whether set-books in high school were purposefully chosen in order of dis-functionality or was it based on how closely the novel represented real life? This conversation got me thinking that, although classics are relevant and important, how incredible it would be to promote African authors and their literature in our African schools. Filling our classrooms with lessons and stories that are both relatable and educational with a frame of reference that is closer to home. Just a thought…

Now to get into the final post of the full book review…

To Kill a Mockingbird is a story written and set in the 60’s in the Southern parts of America. The book is narrated by Scout Finch, a brave young girl (An Arya Stark of sorts if you like), incredibly funny and incredibly brave with a swing like Mayweather. Scout lives with her brother Jem (aka Jeremy) and Lawyer father Atticus. Their mother passed away when both children were young and the children take to Calpurnia (their house help) as a second mother who guides and grooms the children throughout the story, enforcing a strict yet loving influence over them.

Amongst other things, the story highlights and showcases how destructive ignorance can be; the dangers of small- mindedness, as well as the ramifications of stereotyping while reflecting how far the legal system has come. We are still not equal or free, but thank God we are not where we used to be. Aluta Continua!

Although fictional, there was something I found so captivating about how much Atticus kept to his values and his truth with so much conviction. There’s something so powerful about a person who can go beyond what he feels to do what is right at the end of the day, despite societal pressure and because of that I think anyone can learn a handful from To Kill a Mockingbird.

My mom says I say this after every book but honestly, this is the best book I have EVER read and most definitely my most favorite. I have always been confused by how fleeting the response was when one asked how people knew they had found “the one” and they simply responded by “you just know”. Although books aren’t people (they sure are more stable than some people I know) but I can possibly say, for once… I think I know what all these people mean. I have not yet read all the books in the world (and will certainly never accomplish this) but it doesn’t take me reading a whole lot of books to tell you that I have found “The One”. My favourite book of all time. And I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t feeling just a little bit “laah-dee-dah” at that fact that it’s a classic.

My review is by no means something you can rely on as a scholar as I had never read this book during school (and thank God for that because I can now read it uninhibited by bias and the pressures to get full marks for a literature paper) so I’d probably miss all the irrelevant “important bits” teachers harp on. But from a personal/ self reflective perspective I can say I got more than what I bargained for. What an incredible week-long journey…. one that when I had reached the last page, audibly gasped in despair that I had finished too soon and simply was not prepared for the last page!
I really don’t think I’ve done the book justice in terms of sharing lessons learned or about expressing the amazingness of the late Harper Lee’s writing, but I am so grateful to have experienced both. But now that I think about it, sharing both of these would simply ruin the experience for the next reader and that’s not the point for me.

All I can say is, if you have not read this book yet, get your hands on it as soon as possible. You don’t need to be going through anything to be ready for it, it meets you where you are and ambushes you through 300 odd pages of one of the most enthralling fictional experiences you will ever encounter. You’ll become Southern AF from page one and you won’t want to put it down until you’re done. What a pleasure!

Book Review: To Kill a Mockingbird (Part 1)


Almost halfway into this incredible classic, To Kill a Mockingbird, and I thought, I just must document my thoughts in this informal book review.

Firstly, I must say high school set books usually come with so much richness in knowledge and wisdom that many of us take for granted in our teen years. Fortunately for me “To Kill A Mockingbird” is one of those books that I did not have the privilege to dishonor growing up and as such, have gone back to this Classic at a much mature stage to appreciate it in totality, after gathering much wounds in adulthood to increase the appreciation haha!

From the minute I opened this book after purchasing it. There was something about it that silently whispered “let’s go back to the basics of humanity that are very much overlooked yet necessary”. Harper Lee (May her soul Rest In Peace) wrote a masterpiece. I have never read a book so deep and easy at the same time.

The perception I have of classics is that they are books written decades ago and hold a certain air of seriousness and morbidmess. Boy is this book funny! There are not many books that can get a serious message across and in the same sentence make you ball your eyes with laughter.

The innocence of Scout and Jem is one thing you will definitely fall in love with. Atticus and Calpurnia are the definition of a “Star Team” and Atticus’ conviction to his conscience is one thing I admire most as it teaches one that at the end of the day, despite how you believe people have wronged you and insulted you and taken you for granted, people are people who are just trying to live; and the more you let your peace reside in their presence the easier it is to help them heal.

So far, so flipping good 💯🔥.