Dubai: I discovered audiobooks around six years ago and it completely changed the way I consume literature. Getting stuck in traffic was suddenly a different experience, since I had company in the form of stories read out loud.
Here are audiobooks in my own library that changed my life and made me a better, more thoughtful person.
1. Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
This Audiobook is my absolute undisputed favourite memoire of all time. It is a compelling, and inspiring story that was also comic enough to leave me laughing out loud alone in my car. The coming-of-age story of Trevor Noah is set during the time of apartheid in South Africa and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed. Trevor himself was born a crime, the son of a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother, at a time when a relationship like this was punishable by five years in prison. As a result, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the first years of his life. My favourite part in his memoir was when he described his 7 year-old self, relieving himself on a pile of newspapers on his kitchen floor, so that he wouldn’t have to use the toilet out in the woods, and as a result he caused a voodoo witch hunt in his village. You’ll see what I mean when you listen yourself.
2. Down the Rabbit Hole by Holly Madison
What a riveting listen. From the first few minutes until the very end of the book, I was addicted to listening to this. It was a very very bizarre insight into the world inside the legendary Playboy Mansion - and the truth about the man who holds the key - from one of the few people who truly knows Hef. His former number-one girlfriend and star of The Girls Next Door, Holly Madison. This candid and shocking memoir opens up about life inside the mansion, the drugs, the sex, the abuse, the infamous parties, and her real behind-the-scenes life with Bridget and Kendra. This memoir also gave me hope. If someone who was as down and depressed with low self-esteem, like Holly, could get herself out of that toxic situation and build a successful life for herself, then anyone can fight their own demons.
3. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
I’ve been in love with Gillian Flynn’s writing since reading and watching ‘Gone Girl’. Her stories are always relatively dark with strong yet completely flawed female leads. Sharp Objects has so many twists and turns and an ending that will really surprise you. Sharp Objects is one of those cumulative stories that just keeps getting better and better the more you read. I also just discovered that they turned it into a TV show, starring Amy Adams, who portrays the main character Camille Preaker really well. The story is about psychologically troubled Camille Preaker, a reporter at a newspaper in Chicago that is facing a troubling assignment: She must return to her tiny hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls. For years, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful 13-year-old with. Now, she’s back staying in her old bedroom, and must unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past if she wants to get the story. Listen to this to pass the time during your quarantine. You won’t want to stop.
4. The Perfect Couple by Elin Hilderbrand
This was just a fun summer read that I chose to listen to in winter. No biggie. It was just one of those juicy novels with lots of rich people, murder, adultery and more. From New York Times best-selling author Elin Hilderbrand, comes a novel about a wedding in Nantucket that totally changed all the characters’ lives. The beautiful island is overrun with summer people - an annual source of aggravation for year-round residents. And that's not the only tension brewing offshore. When one lavish wedding ends in disaster before it can even begin - with the maid of honor discovered dead in Nantucket Harbor just hours before the ceremony - everyone in the wedding party is suddenly a suspect. A fun and easy listen.
5. Bossypants by Tina Fey
Another celebrity memoir. I clearly love a particular genre. Tina Fey is so funny, smart and her crazy work ethic is so intimidating. Does this woman even sleep I thought to myself? In her funny memoir we hear about stories before she was Liz Lemon, before she wrote Mean Girls, before the Weekend Update on SNL, and before she so famously portrayed "Sarah Palin". The most memorable story, was when she told us about her almost fatal honeymoon on a cruise. Listen to this if you are stuck in a rut and need some motivation to get your dreams off the ground.
6. Nine perfect strangers by Liane Moriarty
I thought to myself that the author who brought everyone Big Little Lies had to be someone I would love to delve into. Her next novel, Nine Perfect Strangers isn’t your average ordinary Audiobook. Unlike most other novels that run for nine to ten hours, this one lasted a whopping 19 hours long. The story takes place in a boutique health-and-wellness resort called Tranquillum House. It promises to change your life in just 10 days. Watching over them is the resort's director, a woman on a mission to reinvigorate these tired bodies and minds. But the listener will see what lengths she go to achieve her goal. A looonggg read that will pass your quarantine time quickly and easily.
7. Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment by Dr. Amir Levine and Rachel Heller
This was one of those eye opening listens. It changes the way you see your own personaly and that of others in a relationship. It shows you that feeling anxious when you are with someone doesn’t mean that you are a loser. It just means that you are with the wrong person. Science tells us a lot of things. What to eat, how long to work out, when to sleep and wake up. But luckily, modern psychology can help us improve relationships. Psychiatrist and neuroscientist Dr. Amir Levine and Rachel Heller scientifically explain why some people seem to navigate relationships effortlessly, while others struggle. It is all about understanding adult attachment.
From this book, I learned that there are three types of people: Anxious, Avoidant and Secure. ‘Anxious’ people are often worried about their partner's ability to love them back, ‘Avoidants’ want to be loved but they don’t like dependence and closeness (Bad. Very bad) and ‘Secure’ people are comfortable, warm and loving. This book shows you how to be more secure and which people you should avoid getting into a relationship with. Listen to this if you are stuck with someone in quarantine and just can’t seem to communicate with your spouse or partner.