Twenty-Six Steps to a Better You, the A-Z Guide to Inspiration and Motivation, the debut work of Sonia A. Nwajei, is a non-fiction work of mini essays centered around each letter of the alphabet based on inspiration and motivation. For each letter the author decides on a word or phrase and defines it. She then writes a short narrative, in a stream of consciousness method, about her thoughts on the word relating to self improvement. Each essay offers the reader rhetorical questions, helpful suggestions, and practical stories regarding the theme. The author’s hope is that these elements will allow the reader to make changes in their life to meet their goals and visions.
One aspect of this work that I really enjoyed was the author’s personal experiences. She has overcome a lot in her life and has a lot of helpful ideas to share with readers. The idea of the book was also fun and unique in using the alphabet to engage in dialogue about ways to improve yourself or motivating yourself to accomplish goals. It most reminds me of a short inspirational book or devotional book. For someone working on meeting a goal this might be a good book to pick up and read a chapter a day with to encourage them to continue working towards their goals. The questions in some of the chapters will also help readers to firm up their goals more easily and utilize the essays more.
I do, however, think the book needs a little more structure for me to give it a higher rating. The author sometimes went off on, at least what felt to me like, tangents that didn’t neatly fit back to the theme for the chapter. Some of the chapters were like little gold nuggets in the way they fit back to the theme and provided a lot of insight, but not every theme made it there. The conversational style that permeated the book might have also led to this feeling. While the conversational style itself wasn’t so much of a problem, the wording to the reader just felt a little odd as many of the chapters started. I guess to sum it up, I think some of the chapters just need some more polishing to make them tight and on point.
If you enjoy devotional style inspirational reads this is a book you will want to pick up. Readers working on goals will also find encouragement in this work. Overall, the idea the author has is fun and one I haven’t seen before. The essays have a lot of wisdom, encouragement, and practical experiences in them to impart to readers. This is sure to open readers up to new ideas, ways of reaching goals, and thinking about the themes featured.