July 7, 2009

Tour: A Worthy Legacy by Tomi Akinyanmi

BOOK #: 53
READ FOR: ARC; Blog Tour; 21 Cultures Reading Challenge; A to Z Reading Challenge
RATING: 4.5 Stars

I am thrilled to be taking part in my first blog tour! And what a great book to start off with, too.

A Worthy Legacy is the story of Tomi and her grandfather, who is dying of a long-term illness. Tomi's father calls her at work and tells her that her grandfather wants everyone to come to the village now. She drops what she is doing and goes. The entire family is there and her grandfather shares his last words of wisdom with those he loves the most. Tomi also shares about the secret journal that she shared with her grandfather that made a lasting impression on her.

Though the book is a quick read at 100 pages, the book's message is powerful, heartwarming and inspirational. Tomi's writing is beautiful and soulful. I was so moved that I held back tears as I read. I thought of what my father's last words were and what his legacy is. I also wondered what my legacy would be. That is probably the greatest gift of the book- you begin to decide what you want your own journey to mean to others.

I got the wonderful opportunity to ask Tomi Akinyanmi, also a poet, some questions about her grandfather and herself:

1) What piece of wisdom that your Grandpa gave to you has been the most beneficial to you in life? That my happiness depended on being true to myself not in trying to be like other people.

2) You and your Grandpa shared a secret journal just for sharing thoughts between the two of you. Would you recommend this kind of secret sharing between special family members to your readers?

Certainly! Sharing your writing with someone in the family, especially someone older than yourself can be exciting for a young writer. It presents the opportunity of seeing someone else’s perspective besides your own and this helps you grow as a writer. Also, it is a fact that we all lose the people dear to us someday. Having such a journal, gives the survivor something to remember that dear one by.

3) Were there any anecdotes or pieces of wisdom you did not share in the book? If so, how did you make the decision of whether or not to include something? It None. I did my best to write down all I have learned. It is possible that some day, memory and circumstances may stir up some earlier lessons which I don’t have written down in my journal maybe then, I’ll revise the book.

4) Can you talk a little about your writing process with this book as well as your poetry?

For the story, I started by looking at my old notes and as I went through the folder, I wrote down my thoughts. I tried as much as possible to organize them into categories, putting similar thoughts together eventually; the story began to take form. Once I had the basic ideas down, I began to tackle one category at a time. Of course I had to go back over and over again to reread and rewrite until it felt just right. Then I start to share with other people (initially family then friends, and critique groups) I listen to the feedbacks and take notes, go back and review and rewrite as I deem necessary then pass it on to an editor to review, help me refine and polish it. With poetry, I write the thoughts down first then I go back and rewrite at least 5 times. It must have a flow – sound like music to my ears.

5) What do you hope to leave as a legacy?

It is my desire to help my children value the things that really matter in life. I hope that I can equip them with all they need to make a worthy living and that they in turn will challenge their peers and future generations to do the same. This is the legacy I hope to leave.

Thank you, Tomi, for sharing your book with me and for allowing us to know more about you and your grandfather. I recommend this book to all of my readers, especially those who have lost a close loved one. It is a book that is worth reading once, if not again and again.

Here is where the blog tour has already stopped:
Merry Weather Book Blog
Drey's Library
Violet Crush
A Bookworm's World
Book Nest Reviews (today also)

Here are the next 4 stops on the tour:
Mis(h)takes (July 8)
A Circle of Books (July 8)
Peeking Between the Pages (July 9)
Reading Frenzy (July 9)


  1. This book sounds really sad and yet really beautiful. Great interview.

  2. I am glad you enjoyed this one. It does sound like a worthwhile read. Thank you for the interview with the author. I always enjoy learning more about the author and the book she's written. It makes the book all the more personal, you know?

    I love the idea of sharing a secret journal. My husband and I did something like that before we were married and living in different cities. I still occasionally write in mine for my husband, but not nearly as much as I did back then. I imagine he's probably misplaced the one he kept for me. LOL

  3. This book sounds wonderful. I think one area that our country really fails in is respect and reverence for our elders, so I think a book like this that shows the wisdom older people have is very important.

  4. Thanks for the feature Rebecca. Feline, interesting comment. Bermudaonion, totally agree that we can learn a lot from the elders if we pay more attention to them.


Thank you for visiting! Leave a comment and share your thoughts with me!