TOP FICTION BOOKS I READ THIS YEAR

I didn’t read a lot of non-fiction this year; I didn’t even read that many books this year. I drifted. So I’m just going to put up my top 5 books for this year, all fiction.

In no particular order;

5. JUMPER: EXO by Stephen Gould

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Exo_ A Novel (Jumper) - Steven Gould

THE FAULT IN OUR STARS by John Green

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The Fault in our Stars

PERCY JACKSON’S THE HEROES OF OLYMPUS: BLOOD OF OLYMPUS by Rick Riordan

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The Blood of Olympus

THE YOUNG ELITES by Marie Lu

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The Young Elites

A WALK TO REMEMBER by Nicholas Sparks

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A Walk to Remember

I’m sorry I can’t write a little about each book because my mind is on overload right now so I included a download link for each book. The books are in epub format so I recommend these readers.

WINDOWS: Calibre
ANDROID: Aldiko Book Reader
BLACKBERRY: Yreader

I will be putting up my 2014 review before next week runs out.

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ROCKED MY PLAYLIST – 2014

Earlier, I did personal top 5 albums for 2014. Now I am doing a rundown of songs that rocked my playlist this year. It was a year of more music and less books for me this year. I discovered new artists, fell in love with old ones and loved some even more. I can say each of these songs averaged a lot of plays simply because I was always hitting the repeat button whenever they came on, so enjoy.

 

 

HIP-HOP

 

Drunk in Love – Beyonce ft Jay-Z
On the Run II – Jay-Z ft Beyonce
Young Forever – Jay-Z ft Mr. Hudson
Coming Home – Diddy Dirty Money ft Skylar Grey
Welcome to Hell – Bad Meets Evil
Hold on, We going home – Drake ft Majid Jordan
Can’t forget about you – Nas ft Chrisette Michelle
One Mic – Nas
The Devil is a Lie – Rick Ross ft Jay- Z
Headlights – Eminem ft Nate Reuss
Kick, Push – Lupe Fiasco
SLR (Super Lupe Rap) – Lupe Fiasco
Young, Wild & Free – Wiz Khalifa ft Snoop Dogg & Bruno Mars
Worst Behavior – Drake

 

P.S I did not put any J.Cole because his album came out late and while it was good, it didn’t  get enough time to rock my playlist

 

NON HIP-HOP (POP/ROCK/INDIE/)

 
No Angel – Birdy
Not About Angels – Birdy
Wings – Birdy
Heart of Gold – Birdy
Words as Weapons – Birdy
A Moment like This – Kelly Clarkson
Behind These Hazel Eyes – Kelly Clarkson
Hear Me – Kelly Clarkson
Addicted – Kelly Clarkson
Wrapped in Red – Kelly Clarkson
Down – Jason Walker
Shouldn’t Be a Good in Good-Bye – Jason Walker
I’ll let you go – Jason Walker
Wait – M83
The Hardest part – Nina Nesbitt
Lay Me Down – Sam Smith
I’m not the Only One – Sam Smith
Thinking out Loud –  Ed Sheeran
Lego House – Ed Sheeran
I See Fire – Ed Sheeran
Unfair – Kate Voegele
I won’t Disagree – Kate Voegele
Cannonball – Lea Michele
Human – Christina Perri
My Immortal – Evanescence
Ain’t it Fun – Paramore
Hurt You –  Babyface & Toni Braxton
Leave the pieces – The Wreckers
Turning Tables – Adele
Let Her Go – Passenger
 

MY TOP 5(6) ALBUMS OF THE YEAR

Today, I am putting up my top 5 albums of the year. I am only going to do so for albums released in 2013/2014. Yes, I am adding 2013 because some albums were just too good that I listened to it into this year and they were better than some 2014 albums.

Before I put it up, I would like to say that I grew up a hardcore hip-hop fanboy.  Jay Z, Nas, Dr Dre, Public Enemy, Rakim, Ice cube, The Eastsidaz, Outkast, T.I, Drake, and co; I didn’t even want to listen to pop and rock albums. Well, 3 albums changed my mind; Kelly Clarkson’s “Break Away (still my best album ever)”, Miley Cyrus’ ‘Can’t be Tamed” and Kate Voegele “A Fine Mess”. Since then, I’ve always been open to given pop & rock artist a chance to woo me over and some of them have succeeded. I was recently organizing my phone’s playlist and I realized that I have more pop/rock than hip-hop songs, a ratio of about 5:1. So these are my albums of the year which I will try to rank;

  1. ED SHEERAN – X (stylized Multiply)

released June 20, 2014ed sheeran x

I still maintain that Ed Sheeran looks like a dork, and I don’t mean that as a bad thing, I am only stating it matter of fact. That being said X was a good album for me, maybe not better than + but since 2014 was not used to discover new music, I have to pick this. It had good melodious songs like Sing (with Pharell Williams) and I’m a mess.

Rating: ♠♠♠
Fav Song(s); Thinking out Loud, I’m a Mess

  1. BEYONCE – BEYONCE

Beyonce - Beyoncereleased December 13, 2013.

The first 2013 album to be on my list, mainly because it was released 18 days before the year ended so it fell into 2014 for me. I remember the day this album came out, I was on twitter that morning and all everyone was talking about was Beyonce this, Beyonce that. It was as if Queen Bey (this is the only time you will ever hear me call her that) dropped a nuclear bomb on U.S soil which is what she did, figuratively speaking. What made it talked about globally was that there was no single released before the album, she didn’t try to force any song down our ears. She just dropped the whole shit once like, “here, take your pick”

Rating:  ♠♠♠¤

Fav song(s): Drunk in Love ft Jay Z, XO,  Flawless (I know I’m a guy but the hook is just so damn catchy “I woke up like this!!!!!!!!!!!”

  1. ASA – BED OF STONE

released August 25, 2014Asa - Bed of Stones

The only Nigeria artist whose songs are on my phone (I think so), PC and all devices that I own; the only Nigerian artist that I can listen to without my brain feeling like It’s splitting in 2 with all their kicks and snares and bass drums. The album is melodious and even has a few catchy songs like “Satan be Gone”, songs that all the mushy people out there can relate to; like “How did love find me?” and extremely conscious music like ‘Bed of Stone”. This would have been my album of the year if I had not listened to or downloaded the next 3 artist on my list.

Rating: ♠♠♠♠
Fav Song(s): Bed of Stones, The One That Never Comes, Grateful.

  1. J.COLE – 2014 FOREST HILLS DRIVE

released December 9 , 2014.J.Cole - 2014 FHD

This is probably my most relatable hip-hop album since Jay Z’s “The Black Album”. I almost didn’t get this album as I wanted to wait till next year, and honestly, it would have been my only regret of 2014 if I had waited. Right from the first full track, January 28th to the “Love Yourz”, I felt like I was the story teller, like I could actually see the world through his eyes. In a way, it was what he wanted. This kind of rap, story-telling, is becoming rarer as the years go by with so many artists conforming trying to appropraite hiphop culture. Anybody could actually find some piece of relatable perspective in the album.

Rating: ♠♠♠♠
Fav Song(s): January 28th, G.O.M.D, A Tale of Two Citiez, Adolescence.

NOTE: THE NUMBER ONE SPOT IS SHARED AS YOU SHALL SEE

1A. BIRDY – FIRE WITHIN
released September 16, 2013.Birdy - Fire Within

My best/greatest Indie folk artist of all time (sorry Kate Voegele and Ed Sheeran) and she is only 18 with just 2 albums to her name. Yet I love her beyond words. That voice, damn, with the instrumentals backing her up especially the keyboard (the way she strings together the keys in some of her ballads). There are no words to describe this album. No words.

Rating: ♠♠♠♠♠
Fav Song(s): Wings, No Angel (Best Song ever) , All you never Say, Heart of Gold, Standing In The Way of The Light, Strange Birds.

 

1B. SAM SMITH – IN THE LONELY HOUR
released May 26, 2014.Sam Smith - In the Lonely Hour

I was in a relationship for most of the year (single now, ladies take note) but most times it felt like I was alone in that relationship. And this album helped me get through that time. The songs were just so powerful that you could feel the raw emotion dripping from the words, like you could also feel Sam’s pain as you listen along. This is an album of unrequited love and that alone makes it my album of the year. But whether your love is being given back or not, this album will move you.

Rating: ♠♠♠♠♠
Fav Song(s): Lay Me Down, Stay with Me, I’m Not The Only One. La La La, Latch, Not in That Way, Make It To Me

Day 14: To Whom It May Concern – LETTER TO AN EX

 

I am sorry we broke up. Really, I am.

Because you were wonderful, maybe even the best I have ever had. Why wouldn’t you be? That’s what drew me to you. But while you were wonderful in your own unique ways, I guess I just wasn’t enough or should I say; the distance was too much. I know 6 months is a very long time without seeing the person you loved. I could endure that but what I didn’t realize was that you couldn’t. You were fragile and I was trying too hard to build you up.

Looking back, I think the fragility was what endeared me to you. Our friends called us the perfect couple; they can’t even believe that we are no longer together. I can, not because I was a cynic and thought you would leave me but because like everything else in life; people always leave, it doesn’t matter whether they want to or not. In the end, they leave.

Up till this day, I still don’t get the real reason why you left; I don’t believe the story about the text. Or maybe I know the real reason and I just don’t want to say it out loud because I like the image of you that I have in my mind and that is the only good thing I have.

I still love you, I can never stop loving you (believe me, I have tried). And even if I find someone else, what I will feel for them will never be as much as what I will always feel for you. It doesn’t matter whether that someone has better qualities than you, there was a way in which you complimented me and made us fit that I don’t think anybody else can ever match. You gave me the best one year of my life and for that I am forever grateful.

I AM TRYING TO FORGET YOU BUT I AM ALSO WAITING FOR YOU TO COME BACK.

Day 13: Serially Found – LOST BUT RETRIEVED

This is a part 2 of the post Serially Lost – If Only

“Everyone suffers at least one bad betrayal in their lifetime.
It’s what unites us.
The trick is not to let it destroy your trust in others when that happens.
Don’t let them take that from you.”
Sherrilyn Kenyon

I never thought that I’ll find it again. I had given it to people and they had misused it in the most disrespectful way possible. Yet, whenever the next person came and asked for it, I would give it to them, and then they would do the same thing that others before them had done.

After a while, I started doubting myself, I lost hope in everybody and everything. There was no meaning anymore all because I couldn’t find it in me.

My Trust was gone, betrayed by the very people I had given it to. I cursed myself for ever thinking that the next person would be different from the rest.

So when this person came to me demanding, subtly, that I give it to her, I wondered how I would give something that I no longer have. But it helped that she gave me hers even when I didn’t ask for it and I knew not what to do with it. She gave hers to me and helped me find mine. It wasn’t easy and I almost gave up because of the fear that it would get disrespected again.

It’s been almost 2 years now, and I have to say that I do not regret finding it again and giving ti to her because she has not let me down.

Day 9: Point Of View – FROM A DISTANCE

HE

It was a cloudy day that threatened to rain contrary to the weather forecast. The park was lively as usual; people tossing Frisbees around, a couple having a picnic near the water fountain, two little girls feeding the ducks that normally came to mingle among the people.

He was happy, walking on the cobblestone path that wound around the outskirts of the park, and holding her hand while humming a Coldplay tune inside his head as she said something that made him smile. They had not gotten to spend time like this between his unusual hours and her school. But today was different and he was determined to make the most of it.

“You know, I can almost see us bringing our kids to this park”

“hmmmm”, she sounded.

“We will have a picnic while they play with the dog or feed the ducks”.

“Let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves”, she replied.

“What do you mean?” He was confused. “I thought we had already planned all this”

“I know we have but I’m just saying things happen that can delay the plan”

“Are you going to tell me what that thing is, because you are really confusing me”.

SHE

It was supposed to be a good day. The last time she would have to spend with him before she was to go to graduate school. She had suggested they went to the park to hang out because she wanted to be around people when she broke the news to him. And from the liveliness of the park at this time of the day, she felt she had made the right decision. But now, watching his face morph from happy to wary, she felt her heart break a bit because of what she was going to have to say. She wished she didn’t have to.

And when he blindsided her with the talk about kids and dogs, she knew this day was going to be a disaster.

She was thinking of how best to tell him and did not realize that he had stopped walking until he called her name.

“Why did you stop walking?”

“Because I want to hear about those things that will delay our plan. The same plan that we had made together”

“Well,” she paused, watching his face, “something came up and…….”

“I know something came up and that is why I asked you”

Damn, she hated it when he interrupted her like this, because it usually meant that something was about to happen that either of them wouldn’t like.

“I have to go away for a while”

“What do you mean you have to go away for a while?”

“It’s graduate school. There is this program that we have to partake in and it’s compulsory and I have to go soon”

“How long will you be gone?”

“A year”, she whispered for she was scared to say it out loud.

“What did you say?”

Dammit, she cursed. Why does he have to make me say it? “I said, A Year”

“When are you leaving?” he asked in that calm voice that carried an undertone of, ‘be careful the next words that come out of your mouth’.

“Tonight”, she quietly said.

“And you waited until the last moment to tell me this?” he exploded.

“You were always so busy and I wanted us to at least have one last special moment to together”

“I don’t care if I was busy every single day or if you wanted us to have a billion special moments; you shouldn’t have waited until now”

“I am sorry”

‘Well, sorry doesn’t change anything”

And with that he stormed off.

HER

The park was as she always loved it. She usually came here to feed the ducks or to read a book. But today she had decided to bring a ball of yarn and just knit a sweater.

She was enjoying the noise; something she normally referred to as happy noise.

She was seated on the bench just outside the cobblestone path on the outskirts of the park and had noticed the couple that were walking slowly and laughing to each other. She felt a sudden ache as she remembered her husband of 55 years who passed away only last year.

But she felt a little happiness for the couple because they had managed to find something good out of all the chaos in the world. Therefore, she was surprised when the man raised his voice. She looked to her right and saw that they had stopped walking and that he was farther behind the lady. She couldn’t hear what they were talking about and she wished they would stop because they seemed so happy before.

Few minutes later, the young lady came and sat next to her and had tears in her eyes. She didn’t know what to say to her so she just put aside her knitting and wrapped an arm around her shoulder

Day 7: Give and Take – HIS & HER

“I love you”, she said.

They were sitting on a bench under the almond tree, as they do every night. It had become their usual spot. This night was like any other night; cold, with different couples scattered around them. He had his hand around her shoulders and seemed to be lost in thought listening to a silent tune. She looked at his face and saw that faraway look that he normally had like he was looking into time itself. Not tonight, she thought and then jabbed him in the ribs with her elbow. That seemed to bring him back.

“Sorry”, he muttered, “I guess I was doing that again”.

“Yes, you were”

“OK then, I repeat, I am sorry”, he turned to face her, “what were you saying?”

“I said I love you”, she repeated.

“Oh, that?” he kept quiet and looked straight ahead. By now she was already getting annoyed. Why can’t he just say it back? , she thought. He started whistling a tune, and she was already opening her mouth to chew him out when he turned to face her and he had the smile.

“I know that you love me, Kay, and I love you too”. He said

“Was that so hard?”

“Was what so hard?” he said with a knowing smile.

“Telling me you love me too”

“No, it wasn’t hard at all. Why would you think it was hard for me?”

“Because of all the silence and the time it took you to say it back”

“Oh, does that bother you?”

“Yes, it does. You always take your time to say even the simplest of words. A common yes or no might take a full minute for you to say”

He burst out laughing. By now, she was ready to go back to her room. She was standing up when he reached out and held her hand.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry”, he said.

“It’s not funny”

“I know it’s not funny. It’s just that I didn’t realize you were timing how long I take to say my words”

“I wasn’t timing anything”, she defended, “I’m just making a point”

“And I got your point”, he stood up and went to kneel in front of her.

“What are you doing? Stop it” She was getting embarrassed.

“Just hold on” he said, he took her hand, and looked into her eyes for a few seconds until she looked away. “What does it matter if it takes me an hour to say what I want to say? All that matters is that I mean what I say, and I mean it when I say I love you”

“I know you do she said, but do you always have to take time before you say it?”

“No, I don’t”

“Then why do you do that?”

“Nothing really, I just like to see the look on your face when I do it”, he said

“Urgh!!! You, my love, are insufferable. I don’t get why you have to think about everything including love”

“Because someone has to do that for the two of us and you are happy not being that person so that leaves me”

“I hate you”

“I know, that’s why I love you too”