Evil Eye by Madhuri Shekar, narr. by Harsh Nayyar, Annapurna Sriram, Bernard White, Nick Choksi, Rita Wolf

I get some of my audio books through Audible, mostly Harry Potter, Wheel of Time, and other audios of books I’ve already read. My plan was to get all the Harry Potter ones and then cancel my account, but sometimes when I want something to listen to, it has a long wait list at the library, so for now I still have my Audible account and with it the Originals — I get 2 Audible Original productions per month for free.

Until I listened to Evil Eye, I’d avoided the Originals. I didn’t know what they were and didn’t care, but Evil Eye convinced me otherwise.

Genre:

Thriller; Supernatural

Series:

N/A

Pubbed:

May 2019

Goodreads summary:

Pallavi is an aspiring writer living in California. Her mother, Usha, is thousands of miles away in Delhi – and obsessed with finding her daughter a husband.

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“The Last Olympian” by Rick Riordan

Back in 2016, I decided to take my time rereading Riordan’s Percy Jackson books. I’d enjoyed them when I first read them and was curious to know if I still would. I first read the books when I was in college. I wanted something light but similar to Harry Potter to read to break up the heavy texts I had to read for class. I was skeptical of the Percy Jackson books thinking they might be a rip off of Harry Potter and was pleasantly surprised to find that they weren’t.

I enjoyed the books back then and I still enjoy them now. However, I was worried at first because I read Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief by audio book and had such a horrible experience with it in that format that I wondered if the story had soured for me. It hadn’t. It was just that the narrator had done a horrible job. When I switched to the physical book to read the third book, Titan’s Curse, I quickly got swept up in the fun and adventure.

It took me almost three years to complete my reread because I took my time with it. There was no rush. I’d just pick up one of the books whenever I felt for something light and fun. I did so again in June this year after completing The Devourers by Indra Das, Tweak by Nic Sheff, and Becoming by Michelle Obama, all heavier, more serious reads. I needed something simple and light to cleanse my palate and The Last Olympian was just the thing.

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“Becoming” by Michelle Obama

By the time Michelle Obama’s book was published in November 2018, I’d gotten a part-time position at my dream job: I was FINALLY working as a bookseller in a bookstore. A few weeks had passed since I’d started, so I was still getting familiar with the process for books we weren’t allowed to sell before a specified date although customers would visit and call the store often asking “Is it there yet? Can I come by for a copy? Do you have it?”

It was the same with Obama’s book. There was a buildup of great excitement and expectation for her autobiography. People couldn’t wait to get it in their hands, and on the day it was released, we were sold out in minutes. Whenever we received another stack of books, they’d be gone in moments, sometimes before they even got on the shelves. It was even worse around Christmas time as people bought copies for themselves, friends, and family and would place five or 10 copies on hold at a time — all Christmas gifts, everyone in the family getting a copy. I also bought more than one copy. I bought one for myself and gave another to my aunt.

As usual, I didn’t immediately begin reading Obama’s autobiography when I got it. I don’t read many biographies, autobiographies, or even memoirs, and when I do, they’re never about political figures. I’m not a fan of politics, and I always mistrust political figures. But I liked the Obamas and really admired Michelle Obama. I loved her personality. What convinced me to finally purchase her autobiography was an interview she did with Oprah where she spoke about her book, growing up in Chicago, and her time as First Lady. I got curious. I wanted to know more. Furthermore, I loved how relatable Obama was in the interview. She seemed to just “tell it like it is” even when she was trying to be tactful or hold back a bit on some things, she came across as honest. I thought to myself, “I need to read her book.” And I’m glad I did.

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“Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines” by Nic Sheff, narr. by Paul Michael Garcia

Genre:

Nonfiction — Memoir

Series:

N/A

Pubbed:

February 2008

Goodreads summary:

Nic Sheff was drunk for the first time at age eleven. In the years that followed, he would regularly smoke pot, do cocaine and Ecstasy, and develop addictions to crystal meth and heroin. Even so, he felt like he would always be able to quit and put his life together whenever he needed to. It took a violent relapse one summer in California to convince him otherwise.

In a voice that is raw and honest, Nic spares no detail in telling us the compelling, heartbreaking, and true story of his relapse and the road to recovery. As we watch Nic plunge into the mental and physical depths of drug addiction, he paints a picture for us of a person at odds with his past, with his family, with his substances, and with himself. It’s a harrowing portrait—but not one without hope. (Goodreads)

My thoughts:

Every time I saw this book on the shelf at the bookstore, I felt compelled to pick it up and read. The title made me curious. It made me wonder “Oh my god! A kid grew up on meth? WTF!” The title worked for getting people to pick up the book, but once I started reading, Sheff pulled me in. I was just amazed and sometimes shocked at all he had been through due to his drug addiction. I felt sorry for him when he spoke about his struggle with addiction and to get enough money to feed it, and his struggle to get clean and heal his relationship with his family.

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“The Devourers” by Indra Das

It took me a whole year to read this book. It only has 303 pages, although my copy is missing pages 213-244, so it should have taken me less time to read it, but I struggled with this one.

Genre:

Literary, Fantasy

Series:

N/A

Pubbed:

July 2016

Goodreads summary:

On a cool evening in Kolkata, India, beneath a full moon, as the whirling rhythms of traveling musicians fill the night, college professor Alok encounters a mysterious stranger with a bizarre confession and an extraordinary story. Tantalized by the man’s unfinished tale, Alok will do anything to hear its completion. So Alok agrees, at the stranger’s behest, to transcribe a collection of battered notebooks, weathered parchments, and once-living skins.

From these documents spills the chronicle of a race of people at once more than human yet kin to beasts, ruled by instincts and desires blood-deep and ages-old. The tale features a rough wanderer in seventeenth-century Mughal India who finds himself irrevocably drawn to a defiant woman—and destined to be torn asunder by two clashing worlds. With every passing chapter of beauty and brutality, Alok’s interest in the stranger grows and evolves into something darker and more urgent. (Goodreads)

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“You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life” by Jen Sincero

Now I can see why Sincero’s books are bestsellers. She’s so inspiring and motivating that after reading this book I was even more energized to work on attaining my goals.

I wasn’t interested in Sincero’s books at first. I’ve read some self-help books, but they aren’t what I often gravitate to unless the subject is art/creativity. But I needed something to listen to at work while doing dull tasks, so I decided to give You Are a Badass a try since it was available on my library’s Overdrive app.

I was so hooked, I almost completed the book in a day, and as soon as I was done, I went out and bought a physical copy of this book and You Are a Badass at Making Money.

Genre:

Nonfiction – self-help

Series:

N/A

Pubbed:

April 2013

Quick summary:

You Are a Badass is a hilarious self-help book about building faith in what you want to achieve to manifest your goals. Sincero uses her experiences to show us that it’s possible to attain whatever we put our minds to. If there’s something we really want to achieve and wholeheartedly believe we can achieve it and work toward doing so, then we will get it. (Goodreads)

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“Perfect Shadow” by Brent Weeks

Not too long ago, I completed the Night Angel trilogy by Brent Weeks, a grimdark fantasy story about a street urchin who becomes a notorious assassin, which is called “wetboy” in the book. I enjoyed reading the story although I wasn’t enthused about how it ends. Wanting more story about the characters, I quickly started on Perfect Shadow. I wanted to know more about my favorite character — Durzo Blint, who trained the protagonist of the Night Angel books, — and the Perfect Shadow didn’t disappoint.

Genre:

Fantasy

Series:

Night Angel, book 0

Pubbed:

June 2011

Quick summary:

The Perfect Shadow contains two short stories. The first focuses on Durzo Blint before he became Durzo, the best wetboy in Cenaria and connected to the Sa’kagé. The second story focuses on Kylar after the events of the trilogy and in the process of hunting down Trudana Jadwin, the duchess who killed the prince and started a war and has a weird taste in art. (Goodreads)

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