I stopped reading books consistently a while ago. I was an avid reader growing up and devoured at least 2 books a week throughout my teens. However, as I grew older I found it harder to make the time to indulge in my favourite pastime. Plus my favourite time to read (while on the bus or another form of transportation) sadly was taken away from me by car sickness that I developed as I got older. So I took to enjoying podcasts and audiobooks. As a Toronto Public Library card holder, I have access to a huge catalogue of audiobooks for free on my phone through the Overdrive App. If you live in Toronto and have a Library card, get on this! Here are some of the books I’ve listened to while in the skies, milling about at home or while exploring a new city.
Modern Romance: An Investigation Book by Aziz Ansari and Eric Klinenberg
If you want to giggle to yourself while also learning something, this is the book for you. Jenn Im’s January favourites included this audio book, and I finished it within days of her recommendation. I loved listening to ‘Modern Romance’! While I would have liked it if Ansari touched more on how race affects dating, I appreciated his insights and willingness to provide insight into women’s side of dating throughout the book.
Around the Way Girl: A Memoir by Taraji P Henson
This biography gave me a new insight and appreciation for Henson. While I never watched cult hits, Empire or Baby Boy, I noticed her rise to stardom. This book, however, gave me the chance to not only appreciate her talent but her journey as a successful actress. I got a bit emotional throughout certain parts of the story (especially about her dad). If you enjoy coming of age stories with a twist of dark humour check this out.
The Art of Seduction by Robert Greene
Shout out to Shannon Boodram for getting me on this book! I like learning about my flirting style and how that affects my love-life. It’s also cool to learn more about the women around me and how they express their sexual prowess in their daily lives.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Ok, you’ve probably read this already or watched the movie. However, the dramatised narration brought me on an even more dramatic rollercoaster ride than just reading the book. I finished this audiobook in 2 days. At the time I was working from home all day so other than bathing, this book was playing all day either aloud in my apartment or in my headphones while out (as you can tell I’m very social).This would be an amazing book for a long haul flight, although I’d recommend watching a comedy here and there to take a break from the dark and enrapturing storyline.
Why not Me? by Mindy Kaling
This book got me laughing. I remembered loving, The Mindy Project when it first came out because I could watch a brown girl be the heroine of a love story. I found in this book that she sounded more mature and sure of herself than in her previous book, Is Everyone Hanging out Without Me?. She was more vulnerable and shared not only funny self-depreciating bits about herself but tips on confidence and how she found her voice. There were a few problematic statements she made in the book that automatically brought up my screw face, but they were few and far between.
The Chemistry Between Us Brian Alexander and Larry Young
I loved this book! From learning about the Machihembra of the Dominican Republic (they grew up as women, but were revealed to be men as teenagers!) to the physiological differences between men and women, this book opened my eyes to the world around me within the realm of sex, relationships and love. While the studies cited in this book are very clinical, it’s narrated in a very fun and interesting way.
Food Junkies by Vera Tarman MD, Phil Wedell
I know I was addicted to food as a kid. I was very unhappy and spent the better years of my early teens with my head in the fridge. While I learned to successfully break several of those habits and the destructive cycle, I still feel an odd need to overeat when I’m feeling stressed or sad. While I have yet to confirm the studies cited in the book (audiobook, remember!) I learned a lot from the authors. While the content was a bit dry in some parts, it was a great resource and reminder that many people struggle with food addiction and depression. I like that they cited the destructive cycles of people in the public eye including Oprah and Princess Diana along with everyday people that they interviewed in Toronto and beyond.
You might have noticed that none of these books are about travel. Leading up to my adventures I tend to obsess over my itinerary and destination. When on the plane or on my way to the airport I take a mental break from all things travel so my brain will be rested and ready for the adventure ahead.
Did I miss any books? What are your favourites?