It has been a hot minute since we last posted and we apologize. October was a busy month what with duties, majlis and all that so we don’t have much in the way of beauty favorites. However, we did consume a lot of pop-culture in the last month so we though we’ll do a wrap-up of that. Let’s do it!
I, Atiya, have long since realized that I am a binge reader. I will read a lot in a go and then totally slack-off. October was a good reading month for me because I finished six books and 3/4 books. Not bad, right? The 3/4 is for the one I didn’t finish but it wasn’t a novel and I had gotten the gist of it, so it can be included here.
1. The Art of Asking: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help is a memoir by Amanda Palmer, who is a musician and a song writer. To be honest, I am a noob when it comes to indie music and I do not usually read about musicians. But this book found it’s way to me via a friend and I somehow got into it and found it really enjoyable. She talks about how she desperately wanted to be taken seriously as an artist, and how through the kindness of strangers and asking others for help, she gets the life she wants. There are moments when she conveys her vulnerability so beautifully that I was transported to the times I was traveling alone and asking people for help. Everyone should read it.
2. The Martian by Andy Weir:
Atiya: I mainly read this book before the family and I went to see the movie. I did not enjoy it at all. The main character, Mark Watney is stuck on Mars and spends a year and a half trying to survive. There is absolutely no insight into his character and he does not even wonder deeply about life, the universe and everything, just a lot of math, physics and science which had its moments. There is no indication of the psychological effects of being alone for that long on a strange planet. Add to that a rape joke and the deal was pretty much sealed in making me dislike it further.
Amna: Unlike my sister, I frickin’ loved this book! Its funny, entertaining and has some serious science. He definitely has a lot of character and obviously if you are a scientist stranded on a planet you will use your brains to survive rather than think about life ‘deeply’ LOL! He experiences a number of life threatening incidents and with the help of the NASA, manages to work a way out of them without losing his mind. If you are into good science fiction like I am, read this.
3. Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari: If you are a fan of Parks and Recreation, then the name Aziz Ansari will be familiar to you. He is a stand-up comedian who does the comedy circuit in the United States and often calls out Hollywood’s hypocrisy when it comes to hiring people of color in prominent roles. In this book he takes on the conundrum of finding love in the age of cell phones, emoticons and Tinder. He and his team of sociologists and psychologists travel around the States, Qatar and Tokyo to try and find if finding love is easier now than it was back in the day when even his own parents had an arranged marriage. It is a nice mix of sociology and bad humor and made for a quick and interesting read.
4. Why Not Me by Mindy Kaling: Both Amna and I are OBSESSED with The Mindy Project (her awesome TV show) and reading Mindy Kaling is like having a best friend talk to you. She is funny, whip-smart and so body positive that every woman should read her books and feel inspired.
5. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn: I think I have shouted to just about everyone about how much I loved Flynn’s seminal work, Gone Girl. She has this fantastic way of writing terrifying, violent yet fascinating women that you just cannot help but like. In Sharp Objects, reporter Camille Preaker goes down to her hometown of Wind Gap, Missouri to try and report on the case of two little girls who have been killed and their teeth pulled out. It gets gorier from there and Flynn’s descriptions are so graphic I had to put the book down and take deep breaths. The ending was too over the top so that is where the book is not the best but it was a good page-turner, overall.
6. Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith: I belong to the Potter generation so of course, I try to read everything J.K. Rowling puts out. she started the Cormoran Strike series under the pen name Robert Galbraith until it was found that it was her writing these books. I love noir detective fiction and these novels do not disappoint. Career of Evil is the third novel in the series and the story begins when a parcel with a severed leg is delivered to Strike’s partner, Robin Ellacott. Now, Strike is a famous detective after solving the Lula Landry case (the plot of the first novel, The Cuckoo’s Calling) so he has a fair few enemies who want to destroy him. While they set about solving the case, Rowling gives these characters a lot of development and personality and side plots that are just as interesting as the main one. All the elements of noir fiction, the broody detective, the dark and scary streets of London are there so you can imagine why I love these books.
7. Food: A Love Story by Jim Gaffigan: As you can probably tell, I read a lot of comedians. Jim Gaffigan is also a stand-up comedian and this book is a laugh-out-loud ode to American food. I found myself relating to so many things about American pizza, burgers and fries that I had the (mis)fortune of trying in the States that I am really glad my friend recommended this book. However, I did not finish it because the writing style got too repetitive to enjoy, still, a fun read.
Brooklyn Nine Nine: I was absolutely addicted to Brooklyn 99 this month. Finished seasons two and three in 2 days, guys! Granted, season three has only been out for five episodes but still that is 28 episodes in two days so give me some credit, ha. The show follows a team of police detectives in the Nine-Nine precinct (hence the name) and they get up to some hilarious antics. The writing is whip-smart and the jokes come fast and strong. Most of the cast are Saturday Night Live alums so most of the plots and character arcs are well-developed.
The Martian: If you have made it thus far and are still reading you’ll be saying what? Atiya, you did not like the book! you say. Well yes, but I did like the movie because it improved upon the book and actually gave Mark Watney (Matt Damon) some character. Everybody else just kind of blends as one giant NASA team to get him safely home and overall, the film delivered much more on a “oh my god, this planet other than Earth is so amazing!” scale. That is my two-cents. Amna also loves the movie too but she feels the music could have been much better. The scenes needed more feeling.
Amna: Adele came out of nowhere and dropped her new song ‘Hello’ which left us all extremely emotional. Although I loved Selena Gomez’s and Lana Del Rey’s albums, ONLY this made it to the favorites list! I highly recommend you listen to it if you haven’t already.
So that is it for our October wrap-up, what have you been loving? Let us know in the comments!