Everything books

Book Review – The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba

Book Review The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

Book Review - The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba
Buy the book from Amazon

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba. This was my book clubs read last month and it was discussed last week. Unforchantly I was sick the night of the meeting and was unable to attend. But I did receive feedback and wanted to share our review with you.

About the Author

Kamkwamba was profiled on the front page of The Wall Street Journal December 8, 2007, as well in major articles in The Malawi Daily Times, The Sydney Morning Herald, La Repubblica, and myriad blog posts such as Boing Boing, and his blog has been featured on the front page of news aggregators such as Digg and Reddit. He is featured in a special Africa issue of L’Uomo Vogue.
Find William’s blog at http://www.williamkamkwamba.com

 

The Synopsis of the Book

William Kamkwamba was born in Malawi, a country where magic ruled and science was a mystery. It was also a land withered by drought and hunger. But William had read about windmills and he dreamed of building one and it would bring to his small village a set of luxuries that only 2 percent of Malawians could enjoy: electricity and running water. His neighbors called him misala – crazy. But William refused to let go of his dreams. With a small pile of once-forgotten science textbooks, some scrap metal, tractor parts and bicycle halves; and an armory of curiosity and determination, he embarked on a daring plan to forge an unlikely contraption and small miracle that would change the lives around him.

Our Review

Book Review - The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba

I’m going to give you mainly my review of this book because I wasn’t at the meeting. First of all, this is not a book that would normally appeal to me if I was browsing in a book store. The subject matter is not a genre I would read. But with that said, I must say the story captivated me from the very beginning and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

It was an easy read and I was intrigued right away. I loved how the book put me smack bang in the middle of Africa. I felt like I was right there with William. We’ve all heard about the struggles and the horrific stories of starvation affecting all ages in Africa. Well, this book opens your eyes to just how devastating the conditions are. Every day these people live to survive and will do anything to accomplish it including eating goatskin which really grossed me out but made realize just how little these people have and what desperate measures they are willing to take to simply stay alive.
The book was sad in many ways, reading about the many deaths of children and the sufferings many endured on a daily basis. But it was also very uplifting when William set out on a dream to make his and his family’s life better. He didn’t give up and succeeded and to my surprise and joy, the rest of the world soon learned about his amazing achievements. I love how he now travels the world and gives back to his small town and many of the other struggling communities in his country. He is a great inspiration for many.
 The only time I found my mind wandering was when he went into details about how he made the windmill and what parts he used and what each part did. I learned a little about electricity, but most of it went over my head. I understand why it was included in the book because it’s the root of his story.
The book was well-received by the rest of the group. I believe there was one person who did not enjoy it and gave it a low score.
Since reading the book I’ve watched some clips of him on YouTube and the videos are very uplifting.

The author is currently on tour and will be visiting my part of the world on October 30th in Bakersfield which is only forty-five minutes away so I may attend. Here is a link if any other locals are interested in going.

https://www.facebook.com/events/california-state-university-bakersfield/author-visit-book-signing-the-boy-who-harnessed-the-wind/2231500180473985/

Our Overall Rating

BBook Review - The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba

COVER DESIGN – 5 STARS – The choices of colors and font are perfect – easy on the eyes and bold print.

CHARACTERIZATION – 4 STARS – Being a memoir the characters were well developed and described well. 

STORY & PLOT 3 STARS – Parts of the story were drawn out and when he talks about building the windmill, it gets a little too complex for my taste.

OVERALL RATING – 4 STARS – I absolutely enjoyed this book and highly recommend it. 

Other Articles you may Enjoy

Book review
Writing updates
Everything books

Book Review – Look me in the eye, my life with Asperger’s by John Elder Robison

Click the image to buy from Amazon

Book Review – Look me in the eye, my life with Asperger’s by John Elder Robison& Bonus Questions for Your Book Club

My book club read this last month – as always, I like to share our review with you 🙂

About the Author

John Elder Robison grew up in the sixties before the Asperger diagnosis came into common use. After dropping out of high school, John worked in the music business where he created sound effects and electronic devices, including the signature illuminated, smoking, and rocket firing guitars he built for KISS. Later John worked on some of the first video games and talking toys at Milton Bradley. After a ten year career in electronics, John founded Robison Service, a specialty automobile company in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Today in addition to running the car company, John is the Neurodiversity Scholar in Residence at the College of William & Mary, and advisor to the neurodiversity program at Landmark College. He is a member of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee which makes the Strategic Plan for Autism for the US government.

In addition to his autism advocacy work, John is a lifelong car enthusiast, an avid hiker, a photographer, a music lover, and a world-class champion eater. He lives in Amherst, Massachusetts.

The Synopsis of the Book

Ever since he was young, John Robison longed to connect with other people, but by the time he was a teenager, his odd habits – an inclination to blurt out non sequiturs, avoid eye contact, dismantle radios, and dig five-foot holes (and stick younger brother, Augusten Burroughs, in them) – had earned him the label “social deviant.” It was not until he was forty that he was diagnosed with a form of autism called Asperger’s syndrome. That understanding transformed the way he saw himself – and the world. A born storyteller, Robison has written a moving, darkly funny memoir about a life that has taken him from developing exploding guitars for KISS to building a family of his own. It’s a strange, sly, indelible account – sometimes alien yet always deeply human.

Our Review

Book Review - Look me in the eye, my life with Asperger's by John Elder Robison

This was a well written and at times a funny book that we all enjoyed immensely.  For some, like myself it was an eye-opener. I knew nothing about Aspergers and the author did a fantastic job of bringing me into his world.  For others, it was a book they could relate to because of family members that have Aspergers. They said he was spot on with all the struggles he experienced during his childhood.

The most fascinating part of the book was reading about what he has achieved in his life. He didn’t look at his condition as a failure but as an asset. He has accomplished so much including having a family and this brings hopes to others suffering from Aspergers’ I think it’s a wonderful message that will help many families.

It’s a story that is beautifully written, easy to read with no fluff. The author tells you exactly how it is and you can feel it through his writing.

Our Overall Rating

Our rating Look me in the eye, my life with Asperger's by John Elder Robison

COVER DESIGN – 5 STARS – Like his writing, his cover is spot on and grabs your attention. 

CHARACTERIZATION – 5 STARS – Being memoir he did a great job describing all his characteristics from childhood to adulthood.

STORY & PLOT 4 STARS – Even though everyone loved this book some felt a five star was too generous

OVERALL RATING – 4 STARS – Overall we gave this book 4 stars and highly recommend it.

Questions to ask at your book club

Questions-Book Review - Look me in the eye, my life with Asperger's by John Elder Robison

Click on the link below for questions to ask at your book club.

Book club discussion – Look Me In The Eye

Other Articles You May Enjoy

Book Review
Book review

 

 

 

 

Podcasts for Readers & Writers

 

 

 

 

 

Did you know I now have a Facebook Readers’ Group?

It’s a place where you can interact with other readers that are following me. I host weekly giveaways, do live video chats and talk about on-going projects.

You can join by clicking on the link below.

Read More Books – Tina Hogan Grant – Readers’ Group