BOOK BITES | Rob Macdonald, Kehinde Fadipe, Ann Cleeves

28 January 2024 - 00:00 By CLAIRE KEETON, GILL GIFFORD and Gabriella Bekes

This week we feature an unusual finance book that focuses on our human rather than monetary skills; a brilliant debut by British-Nigerian actress Kehinde Fadipe; and Ann Cleeves's latest featuring her detective Matthew Venn 

subscribe Just R20 for the first month. Support independent journalism by subscribing to our digital news package.
Subscribe now
By Rob Macdonald.
The 7 Pillars of financial Health By Rob Macdonald.
Image: Supplied

The 7 Pillars of Financial Health: Partnering with a Professional to Thrive ★★★★
Rob Macdonald
Vindigo Press

This is not a get-rich-quick book with a list of tips. In fact Macdonald writes that “AI is going to outdo us on the money skills from now on ever after”. Instead the book’s value is in its understanding that we need to “focus on our human rather than monetary skills” and to sync our life and money decisions. The style is lucid and vivid, the opposite of a dry financial text. Macdonald, who has coached hundreds of financial and investment advisers in his stellar career, explains the pillars with a personal example early on: the decision not to sell their family home for a substantial profit. He illustrates the need for clarity (“was money or our home more important to us at this point in our lives?”), confidence, connection, curiosity (for example, exploring alternatives), collaboration (as a couple with their financial planner), communication and courage in making this choice. The book demonstrates that financial planning involves much more than spreadsheets and it shows professionals how to engage better with clients. But its appeal goes beyond financial planners to individuals hoping to strengthen their financial health. — Claire Keeton

by Kehinde Fadipe.
In Such Tremendous Heat by Kehinde Fadipe.
Image: Supplied

In Such Tremendous Heat ★★★★★
Kehinde Fadipe
Little Brown

This debut book by British-Nigerian actress Fadipe was a fun read that felt like a brief visit to Singapore with a group of Nigerian women friends. Fadipe is skilful in conveying both the setting and the characters. The main characters all have Nigerian heritage, which plays an important part in their stories. They're contrasting characters: Dara is an ambitious corporate lawyer keen to make partner; Amaka is a banker, and Lillian is a professional pianist who has given up playing and is fretting about her marriage. The arrival of handsome and charming Nigerian-British lawyer Lani has a big impact on each of them — thankfully not in the typically expected ways. It's a great read full of intelligent, complex women in Singapore's corporate world offering the inside scoop on their thinking about issues like cross-cultural dating, tribal heritage and how it all fits in with modern-day thinking and expectations. — Gill Gifford


by Ann Cleeves.
The Raging Storm by Ann Cleeves.
Image: Supplied

The Raging Storm ★★★★
Ann Cleeves

Jem Roscoe pitches up out of the blue at the pub in the tiny village of Greystone in North Devon. He's a local lad; an international celebrity for his sailing adventures. He sailed solo around the world, travelled to both poles and walked up the Amazon River. People wonder what brings him back after so many years and he cryptically tells them he's meeting someone. Days later, at the height of a powerful storm, his body is found in Scully Cove, a place feared by superstitious villagers. Barnstaple police Inspector Matthew Venn, who lived in Greystone with his parents as a child among the mysterious Barum Brethren, is assigned the investigation. Greystone is a tight-knit community but Venn and his team start unravelling its secrets. They discover that the rebellious schoolboy Roscoe insinuated himself into the snobbish local yacht club despite being from the wrong side of the tracks. They hear that his friendship with a high-class girl got him his foot in the door. Is that how he acquired the yacht that took him around the world? And why was he murdered years later? A brooding bleakness dominates with the biting cold weather, high winds and lashing rain. The tension builds with plenty of dead-ends and red herrings, keeping you riveted. — Gabriella Bekes

subscribe Just R20 for the first month. Support independent journalism by subscribing to our digital news package.
Subscribe now