A Review of The Catalyst by Jonah Berger

People are willing to consider different perspectives up to a certain point, but beyond that, things get ignored.

Simon & Schuster/ Publication Date: 10 March 2020

I just finished reading this book and couldn’t resist jotting down notes as I did so. It’s the second book off my Netgalley haul that had me taking down notes this week- the other was The Honey Bee by Jake Stenziano and Gino Barbaro.

Have you ever come across any content on “The Art of Persuasion?” Now, this book right here is 194 pages of intrigues and exploration of the things that bar people from changing.

I love how the author explores these barriers to change while focusing on the people, so much so that it’s not about the one who wants to change another, but more about getting the other to be open towards changing themselves. I love this.

The author at some point shares that “People are willing to consider different perspectives up to a certain point, but beyond that things get ignored.” This little nugget of wisdom resonated with me because I work with communities in rural Kenya getting them to collaborate to identify, implement and sustain infrastructure projects and what’s key in my role is persuading these communities, getting them to maintain that interest from the first time we meet to when we commission a project. So, simply put, I am inspired to apply the insights gained in reading this book to my work.

PS: I love the cover as well.


Reading Allie Michelle’s “The Rose that Blooms in the Night.”

Poetry/ Andrews McMeel Publishing

About the book:

The Rose That Blooms in the Night is a collection of poems from spoken word poet, yoga instructor, podcaster, and Instagram influencer Allie Michelle. The collection is meant to be a mirror reflecting the love inside of those who read it. It tells the tale of transformational cycles we experience throughout our lives. Falling in and out of love. Feeling lost and rediscovering our purpose. Learning to create a home within our own skin instead of seeking it in other people and places.

My take on it: 

Look, I wasn’t ready for this…maybe I was, but here’s the thing; Allie Michelle succeeded in making me feel.

From the beginning, she encourages you to:

Find the strength it takes to be soft

Her words, some lyrical, others full of reflection and downright unapologetic ignited feelings in me that I worked so hard to calm or cast aside. With pieces like ‘Home’ she reminds you that your mind could either be heaven or hell, so you’d better guard it. When you come across a piece like “Grief” in just five sentences she brings you to your knees in pain.

Some pieces are light, witty and others pack a punch.

What I know for sure is that in reading this collection, you may shed a tear or two, laugh a little or a lot but mostly you’ll reminisce on memories…experiences so close to your heart you’ll not help but be moved.

Thanks Netgalley for the eARC.

Rating: heartheartheartheartheart

Some phrases that I couldn’t shake off are:

“We break our own hearts long before we place them in the shaking hands of another.”

“Your mind is the house you live in.”

“Grief will come and steal your breath…”

How to get your hands on a copy of her book:

Visit her website: https://www.alliemichellel.com/


The Kosher Delhi by Ivan Wainewright: Book Review

Publisher: RedDoor Publishing, Release Date: August 01, 2019

About the book:

‘Considering all the things we did during our brief spell in Somerset that should have got us into trouble, it’s ironic that the act which did cause the police to come looking for us was an accident.’

It’s the early 1990s. Vic is twenty, naive and drifting – grappling with his mixed Indian-Jewish heritage. When he meets Yvonne – activist, hedonist, social justice warrior – his life changes in ways he could never have imagined. They travel together from Leeds to London to New York. While Vic navigates fast-paced restaurant scenes, Yvonne ventures into the world of underground political music and tensions begin to rise. What begins as hedonistic traveling and young romance soon takes a darker turn as the racist underbelly of society is exposed with violent and fatal outcomes.

What I think: If there’s a story that goes to show that people can indeed surprise you, then this right here would be one of those that I mention. We follow Vik and Yvonne from London to New York, and their struggles with finding meaning, acceptance and love in tumultuous times makes for an interesting read. However, what personally stood out for me was the growth that was evident in Vik’s life and his perception of the racism and hurdles he encountered in his work.

It’s as engaging as it is melancholic, but one thing is certain, any reader is bound to grow with the characters at some point in the book, whether it’s for good or for the worse, that’s not in my place to tell. Thank you Netgalley for the eARC.

PS: Oh, the ending! If there’s anything that threw me off guard, it’s got to be one word “Hello?”